Are you still learning good general skills when learning tunes in one session which you wouldn’t play yourself

Are you still learning good general skills when learning tunes in one session which you wouldn’t play yourself

Recnently Ive been going to a couple of different sessions which only play a small portion of irish tunes however they are a nice friendly crowd so it is my favored of the sessions at the moment.

Having been to a couple of different irish sessions I have found even with these often they won’t know any of the tunes you know from another irish session.

I enjoy the learning and playing with others even though these tunes do not really stick out to me and I wouldn’t have personally chosen to learn them although they are certainly better for group session playing since they are alot simpler.

So even if I learn such and such tunes at one session am I still learning valuable skills for future sessions in other places. I am sure the answer is yes but just opening it up for discussion I guess of other’s experiences of this who may be further down the road of session hopping and this issue.

When I first started going to sessions I thought I would learn a set of ‘golden standard’ tunes that could allow me access to any new session. I bet this is more frequent in irish only focused sessions but in england there is often a mish mash of tunes from all over in most local sessions Ive found.

I like this one for the social aspect and the crowd though as mentioned. I imagine you are always increasing your general fingering skills (whistle) and learning by ear which will be valuable wherever you go.

Re: Are you still learning good general skills when learning tunes in one session which you wouldn’t play yourself

yes they’re worth learning as you’ll probably end up learning new patterns. I find the more tunes I learn the easier it’s gets because it’s more a sequencing of previously learned patterns with only a few additional notes, instead of learning note for note which is what you do when you’re first learning.

Re: Are you still learning good general skills when learning tunes in one session which you wouldn’t play yourself

It’s definitely a good thing. Not only does it give you more experience in learning tunes, it gives you tunes in common with people you play with!

It’s also good to learn the ‘golden standard’ tunes. Many sessions may not play those tunes with any regularity, but I bet you that most of the players know them, and will pull them out when they’re struggling to find something in common with another player.

So learn the standard tunes, and also learn the tunes that the sessions you attend like to play. And then at some point, you will have inserted yourself into the session well enough that you can be one of the people introducing new tunes to the session!

Re: Are you still learning good general skills when learning tunes in one session which you wouldn’t play yourself

Right on Rev.

Re: Are you still learning good general skills when learning tunes in one session which you wouldn’t play yourself

What is this so-called "play yourself" thing. :-)

Having both a fulltime "real" job and my sideline apps business, as like most people family and home time obligations, I pretty much only play in sessions (up to three a week), and only play at home to learn and practice tunes being played by others that I’ll eventually play with them in a session.

For example, most recently, our the session I co-host at The Ould Sod caught the "Raw Bar Collective" bug, with others playing sets from their CDs and YouTube videos. So that’s what I play at home.

Re: Are you still learning good general skills when learning tunes in one session which you wouldn’t play yourself

Well if you are leading a session not such a fair comparison as you have more influence to direct the tide so you can be confident what you learn others will want, or at least heavily peer pressured, to play :)

Re: Are you still learning good general skills when learning tunes in one session which you wouldn’t play yourself

I’m not leading the session, I’m just a co-host, which is very different in practice. Most of the new tunes coming into the session are from the other players.

Re: Are you still learning good general skills when learning tunes in one session which you wouldn’t play yourself

Personally, I prefer to go to a session where I DON’T know all of the tunes already, and can take up the challenge of trying to learn new ones (to me) on the hop. Of course, I wouldn’t join in first time through, but listen, and only join in (if at all) when I’d got the gist of the tune. If I liked the tune, but still couldn’t join in, I might afterwards ask and note the name of the tune and go away and look it up and learn it. (Concurring what much of what Steve W and Reverend have said.)
But as for tunes "you wouldn’t play yourself" - if I don’t like a tune, what’s the point in learning it? Ok, sometimes a tune can grow on you: you don’t like it on first hearing, but it sounds better with successive playings. I would also think of this in terms of tunes learned in workshops: maybe 1 in 4 appeals and you want to keep playing it; the rest can be rapidly forgotten.
But if you really don’t like a tune, I’d feel no real impetus to learn it just because everyone else plays it: that could be your "go to the loo/bar/outside for a chat" tune! ;-)

Re: Are you still learning good general skills when learning tunes in one session which you wouldn’t play yourself

Yes - there are tunes played at one session that I used to go to that I don’t particularly like, but I think playing along with other people is always educational - it’s training your ear and general musicality, if nothing else.

When I first started going to this session, if I knew a tune but they were playing it in a different key (say), I couldn’t join in because I couldn’t actually hear what note they were starting on. After going for a few months, I suddenly found that I could. My ear had been trained by being among players and getting the experience.

Then, at another session which began a couple of years later than the one I’ve just been talking about, I found that I could join in tunes that I knew and had danced to (often) but had never actually played. It was a most exhilarating experience and shows that it all mounts up and the brain is learning even when you’re not conscious of it.

My circumstances have changed and so has the second session’s regular evening slot, so at the moment I’m not getting the chance to play with other people, except if I go to a summer school or fiddle weekend.
So I do - as much as possible.

I am happy even when playing by myself, but there’s no doubt that playing with other people increases my enjoyment exponentially even when the tunes are also-rans. :)

Whenever you get the chance - go for it!

Re: Are you still learning good general skills when learning tunes in one session which you wouldn’t play yourself

There are so many factors involved in a session that pretty much anything can give you good skills, even old tunes, or tunes you wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. Some musicians have "their own" sets, and just combining a certain tune with an unexpected one can be enough challenge.

Re: Are you still learning good general skills when learning tunes in one session which you wouldn’t play yourself

Well trish I don’t really like english tunes and that is mainly what they play at two sessions in particular with only the odd irish one now and then. However the crowd are nice at these ones and so it is more a social thing.

Like you go out with friends and play pool or ten pin bowling where you might not otherwise but you are going for the social aspect rather than the activity specifically. It is ideal if both the music and the crowd are to your preference but where I live currently my options are limited in that respect.