Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

It all started in earnest in fall of 2009. The tune hog maniac [THM] had always hogged tunes during the previous year or so. We’re a forgiving lot so we figured we’d tolerate it or were expected to do so. Somewhere or other patience wore thin. THM was publicly dressed down by one member a few months ago, but previous to the public whipping [it did little or no good since he was protected by a senior player in our fair city…he was a paying student of said instructor in fact…you get the picture] we decided we needed to rein him in. One member came up with the idea of a "tune circle"…right, we take turns. Now, this spoils the flow somewhat of the spontaneous session but it was the only way to control the egregious behaviour of THM. It worked to a degree. He no longer can jump in and hijack sets with his 5 and 7 part tunes that no one knows etc.

My question, while the tune circle thing has had unexpected benefits [more crack and general relaxing atween tunes as well as nipping THM in the bud], has anyone tried other ways of curtailing people with no social boundaries or propriety? Kicking him out wasn’t really an option since this is a Comhaltas sponsored session and open to all.

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Well, normally I’m all about turning the other cheek, but have you tried just outright violence?

I lead a charmed life mi amigo. I don’t know what to tell you. I’m the big (ego size only) surly Alpha at my pub. I have not yet met the serious offender who refuses to be persuaded by my reasoned and ethical arguments which showcase my fine political and oratory skills. [stop laughing] Indeed, it’s a charmed musical life I lead. No worries.

If homeboy wants to show off to people playing tunes by himself with other people listening, I’d suggest he go book himself some gigs and quit going to communal music playing events, aka ‘sessions’.

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You can always, of course, stand up, put down your instruments, and go to the bar to refresh your glasses, if he is indeed playing 7-part tunes you’ve never heard of. Sounds like you’ld have enough time to do this.

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I love it when someone plays a 5-part (maybe not 7-part) tune that is good and no-one knows. After a month or so, most of us can end up knowing it.

(Devil’s advocate and all that…)

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Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

I suppose you could learn the tunes.
(It’s just a thought.)

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I should have mentioned he plays them badly. Intonation…what intonation? Finesse? None. Rhythm? Non existent…or barely there.

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The best line from last night’s session when it was his turn was "Well, now, time for some reels!"

sh*te.

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Okay, then, are the tunes legit ITM tunes? If so, then learn them and play them properly. It sounds like the man is clearly lacking in etiquete. The "tune circle" thing may work somewhat, but if the session is not allowed to "breathe" then it will suffer in the long run and you may suffer from poorer and poorer attendance. Got to find a way to take the session back.

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don’t feed the monster. I’d suggest telling him he’s not ready to play in a session if he can’t keep the beat or play with some semblance of reasonable intonation. Maybe tell him that he may need more time playing on his own and with maybe one other musician to really start to "hear" the music. I’d reinforce other advice about those that don’t like it going to get a beer when he departs into his own world.

If he doesn’t take the direct, firm (& polite) message, then a firm, direct and stronger dose is necessary.

I hope it works out!

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You’re right Jimmy. That’s the million $ question. It stifles the flow for sure. It’s like putting a leash on a greyhound. Not meant to be. Contra naturum or whateve the Latin is.

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Find a new session.

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DR…him or us? lol.

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I never liked tune circles. Too formal, and I’d always think of a great tune at the wrong time, only to have forgotten it by the time my turn came around.

Guernsey Pete’s solution is the one most commonly employed around these parts too, though it doesn’t always work if the THM isn’t adequately tuned in to the vibes. Another, perhaps more effective strategy is to have a few words with the teacher, and let the teacher be the one to tell the THM at the next lesson.

While it’s obviously a good thing to encourage youth to enjoy playing, they often need a little reminding that it’s supposed to be a more social event as they get older. Kids often start out being (rightly) encouraged to perform alone for adults, and cheered-on by the crowd when they do. But then, as they get older, and especially as they get to be better musicians, they often don’t realize that they’re now being held to a different standard of social behavior.

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You could just relocate without letting him know…

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Georgi -

Well said (written). This THM’s teacher SHOULD teach him not just about music, but how to behave at sessions. If it is a young man then it may just be exhubirant youth at play and he needs to be taught, that’s all. If it’s an older gent and just lacking in social skills then there’s not much even the teach can tell him, and he’s got to go. I mean, if the THM is under the teacher’s "protection," isn’t the teach at least somewhat responsible? If the teacher is respected amongst the group then I would think he would want to help.

