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why do singers take so long to start?

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Jack Campin 13 Aug 15 - 06:06 PM
GUEST,Pete from seven stars link 13 Aug 15 - 07:06 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Aug 15 - 07:43 PM
MartinRyan 13 Aug 15 - 07:51 PM
GUEST,GUEST: Lowly Strung 13 Aug 15 - 08:02 PM
Deckman 13 Aug 15 - 08:27 PM
Joe Offer 13 Aug 15 - 08:55 PM
ChanteyLass 13 Aug 15 - 09:14 PM
Deckman 13 Aug 15 - 09:35 PM
GUEST,bardan 13 Aug 15 - 10:34 PM
vectis 13 Aug 15 - 10:47 PM
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Big Al Whittle 13 Aug 15 - 11:38 PM
Joe Offer 14 Aug 15 - 12:38 AM
Deckman 14 Aug 15 - 01:00 AM
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Acorn4 14 Aug 15 - 03:33 AM
GUEST,andiliqueur 14 Aug 15 - 03:41 AM
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Jack Campin 14 Aug 15 - 04:25 AM
Tattie Bogle 14 Aug 15 - 04:40 AM
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Subject: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Aug 15 - 06:06 PM

This was mentioned in passing in a thread on Rise Up Singing: singers who use books or folders can take a very long time to get started when their turn comes in a singaround. I find this very frustrating. Ask me to play or sing something and I can be off within a second; if I was going to pick something from a book, the delay caused by finding it would only be seconds rather than minutes. And I don't add even more delay mumbling about how I haven't played or sung this in years.

The fatter the book or folder the singer carries around, the worse the problem is. You'd think it should be the opposite: if you've got a folder two inches thick you should be able to find something that suits the moment within a few pages of where you open it.

I don't go to singarounds to spend the evening watching somebody trying to find their chord chart.

Has anybody had any success in remedying this sort of dithering around? You don't get it in notation-free tune sessions, but it isn't just a problem of dependence on paper; a lot of singers seem to have a badly indexed and blurrily printed folder in their brains and need to talk their way through accessing it for longer than it takes to sing the song.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Pete from seven stars link
Date: 13 Aug 15 - 07:06 PM

I don't suppose we will ever eliminate the time wasting, but it would certainly be thoughtful, especially at busy singarounds, if the instruments were already tuned and the song on the stand ready to go.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Aug 15 - 07:43 PM

It isn't possible to tune all instruments in advance, in spite of all the "once you eventually get the bloody thing in tune I'll have it welded for you" jokes. It Is possible to get in the ball park though, although the incessant tuners have to take the poor bloody fixed-pitch guys into account (we do exist, you know). As for stands...really? If I can learn all the tunes, why can't you learn all the words?


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Aug 15 - 07:51 PM

Nerves.... or the need to allow an audience to settle down.

Regards

p.s. More constructively: I can happily understand "classical" singers working from a sheet but find it hard to understand its use in a traditional or quasi-traditional context. The least such a performer should do is suggest that listeners close their eyes...


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,GUEST: Lowly Strung
Date: 13 Aug 15 - 08:02 PM

I agree about the nuisance of delays. There are some who don't prepare and some who do. I expect the fear of losing members, in a climate when clubs can't afford to lose even their crap performers, is part of the issue for organizers and MCs, etc. And, they can't risk being seen as harsh on people who probably aren't trying to inflict a probem on others: that's part of the democratic-ness that the folk-world values. Clearly, JC doesn't see the solution as "just b----y well tell them" (unless he DOES, but he's not gonna enact it!!)
As for instruments, while you can tune some to "close enough for folk" levels, you can't easily tune perfectly while others are performing; if you leave the playing-space to do so, you miss part of the previous song (and potentially create a disturbance by getting up and moving out) but others' songs might be what you've gone along to hear: that's part and parcel of a singaround.
I favour being upfront and telling the offender on the quiet: thay're not going to slap you round the face, nor raise the issue aloud with the rest of the room, in case the room disagrees with them!


