Etiquette

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He’s not affecting the music. What does it matter?

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eiluned— It strikes me as inattentive, rather adolescent and sloppy looking.

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Farting about with your phone while others are playing is pretty rude in my opinion. On the other hand, he’s not playing tunes he doesn’t know, so points back for recognising a much more irritating breach of common etiquette.

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To hell with the music, when your stockbroker needs to talk.

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Good call, Michael. He would not be welcomed back to any of our sessions. It’s plain rude. It’s a slap in the face to the musicians. The woman has a bodhran between her legs so we know she isn’t a musician. The mandolin is ineffectual in combination with a piper and good fluter. Both of the phone twiddlers are in over their depth.

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Yeah Michael I get it. I don’t care much for it either. Still it’s the world we have and we might as well get used to it. It ain’t gonna change. If I remember right it’s the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Best to move on and worry about the larger ways our lives are deteriorating. There are bigger children playing with their phones at night who are doing a whole lot of real damage.

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"DUDE I’m right next to anuilleann piper kicking BADASS music I can’t believe it!!! Front row seat LOL I’m peeing in my shorts.

Prolly mispelled cuz I sent this from my iPhone."

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If he’s looking up the tune on TunePal I would consider it appropriate because at least he’s interested in the music enough to find out what tune he needs to learn for the next session. Outside of that usage, it would be rude. Leaning over him to find out if he is indeed using TunePal would be equally rude so where do you go?

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Got better things to worry about.

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@Davine Levine
"The mandolin is ineffectual in combination with a piper and good fluter. "

Now, waitaminnit! Let’s have no unwarranted disparagement of mandolin players here! Harrumph! 🙂

I play mandolin (and slowly introducing flute) in a Scottish trad session where I often sit either next to, or a couple of seats away from a smallpiper. Or maybe it’s reelpipes, I can never tell. I don’t have trouble introducing sets, or leading a change between tunes on my mandolin with a piper in the group and a passel of fiddlers. Okay, I might disappear once everyone gets rolling, but mandolin isn’t THAT weak an instrument! You need a good one, and you need to know how to play it. There is one tune that only the piper and I know really well in this session, and we have a blast playing it together.

Harrumph! 🙂

Yeah, and for what it’s worth, I think the mandolin player in that clip is disrespectful. You might stare at a phone to get a recording started so you can learn tunes at home, or try to identify a tune. This doesn’t look like that.

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I don’t see a problem with it if it’s checking the time or a short text, as long as it happens infrequently. He wasn’t playing the tune so not a big deal. In this case he did probably spend too much time on it.
I have a dumb phone so I don’t really understand the need for so much time checking your phone but whatever, it’s the times ain’t it.

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Perhaps not as shocking as the misspelling of ‘Gan aimn’ with reference to the YouTube clip!!!

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All y’all are a Hard Crowd…….

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Those kids should get off my lawn.

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Nashville’s finest! Eamonn Dillon on the pipes, and Sean Cunningham, I think, next to him on the flute. Two great players, out of a bunch of fantastic players in Nashville. That’s McNamara’s Pub, in Donelson, just outside of Nashville.

The mando player is a sweetheart of a guy. Sat next to him at another session in Franklin, TN for a while. He sings and writes beautiful songs about the Civil War, which is a big deal in that part of the country. Big, horrific battles took place in Franklin and Nashville in 1864 and it’s very much part of the fabric of those two cities. Especially Franklin. I enjoyed his presence in Franklin immensely. Though I’m an old soldier and a history buff, so I’m more than a little biased.

Bill Verdier is the session ringleader, along with Eamonn, and he runs a tight ship. If the guy was at all disruptive, Bill knows what to do, and will have no problem doing it, I think. But this guy’s not disruptive at all, at least when I met him, and was very respectful of those around him, both musically and personally.

If he comes across this thread, I hope he reads down this far so he knows that I appreciate him and what he does.

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It’s an age thing at our session. Generally the under forties have the phones out and look at them a lot. The over forties don’t. Just want we did/didn’t grow up with.