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I think you should feed him. Hogs can’t resist slop. Just bring a bucket full of rotten hog slop and set it down in front of him. He’ll spend the night with his face in the bucket o slop and won’t have time to derail the session.

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"I love it when someone plays a 5-part (maybe not 7-part) tune that is good and no-one knows. After a month or so, most of us can end up knowing it.

(Devil’s advocate and all that…)"

I agree grego - if I was still in Calgary I’d have nailed that bitch of a jig of yours by now…

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mtodd:
> It’s like putting a leash on a greyhound. Not meant to be.
I beg to differ.
First, my greyhound (a retired racer) is *far* to f-ing fast to be off-leash in an unfenced area. He also goes a bit loony when he goes zoomy - he’d be a danger to himself.
Second, when he is let off in a fenced area, then *if* he feels like a zoom, he does becomes the embodiment of wind for two or three minutes, but then flops down in the grass - the zoom is anaerobic, and in principle only short and occasional.
Finally, most of the time (apart from lying on the couch) he loves best a gentle amble with the rest of us.
They are often misunderstood, and in fact make great house animals.
How’s that for off-topic!

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IN pipe bands, we have 5 grades, gr5 being the entry level and you don’t get to play up a grade until you can prove yourself.

Could you not have certain times when entry level players can have a go and then move on to the next advance levels or just have slow sessions for rank beginners on a different day?

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God, we can be a tolerant lot. We had a bad-mannered fiddle player of the ilk in question whom we whittled down eventually by constantly, politely, enquiring with fake furrowed brow as to the state of his intonation. Followed that with exaggerated checking of tuning and puzzled glances around by everyone else, and the combined psychological effect eventually became overwhelming. I have other methods too, but whilst I’m a mild-mannered chap I’m not a small man, as Kerri will confirm. By the way, howya, Kerri? Are you still in the Democratic Republic of Kernow? 😀

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They do have that in places where people have organized them. But the one thing that would annoy me more than putting up with the occasional eejit at a session is if the whole Irish music scene were as regulated and regimented as pipe bands

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Hiya Steve - I’ve left the land beyond the Tamar Bridge behind me. I had a great time there - it’s awfully pretty, but apart from that session I went to of yours, a couple others and one measly gig I couldn’t find much music within spitting distance of home, sadly. Back in Canada now, on the West coast. Going to check out a session that is a 40 minute drive and a ferry ride away on Tuesday.

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If I could vote for a prev. answer it would be talking to his teacher. Sounds like his teacher seems to allow this maniacal business, so it might not go to far or work very well. His teacher may be blinded by prejudice.. it seems that could be the case if its been going on for a year unchecked.

Why not just threaten him or her? Or say "please don’t play more than a 3 tune set of tunes nobody else knows". I play tunes nobody knows but limit it to 2 or 3 tops per night and try to play them in a provovative way to entice my friends into learning them sometimes (more often) it works.. I dont think its a crime, he just needs to learn how to not be obnoxious. Best way to let some know they are being obnoxious is to tell them straight out, sounds rough, but it gets it over with, and everyone can move on.

Tolerance isn’t something ive seen much of, if its a public open session, you’ll def. lose it, if you let that kind of think go unchecke.d

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How about being sympathetic and telling him how you reckon it will be a great tune when he has it learnt properly. If that doesn’t work I know a guy who knows a guy who can fix these things very quietly.

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The more I think about it, the more I think that talking to the teacher first is your best bet.

After all, the teacher has his/her own reputation at stake here. Their student is coming in and ruining a session! How could that not reflect poorly on the teacher (especially if the student is playing poorly)?

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Maybe it’s a moot point… THMs often have internet access too 😛

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OOOOO Brilliant,
You can have the barkeep bringup Mustardia patched through the bigscreen, Then have the whole pub read each post to him.

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One of the things that perplexes me about these oft posted requests for advice about how to deal with such and such a "hypothetical" scenario is why the feck can’t you just be open about it and tell it like it is … face to face?

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When he starts his third set out of four, interrupt him and say, "hey, wait a minute, you’ve started enough sets for now, your always doing this, it’s bloody annoying. Let someone else have a go."