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Deckman
Date: 13 Aug 15 - 08:27 PM

Over here in the Seattle, Washington (USA) area, I have found the perfect solution that works for ME. This might not work for you, but it sure works for ME. I simply won't attend any "sing-a-round event" that allows the use of books. bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Aug 15 - 08:55 PM

I think some people need to take a moment to get composed, and to get the tune straight in their heads. They may seem to be fooling with other things, but that's just a cover for getting their composure. This is especially true of a cappella singers. I find if I rush too much to start a song, I often botch the melody and sing something strange for the first verse.
Some say I sing something strange for every verse.
Patience, Jack, patience....
As for books, some of us feel more confident if we have them (even though we may not look at them), and we apologize to those who think us inferior.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 13 Aug 15 - 09:14 PM

If you want to be at a song circle that welcomes people who are trying to get over a fear of singing in public, you will enjoy yourself more if you can accept their need to have written lyrics. I would rather that people use a lyric sheet than freeze in the middle of a song. Choral groups use written lyrics; people use hymnals in church; and I have seen some seasoned professional performers use lyric/music sheets, but I won't name names!


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Deckman
Date: 13 Aug 15 - 09:35 PM

Joe ... with GREAT RESPECT ... I wouldn't use the term "inferior" but rather "ill prepared" CHEERS, bob


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,bardan
Date: 13 Aug 15 - 10:34 PM

Well, it could be shyness. Or they might be waiting for the room to quieten down. Making sure they remember the lyrics in that tricky verse. Trying to find a key that works. I've almost never sang at a singaround and I don't use sheet music or lyric sheets, but when called on to sing I often take a couple of minutes to choose a song that fits, remind myself of the lyrics, find a good key, (especially if I know someone else might come in with a harmony or there's backer and I don't want to force them into accompanying a song in f sharp minor or whatever) and so-on. Hopefully it's worth the wait. If it isn't then people should really stop asking me to sing.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: vectis
Date: 13 Aug 15 - 10:47 PM

If you have to use a book or sheet, get the thing out and set up before it is your turn. If you need a specific note take a tuner with you, if you haven't got a tuner ask some one to play an A (or whatever) for you and launch.

One man's long introduction/setup is another man's song.

I think farting around is attention seeking and a bloody pain in the arse.

Off hobby horse and calm again. Got coat too...


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 13 Aug 15 - 11:06 PM

Related threads:

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Session etiquette solutions please (57)
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'Rules' for group singing (5)
Band Etiquette Question - Am I a prat? (69)
Singaround etiquette (64)
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Singaround etiquette ? (70)
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Rules of the Session (20)
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Etiquette question #2 (44)
Etiquette question (106)
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Etiquette for slow-jams (6)


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Aug 15 - 11:38 PM

I must be the odd one out. I always enjoy it if the singer introduces the song and explains its significance to him or her, and how they come upon the song.

I also think if you want other people to join in with their instruments you should tell the company what key you are going to try and sing and play in.

after all we are 'folks'. our relationship with each other is not a 'given'. if you wish to astonish the world with a tour deforce that will amaze and mystify -fuck off into the desert and sing to the cacti.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 12:38 AM

Some of us who sing from hymnals or sheet music, are actually pretty good singers - and we can sing quite well using a lyrics aid and feel more confident doing so. Or maybe we want to try something new, outside or the twenty or thirty songs in our usual repertoire. Or maybe we've witnessed the agonizing moments when singers forget their lyrics and the audience waits uneasily for them to remember.

And yes, many of those who use books are pretty awful singers - but I think that's more because of their ability, not their state of preparation. I've been at camps and singarounds where people pull out the Blue Book and struggle through a song - but that's usually because singing is a struggle for them, and they're trying their best to fit in. Maybe they'll never get any better - but at least they're trying.

