From 2004 to 2014 I contributed the guitar workshops and lessons to Folk North West Magazine.

It was a great time, and I made friends with  a lot of people who have now become good friends in the process. 

Following several e-mail requests, here are all the lessons from those years (somewhat "wart's "n all"....I now note !)

( Please note, unless marked "trad" all arrangements on this site copyright Jim Ronayne, MBA, ....registered ukcs 234691)

Title Tuning Audio File Notation / Tablature Playing notes Scorch Link


Study 1 DADGAD Lesson 1 Lesson 1 Study Notes Lesson 1
When I first started to play guitar, this is what we all learned to do first ( PIMA) Thumb =p, Index finger = i, Middle finger =m and ring finger =a ( or in Spanish, pulgar, indigo, medico and anular) Anyway when I was a kid learning this picking pattern involved the "dreaded" F chord. Here is a more accessible exercise.
Study 2 DGDGBD Lesson 2 Lesson 2 Study Notes Lesson 2
Second picking pattern (PAMI ) Trust me, you'll thank me for these little exercises one day .......honest....you really will !
Study 3 DADF#AD Lesson 3 Lesson 3 Study Notes Lesson 3
Third pattern (PIAM ). Just change the chords, vary the tempo, and this one will see you through 99% of all rock ballads and 50% of all folk songs so learn it well.
Study 4 DGDGBD Lesson 4 Lesson 4 Study Notes Lesson 4
When I was a kid I spent hundreds of hours playing Joni Mitchell tracks over and over again, working out the chords and trying to figure out what she was doing. Anyway here is a tuning and some arpeggios for songwriters everywhere. Instant "Joni"
Ronnie's Tune DADGBE Ronnie's Tune Ronnie's Tune Ronnie's Tune Ronnie's Tune
I wrote this when I was teaching a mate of mine. It's a great little tune for beginners to work at to get their "alternating thumb" working.
Lord Franklin DADGAD Lord Franklin Lord Franklin Lord Franklin Lord Franklin
I basically "ripped this arrangement off" from John's. I was just about to play it in a little club on Merseyside a few years ago when John walked in to see what I was up to. No pressure there then ! Thanks mate !
The Butterfly DGDGBbD The Butterfly The Butterfly Study Notes The Butterfly Arranged Keith Offord / Transcribed JR
The West Wind DADGBE The West Wind The West Wind Study Notes The West Wind Arranged Phil Hare / Transcribed JR
Si Bheag, Si Mhor DADGAD Si Bheag, Si Mhor Si Bheag, Si Mhor Study notes Si Bheag, Si Mhor
Here is a nice tune to learn, by the celebrated Irish harpist Turlough O'Carolan.
Danny Boy EADEAE Danny Boy Guitar Tab Study Notes Danny Boy
Please note that in the tab here I've used numbers in circles to refer to the study notes NOT to strings played. I apologise for any confusion
Lord Inchiquin EADEAE Lord Inchiquin Guitar Tab Study Notes Lord Inchiquin So, a new season of lessons for Folk North West magazine. Thank you to those of you who wrote to Ken asking for the column to restart.
Blues in E EADGBE Blues in E Guitar Tab Study Notes Blues in E
There are more "improvisations" / songs based around this little chord sequence than I can name. Please take this little lesson and do your own thing with it. Add your own lyrics, make up your own lead lines.
Blues in A EADGBE Blues in A Guitar tab Study Notes Blues in A
So, "Blues in E" generated about 5 times more responses than any of the other tunes for FNW. So here's another little blues in a similar kind of style. Have fun with it and most importantly play it your own way once you've got the basic tune down. Once again this little chord sequence must be responsible for more songs and tunes than I'd care to try to list here. Start playing it very slowly and within 6 weeks you'll be doing Eric Clapton impressions down at you local club.
Tennessee Waltz DADGAD Tennessee Waltz Guitar Tab Study Notes Here is a nice little study in DADGAD. Although the notation shows repeats for both sections I've just recorded them once here.
12Bar Blues in A EADGBE 12 Bar blues in A Guitar Tab Study Notes As the blues lessons appear to have been by far the most popular lessons in the magazine last year here is a final little blues to end the year on. I'd recommend that you start learning this one with a metronome and build up to speed quite slowly as you consolidate the fingerings.
Three Chord tricks in DADGAD DADGAD DADGAD. Chords Guitar Tab Study Notes Apologies that this lesson did not come out precisely in time with the magazine.
Kemp's Jig DADGAD Kemp's Jig Guitar Tab Study Notes Have fun with this one.
Lucy's Tune CGDGCD

Lucy's Tune ( solo)

Lucy's Tune ( duet version)

Guitar Tab Study Notes
This little tune first appeared during a session on Geoff Speed's show on Radio Merseyside, and whenever I've played it in concert it seems to be the one that everyone asks for the tab for, so finally, here it is. There is a solo version here, and then John and I were travelling around Ireland a few years ago and John put this second part to it, which we recorded a few months later. ( All world wide copyrights Ronayne / Renbourn / Music )
The Kesh Jig DGDGBD The Kesh Jig Guitar Tab Study Notes

I sat in with a friends band a few months ago and this was one of the tunes in the set. Here it is in a solo guitar setting. .........Please note-: The audio recording here is played extremely slowly and at teaching speed.

For performance, multiply the speed by three or four at least, but build your speed up slowly. ( always, always, always !) Accuracy first / speed second. Enjoy this one.

The Choice Wife DADGAD The Choice Wife Guitar Tab Study Notes As above
Banish Misfortune DADGAD Banish Misfortune Guitar Tab Study Notes As above, another of Rory's tunes
 Off To California
DGDGBD Off to California
 Guitar Tab
 Study Notes
   As above, another of Rory's tunes
Drone Bass Blues
EADGBE Drone Bass Blues
Guitar Tab
 Study Notes
 By popular request back to little blues pieces
Blues in E
EADGBE Blues in E
Guitar Tab
 Study Notes
 There is a little stretch for the pinky in this one, if it's uncomfortable stick a capo on the 4th fret and work back a fret at a time over 4 months. Apologies to everyone that the Scorch file here will not play, we are trying to sort it out.
Bunyan's Hymn
DGDGBD Bunyan's Hymn
Guitar Tab
Study Notes
An accompaniment in Open G
One Direction Blues
EADGBE bluesine2
Guitar Tab

Apologies that this tune was not added prior to magazine publication as usual
Guitar Tab

An Orkney tune that I accidently learned from Paul Bonnett whilst discussing the joys of Scottish whiskey distilleries
Run Rig Jig
Run Rig Jig
Guitar Tab

This tune works quite with well the above "Graemsay" as a medley

 Mountains of Mourne
 EADGBE  MOMourne  Tab
 Notes    This will be my last lesson for Folk North West Magazine for the immediate future. I would just like to say thank you to everyone who has followed and encouraged the workshops for the last 10 years. It has been a genuine privilege, all the best and good luck with all your playing.