News & Views Thursday, November 27, 2014

Category: Folk Music

Jewish Holiday Songs 03 November, 2014

00-42662This newly released book of sheet music, “Top Requested Jewish Holiday Songs“, includes several songs for each of three holidays :  Chanukah, Passover, and Purim.  There are nineteen songs in all.  The piano part, words, and guitar chords are all included.  From the serious ” Baruch Shel Chanukah” ,  to the lighthearted “My Dreidel“, and on to the the silly “Chad Gadya“, there is more than one song appropriate to each holiday!  This is a collection you will go back to again and again.  For more information about this collection or other similar collections, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website at  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


Bluegrass! 18 August, 2014

bluegrass songbookTraditional bluegrass music is typically played on acoustic instruments: fiddle, string bass, five string banjo, guitar, and mandolin.  Sometimes a harmonica, autoharp, or dobro may be played in the group.  Bluegrass songbooks are not always easy to find, and Stanton’s has one that will work well for everybody.   “The Bluegrass Songbook”  has over forty great Bluegrass songs including  “Ballad of Jed Clampett” from The Beverly Hillbilles, “Wabash Cannonball” by A. P. Carter,  “The Long Black Veil” by Marijohn Wilkin and Danny Dill, plus more.  Guitar chords, melody, and the words to the songs are included.  Expand your repertoire!   For more information about this collection or others like it, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website at  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

O’Neill’s Music of Ireland 17 July, 2014

This one-inch thick book of 1,850 Irish melodiesResizeImageHandler.ashx is a library of tunes in one volume.  There are set dance tunes, which are tunes for a “set”, or group of dancers in couples, many of O’Carolan’s tunes, folk song tunes, and more.  The melody is laid out, ready to be played, embellished upon, or arranged by a group or soloist.  There are many familiar tunes; “The Minstrel Boy”, “The Bard of Armagh”, “Planxty Irwin”, reels, hornpipes, and more.  The words are not included, nor are there chords provided.  The melody is the main emphasis in this collection. For more information about this collection or other tune books or fiddle books, please call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Jam Session! 16 July, 2014

00240112What is a jam session?  It is a musical event, process, or activity where musicians play (“jam”) by improvising.  At a typical folk music or Bluegrass jam, players in the group take turns choosing a tune to play and the key to play it in. (Example- “Let’s play “In the Pines” in the key of D.”)  Most of the group will be familiar with the songs, so people can strum, pick, or fiddle along to the song.  Maybe one person will sing the verses, and everyone will sing the chorus in harmony.  Often, the leader will give a nod to different people and the chosen person will improvise a solo for a verse of the song.  Jams can go on for hours with people coming and going as time passes.  It’s great fun!  I’ve been in jams where I’ve alternated playing fiddle, mandolin, or ukulele.   Sometimes, I stop playing and just sing. To learn the songs associated with a particular style of music, fakebooks are helpful, as is listening to lots of music in your chosen style. Eventually, your ear kicks in, and you can play “by ear”.  That is, you can hear a song and play it without sheet music.  For information about fakebooks for different styles of music, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at or visit our website at  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

It is NOT a “Flamingo Guitar”! 14 May, 2014

Flamenco is a style of Spanish dance.  Flamenco is also  the style of music played for the dancers to dance to.  This collection, “Essential Flamenco Guitar” by Juan Martin, includes two DVD’s, and 134 pages of flamenco pieces that are written in both standard notation and tablature. You can watch the flamenco group playing, singing, and dancing and get an idea of how the ensemble functions together.  For an enjoyable exploration of the flamenco style, this book and the DVD’s included are a great introduction!  For more information about this collection or other guitar literature, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website at  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Joni Mitchell Guitar Songbook 28 April, 2014

This collection of guitar sheet music by Joni Mitchell includes the songs from eighteen albums of her works.  “Joni Mitchell Complete So Far” includes words, chords and tablature for her songs.  Joni Mitchell is forever experimenting with various tunings, so the tuning for each song is given, along with directions for use of a capo when called for.  At the beginning of the book there is a biography by Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers. One of the interesting stories about Joni Mitchell is about how she traveled Europe for about a year with a dulcimer and a flute.  Most of the album “Blue” was written on that dulcimer.  It has been a long time since a Joni Mitchell songbook has been published, so this collection is a welcome release!  For more information about this collection or other personality collections, call 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at or visit our website at  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Folk/Pop Music for Ukulele 10 April, 2014

