Session Crashers

Session Crashers

Hi folks,

This may seem a familiar question, but what can you do about session crashers? At the session I’m referring to, three of them arrive before everyone else every week and start playing whatever suits them, whenever. They each probably buy 3 or 4 pints at the bar in a night and one of them is a pretty handy mouth organ player but the other two are 5 string banjo and fiddle players who are not up to standard and start playing one of the same old sets that they play every week as soon as there’s even a 2 second break in the music.

So it’s difficult to take this away from them, they obviously look forward to it all week if they’re all in before 9 and the fiddler had been coming to the session for a long time without his fiddle, they just don’t get any better, don’t make any effort to socially interact with people, and they just totally take over the session at times. At one point, from around 15 musicians last night, the entire session corner had been abandoned with the exception of these 3 gents.

A fourth gent has now taken to playing his guitar too, no doubt inspired by their example, and singing lightly to himself during other people’s sets, he always explains he’s just getting the song ready, but again, he does it all night.

Some of the other musicians at this session are top standard, two are renowned teachers for their instruments and we also have a very good rapport amongst each other from having played together for the past 2 years. I suppose some of us might all play a lot of the same tunes every week too - I usually try to learn a few more new ones each week but I’m also not as good.


Judging by how many threads there are on here, I’m assuming most folks would agree that somebody needs to say something, but what!? "Excuse me lads, could you please leave?", "We don’t like playing the sort of tunes you are playing", "You are not welcome to play music with us anymore", "You are being rude by starting to play without even so much as waiting to see if somebody else wanted to play next", "You always play the same tunes every week and we’ve had enough, we’d all prefer if you didn’t play with us"

I’m struggling with such ideas. I also suggested to the barman he may consider the situation if it’s bad next week, a bar never likes anyone to mess with their regulars after all. Maybe it’s better to leave it to the owner? On the other hand, some of the excellent musicians we’ve been attracting who are not paid to play in this session may never come back and most regular Joe’s with half an ear would know when the tunes are good or when one of these crashers is doing their thing.

Thoughts / HELP!!!! ?

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Let them know their offense. And don’t do it by yourself. Get a small group(so you know that you’re not the only one with this opinion) and go to them and gently let them know that they are being offensive. If they’re humble fellows, they’ll take it as you all trying to help and keep the session running smoothly. If they’re arrogants, likely they’ll be offended and wanna leave. I’m not a Session Etiquitte(butchered*) expert, but this seems to me like the logical way to go about it. The fact that you’ll be with a large group, you should get your way either way. If there’s 15(just throwing a random number out there) of yall and only 3 of them… well… they’ll be afraid to come crash again.

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Why don’t you other 15 musicians start a new session somewhere else,, and tell them they can have this one your talking about
: )
jim,,,

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If there’s 15 of you, plus another 3 or 4 of them, it’s time you split it up anyway. 15 is too many, let alone 20.

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Turn up even earlier one week and rope more friends in. Fill the area up so there is no space for them.

Alternatively you could all just go up to them really friendlily to them each week and introduce yourself to them again. Keep doing it every week and they might get frustrated that you never seem to remember who they are and leave. 🙂

Alternatively if the rest of you are in one mind on it then you could just choose not to join in on any sets they start.

It can be difficult, particularly if they have been going there for a while.

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Some of the finest musicians I know are too polite for their own good. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and tell them. It’s a bit like changing babies nappies, there’s no "nice" way of doing it!

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Luckily, next door to B B King’s Wig Museum is Mr Choudhry’s Halal Deep Space Nine which has an Open Mic Nite on Tues (same day as one of the Wig Museum sessions).
This attracts all the BLooZ botherers, ‘folk singers’, etiquette ignorami, sad singer songwriters, twerps and other potential session wreckers (apart from me of course).

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I agree with Jim Troy. There is no such thing as being "too polite." Being kind is more important than having a session go your way. A session is many different things to different people. If the present session doesn’t suit, go elsewhere, as Jim suggested, or start another session more to your liking The fact that you started a session doesn’t mean that you own it.
It’s kind of like another age-old question: "What should I do? I’m dying to get some but none of the girls I know will put out. " Answer: Get a different kind of girlfriend. Probably a better idea than trying to change the ones you know.

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You mention that some of the other regulars are renound players and teachers . What do they think ?
Who organises the session ?

