Being able to play alone but not with others

Being able to play alone but not with others

Hello, I was at a session today and it was great fun, but when it was time to play I just instantly forgot the notes to the tunes and could not keep up. I can’t put my finger on why (pun intended) because when I’m playing alone (yesterday in fact) I can play them without missing notes and keeping a pretty consistent rhythm. It’s puzzling me. Is this something a lot of beginners go through? I’m just curious and a little worried.

Any and all responses are appreciated!!

Thanks!!! :)

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Like anything else you’ve prepared for, the real thing is bound to be different from practice. Hopefully your session mates are putting less pressure on you than you probably are putting on yourself. The great thing about playing in session is when the best players have your six. If they don’t; you’re screwed. If they do, & they should, then it is a gentle hand which keeps the music going and gives you an opportunity to take a deep breath and bask in how good it is to play with experienced, helpful kind musicians.

Take a breath, you’ll be rewarded in future sessions for your patience now. That may be little comfort yet. Please, give it all the time you need.

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Yeah I think it’s quite common among beginners (and even when you’ve been playing your instrument for quite a while but you’re new to ITM or to sessions). In my experience it only comes up with practice and confronting again and again those terribly awkward moments when you try to play something and your brain suddenly seems completely numb, and progressively you’ll become more and more able to cope with the stress of playing before other people and with the destabilisation that comes with playing with other musicians. Personally I had to only repeat that experience dozens of times (even if going beyond the feeling of frustration can be hard -_-), before being able to be more or less at ease with this situation.

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"when the best players have your six"

What does that mean, AB?

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…Just looked it up. I’ve never heard that expression before.

OK, back on topic…

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Someone has your back. It’s a reference to six 0’clock (i.e. I’m right behind you, got you covered)

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Re: Being able to play alone but not with others

Yes it’s something ALL beginners go through. There’s a no avoiding it. It’s the school of hard knocks!
The good news is that the more you subject yourself to this little failures and embarrassments the quicker you get over them and improve.
There is one simple practice technique which might help - practice away but if you fluff it, carry on without missing a beat and try to get back into it at the right place. Metronome might help.

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Everyone at the session was not putting any pressure on me really. They were all kind and encouraging. Most of the pressure was probably me putting it on myself. I worry to much.

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Kellie, I wasn’t suggesting your mates were pressuring you. But you don’t need to defend them on the mustard board. As long as you trust their support that is how you can breathe easy and improve your playing abilities; one session at a time. Trust your mates and then you may very well surprise yourself & begin to play w/more confidence in session.
BTW, it’s not just beginners who falter when playing with other people. One night John Doyle lost it completely. You should have seen Liz. Shit happens.

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Liz? as in Liz Carroll?

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Yes, she was playing w/John Doyle and I think it was "The Minstrel Boy" when he forgot the lyrics.
Did I mention something about shit happening? Sorry if I left that bit out.

It would only be fair to say she had his six in a 12 o’clock sort of way. She seemed to relish it, too. They go way back though.

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Re: Being able to play alone but not with others

Ah

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I completely forgot the B part of Glencolmcille tonight in a session, after calling it out rather loudly as the next tune. No one else remembered it either, so we laughed it off. I think I have such a memory lapse at least once a session!

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I tend to be in the same boat as you, being able to play well by myself, but not as well with others. I get distracted easily. Even when with instruments that I’m very familiar with, I tend to get thrown when I start playing with other people. This does take practice, to get used to playing with other instruments around you, and to listen and play with them. I’m sure you’ve tried practicing with backing tracks or recorded accompaniments at times? That’s one way to practice.

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Yes it is common. I have the same problem at some lessons. Maybe its an authority figure thing. Best way to make it better is to play more with others. Solitude isn’t the only factor either. Studies have been done on the difference in surroundings of your practice room vs practising in a new location. Environment, new people, nervousness all have a huge impact. The more you see these people and the more you break out of your routine, the better you will do.

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Happens to everybody, not just at first, but I’d venture to say all the time. I still struggle with it to one degree or another every time I join a new group, sometimes even when a new player joins us for an evening. What you’re feeling is a universal experience. To really be able to play with another player you have to create an intimate connection with that person (or persons). If you don’t you’ll just be playing the same notes at the same time and that’s not making music. It’s the feeling of intimacy that to me makes this music worth playing at all. Sure it helps to play with CD’s or youtube, but you’ll not be creating the connection. Personally I’d get friendly with the famous, or infamous, player Met Ronome. he’s not a great melody player but his timing is impeccable and he’ll be one other person in the room that you must relate to, to get anywhere at all. Best of all he’ll play at exactly the tempo you tell him. He’s not judgmental but if you don’t connect with him he’ll let you know.