Folk *  Pop Songs for Ukulele”  is a collection of twenty-five folk/rock  songs from mostly the 60′s and 70′s.  Each song has the words, melody and ukulele chords included.  Each song is a classic!  Titles include “Puff the Magic Dragon” (Peter, Paul and Mary),  “Blackbird”  (The Beatles),  “The Unicorn” (Irish Rovers), “We’ll Sing in the Sunshine”  (Gale Garnett),  and  “The M. T. A.” (The Kingston Trio).  This collection of sheet music is great for a singalong or a jam session.  For more information about this collection or others you may be interested in, call 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website at  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

No Foolin’! 365 songs for ukulele! 01 April, 2014

This book of sheet music for ukulele contains 365 songs, one for each day of the year.  There is a chord chart at the front of the book, instructions on how to tune, strumming, and how to finger the chords.  The songs include the chord grids for all the chords used in that song.  You can play country songs (“Hey, Good Lookin’” by Hank Williams),  Beatles songs, (“Hey, Jude”), Broadway songs, (“Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” from My Fair Lady), and folk songs, ( “Hush, Little Baby”).  Heck, if you really like some songs, you can play them more than once a year!  “The Daily Ukulele” book provides a bit of fun for every day.  For more information about this song book or similar books, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website at Shop Stanton’s  for all your sheet music needs.

Zithers and Other Stringed Things 26 March, 2014

From time to time at Stanton’s, we get calls for method books to go with instruments we rarely see. One of these is a guitar, or concert, zither. We have a method book that Carl Fischer publishes for that instrument. It is fretted like a guitar, and tuned like a viola (A, D, G, C), but with a doubled A string. With your right thumb, you pluck the melody strings, ( seen at the bottom of this image)and with the right fingers you pluck the chords, (seen at the top of this image.) The chords are all open strings, with the “C” strings red and the “F” strings blue, like a harp’s. Fingering the fretted strings is like playing a dulcimer- ring finger is “1″, middle finger “2″, etc. The little finger isn’t used at all. It’s too weak.

People have called about, and sometimes walked in with, a funny “hybrid” instrument called a ukelin“. It is half bowed psaltery (violin), half plucked chords (ukulele), hence “ukelin”. This is a two-fisted instrument, played purely for fun. You bow with the right hand and pluck with the left-at the same time. For more on this strange beastie, check out the link.

Did you find a 4 stringed baby banjo in the closet or attic? We bet you have found a banjo ukulele. We have books for ukuleles of any stripe. One of the funnest books to learn ukulele is “Jumpin’ Jim’s Tips ‘n’ Tunes” by Jim Beloff. A chord chart is in the back of the book, and there are plenty of fun songs to learn, including the most most serious ukulele rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” we may have ever seen (or played). Contact us at, visit our website at http://www.stantons. com, or call 1-800-42-MUSIC. No matter what you bought at the flea market or found in the closet, give us a call and we will see whether we can get you a method book so you can play your newest acquisition. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

So You Want to Play the 5-String (Banjo) 13 March, 2014

Hal Leonard’s Banjo Method Book 1 is a great first book for a beginning banjo player.  There are chords and strums, tablature and picking, and neat tricks to playing, like slides and rolls.  This book will get a beginner off to a great start! After a good start with the Banjo Method book, there is another book of banjo solos called “More Easy Banjo Solos“.  It has sixteen oldtime and Bluegrass banjo solos, including “Old Homeplace”,  “Abilene”, and  “Blue Moon of Kentucky”.  Get started with one or both of these helpful, fun books of banjo sheet music!  For more information about these, or other music books for banjo, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website at  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs.

International Drumming 06 March, 2014

How many kinds of drums are there in the world?   Does anyone really know?  The good news is that at least some of them have method books, and Stanton’s has or can get those method books.  The cajon is a box with some snares set against the inside of one wall of it. The player sits on the cajon, and plays it bare-handed, slapping and tapping. “Getting Started on Cajon“  can get a beginner going.  This is a package that includes a book and a DVD.  Often, a picture is worth a thousand words.  “First Lessons Conga“  includes a CD.  Pictures of the various playing techniques are in the book, and the CD lets the player hear the rhythms as they should be played.  Instructions for playing the claves are included because there are pieces in this book of sheet music for conga that both instruments can play together.  “First Lessons Bongo” includes a CD that helps the the bongo player with the rhythms presented, and pictures to help learn the drumming techniques for this “drum” that is two drums of different  sizes.  For more information about these drum books or others, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website, Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Irish Fiddle, Irish Harp 04 March, 2014

