Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
wally

Losing ones virginity.

Recommended Posts

wally, i find it very difficult to hear the concertina at times. the key is to trust that the music is there, listen to the other players. if you listen very well, you will play better. also, just tell the person next to you that you are new, and having trouble hearing yourself, and to let you know if you are mucking up something really bad, because you cant hear what you are doing.

 

when i was getting used to session playing on the concertina, i would play quitely and lean in over the concertina. nowadays i might pick it up and bring it closer to my ear, being VERY careful not to play at any volume while it is in my ear. one of my favorite things about the concertina is that it is very easily to play very quietly, so that you can play along in a way that no one can hear you.

 

as far as knowing all the tunes... just play the ones you know. as you get more confident, try to play along with some of the ones you dont know quietly so that no one hears you. this would be something like: if you know that they keep ending on a G, only play that last note. if you can only tell a random note, play that random note. over time (weeks and months and years), you will get better at this, and eventually you will be able to play tunes that you have never formally learned.

 

i find that in general, it is a good idea to not do it on every tune, and try to do it usually on the tunes that sound familiar to your ear, or sound like another tune you know. even now, when i can often pick up entire tunes on the fly, i do not play along with every tune, and only do it when i know it will be unobtrusive (when enough people are playing), and when i have a good idea of how the tune goes. sometimes i will listen the tune several times through and only join in on the last few notes.

 

if you are nervous, let the people around you know that you will sometimes try to play along with tunes that you dont know well, and to let you know if it is distracting. maybe even sit back outside the circle when you do this, if you are really nervous about them hearing. but of course... they will probably tell you that it doesnt matter, and that they dont mind you sitting in the circle when you do that. i know i wouldnt mind anyone sitting with us, and i might ask you to join, but who knows! whatever works.

 

dont worry too much about this step... if you feel confident, please politely go aheand and give it a try! it is the best way to learn. if you need a few more months of session experience, dont feel bad about it. i spent my first couple months just only playing tunes i know on the whistle. when i got good enough at the concertina, i started playing it quietly, as it's much easier to play quietly on the concertina compared to the whistle.

 

I have a whole repertoire of tunes I can only play in sessions - I can play them perfectly well as long as there's someone else to take a cue from, but it I try to play them on my own I get lost.

 

Now that is strange to me.

 

Ian

 

yeah, that happens to me all the time, as well. one time i was in a class at a workshop with james kelly (my idol!). then, i heard someone playing a jig in the next room. i walked out and said "sorry, i really want to learn that tune" and listened at the door. someone in the hallway told me to go in, and it was the legendary paddy o'brien. he made me play with him while he was teaching the class, and i learned the tune on the spot. it stayed with me a few days, and i could play that tune better than any other tune, it was like magic. then i forgot the tune, and i havent been able to play it since, and i have never heard anyone else play it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a whole repertoire of tunes I can only play in sessions - I can play them perfectly well as long as there's someone else to take a cue from, but it I try to play them on my own I get lost.

 

I have a whole lot of tunes like that too. It's the result of trying to learn 100 new tunes in 10 days. Some I know by heart, others I have to rely on someone else to lead them, at least for the first two runs.

 

I have very limited session experience, especially on concertina, but the first problem I came across was timing. When playing at home, I try to keep a very low volume for the sake of my roommates and neighbors, but at sessions (or when performing live) I have to squeeze out more volume. That scrambled my timing quite a bit, so nowadays I try to play really loud at home whenever I get the chance.

 

I have to agree with many others here that, as long as you know the tune, it's not a big problem to not hear yourself very well. The greatest session "sound" to me is when a whole bunch of instruments play the same melody, aligned ornamentation, and you can't really tell one instrument from another. I want to hear myself enough to 'feel' that the sound of a concertina is somewhere in there, but that's more than enough.

