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Beginners Tune Sessions

Les in Chorlton 01 Sep 09 - 02:19 PM
Desert Dancer 01 Sep 09 - 10:10 PM
GUEST,astro 01 Sep 09 - 11:28 PM
Valmai Goodyear 02 Sep 09 - 02:31 AM
GUEST,izzymac 02 Sep 09 - 03:24 AM
Les in Chorlton 02 Sep 09 - 03:33 AM
evansakes 02 Sep 09 - 04:03 AM
GUEST,LDT 02 Sep 09 - 04:43 AM
Les in Chorlton 02 Sep 09 - 04:45 AM
Les in Chorlton 02 Sep 09 - 04:48 AM
Valmai Goodyear 02 Sep 09 - 05:32 AM
VirginiaTam 02 Sep 09 - 06:03 AM
Valmai Goodyear 02 Sep 09 - 06:08 AM
GUEST,LDT 02 Sep 09 - 06:16 AM
Jack Campin 02 Sep 09 - 06:18 AM
Les in Chorlton 02 Sep 09 - 06:20 AM
GUEST,izzymac 02 Sep 09 - 06:24 AM
Les in Chorlton 02 Sep 09 - 06:31 AM
Les in Chorlton 03 Sep 09 - 02:25 PM
Jack Campin 03 Sep 09 - 07:14 PM
Tootler 03 Sep 09 - 08:04 PM
Les in Chorlton 04 Sep 09 - 05:55 AM
Jack Campin 04 Sep 09 - 06:33 AM
Phil Edwards 04 Sep 09 - 07:40 AM
GUEST,Mr Red 04 Sep 09 - 07:51 AM
Mo the caller 04 Sep 09 - 09:05 AM
Jack Campin 04 Sep 09 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,Izzymac 04 Sep 09 - 10:35 AM
Brakn 05 Sep 09 - 06:36 AM
Jack Campin 05 Sep 09 - 06:52 AM
TheSnail 06 Sep 09 - 07:07 AM
Les in Chorlton 08 Sep 09 - 05:36 AM
astro 09 Sep 09 - 06:57 PM
GUEST,fi 11 Sep 09 - 07:17 PM
Les in Chorlton 30 Sep 09 - 11:08 AM
GUEST,Mr Red 01 Oct 09 - 06:04 AM
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Subject: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 02:19 PM

Just got back from amazing Shrewsbury Festival. Too many good turns to list.

But I raise another issue: The Beginners and Improvers Tune Sessions were brilliantly organised, great fun and attended by ?????????? 100 people on Sunday? One of the outstanding events of the Festival.

A number of us mentioned Beginners Sessions that we organise and three people chatted to me about ours at the Beech in Chorlton, Manchester.

Their clearly is a need and much fun to be had!

How best can we promote our Sessions collectively?

Cheers L in C


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 10:10 PM

Wow!


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: GUEST,astro
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 11:28 PM

As a beginner...it would always be wonderful to be able to go to an open, friendly session that would help move along the process of learning. Sounds like it was hit right in the bulls eye here! Wish I could have been there...

astro, here playing my new (old) Givens Mandolin....


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 02:31 AM

Would some sort of central website or a page on an existing national website such as Martin Nail's be helpful?

An article in EDS might help, although it's more likely to reach organisers than actual beginners because they may not have got as far as joining the EFDSS.

Valmai (Lewes)


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: GUEST,izzymac
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 03:24 AM

I organised the Shrewsbury improvers sessions from their inception 3 years ago and the realised last year that we needed the beginners session. We're very happy with how the sessions ran. For next year we hope to add a level underneath, along the lines of teaching a couple of tunes over an hour, maybe to individual instruments, and above the improvers sessions maybe a concert or ceilidh band. I'm happy to put details of beginners and improvers sessions on our website. Please let me know at izzy@shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk Cheers.


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 03:33 AM

Thanks Izzy you certainly did a great job - greatly enjoyed and appreciated.

My particular interest is Beginners rather than Improvers but the two clearly overlap. My beginners has been going since January and is picking up speed a pace.

Some sort of web site for sharing good practice would be excellent. Perhaps a Mudcat Permathread then related to other sites like Valmai's Lewes site or perhaps a facebook site - or maybe all these and othres?

L in C


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: evansakes
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 04:03 AM

Not getting there till noon on Saturday meant I missed the "Beginners" Session at Shrewsbury.

