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bodhrans in sessions

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The Sandman 23 Apr 07 - 04:30 PM
Jack Campin 23 Apr 07 - 05:55 PM
Barry Finn 23 Apr 07 - 06:05 PM
michaelr 23 Apr 07 - 06:06 PM
GUEST,Greycap 23 Apr 07 - 07:04 PM
bubblyrat 24 Apr 07 - 05:42 AM
GUEST,ME 24 Apr 07 - 06:25 AM
Tim theTwangler 24 Apr 07 - 06:30 AM
John MacKenzie 24 Apr 07 - 06:33 AM
Shaneo 24 Apr 07 - 06:50 AM
John MacKenzie 24 Apr 07 - 06:53 AM
Betsy 24 Apr 07 - 07:24 AM
bubblyrat 24 Apr 07 - 07:28 AM
BanjoRay 24 Apr 07 - 07:44 AM
Marje 24 Apr 07 - 08:30 AM
John MacKenzie 24 Apr 07 - 08:53 AM
concertina ceol 24 Apr 07 - 11:55 AM
GUEST,MandoGordon 24 Apr 07 - 12:21 PM
Jim I 24 Apr 07 - 12:37 PM
The Sandman 24 Apr 07 - 02:33 PM
grumpy al 24 Apr 07 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,petr 24 Apr 07 - 08:44 PM
The Villan 25 Apr 07 - 01:44 AM
mandotim 25 Apr 07 - 02:22 AM
Barry Finn 25 Apr 07 - 02:29 AM
The Villan 25 Apr 07 - 02:36 AM
skarpi 25 Apr 07 - 02:50 AM
The Villan 25 Apr 07 - 02:53 AM
Ruth Archer 25 Apr 07 - 03:03 AM
Tootler 25 Apr 07 - 04:33 AM
The Villan 25 Apr 07 - 04:57 AM
mandotim 25 Apr 07 - 04:59 AM
the lemonade lady 25 Apr 07 - 07:02 AM
bubblyrat 25 Apr 07 - 07:17 AM
Ernest 25 Apr 07 - 07:46 AM
MMario 25 Apr 07 - 08:52 AM
guitar 25 Apr 07 - 09:13 AM
greg stephens 25 Apr 07 - 10:33 AM
Tim theTwangler 25 Apr 07 - 11:11 AM
Jack Campin 25 Apr 07 - 11:15 AM
The Sandman 25 Apr 07 - 11:33 AM
bubblyrat 25 Apr 07 - 11:34 AM
The Villan 25 Apr 07 - 11:44 AM
Ruth Archer 25 Apr 07 - 05:10 PM
Tim theTwangler 25 Apr 07 - 06:42 PM
Ruth Archer 25 Apr 07 - 06:49 PM
concertina ceol 26 Apr 07 - 05:25 AM
GUEST 26 Apr 07 - 05:42 AM
Shaneo 26 Apr 07 - 06:21 AM
BanjoRay 26 Apr 07 - 06:49 AM
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Subject: bodhrans in sessions
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Apr 07 - 04:30 PM

most people go along to a session to hear melody instruments.
I have noticed on occassions in sessions where there has not been much room,percussionists occupying seats,and cramping the style of fiddlers[who require elbow space ]when they[bodhran bashers] would be better giving up their seats,so that the melody instruments have the space to play properly,.
surely one bodhran player in a session is enough, particuarly when there is not much space.
after all without melody instruments there would be no session.


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Apr 07 - 05:55 PM

The serious bodhran players carry their drums in crates big and strong enough to sit on, so while they may take up space, they don't take up seats.

I'm seeing a lot less squadrons of bodhrans than I used to (around Edinburgh). One or two is typical.


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: Barry Finn
Date: 23 Apr 07 - 06:05 PM

There are usually plenty of fiddlers & other & stingy things along with buttons & squeezers by the bushels. You get up & give your seat over to a bodhran player first, dam muckers can't keep their timing without a drum or two going at it anyway. Got a problem with space, get there earlier.