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Get a bodrhan and keep "beat" for them everytime they play ;) If they can tolerate that after a couple sessions then it may be hopeless

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Someone needs to be honest and firm, and let them know that they are mucking things up for the rest. No problem in giving a musician of modest abilities a set or a song, but when they take over the whole night, they need to be admonished. Be polite, but don’t back down.

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From what you say I think it is time to start another session maybe on the same night different bar. You’ll know if you are in the minority if no one follows you. Good luck
Ged

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Assuming that you are on reasonably good terms with the landlord, ask him what he thinks about changing the session to a different day, because you are all seriously considering going elsewhere, and explain to him the situation as you’ve described it here. He should sort things out, either by having a quiet word, changing the start time / day, or feeling a couple of collars. If he’s not interested, I don’t think I would give him the benefit of my custom anyway. I realise that not everyone can change to a different venue or time; but that’s life, I’m afraid.

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Here’s an idea Paudy, why not get the session host, or if you don’t have one, then perhaps the longest standing member of the session, to announce that, as the session is so large now, to be fair, you are going to start a round robin system i.e. the job of starting the next set of tunes moves around the session.

If these guys really don’t know many tunes, they’ll either have to start learning lots of new ones to keep up, or they”ll be spending a lot of down time, just sitting on their hands.

Once they’ve either caught up or moved on, you can then resort to the more natural ebb & flow.

Cheers
Dick

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Just print this page and leave copies on all the tables.

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At this point, nothing you do will make you seem nice to them - you let it go too long for that - so pick something and do it. Just about any of the suggestions made so far might work.

I’d suggest accidentally macing the bunch of them, but that might discommode the other inhabitants of the bar.

Whatever you do, it’ll work in the short term, and then you’ll have a nice session, and then this problem will come up again, either with new players or the same old ones. What do you intend to do then?

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Seems to me that if they take the trouble to arrive first and you can’t be bothered, it’s their show and you’re the crashers.

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>>"A fourth gent has now taken to playing his guitar too, no doubt inspired by their example, and singing lightly to himself during other people’s sets, he always explains he’s just getting the song ready, but again, he does it all night. "

That one’s easy - when he says he’s ‘just preparing a song’ you tell him he should have done that before he left the bloody house, not while other people are playing. When someone is that ignorant and disrespectful you should have no qualms about being blunt with them.

Poor and boring players are more difficult, a quiet, private word in the ear ought to work - ‘Your starting an awful lot of sets, it might be polite to give other people a chance now and again’. But if that fails, since you say they are getting there before everyone else, get the rest of the session to set up at the other end of the bar. If they don’t take the hint at that, at least you’ll be far enough away that you can play over them.

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Dick, that seems a kind alternative, somewhere between "bugger off" and ignoring the problem. Kind friendly contact is sure better than mean frustration: you may not want their behavior, but if you can save them a little face while you have your way about things, that’s a good outcome.

I think you’re lucky to live where there are enough people that you can pick and choose. And good enough to be there.

It is hard that you’ve given them time to settle in or improve, and they don’t seem to want to do any of that.

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I think that fifteen to twenty people is too many and too large for a session. Also, I think moving the session to a different night and/or a different place are good ideas.

Laurence

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If you can’t drive a session without crashing it, then you shouldn’t be allowed to lead it.

Laurence

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"you’ve given them time to settle in or improve"

It seems like they were there first and the OP has no authority whatever to "give them time" or suggest anything. If he can’t get them interested in his tunes and his way of playing them, it’s because he’s very poor communicator.

There is a place for sessions involving not-very-good players with limited repertoire, and trying to stop them enjoying themselves is just thuggery.

Find somewhere else.

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Maybe I misunderstood, I thought the session had been on-going, but these crashers had taken to arriving early on the night of the session. Does that make it theirs, if it was already an established thing? Hard to say. But I take your point, Jack Campin.

Hard to stay, hard to move on: sounds like life.

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You and a buddy should sit right down next to them a kick off a few of your own sets. Ask them "hey, do you know such-and-such tune?" and then start it before they can answer. Muscle right through the distrations. Take control of your session’s destiny and direction! Anybody can do it - obviously these clueless twits have - why can’t you? Are you concerned what people might say? F - that. You’re obviously in a fight or flight situation. Will you let the ignorant win again?

Do something or sit and suffer in silence. Life is too short.

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A group can limp along for years playing passive-aggressive games. Most people don’t enjoy that.