Saint Patrick’s Day is coming up, and  instrumentalists can get in on the fun, too!  Hal Leonard has a book of Irish fiddle tunes called “Celtic” that comes with a CD.  There is a set of demo tracks, and a set of play-along tracks for these Irish fiddle tunes, which include “Harvest Home” and “Haste to the Wedding”, plus six more fiddle tunes.  There are chords printed above the staff for guitarists or mandolin players to strum along.   A ukulele player could strum along with the fiddler using the chords, too. A book of Irish tunes for harp, “50 Irish Melodies for all Harps“, arranged by Sylvia Woods,  includes  each tune arranged for a beginning harpist followed by the same tune arranged for an advanced player.  This book includes chord names printed above the staff, perfect for strum-along friends.  Lyrics are included in this book of sheet music for either lever harp or pedal harp.  For more information about these books of Irish sheet music or others, call 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website at  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Balalaika! 25 February, 2014

Many of us can remember that a balalaika is a Russian stringed instrument.  But what do we know about it after that? How on earth do you play it?  Of course, Stanton’s can help!  Mel Bay’s Complete Balalaika Book tells about the balalaika, how to tune it; picking, strumming, tremolo, tablature, note reading, and history of the balalaika.  If you have a balalaika, and have been at a loss as to what to do with it, you at last have some direction!  A CD is included with this book of sheet music for balalaika. For  more information about this book, or books for other folk instruments, please call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website,  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Hurrah for Saint Patrick’s Day! 18 February, 2014

Ah, Saint Patrick’s Day, the day when we are all Irish!  There are two books of Irish sheet music in particular that are perfect  for Saint Patrick’s Day.  One is “The Great Irish Songbook“, arranged and edited by Dan Fox.  There are 49 songs, reels, and jigs included.  There are songs from old Ireland,(“The Foggy Dew”),   American Irish songs, (“Paddy Works on the Railway”),  and songs from stage and screen that were sung by those of Irish extraction, (“Mary’s a Grand Old Name.”) The second is a book of songs from old Ireland called “The Irish Songbook“, including 75 songs  in all collected and sung by The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem.  Here is a treasure trove of songs straight from the island of Ireland.  There are drinking songs,(“Johnny is a Roving Blade”), comedy songs, (“The Black Cavalry”), protest songs, (“The Lowlands of Holland”),  funny political songs, (“Mr. Moses Ri-Tooral-i-ay), and anti war songs, (“My Son Ted”).   Brush up on songs you’ve known before, and learn a few new ones for the special occasion!  For more information about these songbooks or other Irish music, please call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website, Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

The Fiddler’s Fakebook 24 January, 2014

What is a “fakebook”?  It is a book of tunes that has chord names above the tune and lyrics.  The player uses the chord names to improvise, or “fake” an accompaniment to the melody. ” The Fiddler’s Fakebook” contains nearly 500 fiddle tunes from all the major fiddling traditions.  The fiddler can learn the basic tune , then improvise on it.  Chord names are included for each tune, so a banjo, guitar, or mandolin player can strum along.  “La Bastringue” is a French Canadian fiddle tune that is also a folk dance tune.  “Mississippi Sawyer” is from the old-time tradition.  “The King of the Fairies”  has Irish roots.  “The Iron Man” is from Scotland, and can be danced to as a strathspey.   “Georgiana Moon” is a bluegrass tune.  A double nod is given to Central Ohio.  “Camp Chase” is named for the Union prison camp of the Civil War era.  The cemetery of Camp Chase is on the West side of Columbus, OH.  “Big Scioty” is named for the Scioto River, which runs through Columbus, OH, and eventually empties into the Ohio River.  There are plenty of tunes for a jam session in this collection of sheet music! For more fiddle tune collections, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website at Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Have Yourself a Merry, Folky Christmas! 06 December, 2013

Most of us are used to piano and organ music for Christmas, but did you know there is Christmas sheet music for folk instruments? From accordion to ukulele, we have collections of Christmas songbooks and instrumental solo books.  Most predominantly feature carols, but two collections have both carols and some Celtic Christmas tunes:  “A Celtic Tinwhistle Christmas” and “A Scottish Christmas for Hammered Dulcimer“.  “Christmas Favorites for Harmonica” includes some carols and at least twelve pop Christmas songs. “Christmas Songs“, for the recorder, includes mostly pop songs.  Whether you are looking for Christmas music for guitar, harp, fiddle mandolin, or another folk instrument, give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC to see what we have for you.  You can also email us at or browse our website at  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

New! Ultimate Christmas Instrumental Solos Play-Along 02 December, 2013

Pick up your instrument and add more joy to your Christmas season, or keep your students playing through December with the recently released Ultimate Christmas Instrumental Solos collection from Alfred Publishing.