Problem solved

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You’ve beaten me to it, Michael.

This is the best solution, I’ve used it many times and it ALWAYS works. Just interrupt and tell him (calmly) that he has some homework to do, and his errors are such, such such and such. If he wants to play with you and not spoil the fun to everyone, he should better learn it. Make sure your friends agree with what you say, then he has no option for argument. If he takes it in and learns a lesson, you’ve won. If he feels like you’ve trampled his ego and refuses to play with you anymore, well… you’ve won.

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I know, Kerri. I get to play about once a fortnight these days and we’re chronically short of melody players. It comes to something when a harmonica player is welcomed everywhere with open arms! Makes me feel better though. Pity we were at opposite ends of the longest county in England…I mean beyond England…🙁

Michael, a couple of times over the years I’ve tackled bad-mannered interlopers head-on after discussing it with the others first. It worked but I didn’t feel good about it and the others were quite happy to let me carry the guilt…nothing is as straightforward as it seems. It’s a bit like discussing religion at the 19th hole. It isn’t what we do.

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Aye, it’s not easy to confront people mid-session. But sometimes it has to be done. We had to do it once in our session and poor ramblingpitchfork, who got stuck with the duty of talking to the guy question, didn’t enjoy it at all.

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Mmm, simple solution. Have a wee word with your mates and when you start a set just don’t stop. 10 or more tunes in a row between each gap is a polite way of reclaiming your session

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I think that’s too subtle for some people, bogman.

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As some above have said, perhaps there is the chance they read the Mustard Board. 🙂This sort of thing happens. I remember several instances during my five or six years here wherein someone wrote a post whinging about someone’s breaches (or perceived breaches) of session etiquette. Then someone eventually responded to the thread saying, "That was me, you a*rse." Oops. It’s a small community indeed.

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I remember asking this old bloke who was sat at the bar once playing his spoons (yeah, he’d brought them with him) to stop. Very politely of course … and quietly, I didn’t want to embarrass him.

He threw a hissy and started shouting stuff like how dare I ask him to stop, and who was I etc. And what right did I have and how dare I elect myself as the spokesperson etc. I said, quite calmly, that we’d all had a wee chat about it and he went mental. He said that he’d "played with all the best musicians in Ireland" and that he was a professor of traditional music in .. (I won’t say where) and he gave me his card and said he will be writing to the management to complain and promptly stormed out with his entourage.

We had the letter framed and stuck it on the wall. (Some t w a t nicked it though)

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I’m not saying … some one here might have been in his class.

Another one I remember him saying was, "I was under the impression that this bar had an international reputation for Irish music. It’s a shame that I was sadly mistaken."

Brilliant. He thought the quality of the music had lived up to its reputation fine, until "he" was asked to stop.


The whole problem with these situations is ego. And the longer you leave them, the worse they become. If you can try to see it from the other guy’s perspective it can be easier.

Maybe your THM is saying to himself, "Thank christ I’m here to keep things moving. If it wasn’t for me they’d never get any tunes played … they take such an age between sets." Age is relative, of course. A minute and a half to an eager youngster who has nothing to say and nae mates is an age. Half an hour goes by as quick as a flash when you’re relaxed and chatting.

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We had a THM - briefly. He played a middle sized piano-accordion.

This is how we dealt with it.

One night when he was there we all left our instruments in their cases, and sat around chatting. When any other sessioneers arrived we apprised them of the situation and they joined in our plan willingly. We ignored the THM. After an hour he asked "Aren’t you playing any tunes tonight?" and someone replied "No point, because you’ll just jump in and overwhelm everything."

He left in a medium-to-high dudgeon and never came back.

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It sounds like they already talked to the THM, and it didn’t have much of an effect (perhaps because the THM figured that being a student of the Teacher, he was entitled to not take it seriously)… Or maybe he didn’t appreciate what the talking-to really meant.

I’m not sure what "being protected by [the Teacher]" means, but if the kid feels that being the Teacher’s student entitles him to get away with things he wouldn’t otherwise get away with, then that might be all the more reason to have a chat with the teacher…

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Absolutely. Tell the teacher that his pupil is totally doing your heads in and would he kindly address the problem.