You who condemn other singers may have all sorts of rationalizations in your heart to convince yourself that it's really the other person's fault that he/she doesn't fit your image of a suitable singer. But you're lying to yourselves. You're simply being unkind and exclusionary, closing the door to would-be singers because you think them unworthy.

No wonder people don't sing any more. If they try, they're going to have to endure some really awful scrutiny until they finally pass muster and earn the right to be snooty and judgmental themselves.

Most people think I'm a very good singer, and I certainly think I've earned a reputation as a song researcher. But there are music gatherings I avoid because they're just too damn judgmental. I sing to have a good time, not to face judgment from snooty singers.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Deckman
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 01:00 AM

Thank you for that Joe. bob


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 01:30 AM

I go to Mass twice every Sunday, and I still can't recite the friggin' Nicene Creed from memory. And the Apostles' Creed, which we use sometimes, is even tougher. They're very similar to each other, and we've had at least two "official" translations of each in my lifetime. Now, I can remember it in Latin, especially if I sing it, because I've known only one version of the Creed in Latin. But if I try it in English without a book, I get confused.

We had a priest who chastised the congregation for stumbling on the Apostles' Creed. I was ready to stand up in front of the congregation and explain how the priest had his head up his ass, but I restrained myself. I told him privately later that I thought he was wrong...

Sometimes, you just can't get the lyrics straight unless you get a little help from a piece of paper.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Acorn4
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 03:33 AM

What I find irritating is those who persistently thumb through their folders while other are singing and playing.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,andiliqueur
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 03:41 AM

Oh yes Acorn 4. They are the worst!


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,andiliqueur
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 03:43 AM

Also,the thicker the folder the more songs they don't know!


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Megan L
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 04:16 AM

So let me get this right everyone is supposed to memorise both the music and lyrics.

They are supposed to have any instruments perfectly in tune even when they have moved from one area of temperature or humidity to another.

They should never gather their thoughts before launching into a song or tune and definitely never try to introduce their contribution.

If they do use written song words or music they should have it ready for their turn to start.

Oh and they should never look up anything during the evening.

So that means if you are new and nervous don't bother going. If you have had a head injury that affected your memory stay at home,and if you are older and your memory is starting to fail don't even bother getting out of bed.

The welcoming face of folk music.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 04:25 AM

If you want to be at a song circle that welcomes people who are trying to get over a fear of singing in public, you will enjoy yourself more if you can accept their need to have written lyrics.

I don't have a particular problem with people using paper so long as they can use it effectively. And a lot of the people I had in mind got over any fear they might have had about singing in public 30 years ago.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 04:40 AM

Several people talking about different things here.

I don't really mind if people use lyric sheets or music notation, provided they know what they are going to sing/ play reasonably well.

But it also irritates me if, in a "round the room" session, where people KNOW when their turn is coming up, THEN when their turn comes, they start thumbing through the thick folder for the song they can't find, have to get out of their seat to retrieve guitar from somwhere else, adjust seat position 3 times over, adjust capo 3 times, then still decide they've started in the wrong key, re-start, give a long explanation, etc, etc, etc.
Oh and yes, Acorn4, no flicking through folders while others are singing (or in the present tech age, scrolling through IPads, tablets and mobile phones - and PLEASE, no texting or Facebooking/Tweeting!) just do your fellow-sessioners the courtesy of LISTENING!

As for tuning instruments, I would do mine before the evening starts, and make any fine adjustments during applause, before my turn comes round- if you are using an electronic tuner thus should be possible in the presence if bacground noise.

But agree with Al, it may be nice to have a SHORT explanation of what inspired the writing of a particular song, or other background to it - but that is a very different scenario from what Jack and others were complaining about. Such an intro should never be longer than the song!


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 04:45 AM


So let me get this right everyone is supposed ...