 

Oh, and for learning tunes - one method that I've learned is to first listen to the melody to have it stick in your head, and then try to sing (or rather hum) along with it. When you can do that, it's easier to transfer it to your instrument. I'm more used to playing mandolin than concertina, so I always bring it along for learning new tunes. This method requires that you know the notes on your instrument by heart, and I'm not quite there yet on the concertina. Good thing about the mandolin too is that I have to really struggle for others to hear it, which means that I can quietly play along when learning new tune.

 

Just my 2 ören (Swedish equivalent of 'cents')

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wally, i find it very difficult to hear the concertina at times.

Yes, I think it is often the case with some instruments like Concertina & Mandolin that the sound is going out there, but not up to the players quite so well.

If you really do know the tune well, then that shouldn't be a problem, as long as you can hear it, at least faintly.

as far as knowing all the tunes... just play the ones you know.

Good advice.

.... as you get more confident, try to play along with some of the ones you dont know quietly so that no one hears you. this would be something like: if you know that they keep ending on a G, only play that last note. if you can only tell a random note, play that random note. over time (weeks and months and years), you will get better at this, and eventually you will be able to play tunes that you have never formally learned.

Sorry David, but I don't go along with this sort of bumbling along with the tune any old way :(

 

I believe each tune deserves to be learned properly. If you just faff along with it, I'm not convinced you will ever really learn it properly, certainly not if you are only a learner or improver.

 

For all the time it actually takes to sit down & do your homework & actually learn your tunes properly.

Only once you have learned it properly, have you earned the right to be sitting next to other musicians who have honoured the tune respectfully, by taking the trouble to learn it properly.

 

Can you imagine the dreadful noise each session would be, if very few people actually took the time to really learn their tunes, so most players were just faffing along..................! Aaaaaarrrg! :wacko: :angry:

 

An American Mountain Dulcimer player once asked to sit in with us & she sat strumming along for a while ... didn't matter what key we were playing in, she just kept thrashing that thing. {N.B. She was only actually strumming in one key herself, by the way! :blink: }

Turned out she thought we were just, as she put it Jamming so she was amazed to learn that we each actually had to sit down & physically learn all our tunes.

Anyway, we asked her to play one herself, so she said she had only ever learned one tune .... one she composed herself! :o

At best, it could have been described as a riff & that is really flattering it. :(

Needless to say, we were not too sorry when she stopped her out of tune backing & retired to the bar. ;)

 

There is no disgrace or shame in not knowing a tune. Why do people have such a problem with just sitting listening to tunes they don't know? Far better to take along a tape recorder & record any tunes you don't know, then learn them properly at home, in your own time, but please don't spoil other people's enjoyment of a tune by honking along.

Believe me, it can be VERY ANNOYING to have out of tune honks & squeeks coming at you. :(

 

This notion that nobody can hear you just because lots of people are playing is a joke,

The folks next to you will hear you & will certainly be aware of your pi**ing about with it!

I'd say just sit back, relax & let the tune wash over you, & as long as you have asked & made sure nobody minds you taping, take it home & LEARN it.

 

I listen to new tunes as I drive & I know that once I can lilt along perfectly with a tune I'm ready to learn it on the instrument. It's a fairly painless experience after that, & in fact a very enjoyable one.

 

If you are a musician, even just a beginner, the fact that you have already learned some tunes very often earns you the right, if you are asked, to join their session & you will earn much more respect if you are seen to be treating the tunes & their music with respect.

 

Cheers

Dick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree with Dick, and others, about bringing a tape recorder (or the alike). I can't think of a better way to learn how to play tunes at your local session. You'll know what tempo that's expected, it'll help getting the hang of suitable ornamentation (one of my main issues at the moment), and even what tune might come next in a set. But, as already mentioned, be sure to ask if it's OK to record the session. It's probably fine to just ask the 'leader', if there is one and you don't want everyone's attention.

