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Secrets of a good singaround?

Soldier boy 08 Apr 10 - 09:22 PM
VirginiaTam 09 Apr 10 - 04:15 AM
John J 09 Apr 10 - 04:23 AM
Rob Naylor 09 Apr 10 - 04:46 AM
GUEST,MadauntieCat 09 Apr 10 - 05:23 AM
GUEST,Pete 09 Apr 10 - 05:30 AM
alex s 09 Apr 10 - 05:35 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 09 Apr 10 - 06:07 AM
Les in Chorlton 09 Apr 10 - 06:31 AM
Leadfingers 09 Apr 10 - 08:07 AM
Les in Chorlton 09 Apr 10 - 08:48 AM
The Sandman 09 Apr 10 - 10:04 AM
Tootler 09 Apr 10 - 11:08 AM
MMario 09 Apr 10 - 11:43 AM
GUEST,CS 09 Apr 10 - 11:55 AM
GUEST,CS 09 Apr 10 - 12:05 PM
Bert 09 Apr 10 - 12:24 PM
CET 09 Apr 10 - 01:00 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 09 Apr 10 - 01:29 PM
Les in Chorlton 09 Apr 10 - 02:22 PM
Paul Reade 09 Apr 10 - 02:44 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 09 Apr 10 - 03:14 PM
Paul Reade 09 Apr 10 - 03:20 PM
Joe_F 09 Apr 10 - 06:05 PM
Desert Dancer 09 Apr 10 - 07:08 PM
Phil Edwards 09 Apr 10 - 07:36 PM
skipy 09 Apr 10 - 08:24 PM
Sandra in Sydney 09 Apr 10 - 11:55 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 10 Apr 10 - 03:35 AM
Bert 10 Apr 10 - 03:40 AM
Leadfingers 10 Apr 10 - 04:44 AM
Tootler 10 Apr 10 - 04:45 AM
GUEST,CS 10 Apr 10 - 05:22 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 10 Apr 10 - 07:03 AM
Acorn4 10 Apr 10 - 07:12 AM
Acorn4 10 Apr 10 - 07:22 AM
Bobert 10 Apr 10 - 07:23 AM
GUEST 10 Apr 10 - 07:36 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 10 Apr 10 - 07:50 AM
Bert 10 Apr 10 - 01:10 PM
dick greenhaus 10 Apr 10 - 01:22 PM
Les in Chorlton 10 Apr 10 - 01:28 PM
Girl Friday 10 Apr 10 - 01:29 PM
Les in Chorlton 10 Apr 10 - 01:40 PM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 10 Apr 10 - 02:06 PM
DonMeixner 10 Apr 10 - 03:48 PM
Ref 10 Apr 10 - 05:16 PM
Pierre Le Chapeau 10 Apr 10 - 05:38 PM
Rob Naylor 10 Apr 10 - 06:00 PM
Pierre Le Chapeau 10 Apr 10 - 06:54 PM
Commander Crabbe 10 Apr 10 - 08:47 PM
Soldier boy 10 Apr 10 - 09:34 PM
gnomad 11 Apr 10 - 03:50 AM
Pierre Le Chapeau 11 Apr 10 - 04:57 PM
Herga Kitty 11 Apr 10 - 05:34 PM
RamblinStu 11 Apr 10 - 05:47 PM
Soldier boy 11 Apr 10 - 09:09 PM
Phil Edwards 12 Apr 10 - 03:07 AM
janemick 12 Apr 10 - 03:56 AM
Les in Chorlton 12 Apr 10 - 04:20 AM
Phil Edwards 12 Apr 10 - 05:16 AM
GUEST, RBotob 12 Apr 10 - 05:39 AM
Les in Chorlton 12 Apr 10 - 06:00 AM
Paul Reade 12 Apr 10 - 06:12 AM
Soldier boy 12 Apr 10 - 11:16 AM
Acorn4 12 Apr 10 - 12:17 PM
Valmai Goodyear 12 Apr 10 - 01:13 PM
Les in Chorlton 12 Apr 10 - 01:22 PM
GUEST,Tootler away 12 Apr 10 - 01:40 PM
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Les from Hull 12 Apr 10 - 05:18 PM
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Acorn4 12 Apr 10 - 07:43 PM
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Brakn 13 Apr 10 - 03:57 AM
janemick 13 Apr 10 - 04:03 AM
Phil Edwards 13 Apr 10 - 09:42 AM
IanC 13 Apr 10 - 10:56 AM
mg 13 Apr 10 - 11:27 AM
Joe Nicholson 13 Apr 10 - 11:38 AM
IanC 13 Apr 10 - 11:55 AM
GUEST 13 Apr 10 - 08:43 PM
GUEST,kendall 14 Apr 10 - 08:27 AM
buddhuu 14 Apr 10 - 09:05 AM
Hamish 14 Apr 10 - 09:24 AM
Tattie Bogle 14 Apr 10 - 09:27 AM
Paul Reade 14 Apr 10 - 10:27 AM
Marje 14 Apr 10 - 11:05 AM
Soldier boy 14 Apr 10 - 06:08 PM
Tootler 14 Apr 10 - 06:16 PM
Ref 14 Apr 10 - 07:04 PM
GUEST,mg 14 Apr 10 - 08:02 PM
Don Firth 14 Apr 10 - 09:02 PM
Soldier boy 14 Apr 10 - 10:28 PM
Don Firth 14 Apr 10 - 10:35 PM
Phil Edwards 15 Apr 10 - 04:25 AM
buddhuu 15 Apr 10 - 04:58 AM
buddhuu 15 Apr 10 - 05:08 AM
Les in Chorlton 15 Apr 10 - 05:28 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Apr 10 - 05:42 AM
John Routledge 15 Apr 10 - 07:20 AM
Tattie Bogle 15 Apr 10 - 07:53 AM
Richard Bridge 15 Apr 10 - 08:10 AM
GUEST,Tootler on BlackBerry 15 Apr 10 - 08:35 AM
buddhuu 15 Apr 10 - 09:36 AM
Tootler 15 Apr 10 - 02:34 PM
Soldier boy 15 Apr 10 - 06:42 PM
Soldier boy 18 Apr 10 - 09:15 PM
Richard Bridge 19 Apr 10 - 02:12 AM
stallion 19 Apr 10 - 03:45 AM
kendall 19 Apr 10 - 06:53 AM
Girl Friday 19 Apr 10 - 10:39 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Apr 10 - 11:02 AM
IanC 19 Apr 10 - 11:13 AM
Marje 19 Apr 10 - 11:28 AM
Commander Crabbe 19 Apr 10 - 12:22 PM
Les in Chorlton 19 Apr 10 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,mg 19 Apr 10 - 12:50 PM
GUEST,Pete 19 Apr 10 - 01:30 PM
Tootler 19 Apr 10 - 03:06 PM
Richard Bridge 19 Apr 10 - 03:56 PM
Tootler 19 Apr 10 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,Schlimmerkerl 19 Apr 10 - 06:11 PM
Richard Bridge 19 Apr 10 - 07:02 PM
Commander Crabbe 19 Apr 10 - 08:45 PM
Les in Chorlton 20 Apr 10 - 02:16 AM
Phil Edwards 20 Apr 10 - 02:02 PM
Nick 20 Apr 10 - 02:57 PM
Les in Chorlton 20 Apr 10 - 02:57 PM
GUEST 20 Apr 10 - 03:19 PM
Phil Edwards 20 Apr 10 - 05:17 PM
skipy 20 Apr 10 - 05:37 PM
Nick 20 Apr 10 - 07:00 PM
Tootler 20 Apr 10 - 07:50 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 21 Apr 10 - 03:54 AM
Marje 21 Apr 10 - 04:37 AM
GUEST,George Henderson 21 Apr 10 - 05:10 AM
Dave the Gnome 21 Apr 10 - 09:12 AM
Les in Chorlton 21 Apr 10 - 10:31 AM
G-Force 21 Apr 10 - 01:01 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 21 Apr 10 - 01:58 PM
skipy 21 Apr 10 - 02:17 PM
Soldier boy 21 Apr 10 - 04:34 PM
Tootler 21 Apr 10 - 06:55 PM
Les in Chorlton 22 Apr 10 - 03:50 AM
Phil Edwards 22 Apr 10 - 05:17 AM
Marje 22 Apr 10 - 07:12 AM
Richard Bridge 22 Apr 10 - 09:06 AM
GUEST,FloraG 22 Apr 10 - 09:17 AM
skipy 22 Apr 10 - 12:18 PM
Tattie Bogle 22 Apr 10 - 01:30 PM
Leadfingers 22 Apr 10 - 07:23 PM
Les in Chorlton 23 Apr 10 - 03:30 AM
Marje 23 Apr 10 - 04:06 AM
Les in Chorlton 23 Apr 10 - 04:55 AM
Soldier boy 23 Apr 10 - 10:26 AM
Marje 23 Apr 10 - 10:47 AM
Les in Chorlton 23 Apr 10 - 02:16 PM
Tattie Bogle 23 Apr 10 - 04:49 PM
Marje 24 Apr 10 - 06:19 AM
Leadfingers 24 Apr 10 - 07:13 PM
Marje 25 Apr 10 - 03:53 AM
Soldier boy 27 Apr 10 - 08:00 PM
GUEST,JohnH 28 Apr 10 - 12:48 PM
GUEST,JohnH 28 Apr 10 - 12:52 PM
sciencegeek 29 Apr 10 - 01:00 PM
Johnny J 24 Nov 10 - 04:18 AM
Les in Chorlton 24 Nov 10 - 05:16 AM
GUEST,Desi C 24 Nov 10 - 07:25 AM
GUEST,Working Radish 24 Nov 10 - 07:29 AM
GUEST,Gram Reno 24 Nov 10 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 25 Feb 11 - 05:37 AM
JHW 25 Feb 11 - 06:38 AM
Snuffy 25 Feb 11 - 09:28 AM
Rob Naylor 25 Feb 11 - 09:31 AM
Siochain 25 Feb 11 - 10:00 AM
Les in Chorlton 25 Feb 11 - 10:08 AM
Nick 25 Feb 11 - 08:07 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 26 Feb 11 - 10:44 AM
BobKnight 26 Feb 11 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 26 Feb 11 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 26 Feb 11 - 01:47 PM
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Stringsinger 26 Feb 11 - 04:57 PM
Bill D 26 Feb 11 - 05:08 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 27 Feb 11 - 05:15 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 27 Feb 11 - 05:21 AM
TheSnail 27 Feb 11 - 06:25 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 27 Feb 11 - 02:44 PM
Tootler 27 Feb 11 - 04:01 PM
TheSnail 27 Feb 11 - 07:33 PM
Rob Naylor 28 Feb 11 - 05:07 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 28 Feb 11 - 06:30 AM
Rob Naylor 28 Feb 11 - 08:32 AM
Les in Chorlton 28 Feb 11 - 08:48 AM
CET 28 Feb 11 - 09:08 AM
TheSnail 28 Feb 11 - 09:46 AM
Speedwell 28 Feb 11 - 02:33 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 28 Feb 11 - 03:10 PM
TheSnail 01 Mar 11 - 09:28 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 01 Mar 11 - 12:33 PM
GUEST,chris cole 02 Mar 11 - 06:41 AM
GUEST,Desi C 02 Mar 11 - 08:58 AM
GUEST,mg 02 Mar 11 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,FloraG 03 Mar 11 - 05:07 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 03 Mar 11 - 08:04 AM
GUEST,floraG 03 Mar 11 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,Desi C 03 Mar 11 - 01:47 PM
Les from Hull 03 Mar 11 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 03 Mar 11 - 02:51 PM
Piers Cawley 04 Mar 11 - 01:08 AM
Ian Fyvie 04 Mar 11 - 04:08 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 04 Mar 11 - 04:18 AM
GUEST,FloraG 04 Mar 11 - 04:24 AM
Piers Cawley 04 Mar 11 - 04:53 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 04 Mar 11 - 06:49 AM
Piers Cawley 04 Mar 11 - 07:45 AM
Tally Ho Man 04 Mar 11 - 08:02 AM
Valmai Goodyear 04 Mar 11 - 08:23 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 04 Mar 11 - 08:50 AM
Piers Cawley 04 Mar 11 - 08:55 AM
Les in Chorlton 04 Mar 11 - 09:13 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 04 Mar 11 - 09:45 AM
Joe Nicholson 04 Mar 11 - 11:29 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 04 Mar 11 - 12:16 PM
Les in Chorlton 04 Mar 11 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 04 Mar 11 - 03:47 PM
Les from Hull 04 Mar 11 - 07:02 PM
Piers Cawley 04 Mar 11 - 07:13 PM
TheSnail 05 Mar 11 - 09:29 AM
TheSnail 05 Mar 11 - 09:37 AM
Phil Edwards 05 Mar 11 - 11:13 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Mar 11 - 11:44 AM
Diva 05 Mar 11 - 12:50 PM
Tootler 05 Mar 11 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,mg 05 Mar 11 - 02:47 PM
GUEST,Richard I 05 Mar 11 - 03:06 PM
Phil Edwards 06 Mar 11 - 05:04 AM
TheSnail 06 Mar 11 - 05:09 AM
GUEST,Fred Folkmusic 06 Mar 11 - 05:38 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 06 Mar 11 - 10:11 AM
TheSnail 06 Mar 11 - 03:55 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 07 Mar 11 - 03:50 AM
Acorn4 07 Mar 11 - 04:52 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 07 Mar 11 - 06:56 AM
Piers Cawley 07 Mar 11 - 08:19 AM
TheSnail 07 Mar 11 - 09:59 AM
Les from Hull 07 Mar 11 - 10:05 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 07 Mar 11 - 01:58 PM
TheSnail 07 Mar 11 - 03:23 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 07 Mar 11 - 03:37 PM
GUEST,999 07 Mar 11 - 03:42 PM
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Desert Dancer 26 Jan 12 - 08:47 PM
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Subject: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Soldier boy
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 09:22 PM

I love a good singaround where everyone has a go and gives it their best effort.
But it seems to me, in my experience, that you can't 'plan' for it to be a good singaround - it just kind of 'happens'!

It can depend on many factors - the people present/the chemistry or 'connection' between people present/the venue/the atmosphere/the ambience/the amount of drink consumed/the mix of singers and musicians/the mix of singers and the rest of the 'audience'/how long a session is allowed to simmer and come to the boil/if it has a 'theme'/if it is managed and controlled or one or a few people are allowed to take over/if it is part of 'the fringe' at a folk festival or just an impromptu outburst of singing with no planning or structure.

I don't know about you, but I have found that some of the best and most memorable singarounds I have had the privilege to be involved with have been those that just happen spontaneously with no planning or initial purpose/structure.

But I have also really enjoyed many singarounds with a M.C who controls the session and invites people to do a song as you go round the room (usually in a pub or club in the UK).

So what presses your buttons and turns you on?
What works for you and what are your 'secrets of a good singaround' and what makes or made it so special to you?

I'd love to know.

Many thanks.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 04:15 AM

The ones I attend are loosely organised, in that they are planned and we go around in a circle taking turns.

Nevertheless the ones I attend with the Kent crowd are top notch, probably because we have some very good musos who accompany us and because a fair number know and can harmonise to many of the songs.

Lots of laughter happens too, which is an important part of the feel good factor.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: John J
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 04:23 AM

The good company of like-minded people, a half-decent venue....and decent beer.

The Beech in Chorlton is a good example.

JJ


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 04:46 AM

I'm with VirginiaTam on this. The loosely organised ones seem to me to have the best chance of developing into a "special" evening.

No real MC, or at least an MC with a light touch, and a good mix of singers and instrumentalists. Circular seating and taking turns, with enough "standards" sung/played for people to join in with choruses, or pick up the accompaniment. Tolerance and respect for the version that the current singer/ player is doing, and inclusivity for people who might want to try singing or playing but are not as confident as the more experienced participants. Enough people present (and singing/ playing!)for your turn not to come around too often. Good banter as the circle progresses, and a few words from the current performer before or after each song/ tune giving some background or just a humerous story associated with it.

