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Alan Day

A moan

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Alan,

 

I haven't read all of this discourse. My interest was peaked when you mentioned that this composition was the French tune. Am I right in saying that you put this up on Youtube fairly recently or am I mistaken? You were accompanied by a guitar player, I think. Anyway - it it was you and I think it was, it was a beautiful melody with very fine structure. It deserves to be listened to. If you've re-written it, would love to hear what you've changed.

 

 

Ciaran O'Grady

Thanks Ciaran but I only put the new tune up yesterday(Solo) I think you are referring to "Snowflakes are falling and La Marianne" (not mine)but an equally difficult tune to play and needing full concentration.

Interesting Azalan because I also have a low concentration point and I just cannot look at the audience as I start thinking about other things as I am playing. I have to force myself to concentrate.

Al

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In the sesssions I go to it is expected that others will join in without being invited - that's what a session is imo. It's also inevitable that there may be tunes you haven't heard before and it's also to be expected that people will join in tunes they don't know - again that's all part of sessioning. Some people are more skilled at picking up tunes than others, but there are some who seem to be incapable of grasping the right key or even the right rhythm. It can be very difficult to play with such people even when you are confident about playing it yourself, but when you are not it can put yuo off completely.

 

There is a guitarist at my regular session who is unable to identify the key and whose approach seems to be to try out the usual suspects until one seems to fit. Last week I had to mouth "A" to him, for which he was grateful; afterwards he said we don't usually play tunes in A, which must have come as a surprise to the fiddlers. He apparently cannot hear the difference between a major and minor key, and has default strums for 4/4, 6/8 and 3/4 regardless of the internal rhythms. It can be quite difficult to get some life into a tune when he's playing along. But that's sessions for you. When they're good, they're great, but sometimes ...

 

I once had to stop a song to explain to someone who was joining in that this was the first time I'd performed it and that her playing, although perfectly competent, was distracting me. But that was my fault for not asking beforehand, since the expectation of that session is that people will join in.

 

Do what I do. Play in the privacy of your own home where none these problems and irritations ever arise! Couldn't be more fun. Sounds as though those who frequent sessions are just gluttons for punishment!

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I think that this is why bluegrass sessions pass breaks around. Nothing discourages you from joining a tune before you know the cord progression and have an idea of the melody like the threat of having every else go silent after one time through.

 

"Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt" Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, someone else, or I have deja-vu and am even more clever than I think I am.

Edited by madden

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I think that this is why bluegrass sessions pass breaks around. Nothing discourages you from joining a tune before you know the cord progression and have an idea of the melody like the threat of having every else go silent after one time through.

 

Funny, I was thinking the opposite reason: if you have a daring lick, you can try it out during your break and nobody else will step on you... then even if you blew it, they'll come back in and save you!

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Trying *not to wreck* someone else's tune should be a priority, in my opinion, and it applies to other things than music.

 

Well said. It would make a great tee-shirt slogan: "Don't wreck some else's tune." Maybe a bumper sticker.

 

A new product line for our listserv host?

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In the sesssions I go to it is expected that others will join in without being invited - that's what a session is imo. It's also inevitable that there may be tunes you haven't heard before and it's also to be expected that people will join in tunes they don't know - again that's all part of sessioning. Some people are more skilled at picking up tunes than others, but there are some who seem to be incapable of grasping the right key or even the right rhythm. It can be very difficult to play with such people even when you are confident about playing it yourself, but when you are not it can put yuo off completely.

 

There is a guitarist at my regular session who is unable to identify the key and whose approach seems to be to try out the usual suspects until one seems to fit. Last week I had to mouth "A" to him, for which he was grateful; afterwards he said we don't usually play tunes in A, which must have come as a surprise to the fiddlers. He apparently cannot hear the difference between a major and minor key, and has default strums for 4/4, 6/8 and 3/4 regardless of the internal rhythms. It can be quite difficult to get some life into a tune when he's playing along. But that's sessions for you. When they're good, they're great, but sometimes ...

 

I once had to stop a song to explain to someone who was joining in that this was the first time I'd performed it and that her playing, although perfectly competent, was distracting me. But that was my fault for not asking beforehand, since the expectation of that session is that people will join in.

 

Do what I do. Play in the privacy of your own home where none these problems and irritations ever arise! Couldn't be more fun. Sounds as though those who frequent sessions are just gluttons for punishment!

Rod I think you are missing out, I have had some fantastic evenings at sessions.