 

I also, like Dick, listen to a lot of tunes while taking the bus, or whenever I get the chance. It's a great and effortless way to learn new tunes, or new ways to play tunes you already know. If you know your instrument well enough, you just need to know the melody and the fingers will then follow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry Wally, but I'm afraid this thread has been a big disappointment to me! :(

.

.

.

Despite the title, not one single behind the bike-shed anecdote! 8.gif

.

.

.

.

3.gif

.

.

I guess nobody plays their Concertina back there anymore! :D

 

Cheers

Dick

Edited by Ptarmigan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
.... as you get more confident, try to play along with some of the ones you dont know quietly so that no one hears you. this would be something like: if you know that they keep ending on a G, only play that last note. if you can only tell a random note, play that random note. over time (weeks and months and years), you will get better at this, and eventually you will be able to play tunes that you have never formally learned.

Sorry David, but I don't go along with this sort of bumbling along with the tune any old way :(

 

I believe each tune deserves to be learned properly. If you just faff along with it, I'm not convinced you will ever really learn it properly, certainly not if you are only a learner or improver.

 

For all the time it actually takes to sit down & do your homework & actually learn your tunes properly.

Only once you have learned it properly, have you earned the right to be sitting next to other musicians who have honoured the tune respectfully, by taking the trouble to learn it properly.

 

 

I think it depends on the type of session. The sessions I go to are all about joining in - no one knows what tunes are going to be played, although of course there are some tunes which get played regularly. I gather from comments on c.net that there are sessions (they seem to be mostly Irish) where you are expected to know the tune perfectly before joining in, but I've never played in one of those. If that is the ethos of your session, then of course you should go along with it, but otherwise the question is not whether you should join in but how you go about it, so as not to be an annoyance to the other musicians or audience. In these circumstances I think David was right.

 

Playing along is not about learning the tune, but about developing the confidence to play at session speed. There are some important things to remember:

 

- play quietly. The rest of the room can probably hear you better than you can yourself. If you can't hear yourself, move the instrument or find somewhere else to sit. Don't play louder!

 

- identify the correct key. It amazes me how many musicians, especially guitarists, seem incapable of picking up what key is being played and will happily bash out a 3-chord trick in a different key. They also seem incapable of distinguishing between major and minor

 

- identify the time signature and play appropriately - again, some guitarists and percussionists seem to have difficulty with this. In particular, be aware of the internal rhythms going on within the main time signature

 

- keep up! it's much better to play just a few right notes at the right time than to play all the right notes but half a bar behind everyone else.

 

- listen! this is the most important session technique of all. You must listen and respond to what the other musicians are doing, and go with it. If they choose to put in some stops, syncopations or variations, don't just plod on because you've learned the tune a particular way. If you can't follow, pause until they get back on track. And of course, listen to yourself

 

- know your limitations, and if you're going to push yourself beyond them then be particularly aware, and be ready to pull back if it's not working.

 

- if you're struggling, then stop. There'll be another tune along shortly, so you'll soon get another chance.

 

Of course, you should go away and try to learn the regular tunes properly, but even when you know the tune well it can still be difficult to play along with others. Playing quietly in the background will help to develop your confidence and technique.

 

Can you imagine the dreadful noise each session would be, if very few people actually took the time to really learn their tunes, so most players were just faffing along..................! Aaaaaarrrg! :wacko: :angry:

 

Of course, the lead musicians should know the tune, but part of the art of session playing is to be able to join in tunes you don't know, and perhaps have never heard before, in a way which contributes something. Yes, sometimes it can be an utter disaster - all you can do is shrug and move on to the next tune. More often than you might expect it generates something extraordinary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being a continual neophyte at most sessions myself, I'm enjoying reading this.

Things I've found that seem to work (in my very limited experience, mind you) have been

~Doing a "background check" on the session-if there's a website that has info on it about the session read up before going. I've also found YouTube videos of sessions, and that's nice because you can tell a bit more about about how they play and the general feeling of the group.

