Talky Talky

Talky Talky

When the session leader and the cool people around him/her spends a lot of time talking and everyone else is just kind of sitting around waiting, would you say it would be out of line to just start playing with everyone else?

Re: Talky Talky

I think James Kelly has some words to the effect of "it’s a session, there should be almost as much talk as music". But yes, if the Elder’s are talking it’s a good time to start a set of tunes so that one day you can move up to the "adult" table

Re: Talky Talky

Let’s say in this instance the leaders are paid and the layout and overall bar noise level are making it so the proletariat are excluded from the conversation. It’s not intentional, that’s just how it’s panning out.

Re: Talky Talky

Well I would be the most experienced ( Tune Leader _ If you like ) :-)
But I am glad, when someone else has a go, or comes in with a different tune,
than I would play etc.. Its good experience, and confidence, for them I reckon .
Someone must have taken this video of us, one Saturday. Its a wee Learners tune,
and early on in the Day. But I find there, most of the talking, comes from the Punter’s :-D
f4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmWXUe-IBvw

Re: Talky Talky

P. S.
Experienced Players are also Very Welcome ;-)
Guys like this Young fiddler, Johnny Murphy…
BTW…. I’m the old fiddler with to much Guinness around him.
How things change, I drink mostly Tea now Health Reason’s !
f4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jg33s_v4pBQ

Re: Talky Talky

It really depends on the session. Each session tends to run at its own pace. In my sessions, people are encouraged to start tunes whenever they feel the urge, as long as they’re not starting all the sets, or pouncing right when the last set ends. But if the session is normally driven by the leader, or the leader delegates who should start a set (especially if it’s a paid session leader), then you might be ruffling some feathers. So all you can really do is use your own judgement for the situation. Maybe try it once by working out what you want to play with the other non-cool (ha!) people, and start something and see what the reaction is. If they stop talking and join in, then you’re OK. If they throw you a dirty look and keep talking, then maybe not. If they just keep talking without showing any animosity then, again, you just need to make the judgement for yourself as to whether it was OK…

Re: Talky Talky

There are a few sessions around here where the paid session leaders do as much, if not more, chatting than playing, while at the same time, it’s not really kosher for plebs to start sets themselves. So if you are a pleb, you find yourself sitting awkwardly waiting for someone higher up the food chain to start a tune, but they’re chatting away with their mates for twenty minutes. Definitely Type III fun. Once I learn that’s what any given session is like, I avoid it.

Re: Talky Talky

Funny how sometimes if a session has fewer people than usual attending, you might be forgiven for thinking you’d get more chances to introduce a tune or a song….but some sort of inverse Parkinson’s Law creeps in …..more chat, less playing, and you still go home having had only 2 or 3 shots at starting something!
Even in a band practice session today, I found myself saying, as they were debating if we had time left to play a certain set - "Well, we would have, if you all stopped arguing and just got on and played it". (Mea not favourite person - slapping my own wrist!)

Re: Talky Talky

Yes, it really depends on the session as has been said already.
If unsure, why not ask?

Re: Talky Talky

What, Johnny, you don’t like my suggestion of the passive-aggressive approach of just trying it? :-P Obviously, asking is a good idea. But maybe privately ask after the session, so that you’re not putting the leader on the spot in front of other people…

Re: Talky Talky

Good Lord just start the damned tune. Its not the UN… you won’t be violating diplomatic protocol and
escalating an international incident. If the hotshots throw you out for being an upstart, you’re better off!

Re: Talky Talky

Sometimes, the Glasgow scene feels like the UN.

Re: Talky Talky

I probably should start lurking since I’m often swimming upstream. I have played sessions which I still remember where there was lots of conversation, maybe even more time spent not playing than actually playing tunes. But they were great *tune* sessions; none the less. It seems like when the tunes started no one was bothered & the playing was good. However I don’t always play all the tunes. Maybe that’s why it was so good.

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Re: Talky Talky

Well, sessions began just because friends decided to get together for the music and the "craic". So, conversation would obviously be an integral part of the proceedings.

The thing is that many sessions these days have become too commercialised/organised. They start at 9pm(or whenever) on the the dot and stop at Midnight(Or whenever) on the dot. There are expectations from the landlord/management and punters for wall to wall tunes and the musicians feel obliged to comply.

I remember the earlier days in pubs such Sandy Bells and The West End Hotel and so on Edinburgh when everybody including the musicians just went along to socialise. There may or may not have been "a tune" and the "craic" may or may not have been mighty.

I miss those days.

Re: Talky Talky

I’ve been to amazing sessions where hardly any music is actually played. Much drinking and smoking and chatting and joking and such like!

Re: Talky Talky

It’s tricky question and very dependent on the session itself and the people involved. In my experience people running sessions are generally glad to include others and join in when they start tunes. However they can get resentful if they feel the session is getting monopolized or taken over by others.
I suppose the question is how much of this are we talking about? A couple of sets over the course of an evening? Or is it every time the leaders/regulars settle in to a proper chat, someone tries to drag them out of it?
And why? Is it because you have sets, maybe hypothetically including tunes you learned at/because of this particular session and you want to play them? Or because you think the session needs to be ‘improved’ by cutting out all the chit chat and focusing on tunes?
I’d say try to strike a balance in you attitutude. Hopefully you’re relaxed and enjoying the music. Feeling welcome and not needing to apologize for your presence or be overly wary of treading on people’s toes. But at the same time remember it isn’t your session. It’s theirs. As a newcomer, you certainly don’t need to start effecting changes, to things they might be happy with.

Re: Talky Talky

If a pub is hosting you and the owner thinks of the session as "entertainment" too much chat won’t do.

Re: Talky Talky

I can understand newcomers who want to play tunes rather than converse. I can also understand that other factors may apply to a session where all musicians know each other (and perhaps haven’t met for a long time?). A lot of this depends on what you’re expecting (probably the most important factor), the location, possibly the number of musicians present…

Re: Talky Talky

"If a pub is hosting you and the owner thinks of the session as "entertainment" too much chat won’t do."
Interestingly in one of those sessions I mentioned the pub owner would be one of the talkie-talkies. He could talk.

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Re: Talky Talky

He doesn’t seem to think of the session as "entertainment" if he’s fine with it being silent for song stretches (or perhaps he imagines his own chat entertaining?)

Re: Talky Talky

The session may have been his idea. It was definitely a tunes session. All the players were good trad players.
He is very much a business person. The session was Sunday mornings and the pub has great breakfast.
Great session while it lasted. It would probably still be going but I’m guessing keeping a weekly, Sunday
morning session in the long term is probably rare. He was not disruptive during the music. I’m not sure
if he is a musician but he knows trad, especially Irish. Yes, he does seem to like hearing his own voice.

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Re: Talky Talky

Just watch the people who are having, (or hosting,) the session for clues. If you take advantage of every chatty moment to start a tune — you’re interrupting the chat. I will sometimes ask the host about a particular tune to instigate some tunage, but be prepared for some chatting about the tune. What’s important is not to impose yourself on the session.