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"The mandolin is ineffectual in combination with a piper and good fluter. "

Veering off topic here, I know, but, as a mandolin player of some 25 years (with Irish trad as my main music), I’m with Conical Bore. I enjoy playing with pipers - I like the blend of the two sounds. I don’t care too much how audible I am to anyone else, anyway, as long as I can hear myself and feel myself locked in with the pipes.

As for the man with the phone, it would of course be rude to sit casually texting friends, browsing the web, using social media etc. whilst someone it playing, just as it is in any social situation (although it is increasingly being accepted as the norm). But we cannot possibly judge this individual on the strength of a video clip - he might, as has been suggested, have been looking up the tune on TunePal (which would, at least, be relevant to the music at that moment). He might have been checking for news on a sick or expectant relative or have had another specific reason for checking his phone. He might have given the other musicians advance warning at the start of the session that he was likely to be looking at his phone a lot that night.

So, if you get some satisfaction out of tutting at this man’s poor etiquette, that’s fine (we all enjoy being ‘better’ than someone else). But in the context of the video clip (which is all we have to go on), his behaviour does not detract in any way from the music.

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Generally, I think it’s a rude thing to do but it’s not fair to judge the man on the context of one You Tube clip.
He may have had a very good reason for doing so and I doubt if he would be doing so for the whole night.
Who knows what the other players might be doing when it was their turn to "sit out" tunes?

And, yes, no reason why the mandolin can’t work well with flutes, pipes and other instruments. Sometimes, not so well the other way around when the mandolin(or similar) is leading.
At a session the other week, I found it tricky(ish) to play my fiddle when a particular mandolin player led the tunes. He was a good player but the timing/rhythm , note lengths etc were just a little different. However, most musicians will eventually learn to adapt, or should, either way.

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at least he joined in when they got to the Earl’s Chair - did I hear someone shout out ‘E minor’ before the change? Very misleading if so………………..

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Err. .. Yaahl House. Kettle … black ?

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"Err. .. Yaahl House. Kettle … black ?"

No - it’s just South London irony.

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It’s difficult to know the context, even with a video. The mando player could well be sending a message to a friend, telling them what a great time was being had and what a shame they weren’t there, that they should hop over immediately. Or he could be looking up the tune on tunepal. He’s tapping his foot and hand and otherwise engaged with the music. Which is very good, by the way.

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He’s not playing, so, presumably, he doesn’t know the tune. Might he not, then, be recording the tune to take home and listen and learn till the small hours of the morning, his fingers sore and brain befuddled, so he can triumphantly join in with the rest of them at the next session. I know a number of people who use their phones to record music at sessions.

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So I was sitting at home about 9pm thinking to myself should go for a beer or stay in…..

Opened a couple of beers at home watching telly. Mate of mine texted me at 9.20 ‘Session in full swing at pub, come on down’.

Text finally reached me at 12.00 midnight…..grrrr. Next day -’ What happened to you last night? You get my text’?

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Is checking your phone during a tune you don’t know any worse than going to the bar, going to the loo, going out for a smoke, etc. etc. etc. Sheesh.

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".. going to the bar, going to the loo, going out for a smoke, etc. etc. etc." - maybe worse, maybe not, but none are the same as all involve physically removing yourself from the session. If you really need to check your phone, take it outside of the session - no problem with anyone.

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It is rude, especially if someone is singing.

How would it be if everyone brought a favorite book, then did some reading when they weren’t playing?

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I remember the time when having a smoke didn’t involve having to leave the session but I wouldn’t want to go back to these days. The phone falls in to the same category, I’d suggest. It’s not essential although going to the bar or toilet probably is for most people(Otherwise why have a session in the pub where drink is consumed?)….. I would usually wait until the end of a tune set though unless it’s one of these non stop marathons.

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@christy taylor:
"E minor" was called just before the Roscommon reel, not the Earl’s Chair (that was "B minor").

So what if someone checks the phone during a set? Maybe he had been playing most tunes sets before this recording and just needed a break. Maybe he was looking for this "Gan Anim" tune and didn’t find a match. Maybe he downloaded Tunepal (see the other thread) to find the title (it’s this one: https://thesession.org/tunes/2716 ). 😉

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That is silly. Surely if you’re sending a quick text, and probably a necessary one… "session is great.. Come down.." or "I think it should be finished by 8..come pick me up…" or check train/bus times or anything like that, it’s less disruptive to shoot it off from where you are rather than crawl over people to get out. Which I’m sure no one doing that ever does.

