Watch the Tullochgorum online guitar lesson by Tony McManus from The Celtic Journeyman
This is a historic strathspey- a great icon in the fiddle repertoire of Scotland. There are tunes in the north of Ireland, Donegal, called “Highlands” which have that same syncopated rhythm but the stathspey is uniquely a Scottish dance form.
In DADGAD this tune sits nicely in one position. In that first phrase, like the rest of the tune, we use hammer ons and pull offs to articulate the dotted 4/4 rhythm. The idea is to get some momentum by having the left hand do the work. So review those concepts- grace notes, hammer on/ pull off etc.- from section 1.
At the end of the second phrase I choose use a 4th in the bass to introduce a little bit of dissonance to the arrangement- again by hammering on to both the melody and the bass note. In the next phrase we have the 4 chord but we play it not over its root but over the third.
At the start of the second part of the tune the ornamentation is compressed to where we are basically just tickling the string. The open strings have to be plucked but most of the rest are hammered on.
Towards the end of the tune we have a “DADGAD moment”- we choose a fingering so that we can have lots of notes ringing. We play across the strings in a variant of the scale we looked at in part 1. In the repeat of the tune, at that point, I play a little variation extending the ringing notes across the strings. This lick is pinched from one of Scott Skinner’s variations on the tune.