However joining the "Improvers" session on Sunday was quite possibly the highlight of the weekend for me (and I saw lots of great music on the concert stages!) It's difficult to describe the buzz you get from sitting down with a bunch of complete strangers and playing a few tunes old and new. The selection was good and the level (complexity and speed) seemed right for most people participating (ie I was just about able to keep up!) Plus you get some weird and wonderful instruments too....we intentionally positioned ourselves close to the lady playing the bassoon! Moreover, that pint of 'breakfast beer' was the best I had all weekend.

Izzy (and colleagues), you're a complete star for organising this and I know there's lots of people out there who would join me in congratulating you (and buying you a beer). When I come back next time this will be the one thing I won't dare miss at the festival. In fact it would be good to have another session on the Monday morning also.


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 04:43 AM

I managed to join in the last tune of the beginners session...

It as my first big festival....so I was dashing around trying to see everything that seemed to be on at the same time. So I arrived late and was a bit disappointed I'd missed most of it as there was a nice atmosphere in the tent...if I get there next year I'll make sure to get there early...and Bring my melodeon not concertina....


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 04:45 AM

At the end of the second session Izzy asked for suggestions for next year. I simply ask for more "Beginners".

How about 2 a day? One organised by Izzy and Co in the morning and a second one around tea time organised informally by who ever turns up? Most of us Beginners have a number of problems:

1. We cannot play very quickly
2. We don't know many tunes
3. We don't always learn them in the keys in which they are later played
4. We cannot move keys easily
5. We don't get many chances to play with others
6. We can sit in general sessions and wait a long time before a tune comes along that we can play and it's over before we can get in.

I found the Improvers a bit quick and, my own fault I had the 2008 Tune Book.

As for the Tune Book it is brilliant but:
1. Can we have less tunes? The prospect of learning 40 odd tunes is a bit much and only 6 or 7 were tunes or sets were played in ether session.
2. A bit too Irish for me - no disrespect but people usually play Irish tunes quick,
3. More easy English tunes? Possibly some waltzes?
4. A lot of white space is wasted, I cant read the dots unless right up to them. A "Landscape" formate would make the tunes twice as big and people could read them from further away.

Please don't take this as any form of complaint. I have been to these sessions for 3 years and they have been the most influential folk workshops I have ever been to in 40 years of festivals.

As a result of Shrewsbury, and a visit to The Ryburn 3 step and Johnny Adamea 4 of us started the Beech Beginners Tunes last January and they have been great fun with usually 15 to 20 people each month.

I think we have a few ideas to share and I am sure other Beginners Sessions will too - not least the idea that Beginners can run Beginners Sessions!

L in C


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 04:48 AM

Sorry Johnny Adams has turned into "Johnny Adamea" - The Village Music Project is another absolute mine of brilliant tunes

L in C
who can't really spell


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 05:32 AM

Spare Parts (Bryan TheSnail Creer, Suzanne Higgins and I) have been running English tunes practice sessions at the Chippenham Festival for a few years now. They are very well-attended. We concentrate on English tunes that we have actually heard recently in the wild, and make sure that they are in the right keys.

The Lewes Favourites tune book is a collection of 180 of these and includes an index of the combinations in which the tunes are often played. The tunes can be downloaded in several computerised forms from the Lewes Saturday Folk Club website where you can also find an order form for the book, which has illustrations of their habitat, anecdotes and history.

Valmai


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 06:03 AM

Having just acquired a mandolin I am keen to join in sessions. I understand there is a weekly session (1st hour for beginners) at the United Brethren in Chelmsford, Essex.

Could be useful to start a permathread here on Mudcat about this? Would be wonderful to find out about and attend sessions in other parts of the country when holidaying or travelling on business, whatever.

As a newbie, I will be watching this thread with interest. May I ask, are there any good DVDs to help the practising along? And which tune book and which tunes specifically should I start with?


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 06:08 AM

Try the Lewes Favourites Download page. These are all specimens which have been observed in the wild. The index of popular sets is on the same page.

You can also order the book from here .

Valmai


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 06:16 AM

this session might be in intrest to you VirginaTam
http://www.thettaa.btik.com/home.ikml
its in essex....I've recently started going and find the beginners at Leigh really friendly and a great learning experience.


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 06:18 AM

I have an ABC file of 40 basic Scottish session tunes on my website - they're all ones that are very widely played around Edinburgh, the east coast of Scotland and north-east England.

http://www.campin.me.uk

Further afield they won't be as much use. It would be useful to have something similar for other regions - maybe separate ones for London and the South-East, Midlands and East Anglia, south-west England, Yorkshire and Durham, Wales, the Irish-influenced north-east of England, Glasgow and south-west Scotland, the Highlands.