~ Go in and listen first, even if you have the instrument in the car or whatever, go listen, sit close to the circle and pay close attention to the music. This does a few things, one, you can get more of a feel for how the session works, and two the musicians you're siting next to should take notice that you're watching closely and they might say something, when you can say that you play and were listening. Often these people will invite you in, and you might have an unofficial "sponsor" to sit next to who can answer questions if you need. Or course, you might end up sitting next to some guy who tries to intimidate you by boasting that their guitar is more expensive than half the cars in the parking lot. (Just make sure you're not wedged between them and the person who thrashes around wildly-it's happened. :blink: ) If that happens make yourself as small as possible or move if you can. I don't think that's rude, because if the person succeeds in intimidating you your playing gets drastically worse, which is way more annoying than changing location.

~Be honest. If you know you have a hard time with something (like signaling an end or switch between tunes) tell the people around you. One of the first times I played I started out on Soldier's joy-it went great for the first ten times, but by that time I was seriously panicking because I'd started a train that wasn't stopping. Fortunately a friend saw my HELP ME expression and yelled out "LIBERTY!" while playing and everyone went smoothly into the switch. Whew. Since then I try to make a point of letting people know that I'm not so great at getting something stopped. Sometimes you can say "let's do tune1 twice and then switch to tune2 and play that twice" or some similar arrangement. Other times the other players have just taken over, which is fine with me.

~ If you start a tune give yourself a few seconds to take a breath and count it off in your head before starting, if you're anything like me neglecting this step will make you plunge headlong into the tune faster than you can manage, much less the people around you. Not a pretty sight. :o

~Stop if you need, and pick up again when you can get back into the music, often when I hear an unfamiliar ornament it throws me (especially if I'm not rock solid on the tune being played) and I have to wait for the beginning of the section to start playing again-just make note when you start in on the second repeat, not all tunes work well in a round!

 

So, lots of verbiage, but those are some things I've done (or need to do more often!) that help. Take what applies and disregard the rest.

 

RE: Tunes that one can play only at a session. While I don't really have any like that, I've more than once jumped in and started playing along with a tune and only later realized that I'd never played it before, only heard it. It's always a pleasant surprise to discover that I actually know another one that I wasn't aware of! :ph34r: :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wally, i find it very difficult to hear the concertina at times.

Yes, I think it is often the case with some instruments like Concertina & Mandolin that the sound is going out there, but not up to the players quite so well.

If you really do know the tune well, then that shouldn't be a problem, as long as you can hear it, at least faintly.

as far as knowing all the tunes... just play the ones you know.

Good advice.

.... as you get more confident, try to play along with some of the ones you dont know quietly so that no one hears you. this would be something like: if you know that they keep ending on a G, only play that last note. if you can only tell a random note, play that random note. over time (weeks and months and years), you will get better at this, and eventually you will be able to play tunes that you have never formally learned.

Sorry David, but I don't go along with this sort of bumbling along with the tune any old way :(

 

I believe each tune deserves to be learned properly. If you just faff along with it, I'm not convinced you will ever really learn it properly, certainly not if you are only a learner or improver.

 

For all the time it actually takes to sit down & do your homework & actually learn your tunes properly.

Only once you have learned it properly, have you earned the right to be sitting next to other musicians who have honoured the tune respectfully, by taking the trouble to learn it properly.

 

Can you imagine the dreadful noise each session would be, if very few people actually took the time to really learn their tunes, so most players were just faffing along..................! Aaaaaarrrg! :wacko: :angry:

 

An American Mountain Dulcimer player once asked to sit in with us & she sat strumming along for a while ... didn't matter what key we were playing in, she just kept thrashing that thing. {N.B. She was only actually strumming in one key herself, by the way! :blink: }

Turned out she thought we were just, as she put it Jamming so she was amazed to learn that we each actually had to sit down & physically learn all our tunes.

