Session Euphemisms

Session Euphemisms

Just a bit of fun, perhaps? πŸ˜›

Some comments I have heard over the years from fellow musicians… one or two but by no means all were made to me….

"That’s a nice mandolin.."
(A lovely instrument but your playing is crap)

"I know a different setting for the tune you’ve just played"
(You’re playing it all wrong)

"That’s quite a loud fiddle"
(You’re playing bum notes and I can hear them"

"Have you been playing for a long time?"
(You’re obviously a beginner. What are you doing here?"

"How did you find about this session?"
(As above)

"I never remember the names of the tunes"
(The last thing I want is someone like yourself murdering a good tune "from the dots")

"What was the name of the last tune you played?"
(I liked the tune but the playing wasn’t that great)


And so on…… Any more? πŸ™‚

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"Lovely tune"
(now let’s hear someone good play it)

"Great instrument. Can I have a shot?"
(You’re doing our heads in. We’d really like if you just … stopped .. for a while)

"I love those weird Balkan rhythms"
(I hate those weird Balkan rhythms)

"Your own tune you say? Have you got any more?"
(No? Good)

"Pull up a seat! Everyone’s welcome here!"
(not you! I mean those Polish girls that just came in)

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"You get a lovely tone out of your instrument"
(Your playing is crap, but I wanted to find something nice to say)

"You play as though you are familiar with many styles of music"
(You don’t sound Irish)

"Where did you get that setting?"
(You’re ruining all our fun)

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"Gee, it’s been a long time since I played that tune."
(I butchered it, but I want you to think I am an advanced player.)

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‘put a bit of life in your playing’
Thats some mighty playing there.

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I love what you were trying to do with that tune.
(You really funked that one up.)

This one is really sad, because, you know, variation is the spice of life, but it’s still wickedly funny at the same time.

"I know a different setting for the tune you’ve just played"
(You’re playing it all wrong)

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Hmm.Lovely bit of mean-spirited fun here.If you’re not big enough to say what you think,it may be time to re-think.

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"do you just have the C whistle?"
(It’s in Amaj you maroon)

"that probably sounds great in headphones"
doesn’t quite apply, but around our house we say that about anything that sounds like krap

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MattO’K - I think we’re enjoying imagining what might really be behind things that have been said to us, at least in JJ and my case, rather than what we’d say to others. I begrudge nobody nothing

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Hey, speak for yourself, Bren—I use my own contribution, above, quite frequently. It’s a great all-purpose excuse. ;>}

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Bren’s right. I was thinking more about things I’ve heard said rather than anything I might wish to say myself.

Having said that, I’d rather be tactful in these situations if I choose to say anything at all.

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I’m familiar with the ones in brackets, it’s the euphemisms that are the new ones on me…

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That’s an interesting looking instrument. Tell me a bit about it
(….and give us all some peace and quiet - anything’s better than you actually playing the thing).

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I’ve caused storms in the past by saying "What WAS that chord you played at the end of the second line…?" "Isn’t that the Incredible String Band version of Off To California?" "Just try a C chord for a change at the start of the B section and see how it sounds!"

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What other instruments do you play?

Do you do many gigs?

How come we’ve never seen you before?

You play with such *energy*.

Have you ever thought of taking up the bodhrΓ‘n?

That was fantastic!

(I would suggest that translations of all of these are probably not necessary.)

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"interesting harmony"
(that’s not the same B part)

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"Its in A minor you +&&#@%*&^! idiot !"

( Its in A minor you +&&#@%*&^! idiot )

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horrible beastly people, there are droves of players who walk out of sessions forever because of snide comments.
what happened to straight talk and tolerance

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Yeah, what is it about A minor that makes it so bloody hard for guitarists to find!

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"Um, well, I sometimes like to try those trick notes too."
(A translation of this can be rather subtle)

"That was sh!te!"
Not bad playing at all.

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Actually chuneboi "Its in A minor you +&&#@%*&^! idiot" means "my clique play it in A minor, I can’t transpose and I am socially inept, lazy and rude"

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Looks like I qualify for the bodhran McKnowall.

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"Those shakey egg things sound good."
(learn to play a real instrument)

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I’m with you, McKnowall…if we give them straight talk I think we can get more people to walk out of sessions forever!

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Could someone explain the above euphemisms to me please?
I am only a bodhran player, it’s after 10 AM so I will read them when I sober up

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Can someone play an A???
(doh!!!)

