10 session commandments

10 session commandments

1.Thou art commanded to have a roaring good craic at a session

2.Thou shall not inform a fellow sessioneer the he or she is playing the wrong version of a tune

3.Thou shall not thump a bodhran at a session just to get free guinness

4. Thou shall throw thy electronic tuner into the fiery pit and learn to tune your bloody instument by ear before you learn to play it for verily these abominations are the invention of satan

5. Thou shall resist all requests to sing Danny Boy,Molly Malone,The Black Velvet Band and the Green Fields of France on pain of excommnunication

6. Thou shall not play the same DADGAD chord for more than 10 seconds


7. Thou shall play the hammer dulcimer with real hammers

8. Thou shall stuff the shakey eggs back up the shakey chickens

9. Thou shalt not bore the pants off your fellow sessioneers by playing a slow air for 10 minutes


10 Thou shall not attempt to play two tunes at the same time.

And David saw that it was good and after the seventh tune set he rested because he is a lazy bugger

Re: 10 session commandments

Here we go again - unbelievable !! And: the ITM police is on the beat again: thank whoever that there are electronic tuners !!

Posted .

Re: 10 session commandments

nice to finally see someone spelling ‘craic’ correctly!
(i.e. not ‘crack’). πŸ˜‰

Re: 10 session commandments

1. I am the Trad - thou shalt have no other tunes, versions, or arrangements before or after me.

2. Thou shalt not bring to thy session any unholy spoons, afro-latin or brass instruments, nor anything that is electrical;
for I , the Trad, am a jealous god, and all that stuff is right out.

3. Take not my name in vain - if its from PEI or Orkney or Shetland or Brittany or Lithuania, don’t try to pass it off as ITM.

4. Remember your session night, it’s not just YOURS, and keep it friendly.

5. Honor thy waiter and thy landlord.

6. Thou shalt do no slagging.
(That’s what a website is for.)

7. That’s my pint, NOT yours.

8. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s flute, nor his fiddle, nor his box, nor his whistle, nor his Andreas Rogge "B" Full Set with all-ebony chanter, drones and regulators and a Dow bellows. (Sigh!)

9. That’s my whiskey, NOT yours.

10. See commandment #4.

11. See Commandment #10.

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Re: 10 session commandments

"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours’ beer"

"Thou shalt get thy round in" (no free beer for us)

Re: 10 session commandments

Andy: "Aye, ye have the Gaelic fine"
.. from the movie ‘Whisky Galore’, when an eejit of an Englishman tries to patronise the locals with the only Gaelic word he can remember, but very badly pronounced!

N.B. Anyway, surely it was Crack, long before it was Craic.

Wonder why this makes me think of the so called ‘Ulster Scots’! πŸ˜€

Oh, by the way Dafydd, Rules are just like Badges, in the classic ‘Sierra Madre’ movie.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqomZQMZQCQ


& in Blazing Saddles:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lj056ao6GE&feature=related


In other words: WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ RULES!

Re: 10 session commandments

Re: - Rook’s 6th Commandment

After the pleasantaries and chit-chat, wherever two or more musicians are gathered together there is slagging (usually followed by apologies, explanations and guilt).

Re: 10 session commandments

I played a gig in Leige a while ago and on the bill was a young lady who was a good singer/songwriter and played great guitar.Just before she was due to go on I was summoned by the promoter to the side of the stage,she was in floods of tears she couldn’t go on because her guitar was out of tune and she’d forgotten her tuner.I tuned it for her and all was well.I think before you are allowed to buy a tuner you should have to prove that you can your instument by ear,there should be a law to that effect.The only use I can see for them is to do a quick check onstage,but in the old days we all did that by ear.I hate the bloody things.

Re: 10 session commandments

Tune your instrument by ear that should be,I was typing in a white hot fury of indignation.

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The flute player came into ceili band rehearsal only to find the banjo player and the fiddle player fighting -

"Break it up! what the hell is wrong with youse?" yells the flute player

"The fiddle player put one of me strings out of tune" hollered the banjo player.

"Ya, so?

"The bugger won’t tell me which one!"

Re: 10 session commandments

I just pity the poor feckers who cant tune by ear. IMO Cant tune it= cant play it.Now if there ever was a crutch in music thats the one. And the tuner is probably a sh*te one and yer still out of tune even if ye got green lights. but you wouldnt know that if you rely on one would you?. If you really, really, really, need a tuner then fer fecks sake get one that works; Peterson.