No "themeing"....I think that restricts the flexibility and sponteneity of what's happening. And certainly no "heavy-handed" MC-ing or taking over by a small group.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,MadauntieCat
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 05:23 AM

Pretty much what Rob just said.
A MC with a light touch does help, or there can be one or two either more experienced or over keen people who monopolise.
Also it's reassuring for novices like me to be able to ask to be passed over this round if you're feeling insecure (read 'havent drunk enough to overcome your inhibitions yet').

Whereas I love the organised sessions I attend, some of my favourites have been spontaneous sing-songs at re-enactment events after hours. The great thing about the organised sessions is that they can really bring your singing and playing standard up so that people enjoy what you do at the impromptu events!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Pete
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 05:30 AM

Drink!!!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: alex s
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 05:35 AM

a couple of gooduns I remember were totally unplanned - one on the stairs in a hotel and the other on the steps of a pub..


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 06:07 AM

An absence, or bare minimum, of crap singers who insist on learning the longest songs they can find and hogging huge chunks of the session - or, even worse, crap singers who can't be bothered to learn the very long songs they insist on singing and, instead, sing them from an exercise book!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 06:31 AM

Whilst we sympathise with this view Mr Rod, the simple absence of such will not in itself generate a good Singaround.

Anytime you are near The Beech, Chorlton on 1st or 3rd Wednesdays I feel sure you can add something that makes Singarounds quite good

L in C


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 08:07 AM

Something I find particuarly annoying at a semi formal singaround is the person who STARTS thinking about getting their instrument out of its case and looking for their Song book AFTER the person alongside them has finished their song , and it was patently obvious that they would be the next to sing !


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 08:48 AM

Whilst we sympathise with this view Mr Fingers, the simple absence of such will not in itself generate a good Singaround.

Anytime you are near The Beech, Chorlton on 1st or 3rd Wednesdays I feel sure you can add something that makes Singarounds quite good

L in C


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 10:04 AM

one of the best mcs of singaounds I have come across is Chris Wilson
,   the secret is to know your singers or know some of them,so if someone sings something slow and long the mc can turn to someone with a bit of cop on,who he/she knows will not do a slowlong song ,the secret is variety.
singers please cop on its not about self indulgence,if two people have done slowlong songs ,please do something up tempo or humourous


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Tootler
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 11:08 AM

I agree with much that has been said earlier. Certainly a light touch by the MC but also fairness, so that everyone who wants to gets a turn.

I would add a core of regulars who are good singers with interesting and varied repertoires.

I sympathise with Shimrod's point, but the occasional poor singer is a small price to pay for a session based on the principle that everyone who wants to have a go should be given the opportunity. For every poor singer there are usually many competent singers, not forgetting several good ones. To me it is more important that the newcomers should be encouraged and given support to help them overcome their anxiety and give it a go. I think a singaround is essentially a social event where people are sharing songs, where the distinction between performer and audience is essentially non existent, so everyone is both performer and audience. Yes there are a few who simply come to listen and they are generally made welcome, but they are a small minority.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: MMario
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 11:43 AM

More then once I have delighted (sort of) in a performance by a (technically) poor singer because of the emotions clearly displayed - even when it was hard to keep from wincing....

In some ways it's like watching a nephew or niece in a talent show; you can't really always claim the performance was "good" - but sometimes it's the enthusiams that you have to count.

I think people forget that there are a LOT of other people who reach maturity, or middle age, or older and have NEVER SUNG IN PUBLIC....

so when they go to a sing-around, in many ways they are a kindergartner in a school show....


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 11:55 AM

Not had a great deal of diverse experience, but both a genial AND assertive host, I think helps to get things in the right direction.

Otherwise, a good mix-up is what I enjoy. Sometimes hearing songs I know, sometimes new ones. But more than anything, lots of good humour and fellowship.

I like to sing unaccompanied trad. songs, most others prefer to sing with guitar. My only moan would be, I'd love to see a greater variety of instrument about - because they really stand out and catch your interest when they appear!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 12:05 PM

As to the amateur singaround - no - no minimum 'standards'.
I don't think these amateur music clubs claim to be representing "traditional folk music" (or if they do they are wildly delusional) and as such aught to get on with their business unmolested by formal EU standards. If they do in fact wish to claim they are the genuine representatives of 'real folk music', then they better have a re-think as here's far too much out there in the real world by young urban artists who can realistically lay claim to that title...
IMO


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Bert
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 12:24 PM

Enjoy the singing. Not too much chat. Everyone gets a turn. No favorite singers. Don't let the hogs take over.

As for long ballads, we rarely get to hear them, so pay attention to the words and forgive any deficiencies in the performance. You can't expect perfection from a singer who only gets to perform that song once a year. Enjoy it for what it is.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: CET
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 01:00 PM

The guided sing arounds have their place, but the very best I've ever been at was the Mystic Seaport sing around where there were no turns, and you had to damn well step up (metaphorically speaking if you were sitting down) and sing your song. Everybody who was ready was able to sing and nobody hogged the limelight. Also, the entire crowd was respectful of the singer who had the floor.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 01:29 PM

"To me it is more important that the newcomers should be encouraged and given support to help them overcome their anxiety and give it a go."

No (he sighed wearily) my post above was not aimed at newcomers or new singers. It was aimed instead at selfish, lazy, lime-light hogging singers who have often been singing for years. These people never seem to improve because it's quite obvious that they never put the work in. I've known plenty of singers, over the years, who were not particularly brilliant when they started out, but got better over time (sometimes spectacularly so) because they put the work in. I'm always delighted when this happens.

I think I've said this before - but it bears repeating: Everyone has a right to sing but with that right comes responsibilities; primarily, not to bore the pants off your audience and/or your fellow singaround participants.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 02:22 PM

Are you running a Singaround Mr Rod?

L in C


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Paul Reade
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 02:44 PM

I've never been very keen on singarounds that just go round in a circle taking turns. Reminds me of courses I've attended where you start by going round with everyone introducing themselves - the "Creeping Death" as someone described it.

One thing I tried a couple of times was to take a pack of cards, shuffle them, give each singer a card at the start of the round, and take them in order. The randomness gives the session a spontaneity to get the ball rolling.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 03:14 PM

"Are you running a Singaround Mr Rod?"

No, Mr Chor, I'm not. But if I was, certain people would be banned or taken round the back and duffed up (especially if I could be sure that they wouldn't fight back).

I probably wouldn't last long as a singaround organiser - but, oh the sense of satisfaction!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Paul Reade
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 03:20 PM

Let he who is without sin ...


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Joe_F
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 06:05 PM

Paul: *him* who.

If the group is more than a dozen or so, strict rotation may be the easiest way to share the responsibility, applause, & blame (supposing, always, that it is permitted to pass or to make a request). But short of that, it is more pleasant IMO if one may go out of order to bring up a related song (as in parliamentary questions: arising out of that reply) -- supposing, always, that participants are on the alert for nonparticipants, and eventually make requests of them.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 07:08 PM

grr. Group Sing Starter Kits for CDSS.

Something apparently doesn't translate over the water.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 07:36 PM

CET: the very best I've ever been at was the Mystic Seaport sing around where there were no turns, and you had to damn well step up (metaphorically speaking if you were sitting down) and sing your song. Everybody who was ready was able to sing

Sounds like my idea of hell. As them as knows me know, I'm a modest and unassertive type until I actually start singing. (I don't think this is particularly unusual - some of the clearest and strongest singers I've heard have been shy and retiring offstage.) So I'm really uncomfortable in "jump in when ready" song sessions, which in my experience often end up being dominated by natural extroverts; in the setup you describe I doubt I would ever be "ready". I might be sitting there with a stash of songs ready to go, but it would take a lot to make me damn well step up.

So turn-taking is my first requirement. Then get a lot of enthusiasts for traditional song in the room, including a few really good singers to give everyone else something to aim for. (Get that right and you won't need to set a quality threshold or make any rules about what people can or can't sing - quality and style will both take care of themselves.) No session-hogging, no egos and not too much chat; firm but friendly MCing. Long ballads, short songs, chorus songs, shanties; some songs everyone knows, some hardly anyone knows. And decent beer.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: skipy
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 08:24 PM

Shimrod, howabout as a concerp we shoot the people are not able to learn a song? Perhaps then we should shoot the people who sing songs that you don't like. etc. etc.
However I do agree that the "crap" singers should not be asked to sing.
Skipy
A crap singer who cannot sing without the words on a piece of paper, tell what I'll stop singing, there Happy now?


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 11:55 PM

we used to have a regular weekly session (15/20+ years) until the new publican filled the place with "gaming" aka gambling machines & other stuff. We found a few new locations, but none worked (one publican said we didn't drink enough!)

then we went to regular monthly sessions at a friend's place - now these sessions take place in a club.

We also have a regular monthly shanty session on the Tall Ship "James Craig" in the Maritime Museum.

Format is always around the 'circle' under the guidance of a MC/leader - sing, pass or request. We have the same regular core of strong singers at both sessions & an assortment of chorus singers (including me!) & some listeners & visitors.

In the main we follow by turn, but sometimes someone sings a song that provokes an answer.

And a good time is had by all.

sandra


The People Have Songs
written & sung by Miguel Heatwole

When I wrote The People Have Songs in late 1997 I wanted to celebrate a cultural practice of great importance to me - the singing session. For any who don't know, sessions are an exhilarating do-it-yourself phenomenon found at all the best folk festivals. In this case however it was a particular weekly gathering at an inner Sydney pub called the Glengarry Castle that was my chief inspiration. Every Friday night a core group of regulars, visitors and passers-by would share (mainly folk) songs with each other, frequently filling the bistro with almost tangible layers of harmony.

Some have described it as an anthem for singing sessions, but I often look on it as a manual giving content and etiquette. I went to England and found it emblazoned on a socialist choir's banner so maybe the former is true. My friends have flattered me with two fine parodies. I'll stop bragging now...

      Here voices are tuned to each other in gladness
      To all here in common affection belongs
      Here joy and laughter meet keening and sadness
      Here tyranny's cursed for the people have songs

      Let us set the room ringing with the sound of our singing
      When we come to the end let us hold the chord long
      Hear the harmonies rise and all close our eyes
      'Til the last cadence dies the people have songs

      Here is war parting sweethearts
      Here are strong sweating sailors
      And poets for beauty who ardently long
      Here are people at work singing loud at their labours
      Here are marriage and drinking for the people have songs

      Respect for each other gives each one a hearing
      And whether the voice be uncertain or strong
      We listen with love if the heart is endearing
      Supported in harmony the people have songs

      Disdaining oppression like others before us
      Our gentleness angered by history's wrongs
      Our tradition endures, and our voices in chorus
      Are lifted in hope for the people have songs!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 03:35 AM

"Shimrod, howabout as a concerp we shoot the people are not able to learn a song? Perhaps then we should shoot the people who sing songs that you don't like. etc. etc.
However I do agree that the "crap" singers should not be asked to sing.
Skipy
A crap singer who cannot sing without the words on a piece of paper, tell what I'll stop singing, there Happy now?"

Yes,'Skipy', very happy. Everything you've written seems eminently reasonable to me - and I'm quite drawn to the idea of shooting people ... especially people who, after a number of years, are still crap because they can't be bothered to practice or even learn the words!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Bert
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 03:40 AM

Well said Pip.

I quit going to one very well known Folk group because every singalong was hogged by half a dozen regulars who though they were better than everyone else.

At one session, one of these hogs actually said "you have to push in here", I replied "If I wanted to push in I would have joined a Rugby club"

The only people who like to "damn well step up" are those arrogant sods who think that they are the best ever and don't give a shit if shy people never get a turn.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 04:44 AM

There is a VAST difference twixt the singer who HONESTLY cant adequately remember all the words to a song , so has a book as an Aide Memoire , and the lazy singer who sings AT THE BOOK held in front of his face because he cant be bloody bothered to learn !!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Tootler
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 04:45 AM

CET: the very best I've ever been at was the Mystic Seaport sing around where there were no turns, and you had to damn well step up (metaphorically speaking if you were sitting down) and sing your song. Everybody who was ready was able to sing

Pip Radish: Sounds like my idea of hell. As them as knows me know, I'm a modest and unassertive type until I actually start singing. (I don't think this is particularly unusual

The "jump in" approach can work quite well in sessions where everyone is able to join in when someone starts a tune so everyone is still able to contribute.

However, in a singaround I think that Pip Radish has an important point. The less assertive may well include some of the best singers in the room. Also it will almost certainly exclude newcomers who will be unsure of themselves and need encouraging to have a go. So round the room in some form, moderated by an MC is best for a singaround. I have been to a singaround which went round the room even though there was no obvious MC. When you had finished, you simply passed on to your neighbour. It was only when I got up to go, that the MC (more like a session leader really) introduced himself and thanked me for coming. That seemed to work very well. I suspect because the regulars knew the form and respected it, so no hogging by the "favoured few".

Even in a session it is a good idea to have a session leader who will keep an eye on things and, from time to time, invite one of those who have not yet started a tune to start one so everyone has an opportunity to start a tune if they wish. I must admit that if it is a "one off" session, such as at a festival, I am quite happy to sit back and let others take the lead.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 05:22 AM

I agree with Pip, I'd probably simply sit there and wait and wait ...and wait if it were a 'jump in' session. The unaccompanied singer is also at a disadvantage to someone using a guitar (and I think we tend to be in the minority), because the guitarist can just loudly strum a chord or start tuning up and everyone will look and settle down. It's a way of getting your foot in the door so to speak, without formally announcing to the group "I've decided it's my go now!".


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 07:03 AM

"There is a VAST difference twixt the singer who HONESTLY cant adequately remember all the words to a song , so has a book as an Aide Memoire , and the lazy singer who sings AT THE BOOK held in front of his face because he cant be bloody bothered to learn !!"

There is a small difference - but so what? Good singing demands courage and is something best done without a 'safety net'. The best performances are passionate and committed ones in which the singer knows the tune and the words intimately (otherwise it's just a wooden 'recitation' - and I don't want to spend my evenings listening to wooden recitations). I tried to learn a song recently but I just couldn't seem to be able to force the last couple of verses into my head. Nevertheless, I kept at it until they were learned - only then did I attempt to sing the song in public.

If you genuinely can't learn words, perhaps you shouldn't be singing. After all I've eschewed taking up a career as a lifeguard because I can't swim. Do I, still, have a 'right' to be a lifeguard? I don't think that swimmers in distress would take very kindly to that proposition ...


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Acorn4
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 07:12 AM

There are a wealth of singarounds taking place around where we live, some popular, some sparsely attended. If asked what makes the difference   I would probably say that the successful organisers make it clear that they value the performers whatever their standard.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Acorn4
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 07:22 AM

...on the other hand, playing devil's advocate, this is to the tune of Eldorado:-

My New Song

I learned to sing a brand new song
Learned it well and felt so proud
But all my dreams would turn to ashes
When I went along to that singaround

I practised hard, both night and day
Memorised the words on every page
It sounded so good in the bathroom
And now the world would be my stage

As I went into that crowded room
I felt wound up like a coiled spring
But when I'd sat down in that circle
I did a very stupid thing

I sat in the only empty place
Where the turn to sing had just moved past
Now I'd have to sit around for hours
Oh woe is me ! Oh, damn and blast!

It started with a gruesome murder ballad
Which ended on the gallows high
But not till after 42 verses
When it was done, I heaved a sigh

Then some pissed up clown
Started a sea shanty
With a drunken chorus nine times or ten
But when he got to the Bay of Biscay
He forgot the words and had to start again

Then an intense young man with a Takamine
Bared his soul to all in a song he'd written so deep
All about a failed relationship
I think I must have fallen asleep

Then a rather large Scottish lady
Did and introduction
That was even longer than the song,
The it's "oooaaaah whoooaaaaant' ye gan to the heeeeeels, laddie?"
Another half an hour and we moved on!