Anyway, we asked her to play one herself, so she said she had only ever learned one tune .... one she composed herself! :o

At best, it could have been described as a riff & that is really flattering it. :(

Needless to say, we were not too sorry when she stopped her out of tune backing & retired to the bar. ;)

 

There is no disgrace or shame in not knowing a tune. Why do people have such a problem with just sitting listening to tunes they don't know? Far better to take along a tape recorder & record any tunes you don't know, then learn them properly at home, in your own time, but please don't spoil other people's enjoyment of a tune by honking along.

Believe me, it can be VERY ANNOYING to have out of tune honks & squeeks coming at you. :(

 

This notion that nobody can hear you just because lots of people are playing is a joke,

The folks next to you will hear you & will certainly be aware of your pi**ing about with it!

I'd say just sit back, relax & let the tune wash over you, & as long as you have asked & made sure nobody minds you taping, take it home & LEARN it.

 

I listen to new tunes as I drive & I know that once I can lilt along perfectly with a tune I'm ready to learn it on the instrument. It's a fairly painless experience after that, & in fact a very enjoyable one.

 

If you are a musician, even just a beginner, the fact that you have already learned some tunes very often earns you the right, if you are asked, to join their session & you will earn much more respect if you are seen to be treating the tunes & their music with respect.

 

Cheers

Dick

 

i disagree with you. i think that learning tunes at sessions is an integral part of the tradition.

 

i was taught to do this by my grandmother's cousin, who is a very nice old lady from roscommon. when she was learning how to play, that is how she did it. she told me she would sit back while others were playing and scratch on her fiddle so that no one could hear her, and that no one minded. i think it is very sound advice.

 

i guess i am also not reticent to do this because most of the people i know also do it as well. i bet more people than you realize do not formally learn all their tunes at home. i remember i used to play tunes with my grandma, and she would play them with me note for not, only to tell me afterwards that she had never played it before. there are many people i know who do the exact same thing. i ask them, "do you know this one?" and they say, "let's see." they will play it with me and tell me that they dont know it at all and have never played it, though from my perspective i would have sworn they know it.

 

learning tunes at sessions is a skill that needs to be mastered. you can practice this skill at home. however, i do not think there is any harm sitting back in a session and playing so only you can hear yourself. people do this all the time at sessions i go to. i have seen people sit back several feet outside the circle and play for hours, and yet i never heard a note coming out of their instrument.

 

i agree that you should not hack away at every tune that comes your way, but where we disagree is that i beileve if you know how a tune goes and cant fit inside of it, that you can do so at a session. my grandma's cousin calls this "knowing the turning" of a tune.

 

even when i formally study tunes at home, i do not very often do it in a very systematic, note-by-note fashion. i take a tune i want to learn, put it on repeat, and play along with it. often when i begin, every note is dead wrong, but over time the notes start to fill in, and i let my fingers find the notes rather than force them in. after i spent the equivalent of a couple hours with a tune over several days, i will pause and stop and slow it down to get the tricky notes i am missing. i was taught to do this by noel hill, and i find it a much more effective way to learn tunes than how i used to, which is being concerned about every note. my whole approach to learning is not very analytical and i do not believe in perfection in the short term, but only the long term. harvard psychologist dr. ellen langer describes learning new things by going at it all at once and messing all of it up at the same time, rather than trying to learn each separate part individually and then assembling it at the end. she calls this "sideways learning" (the power of mindful learning 1998, pg. 23).

 

i would never play a tune at a session as i would practice at home, that is i would never play along full volume, hitting 100% wrong notes. however, doing this has taught me how to fill in on a tune i do not know, and i can learn tunes on the fly much faster than i could otherwise. when i play a tune at a session i do not know, i drop out if i feel i cant fit into it, and certainly do not keep playing just because i want to play. that is no fun, anyways.