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"Is checking your phone during a tune you don’t know any worse than going to the bar, going to the loo, going out for a smoke, etc. etc. etc."

Here’s the difference, as I see it. It’s one thing to briefly check your phone for messages, or start/stop a recording, or do a quick TunePal look-up. That doesn’t require much time, after which you can go back to engaging with the music as a listener if you don’t know the tune. An "active" listener; eyes up, enjoying the music with everyone else.

When someone stares at the screen for the entire length of a tune set, there is a sense of disengagement from the group, a sense of entering a private world. It’s exactly the same as if they had pulled out a book and started reading. It could easily be interpreted as "what’s on my phone is more interesting than the music being played right next to me."

And again, I’m talking about the length of time staring at the screen, not the idea of accessing a phone at all in the middle of a session. I’ve done that, for jotting down a tune name or making a recording with permission. That doesn’t require extended disengagement from the group. I’m sure this is just my old guy perspective, and I know many people younger than me don’t see it this way. We’re probably not too far away from stealthy AR eyeglasses, where it will be hard to tell the difference in social engagement anyway.

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Nice thread. Sorry to be disrespectful to mandolinists. I think of mandolinists as [very nice] people who really would like to be fiddlers but who can’t stand the excitement.
Good to think of texters as people who would bring a book to a session. I read their behaviour as a not so subtle put-down: i.e, they are saying "the stuff on my phone is more interesting than your music."
The next time the rude box-player at our session whips out his phone when he doesn’t know a tune, I’ll ask him if he wouldn’t rather bring a book next time.

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I agree with DrSilverSpear, this is silly. If you look at it without being there, as from this thread, I think spending more time than just sending a text is a wee bit rude - like checking facebook or whatever. But, like I said earlier, he’s not crapping over tunes he doesn’t know, bodhraning the shit out of things and playing a second set of chords because he’s not aware one set are more than enough. There are dozens of session sins that piddle all over this one.

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I’ve just noticed that the bodhran player was checking a phone too but nobody has commented.
Perhaps this is just considered to be "par for the course" for thumpers?

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I wonder - if he had been checking his phone during a solo song, would the reaction on this thread be the same? 🙂

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"Sorry to be disrespectful to mandolinists. I think of mandolinists as [very nice] people who really would like to be fiddlers but who can’t stand the excitement."

Why insult other musicians? It’s being a smart aleck, surperior, and rude. The issue under discussion has nothing to do with what instrument the musician is playing.

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Oh, you probably never want to come to sessions in So Cal.

We’re all on our phones all the time before tunes, during tunes, after tunes, taking photos, TunePal-ing, live streaming, and checking our 401K balances and whether Trump is still president.

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What if the mandolinist and the bodhran player were speaking to each other instead of checking their phones? Better? Worse? Does it matter?

All these session threads remind me that no session is the same. People have all kinds of expectations and rules. (BTW, I’ve been to sessions where either of the hosts has checked the phone - oh, the horror!)

What I find most annoying is recording the set in the first place and putting it on youtube.

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I have attended sessions when on call for work. Some people are on call one week in two or even more often and are called quite frequently. This is the kind of thing other people in the session know and realise is an inevitable nuisance - but someone watching a video of strangers does not know.

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"What I find most annoying is recording the set in the first place and putting it on youtube."
Then this thread wouldn’t exist!

I learn a lot of tunes via YT so I wouldn’t mind at all if someone was recording during a session. As long as it’s discreet.

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It’s only rude if the people at the session think it’s rude. Anyone who’s judging from a video should keep in mind that many things that are rude at the dinner table in the Western world are de rigeur or even expected at an Asian table, and vice versa.

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"I play mandolin in a Scottish trad session where I often sit either next to, or a couple of seats away from a smallpiper. Or maybe it’s reelpipes, I can never tell."

If you can hear the mandolin it’s Scottish Smallpipes.

If you can’t hear yourself play and you wish you had a banjo in your hands, it’s the Reel Pipes.

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"texters… I read their behaviour as a not-so-subtle put-down: they are saying "the stuff on my phone is more interesting than your music." "

That hit the nail square on the head.