Perfect for developing and intermediate level players, this collection features 35 well-known Christmas carols and songs with an enhanced mp3 CD.  The CD includes both demonstration tracks with the melody and play-along tracks with the fully orchestrated accompaniments, as well as PDF files of the piano accompaniment parts.  The mix of sacred Christmas carols, secular Christmas songs, folk carols, and a few medley arrangements, along with a targeted difficulty of grades 2-3, ensures that there is something for everyone!

Books are available for Flute, Clarinet, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Trumpet, F Horn, Trombone, Violin, Viola, and Cello.  Please note that the wind and string books are not compatible with each other due to key and range considerations.  Check out the contents below, and order your copy from Stanton’s Sheet Music!

Angels Medley:
Angels from the Realms of Glory
-Angels We Have Heard on High
Believe (from The Polar Express)
Blue Christmas
Carol Medley:
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
-O Come All Ye Faithful
-The First Noel
Celebration Medley:
Hallelujah Chorus
-Joy to the World
Do They Know It’s Christmas (Feed the World)
Feliz Navidad
Folk Carol Suite:
Noel Nouvelet
-Masters In This Hall
-Coventry Carol
-Echo Carol
Frosty the Snowman
Gesu Bambino
Grown-Up Christmas List
Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
A Holly Jolly Christmas
I’ll Be Home for Christmas
Infant Holy, Infant Lowly
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Jingle Bell Rock
Jingle Bells
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
The Little Drummer Boy
Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming
Manger Medley:
Away in a Manger (Cradle Song)
-Away in a Manger
-Silent Night
Mary Did You Know?
O Christmas Tree
O Holy Night
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer
Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town
Sleigh Ride
Themes from The Nutcracker Suite:
-Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy
-Russian Dance (Trepak)
-Waltz of the Flower
Ukrainian Carol
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
Winter Wonderland
You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch

Baritone Ukulele 08 August, 2013

Did you know that there are several types of ukulele?  Everyone is familiar with the little soprano ukulele.  Next is the “concert” ukulele, which is just a little bit bigger than the soprano.  The tenor ukulele is bigger than the concert ukulele.  It is tuned the same as the soprano and concert ukes, except for the “G” string, which is one octave lower than on the soprano and concert ukes.

Then there is the baritone ukulele, sometimes also called a tenor guitar.  It is tuned the same as the first four (high) strings on the guitar: E, B, G, D.  The size is close to that of a standard size guitar. “The Bari Best” by Jumpin’ Jim Beloff is a collection of 30 tunes arranged for baritone ukulele. “Fun With Strums” from Mel Bay for baritone ukulele has easy to play songs, chords and strumming patterns.   Adding the baritone uke to a ukulele orchestra gives the orchestra a bit of a “bass” feel, and adds a different kind of ukulele “voice” that makes the group’s sound more interesting.

For more information about any of our ukulele sheet music books, call 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us, or visit our website. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Kid’s Ukulele Course Complete 24 July, 2013

More and more schools are starting ukulele classes or clubs.  The uke is an inexpensive instrument to aquire, and it is easy to learn to play.   It’s even more fun to play in groups!  This book is designed for children ages 5 and up.  It includes a DVD+CD, and an MP3 CD with over 80 minutes of music.  Your child can tune the uke to the MP3 disc.  The way to play the chords is shown clearly in pictures.  Familiar songs are used to teach reading the chords and strumming patterns. If your youngster is interested in playing an instrument, why not start out with the ukulele?  It’s a great instrument to take to summer  camp, too.  For more information about this ukulele instruction book, or other ukulele music, please call 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website at  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Playing the Folk Harp 27 June, 2013

So you bought a folk harp, and now you want a book to help you learn to play it!  How big is it?  How many strings does it have?   What’s with the blue and red strings?  Just how do you use those levers?   “Teach Yourself to Play the Folk Harp” by Sylvia Woods is one of the best books to help you learn all that stuff.

Sylvia has written a short history of the harp, how to hold it, proper hand position, reading music and  how to replace and tie harp strings.  There are plenty of songs to play as you learn new techniques.  Who knows?  Maybe by Christmas you will be confident enough to play “The Christ Child’s Lullaby” in church! 

Stanton’s has plenty of books to learn to play the folk harp, and plenty of books of solos for the harpist.  For more information about this book or other books of sheet music for folk harp, call 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at, or visit our website at  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!