 

i also disagree that you need to formally learn tunes at all. sometimes at a session i hear a tune i have never heard before, and learned it on the fly, and remember it to this day. also, sometimes i will be sitting in my room and a tune will pop in my head that i do not recognize and do not know where it is from, and then figure it out. only later i find out it is from an album i have not listened to in years.

 

but in the end i think if you do not like to learn tunes that way there's nothing wrong with it, and like i said, i would bet that a lot of people you enjoy playing with and respect do not perfect their tunes at home before playing them in sessions. i think personally that it takes a mixture of obsessively perfecting tunes at home and taking a laissez-faire approach to tunes at sessions to make a good musician.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to admit I can't stand noodlers either. The difference for many of us is that there's not that many sessions available, as opposite to what irish old timers were subjected to when they were young. It's not the same dynamics. Around here anyway, there is *plenty* of time to learn your tunes at home. and not enough good sessions to being able to afford ruining them with constant noodling and trials in the middle of tunes. I have the deepest respect for tunes and would be very annoyed if someone noodles on a tune I've been working on for weeks at home. But then, it's again the eternal debate between the non-snobs and thes snobs :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This notion that nobody can hear you just because lots of people are playing is a joke,

The folks next to you will hear you & will certainly be aware of your pi**ing about with it!

I'd say just sit back, relax & let the tune wash over you, & as long as you have asked & made sure nobody minds you taping, take it home & LEARN it.

 

Well, I could not agree more with you. There's people like us, and then there's the noodlers ;-) When you're surrounded by noodlers, it's time to find a new session or go home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bears Repeating: Thank you Dick....

There is no disgrace or shame in not knowing a tune. Why do people have such a problem with just sitting listening to tunes they don't know? Far better to take along a tape recorder & record any tunes you don't know, then learn them properly at home, in your own time, but please don't spoil other people's enjoyment of a tune by honking along.

Believe me, it can be VERY ANNOYING to have out of tune honks & squeeks coming at you. sad.gif

 

This notion that nobody can hear you just because lots of people are playing is a joke,

The folks next to you will hear you & will certainly be aware of your pi**ing about with it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bears Repeating: Thank you Dick....

There is no disgrace or shame in not knowing a tune. Why do people have such a problem with just sitting listening to tunes they don't know? Far better to take along a tape recorder & record any tunes you don't know, then learn them properly at home, in your own time, but please don't spoil other people's enjoyment of a tune by honking along.

Believe me, it can be VERY ANNOYING to have out of tune honks & squeeks coming at you. sad.gif

 

This notion that nobody can hear you just because lots of people are playing is a joke,

The folks next to you will hear you & will certainly be aware of your pi**ing about with it!

As I said earlier, if that's the ethos of your session then fine, but it's not how the sessions I've played in over the years work, and it's not the sort of session I'd enjoy playing in.

 

If a player follows the guidelines I and others have suggested then they won't be making "out of tune honks & squeeks", they'll just be joining in with only those parts of the tune they can manage.

 

How do you introduce new tunes to a session where everyone is expected to know the tunes perfectly before joining in?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A further thought ... I suspect that more musicians than you realise are actually playing the tune on the fly, and haven't spent hours working on it at home. If you understand the structure of the music, have a good ear, and know your way around your instrument it isn't that difficult to do. A skilled musician will get away with it without others realising.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It has been well demonstrated here why I avoid going to sessions. Concensus seems impossible and a new bloke has no chance of getting his head round it so far as I can see.

 

Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It has been well demonstrated here why I avoid going to sessions. Concensus seems impossible and a new bloke has no chance of getting his head round it so far as I can see.

 

Ian

 

It's actually very simple really Ian.

There's nothing to be afraid of & it's a wonderful, or should I say essential, thing to be a part of.

 

If you treat the music & your fellow musicians with respect & only play tunes you really know well, you will be made to feel very welcome at any session .... you are invited to join in with.

If you bear those principals in mind, it won't matter how many tunes you actually start or join in with.