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There was another armhole getting on everyone elses nerves one night - not a tune hog on this occasion, just a gobsh*te. When someone told him to shut up he wanted to contest it.

Meself, Bill and El Grumpo were all sat on one bench, and Bill said "Us three on this bench weigh well over 50 stone - shall we come over there?"

He moderated his behaviour forthwith.

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It’s nothing to do with the teacher. I’f he’s old enough to sit in a pub he’s old enough to be responsible for him self. And the rest of you should take more responsibility for the situation

"Boo hoo … if you don’t let me have a turn on the swings I’m gonna tell teacher … nur nur nu nur nur."

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"He left in a medium-to-high dudgeon and never came back"

Or, as a dear friend of mine said one time, "His huff arrived, and he left in it."

It’s always amazing to me how much entitlement people can feel about a session they’ve never been to before. They walk in saying "God told me I could come" and lay themselves about the place like it’s their own private preserve - and then they get upset if someone else takes an interest or wants to get a word or a tune in.

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What’s the teacher gonna say anyway?

"Right you lot … I’m having no more of this. Sit down and be quiet. … … Right then, if you can’t sort this out among your selves You are going to just have to sit and take turns"
"B b b but sir .."
"Hold your wheesht … no more"
"b.."
"Stop it right now…. …. now then … THM, who had the last turn?
"It was mtodd sir"
"OK then, THM, of you go then. … And if I hear any more from any of you … then nobody gets to play… You hear?"

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All,
Further to this story. [And thanks for the replies…some very good insights/suggestions.] The person who gave THM the public dressing down was forwith castigated in a nasty email letter from The Teacher…who then accussed a few of us as being in cahoots and nasty, unfeeling, unwelcoming people and that if such behaviour continued The Teacher [who sometimes de facto led the session later in the eve since she is a senior player and a good one] would no longer attend.

Good riddance we thought amongst ourselves. Because to be frank, while we are not all senior players, we now know enough and can play decently enough that we can continue on our own jolly old way. It’s always good to have eminence gris among us, but not if they protect THGs who disrupt our pleasure inthe music and amongst ourselves, we’ve been thinking. Hence our solution to resort to the tune circle — while it’s a bit awkward, it does the trick since The Teacher cannot seem to be appealed to in any reasonable way. Now, The Teacher did speak to Tune Hog….she warned him. He’s improved somewhat but as soon as we move away from the circle idea [later in the night after some pints] he takes that as an invitation to resort back to his former behaviour. So we now just do the tune circle thing for the whole bloody evening.

Perhaps this might make a good ongoing Reality Series…shall I keep you all posted on the progress or lack thereof? ha.

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Oh no … I hate reality telly. Could we not please have a docudrama instead? Could Helen Mirren play the teacher? And Hugh Grant could play THG (you have to sympathy him or the drama won’t work.

mtodd? Who would you like to play you?

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For YEARS I have thought that someone should make a "mockumentary" (i.e. Best in Show or This is Spinal Tap) about ITM sessions.

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Mtodd,

I hate session politics. It sounds as if this session is rife with them. I also find tune circles stifling. Ever considered starting a new session with your mates?

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most sessions go to 10, but on a good day ours goes to 2

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What’s the name of that one in Dmin again?

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a.m. that is. 🙂

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Wow, reminds me of a story years ago where a teacher brought all her students to a session for a recital.
Needless to say this went on for a spell until the regulars has a mutiny and cast her over board.

Why is it so hard to just simply state the rules of the session so that anybody coming in understands what is expected of them?

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Llig

How about Jeremy Irons? [he’s had those fiddle lessons after all. ha]…failing that I’d like to be portrayed by Nicholas Cage a la Leaving Las Vegas…..there’s a nice mix of sensitivity mixed with the straight ahead perception of the utter hopelessness of it all….and he snuffs it in drink which would fit the pub- based story line….would that work for you?

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Sometimes I think that is a good idea. There is a fiddler around here who has a t-shirt which announces the "Old Git Session Rules: Nae modern tunes, nae syncopation, speed limit 40mph." Hilarious. Everyone should have one.

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Nicholas Cage might well be quite good, but I’m just not sure about him against Hugh Grant. Maybe that’s the way you see it, but it wouldn’t be a balanced drama. I prefer your choice of Jeremy Irons.