And several more painful dirges later
When things had sunk to an all time low
From under a seat appears a melodeon
Just wind him up and off he'll go

And then this bloke waltzes in and sits down
He arrived at least two hours after me
He must be up the organiser's backside
'Cos he gets to sing almost straight away

And once again it was a marathon performance
As despondency filled up the room
Till someone did a Leonard Cohen song
Just to lighten up the gloom

It was my turn at last after an eternity
I said "Oh, is it me?", take a deep breath
Now is my chance for retribution
I'll make sure I get my pound of flesh

Chorus:-

I'll make this song go on forever
Stretch every syllable and line
I'll get my own back on those bastards
That kept me waiting all that time
I'll go slow, so very slow
And oh so slow, so very slow.

I'll sing so loud I'll give them earache
Let them know my time has come
They can forget about the beer break
As no-one's moving till I'm done

And as for those who carry on talking
Or crunching crisps at them I'll glare
And as for going to the toilet
I'll just say "don't you bloody dare"

Chorus:-

I'll make this song go on forever
Stress every syllable and line
I'll get my own back on those bastards
That kept me waiting all that time
I'll go on, slowly on and on and on…etc


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 07:23 AM

I attened a "blues jam" every Saturday afternoon at an old barbershop in Washington, D.C. for many years and there are some rules...

(Rules???)

Well, not chizzeled in stone rules but guidelines...

The jams (singarounds) had a facilitator/moderator assigned to oversee them which meant that in the interest of *everyone* having a good time certain things did have to occur:

1. Sharing the time is the most important... That means, yes, going around the circle and at least offering each attendeee an opportunity to *lead* a song...

2. Asking people with louder instruments to try to blend... This can be done without confronting any one individual if the moderator hears one instrument way over the others mentioning that "the piano was a tad overbearing on that last song"... Of course the piano player knows who is being pointed out but it makes it less personal when the moderator points to an instrument rather than an individual...

3. People should also be in tune... It's not at all difficult to say, "Hey, Ralph, I think your B string is a tad sharp"... Most muswicans appreciate that kinda nudging...

4. Lastly, when I have moderated jams/singarounds I kinda like to get folks actaully talking about the songs between songs... There are alot of good stories that folks have about certain songs that are valuable to everyone at the singaround... Sometimes it's as easy as "I learned this version from ____________" or "I first heard this song at the ________________ concert back in ______".... This, to me, is what music is all about and where I have learned to appreciate songs that I might have never given a second thought about just from someone elses experience with a certain song...

Rules over...

Now, let's jam...

B~


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 07:36 AM

"I would probably say that the successful organisers make it clear that they value the performers whatever their standard."

Could it actually be that the "sparsely attended [singarounds]" have too many lazy, selfish, crap singers reading their songs from exercise books? No! Of course it couldn't! It must be due to evil, wicked organisers attempting to impose some standards - and we can't possibly have that, can we?

Actually , my local singaround seems to attract some really excellent singers plus some beginners who are trying really hard and a few who are, perhaps, a bit 'rough round the edges' - all perfectly acceptable in my book and part of the fun. What drags it down, though, are a smattering of 'exercise bookers' and their ilk who take up far too much time and are no fun whatsoever.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 07:50 AM

Sorry, that last post was me. Yes, that's right, that evil, intolerant bastard, Shimrod! The one who thinks that there should be a minimally acceptable standard of performance at ANY folk event - how wicked is that?


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Bert
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 01:10 PM

Well I have encouraged some really awful singers in my time. There is rarely no more than one bad singer in any group. They usually either get better or leave. I have never found it a big problem.

I have also been to groups where almost everyone had a copy of 'Rise Up Singing'. It makes it much easier to sing along when everyone is using the same words. It is not my favorite kind of singalong but it can work pretty well, especially if it a group of newcomers.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 01:22 PM

A vital aspect of a good singalong is the social one. It really helps if the regular attendees like one another, and welcome and encourage newbies.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 01:28 PM

People come The Beech and sing. Some are better than others. I cannot iamgine a situation in which I could ask someone not to sing. After all it's 15 or 20 people sitting a room singing to each other. That's it really

Cheers
Les
And thanks to all those who come to The Beech


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Girl Friday
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 01:29 PM

Skipy.... well said.

Acorn4... Love your New Song, but you left out something, as far as I can see. When you sit down and wait for ever for your turn to come round having learned that song... some ba**t**d sings it first. Then you're stuck!

We go to the same singarounds in Kent as VT, and they're fabulous. Especially the ones at The G I, which was voted best singaround in Mudcat's Alteernative Folk Awards a few years ago.

We run a weekly session that's loosely organised. We go round the circle, but all jam in with each other. Everyone enjoys that, and it's good experience. Personally I don't like the jump-in ones, as they can get hogged by people who love themselves. Good singers who are shy tend to get left out.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 01:40 PM

We tried a 'jump in' at The Beech last week. We had been around the room and eveybody had sung once. It was late and we clearly couldn't go around again.

I discussed it briefly with a couple of people and we went with the 'jump in'. Musically and socialy it went well. We had grand choruses and we all sang our heads off ........... I think.

But I am aware that some people jump in and some clearly don't. Blokes tend to dominate although on this occasion I don't think they did and I think the best songs came from women.

I guess I will e-mail people who come a lot and see what they think.

Any advice?

L in C


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 02:06 PM

The secret of a good singaround is to invite Steamin' Willie!

Joking apart, the secret is to realise it is about participation rather than artistic merit, and everybody has a part to play.

That said, the posts above regarding some of the stereotypical participants remind me of why I sometimes nip to the bar and forget to come back, sorry..... (Not that I am much better, but you don't have to be a writer to be a critic.)


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 03:48 PM

Sing songs in languages understood by the people around you.

Don


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Ref
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 05:16 PM

You need enough people with the necessary combination of humility and assertiveness to maintain "circle discipline" and, as someone pointed out above, keep the music and laughter rolling.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 05:38 PM

The secrets to a good sing-around is enjoy playing and also listening it makes ones' hearts   content ?
Regards Pierre.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 06:00 PM

Don: Sing songs in languages understood by the people around you

Not necessarily. I could listen to Julie Fowlis all night and I don't speak a word of Scottish Gaelic.

Same with Tarja Turunen singing in Finnish.

They have to be damn *good* though!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 06:54 PM

"I say
What a Parlarva
I heard Tarja Turunen Once.
' couldnt wait for her to Finnish
Regards Pierre"


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Commander Crabbe
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 08:47 PM

1. Good songs, singers and musicians.

2. Guiness, Pear Cider and Whisky.

3. Short introductions!

4. Everyone gets a go (beginners, the not so good singers and not so good musicians)

I sometimes have to run the singaround and find it fairly important to remember the following.

1. I was once a beginner at singing.

2. I was once learning to play guitar.

3. Even though I am able to do Arthur McBride (and several other songs) without reference to a book. I sometimes need an aide memoire.

4. If it hadn't been for all the tolerant, encouraging people I met when I started, I might have given up.

For all those who know me who have just said "I wish he would"!

Unlucky!!!!!!

That said I do find the following a bit disconcerting at times.

1. Sober people who have the words written in a book to refer to and still forget them!

2. Those who say they are going to sing such and such a song but forget to inform the rest of the session that it is not the normal tune but their own arrangement in several unrelated keys!

I can also agree with a previous poster with regards to those who, despite knowing their turn is coming, spend valuable singing/playing time, getting their instrument out, tuning it and giving a lengthy introduction to a well known song when their turn arrives.

Unfortunately though, these people do exist and it is unlikely they will disappear in the future. Luckily it doesn't happen very often!

Best wishes to you all and long may we sing and play.

CC


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Soldier boy
Date: 10 Apr 10 - 09:34 PM

That's a very thorough and well thought out list Commander Crabbe and sums up very concisely many contributions on postings on this thread.
Good stuff Sir!
I would,however,add a good selection of hand-pulled real ales to the favoured drinks menu!

Chris

P.S : By 'Arthur McBride' did you mean to say 'Willie Mcbride' (The Green Fields of France) or is this a different song altogether?


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: gnomad
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 03:50 AM

It's a different one, Chris, I know CC & his repertoire well enough to say that with confidence. AMcB is a longer and (I should say) older song about recruiting. There is one version here.

CC runs a good show when called upon, but is just as happy to contribute to one run by someone else. That is the type of modesty that helps a good singaround to function. You are right, though, he did omit that one significant menu item.

I would just add that those who feel they must give an introduction really need to know their facts. A rambling introduction is bad enough, but when it gets the known origin, purpose, or title of the song wrong that is downright embarrassing.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Pierre Le Chapeau
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 04:57 PM

CC
I couldn't agree more the encourage I have had from Singer arounds and sessions is great. I laugh and joke a lot on Mudcat and folk know me sense of humor.
But encouragement from others is memorable and above all necessary. no joke.
Kind regards Pierre.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 05:34 PM

The secret of a really good singaround is that it's run really well by the MC but people don't notice that there was any skill involved....

Acorn4 - Hamish sang (and credited) one of your parodies at last night's Banbury Song & Ale singaround.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: RamblinStu
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 05:47 PM

Bob Kenward can run a bloomin good singaround too

Keep the Woodsheds Burning.

Stuart Pendrill


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Soldier boy
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 09:09 PM

Thanks gnomad.
The Arthur McBride song looks like a great song and obviously far older than the Willie McBride (The Green Fields of France) song and is about recruiting men (by fair means or foul) to the navy.
I have been trying to get the tune for this but so far have failed.
But will keep trying.
Many thanks for your kind reply.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 03:07 AM

Chris - Arthur McBride is also known as "The Recruiting Sergeant". Here's Planxty's version (Paul Brady's is also worth a listen).


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: janemick
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 03:56 AM

I personally hate the 'jump up' type of singaround - the excess adrenalin often makes me pitch a song far too high (another bonus for singers with instruments for accompaniment)so I have to stop and re-pitch it.
I think MCs should try to balance giving nervous/words-reading/marathon ballad singers a go, but perhaps encouraging them to change their ways eg: "I expect you'll have that off by heart by next time"
A system that doesnt circle the room allows the MC to avoid more than a single 'go' for a really poor singer, and so keep the session going well.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 04:20 AM

Thanks to all of the above - lots of excellent advice

L in C


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 05:16 AM

giving nervous/words-reading/marathon ballad singers a go, but perhaps encouraging them to change their ways

Should marathon ballad singers change their ways?


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST, RBotob
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 05:39 AM

Stamping on banjo players who keeep jumping in (often over other quieter introductions) helps. Some people know who the offensive banjo player I have in mind is. A very good tenor player with absolutely no consideration for others and a range of guilty secrets.

A host who does not hold up the singing by holding court and telling shaggy dog stories to his immediate circle of friends also helps. Again, I suspect the guilty party knows who I mean (it isn't the Bard nor the Mixer)


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 06:00 AM

People should should sing what they like. If the session has no guidance who can complain.

If it is a Singer-Songwriter Session - I guess such a beast exists - then a marathon ballad would make a welcome change. If the Session is "Songs mostly but not exclusively traditional" (Sog my butnet) then songs of known origin are claerly welcome.

People stamping on banjo players is, in my experience, not mentioned in guidance to session. It is worth remembering that a banjo, particularly a damaged banjo could be an appropriate object to wrap around the neck of banjo and banjo player damagers.

Cheers

L in C


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Paul Reade
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 06:12 AM

I think any musicians, not just banjo players, need to be sensitive to what is going on when joining in.

If it's an unfamiliar song, or an unaccompanied singer has just kicked off in a very obscure key (I do it all the time I've been told), it can be very offputting. I find guitarists are usually OK as they tend to play very quietly until they pick it up, but at a recent session someone played a clarinet so loudly, with no empathy with the tune, that the singer had to stop and ask them (politely) to stop.

I'm also surprised at the number of amateur percussionists that don't seem to have a sense of rhythm!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Soldier boy
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 11:16 AM

Thank you very much Pip Radish for the Planxty's version of Arthur McBride. That's very much appreciated. It really is an excellent song.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Acorn4
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 12:17 PM

I've found that melodeon players can be guilty of jumping in a nanosecond after (or even before) someone has just finished.

I'd back a melodeon player to beat a banjo player on jumping in any day.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 01:13 PM

Jumping in is usually a brutal practice. As well as trampling the less pushy, it means that anyone singing or playing as a duo, trio or more has next to no chance of getting started.

If there was a group understanding that no-one should claim more than a single turn before everyone in the room has had a bash it might be a bit more equitable, but it's more likely that the group will behave like a shoal of piranah going after a lone paddler.

Valmai (Lewes)


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 01:22 PM

Is it worth pointing out that this thread is concerned with fully sensient adults, willingly gathering in a room, to sing and / or play music together and that most of us, by most standards, are kind of OK and a few are raelly good?

L in C


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Tootler away
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 01:40 PM

An alternative to jumping in is the nominate system. When you have finished singing, you nominate the next one to sing. Of course, there is still a chance of a small group hogging the sessions but a rule that no one gets a second song until every one in the room has had chance of a first should avoid that happening.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 04:49 PM

When you have finished singing, you nominate the next one to sing.

That's an interesting one - can anyone report on how it works in practice?

Someone upthread mentioned the sing-pass-or-nominate system. I've never seen that either, but always been a bit wary of it - I can see it developing into a popularity contest for the votes of the non-singers, which isn't really how I see singarounds! Same question - do people find it works in practice?


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Tootler
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 04:59 PM

I've only known it late at night when the "official" singaround has finished and it was used for those who wanted to carry on. It works quite well in that situation as it is less formal and people are drifting away. I find it better than jumping in as it allows for a pause between songs and does not disadvantage the unaccompanied singers which jumping in does.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 05:18 PM

I don't mind a jump in/dive in session if the numbers are few and the people know and respect each other. If some are reluctant to dive in, you can say 'How about a song from ....?'


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,old git
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 06:38 PM

I entirely agree with Herga Kitty (at 05;34 pm) and hope that the numerous singarounds I have run at various festivals have ben run in this way.
geoff turner


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Acorn4
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 07:43 PM

I've actually started running singarounds recently as well as just taking part in them. The most difficult part I find is timing. You want to make sure that everyone gets a second/third go if possible, but you have to do a mental calculation in your head as to how much time is left and how many people left to have a go.

It can sometimes get upset by things like people doing long songs, people turning up late unexpectedly. When everyone can't get a go on the last round you have to make difficult choices.

Interesting to see it from that side of the fence.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Sooz
Date: 13 Apr 10 - 03:13 AM

When we don't have time for a complete circuit to finish the evening, we raffle off the spare time. The holder of a winning ticket (saved btw from the halftime raffle) can either sing or nominate someone else. This method has lead to some of our best ever singarounds and has alleviated the problem of late night mental arithmetic.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Brakn
Date: 13 Apr 10 - 03:57 AM

I'm no expert but I think the fairest ways is "by time of arrival" which of course will need an aware and organised MC. A singer who turns up at eight should be able to sing more songs than someone who strolls in at a quarter to ten.

I've yet to go to a singaround where everybody couldn't have had a second song though I have been to one where early arrivals got one and later arrivals got four - you just don't go again.

I like to know a bit about the songs people sing though I draw the line at ten minute ramble on how the singer spent his/her weekend and what their journey to work was like this morning. Again it require a strong MC.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: janemick
Date: 13 Apr 10 - 04:03 AM

Pip asked: 'Should marathon ballad singers change their ways?'

to which I reply: possibly not, if they can manage to engage their audience in what should be a gripping and often gory tale. However, there are few performers who can achieve this. Most long ballad singers lose their audiene by the fifth verse, and carry on unaware...


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 13 Apr 10 - 09:42 AM

I've heard Lord Bateman, Young Hunting, Tam Lin and Little Musgrave done in singarounds, and never been bored. The only boring long ballad I can ever remember sitting through was a performance of Sir Patrick Spens (the long version, where they sink on the way back) - and that was only boring because the singer was also an accomplished guitarist with a knack for improvising twiddly bits between verses, and thought it would be a good idea to show off this skill after every single verse. (Also because I was hoping to get called myself some time that night. Which I didn't.)