 

As far as I'm concerned, I couldn't care less if I never recorded or performed in concert in front of an audience ever again, but if I didn't have at least one regular session to look forward to, I'm not too sure I'd want to keep playing music.

 

If you have never experienced the joy of playing in a good session, then my advice is DO as soon as possible.

 

Before Pub Sessions became the thing I'm sure traditional musicians felt exactly the same way about local Kitchen Ceilis, which of course may or may or may not have involved dancing, but usually always involved music, a few songs & a few stories.

 

Quite honestly, I just can't understand how someone could want to play traditional music & not want to share their hard won tunes with fellow enthusiasts in a warm & friendly atmosphere of enthusiasm.

 

Don't wait too long Ian. ;)

 

Cheers

Dick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How do you introduce new tunes to a session where everyone is expected to know the tunes perfectly before joining in?

 

Och that's easy to answer.

 

When there's a wee lull in proceedings, someone will often say ... hey lads, have you heard this or that tune, & they'll play it for the others, who, rather than honk & squeek along with something they have never heard before, will sit back, listen & enjoy the tune.

What is so difficult to understand?

In listening carefully, they'll also be able to decide whether they like it enough to want to learn it.

Then, if they don't tape it, they'll get the name of the tune from the player, or maybe the name of the CD he lifted it from. Then & only then, once they have gone home & learned it to the best of their ability, they'll be able to play along with the tune, the next time it's played, thus treating the tune, it's composer & the player ... with respect.

 

Cheers

Dick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 some sort of ear to do it. If you always learn from notation at home then maybe you shouldn't try to noodle along in a session, you probably don't have the ear not to annoy people. However if you always learn by ear you will already have the skill to hear key parts and learn the tune on the fly. That certainly shouldn't annoy anyone no matter how hard they have worked on it at home themselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A further thought ... I suspect that more musicians than you realise are actually playing the tune on the fly, and haven't spent hours working on it at home. If you understand the structure of the music, have a good ear, and know your way around your instrument it isn't that difficult to do. A skilled musician will get away with it without others realising.

 

HJC, a "skilled musician" will not need "hours working on it at home" so will not begrudge the short time it will take them to sit down & learn it properly!

 

For my money, the mannerly, intelligent & respectful musician will instead be listening very carefully to the new tune & the careful listening will pay dividends in making the learning of it, so much easier.

 

I was playing with two excellent musicians last Friday night, who between them have about 60 years of playing & learning Irish tunes under their belt, plus numerous TV & radio work to boot, along the way. Anyway, the point is, 2 or 3 times during the night a tune or a version of a tune, was played which one or the other of them didn't know, so they just sat & listened to it & then discussed it afterwards. Believe me, if anyone in Ireland could "play a tune on the fly" it'd be these guys. I'm sure they could do that in their sleep, but they don't & why, because they have far too much respect for the music .... it's that simple.

 

The night before, I was at our other ITM session with two excellent young early 20 year olds who are both multi-instrumentalists & the wonderful thing is those young guys {who incidentally to their credit have avoided the dreaded Comhaltas} both treat the music with the same amount of respect as the older guys did, the next night.

One did a short stint playing for Riverdance recently, the other is just back from a short tour in England & believe me these guys could Fly Pick if they wanted to ..... but thankfully they have more sense!

 

They have already learned that there is no disgrace or shame in LISTENING!

 

A word of warning!

 

Those of you who think that "playing the tune on the fly" is being smart ... believe me it's NOT!

Be very very careful, it is a trap.

Before long, that's the way you'll end up learning all your tunes, the only problem is ... you won't really know them at all. :(

One day you'll be asked to start one of those tunes fly tunes you kinda, almost, nearly, of a fashion sort of might know & you & everyone else, will know you for the bluffer you have become. ....... Nobody likes a Fly Boy! :ph34r:

 

Cheers

Dick

Edited by Ptarmigan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...