The other option is to actually communicate. When our local session has gone through similar phases, we’ve settled things (for the most part amicably) by all getting together to just talk. It’s the same every time: What are everyone’s expectations for the session? Is there a common aim for how we want the session to work? What issues are preventing us from making that happen?

Yes, it’s like pulling proverbial teeth to get some folks to fess up that they’re frustrated because Barry plays too loud, or Francis starts every set, or Dumbledore has this annoying habit of popping in and out all night, disrupting the flow. But once you get people talking and airing the problems, it’s a lot easier to address them. And you’ll find out if there is in fact general or specific consensus on what the participants want the session to be, and what the problems are.

Most times, once folks understand the collective goal, they’ll work to fit in. But some people prefer to "take their ball and go home." That’s okay. It almost always results in a better session for everyone else.

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I thought they held learners session in Monkstown. Can’t you point them towards them? You can pretend then that you are trying to be helpful.

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All great suggestions thanks guys. In terms of the dyanmic of the other musicians and the bar, I think the only option is for us to to tell them in a group that we do not appreciate their contribution and we feel that they need to find a more suitable session elsewhere. In reality, we don’t get such an overwhelming deal from the bar that we have to stay but the problem really is that among these great players are only two good organisers, I’m one of them, and I’m probably not even a good player but I’m streets ahead of these guys.

I loved the suggestion about printing out this page, think I’ll bring it as backup next week if I’m having difficulty convincing the others.

It being a 9 pm til close session, a lot of players turn up closer to 10, I doubt they’ll ever start turning up at 830 before any of these bozos get here

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If they’re keen to get there early when the "better" players can’t be arsed being there at all, why not just arrange that they get an early time slot to do their thing?

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Well Jack I tried that last night. I played with them for an hour before the paid players arrived. They just seemed to be encouraged by this if anything

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and Jack re: your earlier post, I don’t know where you normally play, but you can;t get a good weekday night session going before 9 / 930 no matter how many are there. I turned up before them 2 weeks running, it doesn’t help, while I was chatting to the regulars in the bar waiting for others to show up they came in the door and pushed my case over to sit down in the spot they sit every week

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It’s interesting how much music is tied to the ego… We spend countless hours of time working on it, and it’s really difficult to hear that people don’t like your playing. But there are times when hurting someone’s feelings is better for everybody involved, and often times, it is a wakeup call for the offending person.

My suggestion would be to just pull them aside, after the session, or privately, somehow, where it’s not making a spectacle of them, and making it worse. If they stick it out til the end, then just have a little chat with them afterwards, and be honest, but try to do it in a supportive way. If they reject the idea that they’re that much of a disruption, then encourage them to bring it up to the group the next time, and hopefully, the group will not back down when being directly confronted about it.

It really is possible to help people like that get better, and understand their place in the situation. More times than not, they’ll be completely horrified to learn that people think that way about them.

But if you’re just putting up with their behavior, to them, that’s the same as endorsing it.

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Wait…the paid players aren’t taking care of this?! That should be part of their job. Let ‘em earn their keep.

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I’d be leery of telling anyone that they’re a disruption unless I knew the majority of participants felt that way. In fact, Id be leery unless I had the group’s agreement and support about what to say and who should say it.

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Will, it’s complicated, not just out of the session setup manual.

I started the session, I’ve kinda always made the moves for the session in terms of deciding to ask the bar for pay rather than pints, showing up at 9 to make sure the bar know there’ll be a session etc., problem is I’m off to america and am not playing my strongest instrument so I felt I’d step down from the pay. I still hold very strong personal ties to this session and it breaks my heart having these guys ruin what we’ve spent 2 years building up to.

Reverend, brilliant advice, thanks so much. I could even use that approach to just personally tell them that I don’t appreciate their playing and feel they aren’t good enough to take over the session the way they do. I agree that people can improve, I just feel they aren’t currently interested in trying

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Well you might feel it’s you ‘baby’, Paudy but if you’re off to the States and you’ll have little or no future involvement, why bother with the hassle? And if there are other people being paid to turn up & play, well let them sort out it for themselves.

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i really really hate session elitism. The idea that the session belongs to highly polished and semi professional players at the expense of all others is selfish at best and detrimental to the tradition at worst… The young and the inexperienced deserve their place in a session. After all they had the guts to show up and take out their instrument. Dick - great idea - and i think i benefited from this idea first hand, you yourself practise what you preach by allowing me one time to start tunes in the round robin approach. As a v nervy player i found it great just to get the chance.