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: IanC
Date: 13 Apr 10 - 10:56 AM

Many of the traditional "singing pubs" had a nominated person who was effectively an MC and decided who sang next. With someone who is perceptive and basically fair, that works very well. It's essentially a "benign dictatorship" approach.

Failing that the "co-op method" works partially and for part of the time and the "jump in" method tends to work well for listeners but not so well for anybody who might be intimidated.

The session I run, people look to me for leadership and I'm forced to give it. At the start, it's pretty much round the room and in the end it's all together. The bit in the middle is usually where some leadership is called for.

:-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: mg
Date: 13 Apr 10 - 11:27 AM

Very best...no taking turns, no books, let the leaders lead and the rest of us sing in the choruses and occasionally ask if someone wants to lead one. Not for everyone, but I don't have the patience any more to sit through 10 solos to hear one song I truly want to hear and sing along with. mg


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Joe Nicholson
Date: 13 Apr 10 - 11:38 AM

The nominating system can be quite depressing if you never get nominated and is also subject to the old pals act. I think of all the previpous ideas that is the worst and should be avioded at all costs.

Joe Nicholson.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: IanC
Date: 13 Apr 10 - 11:55 AM

Just works. Can have a crap leader but ...


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Apr 10 - 08:43 PM

Seems like you've just got to hope that magic happens.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 08:27 AM

One suggestion. Tune your friggin' instrument before the sing around starts. It is so annoying to see someone wait until they have the floor to start tuning.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: buddhuu
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 09:05 AM

I'm not entirely au fait with nomenclature, but I think what we do is kind of a singaround with instruments.

Great ones may happen spontaneously, but if you run a regular one it can take a surprising amount of discreet work to keep it running smoothly.

Things which contribute to a positive experience.

1) Courtesy:
* Making sure your instrument is in tune (if tunable)
* Acknowledging everyone's contribution with applause, a nod, a murmur or whatever
* Not tuning up loudly or talking loudly while other participants are singing/playing
* Not stopping the person who called/started the tune or song after 8 bars because that's not the version you know, so are they sure they're doing it right?
* Not jumping in out of turn because you just thought of a good one
* Sitting a song out if you don't know the song or are not confident of being able to play along without ruining it for the person taking their turn

2) Discipline - no iron fist, just preventing chaos
* Not widdling loudly between songs, or "practising [loudly] until the next song starts"
* Tuning up, finding your capo and any lyrics or music you need before your turn arrives.
* Offering to pass on your turn if you can't get your arse in gear promptly
* Not starting songs that you will have to abandon halfway through because you are not prepared.

Technical ability is not the most important thing, IMHO. As has been observed, many people can't sing "well", but their performances are enjoyable, nonetheless.

We have a chap at our session who doesn't play guitar well or sing well, but his attitude is spot-on and we're all rooting for him. He actually does the Father Ted thing... "Wait, wait - I can get this bit!" KERRANG! It all adds to the atmosphere and the fun.

If a session/singaround takes place in a pub I would suggest that it is considerate of the MC to have at least some aspirations to entertain the other punters who may be present in addition to members of the session. Some of my points above - the widdling and playing half a song, for example - are made with this in mind.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Hamish
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 09:24 AM

(Nearly) all of the above, plus:

a space that's not quite big enough. By which I mean it's always better when you're all crammed together rather than spread thinly over a large area.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 09:27 AM

Someone said they didn't like themed singarounds: this is something we do once a month a one club I go to, and usually works well. Inevitably someone will turn up not knowing it was the theme week, so we then invent the most tenuous and devious connections between what they choose to sing and the theme - all part of the fun and hilarity. It also encourages people to look outside their usual repertoire, with sometimes stunning results.
On discipline and etiquette, probably also worth making a statement about letting folk say if they wish to be strictly UNaccompanied, or whether they are happy for all and sundry to join in on whatever battery of voice and instruments turn up. I saw one a cappella trad singer doing an amazing job of putting would-be accompanists off by liberal use pregnant pauses and extreme rubato - and it just about worked!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Paul Reade
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 10:27 AM

Someone said if you really want to put off accompanists, do a song in the key of B. Mind you some accompanists would regard this as a challenge so it could end up even worse!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Marje
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 11:05 AM

The singarounds I've enjoyed most have generally been completely unaccompanied ones. This gets rid of the problems of inappropriate accompaniments, out-of-tune instruments (buy not, alas, tuneless voices), long instrumental episodes that break the flow of the song, and the instrumental noodlers who hog the bandwidth and make it difficult for anyone else to get started.

I can see that some singers don't like to "push in", so some sort of turn-taking is usually best. I find it makes me jumpy not knowing when my turn is coming, so I prefer not to be "nominated" without warning. The system where you pass some object around the room, and take your turn when you've got it, (like the stick in Sidmouth Middle Bar) can work well, as long as the singer passes it on to someone else as soon as their own turn begins. That gives the next singer time to think of something that's suitable to follow on from the current song.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Soldier boy
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 06:08 PM

I'm not completely adverse to the "jump-in" method - but the wife complains every time!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Tootler
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 06:16 PM

Very best...no taking turns, no books, let the leaders lead and the rest of us sing in the choruses and occasionally ask if someone wants to lead one.

To me that totally misses the point. If that's what you want, you might as well go to a concert. A singaround is about participation and most people go to a singaround expecting to be asked to sing - to take part. There are a few who are happy to listen, but they tend to be the exception.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Ref
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 07:04 PM

"Very best...no taking turns, no books, let the leaders lead and the rest of us sing in the choruses and occasionally ask if someone wants to lead one."

Once again, "the books" comes up. I'd rather have someone sing/play from a book, just about any book, than have to put up with someone who can't remember his words or music. I also agree with Tootler that everyone ought to have the opportunity to lead or choose a piece.

I do NOT want to hear a complaint that the song I choose "isn't in the book." People need to be ready to hear and learn something new, and some songs are just better with a solo on the verses and group on the chorus.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 08:02 PM

You have to decide up front what you want, and they are diametrically opposed, I think.

Do you want a community experience that involves sharing and supporting? It includes music but the community experience is the important thing. Go to Plan A.

Do you want the best possible music, and is that in place already? If it is not, I don't really know how you will get it, but assuming it is in place and you want to keep it that way, go to Plan B.

Plan A.
Take turns. Religiously. Have a great big circle, the bigger the better and keep moving the chairs back and back. Allow if not encourage the blue books. Don't worry if they are not to GB yet. They are on their way. In fact, paperless options are now on their way. Get your computerized projector out. Turn the flourescent lights on as bright as your eyes can stand so that people can read their music.

Plan B. If you already have great singers, do what they do. Ask them what they like and what will make them show up and not show up. If they like Plan A, you are home free. Chances are they won't but they won't tell you but then they won't show up either.

Default is Plan A. It can be very enjoyable for all who come. The others will be somewhere else, and if I knew where I would join them and just listen and not care if I personally got a turn or not.

There is no right or wrong. I am more about preserving great music conclaves rather than setting them up afresh. If it is great don't mess with it. mg


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 09:02 PM

Over-organizing—over-planning—can kill an otherwise potentially good songfest.

The best, most enjoyable (by everyone) songfests I have ever been to—and I went to my first sometime in 1952—have been of the "no host," and definitely "no M.C." variety, where we gather in someone's living room, and when "critical mass" is achieved (most of those who are expected to show up), we tune up, then someone starts off. It bounces back and forth in no particular order. If someone sings a couple of songs in a row, no sweat. Often an exchange of songs will happen in the form of a sort of dialog. Someone sings a song, then someone else says, "That reminds me of—" or something like that. We may beat on a particular theme for awhile, then someone will hop in with something different.

No body is put on the spot and anyone is free to jump in when and if they are so moved.

Spontaneity.

The main thing to keep in mind is simple courtesy, which says, "Don't hog the show." Everyone should be cognizant of the other people in the room, and if someone is sitting there looking eager, a simple, "You got something, Helen?" is in order.

Don't tell me it doesn't work, because these are the ones I've seen work the best. If someone is monopolizing the show, someone should give them a discreet dig in the ribs. But a designated "Sergeant-At-Arms" is a bit over the top and shouldn't be necessary.

By the way, I never saw anyone singing out of books or off crib-sheets until very recent times.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Soldier boy
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 10:28 PM

I'm a bit worried now!

GUESTmg said above: "Take turns. Religiously....Allow if not encourage the blue books. Don't worry if they are not to GB yet. They are on their way."

I hope I am wrong and that mg was not referring to 'GREAT BRITAIN' when he/she referred to 'GB'.

Otherwise it sounds like some kind of ominous plot or 'call to arms' to invade Great Britain with floods of the 'blue books' and somehow brainwash us all to hymnals so we all end up singing from one book (the 'bible' of permitted songs) and we all end up singing the same old songs over and over like we are in Church. God forbid!

Bloody hell, we're still fighting the ruddy Mormons from our doorsteps for God's sake! Give us a break.

But joking aside, I am sure that that was all a bad dream and that I have completely misinterpreted mg's reference to 'GB' and that no global invasion is intended at all (or is it?).

Anyway; we have a history of repelling invaders from our shores so you 'aint got no chance cobber and it will never work!


.....unless you come to help us (Oooops!)


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 10:35 PM

Vigilance is always wise, Soldier boy.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 04:25 AM

mg - you're conflating two very different things: the singaround (where everyone takes turns to sing a song, usually from memory, some with choruses and some not) and something that sounds more like community singing. I've never seen these 'blue books' and hope I never do!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: buddhuu
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 04:58 AM

I've been running our acoustic session/singaround/tune session Frankenstein hybrid for about 5 years now. It has assumed various forms.

The Plough in Ley Green, Herts is a rural pub in a tiny village. It does not, by default, have a huge number of customers on a Tuesday evening. There are more these days because of the music. We have to try to hook and retain every guest who turns up and morph them into a regular.

In the beginning it was largely a folk song session that turned into an informal performance. We had one very strong, very trad, singer (Pete Bliss from Luton). By necessity there were no turns as such: it was an ensemble thing. We all introduced songs into the repertoire and Pete sang them (with occasional vocals by a couple of others) as he was the only singer we had.

That was fine until a few more guys joined who had a rock and roll background and Pete left to live in Portugal. The rock and roll guys gradually lapsed into their comfort zones, and I let it slide. Before I knew what was happening we were a skiffle/rock and roll band with comedy folk instruments. A 9-piece band called The Ploughmen emerged and became pretty popular in pubs and clubs locally.

Fortunately(?!) the band tired of playing in The Plough every Tuesday and decided to spread it about a bit. Out of loyalty to my local, and seeing a chance to restore the folk direction, I quit the band (amicably) that I had inadvertently founded to concentrate on the pub session.

Now, The Ploughmen play on the second Tuesday each month and all other Tuesdays are singaround/session.

So, if one is too relaxed, and imposes no guidance at all, things can go pretty off-course, and it can be very hard to restore direction.

I am quite determined that this time things will, at core, stay as intended.

The format I currently have is the big (geometrically questionable) circle. We go round in turns. Each participant, at his/her turn, has a number of options:

* Sing/play a song or tune, solo or accompanied
* Request/suggest a song/tune from another participant
* Start an ensemble standard from our common pool of tunes so everyone joins in on equal terms and really goes for it
* Pass on the turn to the next person

There is no obligation to lead/start a tune. People can pass on every turn and just join in with other people's tunes if they wish. As host, I mostly do this, with the exception of a few trad dance tunes I play with another guy.

Latecomers get fewer songs by virtue of the fact that earlier arrivals simply get more turns.

I make it clear to all musicians and audience that all comers are welcome to join us, and any musicians they know should be encouraged, by physical force if necessary, to come along and have a crack.

We have a no-amplification rule, apart from one mic that captures the overall ambience and which can be pointed in the general direction of a particularly quiet soloist.

Electric bass is allowed on very rare occasions where the player has contacted in advance to see if it's ok. But, as I say, default is no amps.

So far, this latest incarnation is working very nicely. There are already signs that another band (a folk/blues trio) may emerge from this session, but the two things will be kept separate this time.

Apologies for a long and dull post, but the first part depicts the kind of derailment that could strike many an inexperienced host. I though it may be worth sharing.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: buddhuu
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 05:08 AM

The physical force thing in my previous post was a joke, BTW.

Song books are welcome. Amnesia may be induced by nervousness. We want people to be comfortable.

We don't frown on capos either.

With respect to people who consider that everyone should learn songs by heart and, for that matter, that all players should be able to play in all keys by shifting position etc etc etc... We are not professionals. We are people with too few hours in each day to practice and learn as much as we would like, having a bit of social, musical crack. If the shy, or musically undeveloped need a crutch, well what the heck. I can always find room for a music stand or two.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 05:28 AM

Seems to me a hundred things make for a good Singaround but the most important ones are that people know songs and sing 'em

L in C


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 05:42 AM

Just going right back to basics here - What is meant by a good singaround and who do you want it to be good for?

Is it good because a lot of people sing or good because there is a lot of diverse material or good because it is all familiar? Is it good if everyone joins in or good because there are a few really good singers or good because you sang well? Is it good if you get some instumentation of if it is completely unaccompanied or good if some new sounds come out of it?

Then, is it good for the singer? For non-participants? For the organiser? For the venue?

Too many variables, I'm afraid and I will not answer on the grounds that I may incriminate myself. Or, more likely, upset someone:-)

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: John Routledge
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 07:20 AM

Perfect sweep up Dave. I too have no wish to incriminate myself.

Great way to finish a thread :0)


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 07:53 AM

"Someone said if you really want to put off accompanists, do a song in the key of B. Mind you some accompanists would regard this as a challenge so it could end up even worse!"
Singing in B: good key, but doesn't put the guitarists off (G capo 4)- not much of a challenge either if you know your chords and frets!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 08:10 AM

I use F sharp a fair bit, and also Ebminor


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Tootler on BlackBerry
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 08:35 AM

"I use F sharp a fair bit or Ebminor"

Why not just ask others not to join in instead of singing in obscure keys? Sooner or later you will come across someone who can play in that key then you are scuppered.

At the singarounds I go to the norm is not to join in unless invited by the singer invites it.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: buddhuu
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 09:36 AM

Singing in B: good key, but doesn't put the guitarists off (G capo 4)- not much of a challenge either if you know your chords and frets!

Wipes the smile off fiddlers' and mandolin players' faces though. Mine at least.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Tootler
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 02:34 PM

Aw! I haven't got a harmonica in B yet. Better go and get one :-)


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Soldier boy
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 06:42 PM

In my experience a good traditional "singaround" (the topic of this thread)and which I am more familir with, is all about the singers and the songs they sing and has less to do about the skill of the musician who accompanied his/her song on guitar etc or if other musicians joined in to support (and sometimes ruin)a song - whatever key it is played in.

Regrettably, I have found in my experience, that some 'singarounds' planned, promoted and intended as 'singarounds', can end up as a tug-of-war/contest/competition between singers and musicians; with the musicians trying to take over.
Which can be a great shame and can ruin the session altogether.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Soldier boy
Date: 18 Apr 10 - 09:15 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 02:12 AM

Tootler, I use them because they work well for my voice on the songs in question and for my guitar parts in question.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: stallion
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 03:45 AM

I concur with others that tastes vary as to what makes a good singaround, I think the signaround can cater for many of these tastes, it is an opportunity for people who don't perform, with a song or two to sing, to get them out, an opportunity to get some sort of recognition when you're starting out, and also having a sing when your voice isn't particularly good or strong enough to lead a song. For me the beer hall at Mystic has it about right, performers are encouraged to turn up and join in, but the paying public, by and large, get to lead the songs and jump in when you can! Great atmosphere. The best singaround for me was at the first winter warmer at KFFC with us, Young'uns, Keepers Fold and Jez Lowe + others......quite a chorus.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: kendall
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 06:53 AM

My main problem with sing arounds is the theme thing. Too narrow for me. Why not have a whole evening of nothing but Latvian lullabys in Q flat demented?


