New to Sessions

New to Sessions

I am learning the Irish fiddle and am getting to the point where I would like to join the weekly session at the local pub. What are the general rules on session etiqutte(sp?) - I do not want to risk irritating the regulars as I work myself in. Thanks!

Re: New to Sessions

Welcome to The Session, Brian!

Well — every session is different. They pretty much all have their own take on the "rules", so the best way to avoid irritation of the leaders of your session is to show up at one of the sessions (if you REALLY want to impress them, don’t get your instrument out until you’ve done this), strike up a conversation with someone who looks to match that description, and ask them about the etiquette of their particular session, telling them you’re new to sessions and don’t want to inadvertently offend through ignorance (which keeps offending intentionally as one of your options, you see).

Not only will it mark you out as someone who has the manners to ask, but you’ll also get the exact information you need instead of just the general stuff we can give you here.

Anyway, we’ve a TON of old threads that refer to session etiquette in one way or another. Try putting "session etiquette" into the search field thingy and you’ll see.

Good luck, and keep us updated with how you’re doing!

Re: New to Sessions

Well, BrianinVirginia, there’s more "discussion" (argument?) on this website about session etiquette than you can shake a stick at. (Try doing a search for ‘etiquette’, you’ll come up with about 900 posts that mention the word.) πŸ™‚

There is a small list of basic stuff that Zina put up on our slow session website http://www.slowplayers.org/SCTLS/etiquette.html

But the basic thing about working your way into a session is to go to the session, get to know the players and their tunes. And if you show some knowledge and interest, they’ll probably invite you in.

Pete

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*smirk* We cross posted. Really.

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At least you didn’t also put a link to the site πŸ˜‰

Pete

P.s.

And, NO, Will, I’m not downstairs and he’s not upstairs. He’s at work.

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…and your at his office. *snicker*

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Actually, I AM downstairs, now. πŸ™‚ At my house, not his office!

Re: New to Sessions

The best general advice (in my opinion, but my opinions are stupid and often wrong), is to treat the session as you would a conversation among friends. Spend some time listening first, without expecting to take part yourself. Eventually, if you like the way their musical conversation works, you can introduce yourself to one of the regulars and chat them up about a tune you heard them play, or their intruments, or whatever. It’s a hop and a skip from there to them asking you if you play and would you like to sit in.

For more stupid opinions on session etiquette, do a search here for "noodling" or "public performance." *grin*

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Will, I think that constitutes hazing. πŸ™‚

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Go to the session without your instrument, get very very drunk and pester the musicians with inane chat all night.

Then next week turn up with your fiddle and sit down with them like nothing happened.

Works for me.

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Show up early. Fewer people = more opportunity to make the acquaintance of those already there.

Stay late for the same reason.

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The really funny thing, Jimmy Troy, is that we talk like this all the time in real life as well. πŸ™‚

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Well, I believe we scared _him_ off. Good work, everyone! Yes, all part of our CUNNING PLAN to corner the market on sessions everywhere!
<gratuitous diabolical laughter>

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<Ignoring the Previous>

Go to "Members" >Search "kerri brown" and do the opposite of whatever it says there. You’ll be alright…
That page is one of the classics of North American Irony. There is a grassroots movement to get a historical marker or something put up there.

The nicest approach I ever saw was: a guy sat at a nearby stool and pretty well did the "Thinker" pose for about an hour. I sez to meself, I sez "Here’s a man without his "yoke", and lived to rue it".
So a couple of us went over and spoke to him. He’s a concertina man, but claimed he only knew 50 tunes. Turns out we knew almost all of them.

I was a *little * more assertive at my first. I brought a notebook every week and wrote down all the titles I could catch. After a week or 2 some people took the responsibility of making sure I got the names of the tunes. After about a month. the session leader asked me "when are you gonna bring it in and play with us." This was a fairly large session, it may have taken a while to notice.

I didn’t think it was all that heinous sitting in a bar, drinking Guiness, and listening to tunes but now it seems like pretty brutal advice.

I think it is generally accepted to "bring it" , but leave it in the case and sit nearby enjoying the music. Get to know the people… Watch somebody else catch hell…. you get my drift.

If this goes on for several months, it may be an opportunity to seek greener pastures.

Re: New to Sessions

1. Watch

2. Make friend(s)

3. Join in

If you’re not invited to join in, it’s not worth bothering with - find a session that is.