It depends on the circumstances. What would be OK in a singaround may not be appropriate when on stage.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,patriot
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 04:46 AM

What about using a tablet or suchlike device- at least you'd be spared the rustle of papers while other folk are singing.... don't see how you'll get people to stop faffing about at the crucial moment
for whatever reason.
In another context, how many times have some of us stood at a supermarket checkout while the person in front, having done everything else, suddenly realises that he/she also has to pay, and that their purse/wallet is buried deep in their bag or pocket? It's just human nature to faff, so get used to it!


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 05:11 AM

An appropriate, short-and-to-the-point intro to a tune or song can enhance the listeners' appreciation of it, if done competently. No harm in that. That's quite a different matter from the time-wasting exercise of shuffling through a wodge of papers in plastic sheets inside a ring binder which is coming apart on a music stand which is not quite opened properly... and you know the rest.

The issue, to me, is to ask yourself why you're where you are as a performer. Surely the prime reason for being there is to entertain or enlighten, and to bring some joy or reflection to the audience - not just to put yourself in the spotlight for your own personal amusement?

My own session/singaround welcomes everyone of whatever standard and with music and mini-stands but, for those who are worried about music stands, music, etc., in public performance, I offer this:

1. You know that you're going to get probably two - at most three - songs for a floor spot at a folk club, so ...
2. Concentrate on learning only those two or three songs and getting them as fixed into your head as possible.
3. If you can only do two, or even just one, without getting worried - then just elect to do two, or even one.
4. Don't repeat the same stuff at the next session - learn two more new ones.
5. If you can't learn two new ones - don't elect to do a floor spot until you have learned some more.

Many of us of a certain age learned these quite sensible rules - in my case fifty years ago - and the discipline of that approach has stood the test of time.

Here's a little story: Everyone who attends my monthly caper knows that I always encourage people to put aside the paper and sing and play without it. A friend of mine who attends my session always sings and plays from typed out sheets. He has a nice voice and is a competent, if basic guitarist. When we discuss playing from paper or memory, he asserts that he just finds it difficult to perform in front of people without paper there as "the words disappear". I can understand that fear. In conversation recently, I set him a challenge: the next time he attends a particular local folk club (which I don't attend as they all shuffle paper around on music stands), he has to get two songs under his belt to perform without benefit of paper. I will go along with him as his backing guitarist and - if need - word backup. If he fucks up, it won't matter because I'll be with him to keep us going. To my delight, he accepted the challenge and seemed quite bucked by it. And, hopefully, I won't fuck up either!

Now, might it be a good idea if those who feel happy and confident without music can help those who do have a difficulty - by teaming up with them now and then and boosting their performance confidence.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 05:15 AM

It's fine to credit briefly the writer of a song or the person who inspired you to sing it. Over and above that, sing it and let the song speak for itself. Faffing around in an Irish tune session is unacceptable, as is the use of printed music, yet there are people who can play thousands of tunes without hesitation. If you have to flick through sheets of paper in order to prevent your forgetting the words, your commitment to the song is questionable. As are your manners!


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 05:21 AM

Sensible stuff, Will Fly. Maybe his first step would be to try singing the song - with a blank sheet of paper on the stand in front of him! Retains the comfort blanket, hide-behind-the-stand element but exercises the memory...

Regards

p.s. By way of thread creep... I've seen many accordionists, in particular, who seem to use the instrument to keep an audience at bay! ;>)>


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 05:28 AM

i remember the good old days when folksingers used to piss about with ringbinders. nowadays - you have wait for them to set up their little stands with an ipad and then bugger about on the floor to plug in the thing to turn the pages over.....

back in those days we never waited more than ten minutes for them to find the song they wanted to sing, and their false teeth, and put them in...
we need to get that macrobiotic thing back.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Ripov
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 05:55 AM

The problem is not taking a long time to start sorting the paperwork out, but taking forever to sing the song because they have a written record of all 31 verses - and they're not even funny!


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST, DTM
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 06:18 AM

My biggest bugbear is when a singer chants a verse and a half of a song, gets stuck then announces that they'd be better singing another song. They then proceed to waste another 5 minutes of our lives digging through their binder(s) before treating us to yet another classic.
Just as bad is when they get half way through a song, screw up and say "I'll start again".