Barry


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: michaelr
Date: 23 Apr 07 - 06:06 PM

What, bodhran-bashing? That's a first...


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: GUEST,Greycap
Date: 23 Apr 07 - 07:04 PM

Hate 'em


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: bubblyrat
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 05:42 AM

Love 'em ---- in the right hands, of course. Oddly enough, the famous Irish session in the Herschel Arms in Slough,of a Monday night, often takes place without a bodhran player to be seen ( or heard !! ).Two weeks ago, there were 26 musicians playing----some of the finest players of the pipes, flute, banjo,mandolin,guitar ,bouzouki,concertina, fiddle and melodeon as you could find anywhere, and a joyous ( and loud ) sound it was, too------ but NO bodhran player !! Since the pub is the "second home" of the group "MISE", however, we do sometimes get the services of a very fine bodhran-player indeed. And last night we were kept on the beat by a visiting basher from Leicester!!.( Big guy with white hair & beard ---nice bloke !! ). But ---I agree that in untrained hands, they can be exasperating . Tony Blair needs to appoint a " Minister for Percussion", with responsibility for setting up a nationwide network of bodhran workshops !!


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: GUEST,ME
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 06:25 AM

Like many other percussion instruments bodhrans are seen by some as a quick "entry" into a social/musical scene - an instant sense of belonging (although not always acceptance).
Many people who take up percussion can't carry a tune (generalising), can't recognise a time signature, and overlook the fact that percussion instruments can be just as sensitive, dynamic, exciting and soulful as any other instrument.
A bodhran (or any other percussion) in the right hands is a wonderful thing and most welcome. However . . . I know some who actually make a spectacle (or whatever the aural equivalent is) of themselves and are totally oblivious to the fact that they can't play 'em and are actually annoying others and, therefore, creating an "atmosphere", reducing enjoyment of players and spectators alike and disrupting a good session.

(that last sentence reads like the literary equivalent of a bad bodhran player but I can't be bothered changing it - you'll get my drift)


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 06:30 AM

Yawn ZZZzzzzzzzzzz.


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 06:33 AM

I feel that way about the plethora of fiddle players that seem to congregate wherever I go for a wee song and a session.
G.


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: Shaneo
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 06:50 AM

If a guest bodhran player joins the session and he is not any good.
Play a raft of slow songs , he will get the message ,


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 06:53 AM

I picked up a good tip at the weekend. If you purposely tune your guitar down a semitone, it buggers up all the would be joiners in ¦¬]
Doesn't work for the Bodhrani Beaters though.
G.


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: Betsy
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 07:24 AM

Bodhran players are no different to any other player - if they're decent players they're great for a session. Trouble is too many are not good, believing it is an easy instrument to learn/play and therefore an entry ticket to a good seat the session.They need themselves to be seen in the midst of the session.
I've just realised I've almost paraphrased " Guest ME " above. The other mistake duff bodhran players make (again) "believing it is an easy instrument " is to purchase a Tin whistle and squeak away periodically on it.I never heard any of them get a tune out of a whistle.
It's a pity really - I'm sure they buy these things wanting to be loved and part of a musical social group, but having said that, I don't believe many of them actually understands music in its' simplest form.
What can we do, but tolerate them, or, have a cull ?
It is a well-worn social trait , discriminate against those who are least able to defend themselves.
Not so long ago in Ireland it was the melodion which was the butt of this type of thing.