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 06:20 AM

I really like the idea of a list of Beginners Sessions across the country, that would be really useful.

At our Session at the Beech in Chorlton, Manchester we have created a Tune Book in Noteworthy Composer 2. It has 30 tunes and we are adding another 10 but amy go for more.

We have printed 30 copies in Landscape with a cardboard inner so that they stand up on the table. I also share it via e-mail with anybody who asks for it.

As far as I know all the tunes are well out of copyright, known in many forms and familiar to anybody who has been to a barn dance.

After 8 months we are picking up tempo and I worry that it will put off genuine Beginners but am unsure what to do for the best.

Cheers

L in C


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: GUEST,izzymac
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 06:24 AM

Les, thanks for the suggestions and you're right about Landscape format. As most of the tunes come from the web the quality of the graphic is pretty low but we'll see what we can do...

One of the ideas suggested was that some volunteers turn up at a prearranged place and time each day to play beginners/improvers tunes as required. I'd go for food tent, early afternoon.

Spent the weekend talking to some of the lads from Nottingham running the later sessions and I hope they will help us next year.

I'd like a list of volunteers (if I wanted to make money I'd do something I didn't enjoy as much!) who could potentially use the materials at other festivals and I'll try to make the AFO aware of their existence.

In fairness to other festivals and sessions we'll come up with a name for the whole thing that isn't quite so "Shrewsbury"

I agree that the improvers session needs less tunes - so how's about...the full book of tunes, beginners at the front, then improvers, then what's left. You only need to print up to the page number you need and it means we can run a faster session as well for those players who know the tunebook well and want to get together.

Sorry about all the Irish tunes! We have tried to maintain a fair selection based on what's played at the sessions we attend locally. I hope the questionnaires we passed out will enable us to match up the relative proportions of players and tunes for next year!


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 06:31 AM

I don't think you will have a problem getting volunteers to help or run more Beginners Sessions.

I would be one but we have a family wedding that weekend

Thanks again

Les


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 03 Sep 09 - 02:25 PM

Ok giving this another go to catch people getting back fro where ever

L in C


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Sep 09 - 07:14 PM

I'd be happy to put local beginner tunebooks on my website, but please NOT in Noteworthy format; it's doubtless an excellent program but it's Windows-only. Something portable - ABC, MIDI, PDF, JPEG or GIF. There must be some way of getting those from Noteworthy files.


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: Tootler
Date: 03 Sep 09 - 08:04 PM

Noteworthy runs quite happily in Linux with Wine. (Most of the time, as mine is playing up just now and I am going to have to reinstall it)

My computer is a dual boot Linux/Windows setup as there are times I have to use Windows. I believe the same is possible with a Mac, though whether it is worth setting up for one small program is a moot point.

However if I want to share any of my Noteworthy scores, I print them to PDF from Windows using PDF Creator which is based on Ghostscript and does an excellent job.

Alternatively I post tunes as midi files which are small and people can then import them into whatever software they use. Most notation software will import midi.


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 05:55 AM

Thanks folks - seriously out of my depth here. Noteworthy did what I wanted when we started - I suspected we would run into problems down the line but that's the way it goes. I think Pip Radish has a way of getting from Noteworthy to ABC I will PM him

Cheers

L in C


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 06:33 AM

Almost certainly there will be something like an "export to PDF" or "save as JPEG" option in Noteworthy. If you can make that work, email the result to me and I'll put it on my site alongside my "40 familiar Scottish session tunes" file.

Bryan Creer (TheSnail here) has a utility which converts Noteworthy to ABC - by all accounts it's excellent, but again it needs DOS or Windows, which I don't have access to.

I think 40 tunes is the maximum such a file should have.


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 07:40 AM

Bryan's program doesn't convert from Noteworthy 2 (the current version) to ABC, so getting from A to B (as it were) is more complicated than it ought to be. But I can do it and have done in the past - the first 20 tunes from the Beech sessions are online now at http://users.zetnet.co.uk/amroth/Beech20.abc. What was the question?


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: GUEST,Mr Red
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 07:51 AM

We had a slow session around here. They had moved on from a workshop at the nearby Arts Center, but still playing from the dots.

I know I spout heresey to admit to being a drummer and never practicing but the effect of playing from the dots was really holding them back.

My difficulty in playing at their speed is my problem - I solved it with difficulty.

