jumping ahead

jumping ahead

hi there . iam trying like mad to catch up to all your posts

what jumped out at me was Cunnia’s judgement that he/she wasn’t ready to join a session and,showd=itto dadyo’s response: "hey man where is that feeling coming from"

i dunno, jus that i agree.we impose so much self judgement on our playing, but why ?and wherefore/?

When we get up an dance do we think to ourselves "gosh, I must look dumb"

we all do, but why?

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oh good!! Another perfect opportunity for me to whine on about my inferiority complexities.Yess!!!!

I think my reluctance stems from my ultra-critical nature.I love ITM and have been passionate about it long before i tried picking it up even though i’ve been playing other styles for ages.I f i go to a gig/session and hear somebody mucking it up,it turns me off big-time.I know,I know that the fun of participating should be the main thing in a session and i sincerely believe there should be avenues of entry for all levels.
It’s just im not happy to have a go myself unless i feel i’m really "inside" the music if that makes any sense.And im getting there but very slowly.

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The way to get inside the music is to play it, but the way to get inside sessions is to play in them. You’ll never be ready if you never do it. It takes practice, just like everything else.

"… we think to ourselves "gosh, I must look dumb"…we all do, but why?

Obviously because we all look dumb, but that’s …alright.

KFG

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I dont mind looking dumb it’s sounding dumb that bothers me.Yes i take your point about practice KFG but i dont think either you should do something your not totally comfortable with.For me it’s the fear of hitting the wrong chord time and again which,like it or not ,does annoy the hell out of people.Hence the thousands of guitarist jokes.

By the way Veronica,cunnla is ‘he’ : )

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Isn’t it the FEAR of looking dumb rather than the fact that we do look dumb, that haunts us? We’re afraid that we’ll screw up, we’re afraid that someone might not like what we’re doing. We feel this way before we have even delivered the performance, so the fear is based on future events.

So we pre-empt it by not joining in, or apologising before the time for how badly we are about to play the tune (I do this a lot).

I also put myself down a lot. If I claim that I am unworthy, then if I screw up nobody will be surprised, but if things work well, everybody will be impressed. So I suppose I try to lower everybody’s expectations so that my performance is graded on a more forgiving scale.

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Why this word FEAR?

So many people have decried competitions, so many of the contributors seem really nice beings, so why FEAR?

Surely not from people on this site. And seeing as competiton is not the source, from where does this FEAR emanate?

I play for the absolute joy of it. I know members of the session who play for the same reason. If you are afeard of making a mistake you already have a restriction on your expression.

I’m certainly not here to judge.

Enjoy yourself!

Brianx

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Indeed. Inactivity out of fear of making a mistake is the one way to insure you never get anything right.

KFG

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The FEAR emanates from the scenario of sitting happily strumming my guitar along to ‘the Mountain Road’.Suddenly,totally lost to the music,I unconciously hit a C chord that jars between the fiddle on my right & concertina on my left.The whole thing grinds to a halt,whilst the bar is drenched in silence.Absolute hear-a-pin-drop silence.And everyone’s staring at ME.

Suddenly the door bursts open & in march the dreaded Trad Police.Fingers crunching & knuckle dusters.Their leader,a sergeant Tansey accuses me of destroying the purity & integrity of Irish music forever.It will never sound the same again….

Well that’s a worse case scenario anyhow….: (

Perhaps i need a break.

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Time and again we come round to this.

Perhaps there’s a test you can apply to yourself to see whether you would be able to play in a session.

It goes like this:
You’re walking down the street. The street is busy with traffic, but the pavement (sidewalk) is empty apart from you. Something on the other side of the street catches your attentionSo fascinated are you, that you walk along looking at this phenomenon, your face turned at right angles to your direction of travel.

Suddenly you walk smack into a streetlamp.

Now - the question is this: Do you (A) feel embarrassed with all these people seeing you do such a daft thing? or are you (B) laughing at the daft sod (yourself) who just walked smack into a streetlamp?




If your answer is B, you can play in any session, anywhere, anytime.

If your answer is A, you are not ready to play in a session.

The brighter and more perceptive among you will have noticed that this is entirely about your attitude to yourself, and nothing to do with your ability to play music.


It also does not hinge on your preferences with regard to broccoli, nor does it require any mathematical analysis of the speed of the tunes - even though these are fine things in their places.







Just play.

That’s all there is to it.

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PS.

I don’t dance, but only because I never had any urge to do so, not because of what people think.
I do like broccoli.
I play most sets of reels with a starting speed of 113 and building up to about 119 in a 4-reel set. This is a net increase of 2bpm per tune per set. I am not yet able to give any figures with regard to margins of error, or standard deviations.

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Well said, that man.

*pint*

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i smacked into a traffic-sign, yesterday. "no parking" it said.
do you think i’m ready for a session now?
or was this an omen to just ‘move along’?
mm

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If this life is driving you to drink
Sittin’ ‘round what’s the use to think
Well I’ve got some consolation
Give it to you if I might
You know I don’t worry ‘bout a thing because
Nothin’s gonna turn out right

—Mose Allison

Usually that includes my redition of this song. The audience can often tell when I know I’ve made a mistake, even if they didn’t catch it. I smile. For a real clinker I’ve been known to giggle out loud.