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: bubblyrat
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 07:28 AM

There are lots of budding musicians out there with no, or at least minimal, natural talent or ability. But , there are SOME, and these people need to be able to go and join in with more accomplished musicians, who, in their turn,need to be more tolerant and understanding.Two years ago,when I started playing (guitar) in a "proper" Irish session, I very soon realised ( and had it pointed out to me !! ) that I was making a lot of mistakes, particularly with regard to some of the subleties of Irish time-signatures, and I was forced to face the reality that I was NEVER going to be as good as some of the other Irish ( as in from Ireland ! ) musicians. So I had to learn to NOT play during some pieces, and to learn to play better in others !! I was very lucky to have as a ( very friendly ! ) critic,Irish guitarist, fiddler, singer & songwriter Frank Doherty, who has taught me to approach the guitar as if, rhythmically, it was a bodhran, since doing which I think I have improved somewhat---sometimes, indeed,over the last six months, I have found myself being the ONLY guitar-player---A great honour, considering what I was like when I started !! But I could never have reached that level without the tolerance and understanding of many fine musicians. Perhaps what is needed most is for one or more people , in every session, everywhere, to be a bit more realistic, and have the courage to tell people,if they"re not up to scratch, to desist, whilst perhaps offering to help with a bit of extra tuition !! It CAN work wonders !! And the experience of being able, and allowed, to play along in sessions, is utterly invaluable, for both playing ability and self confidence.


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: BanjoRay
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 07:44 AM

We don't have the bodhran problem in Old Time sessions - the only percussion permitted is that generated by a dancer.
In other sessions Bodhran players don't seem to realise that they have to be much better than average to make a good contribution. Even the good ones make it more difficult for the tune players to hear each other properly, and the others destroy the rhythm as well.
Ray


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: Marje
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 08:30 AM

I wouldn't want to push any players or singers out of a session; what does irritate me is when you get hangers-on or listeners-in who are not active in the session but who hog the seats right in the centre, and don't think to give them up when the session gets crowded and musicians can't find a seat. It's nice when people want to be close to the music, but they should appreciate that the very music they came to listen to is going to suffer if the people who come to play it can't get a seat close to the other musicians.

This is a pretty pointless rant, really, as I should think most people reading this are not offenders. But if your wife/husband/best mate comes with you just to listen to a session, please persuade them to move to the edge or out of the way if there isn't room for all the musicians.

There, I feel better for that. Oh, and just to clarify: I'm talking about pub sessions, not clubs or singarounds or concerts.

Marje


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 08:53 AM

Sunday evening at a session, a player came and sat beside me, and then pulled their seat forward effectively blocking my view of half the room, and my ability to hear properly some of the goings on. Later their partner also pulled their seat forward beside them effectively sitting with their back to the remainder of the room, and shutting all others not actually in the circle, out. I was in the position of being unable to move as I would have then blocked the only exit for someone else. So I put my guitar back in it's case and gave up.
Those are the sort of inconsiderate people I can do without at sessions. Imagine how bad it would have been if one of them played the bodhran too?
Giok ¦¬[


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: concertina ceol
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 11:55 AM

On a similar theme perhaps were aught to limit the number of guitars?

1) Only the guitarist can hear it in a session
2) They take up the space of two concertina players because of the long neck
3) Isn't a guitar only a bodhran with strings on anyway ie. a percussion instrument not a melody instrument? ;-)


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: GUEST,MandoGordon
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 12:21 PM

"I picked up a good tip at the weekend. If you purposely tune your guitar down a semitone, it buggers up all the would be joiners in ¦¬]"

We have a trad guy at our club who has a dislike for players, and pitches his songs usually in G# or C# to try to 'throw' the players. We take no notice and play along in the chosen key - it's good practice, you know, certainly for mandolin :-)


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: Jim I
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 12:37 PM

>On a similar theme perhaps were aught to limit the number of guitars?

Absolutely! And I speak as a guitar player. I will often not play if there are other guitarists there unless there are a decent number of 'melody' instruments. It seems silly where you may have, say, a whistle and a mouth -organ and three guitarists trying to accompany.

Then there are the guitarists who play the wrong chords or in the wrong rhythm and, despite that, thrash the guitar so that people in the next street are wincing.

Having said that, guitars are useful in that they were designed the way they are precisely for blocking out concertina players. After all what have concertinas, (the only instrument designed by an Englishman), got to do with Irish or Scottish music? : )


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 02:33 PM

The Bodhran player in question was the one who arrived late.He squeezed into a position where he was making it difficult for the fiddler next to him to play properly, despite the fact that he was clearly a beginner and it should have been obvious to him she was a strong player holding the session together.