Dave

Re: New to Sessions

Well put, Dave!

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What is really appreciated is :-

Sing lots of 38 verse balads

play a bodhran really loudly

play lots of solo airs

ask if anyone can play "the wild rover" or anything from riverdance. If they can’t be ready to play them.

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Re: New to Sessions

>play a bodhran really loudly

>play lots of solo airs

Solo airs on the bodhran! Daver, you’ve really inspired me! I can’t wait to try that at my next session. I’m sure I’ll get _lots_ of helpful comments…

>ask if anyone can play "the wild rover"

Have you ever heard the "other" version of "Wild Rover," officially known as "Wild Roving No More"? It’s got a great minor-y, modal-type melody you can do all kinds of fun things with, and there’s no "No! Nay! Never *STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP* No never more!" chorus. I first heard it on an album by the Scottish group Kentigern, who credited it to a Glasgow fiddler named Willie Beaton. Not sure how much this version might’ve trickled into the Irish trad session scene, but on my end I haven’t heard anyone play it.

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Re: New to Sessions

Oh, and it would be remiss of me not to give my welcome, Brian. Where in Virginia do you live, by the way? My wife and I both have family in that fair state.

Obviously, I don’t know your situation, whether you’re taking lessons from someone — but in addition to, or even in lieu of, dropping in on a pub session, perhaps your fiddle teacher might be willing to help organize a house party-type session? There’s a fiddle teacher I know in these parts who tries to have one potluck a month, and encourages all her students (as well as friends and acquaintances, whether fiddlers or other instrumentalists) to come; if she can’t host the event — which is often, because she tours quite a bit — then she gets someone on her mailing list to do so. A nice way to experience the session dynamic, and in a very welcoming environment.

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Re: New to Sessions

Re the Wild Rover", the slow version sounds very similar to the tune "Her mantle so green". I don’t know for sure who was responsible for this version of the song, although I’ve heard it lots of times.

Re: New to Sessions

Hamish Imlach and Iain MacKintosh came up with this rewrite:

We’ve both been folksingers for twenty-five years
We will sing half the night for the fun and free beers
But now that we’re older we both know the score
No we never will play the Wild Rover no more


I know it’s a song, one that pleases the folk
But I have to admit that it just makes me choke
A night with a sore tooth is more fun to me
Than to sing even one verse, never mind two or three


It’s a song that’s requested again and again
If I hear it once more it’ll drive me insane
The words all sound stupid it just makes me wild
And the tune could be learnt by a two-year old child


I’ll go to a folk club, take a shotgun along
And I’ll shoot the first bastard who asks for that song
And the hangman will say as I fall through the floor
Now you never will play the Wild Rover no more

Re: New to Sessions

rules:
no running, dunking and no diving.only go into the deep end if you’re wearing your arm bands…

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Basically, it’s good manners and common sense.

Also, you have to learn to "bite your tongue" on occasion. Unfortunately, that’s the one I can’t always manage. πŸ™‚

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so much better than biting someone else’s though.

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Brian if you’re still listening after all this nonsense, I’ll make one serious suggestion: acquire and read a copy of Barry Foy’s "Field Guide to the Irish Session". Some people have serious gripes with it, but they’re wrong.

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That depends on whose tongue it is, Dave. πŸ™‚

Expect this kind of nonsense at all the really good sessions, though, Brian. Really good sessions are often a smirch upon the sterling reputations of adulthood among the constitutents.

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Oh, and I agree with cthuilleann. I love that book.

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Oh god, I can see it’s going to be one of those days, only 11 am and already I can’t spell.

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Hi Zina! Couldn’t get close enough to Sully on Friday to get a lock of his beard - still trying though.

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I heard Aaron Jones sing that version of the Wild Rover at a session a few days ago(shows off)

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JohnJ, thanks for posting the "alternative" lyrics to "Wild Rover." Right up there on a par with Robbie O’Connell’s "You’re Not Irish, You Can’t Be Irish." Unfortunately, in most of the sessions I might sing either of those two songs, no one (other than the other musicians) would get the joke.

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I can almost always talk, although the clarity of said talk is sometimes compromised, Johnny J, so pooh to you. Dave, PLEASE can you be sure to get a clean bit? πŸ™‚

Re: New to Sessions

Well I started playing at sessions mmmm… maybe a year ago.

At the pub here its either host picks you to pick a tune, first come first serve, or goes in a circle

Have fun!