They did try to speed-up in the second half, but the pub-goers made them feel unwanted. I am not unconvinced that the two facts are connected. They rested for the summer and looked for another venue. Object lesson duly delivered.

Yes, begginers sessions are needed, but get them to speed-up during the evening and try for your own room in the pub if possible.


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: Mo the caller
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 09:05 AM

Valmai's practises at Chippenham were great introductions to session playing, we still tear ourselves away from the dance workshops for a peep in, and a new tune.
Whitby has sessions at all levels, though as with other parts of the programme it's not always easy to know which is which, unless you do already.
May Cheadle runs one for those who are 'not quite ready for a session', George Garside's sessions are tunes that most of the people attending know (he asks for suggestions then asks if we know them), and no racing is allowed. Some other sessions include new tunes, whatever anyone wants to play, and at least some of those attending will be joining in by third time round.

Yes I agree about it being a highlight, nothing quite like joining in. (Same goes for dancing of course)


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 09:40 AM

We had a slow session around here. They had moved on from a workshop at the nearby Arts Center, but still playing from the dots. [...] the effect of playing from the dots was really holding them back.

Which is why beginner session repertoires need to be small, and made up of short and easily memorable tunes. People need to get used to memorizing tunes from the start.


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: GUEST,Izzymac
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 10:35 AM

Jack, I agree - the beginners session at Shrewsbury was 9 tunes over an hour with probably 10-15 repeats of each. Most players seemed able to contribute to all tunes, as the tunebook and MP3s had been online for a couple of months.


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: Brakn
Date: 05 Sep 09 - 06:36 AM

I started to play at Les's beginners session at the Beech in Chorlton in January and have found it to be a great experience. Well run, nice tunes, nice people and I've at last got to grips with my mandolin!

Tunes created in Noteworthy were emailed out and the dots could be printed out. I liked this because I taught myself to read music again which opened up a million tunes.

If you want to learn by ear, which to tell the truth is a lot easier, you can play the tunes and follow them but I wish the tunes could be looped so they play as long as you want them too. Is that possible?

If you have the full Noteworthy programme you can export the files to midi as Tootler said...
"people can then import them into whatever software they use."
That would be useful.

Midi or mp3s along with Noteworthy.


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Sep 09 - 06:52 AM

If you want to learn by ear, which to tell the truth is a lot easier, you can play the tunes and follow them but I wish the tunes could be looped so they play as long as you want them too. Is that possible?

That's usually a control in your player program. I use the old QuickTime Player program on this machine (MacOS 9) and it has a "Loop" option in one of the main menus. It should be available somewhere no matter what player program you're using.

I would suggest midi and small graphic files (gif or jpeg) - there's no point in using mp3 for computer-generated tune files, it's not like there are interpretive subtleties you might miss. And the graphic scores are accessible to people to don't have Noteworthy or aren't using Windows.


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: TheSnail
Date: 06 Sep 09 - 07:07 AM

I'm afraid my abc2nwc programme hasn't kept up with the upgrade to Notewothy 2. The Noteworthy 1.75 files it generates from abc are still readable by Notewothy 2 but the other way is a bit more problematic. In the short term, I have written a User Tool available from the Noteworthy Scriptorium which will generate single abc tunes. You will still need to fill in some of the details.

ABC2NWC is available from here.


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 05:36 AM

If you are following this thread and know of any Beginners and Improvers Tune Sessions (BAITS) can you put details on the thread called "Do you know of any Beginners Tune Sessions?"

thanks
L in C


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: astro
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 06:57 PM

I would like a list of beginner sessions for Los Angeles, there is one every other week at the Rincon Market in Tucson, but I have not heard of any here in LA...any one know of one?

astro in LA, playing by myself...enjoying it, but lonely ;(


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: GUEST,fi
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 07:17 PM

Could you please send details of the Chorlton sessions and any others you may know of west of Manchester. Great atmosphere at Shrewsbury's sessions. Reminded me of some excellent Folkworks events.
Cheers
fi


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 Sep 09 - 11:08 AM

Last Tuesday of the month, The Beech Inn, Beech Road, Chorlton, Manchester. PM me for more details

L in C


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Subject: RE: Beginners Tune Sessions
From: GUEST,Mr Red
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 06:04 AM

I thought I posted this before.
7.30pm-10.30pm - Wednesdays - £5, 14th October, 11th November, 16th December
scroll to bottom of this link The Black Horse Clapton in Gordano nr Bristol.


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