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: grumpy al
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 02:43 PM

As a Bodhran player of long standing, twenty odd years now, I wholeheartedly agree that a bad drummer is the worst thing that can happen to a session.
I am also a Bodhran teacher and I try to instill a sense of courtesy in my pupils, for example, if they go to a session and there is another drummer playing put your drum down and await your opportunity to join in, if an opportunity does not present itself then don't play you will win respect for your attitude. I also like to remind drummers that the Bodhran is the easiest instrument to play BADLY and perhaps one of the most Difficult to play well and sensitivly.


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 24 Apr 07 - 08:44 PM

yup, looks like thats an issue at most sessions.
too many bodhrans, guitars, or not in rhythm or wrong chords etc..
our session which is led by a blind lady fiddle player here in Vancouver had that same problem..
Get there early, right!
We would play from 8to 11 ( us fiddle players would get there at quarter to 8 and thered be Mary surrounded by 5 bodrans..) We just had the session leader point out that we need the prime space for melody instruments and they got the message and stick to the outskirts - well most of them..

We address these issues by getting the session leader(s) to let everyone know if something is causing a problem..

Weve had issues with people wearing too much perfume, and stealing chairs (someone would get up for a bit and come back to an occupied chair)??

Its just common sense, people should be told if theyre doing something
to disrupt the session.. although in a tactful way..
lately weve had a guitarist who seems to ignore the tempo and tends to drag the music down by going just a bit slower ...

- for new guitarists, its fun to play a couple of crooked tunes just to throw them a bit... (and bodhran players sometimes get thrown by the syncopated shuffle (Orange BLossom type)..


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: The Villan
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 01:44 AM

How are you going to improve if you are not allowed to play along.

This sounds more like beginners not being accaepted becuase the standard of the key players is too good.

Shouldn't session clubs indicate the level required to be able to participate.

I know there has already been discussions on how sessions can organise things so that beginners can be included. Such as first half for beginners, second half for the more experienced.

If Bodhran players are not wanted, tell them. Make your policies clear so that people know where they stand. Ok some people will get pissed off with you, but at least they know where they stand. Once you have done that and sorted out things, you will enjoy your sessions more.


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: mandotim
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 02:22 AM

I play regularly with a great bodhran player; but four or five years ago he wasn't good at all. When he first joined the session he was encouraged to join in, but keeping things simple. No ornamentation, and getting lots of advice from other players about dynamics and timing. People would tell him what sort of sound they wanted on songs and tunes they were playing. He's practiced hard, played a lot, and is now as good a player as you would wish to see, with a wide and sensitive 'palate' of sounds to enhance the music; his playing is generally regarded as an asset to any session he plays in. (He also fronts his own rhythm and blues band as well, but that's another story...) I suppose the point is; inexperienced or poor players don't get better by being excluded or glared at; they do get better by being coached by more experienced musicians who take enough interest to help them develop. In this case, the mechanics of playing were no problem; what was needed was help with the musicianship part.
Tim


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: Barry Finn
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 02:29 AM

Don't single out the bodhran players, all these things go for any musician no matter what the instrument is. Get off the bodhran kick.

Barry


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: The Villan
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 02:36 AM

I agree Barry, but the thread title is Bodhrans in Sessions.


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: skarpi
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 02:50 AM

Hallo all , kick out the Bodhran ? of a session no way .
I play a Bodhran my self and I am still learning and if a Bodhran
player play right in session and listen well to the tune in start
then its fine , but its also easy to play it badly , I am learning
after a dvd from Stefan Hanningam N-Ireland .

I am also I guitar player yes it has a long neck , but so do buzuki
its all how the people sit in the row :>)

go on Bodhran players stand together mates .

All the best Skarpi Iceland.
P.s in some folk music we just cant skip the Bodhran
like I use it alot in old Icelandic folk music .