By that time, I've usually lost the will to live.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Johnny J
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 06:18 AM

Ripov has a good point.

Maybe the question should be "Why do singers take so long to finish?"


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST, Sol
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 06:31 AM

Can I just say, if you read from a crib sheet you will never learn the words of the song. I know a guy who has sung the same song week in week out for more than 20 years and still can't do it without the lyrics in front of him.

That said, I usually have a lyric sheet in front of me because, at my age, now and again my mind goes blank & I need a cue for the next verse or line. At that point I take a discrete look down at the table always trying to make it look like a natural head movement or with half-closed eyes.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: BobKnight
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 07:29 AM

1.Tune your instrument before the session starts - at the very least take the bloody thing out of it's case.
2.Decide what songs your going to sing before the evening starts - that way you don't have to flick through sheets - if you need them.
3.Don't try to sing songs you don't really know - if you don't know them, keep them at home until you rehearse them enough to know them. 4.It's bad manners to inflict your half-arsed, unrehearsed efforts on other people.
5.Keep your intro's short-you may love the sound of your own voice, others rarely do.
6. Learn the words - no excuses for not apart from laziness. Case in point; my brother has gone onstage for forty odd years with a sheaf of lyrics. He's been having eye problems lately, cataract, etc, and suddenly he's managing without the lyrics because he HAS to - he can't see the sheets.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Ged Fox
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 07:42 AM

I generally use the crib sheet on the first occasion, at least, that I sing a song to an audience, even if I think I know the song. In such a case, I'll have the crib handy in the front of the folder.

I don't usually know exactly what songs I'm going to sing, sometimes right up to the moment when I start singing, because I like to complement or contrast with the stuff that's been sung or played before me. It may be that the most apposite song requires me to use a crib sheet, in which case, shock! horror! I might spend a moment looking for it.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 08:31 AM

I think that for everybody's sake, anyone wanting to sing a song in a sing-around should have a song they are able to sing without any comfort blanket and without eternally faffing about key and finding pages. Never mind if it is something you have sung before, do it again. Some 'old boys' only had one or two songs they were happy to sing. Do the same as them.
Grow your confidence in this way.
It makes sing-arounds much more enjoyable for both listeners and participants.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 08:48 AM

2.Decide what songs your going to sing before the evening starts - that way you don't have to flick through sheets - if you need them.

absolutely not! have some consideration for your audience. if there has been three epic ballads already, just because you've prepared one don't feel the audience should be obliged to sit there appreciating.

similarly if there have been several comic songs, you shouldn't feel obliged to try and top the last one.
its about an evening out...hopefully that people will want to attend again. there has to be balance, or at least there should be, and experienced singers must provide this. the rookies have a limited repertoire - us guys should know what we're doing.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 08:58 AM

But surely it's the rookies we're talking to here, Al. You and I are certainly experienced enough to be able to pull stuff out of the bag on the evening as required But...

... A beginner or tentative performer may not have the scope to do that, so better - perhaps - that they stick with what they have confidence in. Which may be just two or three well-rehearsed songs, for example.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 10:17 AM

i dunno Will , are we?

to tackle one of the big ballads takes committment, skill.......+etc. anything you can give it. but there are some times when you have to accept that the thing you planned to do....just doesn't fit into that evening, or in my mind you should.

sometimes i wanna do some really downbeat blues - but if some buggers been going on about the first world war for fifteen minutes. irealise that the audience has had enough depressive stuff and they need lifting.
to burden an audience with what you've got planned is not always a rookies mistake. similarly a certain kind of singer songwriter will demand attention. at a point when the audience is totally overloaded and needs a bit of lightness.

i'll tell you this the audience always rewards you for engaging with their mood. it can be frustrating - if you've worked hard on a piece, or if you've got an album to plug and some asshole has bored their pants off and demanded their attention. but you must honour your skill as a performer in the first instance.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 10:50 AM

Decide what songs your going to sing before the evening starts - that way you don't have to flick through sheets - if you need them.
absolutely not! have some consideration for your audience. if there has been three epic ballads already, just because you've prepared one don't feel the audience should be obliged to sit there appreciating.