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just landed home totally peed off having expereinced the same,i reckon to put a name to the group is what i might suggest and call it a band instead of a sess,its a really hard one though as no one wants to hurt anyones feelings.

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ask them would you like to play 1!! set. Then ask somebody else….

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Listen, my main session gets accused of being "elitist" all the time, compared to some other sessions in the area. We’re more than welcoming to newcomers and less experienced players, especially if they have the same sensibilities about the music that we have, and happen to use common sense and common courtesy when it comes to how they deal with inserting themselves into the fray.

Where people tend to think that we’re being snobbish is when they come to our session, and we don’t play at their speed or play only their tunes all night. We’re happy to encourage people to start sets, and we’re happy to engage them in conversation and find out more about them. But really, it’s common sense that you’re not going to jump into a group of experienced players, and take over the whole night if you’re a less experienced player.

So in the case of socially and musically clueless people, sometimes elitism has its place! It’s not a "I’m better than you" kind of thing! It’s a "you’re being a jerk, stop it" kind of thing.

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No elitism: I’ve been a mainstay in developing beginners into regular session players—here in Montana, there’s no other source of Irish traditional musicians. I wouldn’t have a local session unless I busted my butt to welcome people into the circle. I run a tune learning session open to anyone, and we routinely invite beginners and newcomers to the music to sit in at our regular session.

But you don’t have to put up with clueless session-wrecking behavior, especially after trying once or twice to deal with it in a polite, helpful manner. Also, you won’t sustain a fun, healthy session scene by pandering to the lowest common denominator. Pub owners will give you the boot if the music sucks, and the people who *can* play the music will drift away if out-of-tune, out-of-time bungling is the norm.

Nurture the players who care enough to improve.

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I don’t know that I’ve got any good advice for this situation - it might be that it’s over for this session, or at least it might be that the players who care might have to be ready to go somewhere else.

However, I think this can be avoided in the future, and I think that’s the best course of action. And I think it actually does require "pandering to the lowest common denominator" to some degree. Here’s what I’m thinking:

One thing I’ve noticed about the really good sessions I’ve been to is that newcomers are always welcomed, and they’re always asked to sit down and they’re always asked to play a tune. This immediately sets a standard: you’re welcome, we’re happy to have you here, and we’d like to have you start some sets.
This makes it a lot easier for someone to put you off a tune - "Wait a minute, I think so-and-so’s got a tune", coming from someone who’s just made room for you to play, is likely to get you to stop. Or simply "hey, so-and-so, have you got a tune for us?", before the itchy-fingered newbies can dive into their set.

This also sets up an expectation - if you’ve just been invited to play a tune, it’s easy to assume that you should wait to be invited before you play another. It allows the newcomer to regulate their behavior. After a time, they’ll feel more comfortable in the place, and they’ll feel up to getting in with a tune unasked, but by and large this seems to get people to behave reasonably without any need to corrective action.

What this takes is a good "leader" - they’re not a leader at all, but I don’t know what the right term is. "Host", perhaps. Someone who’s a good player and likes people, both being important skills. Someone who can set a pace for the session - slowing things down so there isn’t the "pouncing" on a silence, and someone who likes talking so there isn’t a silence to pounce into. Someone who’s willing to make sure that everyone gets heard, so that nobody feels like they have to leap on a split nanosecond of dead air.

I don’t know if there’s some magic here, but this is how the best sessions I’ve been in work. Everyone’s welcome, and somehow the expectation of civility is conveyed to everyone along with the cheerful greeting.

Without that, your other option is a closed circle. A finite set of people who play together and give the cold shoulder to any newcomer - "sorry, that chair’s taken." "By who?" "By Jimmy" "Well, he doesn’t seem to be here" "Well, he’ll be here soon, and the chair’s taken". That might or might not be a "real session" by your lights, I don’t care, but it’s a thing that happens and people who play in that sort of thing do play good music and have fun doing it, so that’s all to the good. It’s just a shame that people will then see that as a nut to crack. Generally, that sort of thing is the session that players in town aspire to play in, which is a ridiculous aspiration. (sort of like aspiring to get invited to dinner with a bunch of people you don’t know - the food might be good, but what would you be doing there?)