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: The Villan
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 02:53 AM

>>I wouldn't want to push any players or singers out of a session; what does irritate me is when you get hangers-on or listeners-in who are not active in the session but who hog the seats right in the centre, and don't think to give them up when the session gets crowded and musicians can't find a seat. It's nice when people want to be close to the music, but they should appreciate that the very music they came to listen to is going to suffer if the people who come to play it can't get a seat close to the other musicians.
<<

Thats the other thing, Its not a listeners evening. I have been twice to a session, and quite honestly, felt very uncomfortable at both. Almost as though you are not welcome. The last one I went to, in a small bar, the musicians formed a circle in one half, to the total exclusion of anybody else in the room who wanted to listen. The room wouldn't have taken more than 30 people at best. I sat on one side of the room and the key players sat opposite on the other side. Other people came in and formed a circle with their backs to me and another couple. Very rude. We are talking about a room about 15 foot by 15 foot. I waited for an oportune moment and thanked them and left.

I certainly won't bother to go to a session again as I beleive it is purely for people who want to play.


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 03:03 AM

my favourite bodhran players tend to be more all-round percussionists. I find those who also play tabla to be particularly adept at tonal playing, which has revolutionised the instrument. There are lots of interesting young players around, and one of the things that I noticed at "younger" festival sessions last year was not only the quality of the bodhran playing, but also that the younger folkies don't seem to have such a prejuduce about the instrument as older folkies do. Like anything else, when played well it was welcome.

There are always a range of playing abilities of all sorts of instruments in sessions. That's kind of the point, I've always thought - people learning from playing live with other musicians things they wouldn't be able learn sat at home on their own. Of course, a certain amount of etiquette is still required. But the idea that a bodhran player should give up their seat just because yet another guitar or squeezebox turns up, for instance, is just silly.

There are some superb young bodhran players about at the moment: the lad from Uiscidwr is great, and Julie Fowliss's bodran player can play tunes on his bodhran, so adept is his tonal playing. Will Lang from Mabon, Park Bench Social Club and other bands is another fine young player. Course, the current style owes an awful lot to JohnJo...


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: Tootler
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 04:33 AM

"Thats the other thing, Its not a listeners evening."

That's basically true. A session is an opportunity to get together with others and play. We are not playing specifically to entertain, but to share music with others of similar interest. On the other hand, I think it is discourteous to make listeners feel unwelcome, after all we are playing in what is essentially a public space. I don't know the sessions you refer to as I live some way from you, nevertheless, I am sorry that you felt that. I always feel very pleased if someone approaches us at the end of a session or when they leave and says "thank you I enjoyed that". Of course it is always possible the musicians were sat in a circle not so much to exclude listeners as because it is the best seating arrangement for listening to the others playing which is very important when you are playing in a group.

On another theme, I think it is a pity that the bodhran seems to have displaced the tambourine which has a much longer provenance in traditional music. A well played tambourine can certainly enhance the music and I think it is a pity that it seems to have all but disappeared. I think there is room for both and I don't really understand why this has happened, though it may just be fashion. There is someone in a session I go to who plays tambourine really well and she definitely enhances the music with some very interesting percussive effects though unfortunately, she doesn't often play it. She grew up in the Salvation Army so she has the right background <g>


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: The Villan
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 04:57 AM

Maybe I should rephrase what I said.

The first one I went to was teaming with session players and it was very good. However, the room was full and I sat at the entrance, but didn't really feel part of it. I do realise that it is difficult to make people welcome in a session as its almost a constant contiuation of one tune to another. When I did get to talk to the people in the interval (some of them I knew) they were very welcoming. It was probably me on the first occasion as I just felt out of it. The session was excellent.

The second occasion at a diffeernt venue, and not in my area, I left becuase I thought the circle they created in such a tiny room was unecessary and seemed a bit rude to other people in the room. The key sessionn players were very good.

Anyway Tootler your comment >>A session is an opportunity to get together with others and play<< just about sums up how I perceive a session, and I don't have an axe to grind on that score.