What about the big scene where Helen Mirren dresses down the guy who first stood up to THM? It’s only a small part, but an important one. What about Timothy Spall?

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"Why is it so hard to just simply state the rules of the session so that anybody coming in understands what is expected of them?"

Why is it so hard to state the rules of a party? How about a conversation? A date?

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Subtle social cues.

And the rules are vague and tacit and depend on where and who you are and who you are with.

But then if everyone was on the same page with the rules of things like "a date," we wouldn’t have half the relationship f*ck-ups and soap operas that we do. And if everyone was on the same page with the rules of "a session," then there would be less session drama in the world and far fewer long threads on this website about people’s session drama.

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Look, I didn’t even follow the rules of "grammar." I have an incomplete sentence and started a paragraph with "and" and another one with "but." Bad!

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The problem is nothing to do with rules, rules are made to hide behind. It’s to do with spineless dithering. Having to hope that things will improve because people haven’t the honesty to merely stand up make the improvements themselves.

You all need the dressing down from Helen Mirren.

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I’d argue that rules exist for social control. 🙂

I don’t completely disagree with you, though. Given the amount of spineless ditherers in the world, it’s amazing how anything ever gets done.

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There’s a difference between a society’s construct of what constitutes criminal behavior and a society’s construct of what’s termed merely bad manners.

Manners, what ever they are, are not there for social control. If anything, they are there for the preservation of class, that’s all. But mostly they are there out of habit.

Playground fracas are different again. They are nothing but children who can’t/won’t grow up … who cannot reason.

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I’m increasingly of the opinion that this was answered in the first line of the first response: "have you tried just outright violence".

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"Manners, what ever they are, are not there for social control. If anything, they are there for the preservation of class, that’s all. But mostly they are there out of habit."

I thnk they could be more than that. I see manners, functionally, as a means of formalizing stereotyped interactions to allow a certain amount of predictability, so we don’t have to decide each time whether to dodge to the left or to the right.

And this is the difference between manners and politeness.

Manners is stereotyped behavior. Politeness is an ability to show a respect for another person’s intentionality - the fact that they, too, have thoughts, beliefs, desires, and so forth.
If this distinction is allowable, I think the problem with the tune hog is not a lack of manners, but a lack of politeness.
(recognizing that the distinction is a fine one, and one that would probably benefit from some friendly fire)

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Jon

I think you mean etiquette.

Etiquette is about the "right" way to behave - and is exclusive.

Manners ( = politeness) is/are about being considerate to/of other peoples needs/wishes.

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So for example:

Etiquette is knowing which knife and fork to use when presented with 3 of each at a posh dinner.

Manners is not laughing at the person opposite who has never been taught, but kindly showing them.

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llig -

Funny you should mention the playground. I’ve used that analogy for musicians in general many times, and ITM players are no exception. I will expand your point slightly because I know musicians to be a childlike lot in general. Sorry folks, but it’s true, may as well fess up. Like children on the playgound, skinned knees and bruised faces are going to happen, but, like children on the playground, most of us pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and get back to playing. Not a bad thing overall.

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Sorry - forgot to put in the punchline:

Etiquette is about being better than others, manners is about caring for others.

Etiquette is exclusive - manners are inclusive.

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I’m not fussy about the terms, as long as the distinction is maintained. We’ve got politeness, manners, etiquette, and we might as well add in courtesy as well. In my idiolect, politeness and courtesy are similar, meaning roughly the "behavior respect for others’ feelings, etc" sense, and manners lumps in with etiquette under the "respecting the forms of social interaction" sense. I don’t insist on those as the correct terms, however.
It’s interesting to note, though, that respect for forms can be a form of respect for the person. If you are talking to someone who places great importance on forms, it’s a sign of respect to them to observe those forms as best you can. And it’s a sign of respect on their part to forgive your failures, should any occur.
As an example of this, I take the observation of rules of spelling and grammar as a sign of respect for one’s interlocutor: by paying attention to those details, you show that you’re taking some care with what you say, and thereby showing respect for that person. On the other hand, calling attention to someone else’s failures is a sign of disrespect, in that you’re showing that you’re paying more attention to the forms they use than what they say.
Complicated, but most people seem to manage it - hence our irritation with folks like the tune hogs and the incessant spooners.