It’s the same when you’re in the middle of a conversation and the person you’re talking to looks down at their phone. It’s insulting. If the person doesn’t want to engage in the moment, in the conversation, in the other person, they shouldn’t be there having a conversation in the first place. Just sit in the corner with your face in your phone.

How I handle it is to stop talking the moment the other person looks at their phone. Thing is, they imagine that they can multi-task but studies have shown that multi-tasking is a myth; what the brain does is task-switching not multi-tasking. The moment their eyes go to their phone they’re not hearing me anyway so I might as well stop. In normal conversation studies have shown that we’re only hearing around half of what the other person says, the rest is filled in by the listener’s brain based on its knowledge of language patterns and what it expects to hear. (I’m sure we’ve all had moments when we hear a completely different thing than the person said. It happens more often than we realise.) When the brain isn’t doing that (because it’s reading a text message) it comprehends very little.

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To quote Mr Shakespeare "Much ado about nothing".

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Can’t see what the fuss is all about. Some people take things or themselves too seriously I think.

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>>>"Sorry to be disrespectful to mandolinists. I think of mandolinists as [very nice] people who really would like to be fiddlers but who can’t stand the excitement."

That’s hurtful. Mandolin is such a beautiful and non-derailing instrument. What’s all this fuss about using phones in sessions? Can’t you see that the real session sin is when somebody insults an instrument as graceful as the mandolin?

There are worse things that can happen at a session. Last week, the (new) manager at the local pub decided turn on the music while our session was still playing tunes…

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It’s his pub. The thing is, will you be going back ?

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I remember one incident some years back, before smartphones, when someone had the nerve to let his mobile ring loudly in the middle of a session and a very nice song, then answer it, shouting loudly to the caller: the session host, a pretty large chap, went and towered over the miscreant, told him to shut up and get out. His wife squawked some sort of feeble protest, to which the session host thundered, "The only reason for having a mobile phone in a session is if you are on the heart transplant list and awaiting the call".
I do mainly agree. If ever caught on my iPad in a session, I’ll be looking up the time of the next bus home.

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Well…, having watched the entire clip I think the fact you are all missing is that the clip itself does not start with the start of the set … so maybe "he" was on the phone first, in which case I propose that the musicians are disrespecting his test conversation… and the fact "he" finished texting and joins in is absolute proof that this version of event is indeed absolutely correct, and the "textee" is indeed the persecuted party in all this.

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Titch, he doesn’t appear to be "texting". The drummer may be texting on her phone but I think he is scrolling.

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It’s fine by me. Inappropriate? Devil a bit! The lad just went to a session, and look where that’s got him now.
Which commandment is it again?

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Somewhere around no. 14, I think - unless it’s in Leviticus or Deuteronomy. 🙂

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I can’t understand, how stubborn, conservative and petty some guys here are.
If the mandolin player would have been drinking a beer or eating a snack, you wouldn’t have made this post. The only reason for your post is the boogeyman "all young people spend their whole time on phones, and this is the end of western society!!!".
Again, if the mandolin player would literally have been taking drugs (that means drinking a beer, in this context) while the others are playing a set, you wouldn’t have made this post. But checking your emails or reading news, in case you need a little break, obviously is a horrible thing to do. He should have been drinking a pint because it is part of the etiquette for any true Irish Trad player.

I think for the majority of people here, a session is just a social gathering, characterised by playing music, but also just having a good time in general. It might be rude, not joining 90% of the tunes, despite knowing them, if there are just VERY few musicians who could need some reinforcement, or if there are far too few seats for other musicians. But not playing every tune and looking on your phone, instead of the bottom of your glass? Where exactly is the problem??

I hope no people who are thinking about picking up Irish Trad and sessions are reading such petty discussions and get the horrible impression, that we are all such anti social nitpickers, who get offended by mobile phones in a pub, in the year 2018.

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I see the session as a social occasion - I wouldn’t force anyone to listen to me uninterrupted.

If someone is comfortable enough to use their phone - go ahead!

To start interpreting it as a big “fu” is a failure on behalf of those wanting to create a comfortable environment. It’s also an inability to find out about the benign norm of looking at a phone.

