The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #39249   Message #555792
Posted By: Bat Goddess
21-Sep-01 - 10:39 AM
Thread Name: Session take-over - help
Subject: RE: Session take-over - help
Curmudgeon here. I do sympathise with Anon's plight, having been running a trad session for over seventeen years. Similarly, when the local public television station did a short feature on the session, the numbers swelled. Fortunately, the newcomers, most of them now regulars, brought a lot of fine music and good attitudes with them.

Our problem is that from time to time, the instrumentalists have a tendency to dominate the music; however, since many of them are also fine singers, it is not an overly great concern, usually. I really try to balance out the songs and tunes although I personally lean toward the singing.

Our session is not an open one, nor yet is it closed. Newcomers are welcomed and given an opportunity to sing or play. If they're good, they're encouraged; if potentially good, they're given help and advice; if they're truly awful, they're politely ignored.

One distinct advantage that you do not seem to have is actual leadership. Our session is actually my gig. I started it solo, then was joined by a couple of friends, and it grew from there. i rarely have to "pull rank," but can if necessary,. ie. the buffoon who tried to introduce a snare drum to acompany a ballad.

Pete has some very good suggestions. I might add one or two more. First, get a few of the old timers together and conspire to take back the session. Plan to come a bit earlier so as to stake out the territory and start he session your way. Speak up to the rude ones, "Hold the tune please, so&so has a song." Bring in a "ringer," a singer or instrumentalist to whom you can politely defer when the upstarts are getting too intense.

I hope this has been of some assistance. If I had more particulars such as the nature of the place where you play and a better idea of the music, I might come up with some other ideas.

Don't give up.

Curmudgeonly yours, Tom

BTW -- Does anyone have any ideas on how to politely yet effectivly stop musicians from "noodling?"