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I swear, if I read Helen Mirren and ‘dressed’ one more time in this thread I think I’m going to need a cold shower.

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What a great thread this is, as I’m a participant at this same session. The replies have been interesting but it seems to me that many of you have been lucky to not encounter anyone as obnoxious as this particular TMH. It’s a wonder we haven’t had a collective stroke as our blood pressure rose after dealing with this clod. He is oblivous to politeness and verbal abuse. Perhaps a sledge hammer might work. But it makes me realize the value of a paid session leader, something we don’t have at this session but would be a good idea. I would hope that a good leader would be able to deal with this kind of problem and in fact this jerk was got rid of at another session in town and I mentally bless the session leader all of the time. As some of you have said, I guess we have been too wishy washy in our dealings with THM and need to stand up to him. Or maybe just go to the bar and drink more.

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I think etiquette can also be a set of proceedures to help people handle potentially awkward situations. Such as the meeting of people and groups who may have different manners and customs. Possibly what theTHM is breaching.

There can be a difference between "is that chair taken ? " and "is it OK to sit here ?"

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Quite apart from sitting down without asking.

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boxielady -

"Perhaps a sledge hammer might work."

A tenor banjo works well. 🙂

It’s clearly time to take the session back. I hope you find a way. I’m a big fan of individual accountability and action, but sometimes a bit of collective action is called for.

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David - I agree entirely. Perhaps we could say that the formal procedures of interaction are a rigid system with the advantage of being statable, while the more informal system - "politeness" in my language, "manners" in shoawddydadito’s - is more flexible, but doesn’t reduce to a set of simple and statable rules. That’s why we respect skill in the informal system above skill in the formal system - the latter is harder to do well, and also seems more honest and personal. But if someone plays by the rules of etiquette, you have to at least give them credit for caring enough to try, and that’s worth something to me.

(I like your example of the chair, by the way - it took me a minute, but it’s exactly right)

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"Etiquette is exclusive - manners are inclusive."

Showy, nicely put…

So, really, while there have been many discussions about session *etiquette* what we’re really/more accurately talking aboout is manners — session manners… ?

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Too wishy washy? Hear hear boxielady. Take one part Llig, one part Helen Mirren, one part surly swampy beach fiddler, mix mtodd a big ol’ glass of cajones and have him go to town.

Seriously though, yes. An official or even unofficial group consensus ‘leader’ to lay down the law is, unfortunately, necessary from time to time. Among reasoned adults it’s not an Alpha or a leader, it’s just the guy we make go and do all the dirty work who can remember how most of the tunes start.

Publican liaison, sergeant at arms, group memory, musician (cat?) herder, etc.

Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

Yes, manners. Should be common sense…then again, we’re talking about musicians here. 😛

Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

Once a polite/well mannered person asked "Is anyone sitting here?" gesturing to the empty chair near us. After looking underneath it, we said "No". They weren’t amused at all. Obviously they didn’t share our sense of humour, but I did feel bad as they were only being polite.

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"Yes, manners. Should be common sense…then again, we’re talking about musicians here"

AYe, those high strung individuals that play tight stringed instruments! 😉

The blame here lies with the people who complain but don’t have the balls to address the matter, Again, what is the problem with approaching the individual and communication the expectations of the group?

Was everyone of you just born a sessioneer to just jump in and blend with the group?

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I’m suddenly feeling empowered. TMH watch out, here I come!!

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As a somewhat reformed tune hog myself, I recognise the professional attributes thereof and also understand some of the subgenuses at play in the species.

I have patience for those whose whose ‘hog-edness’ is based on an unquenchable thirst for the tunes, and who care, even a little, for the context and colour of the music.

My patience is thoroughly limited for those who just like to hear themselves play.

My patience can’t sort itself out too easily though with the bastard offspring of these two types.

It’s hard to judge which trait is the dominant, and so I try and nudge the former trait along and ignore the latter trait in hopes it one day dimishes or plain goes away.

People just aren’t the easiest of playing companions. Somedays that is what makes the sessions worthwhile.

Tune circles make me not look forward to playing in my own nursing home.