Agreed. It's not too difficult to assemble a repertoire of four songs, one epic, one lyrical, one funny and one polemical, is it? That should cover pretty near any context.

I don't think most of the shuffling timewasters manage to categorize their repertoire that way - if they did, it would cut down the time it takes to decide what to do.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,phil cooper on spouse's laptop
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 10:50 AM

I've seen people at song circles that didn't use books still dither when it came time for their turns. It may drive me up the wall, but I figure that's how they are. I've seen others use books without too much wasted time. I have participated in a regular workshop where one of the performers (who should have known better), showed up, had to tune their banjo and then still decided what to do. And that was at a festival with other performers waiting to do their turns and a fixed time allotted.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST, Sol
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 11:05 AM

I agree totally with the points made by Ged Fox & Big Al.

I tend to try & sing the opposite of what my predecessor has sung. That usually entails having a 'light' and 'heavy' song at the ready.
I once saw a folk band toiling with dreary ballads in a bar full of drunken rugby supporters. I was asked to sing and did a rendition of some spirited drinking song which oddly got their immediate attention.

It should be generally horses for courses - or you could just do your own thing and stuff the rest of mankind.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,crazy little woman
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 11:32 AM

I agree with you, Sol. Variety is important, so is being aware of the mood of your audience.

Another factor: I bet that if the impatient people timed the people who fail to sing immediately, that the impatient people would discover that the delay is a matter of a few seconds. Probably less than 30.

Where do people get the idea that their needs should be met immediately, if not before? I suppose it comes from watching TV. On TV, the announcer announces a singer, the camera goes to the singer's face, and the singer starts immediately. We get used to that. Never mind that it's all preprogrammed, rehearsed and videotaped. And the singer isn't gazing earnestly into our eyes, but into a teleprompter.

(I guess that there's very little of that kind of programming any more. Nonetheless, we're used to it.)
======
I used to get very irritated when babies cried in church until a priest pointed out to me that when they cry, they cry for only a few seconds. I'd never even thought of that.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,crazy little woman
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 12:26 PM

I thought of something else.

Nobody can do everything. Maybe the people who don't have their songs memorized are perfectly fit and their homes are utterly uncluttered. Have you ever thought of that?

;-)


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Pete from seven stars link
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 04:12 PM

On reflection, and as been mentioned in this connection , there have been times when I have not began immediately, even though ready, as I was waiting for at least some people to stop talking !.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 06:04 PM

So why were they talking when they knew you wanted to sing?


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 06:17 PM

After going with a young woman who was really into folk songs when I was in my early twenties and hearing, then subsequently meeting Walt Robertson (who really got me started on the guitar—and taught me a great deal about singing for audiences, which stood me in good stead later on)—I set about building a career for myself as a singer of folk songs.

Although I never became nationally famous, I was well-known around the Pacific Northwest, and made a decent living as a modern-day minstrel. I was heavily into learning the backgrounds of the songs I sang, and as a result, I was asked to do a series on local educational television, funded by the Seattle Public Library ("Ballads and Books"—without teleprompter or cue cards), and this led to many other singing jobs, one of which was in one of Seattle's first coffeehouses, run by the owner of an art and foreign film theater, who ran a clean place (your elbows didn't stick to the tables), and he paid reasonably well.

Over the years, I have sung many concerts, usually at colleges in the area, but also in local concert halls, such as The Playhouse at the Seattle Center, where Richard Dyer-Bennet sang three concerts during the Seattle World's Fair in 1962. I also sang regularly every Sunday afternoon at the United Nations Pavilion along with about a dozen other local folk singers, and the following year at the Seattle Center Hootenannies every Wednesday evening, which drew crowds of up to 15,000 people!

