The meaning of “beginner”
You know those folks in the session who have been playing for over twenty years, but who have a repertoire of about twenty-five tunes and struggle to keep the rhythm from going ragged and unsteady. How would you classify them?
I ask because someone on a horsey forum, who rides dressage at a fairly high level, asserted that even people who have been riding for twenty years, but are stlll pottering along at extremely low levels of dressage, are still “beginners.” Because the latter category includes me, I expressed a view on that, and then realised that I too drift into being judgmental, sometimes, about people playing at “low levels” of Irish music even when they have been doing it for years. Is that just human nature; to get good at something and develop a degree of snobbery about it all, a kind of Calvinist attitude of, “I improved. I worked hard. Why can’t you, you lazy bastard?”