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: mandotim
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 04:59 AM

I take the point Barry; what I was saying could apply equally well to a huge number of young musicians who have played in our session and moved forward as a result. Though I'm not young, I'd include myself; I learned a tremendous amount about playing the mandolin as a result of the advice and help of the 'old pros' in the room. I'm still learning...
Tim


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 07:02 AM

best thing to play one of them is a stanley knife...tee hee

sal


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: bubblyrat
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 07:17 AM

Quite a few sweeping generalisations about guitars and guitar-players above !! Often people will groan when a guitar-player ( not a "guitarist---that immplies skill !! ) like me appears at a "session", although I do use mine as a melody instrument, and I can manage to make a decent go of a lot of tunes,from sources as diverse as the Hardy manuscript to the repertoire of the Jan Steen Netherlands Dance Group !! But---once other people start to join in,which, after all, is the whole point, then I can"t really be heard, which might be regarded by some as a "Good Thing " !! I have tried taking up less room by playing standing up, but invariably get accused of "posing " , so I don"t do that any more .But I"m too old to learn another instrument, so "The Bedford" will have to put up with me for a while longer !!


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: Ernest
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 07:46 AM

how about a guitar-banjo or dobro, bubbyrat? should be a little louder...
Best
Ernest


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: MMario
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 08:52 AM

I've heard plenty of bad bodrhan - but have also had the pleasure of hearing some very *good* bodrhan playing - including a group of eight very talented players who absolutley WOWED an audience with a couple numbers. I know it sounds bizaare - eight bodrhans, one penny whistle and a fiddle, but it was incredible!


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: guitar
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 09:13 AM

I am a bodhran player, and I play at sessions, I also play the guitar as well and sing ( within reason).

And I have no problems with bodhrans at all, or any other musical insturment at all or singer or song.

Those who so have problems shouldn't go.

but everyone has their opinion.

Tom


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 10:33 AM

Tootler laments the loss of the tambourines in sessions and the rise of the bodhran. It should be noted ,in that context, that the term bodhran (to describe a flat drum without jingles), has only recently entered general usage. Before 1950 the instrument was normally known, in Ireland as in Britain, as a tambourine. Whether or not it had the metal jingles.
    One reason for the loss of the tambourine(with jingles) is I think the kind of jingles they use nowadays. These are much heavier and noisier than they were 100 years ago. Nowadays, the main sound is the jingle, which is a bit metallic for your average session usage. But the old tambourines had more skin sound and less jingle sound, and were much more conducive for jigs and polkas and reels.The old tambourine was a bit more like the daff used in the middle east know, which is a flat frame drum with some brass rings hung inside. This produces mainly a drum sound, a bit "dirtied up" with the rattle of the rings. Quite different from the incessant rattle of the jingles. Which is fine for rock a la Mick Jagger(hence the use of plastic jingle rings, with no skin), but not so good on jigs.


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 11:11 AM

It is very difficult to improve your playing of any instrument if the places you try and play at are full of intolerant persons with exclusive attitudes and a very high opinion of their own playing.
Bodrhan in particular seems to come in for a lot of stick (He he)
But I reckon the most annoying thing I get when I play in public is th amount of normal memebers of the public who come over to congratulate the Bodrhanii on their playing and generally ignoring the vast majority of any session who are all musically superior players of "melody" instruments.


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 11:15 AM

The Villan: if you don't play, you may not realize that forming a circle is for a reason. It takes very little background chatter to make it impossible to hear what other players are doing if they're too far away. The circle puts everybody as close together as possible and makes sure everybody can both see and hear each other - the result is a much tighter sound.

Sessions vary a lot in how far the audience is involved. I'm off to one tonight, at the Tass in Edinburgh, which is at the "performance" end of the spectrum - the drinkers are fairly quiet and they really do listen. They players are mostly not virtuosic (adult learners from the Scots Music Group fiddle classes) but they play their limited repertoire with conviction. In that setting they are putting on something much nearer to a real show than you hear in flashy high-speed obscure-tune sessions led by pros where nobody more than a few feet away from the musicians' table can hear a thing. The result is that the Tass audience regularly drop banknotes on the table in front of me.


