Unlike many workshops - WE'RE DIFFERENT...

...We DON'T believe in using a workshop to learn new tunes.

We believe in using a workshop to learn the inflections & accents that make tunes come ALIVE!

Boasting 3 world class tutors in Fiddle, Guitar and Whistle. Our workshop delivers a high-end musical masterclass in the west coast town of Dunoon in Argyll.  Our modern approach to learning begins a month before the workshop. We send the sheet music and tune structure in "mp3" to you via email in June, allowing "sight readers" and "learn by ear" students time to grasp the tunes a whole month BEFORE the workshop begins. 


We want you to leave the workshop FEELING the music, not just memorizing the notes!

Prior knowledge and confidence in the tunes enhance the overall workshop experience. 

It's with this modern approach and researched teaching method, that musicians

develop a well rounded experience with the prep work in place.


    Fàilte to the Dunoon Scottish Music Workshop

         "We're different... but in the right way." 

"What should I expect and how much does it all cost?"

For £145 you receive 5 workshop sessions across 3 days, improving playing and taking your skillset, to the next level! Delivered by professional tutors, you will learn to give your instrument its own character using ornamentation, style and how you interpret the music. You'll benefit from learning new tunes and playing as a backing instrument to others.


A concert on the Saturday evening hosted by "The Alistair McCulloch Trio" from 8pm - 9.30pm is available for an additional £8 at the the door.


MacClures Bar is hosting an informal "Open Mic" on the Friday evening and The Burgh Hall has Open Mic and Open Bar on Saturday 18th following the Alistair McCulloch Concert for breakout groups to take part in "expression sessions."

Soup and sandwiches will be provided on Friday, with tea, coffee, juice and biscuits provided throughout the weekend for breaks.

A fun weekend focused on you, your style, your instrument and getting to know your fellow workshop musicians.

"What ability is required and how do I join a workshop?"

The age limit for these workshops is 18 years and older

Listen to the 2018 recording of "Christchurch Cathedral" demonstrating the ability of our players:







FIDDLE - players should be able to play scales in B Flat though to E

and feel comfortable playing reels and jigs at 110 bpm or slow ceilidh dance speed.


GUITAR - The ability range is broad with many techniques to learn.

Everyone will gain something different from the weekend - Advanced Beginners welcome!

WHISTLES -A basic playing ability of the High or Low D whistle.

Christchurch CathedralSummer Workshop 2018
00:00 / 05:22

Ability to read music fluently is not a prerequisite, although sheet music will be available at all times.The aim is to develop technique, not to simply bag more tunes. Our ability target for everyone is intermediate and good amateur players with sound basic technique.

Please select your Instrument & Tutor below to join a workshop:

Fiddle - Alistair McCulloch

  • Understanding phrasing and dynamics.

  • Bowing techniques & ornamentation for the playing of reels and jigs.

  • Tone production, colour, expression and bow control in slow airs

  • The use of higher positions in fiddle tunes.

  • Arranging for fiddle groups, including harmonies, intros, links and endings.

  • Effective double stopping

  • How to make pipe marches more authentic by improving rhythmic control, bowing and using pipe style ornamentation.

  • Playing faster and more accurately as a group.


Bouzouki/Cittern - In ADAD/GDAD and DADAD/DGDAD - Aaron Jones

"Instrumentalist of the Year" and Won "Album of the Year" at the Scots Trad Music Awards

  • Covering Eight & Ten string instruments in ADAD/GDAD and DADAD/DGDAD tunings. 

  • Tune Accompaniment - Working on accompaniment parts for pre-recorded sets of tunes. Looking at chord variations and substitutions, rhythm variations, capo use, counterpoint and diatonic links.

  • Song Accompaniment - Sympathetic arrangement ideas, how to create parts, hook lines and the colour and dynamic you need to bring the song's story to life

  • Melody - Learning a small selection of tunes and looking at accompaniment parts.

  • Strumming Hand Technique - The strumming hand is what makes your playing unique to you. We look at ways you can colour the strumming hand with a variety of techniques.


High D and Low D Whistles - Marc Duff

Co- Founder of Celtic Band "Capercaillie" A graduate of Guidhall School of Music and is an extensive Session Musician

  • The use of breath control for shaping phrasing and utilising dynamics (volume), particularly in relation to playing slow airs, as well as jigs, reels, strathspeys etc.

  • How to use suitable articulation, ie. single, double and triple tonguing for different styles of tune, in conjunction with ornamentation.

  • Using appropriate ornamentation to enhance the character and rhythmic  feel of a tune.

  • Using the above techniques to explore the different, contrasting styles of repertoire from  the east and west coast of Scotland, as well as the Irish traditions.

  • How to construct harmonies and instrumental breaks, both as pre-planned and improvised ideas, within  a group arrangement.


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© 2018 Dunoon Scottish Music Workshop

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