No this is not an argument about the value of metronomes. It meant as an exercise in developing a tool to more quickly learn how to listen and relate to the players around you. In the end the only way to learn how to play with others is to, well, play with others. Some people find it useful to play with just one or a few others at first. Others could find comfort in the anonymity of playing in large groups. Either way I’d say take small steps and don’t let it worry you. Nobody, say it with me, nobody, was born good at anything. Don’t overthink it, just join in, hold on tight, laugh a lot, and enjoy the ride.

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Playing with others can be very different than playing by yourself. The solution is to play with others more often! Harder said than done, I know.

Do you have a teacher in Ohio? If you don’t, it can be a great opportunity to get feedback and play with someone regularly. PM me whereabouts you are and I might be able to help set you up with someone.

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Thank goodness I can pass off my memory lapses when playing as senior moments. That’s the excuse. The reality is simply not playing enough with others.

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I remember one of my first times going to a session, starting a tune I knew like the back of my hand (Morrison’s Jig, maybe) and completely falling apart in the 2nd half. Somebody asked afterwards, "Have you not played with other people much?" I was, of course, sorely disappointed in myself at the time that my lack of experience was so manifest. But the regulars all knew the score and welcomed me back each week. Whilst it would be some time before I could comfortably play at *their* speed, I soon learned to plough confidently through as tune at my own pace.

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What helps is recording your playing as if you were recording a cd/upload to soundcloud/youtube video. Will help you on multiple levels;
- You’re put into another state of playing, one where you will want to play flawless
- You can’t cut corners, you need to play the tune three times through without mistakes or at least recovering from the mistakes asap.
- You can listen to your recording afterwards to hear how you sounds and what parts you need to improve upon.

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If I can only play a tune with "a pretty consistant rhythm" (from the OP) on my own then I can expect it to lose it when playing with other people. They probably won’t have quite the same rhythm or tempo that I am used to, they may play a few different notes. They may even make mistakes.

To "session proof" a tune I need to be able to play along with several different recordings, if possible one of that sesssion, and maybe even some of the many not-so-good renderings on youtube. That and know the tune well enough that I can jump back in on the beat if I mess it up or have to miss a few notes out to listen because I realise I know a slightly different version - I find a metronome good for that. If I feel drained of energy after three times through with the metronome I probably won’t manage at a session - though as people have said above, sympathetic experienced players can ‘carrry you along’.

There a quite a few old discussion here about this. One thing someone pointed out in one of them is that even being in a different social and acoustic setting than home can be a distraction which fades away as you get to know the people and the room. That ‘s one reason I am happy to go along to a session and only play a few tunes, or just listen, until I get used to it. If not playing it is easier to get a feel for the individual styles of the other players and focus on whoever started the tune - when you play they will probably notice if you are trying to stick close to what they do, or not.

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Unfortunately nothing you can practice on your own will really help you to play with others, the only way is to practice with others. There is a whole new skill set to learn - playing alone it’s just you and the tune and you can concentrate 100% on your playing, but in a group you’ve also got to be listening to what others are doing, and either adapting to it or ignoring it. Even now, after several decades, I still occasionally find myself listening to what someone else is doing and forgetting what I’m supposed to be doing myself, or if a guitarist plays a wrong chord it can send me into a different part of the tune, or even into an entirely different tune.

For practice at home, recording or videoing yourself will help a bit with nerves/shyness. But for the actual playing, playing along with a recording doesn’t help much because the recording is the same each time. I suppose you could gather up a load of different recordings of the same tune and run through them one after the other, that would give you some of the randomness of a live group, but there really is no substitute for practicing with other live musicians.

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I just remembered this old thing…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/r2music/folk/sessions/swf/folkmenu.html
which was great fun at the time. :-)

Hasn’t technology advanced?

Even although this is a recording of session, it doesn’t really do to slavishly play along with this either..at least not too much… as all sessions including those with the same musicians will continually evolve and vary.

So, by all means listen to different recordings as you can and seek out as many different recordings too. The skill is learning how to adapt in each situation and knowing when it’s best not to play. All that is improved by listening.