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Girl Friday
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 10:39 AM

At sing arounds I've been to, themes just happen. Someone sings a song about something. Someone else is reminded that he / she knows a song about that, and sings it etc. etc. I have tried themed evenings at my club, but they don't work because not everyone knows a song about the theme.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 11:02 AM

Themes can always be gotten around. Shanties? Here is a song I do in 'C'... Traditional? It is traditional for me to sing this every Tuesday... Farming? Well, I think this song could sow some seeds...

Etc.

:D


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: IanC
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 11:13 AM

We have themes to keep us from getting bored, but mainly the exercise is fitting the theme to the song ...

:-)


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Marje
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 11:28 AM

I've been to the occasional themed session and quite enjoyed it. It does us no harm to be nudged out of our comfort zone a bit, if only to introduce a bit of variety.

Of course it you're really stubborn you can sing one of your usual songs and contort the theme to fit it, but I think many people enjoy the challenge of seeking out something they might not otherwise have sung. And at least if you do that, no one's going to say, "What in heaven's name did she choose that song for? It really doesn't suit her!" On the plus side, you may even find a song or type of song that you hadn't tried before and find that it suits you better than you expected.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Commander Crabbe
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 12:22 PM


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 12:39 PM

That'l be a secret then Commander?


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 12:50 PM

One thing someone told in Seattle Song Circle years ago is don't mix instrumentals and singing...ad it pretty much worked. Someone else said don't let any instrumets in except guitars. Limiting, but it does solve problems.

Again, you have to decide if you want great music or very inclusive participation. Two different things usually. It is easier to go the default route of very inclusive participation. There will be strong forces pushing in that direction, and it is just easier to go with that from the start.

But you have to make it clear to people what the groundrules are...if it is an endless goround of solos, that is great for people who want audiences for their solos. If people want more group singing, which I do, then decide with or without books. You will attract two different kinds of groups. either is OK if you start out that way.

My objection is not that people use the blue books, if that is how their group was formed, but when they take over a group that has produced beautiful music without them for years and then all of a sudden the music takes a nosedive..a calamatous one. So if you want to do the blue book thing, or if you want to do the everyone takes endless turns thing, just do it, and say up front what the plan is so people can choose if that is what they want or not. Anything goes when you are setting it up. Set it up so that you will enjoy it. If others don't like your way, encourage them to set up their own way. Don't try to accomodate everyone, unless that is the purpose of the group. mg


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Pete
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 01:30 PM

Just read the earlier bits about putting accompanists off.The beauty of unaccompanied singing is you can change key between verses. That can really p**s them off. It can be tricky explaining it was deliberate,


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Tootler
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 03:06 PM

Richard Bridge:

Tootler, I use them because they work well for my voice on the songs in question and for my guitar parts in question.

I would accept that if you had not said in a previous thread that you chose obscure keys deliberately to put would be accompanists off. I can understand the irritation of having someone try to accompany you when you have worked out an accompaniment for that particular song. I just think it is more honest to ask them to desist. I've seen it happen in a singaround and it did not spoil the evening, in fact it set a clear marker - don't accompany unless invited.

Mind you, unofficial accompanists are nowhere near as irritating as those who sing the song you are singing half under their breath. Especially if they are singing a different version.

mg

Someone else said don't let any instrumets in except guitars.

How about don't let any instruments in, especially not guitars :-)

...if it is an endless goround of solos, that is great for people who want audiences for their solos

In the UK, the norm is "round the room" in turns. The singer whose turn it is will choose a song and sing it. It is expected that the others in the room are free to join in any choruses and also you find that many clubs have conventions where every one will sing certain verses, or particular lines of some songs, but the person whose turn it is sings the song rather than leads the song. We don't really have the kind of group sings you seem to have in the US.

Our singarounds are not really about "audiences for your solos", though I am sure that is the case for some, but about swapping songs (for want of a better phrase).


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 03:56 PM

I'm puzzled by that Tootler - first I don't remember saying it and second it is not what I usually do, I'm quite a one for everyone joining in. Indeed I sometimes push my F# songs up to G to facilitate, and usually then bugger up my voice and/or my own guitar part. Can you direct me to where I said it?

There are SOME people I would deliberately try to sabotage and one in particular who can be relied upon to play out of time and out of key pretty much every time - and complain of cyberbullying if I give a large hint.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Tootler
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 05:47 PM

To be honest I can't remember but I think it was in one of those interminable "future of the folk clubs" threads some time ago. It is also quite possible I am mixing you up with someone else.

If I did get you mixed up with someone else, I apologise. I certainly don't want to misrepresent people.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Schlimmerkerl
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 06:11 PM

A pretty good overall guide from An Góilín: www.goilin.com/aboutus.php


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 07:02 PM

Ah - that could have been nearly but not quite what I said about melodeons (referent - a snigger snogwriter comedy song entitled "The melodeons are coming") - the endless succession of tunes that all sound vaguely like Nellie the Elephant.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Commander Crabbe
Date: 19 Apr 10 - 08:45 PM

Les

I could tell you, but then it wouldn't be a secret would it?

Twas actually a mouse key/digit interface error caused by a speed wobble.

CC


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 20 Apr 10 - 02:16 AM

I pondered promoting our Singaround - which are obviously do through here - but wondered if trying to keep it a secret would make it more interesting and would then only be discovered by the really interested and the eccentric.

L in C


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 20 Apr 10 - 02:02 PM

The first rule of the Beech singaround is that you don't talk about the Beech singaround. (The second is that you come down to the Beech in unfeasibly large numbers every second and fourth Wednesday & sing songs mostly (but not exclusively) traditional.)


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Nick
Date: 20 Apr 10 - 02:57 PM

"Just read the earlier bits about putting accompanists off.The beauty of unaccompanied singing is you can change key between verses. That can really p**s them off. It can be tricky explaining it was deliberate,"

Between verses? Why not lines? Or even words? I know quite a lot of unaccompanied singers who change key pretty constantly... I never realised it was to piss me off (it doesn't) I always thought it was because they were incompetent. In those cases I always looked at accompaniment as akin to those extra wheels you put on the back of a kid's bicycle.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 20 Apr 10 - 02:57 PM

Me I'm saying nothin ................

L in C


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Apr 10 - 03:19 PM

Ah - that could have been nearly but not quite what I said about melodeons (referent - a snigger snogwriter comedy song entitled "The melodeons are coming") - the endless succession of tunes that all sound vaguely like Nellie the Elephant.

I see what you mean. Been there.

The tune usually goes

diddle diddle bump bump
diddle diddle bump.
diddle diddle diddle diddle
bump bump bump.

F# and C# will thwart massed melodeons every time - even those who come along with a C/F box [g]

Shouldn't be saying this. Some of my best friends play melodeon.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 20 Apr 10 - 05:17 PM

Er, that would be first and third Wednesdays. If I was talking about it, which I'm not.

Changing key isn't necessarily a sign of incompetence, incidentally - most unaccompanied singers tend to drift up over the length of a song, sometimes quite noticeably. (You can hear the great Tony Rose drifting off-pitch on his version of the Golden Vanitee - although the chorus singers are having none of it and quickly drag him back down.)


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: skipy
Date: 20 Apr 10 - 05:37 PM

I tried to learn the words to "Happy birthday" when I was 7, but the name keeps changing, perhaps if someone wrote the name down next time I am at a party I will have time to learn it!
Skipy
Avoid the Fox at Uffington this friday night, as I will be out with the Icknield way morrismen (see website) & I WILL sing from a crib sheet! & WILL after the song raise my tankard & shout "Up yours Shimrod"!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Nick
Date: 20 Apr 10 - 07:00 PM

Pip

I wasn't commenting on people whose pitch 'drifts' up (or usually down in my experience actually) during a song. It was the ones where the whole song is an exercise in involuntary random pitch shifting. Bit like playing Three Blind Mice with your finger on the Modulation wheel on a midi keyboard with a bad case of the DTs


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Tootler
Date: 20 Apr 10 - 07:50 PM

Woops.

Guest 20 Apr 10 - 03:19 PM was me. Just updated my browser and my cookie had got lost.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 21 Apr 10 - 03:54 AM

"Avoid the Fox at Uffington this friday night, as I will be out with the Icknield way morrismen (see website) & I WILL sing from a crib sheet! & WILL after the song raise my tankard & shout "Up yours Shimrod"!"

And your good health too, 'Skipy'! Have one on me!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Marje
Date: 21 Apr 10 - 04:37 AM

Tootler (aka Guest), you're quite wrong about Nellie the Elephant. You really haven't been paying attention. It's:

Diddly diddly bumpy bumpy,
Bumpy diddly bump bump,
Bumpy diddly, diddly bump,
Bump, bump bump!

At least it's a bit more rhythmically varied than Irish jigs, which don't even have bumpy bits, and are generally:
Diddly diddly diddly diddly
Diddly diddly diddly diddly ....

Marje


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,George Henderson
Date: 21 Apr 10 - 05:10 AM

30 years experience with the Góilín singers club in Dublin shows that the "jump in" method really works. It leads to informal themes, groups of songs from a particular author (eg Cyril Tawney), humorous body counting during long ballads etc. An unwritten rule which is respected by almost everybody attending is that only one song is sung per person at least until everybody who wants to has had a go. A light touch MC chooses 3 people to commence the session in each half giving them the chance to select shy individuals who may never jump in. It actually works very well. Góilín is a forum for unaccompanied Traditional singing in any language.

In our Bray session we are promoting impromptu singing with rather less success but people are slowly coming round to it. We were only 2 years old last Saturday so we have a long way to go to catch up to Góilín. It really is a good system. Once again we have a light touch MC to ensure that it does not get out of hand. We welcome people who wish to accompany themselves under the proviso that they do not accompany anyone else unless requested to do so. And our sessions are not strictly traditional. Anything goes as long as it is acoustic. The MC ensures that people are given an opportunity to sing if they want to despite their reluctance to "jump in".

The "Noble Call" system can work depending on the understanding of people within the session. I have seen this work extremely well at the Inishowen Traditional song seminar in Ballyfiffen each March (next festival is their 22nd). Once again the groups present ensured that the noble call (where one singer nominates the next)works on the principle of one person one song until all have sung.

The jump in is my preferred method of operating but it simply will not work if there are selfish people around who simply want to hear themselves.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Apr 10 - 09:12 AM

F# and C# will thwart massed melodeons every time - even those who come along with a C/F box

I have a C/C# :-) Buggered for F# though. Mind you, I'm buggered for most things as I cannot play it anyway...

DeG


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 21 Apr 10 - 10:31 AM

Music is above all else a cooperative evnt isn't it?

L in C

Not C# but I am willing to negotiate


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: G-Force
Date: 21 Apr 10 - 01:01 PM

I have just spotted this thread and find it interesting but controversial.

1) Don't you think it a bit narrow minded to suggest that anyone who needs a tiny prompt in case they forget the words should be banned forever more? A lot of people are getting older and find words more and more difficult (however well they know the song) but are still great singers with a lot of experience and a real pleasure to listen to.

2) There's been some talk about musicians 'interfering' in a song session (agreed, not always desirable) but what about music sessions? I've seen singers try to take over what is clearly advertised as a music session. A good session operates much like a singaround with tolerance for all levels of ability, etc. and while the musicians will listen politely to a singer it isn't quite what they've crowded into the pub for.

I think all those points about good manners apply to everyone.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 21 Apr 10 - 01:58 PM

"Don't you think it a bit narrow minded to suggest that anyone who needs a tiny prompt in case they forget the words should be banned forever more?"

No, it's not narrow minded - it's tough, but fair, and for their own good - and, more importantly, for the good of the audience.

And I have absolutely no power to ban anyone "forever more" - even if I might like to!

Oh yes! A whole flipping exercise book is not "a tiny prompt"! Especially when the b****rd neglects to find the relevant flipping page in the flipping exercise book before his/her turn comes round - and then loses that flipping place half way through the flipping song - and then f***ing well decides to start again!!!!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: skipy
Date: 21 Apr 10 - 02:17 PM

Good health to you Shimrod, please have one on me & shout
"up yours Skipy"
Regards & humour Skipy


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Soldier boy
Date: 21 Apr 10 - 04:34 PM

Are you one of 'The Angry Old Gits' GUEST Shimrod?

Calm down dear boy!

P.S.... Your 'GUEST' status/welcome has expired.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Tootler
Date: 21 Apr 10 - 06:55 PM

Sorry Marje. I consider myself well and truly chastised and corrected.

I was thinking of the 1001 tunes that are variants of Davy, Davy Knick Knack.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 03:50 AM

I can think of few greater things to aslpire to than playing a few diddly tunes in a pub with a group of friends

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 05:17 AM

Oi, banjo man - "secrets of a good diddly tunes session" is thataway ->!

Mind you, to judge from last night one of the s. of a g. s. might be - just possibly slightly-grudgingly miiiighht be - playing the odd tune as well. But I'd like to hear from non-players on that one.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Marje
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 07:12 AM

I'm both a player and a singer, but I prefer song sessions to be just that. Somehow an instrumental item (or even a song that relies heavily on instrumental breaks) seems to break the flow and the concentration. It's different at a club where you get your five minutes to do tunes, songs or whatever, but a purely song session has a character all its own.

On the other hand, I quite like the occasional song in a music session, and there's no doubt that, if you're in a public bar, the punters enjoy a song or two rather than wall-to-wall tunes.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 09:06 AM

Some Irish tunes go diddly diddly diddly (rpt ad lib). Those would be slipjigs I think.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 09:17 AM

I think the secrets of a good sing around are just that - secret.

I've only been to a couple of sing arounds as they are not really my thing. However, I have come across singing sessions at smaller festivals. They were as some of you describe - sitting round the room with each person having a turn. Where the first singer was good - the next one was better - and so on round the room. A few people accompanied themselves but most did not need to. The quality was better than you would get in most folk clubs or local pub sessions.

Although they made strangers welcome I got the impression that many people knew each other. At the end of an evening of real quality singing I left with the impression that the good singers know which festivals these occur at and will attend several of these festivals during the year. If too many people knew where these events took place it would perhaps dilute the quality element of the occassion.

So the secret of a good sing around - keep it a secret between the really good singers.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: skipy
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 12:18 PM

A few of us know where the best singarounds are to be found, a whole weekend of them! It is down to the people & their heartfelt desire to have a bloody good sing around. See you at *********** in *********!
Skipy


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 01:30 PM

Guest
F and C sharps - nae bother on a B/C box: it's got ALL the notes in there!
RB
And 4 diddlies in a row is a slide!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 07:23 PM

Bear in mind that there ae only FOUR Irish tunes - the fast one in a major key . the slow one in a major key . the fast one in a minor key and the slow one in a minor key . and they ALL go Diddly Diddly diddly

And one of my favourite groups HAS to be the four lads who turned up at the Newt , played some BLINDING R&B and Irish , and called themselves Bo Diddly Diddly !


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 03:30 AM

Bo Diddly Diddly ! Exlnt.

Reels go:

dit diddle diddle-diddle and often diddle-diddle diddle-diddle

Jigs go der-dit diddly with lots of diddly diddly

As Richard pointed out aboove slip jigs (9/8)go

diddly diddly diddly and der-dit diddly diddly

Hornpipes like reels with alternative notes strteched then squashed to give that jerky feel:

der da, der da, der da, der da, der da.

Polkas?

umpty uumpty umpty ump - a bit like the Archers

Waltzes? Everybody knows waltzes.

Sorry this is about Singarounds isn't it. I'd go with Pip. Keeping the songs away from tunes works well for us. Then mixing them for a grand chaotic evening sometimes.

The song and tune sessions get a diferent but overlapping collection of people. As we run songs 1st and 3rd Wednesdays and Tunes last Tuesdays it means that people can enjoy folky stuff nearly once a week or once a month and still keep in touch.

The 'secret' is the people who turn up and we seem to get an excellent crowd of friends who enjoy each others company and each others songs and tunes.

