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Star of the County Down: Prep & Practice


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Acoustic Fingerpicking Step-by-Step, Level 1C

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Here is an example of a fingerpicking pattern in 3/4 time being used to create an arrangement for a song.

In this version of the traditional song, "Star of the County Down", you'll hear me use a fingerpicking pattern in 3/4 time, as well as an AmSus4 figure in 3/4 time.

Both of these appear in the tablature below. The fingerpicking pattern in 3/4 time was taught in lesson 1 of this tutorial.

Think of this as an example of how you might use fingerpicking patterns and ornaments to create an arrangement for any song in 3/4 time that you choose. Due to copyright law, I am only able to post examples of fingerpicking songs that are in the Public Domain. These include traditional folk songs and songs with no known author. The technique, however, can be applied to a wide variety of songs.

Playing this along with me on this video is a great way to practice and make sure your rhythm and chord changes are on the right track.


(Intro: Am figure in 3/4 time, twice)

Near (Am)Banbridge (F)Town

In the (C)County (G)Down

One (Am)morning (F)last (Em)July(G)

Down (Am)a boreen(F)green

Came a (C)sweet colleen(G)

And she (Am)smiled as she (F)passed me (Am)by

She(C) looked so (C)neat

From her (G) two bare (G)feet

To the sheen (Am) of her (F) nut brown (Em) hair (G)

(Am)Such a coaxing elf (F)

I (C) shook myself (G)

To be sure (Am)I was really(F) there (Am figure)

As she onward sped
Sure I turned my head
And I gazed with a feeling rare
And I says, says I
To a passerby
Who's the maid with the nut brown hair?
From Bantry Bay to Derry Quay
From Galway to Dublin town
No maid I've seen like the fair coleen
She's the Star of the County Down

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lesson notation