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Playing well with others is a special skill. You have to learn to play to a beat/rhythm that is dictated from outside yourself.

Like any other skill, you get good at it by focusing your practice upon it.

For centuries musicians have practiced the skill of playing to an external rhythm by playing along with a metronome. It’s a musical partner that never tires, that can play as fast or slow as you wish, and always keeps perfect time.

Time spent practicing without any rhythmic anchor (playing along with a metronome or recording of good players) can be worse than useless, because unless you have a built-in flawless sense of timing you’ll be reinforcing bad rhythm, practicing your mistakes over and over ingraining them deeper and deeper.

Best to nip it in the bud now.

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"I completely forgot the B part of Glencolmcille tonight in a session, after calling it out rather loudly as the next tune. No one else remembered it either, so we laughed it off. I think I have such a memory lapse at least once a session!"

Speaking of Glencolmcille… at one session (IN Glencolmcille), every musician played the first part of a tune, morphed the B part into another tune (by mistake), went back to the A part of the new tune, that was spooky…. it took two complete turns before we realised that the first tune had vanished into thin air and nobody remembered what it was.

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I do have a teacher daiv, your uncle (Brian McCoy) although the lessons are over skype and not very often I’ve learned a lot from him so far.

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As you can see from all the replies, it really is a universal thing. When you’re first starting out, you’re trying to juggle a lot of things at once - how to play your particular instrument, what the rhythm should sound like, how to learn and remember tunes, etc. When you first play with other people, all of a sudden there are external factors added in, and for once things like the speed and rhythm are coming from outside you. And the social pressure is new too. You’re worried about not seeming too inexperienced, and you’re trying to make sure that you’re not making a fool of yourself. That mental pressure alone can make the fingers turn to jelly.

If you think about it, playing with other people seems like it should actually be fewer things that you have to juggle on your own, but you have thrown something new in the mix, and that is having to learn how to get in sync with what the other players are doing. That takes some practice, and while playing with recordings can help (probably best to play with recordings of the session that you go to, because then at least you’re learning to play along with the people that you need to be able to play with). But there’s really no substitute for doing it in person, and it takes some time.

The good news is that once you can really start to match what other people are doing, then it really does get easier, because you can rely on the other players to keep the tune going, even when you make a mistake. And Ross hit the nail on the head when he mentioned that you can ultimately gain a real intimacy with the other players. When everybody is "in the groove", the music flows effortlessly, and it’s a real high. One that you spend your days chasing, on the off chance that tonight might be one of those nights…

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I think this happens even when you are very experienced. The core players usually dictate the swing and pace. This may be quite different from how you play at home. Try recording the session and play along at home. This will get you accustomed to the pulse of the session and help if you suffer with nerves or shyness. If you suffer from nerves remember that the great players often do as well. The trick is to overcome the problem. In my opinion you will never play quite as swell in public as you do in private. Hope this helps.

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PS I think a metronome or playing along to recordings is a good method.

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"In my opinion you will never play quite as swell in public as you do in private."

Not necessarily true. Once you manage to overcome the nerves, having fellow musicians to play with - or an appreciative audience to play to - can sometimes energise your playing in a way that does not happen when you play in private. This depends on the individual, of course - some people may get nothing at all from playing with or for others.

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The most important element of playing with other people is being able to simultaneously hear what you are doing and what other people are doing. This is not a skill acquired easily or quickly, but it is necessary to play with others. As has been said before, the best way to do this is to practice with a metronome until your tempo is rock steady and you can play quickly and without tensing up.

There are no shortcuts in music and something that is frequently forgotten is that sessions are not where you improve, they are where you perform. Improvement happens in the practice room.

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Try playing along with recordings. When you play with others, you quickly find that you cannot slow down or speed up as the tune goes along. No one stops for you, so you can get easily flustered and off base. If you can keep up and not get thrown playing with a recording, the sessions will come more easily.

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I’ve been playing nearly a decade, but I remember recently myself and the rest of the session goers(some have been playing for 50 years) couldn’t remember Humours of Tulla for about an hour, it happens.

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I agree with Creadur. Playing with people you’re comfortable with, who have the same idea of swing/repertoire/speed/etc. can give positive results you’d never encounter on your own. Sometimes it happens with people you’ve never met before (but who still are heading in the same direction as you).