If someone wants to stare at a window - go ahead. If someone wants to read a book or knit - go ahead.

But if people are going to escalate an every day occurrence into some contrived piece of personal insult - please consider your heart rate.

Some people check their phones - there’s no need to make this personal - or take it personally.

Session or performance?

As long as you’re not interrupting the music then please be happy.

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"If someone wants to read a book or knit - go ahead". While taking up a space in a session ? Seriously ? How many sessions do you know who would put up with that ?

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Maybe, he was getting a "busy line"

https://youtu.be/hY3JTRPFIWY


" I put a nickel string on my mandolin and dialled my baby’s number
Got a brrr, brrr, brrr, brrr, busy line
Each time I tried I got a busy tone
Not my baby’s number
Just a brrr, brrr, brrr, brrr, busy line"

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>> "If someone wants to read a book or knit - go ahead". While taking up a space in a session ? Seriously ? How many sessions do you know who would put up with that ?

Kenny, I’m sorry to say it happens all the time in Ireland - and they’re often not even knitting or reading, just sitting. Or worse - talking to the other session sitter, at a volume that gets over the music. People are just too polite.

I don’t mind mobile phones in sessions. What I dislike are people!

Regards
David

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Yes, David. All sorts of things can happen in sessions, especially at festivals and so on but a good "regular" pub session wouldn’t usually put up with it.

It’s interesting that you mention "talking".
I’ve quite often seen musicians strike up conversations when someone starts up a tune they don’t know. Sometimes, it may even be the "mainstays" who had been leading most of the tunes up until then.
Of course, it may just have been their first chance to get a wee break or, on the other hand, a not too subtle way letting a "visitor" or the other minions know that it is their session and only their tunes are important.

However, like the initial incident here, it’s probably best not to judge people too harshly straight away. Let’s see how it all "pans out" over the course of an evening.

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Incidentally, there was a couple of women who always used to bring their knitting to Edinburgh Folk Club but they actually enjoyed listening to the music at the same time.

Not the same I know but there’s no reason why the same thing couldn’t happen in a session pub. On the fringes, of course, as long as the general flow wasn’t disturbed and the actual musicians weren’t deprived of seats.

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I’m quite surprised to see disapproval of knitting and reading at sessions. These activities do not remove you from the music. You can still listen and knit at the same time. It’s better to have musicians sitting quietly and listening instead of noodling.

>>>"It’s his pub. The thing is, will you be going back ?"
I thought it was a general, well-understood rule that you don’t turn on the music while you have musicians playing tunes. He probably didn’t know that it’s rude to turn on the music, so the session-master talked to him about it, and it didn’t happen again this week.

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As has been mentioned before in this thread, every session is different. There are sessions that aren’t so crowded that you’re not "taking someone’s seat" if you’re knitting, reading, or texting in the middle of a set. The question of whether it was rude or not is up to the people that were there to decide. It didn’t look like anybody really cared, so it is most likely not considered rude in that session.

FWIW, that behavior wouldn’t be out of place in my sessions (although, we do encourage people to engage when it’s a solo song…) It can be annoying when someone seems completely disconnected from the session, but I don’t see that here. He is tapping his foot. He puts the phone away after a couple minutes, even before they’re playing a tune that he knows. And to insult him and the bodhran player by saying that they’re in over their heads is, in itself, just plain rude! That’s how we all got better - by playing with people that were better than us.

So if it wouldn’t be allowed in your session, that’s OK. But I sincerely hope that you would just take the person aside and tell them that phone use is discouraged in that session, as opposed to shunning them for a behavior that is perfectly acceptable in other sessions.

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I don’t think it’s a question of whether or not it would be "allowed" in a given session, as a formal rule. As mentioned earlier, there are breaches of conventional session etiquette that are actively disruptive, like noodling, or having a loud conversation with others who are sitting out a tune. At worst, it’s passive disengagement, with maybe a hint of "what’s on my phone is more interesting than these tunes," depending on how one interprets it.

None of the sessions I frequent would dis-invite or otherwise censure someone for spending that much time staring at their phone, while sitting in the middle of the more active and engaged players. I do think some would consider it a bit rude, because the local demographic is mostly older players with just a few younger musicians. A different world view regarding the current digital era, perhaps. But it wouldn’t harm the session in general.