If a younger Juniour Crehan or Bobby Casey showed up at the session in question, their intonation would be greeted with just as much dismay as evidenced elsewhere in this discussion. It’s just not the intonation many people are comfortable with. It’s not tidy. It hurts sometimes.

It might though grow into something to enjoy with some work on all our part. Whacks with the axe (or banjo) never work all that well.

Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

That whack with the banjo will gratify for only an instant. The authorities won’t look at your dead TMH and see a fallen tyrant; only a victim of a pathetic, and especially gruesome murder. The jury, very likely, won’t find in your favor. Then you will need to make a darned good speech from the dock.

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But Thom, it won’t go away in this case. As I think you may well know. He’s been read the riot act at several sessions around town including The Black Swan and others…even .

There’s simply no excuse — anymore, I mean enough’s enough — for hijacking a session even if it’s out of supposed unquenchable/hyper enthusiastic thirst for the music. I just don’t buy it. No one’s perfect but people have cut him a lot of slack and he hasn’t got the message.

But he will.

Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

This will, however, make your movie more marketable. What do you think of giving the role of TMH to Hellen Mirren?

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AQ…you slay me. ;)

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Aw, gee, shucks. Anyway, session casiques are everywhere, man. When challenged about their actions, most would give you that "Burning love for the music" defense. It’s a bad idea to contemplate revolution/pathetic homicide on the internet.

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oh no - not Helen Mirren - the last thing the world’s TMHs need is a martyr. How about someone we want to see whacked with a banjo?

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We’re talking boxoffice draw here, airport. Go with the Mirren portrayal.

Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

she could play mtodd or boxielady instead?

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I’m with the - let him know directly camp. I’ve been leading a session for 5 years now. I learned you need someone to take the flack. But you will burn your reputation for **directing** people no matter how light handed and courteous your attempts. The good thing is you will save your session. We had a guy who was a great "violinist". But he would show up a 1/2 hour early every week, pull out his violin and start playing to the diners (1/2 the place is dining, other 1/2 bar). That’s not all, the tunes were all Scottish, New England Waltzes, Bluegrass, Country. Almost nothing ITM. And worse, the house music was on throughout as they don’t turn it down til the session is ready to go. So I kindly told him it was not cool. He never came back, thinks I’m a jerk. It goes with the territory. We have very few rules, in fact our only limits are 8 seats, which we frequently stretch if we need, and play ITM. But somehow several people have the impression that there are dozens of rules. Total BS from thin skinned people.
I would take the hit and shut him down, politely. Let him be the arse.

Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

She could bring nuance, dimension, and depth to the part. Most any other actor would create a two-dimensional villain. We have to FEEL something when we see that banjo come down.

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I know - relief!

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If we’re all going to be judged as accessories before the fact in this case, then I for one, vote for a great actress to play the part of the villain in the subsequent movie. It’s got to be Hellen Mirren, and there’s an ent to it.

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"I’m suddenly feeling empowered. TMH watch out, here I come"

Someone is going to have to play Boxielady. I’m picturing Renée Zellweger - does that work for you guys?

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Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

END to it. Zellwegger could be musical; but could she be convincingly Canadian? Are there no fine Canadian actresses capable of the role?

Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

fine with me - Mirren and Zellweger, and Colin Firth? This will wholly change the punters’ expectations you realize?

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Well, at least with Colin Firth, you’ve got someone who can act. But won’t he rather overshadow the other two?

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I don’t remember sessioners having such prepossessing good looks. Some suspention of disbelief will be needed. It’s the movies.

Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

SUSPENSION

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Manners/courtesy may be what we expect as an ongoing condition. Etiquette/protocol is how we do things. Anyone lacking the former may have difficulty following the latter, but hopefully could learn with instruction.
If they can’t, someone needs to deal with them forthwith. From a sporadic history of teaching elementary school, training dogs, and the like, I know how difficult it becomes if not addressed immediately.

Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

good point - Keanu Reeves?

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I like both choices but she has to play the accordion.

Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

As llig says, no evasive action is necessary. To paraphrase Lord Nelson, no man does wrong who lays his ship alongside that of the enemy and engages them with the full force of a broadside!!!

Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

So, they should all be in on it — as a group then? Not just mtodd? At a signal, six, or seven banjos swing in one great arc? Am I missing something here?

Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

No, you don’t want swing. You want ragtime, that’ll teach him. Six or seven banjos playing Scott Joplin, what a sound that would be.