Cheers

Les from The Beech


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Marje
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 04:06 AM

The Archer tune (Barwick Green) is not a polka but a single jig (English-style jig rather than Irish-style) in 6/8. Polkas are 4/4, not unlike marches, and go something like "Dump da da diddy, dump da da..", often with little or no stress on the 4th beat.

But yes, this confusion only goes to show that it's better to keep the instrumental music out of the song sessions.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 04:55 AM

Fair enough Marje - what's a well known polka - from the realm of current popular tunes rather than folk tunes?

Cheers
L in D


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Soldier boy
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 10:26 AM

Boring!!!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Marje
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 10:47 AM

Well known polka ... let me see...
How about the song that goes "Oh, you New York girls, can't you dance the polka?" But I suppose even that's not really known outside folk circles. Or "Little Brown Jug", which is well known but hardly "current".

Then again, I'm not quite sure what you mean by "current popular tunes rather than folk tunes". Call me an old git, but does current popular music have "tunes"? I know some slower songs do, but anything fast enough to dance to tends to lack any obvious tune, far less any attributes of the polka.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 02:16 PM

"current popular tunes rather than folk tunes" - dunno really. It's often easier to explain a time signature by reference to a tune that is generally known by most people.

Blue Peter theme as a hornpipe?

L in Eb


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 23 Apr 10 - 04:49 PM

Apart from the Bluebell Polka, it's "Shall we dance?" from "The King and I" that's the classic.
One-two three hop!
Ah, but I've just spent last weekend learning POLSKAS: all in 3/4, but then there's EVEN polskas and UNEVEN polskas.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Marje
Date: 24 Apr 10 - 06:19 AM

Yes, "Shall we Dance?" is a good example of a polka, thanks.
The Blue Peter theme is one type of hornpipe (not unlike a polka, confusingly), while the Captain Pugwash theme (Trumpet hornpipe) is an example of the other type with the dotted rhythm, which is more distinctive.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 24 Apr 10 - 07:13 PM

A GOOD Singaround should be so advertised , and NOT called A Session
which is a different animal entirely !
Went to an advertised session a while back , and had (Admittedly Competent) performers doing James Taylor songs in C# . As I had been confirmed by the guy running the So Called session that it WAS a session I felt NO Compunction in joining in ! Though C# is NOT my favoutrite mandolin key ! (And NO ! I dont use a capo)

It WAS Fun thugh !


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Marje
Date: 25 Apr 10 - 03:53 AM

I thin sometimes pubs are implicated in the confusion, because the landlord is often unaware of the difference between an open session and a band-led event. They think of a "band" as a noisy, amplified staged (and paid!) gig, so a few guys playing guitars in a corner must be a "session".
But if the person who set it up didn't know the difference, I should think he does now!

Marje


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Soldier boy
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 08:00 PM

I think you are right Marje. They don't always know the difference and can be wary because of this.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,JohnH
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 12:48 PM

How's about good friends, good songs (and music), good manners and good beer? Seems to work at the sessions I go to. Add humour and you could be there!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,JohnH
Date: 28 Apr 10 - 12:52 PM

I forgot to mention that keys are only a convention and in some circumstances can be regarded as flexible.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: sciencegeek
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 01:00 PM

over the years I've gone to a fair number of open sings, sing arounds, and sessions and what is the biggest turn off is to excluded from participating (doing a song or tune as opposed to just joining in)... either by a leader who will select their friends and ignore anyone they aren't familiar with or when it is dominated by a few individuals who jump in as soon as there is a pause, even though they have already done more than one song.

I just attended an open mike singaround in a nearby town for the first time... all fine performers and very welcoming and enjoyable company. a small group and yes most of them knew each other... but was one of those meetings of "friends you hadn't met yet". You can bet that we'll be back next month for this one.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Johnny J
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 04:18 AM

A "good one" is being planned for Edinburgh.....

http://www.tmsa.org.uk/scottish-music-news-detail.asp?n=287

No musical instruments unless accompanying a singer. Double basses are banned altogether.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 05:16 AM

Singaround at The Beech, Chorlton, Manchester. Third Birthday Wednesday 1 December.

Anyone who ever sang, played a tune, joined, had a drink, muttered, thought about any of the above - all will be welcome next Wednesday

Cheers

L in C#
PM for further details


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 07:25 AM

At our club we have singarounds every second week, and they've consistently been proving more popular than our full P.A singers night. I M.C it but from the start I did that in a very loose way, just draw names out of the hat and sing one song in turn. We even have folk up and dancing by the end of the night as we encourage sing-along songs in the last half hour. There's no formula or plan really, just keep it very informal and friendly and welcome newcomers, and it's a great way for beginners to learn the Folk Trade

The Circle Folk Club
Every Wed Night
Coseley West Mid's UK
For info or to recieve our regular newsletters
Mail crc778@aol.com
next Singaround Wed 1st Dec


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Working Radish
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 07:29 AM

Thanks, Les - looking forward to it. I'd just like to chuck in my idea for next Wednesday (which is my own) - that as it's the third birthday of the Beech singaround, anyone who is so inclined should bring along a song which they associate with the Beech, whether because they've sung it there, they learned it there, they've never heard it there & think it ought to be sung there, or whatever.

And if you haven't got any memories of singing at the Beech, come along and get some!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Gram Reno
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 11:47 AM

For your information, the Reno Song Circle (USA) has been meeting monthly on the second Friday for fifteen years. There are usually about 40-60 people. Each person gets a name tag with a number on it. When that number is called that person calls the tune (we use the Rise up Singing collection as our primary text, but people will bring distribution copies of other songs, too). When all the requests have been called (usally after about three hours)then the singing goes free form, stream of consciousness determining the selections; most often this is by far the really interesting part of the night. There are usually around five to ten musicians (mostly guitar, but we've had nearly every instrument from time to time including Chinese "fiddle," stand up bass, banjo, mando, dulcimers of all types, etc.). The cost? Bring a dessert to share and $1 to support the mailings of the schedule. This format works for us. Join us if you're in Reno NV on the second Friday of the month. Best regards


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 05:37 AM

I'm a lifetime believer in The Singaround as the ideal Seance in which to commune with the spirit of Traditional Folk Song, idiomatic or otherwise. A Good Singaround will always run itself; if a leader is needed, the best of them will just kick it off and let it run. We're talking pissups in breweries here. Unfortunately there persists the need for Moderation (much as we find here on Mudcat) which all too often results in singarounds being presided over by one or more self-styled puffed-up authority figures who are evidently getting off more on the power than on the music. Worse than that, the singers not only allow them to get away with it, but respect then for it with cowering deference. This is, of course, a vicious circle; the more the leaders puff, so the more the singers cower, and the more the singers cower, so the more the leaders puff. I'd love to name names here (two of the worst offenders have named mine often enough!) but I just avoid their singarounds in the hope that most other discerning singers do likewise, and will gather (as they do) for a more satisfyingly spontaneous gathering elsewhere.

One rule seems to be the smaller the better both in room and in numbers. Our regular sing is a jump-in session with maybe twelve singers / musicians and absolutely no evident hierarchies and total mutual respect for each others work. I often wonder what it is about the Folk Scene that generates the small minded bitterness that seeks sympathy for its cause when that cause runs contrary to the very nature of Folk itself. Happily though, and for the most part, people just get on with it, as people do, otherwise I'm sure I wouldn't bother, life being too short in most other respects. Maybe I'm just being naive in believing Folkies have an especial responsibility to be nice to one another, respectful of each other's efforts and, most importantly, encouraging and supportive of all comers of all abilities. Maybe I'm just being naive in my belief that The Singaround is the perfect way to manifest such an anarcho-egalitarian ideal, where the only rule is to prove to equality of all comers by means of a more philosophical approach to quality control and thereby transcend the commonplace into the very heavens. But Folkies are a quirky lot - curmudgeonly eccentrics whose forveable religiosity often manifests as an unforgiveable righteousness that so very often runs contrary to the cause. That said, aware that this is very much par for the course in the folk world (The People, Lord, Thy People!) I strive to accomodate this too.

Finally... I've lost count of the times I've been pulled up by self-styled Purists for accompanying Traditional English Songs on non-traditional English Instruments, or for using small amplifiers for small synthsisers or electronic shruti boxes. Trouble is, these people aren't Purists at all - rather small-minded bigots whose understanding of the wider condition of English Speaking Folk Song Tradition and its Revival is so small as to be non-existent. In my life I've only met maybe three or four individuals whose enclyclopic knowledge and 100% commitment to the cause of Traditional Folk Song has earned them the right to be called Purists, but of course they never do - just as they have never once complained about anything that goes down in a singaround other than the puffed-up rank pulling that has the potential to ruin an otherwise good sing.

The secret of a good singaround? A very simple equation best expressed by the formula Come All Ye.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: JHW
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 06:38 AM

Depends on who is there
and just as importantly
who is not


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Snuffy
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 09:28 AM

Some people spread happiness wherever they go.
Some spread happiness whenever they go.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 09:31 AM

One of the sectrets of a good singaround is to have Will Fly, Alan Day and Bob Kenward there!!!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Siochain
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 10:00 AM

"Some people spread happiness wherever they go.
Some spread happiness whenever they go."

True, that!

Thanks for the laugh - I needed that!

-Siochain


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 10:08 AM

I second that, we had that Will Fly at ours some time ago and we have never looked back

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Nick
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 08:07 PM

Work enormously hard and with great clarity create an ethic which veryon who comes understands.

Uphold it for some period of time (years?).

(Sow - reap - harvest)

Have one perfect night and live with the disappointment for ever after

Until you pull yourself up and do it again (only better)

Lovely idea the Come All Ye but only if they are quite good


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 10:44 AM

'Come All Ye' indeed!

But 'Go All Ye' annoying, boring, tedious tw*ts who never practice, sing out of an exercise book (and still can't remember the f***ing words), can't sing in tune and yet still insist on hogging as much of the session as possible by 'learning' (or, rather, not bothering to learn) the longest and most tedious songs that you can possibly find!!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: BobKnight
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 11:49 AM

I much prefer the sing-in-turn type session. I'm not the greatest at pushing myself to the front - modest I believe is the word, and there are others who may be shyer than me who would find it almost impossible to "jump in" with a contribution if there was no one to lead the session.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 01:17 PM

I agree with that, BobKnight. It's also asking a lot to expect a jumper-in to hit the right key and remember the opening words of his/her song whilst also dealing with the tension involved with finding an appropriate gap to jump into.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 01:47 PM

Round the room, or jump-in, I don't really mind; it's a matter of scale & I doubt jumping in would work with more than 12 there anyway. I hate those man-in-change singers sessions where you're sitting there waiting for the hammer to fall, no way I can relax and enjoy the other singers which is, after all, the main reason for going to a singaround anyway. Two song floor spots? Forget it! A singaround isn't about performing as it much as it is about participation & making a contribution to a community.

I take it as read that anyone attending a singaround has prepared themselves to the very best of their ability. Last night we had some very fine voices + 2 boxes, ukulele, hurdy gurdy, 3 fiddles, banjo, union pipes, bass clarinet, trombone and three concertinas (one of which turned out to Mudcat's own Ralphie pumping out some real magic on his legendary McCann Duet) & all of 'em jumping in quite happily. Singround / Session / Sesh / Accompanied / Unnacompanied - these things blur in a mighty Come All Ye where egos are left at home & everyone melts into one glorious whole by way of a spontaneous happening. And no-one's making banjo / bodhran / melodeon jokes either - and I sang Bogie's Bonny Belle without anyone mentioning Les Barker. Joy!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,AEOLA
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 04:37 PM

Yeh!! Variety is the spice of life, it,s all about enjoying life!!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 04:57 PM

The secret to any successful singing group of people is inclusion. Sings songs with strong choruses occasionally so that people can join in, those who are not spotlighted.
This fosters a community feeling that opens the door for receptivity to new songs,
new performers and different points of view in the songs themselves.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 05:08 PM

Some people just cannot do math. If there are 17 people in a group, and there are 4 singers...no matter how good.... who each feel they cannot go more than 4-5 songs without doing another, it soon becomes evident that some are going to get few, if any, turns. Thus, I prefer to have 'some' sort of order or leader, unless all know each other very well and are used to the idea of 'better' singers getting most of the time.

   (I used to sit and study certain groups and watch the body language of known 'circle hogs' as they leaned forward, waiting for the last note to die away so they could 'take' the next turn with barely a seconds pause.)


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 05:15 AM

A circle gathers its own momentum; it's a wheel, it rolls, and that's a natural law. Another natural law is human community, which gives, takes and accomodates on the principle of what goes around comes around. I doubt jumping in would work in numbers of 17, though I was recently at a singaround where someone has insisted on jumping in because the singer whose turn it was was taking too long (in their view) to decide what song to sing! Egos at the door, as I say. Maybe these things take time to unfold, to establish the unwritten lore of each community which is based on the requirements of the individuals involved. Maybe larger numbers do need greater guidance, but the best leaders are the ones you don't notice - although Ron Baxter & Les in Chorlton manage to be both visible and inspirational!

Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and cruise the human vibe which is what grass-roots folk is all about. I just wonder why so much shit goes down there as well. Shame really, or is that all part of it too???


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 05:21 AM

PS - By shit I don't mean singing, I mean attitude & egos. Ron Baxter claims to be the worst singer in the world but his presence in a singaround is always a catalyst for the good. The problems start when people start taking themselves more seriously than the songs they're singing. No matter how good they might be, it just becomes an excercise in ego-tripping... but, getting back to Kipling:

And when they bore me overmuch, I will not shake mine ears,
Recalling many thousand such whom I have bored to tears.
And when they labour to impress, I will not doubt nor scoff;
Since I myself have done no less and sometimes pulled it off.
Yea, as we are and we are not, and we pretend to be,
The people, Lord, Thy people, are good enough for me!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: TheSnail
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 06:25 AM

GUEST,Shimrod

But 'Go All Ye' annoying, boring, tedious tw*ts who never practice, sing out of an exercise book (and still can't remember the f***ing words), can't sing in tune and yet still insist on hogging as much of the session as possible by 'learning' (or, rather, not bothering to learn) the longest and most tedious songs that you can possibly find!!

Ah, the X Factor approach.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 02:44 PM

"Ah, the X Factor approach."

If you mean by that, Snail, the approach of some of the outrageously and spectacularly crass no-hopers who appear in the earlier stages of X Factor (the only stages worth watching ... that is if you happen to get your rocks off watching car crashes)I would agree with you!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Tootler
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 04:01 PM

Jump in is generally OK for a tune session where everyone joins in but for a singaround where everyone joining in (except in choruses) is not the norm, I prefer round the room with an MC who ensures that everyone who wants to sing gets their turn. Even with a session having someone who keeps an eye on things and ensures that everyone who wants to at least has an opportunity to start a tune makes for a better session.

A good singaround has a good mix of solo and chorus songs. One or two who play a tune or recite a poem instead of singing also helps to provide variety.

I think it's important to bear in mind that a singaround is a social occasion. It's about participation rather than performance and it's not a concert. The norm is that everyone who wishes to is given the opportunity to contribute. OK so some are not as good as others but the number of really bad singers/players is very small indeed and I think that those that bang on about them are getting things out of proportion.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: TheSnail
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 07:33 PM

Er, no Shimrod, that's not what I meant.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 28 Feb 11 - 05:07 AM

Having been to several different types recently, I must say that I vastly prefer the "circle" approach where the "next on" spot just moves logically around the room from person to person. The "MC" role is very limited in that scenario, but (s)he can still make a valuable contribution by keeping things moving, ensuring that latecomers slot in at an appropriate place, decide when it's time for some "all join in" tunes, and ensure that people aren't aligned to that you have 5 unaccompanieds followed by 5 guitars.

I don't much like the set-up where the MC "gives the nod" to the next person to perform while the current performer's singing/ playing. If the MC knows all the participants well it may work, but often results in someone being missed out, or MC's favourites getting preference.