On the wider scale of things, it’s certainly not the worst social behavior I’ve seen at a session, but the OP did ask for opinions and he’s getting them.

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I’m glad to hear that your session is still going , Monty.

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Kenny - I think the misunderstanding comes in mixing up two things

- doing other things while the tunes are on
- taking up space of a would be musician

The second is not on - but I just think it’s everyone’s right to dip in and dip out at their own choice.

I’m sorry - I just think it’s precious to feel no-one can use their phone while you’re playing.

I’d not do it in new company- or much at all - but between friends I’m sure it’s fine!

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@Christmas Eve - It is not a commandment. But decency written on the heart of all good people.

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"Does it seem very inappropriate the mandolin player is check(ing) his phone during a session?"

No, it does not.

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just noticed something else - there’s a bodhran clearly audible offscreen , so fair play to the woman sitting with her drum at her feet for not adding to the noise!

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I am one of the younger generation counting 31 springs. It really depends on what you are doing on your phone. I’ve seen a lot of "I don’t know this tune so I’ll browse email and facebook" and for me that is just plain disrespectful.

But might I add that I think the same of having a lengthy conversation during tunes, remove yourself from the table if you want to have a small talk I’d say.

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My goodness - this is a thing now too? Are we to chase away all the youngsters until our sessions are populated exclusively by people who remember using rotary phones? Silently checking a phone whilst others are playing tunes are the least of my worries at a session. I’m with Dr. Spear on this one too.

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Why do you assume it’s "youngsters" checking their phones ?

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There probably isn’t an issue with checking your phone once or, maybe, enough twice in the course of an evening. It may or may not be considered rude by some people but it’s not really fair to judge the mandolin and bodhran player on the basis of that small You Tube clip alone. We don’t know what they would have been doing for the rest of the evening nor what the other musicians may have got up to when they weren’t actually playing.

However, I still consider myself to be a bit of a grumpy old git as far as mobile phones are concerned. I have one myself and I like the technology but there’s a time and place for everything , in my opinion.
It amazes me me how many people wander about the streets using their phones, crossing busy roads etc and completely oblivious to what’s going on around them. I’m surprised that they ever reach their destinations without an accident whether it be a pub session or elsewhere. What’s more, it’s not just a "Younger Generation" thing but people of all ages, sexes, races, shapes and sizes.

I also get annoyed in shops with both shopkeepers/assistants and other customers who are busy on the phone when undertaking a transaction. The only time they should be doing this is if they are showing a ticket, voucher etc or something else that is relevant to the transaction. Otherwise, talking or "wheeching" phone screen is just rude and distracting.

I could go on and on but, surely, it is just good sense and manners to pick a quiet and *safe* moment to use your phone when you are out and about in public. There are still loads of opportunities.

Finally, it wouldn’t be the done thing to use your mobile phone if you were in an orchestra and weren’t playing a particular passage or on the football pitch when one of your team mates was taking a free kick. So why should it be an accepted norm in a tune session?
… BTW, I’m not suggesting that it should never happen in the latter example but just not become the norm.

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"Why do you assume it’s "youngsters" checking their phones ?"

Exactly, Kenny. As I mentioned in the last paragraph, people of all ages are guilty of this and many (probably most) "youngsters" are very well balanced as far as the use of technology is concerned.

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That all said, it’s context, context, context. Usually it’s benign. I will glance at my phone during tunes I don’t know, to answer a quick message or check train times. So guilty. But it is only a glance or however long it takes to write "I think it’s finishing at midnight."

But I think there are times when it’s obviously a passive aggressive way of saying, ‘Screw you and your tunes that are not worthy.’ I was playing in a session with ex of mine, years and years after that relationship ended, and one of the other session leaders asked me start a set. So I did. Ex, who knew the tunes because none of the ones I’d play in a session are very obscure, put his instrument down and fixated on his smart phone for the entirelty of my set. What a guy.

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I think as Boyen said a few posts above, if you’re you’re just checking messages that’s surely not a problem, but if you’re scrolling it means you’re looking for something to read or basically saying, "there must be something more interesting that what this person is playing". Scrolling is surely rude.