Crawling into bed at six in the morning after a session at the Balfour Arms Sidmouth.

Some of The George Sessions, just great. Good fun, lovely music, a bit of dancing, happy faces.

It is one of the things I look back on and feel thankful that I first picked up the concertina.

Do not take this thread too seriously I can put up with a few problems.

Al :)

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Seems like the usual ploys have been identified. Play more quietlym, speed up and down, include different time signatures but if all else fails, stop playing, put your instrument down and sit quietly - it makes the point !! There are some people who have absolutely no sensitivity. You'll have to find another session I'm afraid.

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In the sesssions I go to it is expected that others will join in without being invited - that's what a session is imo. It's also inevitable that there may be tunes you haven't heard before and it's also to be expected that people will join in tunes they don't know - again that's all part of sessioning. Some people are more skilled at picking up tunes than others, but there are some who seem to be incapable of grasping the right key or even the right rhythm. It can be very difficult to play with such people even when you are confident about playing it yourself, but when you are not it can put yuo off completely.

 

There is a guitarist at my regular session who is unable to identify the key and whose approach seems to be to try out the usual suspects until one seems to fit. Last week I had to mouth "A" to him, for which he was grateful; afterwards he said we don't usually play tunes in A, which must have come as a surprise to the fiddlers. He apparently cannot hear the difference between a major and minor key, and has default strums for 4/4, 6/8 and 3/4 regardless of the internal rhythms. It can be quite difficult to get some life into a tune when he's playing along. But that's sessions for you. When they're good, they're great, but sometimes ...

 

I once had to stop a song to explain to someone who was joining in that this was the first time I'd performed it and that her playing, although perfectly competent, was distracting me. But that was my fault for not asking beforehand, since the expectation of that session is that people will join in.

 

Do what I do. Play in the privacy of your own home where none these problems and irritations ever arise! Couldn't be more fun. Sounds as though those who frequent sessions are just gluttons for punishment!

Rod I think you are missing out, I have had some fantastic evenings at sessions.

Crawling into bed at six in the morning after a session at the Balfour Arms Sidmouth.

Some of The George Sessions, just great. Good fun, lovely music, a bit of dancing, happy faces.

It is one of the things I look back on and feel thankful that I first picked up the concertina.

Do not take this thread too seriously I can put up with a few problems.

Al :)

 

Stick with it Al. I know you have more sense than to take any notice of anything that I say. ! I never enjoyed parties, but that's my problem ! Rod

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In the sesssions I go to it is expected that others will join in without being invited - that's what a session is imo. It's also inevitable that there may be tunes you haven't heard before and it's also to be expected that people will join in tunes they don't know - again that's all part of sessioning. Some people are more skilled at picking up tunes than others, but there are some who seem to be incapable of grasping the right key or even the right rhythm. It can be very difficult to play with such people even when you are confident about playing it yourself, but when you are not it can put yuo off completely.

 

There is a guitarist at my regular session who is unable to identify the key and whose approach seems to be to try out the usual suspects until one seems to fit. Last week I had to mouth "A" to him, for which he was grateful; afterwards he said we don't usually play tunes in A, which must have come as a surprise to the fiddlers. He apparently cannot hear the difference between a major and minor key, and has default strums for 4/4, 6/8 and 3/4 regardless of the internal rhythms. It can be quite difficult to get some life into a tune when he's playing along. But that's sessions for you. When they're good, they're great, but sometimes ...

 

I once had to stop a song to explain to someone who was joining in that this was the first time I'd performed it and that her playing, although perfectly competent, was distracting me. But that was my fault for not asking beforehand, since the expectation of that session is that people will join in.

 

Do what I do. Play in the privacy of your own home where none these problems and irritations ever arise! Couldn't be more fun. Sounds as though those who frequent sessions are just gluttons for punishment!

Rod I think you are missing out, I have had some fantastic evenings at sessions.

Crawling into bed at six in the morning after a session at the Balfour Arms Sidmouth.

Some of The George Sessions, just great. Good fun, lovely music, a bit of dancing, happy faces.

It is one of the things I look back on and feel thankful that I first picked up the concertina.

Do not take this thread too seriously I can put up with a few problems.

Al :)

 

Stick with it Al. I know you have more sense than to take any notice of anything that I say. ! I never enjoyed parties, but that's my problem ! Rod

Let me know when you are around here and I will try and change your mind.

Or perhaps a slow pint if all else fails.