I mean how much do you spend on your instrument? how many grand!? and ye cannae tune it ! because if you rely on a cheap and nasty tuner and not your ears , then its not going to be in tune anyway.

Ok if the venue is too loud to hear yourself then ok, to get into the right area, but dont rely on one. Tuning is a process, the more you do the better you get. Start now.

Re: 10 session commandments

A fiddler and a banjo player were walking through the park.The fiddler say to the banjo player
‘Hey,look at that dog with one eye!
The banjo player covers one eye and says
‘Where?’

Re: 10 session commandments

My sentiments exactly Ionannas.

Re: 10 session commandments

Alexweger,can you tune without one?Give me an A and I’ll tune anything with strings correctly in about 1 minute.

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I am not a member of the ITM police,just the opposite.Just look at the po-faced reactions I got from certain members about my Hendrix Amazing Grace Parody.

Re: 10 session commandments

I used to play on stage with a guy who used to get p*ssed off at me ‘cause I wouldn’t use his fcking little box. He was like a crack(spelled c-r-a-c-k) dealer trying to push it on me. I think it bothered him that he needed it although he was, technically, a better player than me.

Re: 10 session commandments

… and you shouldn’t stop in the middle of a tune because a string "goes out"…. just simply shift your hand or fingers as needed, or play all on one string….

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It’s no good giving a fiddle-player a tuner, because he can only use it on the open strings.

Re: 10 session commandments

"You can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish"
-Nietzsche

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Back in the antediluvian times all tutor books began with how to tune your instrument.You had to learn how to do it or you couldn’t play.You learn a lot about your instrument when you learn to tune by ear.Jeff Beck never tunes up onstage he just bends the strings into tune when he has to,It’s a pity for you tunerophiles that they don’t sell pre-tuned instruments.Chuck the fecking thing away and learn how to do it,you’ll feel a lot better.

Re: 10 session commandments

Come to think of it I can tune faster without one,they slow me down.

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One more thing.At the Heksenketel session in Antwerp they all pull out their contraptions but they are not calibrated with each other so they are all out of tune with each other anyway.I tune to the box player while they are all squinting at the tiny screens.Progress my arse!

Re: 10 session commandments

@dafydd:

Your Commandments 1 and 5 are incompatible.

Your antipathy to tuners is based on the fact that (like me) you’re a lazy old s*d who can’t be b*ggered to master new technology and is p*ssed off by a younger generation who run rings round you and probably call you a dinosaur just out of your earshot and contrive to make every evil little new device wholly indispensable to life, the more thoroughly to exclude surplus oldsters from all its pleasures and benefits.

So you assume the mystic pose of a magus steeped in wisdom and skills acquired of old, before the bright and vulgar gadgets of today swept them into the margins of the universe. You know it’ll work in the end - and so it does. Maidens find their gadgets broken - missing - how hollow, alas, it all is! So they turn for succour to…YOU. They see you as a vastly wise repository of eternal values, a stable point in a chaotic and frightening universe. What it really means is that you have the initiative of a log and have long since given up learning how to do things.

Thus the importunate chick in that unheard-of place was reduced to imploring your aid. Bet you didn’t tune her guitar pitch-perfect, though!

Re: 10 session commandments

This has the makings of an apocryphal story, but I was there and saw it.

Many years ago I was learning the Spanish guitar. My teacher’s studio was alongside a guitar business he was a partner in. The lesson had finished and as we were leaving through the shop we saw a customer arguing with the other partner. The customer had been plucking the strings of a rather nice looking guitar hanging on the wall and was saying he wasn’t going to buy it because "the strings weren’t in tune". Hence the argument - and of course the customer is always right πŸ™‚

My teacher told me later that they eventually managed to get rid of the guy - without making a sale. Fortunately, idiots like that were rare, but a much commoner species were the idiots who had tried to repair broken guitars with epoxy resin and in despair brought them into the shop to have a proper job done.

Re: 10 session commandments

Funny that , I have a guitar with a bolt through it and stuck together with epoxy resin. LOL It works fine, bit Frankenstein but wtf. We were stuck on a small island off the coast of Africa with a broken guitar. We fixed it. Sorted.