And along with this, perhaps a thousand or so "hootenannies" in private homes, along with other singers, just for the fun of it.

No song books, song sheets, or three-ring binders appeared at any of these events until sometime late in the 1970s at the Seattle Song Circle. Up until then people would not think of taking up the time of others with a song book or crib sheet in their hands. It was an unspoken "no-no!" People just didn't do it. Learn the song. Then do it.

A few newcomers to Seattle Song Circle began bringing copies of Rise Up Singing to meetings and singing out of the book—or out of three-ring binders they had prepared. We spent a great deal of time at some meetings listening to someone riffle through pages and mumble their way through songs that they sometimes hadn't even read before.

My wife and I—and all of the other real singers who first started the Song Circle—over a brief period of time, dropped out.

The moral of the story is:

Learn the damned song before you get up in front of an audience, bore the hell out of people, and generally make an ass of yourself!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 06:51 PM

Amen, Don!


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 07:45 PM

Back before I got into singing folk songs, I was an opera fan. I listened to the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts on Saturday afternoons, and on the rare occasion when a local entrepreneur produced an opera (usually built around a nationally known singer, along with some pretty good locals), I was there.

Then a friend of mine acquainted me with a small, local opera company (this was some years before Seattle Opera was founded and Seattle got its own opera company—which is now the fourth largest in the country!). A Mrs. Towers, a local voice teacher reasoned that young singers would do a lot better in opera auditions if, instead of just knowing a few well-known arias, they knew a few entire roles. She started TOPS, "Towers Opera Production Studios," and she would produce four or five operas a year, with the casts made up of her young students.

She and her students would put on an entire opera on the small stage of a "decommissioned" movie theater in Seattle's Broadway District. The young singers would sing an entire opera, complete with sets and costumes, with Mrs. Towers playing the orchestral part on a grand piano. I saw productions of several operas there: "Faust," with a sixteen-year-old Marguerita, a seventeen-year-old Faust, and a seventeen-year-old-Mephistopheles; "Rigoletto," with the same sixteen-year-old girl as Gilda, an eighteen-year-old Duke of Mantua, and a twenty-five-year-old Rigoletto; other productions of full-length operas with often—usually—teenage casts, such as "I Pagliacci" and "Cavalleria Rusticana."

Some of these kids carved out pretty good careers for themselves. The sixteen-year-old girl who I saw—and heard—doing both Marguerita and Gilda—wound up singing for Seattle Opera, is now retired from singing, and is on the Seattle Opera's executive board.   

And the point of this particular spasm?

If these kids could memorize the score of an entire operatic role—which could extend for as much as three or four hours—what is the matter with some folks who can't get through a three minute folk song without referring to a book or crib sheet!??

Don Firth

P. S. Ancient skops, skalds, and bards used to sing—from memory—songs and ballads that ran to hundreds of verses. Beowulf takes several hours to recite. It's the medieval equivalent of a television miniseries…..

Don't dishonor an ancient tradition by being slap-dash!


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Pamela R
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 08:39 PM

Wow. REAL singers. Shouting in bold. Most clarifying.

(end sarcasm)

I can understand being angry when song circles don't go the way we hoped. Especially when we started them. It's disappointing and frustrating. I've been there, and I get that. But I don't see a lot of value to anyone in venting.

I think people come to song circles motivated by different, equally legitimate but sometimes conflicting goals. The posts above offer good evidence of this. So if the overarching goal is for all of us to receive more of what we wanted out of song circles, maybe it would help to clearly identify our own goals, understand the other possible goals people might have, and think about how best to cultivate different types of circles that are dedicated to serving these different goals.