The only other possibility that I’ve seen, and I’ve only seen it once, is the "secret session". This was a session, in an unnamed bar in an unnamed city on some night of the week which I will not name (though it ended in a "y", that’s all the clue you get). I happened in to this bar by accident one night and saw five or six players, some of whom I knew, playing some great music and having a ball doing it.
Later it was explained to me that I would be welcome to come back with an instrument some time, but please would I keep it quiet, since they really liked the small session and it was a small bar and they didn’t want to get everyone in town coming in. As far as I know, they managed to keep the secret, but that might be a rare thing. As I say, I’ve only seen it once.

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Paid session……. a different situation. All our sessions, you just turn up, buy your beer and play (or not).
If it’s paid, and whoever is paying is happy, leave well alone. If the payer is not happy, s/he should let you know pretty quickly if things are not up to scratch.

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There is always a place in sessions for the young, the inexperenced and the learner - providing they are learning and improving - some people (like the above mentioned) will probably be still playing the same 3 sets in 10 years time.
It is debateable whether they have a place in a session.

One way is to play their 3 sets as soon as they come into the bar, and shout REPETITION if they try to play them later.

Get some ot the experienced players to bring assorted loud, non-musical instruments to "accompany" them. (bagpipes, bodhorans and piccolo are favorites)

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SOme good points, KEY POINT, these 3/4 gents are OLDER than the young core of musicians that set up this session, there is a great spirit of welcome and constant improvement, the 3 gents were welcomed on week one to play, I don’t remember when the 4th guy started coming, I have also invited them to play a tune at times, I guess what it’s come down to is that I have this feeling that everyone else would love somebody else to resolve the situation so I kinda feel like I could do something to smooth out the problem but am unsure myself how to approach it.

I think there is a unanimous feeling on here that the current situation is worth addressing rather than leaving the status quo, no point in all of us bickering about tehse lads all week and then not saying or doing anything, they may not even realise it’s a problem.

I think I’ll arrive early next week and just have a word in their ear suggesting that the other musicians are a bit shy about taking control over a session but don’t appreciate them playing this many sets in a night and are hesitant to say anything for fear of hurting their feelings or making them feel unwelcome. So I guess, I need to emphasise that they ere welcome to come in and participate but not monopolise. An occasional request from me or one of the other regulars for them to play one of their slower tunes might go down well

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In my experience, I’ve never seen anyone take kindly to being told how they can participate.

Instead, we’ve taken the approach of telling others how the circle at large participates—what our common expectations are. And then letting newcomers know that significant disruptions to that "norm" aren’t welcome. This way, it’s up to them to decide whether they want to fit in or not, whether our session is in fact the sort of session they would also enjoy.

So we’ve had some folks show up and then decide that they don’t want to play Irish traditional dance music all night. They’d rather sing Johnny Cash songs and throw in the occasional bluegrass tune. Great. There’s a jam on Tuesday’s at another pub for that.

And we’ve had some folks complain that we play "too fast." We explain that we’re happy to play a few sets at a slower pace, but that most of the time we play at tempos that work for dancing, because that’s what this music is for.

And we’ve had a few folks who played so loud that no one else could hear themselves play. Most of these culprits immediately understood the problem and learned to match their volume to that of the group. Problem solved. One person, however, did not appreciate being asked to soften his attack. He preferred to stop participating in our session. While some of us miss his social contribution, every single person in the session is grateful that the "wall of noise" he created is gone. The session as a whole works better, for "the greater good."

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Dear OP:

It seems to boil down, politely or not, diplomatically or not, to "put up or shut up".

1. Do you have any actual rights here? How about, "first come, first served"?
If your session had been rolling along successfully already, with some people actually being reimbursed for playing, and these "disruptors" showed up and took over, where is the management in all of this?
Where does the landlord stand?
What is his final official word?

2. Is there room for 2 sessions in your pub? Perhaps schedule 2? It was suggested above, and it might work. Try and make everyone happy.
(good luck!)

3.
There is something unacceptable to me about letting idjits have their way, just to be nice, at the expense of others with the same equal rights. Of course, I am not shy about letting people know they have imposed upon my neighbors or my friends. Nice people do not have to be indulged, coddled and bent over to. Nice people know that the world is not all about them and their needs alone.

4. I will opine - I believe most people of good mind and decent character aleady know what they should do in a situation like this. Are the rest of your session mates not willing to stand up? Are they really of like mind to yours? If they are, perhaps they should say so, too.

A sincere "Good Luck".

