Multiple Instruments

Multiple Instruments

I was just wondering how many people play multiple instruments (at session level). And what different instruments are they? There seem to be some weird combinations around my town, so I was wondering what other people played.
Personally I play guitar, viola, whistle, and harp. Just thought it was sorta weird to be playing so many really differents things.

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always wondered how people turn up at a session with a guitar, viola, whistle and a HARP !! do you own a small bus or are you just very strong………………..

If you have a few too many sparkly waters, hope you don’t end up walking home.

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I feel like I’m arriving at a session with too much baggage just having the concertina and flute.

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Well, here are my excuses - & I’m sticking to them!

I suppose if your session is packed out with melody instruments, then there is absolutely no ‘need’ to take more than one instrument. However if you, like ‘The Button’, are skilled on two instruments & enjoy hearing & playing both during the course of the night, especially in his case if there is no other Concertina player, then I don’t see any problem with him taking both. Let’s face it, neither actually weigh very much, so it’s not like he’s arriving with a Cello, Clarsach & Piano Accordion!

Now up here, we don’t have that many melody instrument players at any one session so there really is some justification for taking along a couple of instruments.

Thursday nights usually sees two Fiddles & a Flute/Whistle playing with/fighting back: two/three Bodhrans, at least one Guitar & one Bazouki so we need all the melody we can get! However, that night it suits me, & our line up, just to take the Fiddle.

On Friday nights, if I know one of the Flat Pipers is coming I always bring in my snakes head ‘viol’ & tune it down. Now & again I am the only melody player who turns up here, to play along with Harp, Guitar & Bodhran, so when that happens I always take in the Concertina & Mandolin as well as my Fiddle. Not that I’m great on any of them but the variety helps keep things interesting for the ears.

At our weekly ballad session, ( well - full time musicians have to do some strange things from time to time you know, just to keep the roof over their heads - but it’s not like I’ve sold out, sold my soul to the devil & have been reduced to playing ‘Country Music’ - well not quite! ) anyway, where was I? Oh yes! Aye, I usually take all three aforementioned instruments plus my Hammered Dulcimer to these sessions. They help me to stay sane ( I think ) during the long yodelling hours. So on those nights I wander in with Fiddle in one hand, Concertina in ‘tother, Mandolin or Mandola under me arm & Hammered Dulcimer balanced on me head! (well, it’s good for my posture & all that ‘Catwalk’ work I do!)

No but (yes but), fortunately Mrs Ptarmigan plays Harp at those sessions, so I make good use of her ‘fetch & carry’ skills, so personally only need to carry in my ‘Bag of Tricks’! Well, if you have a ‘dog’, why ‘bark’ yourself’s what I always say! πŸ™‚

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I play guitar, bouzouki and bodhran, and lug all three to sessions, with no apologies. It does mean I take up a little more room (although I’ve worked it out pretty well), but I just like being able to have the opportunity to play rhythm or melody. And, if there’s a guitarist or a bodhran player already there (as if often the case in two out of three sessions I go to), at the very least I can play melody. I relish having the chance to go to a session, and the idea of "taking turns" with another guitarist or bodhran player just doesn’t grab me; I’m there to play, period, and being a multi-instrumentalist, both rhythm and melody, I know I have the means to do that.

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I usually play fiddle and mando, but that’s not so unusual. Ptarmigan, when you say Country Music, what do you mean? I can only think of the Amercian connotation.

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Ooooooooooooh NOoooooooooooooo! There is something a thousand times worse than your worst Country Music over here - it’s called ‘Irish Country’ - horrendous ‘Mel Brooks’ style Drum crash in the background!

For ‘Melodic Vomit’ read ‘Daniel O’Donnell’ Aaaaaaarrrrggg

…………….runs away screaming at the very mention of the man……………………………………………………….

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Ha. Melodic Vomit—I like that. Daniel O’Donnell? Enlighten me; remeber I’m an ignorant Yank…..

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Hey sts, your comment about taking turns reminded me of a story I heard recently about one of our most highly respected Bodhran players up here.

He was playing away at a session when another Bodhran ‘owner’ arrived.
Now this new fellow couldn’t play to save himself, but anyway they both played on for a while & then this newcomer turned to our ‘hero’ & said politely - I think what we should do is take it in turns, I play for one set & then you play for the next, & so on.
To which our hero turned to him, & said politely, I think what you should do is pick up your Bodhran & just F**K *FF!!

Wouldn’t you just love to have been there!

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OK dmarie.
Picture, if you will, a bucket half full of VOMIT.
Now top it up with DIARRHOEA!
Stir well & throw in a KILO of SUGARl!

There you have it - Daniel O’Donnell’s Irish Country Syrup

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Is Daniel O’Donnell the guy that’s always on the Public Television fundraisers? The weasely-looking guy that tries to sing Elvis songs, looking like a perv swivling around? Very banal songs?