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The commandments were jut a joke,i don’t care about incompatiblility.I am not a mystic magus,I just don’t need those gadgets to tune up.I don’t give a fying one whet the younger genreration say about me out of earshot,if they want to rely on tuners to tune up then good luck to them.I learn how to do new things every day,I’m learning the sitar and the Flemish bagpipes at the moment,I write songs for a blues group,I play in a fiddle and banjo duet and an old time band (think The Old Crow Medicine Show) .My daughter is a semi pro musician(www.cerys.be),she uses different tunings onstage,I tune up her guitars for her during a performance,I’m a member of a succesful local quiz team.I’m an active member of the James Randi Educational Foundation.If Four Fingered Fre or Ronnie brack or henk Bos read this they will vouch for me.Amazing that you know I have the iniative of a log when you know bugger all about me,so stick your opinions up your jacksie.

Re: 10 session commandments

I did tune up her guitar properly,I know her and I wouldn’t have done that to her.There were only two of us on the bill,what did you want the promoter to do,go onstage and ask is there a guitar tuner in the house?I was in the dressing room tuning up my stuff so he asked me to do it so I popped out with my tuning fork.Why so aggressive? There are some real dingbatson this site and no mistake.

Re: 10 session commandments

Dingbats—Haven’t herd that one in a long time….takes me back to a nicer time.

what exactly is a ‘ding bat?’

Re: 10 session commandments

I had to look up "jacksie."
er, I mean, google it.

Re: 10 session commandments

Dingbat, noun;
1. Slang. An empty-headed or silly person.
2. An object, such as a brick or stone, used as a missile.
3. Slang. An unspecified gadget or other small article, especially one whose name is unknown or forgotten.
4. Printing. A typographical ornament or symbol.

Re: 10 session commandments

The unkown or forgotten name fits the bill too.I sent knickerless a private mail telling him fornicate in the general direction of away.If he wants to get into a slanging match with me he will be on the losing end lol.Water off a duck’s back to me anyway.

Re: 10 session commandments

What do you expect from a Sais from Durham anyway? Par for the course.

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"10 Thou shall not attempt to play two tunes at the same time."

I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anyone *attempt* to do this, although I have frequently heard it done without trying.

Re: 10 session commandments

Dear Dafydd,

I am sorry my post was upsetting and offensive to you - it wasn’t intended to be. It was just meant as generic banter, not as a reflection or personal attack on you, your capabilities, or what you actually do. I have had no reason or wish to attack you thus, and (having read your posts and e-mail) I have none now.

I am getting the message (this has happened before) that ribbing people one knows well is one thing - you share a wavelength, and know where to stop - but that ribbing people online whom you don’t know is quite a bit more liable to come across to them as an unwarranted and disagreeable attack. So I’ll try to be more careful about this in future.

I hope this clears the air a bit.

Yours, Nick Till.

Re: 10 session commandments

There’s simple scientific fact to back up the no tuner argument - if you tune your fiddle so each string shows as in tune on the screen, it WILL be out of tune - the fifths won’t be perfect.

If you use a tuner, then you’re going to need to tune the A bang on, then tune the D slightly flat of green, the G slightly flatter still and the E slightly sharp. Even then, getting the precise amount of cents sharp or flat is going to be tough. Whereas listening for beats will give you consistent results every time.

Don’t use a tuner - use your ears. If your ears can’t tell you if a fifth is perfect you shouldn’t be playing an instrument with no frets.

Oh and PLEASE - retune during the evening, to the box, pipes or whatever - why do people who use the tuners not do this?

Before I get accused of being an old f*rt - I’m not. I used to use a tuner until I realised (or had it explained to me if I’m more precise) that the reason I was always out of tune was down to placing my faith in an object to tell me if I was right or not, rather than my ears.

Too many fiddlers rely on tuners - often the same ones who think if you leave a finger space you get a perfectly in tune semi-tone.

GAH!

Re: 10 session commandments

I use both a tuner and my ears but then I do have ten strings to faff with. I get the machine in tune before the session starts with a tuner then retune to local conditions as required using my ears or the tuner.
Cannot see what is wrong with that.

Re: 10 session commandments

rosfrog, not sure about the finger space thing, but I do know the pegs have to be parallel.

Re: 10 session commandments

Dafydd - I did know a brickbat was a half-brick, often used as offensive weapons.

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I used to rely on a tuning fork, but the batteries died
and I can’t find replacements.

