# This transcription is the author's own work and represents his interpret- #
# tation of the song. It is intended for private study, scholarship and/or #
# research purposes only and is not intended for publication or distribution.#
Si Bagh An Si Mor (Traditional Gaelic/Celtic Melody) in the Key Of D
Arranged by John M. (Dadfad) 10/7/02 (Using Notepad Courier New 10 Font)
The tune is called by many similar names, "Sheebeg and Sheemore", etc.
This is a frequently played and requested tune among Traditional-Celtic
guitarists and Traditional-Celtic audiences. It's been done by a number
of artists, in various keys in various tunings with varying degrees of
difficulty. I've used Dropped-D (DADGBE) because it seems like the most
commonly heard tuning for this piece. The tab below isn't that difficult,
but is still true enough to the theme and full enough so that it easily
may be used either as a finished tune, or merely as a basis to elaborate
on. Where I think it may help I'll try to describe holding positions or
fingering suggestions that might make it easier to play. Any fingerstyle
guitar is difficult to tab and even more difficult to play from tab, but
I'll try to make it as clear and understandable as possible.
(holding a D-chord 000232 to start....)
#1> A B |----------C-------|
#2> A |-----B----| C D
#3> A B C
#4> A B C D |-------E------| F
#5> A B C D E |----F----| G |---H---|
Now the second round of the theme starts, similar to the first.
[ Tab from: http://www.guitartabs.cc/tabs/m/misc_traditional/si_bagh_an_si_mor_tab.html ]
#10> A trill and end flourish in full D
Now, I'll try as much as possible what is being done in the various portions
of the tune. I'll use a number with a letter (the letters underneath) to show
approximate location of what I'm describing (like 1A or 8D, etc) on the line
below each tab-staff. Anyway...
-1A is a pinch with the thumb and first finger. This is the basic technique of
this entire tune, so I won't describe every pinch. Assume it likely is unless
I show otherwise.
-1B is a roll. After you come out of a pinch, you frequenly "roll" to add some
texture to the tune. You generally use your thumb to do it. I'm not going to
show every roll either. When you see a succession of single notes, usually
going downward (toward your lap) it's probably a roll.
-1C is just more pinches. Note the 0h2 (hammer from open to 2nd fret, which
is used in several other areas too).
-2A This is a G chord-form. (This is a very frequently-used G-form in finger-
style Dropped-D). It is most easily played just by using your thumb around
the neck on the 6 (and 5) strings, 5th fret. Pinch that with the open 2-string.
The (5) in parenthesis means that note may be sounded with the un-parenthesed
note, usually by just sort of extending or dragging the pinch a bit. Roll to..
-2B is more pinches going into a rolled note (2C). Go into sort of holding a
D-chord but then just pinch that 2-string/3-fret and open 6-string part, then
a little roll on the open 4-string as you go to play a fairly full D-chord...
-2D, which is dragged from both directions (trying to sound the (0) and the (2).
(I don't think I need to describe every pinch and roll now, unless its unusual
in some way. Just the information about the first two lines explains most of
what is meant in the rest of the tune.)
-3A is a double-string hammer. Not difficult, just hold the 2-string/3rd-fret
note with your ring finger and hammer your first and middle finger into a
regular D-chord shape.
-3B is a trill. A little tricky, depending on your experience with them. You
hold the 1st-string/2nd-fret hand hammer-on the 3rd-fret then pull it back off
slightly plucking it with your finger tip if necessary to sound all three notes
of the trill clearly.
-3C is an A7 chord that can be thumb-strummed down.
-4A is a continuation of that A7, but now with an added F# (1-string/2nd-fret)
which adds sort of a diminished/sixth feel taking you to...
-4B which is, again, a G-chord. Then to....
-4C which is back to an A chord-form fragment (A7) and then on to...
-4D which is a D-chord, giving a feeling of partial resolution,
-4E rolling back again through other partial A-forms (Asus4 fragment to A7
again) and then...
-4F back to the D. Then sort of a little end-line...
-5A starting in a D-shape and...
-5B adding the 12th note (A) to that D by extending the pinkie down to the
first-string/fifth-fret to catch it. Then to...
-5C the G-chord. Again, holding the 5 and 6 strings/5th fret with your thumb
allows you to reach the 1-string/7th-fret (adding an 11th note B). (Just a
note: using that thumb for your G-chord gives you a great range of what you
can do with your other fingers when playing in Dropped-D in any style.) Roll
that G-form into...
-5D which is also part of a G-major chord. Roll into...
-5E which is a D, and into...
-5F which is again Asus4 to A7. Then...
-5G a rich D-chord, either using a full pinch to catch all five strings.
-5H is just a little repetitive end-tag of a couple of two-string pinches and
a final slightly arpeggiated strum as to allow all five notes to be he heard.
That more or less explains the first section. There isn't much reason to
go over the next section lines #6, #7, #8, and #9, which, while different,
are done using the same techniqes through the same progression.
-10 is just a trill and flourish ending on a full, rich slightly arpeggiated
D-chord, topped of with a D-harmonic on the 6-string/12th-fret (if you
want to put it there!)
And that's pretty much it. You can use that dominant theme to improv more
verses or repeat them or whatever. Anyway that covers the theme melody of the
piece. It's all done in a I, IV, V progression of forms of D, G and A. You
should listen to one or more versions of the tune to get a sense of how it
flows. If you visualize, while you're playing it, that you're in one of those
positions, instead of just a series of riffs, it makes it much easier to work
with and especially to improvise on further. Maybe just a simple strumming
pattern of the positions would make it easier to associate the passages to the
progression. It would pretty much be like this:
DDD DDD GGG D
GGG DDD GGG A
D G A D
GGG AAA D
That's more-less the feel of the progression (there are little variances but
that's close). If you can see the pinches and rolls, etc as being made within
those D, G or A positions, it all sort of flows from that point. In any case,
that's it. I hope I explained it well enough to make some kind of sense! Any
questions, just ask. Good luck. -Dadfad