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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
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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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