A recent thread basically said that there is no point in playing a mandolin as no one can hear it. That started me thinking (a rare occurrence these days) about why people play in sessions.
No doubt we all know those who strive for the loudest concertina, fiddle,banjo,etc. and who seem quite content to ignore any subtleties in the music.
Again, in big sessions with multiple guitars and massed ranks of fiddles and accordions there is a wall of noise with which to contend .
How then do people cope with this? It seems to me you can either
1 Join the decibel race and try and drown out the "opposition"
2 Stay at home or only attend small intimate sessions
3 Adopt one of the methods of ensuring that you can hear yourself (if I can’t hear myself, my playing gets even worse than when I can) and just enjoy yourself, assuming that the session is a good one.
Is it seen that if you can’t be heard, there is no point in playing? It could be said that if there is more than 2 or 3 fiddles, at least one of them will be "lost" in the mix.