Re: 10 session commandments

Dave ,Nothing wrong with that. Its a handy tool. The difference between what you do and what we decry is that you use your ears to fine tune. You are using the tuner as a time saver and to maker your life that bit easier. Lots of people do this and similar. Often the session environment is too loud for tuning by ear. My objection is to people relying on a cheap inaccurate device as their sole option.

If you have to rely on a device, get one that actually works! Peterson strobe tuners are 10 times more accurate and can be programmed for just intonation or many other systems., perfect fifths etc.
These cheap yokes will get you in the right area but thats all Tuning is so important . IMO the essence of good music is that the instruments are in tune with each other. [not an arbitrary number on a dial. ]

Old strings, would it not be a wind up clockwork tuning fork if its that old?

Re: 10 session commandments

The rise of ‘slick gadgets’ seems to me to coinside with a decline of good music, in my book anyway. I know ‘good music’ is a subjective term. It’s like a factory producing musicians and they all come with the same accesories, equipment, attitude, and sound.

Re: 10 session commandments

Ok nicholas,air cleared.I suppose that it’s an old fart thing,I learned to tune by ear because there was no other way then.Rosfrog is right too,you cannot tune a fiddle with a tuner.I have never seen anyone at at session with a strobe tuner.They are accurate,prof rock bands use them but the guitar roadie tunes up offstage.At our session they all have those cheap clip on triangular ones and I find them useless,now and again someone will force one on me and I’ll use it ,the infernal machine informs me that my guitar,cittern or bouzouki is in tune but I still have to adjust it.I can do it quicker without one.If you can’t hear that and have to rely on the tuner then that is a big handicap in my opinion.I wasn’t born with the ability to tune by ear,I had to learn how to do it.Guernsey Pete made good point about getting into the ballpark area then adjusting by ear as the session goes on,it’s when everything stops and they all start squinting at their little screens that gets on my bristols.I still think that my idea about proving you can tune by ear before you are allowed to own one is a good idea,there is a real job at last for the ITM police.I was using the collective thou in the two tunes commandment,I’ve been in large sessions where one end of a long table was playing one tune and the other a similar one.Shanty’s point is a good one too,when you think about all the identikit DADGAD guitarists.Same sound.Listen to the 12 string guitar intro to the Stones version of As Tears Go By,It’s not perfectly in tune,but it works,like a honky tonk piano effect.I’m all for a certain degree of randomness in music.

Re: 10 session commandments

The four horsemen of the Apocalypse—-transister amps, MTV,didgital recording and electronic tuners! Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The plagues are upon us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: 10 session commandments

Sign up here for the ITM grumpy old men club.

Re: 10 session commandments

I vote Llig for Chairman

Re: 10 session commandments

OK dafydd, God bless! Sign me up.

Re: 10 session commandments

Eeeee, when I were a lad we had nowt but fiddles made out of cigar boxes and a bits o’string and they never out of tune and if they did we could tune them perfectly even though we were sat in t’coal scuttle and were deaf in one ear cos of tripe and eels in ear canal and t’other ear being full of a type of couchgrass which only grows on uncultivated land and in them days the whippersnappers used to listen to cantankerous old curmudgeons like us in t’session and they don’t reet know there’re born these days etc etc etc

Everyone has to learn, and I find my electronic tuner useful in a noisy, boisterous session with plenty of craic going on, and at home I often use it to get close and then tune up by ear but after using it for a few months you begin to get your ear in and find you need it less. Still a a place for them in my opinion.

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Re: 10 session commandments

Interesting link about the spelling of crack. I stand corrected.

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Re: 10 session commandments

When I tune up in a noisy session I put my neck into bend mode and press my aural interface device to the surface of the ineractive music generating hardware.

Re: 10 session commandments

interactive

Re: 10 session commandments

Cheaper too.

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Ay lad,we made our own fun back in them days,sitting around the piano,sawing the legs off it,all us little heads painted purple ‘cos we all had ringworm.You could buy a fiddle,a concertina and a fish supper and still have change from a farthing.I remember the first steam powered tuners,the Luddites used to chuck clogs into them to break them.Trouble oop at ‘t session.Nostalgia’s not what it used to be.

Re: ‘Going Home…’

I think the late and great Tony Capstick should get some sort of mention for part of the above!

Re: 10 session commandments

I can put my hand on my heart and say I know nothing about Tony Capstick,I made it up.

Re: 10 session commandments

There’s bound to be a you tube link somewhere but this will do for now.It still makes me laugh anyway!