Al

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I just cannot understand how some musicians require the need to join in on a tune they have never heard before and strum along in the wrong key whilst you are struggling to play a new tune in public for the first time. :angry:

There I feel a lot better now !!

Al

 

 

The way I solved this one, at the recent George Inn session, Al, when I wanted to air a tune I recently composed, in public, was to hand out copies of the dots to musicians there I know are competent sight readers, before I began playing the tune. I started the tune off, a schottische, the other musicians following the dots, began accompanying me, and by the third play through, other musicians began picking up the tune, or started harmonising with it. We played it through 5 times altogether and it sounded nice. More importantly, the other musicians said they liked my tune, and I know they weren't just being polite. :)

 

Chris

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In the sesssions I go to it is expected that others will join in without being invited - that's what a session is imo. It's also inevitable that there may be tunes you haven't heard before and it's also to be expected that people will join in tunes they don't know - again that's all part of sessioning. Some people are more skilled at picking up tunes than others, but there are some who seem to be incapable of grasping the right key or even the right rhythm. It can be very difficult to play with such people even when you are confident about playing it yourself, but when you are not it can put yuo off completely.

 

There is a guitarist at my regular session who is unable to identify the key and whose approach seems to be to try out the usual suspects until one seems to fit. Last week I had to mouth "A" to him, for which he was grateful; afterwards he said we don't usually play tunes in A, which must have come as a surprise to the fiddlers. He apparently cannot hear the difference between a major and minor key, and has default strums for 4/4, 6/8 and 3/4 regardless of the internal rhythms. It can be quite difficult to get some life into a tune when he's playing along. But that's sessions for you. When they're good, they're great, but sometimes ...

 

I once had to stop a song to explain to someone who was joining in that this was the first time I'd performed it and that her playing, although perfectly competent, was distracting me. But that was my fault for not asking beforehand, since the expectation of that session is that people will join in.

 

Do what I do. Play in the privacy of your own home where none these problems and irritations ever arise! Couldn't be more fun. Sounds as though those who frequent sessions are just gluttons for punishment!

Rod I think you are missing out, I have had some fantastic evenings at sessions.

Crawling into bed at six in the morning after a session at the Balfour Arms Sidmouth.

Some of The George Sessions, just great. Good fun, lovely music, a bit of dancing, happy faces.

It is one of the things I look back on and feel thankful that I first picked up the concertina.

Do not take this thread too seriously I can put up with a few problems.

Al :)

 

Stick with it Al. I know you have more sense than to take any notice of anything that I say. ! I never enjoyed parties, but that's my problem ! Rod

Let me know when you are around here and I will try and change your mind.

Or perhaps a slow pint if all else fails.

Al

 

Thanks Al. I haven't set foot in 'The George' since the 1970s but can stll get excited at the sight of a decent pint of bitter. If 'The George' still remains as I remember it, with its spartan furnishings, its panelling and its uncarpeted floors I guess it provides ideal acoustics for the Concertina. (I use a capital C for Concertina for the same reason that people use a capital G for God !) Rod

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I just cannot understand how some musicians require the need to join in on a tune they have never heard before and strum along in the wrong key whilst you are struggling to play a new tune in public for the first time. :angry:

There I feel a lot better now !!

Al

A strange need indeed - I certainly recognize it.... and why does it have to be the loudest tin whistle on the planet ph34r.gif

 

/Henrik

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I'm destined to remain at home playing for a rabbit (fine with me), but...

 

I do know that 'moan,' because I've played/sang with some rather, uh, 'creative' (tone-deaf) people.

 

But, I've been on the other end of things, too, though I feel the people criticizing me were rather egotistical and controlling. I remember one time when I barely touched the buttons of my concertina -- and I mean the correct buttons, too -- to lightly play along with a song at a gathering/singing session. The official guitar-player just about bit my head off, he was so mad.

 

Another time, a guy decided he didn't like my foot bass, which I'd brought and played just for some songs as kind of 'show & tell' because it's an odd instrument. But, rather than say anything, he just got mad and deliberately kept changing the key of the song once we were already playing it, with an angry look on his face.

 

I will NOT waste my time with those guys. I'm smart enough to know the difference between my being intrusive/rude/unmusical and their being control freaks. (I'm NOT saying that's what happened in the event that prompted this thread, or that there should be no leaders at sessions.)

 

In fact, I was recalling my misadventures recently and I made up my own version of 'Wayfaring Stranger' as a laugh, but I don't think I'll even bother to sing it for my rabbit:

 

 

I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger

 

With a Mercedes Benz

 

And a really good job

 

And I like Woody Guthrie

 

But I wouldn't let him in

 

Don't you know he's a hobo?*

 

How would HE hobnob?