By the way, (I think) a session is just a friendly musical get-together, not a performance. I feel a lot more comfortable playing in sessions (where I don’t know what tunes will be thrown at me) than doing a gig where I have total control of the repertoire.

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I have a metronome, but what settings should I set it to?

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Try first setting it a speed which you can play comfortable and free of mistakes. While still following the metronome, gradually increase the speed until you hit your target. A target I tend to aim for is the standard "competition" dance speeds of about 112 for reels and about 93 (I think? Is that right?) for double jigs, etc. If it starts to come apart you need to step back and work a little bit more at a slightly slower speed.

Another thing I think of while reading through the rest of the posts is the tendency to, at home, subconsciously "reset" a tune when you make a mistake (i.e. "stutter" over a certain passage again). Obviously this doesn’t work with other players but the habit can remain. Playing along with a metronome and/or recordings can perhaps reveal these fumbles and help you correct them.

Remember at all times to maintain the rhythm and the pulse and try and avoid the "wall of eighth notes" trap that can occur when beginners (myself included) attempt speeds for which they are not ready.

This advice is self-referential as well; I suffer from a fair amount of rhythmic issues myself which I’m working to correct.

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for jigs specifically

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I use the term performance to differentiate session playing from practice, not to open a can of worms as to whether sessions are gigs, performance standards etc. Let’s try to keep on topic for this one.

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If you can tap the beat with your feet, you don’t need a metronome.

If you can’t tap the beat with your feet, then you’re not ready to play in public.

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Two clicks per measure. You practice with a metronome to keep a steady beat (at the speed you’re already comfortable with), to not speed up (or slow down) (or wobble). A ig at a moderate tempo might be 90 while a faster one could be 120.

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*jig

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"If you can tap the beat with your feet, you don’t need a metronome." How does one know that one is tapping the beat?

How you know that you are tapping the beat ?

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I tap my foot to my playing all the time and at one point a person was actually able to dance to my playing not step dancing but dancing nonetheless.

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Also, the metronome came up in the context of "the skill of playing to an external rhythm" . Not your foot.

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However I do not know when I’m speeding up that’s the aid a metronome can bring over my tapping I suppose.

Sorry by dancing I should say it was a very rhythmic form of dance that my friend was doing which was good enough to indicate me keeping a steady tempo.

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My experience, both personal and observation, is that when it comes to foot tapping it’s "toes follow fingers". The vast majority of players are really unstable at tapping in time and playing melody at the same time. Take some time to watch others and you’ll see what I mean. Your foot is forgiving the metronome is not. That said, it is a skill that can be learned with practice and is most useful when mastered.

I believe that someone has already suggested to set the metronome at 2 beats a minute (generally, there are exceptions) and only as fast as you can hang on to the melody with good lift and clean tone. When that gets easy nudge the tempo up in small steps. Occasionally take a big step or two as a quick and easy way to find out the weak spots. Just don’t practice at an uneven pace. It takes time but it’s time well spent.

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if you can play anything at 2 beats per minute and keep it steady you’re a better man than I. And much more patient. Although that’s a pretty low bar.

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yeah that’s extremely slow and doesn’t seem that necessary how about starting at 58 bpm with a meter of 2/4 ?

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A metronome can also help you improve your listening/hearing.

Put the met on a modest tempo and play a tune you know. As you get better at hitting the met click - which is the one-beat* - try concentrating your hearing so you’re able to hit that click in certain spots. Like, try hitting your note a tiny bit ahead of the click, or a tiny bit after it. Do this for maybe a whole A or B part, or as long as you like.

Then go back and try hitting the click right in its center. You’ll be surprised at how large the click now seems, as your hearing adjusts to the finer granularity.

________________
* the first of each three notes for a jig, or first of the four for a reel

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Is your teacher giving you recordings at the proper speeds for you to learn from? If tour teacher isn’t having you play to a metronome and explaining the rhythm and timing of things, a huge disservice is being done to you. These are things that should be assigned and explained in the first few months. If you’re almost a year in, you should have been taught these things.

Skype lessons will hold you back from playing well with others. The lag makes simultaneous playing impossible. A good skype teacher will give you actual recordings to play along with, or you should record the lessons and play along later at your convenience. Regardless, there is no substitute to live playing with others, either a playing partner or an in-person teacher.

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I didn’t start until two months ago and he has explained rhythm and how important it is and there really isn’t any lag whatsoever that holds me back from playing with him although the audio is a bit of an issue. I don’t know if I can find a teacher that can teach in person around Toledo I wish I could sometimes.