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Sounds like a sticky situation but how about Russell Crowe to play mtodd (he learnt the violin for Master and Commander) and I think Zac Effron for the THM, and as for boxielady surely that must be Hilary Stoss.

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ha ha that should reakd Stoss

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Oh Dear I seem to have fallen foul of some kind of filter, but I think you know who I mean

Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

If there were a boastful person from that town in Humberside, would he be called - on this board - The Stoss of Seejithorpe ?
Name for a tune, perhaps ? Just a thought.

Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

How bout everyone suddenly showed up with bodhrans and djembes and asked THM if they could JAM with him. Then get 8 banjo players to capo 1 fret away from each other and join in on his tunes even if nobody knows them. Proceed to have a jam bash session. I’m thinking his head will explode just like Brittney Spears did in that Austin Powers movie. Messy but effective.

Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

I think six or seven banjos all playing a ragtime piece by Scott Joplin in unison would be excessive and I like playing ragtime on the piano.
On the other hand, though, I do like Boatpiper’s most recent suggestion but that would require a lot of planning and careful, close cooperation and coordination.
"Prepossessing good looks" What prepossessing good looks Atahualpa Quigley? I certainly don’t have this sterling quality—just take at a look at the pictures of me on the local Celtic Music Society’s web site. As for hitting this tune hog with a banjo, violence won’t solve anything in this situation and might even make things worse—as well as destroying a perfectly good banjo.
I agree with the people who suggested confronting the tune hog and his teacher directly and politely. If both of them get mad and leave, it sounds to me as if that would improve this session.

Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

Who said anything about unison? I’m talking syncopation and harmony - it’s ragtime, baby, you can’t play it square.

Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

I know the THM. I’ve been in classes with him, and we’ve had similar problems. He’s missing some basic social skills.

FWIW I was at at the session on Wednesday and enjoyed the tune circle approach, but I also came in with the attitude that I was going to do more listening than playing, because I don’t know the tunes that are common to that session.

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Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

get everyone to stare intently at his fingers, waiting for the first mistake - he is bound to get paranoid.

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Hmmm…..but who will direct it? Need something gritty. Tarantino? Scorsese? or we could even use a Canadian like Cronenburg…he did "Crash" after all…

Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

geoff…I like that! Kind of like a malevolent karma?

Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

Gritty is good. Go with a BW Film Noir treatment. It’s the only style worthy of the shadowy netherworld that is Trad.

Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

AQ…wait, I’ve got a call in to the Cohen Bros….Wim Wenders is also interested but I may have to turn him down. We’re going to set the session in a south west Texas bar or laundromat…or maybe both …I’m seeing The Last Picture Show except with Irish music and the people doing laundry in the background….

Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

mtodd wrote ‘Perhaps this might make a good ongoing Reality Series.’

Well, whether or not this does, there’s already a reality Irish TV production in the works featuring several well-known young musicians and an ex-Emmet Spiceland member at the controls. I can’t reveal more without risking the use of my remaining leg (see the recent yhaalhouse thread for details).

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Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

Now I’m getting a picture, or is it a filum as the say in Norn Iron ?
Anyway, it’s Keanu Reeves as THM, Helen Mirren as the teacher, and Colin Firth as mtodd; obviously Mirren and Firth are ex-lovers, she preferring a younger man, but, having been slighted, has moved on to Reeves, who she has trained up, like Miss Faversham, to take revenge on the session in her own devious way.
Directed by Tarantino ( violence and swearing ), Scorsese (Violence, swearing, anguish and gore ), or Cronenberg ( anguish, violence, and gore ), and set in a laundrette with a gay manager somewhere in Sarff Lunnon……..

Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

Please leave Al Gore out of this, although I have it on good authority that he *did* invent traditional Irish music.

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But we need Al Gore. Somebody has to keep the phosphates out of the washing machines. Phosphates taint the river water and wind up in the ocean. Al’s just the guy for the job. The film needs a sub plot. THM represents the big laundry soap industry, and Al needs to stop him. Phosphates make for whiter whites and deeper colors. They’re disrupting the session so they can try to kill Al.

Re: Evasive action & the tune hog maniac

btw….the person named "tune hog maniac" bears no resemblance to any person living or dead in Toronto