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But then, if you’re watching someone playing with his phone so closely that you notice whether he is reading or scrolling, you’re probably just as bored with the music as he is and paying just as little attention to it, which is surely just as rude.

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We’re all screenagers, Kenny. 8))

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@jusa - Your comment reminds me of an incident a few years ago. I told a teenage coworker that my Mom has a working rotary phone to which he replied, "What is a rotary phone?"

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Mark M, you may need a visit to specsavers.

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>>>"Are we to chase away all the youngsters until our sessions are populated exclusively by people who remember using rotary phones?"
I thought ITM was already dominated by old-people. I’m the only "youngster" at my session, at least until I can get my little brother going on flute, and I check my phone less than any of the other musicians. Everybody gets chased away by these rules.

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Get off my lawn, you young whippersnapper!

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Oops… I should have been clearer. "these rules" means the phone-ban. Hahaha, you could have read my comment differently and thought it meant all session rules…

Is there a list of 10 session commandments somewhere? I don’t recall "Thou shalt not checketh thy phone" being on there.
https://thesession.org/discussions/22117

I just had to get a laugh 🙂

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@Monty — No there are no commandments inscribed for a session. Rather, it is knowledge inscribed on the heart of all good, beautiful, thoughtful and up right people.

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I don’t assume it’s only youngsters checking their phones - I do however assume it’s only grumpy geezers who are so offended by the notion, that they would actually boot someone from their session over such a tiny infraction. We make such a fuss about a session "not being a performance" but then become upset if somebody replies to text rather than pay rapt attention to the tune being played? That’s some highly misplaced indignation.

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"become upset if somebody replies to text "

If the phone remained switched off, the musician(s) wouldn’t know if they had been sent a text in the first place.

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I’ve not once ever in 20+ years of playing and hosting sessions seen anyone turn their phone off for the session. Fake news! 🙂

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I have. Not fake news. 🙂
Phones were produced twice last night in the session I was at. Once to record a tune, and once to receive texts about a hospital visit. No problems with that at all. What they didn’t do was use them when anyone was playing a tune. This thread hasn’t really been helpful to anyone. Some people object to phones being used when others are playing music, some don’t. I think we all probably knew that any way. My last comment on the subject.

Posted by .

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Turning your phone off COMPLETELY? That’s a terrible idea! Yes, you shouldn’t _constantly_ be using it, but sometimes emergencies happen, and what happens when somebody really needs to get a hold of you?

Michael was correct to call this "fake news". Referencing an arbitrary commandment from common knowledge of session protocol:
"Thy uilleann piper is always correct."

What’s with the smiley faces after "fake news"? Does is signify a difference between the real kind of fake news (Fox News, Trump Tweets…)?
_Crippling Depression_

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What I’ve learned is that when I’m at a session I should be completely focused on the musicians. I should not talk, text, drink or anything else.

Only breathing, playing and watching are acceptable.

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Sean, I think this only applies when somebody’s playing a tune, not during the _entire_ duration of the session. That would be crazy if drinking, chatting, and texting were forbidden when nobody’s playing tunes.

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No need to turn off complezely, put it in flight mode….. note that this is essential when flying so kind of diminishes the ’ emergency’ argument…..
Personally i have my phone on silent all the time, no beeps clicks rings or anyof that audio polution . I hate that ! If its that urgent ring the ambulance or police!! Or your mammy 😉

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@Will I also always have my phone on silent all the time. That doesn’t exclude me from wanting to know when there are problems. I’ll check it from time to time, whether I’m at work, at home watching my kids or just relaxing.

The idea that a glance, even if it’s slightly longer than you’d expect, is rude seems crazy to me. If I were talking one on one to a person and I stopped without excusing myself to check my phone I agree, that’s rude. If there’s a group conversation going on and I have been listening but not so much contributing and I stop to look at my phone, I don’t see any foul. If the whole night that’s all I did then yes, that’s rude, but the video we saw doesn’t show someone on their phone all night (thank God, that would be a boring watch).

Like said above I don’t see why this would be different in session than in conversation.