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Thanks Will, good points.

Piece, point by point

1) I mentioned bringing it up with management to one of the barman, he seemed pretty eager to do it! I told him I had to chat to the others and I guess see how they go next week, I’m not sure if I can wait til the end of next week’s session though!

2) We definitely could, the problem is that if the good players play in the back, we’ll lose the gig because these guys would be in the front. What’s really annoying too is that the 5 string banjo player waits for (a) a certain amount of alcohol and (b) a certain number of players before he starts playing. I think our only good route (hope this doesn’t completely give away the venue) is to use the upstairs part of the venue like the busier nights and just hope that with the large crowds that have been coming to the downstairs part, we’d have enough to at least partially fill the upstairs.

3) Absolutely

4) One or two folk are hesitant because every week the harmonica player plays a number of really nice tunes, whenever he remembers to play in a key we can play in. As I mentioned above I think, he starts playing slower marches, (quite possibly "Glory Glory Hallelujah" last week) later in the night but on his own he mightn’t be much of a problem maker, it’s when the 3 of them team up. Some of us also feel that these guys look forward to it so much that it’s going to be really difficult for us to know that we’ve deprived them of it if we say something and they don’t come back.

Thanks for the good luck sentiment, hopefully we’ll find the best solution!

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Paudy,

It seems to me that you’ve listened to a lot of advice and come up with an excellent plan of action. Best of luck with it. I have no advice to add. I’m just writing to applaud your professionalism and your sensitivity towards musicians who are being insensitive and unprofessional towards the established members of the session. I hope all is resolved peacefully and happily this week.

By the way, I thought RichardB’s suggestion of printing this page and leaving copies on the table was wonderful!

I wish you save travel when you go to America.

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Sorry about my typo! I wish you safe travel!

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lol, save travel / don’t go say the New Yorkers! Thanks man and yeh, I might just do that, I haven’t really said anything untrue really, though it is best to say something to them first I feel

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not bad overall, Your intonation is pretty good & your rhythm is decently steady for someone playing as long as you have. Some suggestions: relax, you look tense & the music sounds a bit tense too. Try to avoid clamping your chin down on the fiddle & with a tensed jaw etc. Slow down a bit & play with a bit more swing, Think DOW-dle DEE-dle as you play (reels & hornpipes). Also you could use a few breaks to allow for some phrasing, listen to plenty of music to get the feel of how to phrase.

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whoops posted under wrong discussion!!

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ha thanks Mad, feedback on my fiddle playing video right?

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Sorry? I took it as a serious suggestion from MB as to what you should say to them Paudy!

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This thread has been very entertaining.

The crashers are enthusiastic about the music and it is just a matter of redirecting their energy. What might work is an early session, say an hour before the regular session. Beginners should be encouraged to arrive early and get their time in, but they should be told that when the formal session starts, it is best to listen and learn. Its a delicate balance but positive communication is the key. Nobody should own the session. If MacDara O’ Raghallaigh happens to walk in, it might be time for the regulars to listen and learn. We would hope that they have the good sense to know when to do so.

Re: Session Crashers

Ptarmigan’s round-the-room idea sounds better the more I think about it. If these people are in the majority early on, then it would mean that they get something like a session to themselves at the start, with their presence progressively diluted as more folks show up.

Round-the-room (or "circle of death") is ghastly at singing sessions since the worse a singer is, the longer it’ll take them to get started (usually because they have to make a choice each time by leafing all the way through a 200-page folder). Instrumentalists at whatever level generally kick off pretty fast and don’t drain the energy away with dithering.

Re: Session Crashers

Well, partly due to the fact that I was chatting to friends a lot during last Thursdays session, often turning up and feeling free to contribute whenever, it made the session crashing behaviour seem less extreme last week. Now I’m not there for 2 weeks so we’ll see what everyone else thinks. Some of my friends have been in on a rare quiet night when the 3 lads keep driving out the tunes, they said it was a painful experience.

The idea of starting the session early isn’t neccessarily the winner, these lads just wana play when everyone is there. Not so much the harmonica player, but definitely the banjo player. He is the worst culprit because even the fiddle player gets drowned out as soon as everyone recognises what he’s trying to play and then he’s contributed by suggesting a tune. So how do we stop a 5 string banjo from figuratively marching around.

Well there is no short term solution being taken, but thanks all for the helpful suggestions and at least this info is always here for reference if a bad night does come up.

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