A good singaround should *appear* to run itself.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 28 Feb 11 - 06:30 AM

The point that I'm trying to make is that if you take the attitude that you have some sort of 'right' to perform and to hog a session - even though you've put minimal effort in and can't even be bothered to learn the words you are showing disrespect to the other members of the singaround and to the songs.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 28 Feb 11 - 08:32 AM

I've been to several differnt formats of singaround and session in the last year or so, and at none of them has anyone "jumped in" or tried to hog more time than anyone else.

I've been to sessions where performers well-known to the MC seem to get more time than others, but none where people have shoved themselves forward. I guess that I've attended sessions/ singarounds at 8 different venues in that time and just never seen this behaviour. However, it sounds widespread from some of the comments on here so I guess I've just been going to the wrong (or right!) events.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 28 Feb 11 - 08:48 AM

If some people sang good songs well, as often as they grump about on here ................

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: CET
Date: 28 Feb 11 - 09:08 AM

There's been a fair bit of discussion about take your turn sessions vs. jump in sessions, which seems to stem from a comment I made last year about the after hours Shanty Sing at the Mystic Seaport festival. I don't want to give the wrong impression - generally a guided session where everybody gets a chance and nobody gets to hog the floor works best, particularly if the venue is relatively small. It's just that there was something special about Mystic. The venue was a community hall, not the typical back room in a pub and there seemed to be a few hundred people present. It's also been running for years, and it has developped it's own dynamic which might not work at another event. Two things struck me about this session. First, the singing was simply better than at most other sessions I have attended. It was a knowledgeable crowd, who really knew their sea music, and included some very accomplished singers. Second, there were no floor hogs and the more advanced singers (including some of the performers at the festival) would do a song every now and then, but leave a lot of space for the others. Admittedly, that put some pressure on everyone to be prepared before they launched into a song, but to my mind that is no bad thing. It was a good place for a singer to raise his or her game a little.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: TheSnail
Date: 28 Feb 11 - 09:46 AM

GUEST,Shimrod

The point that I'm trying to make is that if you take the attitude that you have some sort of 'right' to perform and to hog a session

Two entirely separate things. Yes, at a Come-All-Ye you have a right to sing. That's what Come-All-Ye means. No, nobody has a right to hog a session no matter how good they are.

- even though you've put minimal effort in and can't even be bothered to learn the words you are showing disrespect to the other members of the singaround and to the songs.

Where do you find these people Shimmy? In my experience they are so rare as to not constitute a problem.

The point I was trying to make with my X Factor comment was that I find it distasteful that some people consider themselves worthy enough to stand in judgement over others. How good are you?

If you are concerned with raising standards, start with yourself. Practice hard and YOU will give a good performance and inspire others to do likewise.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Speedwell
Date: 28 Feb 11 - 02:33 PM

The essence of a good singaround seems very complex - almost a microcosm of life!. Thankfully everyone (in a singaround) is different and can bring that variety to the event and I think that the different characters, approaches to performing, musical abilities, favoured types of songs or tunes help to make a session engaging for everyone. And engagment is key to a good session IMHO. If you're engaged in the activity then you probably enjoy it and want to sing/play along (when appropriate) and want to come back. In the past I have found that a core of (understanding) good quality performers helps to set a reasonable standard but doesn't stop new people performing.
Regarding MCing or not and if so how to MC I think there needs to be some gentle guidance but low-key and with the respect and consideration you would like to see shown to everyone there.
Isn't, though, the secret really about finding the session that fits with your expectations of fairness to all and enjoyment of singing and playing? Your folk niche?
I suppose too I'm a believer in giving feedback both positive and negative. Positive is sometimes not given because it doesn't seem necessary, negative is sometimes given in the wrong way or is taken badly. But maybe this is also the secret of creating and maintaining a good singaround - as MC to encourage comments from the people there perhaps during the break and as a participant to say what you think to the MC? This may be a rather ideal scenario and I would be the first to admit that in practice, of course, it can be very difficult to handle certain situations. Good thread!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 28 Feb 11 - 03:10 PM

God! You're an argumentative ... person, Snail! But I'm not getting into a 'yes-it-is-no-it-isn't' type argument with you.

Nevertheless, in my part of the world, the lazy, exercise book singers always seem to sing veeeerrrrryyyy llllloooonnnggg songs. It probably doesn't apply in your part of the world, Snail, where everything is ssssooooo perfect and everyone is perfectly selfless and reasonable (albeit argumentative for the sake of being argumentative).

As for my singing? Well I'm never happy with it and I could always practice harder. Nevertheless, I went to one of my favourite clubs the other night and even though I was unavoidably delayed and turned up late I was still asked to sing ... so I'm probably doing something right. But, as I say, could do better ... although not to please you, Snail. Yah boo sucks! Up yours, Snaily-waly!!!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Mar 11 - 09:28 AM

GUEST,Shimrod

God! You're an argumentative...

Really? I thought I was responding in a calm and measured way to your rather splenetic misanthropy not to mention your misrepresentation of my views.

You wouldn't care to say where your part of the world is would you? Then the "crass no-hopers" can realise the error of their ways and crawl back under their stones.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 01 Mar 11 - 12:33 PM

Yes, Snail, a soupcon of misanthropy is part of my character - but it's there to provide a balance for my caring, sharing side.

The trouble is I find that, occasionally, I meet people who are insufferable and I reserve my spleen for them (the BASTARDS!!!!).


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,chris cole
Date: 02 Mar 11 - 06:41 AM

I had almost given up on singarounds/sessions until I moved here, as despite the fact that they are ostensibly spontaneous and organic, they tend to be biased towards whatever kind of music the organiser(s) want to hear. I think the secret is to keep the session eclectic We have 2 sessions in Wirksworth, Derbyshire and both are well supported, by performers and punters. Don't forget, the licensee has very kindly agreed to allow use of their room for one evening a week, so try and include something for everyone.I'm sure the average punter doesn't want to hear a twenty five verse Child ballad, nor does he or she want to hear a self indulgent "bedroom" song or listen to "diddly diddly" music all night!
    And ban melodeons!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 02 Mar 11 - 08:58 AM

I would agree great big long songs aren't always a good idea. But in our Singarounds the format is a very simple, performers (all standards) are drawn one by one from a hat and do a song or tune of their choice. I encourage less experienced and beginners to come to the Singaround as a way to learn, if that means reading words from an exercise book fine (I've seen plenty of accomplished performers who frown on this, often forget their words, start again from the beginning taking up far too much time!) The major annoyance/bug bear i have is otherwise very good musicians, more so guitarists, who don't even take the instrument out of it's case till it's their turn, them take more minutes tuning it before finally launching into some over long dirge, surely they must know how irritating that is to others, message is PLease Be Ready!

Desi C
The Circle Folk Club
Coseley West Mids UK
Mail me for full info or to join our free mailing list
Every Wed nights weekly Alternating Singarounds & Singers Nights
crc778@aol.com


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 02 Mar 11 - 10:34 AM

I think they should be biased towards what the organizers like...if it is all cowboy songs or all sea shanties or whatever, great. Others can start their own or help out with the organizational duties and slip in more stuff they like in exchange. I do not think everyone has to accept music that they don't like on their free time..there are some people who like everything and hopefully they are the organizers in terms of pleasing the most people but if you try to please the most people you lose a lot in exchange. I say if you go to the trouble of organizing it, do it however you like it. mg


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 03 Mar 11 - 05:07 AM

I was involved in a very successful musical morris side. After dancing the aim of the singaround was to entertain the landlord and customers, as we were usually in the main bar, and to ensure we got invited back the following year, as well as encourage the more novice musicians to sing or play.

It did tend to mean that we did a lot of the same tunes or songs each week - and tended to go for ones that were more well known among the general public. Songs sung in g or D to allow the melodeons to accompany and songs with a good choras were ideal. It did not matter who 'lead' the song as we all knew the verses as well as the chorus.

This format did not suit some, as was to be expected. However, it did mean that we got to do paid events such as Sweeps which contributed to the sides charity for the year.

I personally think this format is a better ambassador for spreading and encouraging traditional music than some sing arounds I have been in which are fine for participants but not likely to draw a non folk audience. Horses for courses, I think.
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 03 Mar 11 - 08:04 AM

not likely to draw a non folk audience

If people like folk, then fine - if not (which is true for the vast majority) then that's fine too. On one level, I'm often puzzled by the folkie tendancy to religiosity with respect of conviction, zeal & the need to win coverts - on another level of course I understand it, accept it, accomodate it as par for the course given the religious nature of folk, specifically in the context of a broader cultural non-folk secularism in which folk music is about as relevant as churning butter by hand or darning socks. I respect the butter churners and the sock-darners, but might be wary of their increasingly singular world-view.

I have no missiory zeal with respect of folk - people can & do live very happily without it and in no way shape or form does it constitute our natural culture. Folk is as Folk does - it's a minority conceit, mostly made up over the last 55 years or so, and of appeal to very limited numbers of a certain age. That said, in the sort of Jump In Sesh I've accounted for above it does intersect with the Real World with often astonishing results, but culture is always so much bigger than we (folkies) think it is.

A few years back a folky fiddling friend of mine was astonished when a working-class 7-year-old ran up to her and asked her if the tune she was playing was Cotton Eye Joe. She was impressed that a member of the lower social orders would be privvy to such elite information - until, that is, I pointed out that a dance version of Cotton Eye Joe was currently riding high in the charts and likely to be a staple at every proletarian wedding, funeral, barbeque & disco. This was something that, as a folkie, she was blissfully unaware of and even poured scorn that her sacred cause should be trivialised by being made into Pop Music.

Another secret if a good singaround - Less is More. I remember a fine evening at The Cumberland Arms where there was just four of us in the back room (Rapunzel, myself, Joe Crane & Piers Cawley) and that was a rare magic typical of something trancendent in the very nature of Traditional Song which remains potent irrespective of Folk, which is, I think, something quite different.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,floraG
Date: 03 Mar 11 - 01:24 PM

Suibhine
I feel its a shame you ended up in a back room. With the morris we often got comments like ' its nice to see you lot back again' when we played/ sung in the main bar. Some customers would bring their own instruments along for their annual outing knowing we were going to be there. I was given some advice by an elderly relative - when playing for a non folk audience try to do 1/3 songs or tunes they will know. Seems to work for this sort of audience.
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 03 Mar 11 - 01:47 PM

At our club on Singaround nights we average 15 performers, 18 last night. We never set any rules as to what music do do or what is welcome, and I think our Singarounds have become more popular for that i.e had some Folk, Country, rock, Blues, poetry and humour last night. I know of the odd club where anything but Folk is frowned upon, as is their privilidge but they tend to get a small number of regulars and rarely see newbies. I have my own likes, but I enjoy hearig all the varying genres and styles, and a good Singaround is a gret way to both learn and appreciate stuff you may have thought you'd not like but are surprised when you do


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 03 Mar 11 - 02:14 PM

Another advantage of having a singaround organiser is you can say to the unready guitar player 'We'll come back to you. In the meantime...'. Or 'Do you want to get your guitar out? We'll be round to you in a minute.'

And the comment about banning melodeons - once you start banning any instrument or kind of song you are on a slippery slope. If a singer is being accompanied inappropriately by others in the singaround it's ok to ask for the culprit to shut up.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 03 Mar 11 - 02:51 PM

I feel its a shame you ended up in a back room

I've got a certain romance about dirty old back rooms of a certain size which become a part of the overall sound; sort of a snug maybe - comfortable with seven or eight but it really gets going with twenty or more stuffed in there. And that's before the rapper tean come in and everyone jumps up on the chairs in the vain hope of making space. Side room might be a better description of my ideal folk space, but I don't trouble over connecting with other punters as - generally speaking - they get involved anyway.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Piers Cawley
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 01:08 AM

Chris Cole said: I'm sure the average punter doesn't want to hear a twenty five verse Child ballad

Have you ever tried it? i've been in public bar singarounds with a large proportion of non-singers who didn't even know there was going to be a singaround that night and seen the audience held rapt by a big ballad. I wouldn't suggest starting with Tamlyn or whatever, but I would certainly suggest trying one or two once things are warmed up.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 04:08 AM

What works for us:
*light touch MC - others who can cover whenever needed (rarely)
* no heavy restrictions on what people sing/play
*space for unready guitarists to come back in soon (maintains fairness)
*have fun!

We typically have a singer base of 8-15 a night. Bigger singer bases and it can change character - depends on what your happy with - and how many songs people expectt from youir singaround. Smaller? Still normally a good time - more chance to chat and learn about songs.

We are Brighton Singers Folk Club, set up Day 1 as a singaround in 1980 (founders inspired by Fred Baxters's original "singaround" Lewes, Sussex, England - mid 1970s).

Come and join us - main weekly session, Wednesdays, The Pond pub, Gloucester Road, near Brighton main railway station (9pm ish)


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 04:18 AM

"Chris Cole said: I'm sure the average punter doesn't want to hear a twenty five verse Child ballad"

It all depends on the quality of the singer, doesn't it? A finely judged, skilful performance of a ballad can be mesmerising - and, as Piers Cawley says above, can hold even a non-folk audience.

But if the singer can't hold a tune, hasn't bothered to practice, depends on an exercise book for the words and has only learned the damn thing so that he/she can hog as much of the session as possible it can be excrutiating!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 04:24 AM

What are your traditions when 2 or 3 perform together? I often accompany my husband and then get missed out by the organiser.
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Piers Cawley
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 04:53 AM

Shimrod: Well, my choice is generally to avoid exercise book singarounds, and I prefer to go to sessions that are, for want of a better word, "In public", but that's my taste. That doesn't mean that the people taking part in other sorts of session aren't having a great time and doing what is, for me, the most important thing, which is singing the songs.

I may think they'd enjoy themselves more if they got off the page and sang to others rather than the exercise book, but that's me putting my own interpretation on their motives. I was somewhat chastened in this regard when I was chatting with one of the regulars at The Bridge folk club, who's a great singer and songwriter, but who always sings off the page. Without my asking, he mentioned that he used to sing from memory, but he'd had a stroke and had lost that knack as a result. That brought me up short. Better to be singing from the page than not at all.

It's terribly easy to assume the worst of intentions on the part of others based on absolutely no evidence. We might think that so and so is just singing a long song to grab more of the session time, but, in all likelihood it's being done from a genuine love of the song. Isn't it better to assume that than to ascribe petty motivations to others (especially in a public forum)? After all, a listener might well think we too have similarly petty motivations if we think in those terms.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 06:49 AM

Dear Piers Cawley,

I have to say that I'm always suspicious of people who counter my arguments by suggesting that I am morally deficient in some way - I like to think that I'm as compassionate as the next person (I just don't believe in giving selfish idiots an easy ride!). I'm sorry to hear about your acquaintance's medical problem but doubt that he is typical. Anyway, I would hope that most people in the circle would have at least some inkling of such a persons problems and would make allowances.

I do believe, though, that the songs are important and should be treated with respect. I also think that other members of the session are important too - as well as any non-singing audience. If the majority of the participants have put a lot of effort into their performances it's not fair for them to be bored, and even embarrassed, by some git who can't be bothered to work at his/her craft - but still expects to be listened to.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Piers Cawley
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 07:45 AM

Possibly. I reckon it's worse to bar said 'git' from the singaround, but your circle, your rules.

Then again, there have been singarounds I've been involved in that eventually died because of the persistence of one particular chap (who was, apparently, told in no uncertain terms to stop coming to another club in the district). The singaround slowly haemorrhaged participants, who snuck off to other sessions he didn't know about.

By the time I finally gave up he could at least hold a tune, but I swear, if he had sung the same, self-composed, pile of indulgence one more time in my hearing, I wouldn't have been responsible for my actions.

There will always be bad singarounds, and we all have our own measure of what constitutes bad, but if it's not yours and you don't like it then either grit your teeth, put up with it and maybe lead by example, or go find, or make, a better one.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Tally Ho Man
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 08:02 AM

Don: Sing songs in languages understood by the people around you

The current Mrs Tally Ho sings beautifully in Welsh to the non-Welsh on occasions and even gets requests. (To sing)!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 08:23 AM

Sterling good sense from Piers Cawley, Ian Fyvie, both Leses and TheSnail.