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You could also get together with a few of your fellow session players and see about the possibility of starting a one-off "slow" or "beginners" session for the mutual benefit of all involved, perhaps under the tutelage of a more experienced player that’s willing to come and help out in exchange for a few pints. I’ve done this when I was just getting back into the music and it tends to be well-received.

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I’ve kept up with the session before at it’s normal tempo. I think what caused my nerves to get the better of me yesterday was that there were less people in a more crowded environment. In other words, a lot more people listening to the playing than I’m accustomed, and fewer musicians were there than usual.

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I was also going to suggest trying to find a beginner/slow session — these can be very helpful!!

Like you, I had a hard time playing with other people vs. playing alone … I started playing with a slow session that meets twice a month, and I’ve made an incredible amount of progress in just a few months. Someday I want to be able to join a "full-speed" session, and I feel like going to the slow sessions is really preparing me for it.

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Well the thing I’ve learned about punters, especially in America, is that they’re likely not very exposed to the music, not musicians themselves, and they most certainly won’t notice any mistakes or fumbles. They’re usually just excited that there’s any "live Irish music" at all. You’re your own worst critic, as they say. So I’d say don’t sweat it and just have fun. That’s really what sessions are all about.

It helps me to close my eyes and just let it "flow", I guess. Don’t get too caught up in your mistakes and let them compound, just let it go and keep on playing, and enjoying the moment.

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Reminds me of most of my experiences with sex :(.

But yeah I have had the same when I tried to play a couple times at my local session but I have been getting more confident in my playing and I think it will translate when I try again. Though ofc performance will take a hit playing in front of people I think maybe I will do better :).

Oh one thing I have been practicing is continuing to play even when I mess up. The worst part when I screwed up those times when I was at the session was when I would halt my playing causing everyone else to derail since I started the tune until they picked up the slack for me.

I used to stop all the time at home and just repeat the trouble part a few times but in the past 6 months or more I made it an actual practice to force myself to ‘play through’ the messup since this is what it will be like when playing live.

Maybe that will help you too.

My rational is if I am good at recoveries then it gives me a contingency plan for when doing it for real.

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"… sessions are not where you improve, they are where you perform. Improvement happens in the practice room."

Darn! All those years I thought I was getting better, when I’m actually still exactly where I was 20 years ago!

OK, it’s not quite true that I have *never* practised in 20 years, but I have spent a lot more time playing in sessions than practising, and I have learned a lot in the process. I agree that technical improvement is achieved more quickly and effectively through focused, private practice. But, as has been said, the skills needed for playing with others can only really be acquired through playing with others.

I do not wish to enter into a ‘session vs. performance’ debate here - there is a performance element in any session, inasmuch as one is expected to *play* the tunes, not practise them. But sessions are also there for the sake of learning - people turn up hoping to hear new (i.e. unfamiliar) tunes, different takes on old tunes, to fill in gaps in half-learned tunes, to try out their latest tune acquisitions, new sets etc. Improvement is (for me, at least) part of the reward of playing in sessions.

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Have to agree , I’ve learned more over the years when I’m playing with other musicians.

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What Arthur said. Funny how you need to stop and correct mistakes so you don’t lock them down. Even funnier is the way you have practice playing through your mistakes without breaking the rhythm. Wow, both things are important and complete opposites. You’ll figure it out. Take your time….it’ll happen. You’ve only got the rest of your life!

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I think session playing and private practice are both equally essential. I am thinking of two fiddlers at a local session, one has been playing for 20+ years but doesn’t practice from one week to the next. In the 10 years I’ve known her she hasn’t improved at all, she might be able to scratch her way through a few more tunes, but the quality of her playing hasn’t moved on in all the time I’ve known her. The other has only been playing a couple of years, but she is young and keen and practices daily. She is already the better fiddler.

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You’re lucky wish I could get a session going in the choir room at my school during free period. Thanks for the reference to the old thread. :)

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Thanks Mark, that’s what I was getting at earlier. I don’t believe that it’s accurate to suggest that a players ability will improve solely by going to sessions. It needs to be reinforced by a healthy amount of listening and practice, and suggesting otherwise to a beginner is unwise.

