The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #163539   Message #3910929
Posted By: CupOfTea
13-Mar-18 - 05:56 PM
Thread Name: practising songs
Subject: RE: practising songs
It's completely understandable that folks don't want a song performance "read" off a sheet, or, heaven forfend, a digital device. I've been annoyed at that myself, but I don't see it as an absolute rule. I like to have my "cheat sheet" available even if I don't use it, because there are times when I just blank on what comes next, even on things I've practiced extensively. I'd rather have a glance at my mnemonics than have to skip a critical verse or blow a punchline sort of ending. I don't want to endure someone trying to play/sing something only vaguely familiar from the page or device. If someone has MADE THE EFFORT, but still needs some props, that's a different thing to me.

I've not been performing much beyond open mics and sings, and do get a bit sweaty nervous still. I don't want to be known for only the top 20 songs I have strongly in memory, and enjoy sharing as wide a range of songs as I can. So the first couple times I trot out a new song I've been working up, I've got key words or chord patterns where I can see 'em. If it's a song I know well enough to sing, but haven't done for awhile, might have to look up the chords or what key I do it in. Saves me from having a "Frank Harte moment" - though he had extensive lyric sheets he used in workshop settings. I don't have his standing to try the patience of folks searching for a key or lyric. Is it so bad to want an expanding repertoire, if it means occasional lyric sheets? Can we save the purist judgements for professionals who get paid decent bucks?

I like the answers above about wanting to have a session or not - being one who is slowly moving from sheet music to memory at Irish sessions, because I find it harder to remember what something starts on without words.

Joanne in Cleveland who has been known to make lyric sheets for song alongs