 

 

 

*(wasn't, actually)

Edited by bellowbelle

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Well, Al - this is what happens when you go to Charlwood without me. You pick up these frivolous young players and then get upset when they do the dirty on you. Stick to the Old Dutch in future, mate...

 

Seriously, as someone who does a lot of session work and as an accompanist (I'm the guitarist on the "Snowflakes/Marienne" duet), there is an art to picking up a tune that you've never heard before, and your ear has to anticipate and work overtime. With a strange tune, I usually let one chorus play through before I ruin it join in, unless the tune is so simplistic that the chords shout themselves out. I also concentrate on bass lines which add a counterpoint to the main melody - particularly when accompanying concertina.

 

I think if you're doubtful of the ability of other players to join in musically, then it's entirely appropriate to say that you'd prefer to do a solo on the tune - particularly if it's a singaround and not a session as such.

 

It was at a singaround not long ago that I was playing an acoustic guitar version of "A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square" - and was joined by a local character who did bird calls of various sorts with the kit hanging from his washboard! I could hardly play for laughing... :lol:

Edited by Will Fly

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Well, Al - this is what happens when you go to Charlwood without me. You pick up these frivolous young players and then get upset when they do the dirty on you. Stick to the Old Dutch in future, mate...

 

Seriously, as someone who does a lot of session work and as an accompanist (I'm the guitarist on the "Snowflakes/Marienne" duet), there is an art to picking up a tune that you've never heard before, and your ear has to anticipate and work overtime. With a strange tune, I usually let one chorus play through before I ruin it join in, unless the tune is so simplistic that the chords shout themselves out. I also concentrate on bass lines which add a counterpoint to the main melody - particularly when accompanying concertina.

 

I think if you're doubtful of the ability of other players to join in musically, then it's entirely appropriate to say that you'd prefer to do a solo on the tune - particularly if it's a singaround and not a session as such.

 

It was at a singaround not long ago that I was playing an acoustic guitar version of "A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square" - and was joined by a local character who did bird calls of various sorts with the kit hanging from his washboard! I could hardly play for laughing... :lol:

The same person who got a glass of water thrown at him for warbling during a serious Folk Song.

Yes I will stick with the "devil" I know in future Will.

Al :)

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Hello chaps,

 

Long time no post!

 

I always think of sessions as being for joining in, however if I don't know a tune sufficiently well I will not join in, or play very quietly crouched over my keyboard to see if I can pick it up (and stop altogether if I can't).

 

One of my pet hates is the opposite problem of people who continuously want to play tunes that they know that only they will know, and thereby kill the session atmosphere (I have no problem with the odd party piece).

Edited by Clive Thorne

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Our neighborhood has a monthly sing-around wherein just about anything musical is welcomed. Ragtime, classical, folk, jazz, pop, instrumental, a capella, tout ensemble, you name it. Instruments include guitar, mandolin, banjo, double bass, clarinet, oboe, fiddle, autoharp, EC, harmonica, keyboard, percussion. The lead goes around the room, each person in turn choosing a song from "Rise Up Singing" or handing out sheet music, or playing a party piece and stating ground rules for that turn - i.e., "This is a party piece duet," or "all join in," or "join in after the first verse" or whatever.

 

We learned (after a painful experience with an accordion enthusiast) that clear ground rules, some flexibility and a lot of tolerance will keep everyone happy. :D

Edited by yankeeclipper

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The sessions are the story of my life!

 

In my opinion, there will always be a clash between two groups:

 

- Well experienced musicians, that had always people to play with outside a session. They decide to go to an open session in a pub to be listen to or to work.

 

- Musicians that had not the chance to play with people, and therefore with a much lower level, or with high level but everything or part of what they learnt is wrong. These people decide to go to a session to learn or to make friends.

 

I'm from the second group. This means that at some time in the past I've done all those things that many people are complaining here. Well, we learn I can tell you, we learn how to behave with time. And to play? well, to play well I don't know if we get there.

 

When you see a "blow in" as they are called in Ireland, and this person is making you feel uncomfortable, my advise is:

 

1) Talk to him for a while, in a friendly way (what's your name, where are you from, why did you come here, etc.)

 

2) If you see that you can talk with this person, and that there is nothing wrong with him/her, you can directly explain what is happening.

Edited by fernando

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