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> "Gee, it’s been a long time since I played that tune."
> (I butchered it, but I want you to think I am an advanced player.)

Cr@p, mickray, was that you sitting beside me the other night?

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"Are you classically trained?" could be a euphemism for a number of things:

1. "You don’t have to inflict vibrato on *every single note*."
2. "You have brown eyes, and so I am assuming that like the vast majority of brown eyed fiddlers, you played classical violin before you played Irish trad."

(Someone asked me this question a year and a half ago, and I took it as a compliment, because having played for a scant four or five months, I was flattered that someone could think that I had any amount of training at all, never mind the type, under my belt. Around that time I, having no idea how undesirable it was for an ITM player to "sound classical", asked an experienced fiddler if she’d been classically trained. I cringe at the memory…)

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You lost me at the last hurdle
(You don’t really know how this goes do you?)

I LOVE those new tunes!
(Please play something we can all agree upon)

What’s the name of that one?
(Do you know how the kesh goes?)

How do you do that?
(I really wish you wouldn’t…)

It sounds GREAT when you play the kesh in G and then A!
(Cop-on!)

Tamlin is one of my favourite tunes!
(Go back to step-dancing)

Nice variations
(Does your mother know you are out?)

Can you play any faster?
(Slow down!)

You won’t hear better…
(G’wan and have a mass said fer yerself)

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What a negative thread. Surely it as Irish to be understated in compliment, such as "nice tune" meaning "you played that unbelievably well". Or "that sucked" to mean "you really did an awesome job on that last set of tunes.

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Sure Donough….there’s always different angles on this stuff.

You could the Woody Allen version of all the above…put in brackets the neurotic statement of what you mean).

Nice variations
(You are showing me up!)

Or the Marvin the Paranoid Android version

Nice variations
(why does everyone have to be better than me, I suppose you all wish I’d go home)

Or the Little House on the Prairie version
Nice variations
(nice variations)

πŸ˜‰

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Do you know "The Fiddler’s Humours of Llangweryngwydhe", with a fifth part in C#major?
(Of course you don’t. Don’t back this one.)

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that’s a nice fiddle/whistle/bodhran etc you’ve got there

1. you’re playing loud and bad
2. you can’t play that thing, can you

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"Was that a reel or a jig?"
You are a pompous old fart

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Thanx to this thread, I’ll know how to respond to anyone who says one word to me.



Now if I can only find a group of LoJong practitioners.

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A fun thread, but still:
I have to agree with one point above, re. rudeness and elitism - I have been the victim of snidery and snobbery myself, and hot-shots with a nasty mouth have taken the wind from my sails too many times.

We realy are all doing the best we can, from the rankest novices to the hottest "hot-shots".

I think I shall stick to French Canadian sessions in the future. That way I need not worry about what the other musicians really mean, since I do not speak French anyway. πŸ˜›

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I hadn’t heard of LoJong until this thread, but http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lojong gives an outline. It’s a system of Tibetan Buddhist mind training (no, it’s not tied to any religious belief) and a central part of it is a collection of proverbs, which are listed in the Wikipedia link.

Some of those proverbs are certainly relevant to any musician:

First, train in the preliminaries.

Practicing even when distracted is good training.

Always observe these three points: 1. Regularity of practice. 2. Not wasting time on the inessential. 3. Not rationalizing our mistakes.

Work on your greatest imperfection first.

Remember - this is not a competition.

Find a teacher, tame the roving mind, choose a lifestyle that allows you to practice.

Don’t let your practice become irregular.

Stay focused.

Don’t expect any applause.

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Great link, lazyhound πŸ™‚ The one I liked best :

Don’t be consistent.

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Many years ago I met a Jesuit who was sent by his Order to a Buddhist monastery to study advanced meditation (the Jesuits, despite superficial appearances, are an open-minded lot). I wonder now if he studied Lojong. Afterwards, he returned to the UK to do parish work.

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I have never seen a euphemism in a session. I mean, they are pitched in E flat, so it would be pretty difficult to play tunes on them.

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The most ambiguous ‘euphemism’- if that is the right word- I have yet encountered, after a few week’s absence as shaky fiddle player from one group, was the sonorous "We’ve missed you!"- delivered by the leader. Enough to ruin anyone’s confidence πŸ™‚

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…"weeks’ "….