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I’ve now been to three different workshops with respected, well-known, world-class folk fiddlers (two Irish, one English). All three of them were pretty dismissive of sessions from the point of view of music: they all more or less regarded them as more social occasions than musical ones.

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About metronome strategies and value, I find that not only do I learn a tune with better rhythm but I also memorise the tune more quickly. Maybe it’s because you can’t slow down for the unsure bits, but are forced to churn along in perfect time.

I sometimes spend time with the metronome set very slowly, one click per eighthnote, six clicks per bar, when learning tricky jigs. This of course takes all the swing out of it, but I can put that in later, once I have the tune very precisely.

On reels I’ll do the same thing sometimes, 8 clicks per bar, one per eighthnote, very slowly. This of course is artificial but is very good for cleaning up my technique.

Faster and it’s just two clicks per bar for jigs, four, or sometimes only two, for reels.

One thing I do, when I really need to get a tune technically perfect, is to start out very slowly, then gradually increase the tempo until I reach a tempo faster than I would ever actually perform it. Why? because at a gig I’ll be comfortable and prepared no matter what tempo happens.

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"If you can tap the beat with your feet, you don’t need a metronome."

Tapping your foot, and playing along with the tapping of your foot, is still playing in a rhythm dictated only by your internal whims.

The skill of playing along with others is the skill of playing to a rhythm that’s dictated to you from the outside world.

Whether that rhythm comes from live players, recorded players, or a metronome, the important thing is that it’s external to your personal notions.

I’ve mentioned this before, but whenever people scoff at metronomes I think of the professional drummer I know, who must have among the world’s most accurate senses of rhythm, who spends hours practicing with a metronome, doing nothing but single hits with one stick on the practice pad. He’s made his living drumming his whole life- he must know something.

Now for sure some people are born with flawless internal metronomes! They needs a metronome as much as somebody born with Perfect Pitch needs a tuner. I know many such people. But people with natural perfect senses of rhythm wouldn’t be on this site talking about having difficulty playing with others.

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Yes, you need to practice on your own, figure out the tunes and get up to speed. But the important thing is to get out of your room and play with others. It is vital that you learn to play and listen, adapting what you play to match the folk around you.

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Lots of good suggestions above. I would add that you try to make friends with a decent rhythm player who is willing to work with you. Invite him or her to have a one-on-one session with you. Work through tunes slowly until you can play along with that person. Once you’re comfortable with this, get thee to a slow session with others. I still do this with new tunes if I can before taking them to an open session.

Re: Being able to play alone but not with others

Hi Kellie. How I sympathise with you on this. I too am at the stage where my bedroom wall knows I can play well, but when I try to play with others we often crash and burn! Or I play some tunes with one group and do fine, then I play the same tune with another group and am thrown when the rhythm is a little different or someone puts in a little variation I have not heard before.
But I am making progress, thanks to a great little group of musicians in the local pub who have encouraged me and put up with my beginners efforts so much that I feel comfortable with them and therefore play better (sometimes…).
All I can suggest is try to find some helpful souls in a quieter situation who will let you have a go at your own pace. Good luck Kellie.

Re: Being able to play alone but not with others

You’ve started a great thread Kellie and there is a lot of good advice there among the differing views. For my part I can say that as a musician working semi professionally for almost 40 years I can still fail at tunes I know well in sessions and stand on stage at a paid gig with my fingers and brain turning to jelly. I happens to the best so don’t fret (pun intended).

My 2 cents worth is to take it slowly. Use a metronome but ALSO get yourself a secretary’s Dictaphone that will play mp3’s. The one I use is a Sony ICD-UX533F. You can slow down tunes to 60-70% to learn them without changing pitch and A-B sections to repeat. The great thing about this model is the buttons for these two vital functions are on the side and not deep in menus like they are in Zoom and Tascam recorders. (made simple for secretary’s typing letters - no disrespect) You can play along with any great session players you have on recordings. Learn their tunes, ornamentations and incidentals at a lower more comfy speed. And learn to play and keep up with them as though you are there with them. Record the sessions you attend (with permission from the other players) then take it home, slow it down and learn their tunes the way they play them.

Always practice slow anyway, even with tunes you feel you know well, as muscle memory comes from playing slowly without mistakes. If you practice mistakes you will play mistakes. Speed will come naturally as you and your muscles learn to ride that particular bike.

Here’s a clip I found for the Sony recorder, hope it helps.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrRCXnXpYMY


Good luck. Just relax and have fun with the music.