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I use the "TradMusician" App, which enables me to connect with my tunebook on here and look at the sheet music for my collection. This enables me to remember how a tune starts. Photos/Videos of our Friday session are put on line almost immediately after they are taken and I like to see them asap.
Those are my excuses, and if you don’t like them, I have others …

Chris B.

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Monty says…
"Turning your phone off COMPLETELY? That’s a terrible idea!"

Actually, I don’t really mind if it’s turned off completely as long as it doesn’t make a noise. However, mine is ALWAYS off unless I’m using it for a specific purpose. I don’t encourage incoming calls except under extreme circumstances.

"sometimes emergencies happen, and what happens when somebody really needs to get a hold of you?"
The same as used to happen before we had mobile phones.
🙂

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I agree sean, makes no difference to me if someone checks their phone! What i object to is the audio polution .Not my business, unless were in bed together that is 🙂 i mean who answers a phone then …… surely not?! Isnt that an occasion for flght mode if there ever was one!

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In an attempt to summarize…

I don’t think anyone here is suggesting that phones should be banned at sessions. A phone might be used for different things. It might be used to occasionally check for messages. It might be used to record a tune, or check for an ID on TunePal. It might be used with a tuner app to keep your instrument in tune. It might be used to disengage from the group for an extended period, because you don’t know the tune or you’re just bored and Facebook is more interesting.

I would suggest that only one of those ways to use a phone in the middle of an active session might be considered a bit rude. Guess which one.

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Answer or make a call. Go outside!!!

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@Will Evans
>>>"Answer or make a call. Go outside!!!"
>>>"Personally i have my phone on silent all the time, no beeps clicks rings or anyof that audio polution . I hate that ! If its that urgent ring the ambulance or police!! Or your mammy 😉"

Rather harsh from somebody who describes himself as "a friendly good natured happy chappy". Do you only allow hornpipes and polkas after the first hour?

@Conical bore,
I find the tuner-apps on smartphones considerably less reliable than a regular electronic tuner / pictch-clip. If I see somebody using a tuner-app, I make a silent prayer to the session gods, place my mandolin in its case, and break out the tenor banjo (it’s louder and an lower, so it clashes less).
Using a smartphone in a session-constructive way is the opposite of a session sin. It’s not a "guess," it’s an obvious "well duh" that you shouldn’t be noodling around on social media in the middle of an active session.

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And then there’s the note (non musical sort) taking, as I found out last night. I noted three tunes I liked which nobody had the dots for at the pub and I am just going to look them up now, or email one of my friends who promised to let me have a copy of the most difficult one. This is a French Music Session, so we are allowed to use paper, because we don’t get a chance to play our tunes more than once or twice a month. (Placetne Domine?)

Chris B.

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(Just commenting on the French Music Session)

I’d say that the fact that the session takes place once or twice a month is an even stronger argument to learn the repertoire well. We get together a couple of times per YEAR, and there’s not a paper in sight. Three weeks ago, we played for 10-11 hours (two sessions in one day). Maybe a handful of tunes were played twice throughout the day.

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Monty, there are plenty of very robust tuning apps, at least for iOS. I’ve been using iStroboSoft from Peterson, the maker of strobe tuners as my primary tuner for years. I’ve found it to be incredibly reliable. In my side-by-side testing their iOS app responds essentially the same as their paperback book sized hardware VSAM tuner, which I also own.

I also hear very good things about Tonal Energy Tuner (written by the same developer as "ThumbJam").

Now, that being said, I’m using iStroboSoft for the Uilleann pipes, whistle, and flute which all have continuous sounds and work well with the microphone on my iPhone.

Tuning a tenor banjo, or any plucked instrument with short sustain, particularly in a noisy session environment using a microphone based tuner, whether on a mobile device app or a standalone tuner will probably be less reliable than a clip-on tuner that picks up vibrations directly from the instrument.

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While we’re not at our session, we have lives to live and families.

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I second michaels recomendation of the peterson app, which can be used with a clip on mic. I have owned 3 different peterson hardware tuners, and the app is every bit as good. Its the only tuner i use as its 10xmore a curate than anything else on the market! Certainly i view the little clip on cheapies as worse than useless, ok they will get you into the general area but then require fine tuning by ear….. but if because they give you a green light, you think your in tune!!? Think again.