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That’s the one dmarie - youv’e got it in one - ‘The Banal Swivling Perv’! Couldn’t have put it better myself!

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AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The first time he was on PBS, all my (ex) friends called me, knowing I like Irish music. I should’ve known something was up by their snickering in the background..The guy makes Billy Ray Cyrus’ "Achy Breaky Heart" seem like high art. Plus he looks like the kind of guy I steer my students away from.

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Boy’s a dear, this thread, and site has sunk to an ALL TIME LOW. Who would have thought we would end up discussing Daniel O’Donnell!

Before things get any worse (not sure they could) & before Jeremy barrs us, I’m off………………………

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So, I take it I shouldn’t mention that my grandmother absolutely LOVES Daniel O’Donnel and wouldn’t miss his PBS appearances for the world? πŸ˜‰

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On a better note, I’m only comfortable playing fiddle in a session, but I probably could play harp if I had more people pushing me.

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Mostly just take my fiddle. Since we mainly have old-time jams around here I will pick up the hammer or mountain dulcimer if there are too many fiddles. Learning the banjo to be able to play that when I don’t want to play melody.

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TJ, I apologize to your grandmother. My own grandmother would’ve ripped my hair out if she’d read my earlier comments. I get too harsh with my own opinions sometimes. (But he still can’t sing Elvis songs!)

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I play flute and whistle mainly. I know enough tunes on the hammered dulcimer to bring it along to sessions (and since it is not a very common instrument, it is usually a hit). I also play a little keyboard, but I can only plunk, and that gets boring.

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Errrrr……. I’ve an admission to make - I almost watched Daniel O’Donnell singing live - it was a very close shave. What happened was that Aberdeen Folk Club were told that the Scottish band "The Iron Horse" were going to be playing at a concert in the Beach Ballroom for a Grampian Television programme series that was being recorded. Well, Grampians first request, was that for continuity, we should stay on the same seats for the whole evening. Fine and well, until at the break, when the announcement was made…..

"We’re sorry to say, but "The Iron Horse" will not be playing this evening, but we’re delighted to announce that we will have, all the way from Donegal…….. Daniell O’Donnell!!!!!!!!"

Tyre marks on the floor of the Beach Ballroom……….
The smell of burning rubber, ugly scenes as we scrambled to get through the exit doors all at once……….

There was more than on empty table for the second half of the recording!
πŸ˜€

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Oh ye of little faith!…..

What’s got 100 legs, no teeth and smells of stale urine? (Polite version!)

Front row of DO’D concert!

Bx

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PA, anglo and english concertina - about the loudest, providing there are no brass-section instruments at the session.

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I just sort of wondered what you mean by "at session level"?

is there a minimum (or maximum) permissible standard? (e.g. percentage of wrong notes, or acceptable bpm?)

Are we talking High Level Sessions here?









Oh, by the way, don’t take this too seriously. But it’s the kind of casual phrase that causes blood on the walls on this site sometimes.

;-P

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I am currently blessed with NEVER having seen nor heard DO’D before! <laugh>

To the point of this thread: I play many instruments at "session level," but will only take one or two. Soon as I get my pipes ordered, I’ll be doing only that and flute. The only other flute we have at our session is one of those strange silvery things with all those blasted keys! πŸ™‚

-P

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Ptarmigan:
Re taking turns, there’s the familiar jokes: "Take turns? Sure. I’ll take the D chords, you take the G chords, and we’ll do the A’s together." Or (for bodhrans) "Sounds like a great idea. You can play on the slow airs and the Daniel O’Donnell songs."

Aside to Showaddydadito: "It’s the kind of casual phrase that causes blood on the walls on this site" is one of the best, and most understated, things I’ve read here in a while. Congrats.

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Now you have me beat!

Does The High Level Session allude to the session held at The High Level?

SERIOUSLY!

There used to be a session, and a folk club too, at a pub in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England (some would say Northumbria!) of varying degrees of traditionality. I must state that I had some great times there and met some fantastic people, and musicians as well.

When I first travelled over from Cumbria for the BIG SUNDAY SESSION after playing with Ian MacDonald, Ali Anderson, Andy Seagroatt, Martin Dunn, Mick Johnson, Chuck Flemming, Mick Moriarty and all the gang, would have been about ‘83, I asked for a pint of orange squash ( like a shot of cordial and basically a pint of water).

In England the law was, (maybe still is) that you could enter a public house and ask for water. A second water was chargeable.
Anyway the upshot of this is that the barmaid charged me more for this very diluted drink, than for a pint of Amber or a bottle of Newcastle Brown!

So much for trying to be sensible!

Bx

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I don’t play all those instruments at any one session, they’re just a variety that I can pick from depending on what I feel like playing. Mainly fiddle (and the whistle that fits in the case). It would be such a pain to try to carry them all around.