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I don’t see any reason why an euphemism shouldn’t be able to play a tune in E-flat. Agreed, most of the time it would be on its own (except for bodhran and shaky egg) but the more experienced fiddle/banjo player should be able to transpose up a half-tone from D or down from E-min.

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"That’s quite a loud fiddle"
My teacher said that at my last lesson! You know it’s bad when the person you’re paying to make you better wishes you’d just stop.

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Wow, Jimmy Allen, I haven’t heard that tune before
(this week)

Wow, you played that tune differently
(sh1te)

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Also keep in mind, many of these can be reversed, when the situation calls for praising a friend’s playing, but protocol prevents you from giving them a straightforward compliment.

"That was shight!"
(Nice one!)

"Leave your practicing for home!"
(I’m astounded by your technical proficiency!)

"Did you learn that one from the Walton’s whistle book?"
(What a lovely and rare tune!)

"Keep trying, ye’ll be good yet."
(You are a wonerfully talented musician.)

In my opinion, straight talk generally has no place in an Irish session. When your session mates stop praising you and start slagging you, you know you’re getting the hang of it!

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Not exactly euphemisms, but…

"…eeee….."
-Hollered out in a noisy room near the end of a tune by the guy that started the set. Indicates that there’s a key change coming up; it could be E, G, C, B or D, or even A (depending upon the accent and the noise level). It’s usually an indication to me to shut up for a bit, until I figure out where things are going.

"…B-flat… I’m not sure how we ended up THERE… ".
-heard after one of my favorite session leaders’ harmonic "adventures". Trying to keep up is like trying to drink from a fire hose, but big fun nonetheless.

…and from the same gentleman, whom I admire:

"…your rhythm’s wrong, watch my foot…"
-so I watched his foot

Geez, I love this music!

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They can be extended to predecessors, to give the music a fine-sounding pedigree:

"He had a rugged style all of his own"
(He frequently pulled melodeons in half.)

"Nobody will ever play like him again"
(That needn’t be an expression of regret.)

"He was a very solid member of the session"
(He sat on two sets of Northumbrian pipes, a hurdy-gurdy and a three-grand fiddle, and wrote them all off.)

"His singing brought everybody out of the bar"
(Not into the session room - out of the pub to go somewhere else.)

"He had a pared-down accompanying style"
(Why use three chords when two will do?)

"His whistle-playing always attracted much attention"
(Yes, because it felt like a psychotic bat was gnawing away your eardrum.)

"His reminiscences about other musicians were legendary"
(That is because his reminiscences were legends.)

…The possibilities here are endless!

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I’m sure there are tons that can be borrowed from the acting profession, if we ever run out of our own. How about:

"You…you’ve done it again!"

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From the archaeological profession:

"That must be ritual.."

("That’s bloody annoying and we haven’t a clue what it is…")

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Oooops, sorry, I meant euphonium. No wonder this thread didn’t make much sense to me……….

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There are wonderful cds out there that caption the session feel, try Music at Matt Molloy’s for example…

(You have no idea of a session whatsoever, do you?)

I heard that once, and was convinced he meant it the way I translated it here,… turned out he was just suggesting good trad cd’s.

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"Well, I’ve never heard it sung/played like *that* before!"

= "That was a quite unspeakable abomination."

- I have, deservedly, been on the receiving end of this one.

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"Cor, this hot weather really buggers up everyone’s tuning."

(YOU are miles out, mate. Everyone else has tuned up pretty well. You just haven’t bothered your arse. And it’s fvcking up the whole session.)

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"He had been involved in a series of public events, and was
often a guest of Her Majesty."

= He was constantly in court and frequently did time.


"He was a master of the lonesome note."

= Whenever he started playing, everyone got away to the bar.


"He played a lot of unusual old tunes he’d got from his
uncles."

= They were dreck.

"His fiddle / box / pipes had been played by family members
for five generations."

= It was a sanctuary for death-watch beetle and mutually
incompatible sounds in old pitch.

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p*ss off you’re sh*te

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the piano accordian player had fingers like lightening-
They never hit the same place twice!

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TRUE CONFESSIONS
I, too have been the brunt of these snobbish, looking down their nose, quasi polite probes. BUT, now that I’m older & have some hot sh*t fiddles and great technique, I’m dishin’ it out ! (sad but true). I actually quit sessions for about six months because I was ashamed of my own behavior.
Can’t say I’m NICE now, but definitely maintaining a lot better.

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