A mistake is just a musical joke. Share it. Laugh. Enjoy. Play on!

KFG

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I came back to singing after a long gap and was very,very nervous. I shook and my breath control was abismal. I slowly got better what changed me was a massive change in my personal life which gave me a slighly more ‘what the hell …. what’s the worst that can happen attitude’. I have also found that when musicians that I admire encouraged me to sing with them it gave me a great boost.

Still get nervous. Interestingly I can go into completely new sessions where I know nobody and announce that I am a singer. (Musicians just wave the instrument cases - I’ve got to announce) but when new people join our existing sessions I retreat a bit until I get to know them.

Now learning the fiddle. It will be years and years before I have the guts to play that in a session!

J

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jayfoth - come and play in our session next week.

If all you can manage is a slow and inaccurate rendition of Salmon Tails, we’ll still give a rousing cheer.

If you’re really lucky, someone might shriek yeeeeehaaaagh while you play.

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Seriously folks, KFG makes an interesting point:
"The audience can often tell when I know I’ve made a mistake, even if they didn’t catch it. I smile."

Most of the "terrible errors and inaccuracies" which make you cringe about your own playing are unnoticed by listeners.

Someone once commented on a rather attractive little variation in my playing of a particular tune - it took the form of a minute pause (a hiatus?) - in fact it was because when I played the F-sharp in a top-D/f-sharp/top-D I missed the D string every damned time!

To me it was an error - which in my younger days might have caused me to crash and burn, but to the listener it sounded fine.

Now - if I had played an E-flat there, or changed the rhythm to be sure of reaching the F-sharp it would have sounded wrong to a listener.

Just play. what’s the worst that can happen?

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Asking "What ‘s the worst that can happen" should spawn a varied collection of responses!!

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What puts the glow in your face, and the sparkle in your eyes? What leaves you feeling like you have been doused with fairy dust in your aura?

Well, for a couple of years, for me, it was ceili dancing on Wednesday evenings. Everyone else seemed like a relative sourpuss on Thursday mornings. I would never have even thought of trying ceili dancing - or any other type of dancing. But my wife did. I went along and never regretted it. I am sure that I was never a sight to behold - at least not in any inspiring way, but I managed to get to the point where I could be in the right place at the right time most of the time. The comment about running into a streetlamp is right on the money. Most of the dancers regarded the small goofs that we all made with humor - it was part of the fun.

I heard that there was a session in that town, but that it was very serious, so I never attended. I am glad to hear that other sessions are more lighthearted, with more of the sort of attitude that I experienced in ceili classes.

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Showaddydadito - I would take you up on that but some how I don’t think you are within a bus ride of Sheffield, besides I really am a much better singer.

J

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“You wouldn’t be so concerned with what people think of you if you realized how seldom they do.”

I take great comfort in this thought.

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The worst that can happen is that the tune falls apart.
I’ve seen ‘world class(!)’ Fiddlers completely cock up changeovers form one tune to another. The main difference between experienced players who do this and non experienced players is that the non experienced ones worry about it, and tend to just grind to a halt, whereas the experinced ones just get back on the horse and carry on!

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Sorry, i didn’t mean ‘World Class’, I meant ‘International Standard’.
;-)

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Horse? What bl**dy horse? Are we talking Roy Rogers here?

A four legged friend, a four legged friend
He’ll never let you down,
He’s tasty and tender right up to the end
A wonderful medium rare four legged friend.

(Yeeeeeeeehaaaaaaagh may be said by all the congregation)

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Just within the last couple months I started taking the whistle to sessions. It’s improved my playing a lot, so in spite of feeling like an idiot occasionally when I train wreck, I continue to do it and learn more tunes so I can play more. And when I hold a tune together which is starting to happen more often than not, there’s nothing like it!

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Hi Ho Silverspear!

I’m beginning to sense a theme here.

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I’m having to slowly, painfully undo the programming of my youth so I can make a mistake in public and not feel like the biggest idiot ever hatched.

All through my childhood my mother would listen to my practice sessions and present me, when I was finished, with a detailed list of every mistake I’d made. Then I progressed to what were officially called adjudications, where the kids would have to dress up and perform a long piece of classical music from memory before a panel of judges, who would present you with a detailed written list of every mistake you made from missed notes to an insufficiently formal posture. Your teacher was supposed to use this list to browbeat you into being better pit monkey fodder (to borrow KFG’s term). (My teacher, bless him, didn’t. He threw it out.) After 12 years of that I totally hated letting *anyone* hear me play.
:-p

Thanks to the kind, patient, encouraging folk at the house session I attend, I’ve gotten to where I can make an error and keep playing and *not* slide under the chair in horror. But it’s taken a lot, including seeing some of the pros at that session screw up royally. And honestly I don’t think I’ll venture on a strange session anytime soon, because I’m still getting to the point of having that much confidence. I’ve just in the last couple of months gotten to where I can hear myself play correct notes instead of only hearing the wrong ones.

And yes, Veronica, I *do* think "Gosh I look dumb" while I’m dancing, but I don’t care; I’ve never had to dance for judges.

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I just ate some broccoli and now I’m abel to play very complex passages of clasical music on my Concertina. Good bye pub sessions, hello Carnegie Hall!!