Valmai (Lewes)


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 08:50 AM

" ... but I swear, if he had sung the same, self-composed, pile of indulgence one more time in my hearing, I wouldn't have been responsible for my actions."

Well, there you go, Piers, you do understand the reasons for my splenetic outbursts!" Trouble is, I can think of more than one such person.

I have to say, though, that I've kept doggedly to this track because I think it's important. Nevertheless, I don't want to give the impression that I 'have it in ' for ALL singaround participants. Far from it. At my local singaround, the other night, there were several excellent performances - and at least a couple of very high standard indeed.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Piers Cawley
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 08:55 AM

The annoying thing is, for the life of me I can't work out who Suibhne Astray is and I've been one of only four people in the Cumberland's music side (it's not a back room as such, it may even be bigger than the 'main' bar, and I miss it terribly since I moved to Doncaster) with them.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 09:13 AM

The Sublime Ash Tray is clearly that famous singer, instrumentalist and ......................... virus monger ..................

But his virus stops me typing his/her name

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 09:45 AM

A person of singular talent - but my lips are sealed!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Joe Nicholson
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 11:29 AM

To Flora G when Mo and I run singarounds we always work on the basis that when two or more people sing together or one accompanies the other two get two.The real secret of a good singaround is that know one should leave feeling that thy have left out.

Joe Nicholson


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 12:16 PM

"in my part of the world, the lazy, exercise book singers always seem to sing veeeerrrrryyyy llllloooonnnggg songs"

...or do they just seem very long?

I have noticed people with books in front of them who barely glance at them - if at all. I suspect this is book as security blanket rather than book as, um, book. Wait till you get people turning up with iPads...

*****

Are we not supposed to tell Piers Sedayne's name, by the way?


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 12:39 PM

No.

A singer turned up at Chorlton Folk Club about 6 years ago and sang from a lap top. He hasn't been back much.

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 03:47 PM

The annoying thing is, for the life of me I can't work out who Suibhne Astray is

Sean & Rachel / Rapunzel & Sedayne. The night I remember was one of Joe's Come All Ye nights back in the summer of 2005 - Gala Day as I recall & maybe the first time I basked in the golden Cawley tenor. I always think of that room as a back room-cum-general thoroughfare from way back in 1984/5 when I used to play with Rhombus ov Dooom upstairs with Generic & Seize the Infidels before they extended it to its present size. I think it was 1993 when I started going to the Bit Crack storytelling nights which had a real vibe back then, as did Joe's Come All Ye nights which I gather are also no more.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 07:02 PM

On the subject of two or more people accompanying each other. Our general rule is that if it's just one singer then the one singer - one song rule applies. If it's a harmony duo or they take turns turns in singing lead they it's a song each. A trio might get two songs even if the same person sang lead.

In a mixed tune/song session you have to be careful 'cos the singers'll sit together and so will the tunies. So you might have to move it about. Not every tune player wants to lead on tunes, but as long as people get a fair share based on numbers in the room it should be OK. Tune players and singers usually hate each other anyway so they are not often in the same room/pub/town.

As someone who attempts both singing and tunes, I do love a mixed session. But bare in mind that many tune players aren't much cop at accompanying songs, and think it means playing the same tune as the singer, only louder, or playing exactly the same guitar chords as the singer. In that case it might be better to say something like 'I think that might have worked better with less accompaniment' or if the singer is grimacing making cut it out signs to the players. You have to be dead hard sometimes!

But the times when good singers and good musicians get together can be absolutely magic!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Piers Cawley
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 07:13 PM

Ah, of course!

I have sung from an iPhone on one occasion. It was in the bar of the Half Moon in Oxford and someone asked for 'Lady of Autumn', which I'd never quite learned properly. Nipped outside to grab a signal and the lyrics, paced up and down the street singing it through in double time, then back into the bar and went for it. Only had to refer to the crib once.

I'll only use it as an aide memoire for songs I half know and only if there's a request and nobody else knows it. Ideally only if I've got time to do the pacing up and down outside running through the song a couple of times thing beforehand too.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: TheSnail
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 09:29 AM

GUEST,Shimrod

I have to say, though, that I've kept doggedly to this track because I think it's important.

So tell me, Shimrod, what are you actually doing about this intolerable (to you) situation apart from whingeing on Mudcat?


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: TheSnail
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 09:37 AM

Ooops. Pressed send to soon.

Are you approaching these "gits" to give them the benefit of your superior skills, experience and sensitivity or, since they are "crass no-hopers" telling them to asbsent themselves forthwith and to stop making your life miserable?

Are you telling the organisers that you are dissatisfied with the way they are running their sessions and to start enforcing the standards you require?

Or are you, by any chance, considering starting up your own session where you can ensure that things are done your way?


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 11:13 AM

Are we not supposed to tell Piers Sedayne's name, by the way?

I don't even know Piers Sedayne's name!

How old Nigel Spencer?


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 11:44 AM

Good singing!!!
Everything else is a bonus.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Diva
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 12:50 PM

Beat me to it Jim ****BG***


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Tootler
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 02:31 PM

IMHO, far too much fuss is made about whether someone has words in front of them or not.

All that matters is how well the song is sung. If the song is sung well, it really doesn't matter whether the singer has the words in front of them or not. Saying that someone who sings with words in front of them is showing disrespect for the song is load of nonsense.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 02:47 PM

what many of us hate is not the singer herself having words..which I have to nowadays..but the group singing from words. If you have been involved with people singing from memory, or a leader singing from words..and then go somewhere they are singing laboriously from the blue book collectively, it is painful. Now, if they set it up that way and like it that way, great. More power to them. It is when they overtake a group that has started the other way and essentially impose this way that I do not like. They might not know they are imposing because no one has told them...the ones who don't like the blue book experience just don't show up past the tipping point. mg


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Richard I
Date: 05 Mar 11 - 03:06 PM

What is this "blue book" about which people in this thread have spoken?


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 05:04 AM

Richard - it's an American thing. The reason we don't see them here is that they're actually a banned import under the Controlled Cultural Resources (Folk And Vernacular) Act 1948.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: TheSnail
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 05:09 AM

Controlled Cultural Resources (Folk And Vernacular) Act 1948

Don't be silly Pip. You know perfectly well "Folk" wasn't defined until 1954.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Fred Folkmusic
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 05:38 AM

Are the Coppers exempt from this act then?

Good singing has nothing to do with singing from a book or not rather it's about drinking enough good ale enough so that anything sounds good. In Folk pissed is best. If you don't believe me, record your next session the listen to it sober first thing the next day. You'll be reaching for that hair of the dog in no time!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 10:11 AM

Ah, Snail! The implication from your ... how shall I put this? ... rather robust and hectoring posts is that I am not allowed to express an opinion - especially if it differs from yours. I have actually, when circumstances have allowed and it has seemed appropriate(it's often not wise or prudent to make head-on personal attacks), expressed my opinions on this subject - both to the individuals concerned and to certain organisers. I could elaborate further but I'm not answerable to you - just remember that.

I still believe, and will go on stating my belief, that singers of traditional songs should aim high both out of respect for the songs and for their audiences; the attitude, "it's good enough for folk" is NOT good enough.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: TheSnail
Date: 06 Mar 11 - 03:55 PM

Oh Shimmers, you can be fairly robust yourself. You are, of course, perfectly entitled to your opinion just as I am entitled to disagree although I would have thought that describing the bile that you poor out here as "opinion" was stretching the definition a little.

I don't know what goes on in your world, but in the one I live in, singarounds and tune sessions (which are more my thing) are opportunities to celebrate a shared enthusiasm. It's what you can contribute that matters, not demonstrating how superior you are to other performers. I ran a session this afternoon which included musicians who are able to take folk club bookings (We've booked several of them at the Lewes Saturday Folk Club) and those who... could do better. There was no one who I would have wished not to be there.

I have actually, when circumstances have allowed and it has seemed appropriate(it's often not wise or prudent to make head-on personal attacks), expressed my opinions on this subject - both to the individuals concerned and to certain organisers.

Ooooh! I wish I'd been a fly on the wall. Still got all your teeth?

I could elaborate further but I'm not answerable to you - just remember that.

You have chosen to express strong opinions here; are others not entitled to respond?

I still believe, and will go on stating my belief, that singers of traditional songs should aim high both out of respect for the songs and for their audiences; the attitude, "it's good enough for folk" is NOT good enough.

I don't think anyone has said otherwise but the trouble is, that isn't quite what you are stating. You come out with things like "But 'Go All Ye' annoying, boring, tedious tw*ts who never practice, sing out of an exercise book (and still can't remember the f***ing words), can't sing in tune and yet still insist on hogging as much of the session as possible by 'learning' (or, rather, not bothering to learn) the longest and most tedious songs that you can possibly find!!". Not quite the same thing.

You have heaped vitriolic abuse on those you consider to be inadequate and, by implication criticised singaround organisers for failing to maintain standards so I'm sorry, but yes, I do have the right to ask "What are you doing? What do you contribute?"


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 07 Mar 11 - 03:50 AM

Again, Snail, I have expressed what I believe to be a valid opinion and I have expressed it robustly. You don't appear to agree with my opinion - although I suspect that you don't happen to have one yourself and are one of those people who sit there grinning benignly whilst all sorts of crap is heaped on them.

Like a lot of people these days you have not actually addressed the issue that I have raised but have gleefully attacked me for being 'morally deficient' in some way. As I see it you are indulging in the tedious, but increasingly popular, game of 'competitive moral piety'. OK, Snail, you win - I am morally deficient (mea culpa) and you're a paragon of virtue. But having got that out of the way I still insist:

" ... 'Go All Ye' annoying, boring, tedious tw*ts who never practice, sing out of an exercise book (and still can't remember the f***ing words), can't sing in tune and yet still insist on hogging as much of the session as possible by 'learning' (or, rather, not bothering to learn) the longest and most tedious songs that you can possibly find!"


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Acorn4
Date: 07 Mar 11 - 04:52 AM

I find we are perfectly happy with most singarounds around Leicester where we live. Occasionally you get one run by people who are up their own a***s, but these tend not to last long.

Sometimes it's just a case of "horses for courses".


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 07 Mar 11 - 06:56 AM

Further to your most recent pious outpouring, Snail you tell me that:

"I don't know what goes on in your world, but in the one I live in, singarounds and tune sessions (which are more my thing) are opportunities to celebrate a shared enthusiasm. It's what you can contribute that matters, not demonstrating how superior you are to other performers."

That's exactly what goes on in my world, Snail! Where did I say it didn't? Contributions vary in quality (including my own) but that's OK and most people are obviously working at their craft and doing their best. But there are, in my flawed part of the world (but probably not in the virtuous paradise that you inhabit), some lazy, selfish people who spoil it for everyone else - I don't honestly know the best way to handle this problem - but a first step is to acknowledge that the problem exists (even though it may not exist in your shining virtuous paradise!).


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Piers Cawley
Date: 07 Mar 11 - 08:19 AM

If you don't like what's happening where you are then go somewhere else. It's really that simple. If there isn't somewhere else, then make somewhere. Again, it's not exactly rocket science.

When we lived in the northeast there were several singarounds, and we liked all of 'em. We still ended up hosting a monthly bash around our kitchen table because we wanted a singaround that had more time for chat as well as songs, flexible hours, room for a few tunes, "free" food and as much tea and coffee as the participants could stand. If you have the space, I can really recommend setting up a kitchen table or house session. Start with friends and friends of friends. Encourage them to setup their own, similar sessions and you'll be making the world a better place for everyone.

Which reminds me, I really should try and get something similar up and running now we're in Doncaster. I wonder how many Sheffield types we could tempt out of that city.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Mar 11 - 09:59 AM

GUEST,Shimrod

That's exactly what goes on in my world, Snail! Where did I say it didn't?

Where did I say you didn't say it didn't? But I can't remember you saying that it did.

some lazy, selfish people who spoil it for everyone else

I know this will upset you, Shimmy, but I can honestly think of no one who fits that description.

I don't honestly know the best way to handle this problem

I would have thought that ranting and raving and being gratuitously offensive on Mudcat was probably not a good start.

but a first step is to acknowledge that the problem exists

Well I don't have the problem. Several others have said on this list that they don't have the problem. Looks as if it's yours alone.

I see Piers has posted since I started this giving you the obvious solution. If the other participants share your view then they will flood to your new session and then all you have to do is look the "crass no-hopers" in the eye and tell them they are not welcome.


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 07 Mar 11 - 10:05 AM

This all goes to show that there's not one solution that will fit every singaround. So maybe the watchword is - be adaptable!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 07 Mar 11 - 01:58 PM

"I would have thought that ranting and raving and being gratuitously offensive on Mudcat was probably not a good start."

Oh, but I ENJOY ranting and raving and being gratuitously offensive on Mudcat! And as we've established (to your satisfaction, Snail) that I'm a moral defective there's nothing to stop me, is there? How liberating is that?!!

But in my degenerate and ethically dubious way I still think that we should be pushing for higher standards in all forums in which folk song/music is presented. I have actually got some ideas/previous experience about how this might be achieved - but I'm not sharing with you because you're a stuck up prat - naaa, na, nanaa, na! (note the gratuitous offence for which I am now fully licenced!).

And Piers:

"If you don't like what's happening where you are then go somewhere else. It's really that simple."

That is pathetic twatery if I ever heard it! Why should I be driven out of my favourite singarounds by selfish idiots?


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Mar 11 - 03:23 PM

Well it's been lovely having this little chat but I've just remembered an urgent appointment in... um.... can't quite remember where but it's an awfully long way away. Must dash.






Phew!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 07 Mar 11 - 03:37 PM

Oh but, Snail, in your crusader-like quest to save the world from critici ... sorry, beastliness, you've created a MONSTER! Didn't expect that, did you? It's called the 'Law of Unexpected Consequences' ... And I'm on your case, Snail! Ah, ha, ha ,ha, haaaaa!!!!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 07 Mar 11 - 03:42 PM

Winter's gettin' to all of us . . .


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: GUEST,Seonaid
Date: 07 Mar 11 - 03:46 PM

May I suggest that separate sessions be set up for certain contributors with huge axes to grind?
Call them what you will -- whine-around, cry-around, snit-around...
I can't imagine that these bloviators have any idea what makes a good gathering of any type. Get with the social skills, guys!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 09 Mar 11 - 03:24 PM

Words from an iPhone? We have a group of young profesional people coming to our singarounds in 2011.

Our singarounds have scope for discussing songs and quite often a song is mentioned to which someone says "does anyone know it?" To which one of our encouragingly knowlegable young singers says: I know the tune and some of the words, I'll find for you ...tap... tap... tap, and then sings it for them next go.

This is simply trying to please, and a world away from the lazy singer who reads from the exercise book 'coz they can't be bothered.

How many goes per duo/group? We've always operated more or less as Les said above: tow people - two songs, unless the second person is doing a really minor backing bit. Even then we'll offer the minor part person to do something on their own if appropriate. Three people? - two songs; four+? - three somgs in one hit, and then balance if necessary by giving them a song mid way round. Above groups of three, it realy is negotiation I think.

... and thanks Valmai!


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Subject: RE: Secrets of a good singaround?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 08:47 PM

Folk Sing Starter Kit, a resource on the website of the Country Dance and Song Society (U.S.).

This guide contains the following sections:

    What Is a Folk Sing? — What this guide covers, what makes group singing fun
    Envisioning Your Event — Questions to ask yourself to get started, event format ideas
    Finding a Venue — Public venues, private venues, accessibility & transportation
    Publicity — How are you going to get the word out?
    How Will Your Sing Work? — Possible structures/procedures, facilitating, group dynamics
    Song Resources — Web sites, sheet music, sound files, books & recordings, podcasts, history

You can also read Julia Friend's blog post about the "kit", here.

This info is certainly not exclusive to U.S. singers!

~ Becky in Hackettstown (lately)


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Mudcat time: 19 September 8:45 AM EDT

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