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Everything posted by Mayofiddler

  1. There's a good list and some links here Sticky post
  2. I'm a newbie too. I ordered a Rochelle as folks here advised that it was the best of the cheapos. I'm a bit obsessive when I do things so whilst waiting for the Rochelle to arrive I recklessly ordered a Morse. The Rochelle only arrived two days before the Morse. Not expecting the Morse for a while I plunged straight in with the Rochelle. I found it very breathy/wheezy, with floppy cheap feeling buttons and springs and horrible thin straps that offered no solidity at all. Not to mention the huge size and general ugliness. However, as someone else mentioned, you get what you pay for so I wa
  3. Early 70s heavy rock (Sabbath, Purple, Zep etc.) baroque/classical music and trad Irish dance music. Yes, it was Black Sabbath that got me into concertina...no, something wrong there :-)
  4. Noel Hill Camp...is that the replacement for Guantanamo Bay?
  5. Yes, I think everyone realises that. The problem is when those differences are outside a particular tradition. I think that's what we're discussing here. Otherwise they aren't innovations, they're just variations. How do you recognise a glaring or not-so-glaring departure from a tradition? That's the underlying theme of this thread I suppose, and subject to the aesthetics mooted by Peter Laban.
  6. When you look at a bare list that seems an awful lot of strictures and most sessions would be a bit more tolerant than that. However, you certainly won't upset anyone if you stick to those guidelines! Unless...you bring a banjo LOL. You forgot the verboten instruments that trad <insert "N" word>s might not like.
  7. LOL, how about "Banjos make SOME people feel happy"? Or "Banjos make your ears ring"? Ah well, we're discussing innovation etc. so it's bound to be a fraught thread. At least nobody has fallen out with anyone else yet. Good that we're all free to speak our minds, parade our opinions or whatever!
  8. I think Howard Jones makes a good point and one I think is implicit when some of us say we encourage newbies to try to pick up bits of tunes on the fly. That is, you need to know your way around your instrument (and preferably but not quite as essentially, the general structure of tunes in your genre) before you start noodling at sessions. If you are a complete beginner at both instrument and genre then even the most tolerant of sessions will get fed up with you playing random notes in pretty short order.
  9. Sax in trad? Well there is such a gulf between your idea of trad music and mine that I don't think we can even discuss this. Ne'er the twain shall meet. At The Racket are a racket all right, just because one eejit decides to use an instrument to play trad tunes doesn't make it trad. John Carty has so many American influences on his fiddling from his banjo playing that he absolutely isn't trad, not to mention the Irish music he plays is English-Irish. They're just lucky Tansey hasn't got on to them yet :-) And yes, I'd say Jerry O'Connor doesn't fit in any more than any other banjo player.
  10. Sorry I was talking about American musicians playing (say) bluegrass. You see that my ignorance in that area has led me astray already with loose terminology. In bluegrass and (I think it's called) old timey music, the banjo music seems to be arranged around notes that hang in the air and keep a smooth cascade of sound going, so that the staccato effect is lost to some extent. In a similar way good concertina players arrange their music much the same, with hops between many "fill in" notes that cover what would be gaps and give a staccato effect, but the fill-in notes are appropriate to Irish
  11. Mark, some of that was very funny and I understand the love for your instrument bubbling underneath the humour. Some of the American players are astonishingly good and create a beautiful melodic sound around modern scales. But the sound just does not fit with Irish music. The staccato clanging sound, whether quiet or loud just changes the whole "feel" of the music. The point of most Irish dance music is a lift and strong rhythm wrapped in a smooth and gentle flow. Volume is not necessarily the culprit with a banjo (although it often is) it's the lack of smoothness and the almost robotic and mo
  12. You guys are too tolerant, I expect to get at least one lambasting for each post I make but you all seem to humour me I think the banjo sounds great in some forms of American music, I really enjoy it. I don't know enough about bluegrass or anything else to tell if that's a stupid thing to say, but in my ignorance I like the sound. However it is an abusive, clanging intrusion in Irish dance music. There's is no subtlety to it at all, no beauty no matter how it is played, and please don't tell me there are players who can play it well enough to blend in with a session. I imagine WWII or Vi
  13. Well we listen to each other in our session but still encourage any kids that might turn up to try and catch phrases of the tunes they don't know. I think it's a matter of respect from both sides, combined with generosity from the more experienced players. My music would not be where it is today without the most kind and generous help of people like Peter Horan and other older musicians, who have never castigated anyone for doing their best to pick up a tune. You are of course expected to do most of your work by coming along regularly and getting the tune in your head and then working awa