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 11:33 AM

RUTH ARCHER as usual is not reading all the posts[but the idea that a bodhran player should give up their seat etc].
I repeat the bodhran player arrived late ,there was not room for him and he added nothing to the music,in fact his presence was detrimental because he could not play in rhythym,and because the fiddler next to him was cramped,and unable to play properly owing to his taking up her bowing space.


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: bubblyrat
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 11:34 AM

I love the way that some of those extrovert groups from Galicia use tambourines as well, or instead of, bodhran-type percussion. About three or four years ago, in Sidmouth, I was "gobsmacked " by " La Baraguetta " ( something like that !! ) --they were amazing !! I have a favourite CD with " Milladoiro " , from Galicia, on it, and their use of tambourine is positively exuberant !! Bring back the tambourine in English music, I say !!!


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: The Villan
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 11:44 AM

Jack I do understand what you are saying. However
>>It takes very little background chatter to make it impossible to hear what other players are doing if they're too far away. <<
the buggers in the circle were chatting away with each other and the spectators were not chatting. LOL
I personnally have a great respect for not talking when performers are playing.


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 05:10 PM

That's not what you said in your first post, Dick.

"I have noticed on occassions in sessions where there has not been much room,percussionists occupying seats,and cramping the style of fiddlers[who require elbow space ]when they[bodhran bashers] would be better giving up their seats,so that the melody instruments have the space to play properly,."

this implies, regardless of your subsequent posts, that bodhran players should give up their seats to "melody" players. Unless I've misunderstood you - which, given your capricious approach to punctuation, is always a possibility.

A bodhran player needs to be sitting to play properly. So they need their seat.


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 06:42 PM

some bodrhani play standing it depends on the circumstaces.
IE leading a funeral procesion etc.
I have a bog standard light weight drum for that, the tunable beast I usualy use for most things is deffo a sitter downer.
or you get very long arms after a short while.
what does capricious mean?


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 06:49 PM

I waa thinking of playing a tunable, Tim, with no or only one crossbar. The very deep bodhrans, and tonal playing, certainly require you to sit down to play.

Capricious: Characterised by or subject to whim; impulsive and unpredictable.


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: concertina ceol
Date: 26 Apr 07 - 05:25 AM

I'm certainly not against a well played bodhran such as playing like Ciaran Boyle (the best in the business for my money). Playing like that really lifts and enhances the music.
Perhaps it is my lack of knowledge about the bodhran, but melody instrument players tend to play quietly and respectfully if they are novices, so they can hear, learn from and not put off the more learned musicians. I haven't found this to be the case for the average bodhran player, but I might have just encountered the rogue ones!


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Apr 07 - 05:42 AM

Captain Birdseye - if the bodhran player was as bad as you say, why didn't you, the fiddle player, or the session collectively, just tell him/her to shag off - politely or , if necessary, impolitely and assertively ? Problem sorted - session carries on as normal.
In the words of Otis Lee Crenshaw, "It ain't rocket surgery ".


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: Shaneo
Date: 26 Apr 07 - 06:21 AM

Our bodhran player has invented a device for a tambourine to allow him to play the bodhran at the same time as the tambourine.
He plays the tambourine with his foot ,it's a clever device with the tambourine mounted on a spring and frame.
It adds so much to a session ,especially for the fast traditional music and songs.
He has some 'carpet gripper spikes'[small nails] to stop it slipping away from him on the floor .it hasn't damaged the floor too much even though he plays in the same spot every week.
Has anybody seen anything like it on their travels ?


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Subject: RE: bodhrans in sessions
From: BanjoRay
Date: 26 Apr 07 - 06:49 AM

Shaneo - I hope I never see (or hear) one. I'd have nightmares about it for weeks.
Ray


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