‘CAPSTICK COMES HOME

I’ll never forget that first day at t’pit. Me an’ mi father worked a seventy two hour shift, an’ then we walked home forty three mile through t’snow in us bare feet, huddled inside us clothes med out o’ old sacks.

Eventually we trudged over t’hill until wi could see t’street light twinklin’ in our village. Mi father smiled down at mi through t’icicles hangin’ off his nose. "Nearly home now lad", he said.

We stumbled into t’house and stood there freezin’ cold and tired out, shiverin’ and miserable, in front o’ t’ meagre fire. Any road, mi mam says "Cheer up, lads. I’ve got you some nice brown bread and butter for yer tea."

Ee, mi father went crackers. He reached out and gently pulled mi mam towards ‘im by t’throat. "You big fat, idle ugly wart", he said. "You gret useless spawny-eyed parrot-faced wazzock." (‘E had a way wi words, mi father. He’d bin to college, y’know). "You’ve been out playin’ bingo all afternoon instead o’ gettin’ some proper snap ready for me an’ this lad", he explained to mi poor, little, purple-faced mam.

Then turnin’ to me he said "Arthur", (He could never remember mi name), "here’s half a crown. Nip down to t’chip ‘oyl an’ get us a nice piece o’ ‘addock for us tea. Man cannot live by bread alone." He were a reyt tater, mi father. He said as ‘ow workin’ folk should have some dignity an’ pride an’ self respect, an’ as ‘ow they should come home to summat warm an’ cheerful.

An’ then he threw mi mam on t’fire.

We didn’t ‘ave no tellies or shoes or bedclothes. We med us own fun in them days. Do you know, when I were a lad you could get a tram down into t’town, buy three new suits an’ an ovvercoat, four pair o’ good boots, go an’ see George Formby at t’Palace Theatre, get blind drunk, ‘ave some steak an’ chips, bunch o’ bananas an’ three stone o’ monkey nuts an’ still ‘ave change out of a farthing.

We’d lots o’ things in them days they ‘aven’t got today - rickets, diptheria, Hitler and my, we did look well goin’ to school wi’ no backside in us trousers an’ all us little ‘eads painted purple because we ‘ad ringworm.

They don’t know they’re born today!!! .

Re: 10 session commandments

And I forgot to say that I don’t believe you,dafydd-hand on heart or not,lol!

Re: 10 session commandments

I have two daughters and a grandson and I will swear it on their lives,I’ve heard the name Tony Capstick, have never seen him live or heard anything by him and I don’t even know which instrument he plays,do you think that he’s theonly person in the world with the imagination to make jokes like that?Did Monty Python steal the Four Yorkshiremen sketch from him? Does he have a monoply on this sort of humour? Oh I just noticed,the late Tony Capstick,I didn’t even know he was dead.

Re: 10 session commandments

Could be the crack has made him forgetful

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I never touch cocaine,dat cocaine habit’s mighty bad,de worst ole habit dat you evah had.People were making jokes about the younger generation not knowing they were born back in ancient Greece.I DID NOT STEAL IT FROM TONY CAPSTICK!!!

Re: 10 session commandments

You must have subconsciously absorbed it into your brain whilst and have kept it there fermenting for years until it sprang forth unbidden and spewed out onto the page.

Bit like your opinion of electronic tuner users and DADGAD guitarists ; )

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Re: 10 session commandments

I admit that it looks suspicious.There are only 6 billion people in the world,what are the chances that two of them could thinkof the same joke independently.

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Some members here seem to be wilfully deaf,I have never seen him nor heard any of his recordings,That youtube thingy is a new one on me,at the riskof repeating myself,I…. DID……NOT…..PINCH……IT….FROM…TOE….KNEE……CAP…..STICK

Re: 10 session commandments

yeah you did

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Odd bloke, this. He can put big gaps in when he types in shouty capitals but hasn’t a bloody clue when he types in lower case. What am I to make of it?

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Hehe-for the record,dafydd,I’ll believe you then even if thousands would n’t.
I’m not that much mithered,either way although it would be interesting to discover if your subconscious had absorbed some of that TC stuff and has brought it to the fore years later.

Anyway,hope you enjoyed the skit-I thought it a real hoot as I had n’t listened to it in quite some time.

Re: 10 session commandments

Bugger off Stevie,is that plain enough?

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"Thou shall play the hammer dulcimer with real hammers"

You mean they don’t do that already?

Chris, just in case you’re reading, I’m teasing.