  14. I don't know who has accepted the bouzouki except the pop-bands playing Irish tunes and pretending to be traditional. Same goes for mandolins, guitars or any other pointless and useless "accompanying" instrument. OK, the banjo, then. Or the bodhran. Or, for that matter, those new-fangled fiddles, flutes and pipes, which must have been innovations once. The banjo!!?? The banjo! Arrgh! If there is one instrument completely, utterly and totally unsuited to Irish music the banjo is it. I would honestly rather sit in a session with 24 alpenhorns, ten sets of bongoes and 400 piano acco
  15. Despite my rants in some threads that will have branded me the ultimate session snob, I have no problem with people "noodling" as the Americans call it as long as they have a good enough ear to pick out the key notes and phrases in a tune and gradually fill in the gaps. If they realise they are way out on a particular new tune they can stop and gradually pick it up when they have heard it more often. But if they are tone-deaf and constantly play every tune extremely badly then I do get annoyed. I agree with David that new tunes can be, and frequently are, learned in sessions but you need
  16. I don't know who has accepted the bouzouki except the pop-bands playing Irish tunes and pretending to be traditional. Same goes for mandolins, guitars or any other pointless and useless "accompanying" instrument. They're generally tolerated, not accepted (at best resignedly accepted). The tunes stand on their own and need no accompaniment. There is nobody who would complain if there were none of these instruments in a session, except the players of them. However if there were six bouzoukis and no fiddles, flutes, pipes etc. then I can't imagine anyone crowding into the pub every week to listen
  17. I think the first comment I quoted above has been answered perfectly by Peter Laban earlier, nobody is trying to freeze the music. Have a read of his comment. The second comment about ghostly snoring is once more something that people use regularly to say that things should move on. I personally think that is just a symptom of modern generations who can't concentrate on anything for more than 30 seconds at a time. Unless music is changing, images are flashing, emotions are raging etc. people get bored. Let the ghosts snore on waiting for their next short and cheap thrill, and miss music th
  18. Ah now, that last sentence says it all just about perfectly to my mind. Why did I never think of it?? I'm going to keep that and paste it into any future discussion, attributed to you of course :-) That's a great way to think about it, it's the aesthetics embodied in the music rather than the music itself that makes it traditional. That's why there can be so many forms of one tune and so many ornamental variations yet they are all traditional. And it's why an out of place note or run makes us jump when it happens, because our aesthetics are being assaulted. Good man Peter, I think I'll sleep s
  19. Peter, thanks for the thoughtful post. Yes, I'm laying it on a bit thick, it's my way of trying to get what I mean across and I know it's contentious. Of course he doesn't always play incredibly slowly and of course his style comes from the locality. You mention Vince Griffin and funnily enough I love his playing. Yes, it's mad and individual and scrapes close to some boundaries but I think he holds it in. Whereas Martin Hayes albeit having all the stylistic and technical abilities has tripped over the edge and remained there. There was a thing on TG4 I think where they were doing a piece on M
  20. Do you mean stuff like this or this ? While I don't fancy all the turns and twists Hayes' style has taken over time, I do think he, like any traditional player, incorporates and builds onto the influences of the people he heard along the way. Most of what I hear him do I can trace back to the people he heard in the area. You're quite right, he couldn't have grown up in the family he did without learning the old Clare stuff. As I mentioned he played good stuff when he was young. It's the strange "My music is from the rocks of the Burren and reflects the soul of Ireland wafting throug
  21. Not at all, composition is different to innovation, at least in the context of this discussion. There is a vast body of tunes out there all within one tradition or another, and then there are tamperings with those tunes that are blatantly outside of the tradition to anyone that has immersed themselves in it. I can only speak for the thing I love which is Irish trad dance music ("dance" just to distinguish it from folk) I wouldn't presume to know enough about any other trad genre. If you look at some of the Stuff McGoldrick does or Hayes does nowadays, nobody in their right mind would cons
  22. That's classic Catch22 - you need to learn loads tunes for several years and then when you know these well, you can then find it easier to pick up new tunes on the fly. That's a sweeping generalisation, of course! Some tunes are catchy, easy and sit well on certain instruments - others are much harder to nail down. So, as you progress - some tunes are handy to pick up quickly but others require a lot of attention. The balance just changes. Yup, also if you play one genre to the exclusion of all else it's much easier. Certainly in Irish trad there are lots of patterns that repeat in most
  23. All's relative. Some twenty years ago I played a concert pitch set of pipes that was not my own in a session where Tony Crehan was sitting directly to the right of me. The sound of his concertina had my ears ringing for days. Kitty was always louder than I was too. I was just joking I hope you realised :-) I used to play in the front snug of Hughes' in Dublin with the lads from the pipers club every Friday night for many years. There were 11 sets of pipes in there one memorable night, in a bar about 20ft. by 8 ft. About 1/3 were in tune with themselves and about 1/10 with each
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