I'd be glad to discuss that sort of thing with anyone interested, but perhaps that should be a separate thread.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 11:06 PM

i suppose different countries have different traditions. in England , probably our most famous folk singing family, the Coppers have a tradition of having books with the words in front of them.

i've never used a crib sheet, but i don't feel theres any sort of moral imperative not to use one.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Aug 15 - 11:09 PM

having said that, the Coppers were always pretty organised. they didn't piss about, they always got on with it.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Deckman
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 12:46 AM

This might be a long posting. I think it's time to put this frequant complaint to rest. I hope that I can do that wisely and without starting any more useless arguments.

Let me try explain just where I'm coming from regarding this subject of the use of books during song sessions, versus non-acceptance of this practice.

I'll dare to include my long time friend of sixty two years in my explaination:

Don Firth and I met in Seattle in 1953, and we soon became submerged in the "hoot scene." "Hoots", as we knew them then, were a unique kind of gathering of folk singers and quite magical. There were several elements that stood out, one being that anyuone who attended was invited to attend, and anyone who performed was expected to perform well and without the use of any prompts like books, or crib sheets, etc. These hoots were where Don and I, and many others, grew up musically, both as musicians and as performers. In those days, the living rooms were filled with the best of the best, and we all learned from each other.

But that time is long gone.

Somewhere in the mid 1970's, the late John Dwyer, and several other fine singers, started the Seattle "song circles." John was also a strong participant in the early hoots and he was well steeped in the hoot traditions of no books, etc. Very quickly, the 'song circles' became very popular. And from what I've read on MC, are also popular in Europe.

But also, much to the consternation of us old foggies,(and that includes Don and I) the dreaded "Blue Book" appeared on the scene. "Oh horrors of all horrors", we all yelled. "This will never do ... it's a sin ..."

But, the times had changed, and just like the genie in bottle, there weren't no puttin' it back!

Is this a bad thing? Of course not. Things change, people change, times change. The "Blue book" has encouraged generations now to enjoy music with increasing depth.

The thing that I have to remember is that the song circles of today are NOT the hoots of yesterday. And they never will be.

That's why I no longer fight th delemma. My answer is twofold: I no longer attend any song circles, and I host private, invitation only, "hoots" when I wish.

So ... I hope I haven't bored you, but I thought this distinction between "hoots" and "song circles" might help. CHEERS, bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 01:11 AM

Surely the greatest period - i envy you all the wonderful music and musicians you must have encountered.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Musket digging out his notes
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 02:57 AM

I may have mentioned this before in thinly disguised other threads.

When I started going to folk clubs, nobody used books or sang to paper. Amongst other things, most clubs were of the stage and facing audience variety. OK, the singaround cum library sessions are inclusive I suppose and many people who wouldn't have even tried to get up and sing in those environments can now do so.

But you know what? When I hear a bloody good singer and / or guitarist and look round the room to see idiots flicking through their books deciding what they are singing next, I can't help feeling they have a bit of a nerve. Anyone would think the whole bloody pub is eagerly awaiting their next rendition of Wild Mountain Thyme.

No problem with people not being quite ready. It means they are here to listen to others as well as rattle out their own offerings.

Mind you, when those with books kindly compliment my playing, I do try to gently point out that it isn't some talent or other, but learning the song properly and dispensing with the props improves the rendition. If you want an audience, you owe it to them to do your best. Not the best they have heard but the best you can give.

When I do go to singarounds, and I help run a couple for that matter, I increasingly sing with my eyes shut. Mainly because staring at the reading room of a fucking library removes the will to live.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 03:38 AM

I've never heard of a singaround in a library before.

"Join in the famous blues jam in the British Museum Reading Room"?


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: SunrayFC
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 04:02 AM

I'm saying nothing!


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 06:57 AM

'I'm saying nothing!'

from the man who wrote Ringbinder Blues...!


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 07:49 AM

well steve, I should add, that the problem of people talking in the song circle is not confined to when it is my turn. but maybe it was just an innocent enquiry eh steve....

don and deckman seem to have the right idea...leave those amateur endeavours and have by invitation only sessions with " real " singers ! should be a hoot !. it probably leaves pros and lesser singers happier.
mind you I do agree with musket that it is bad manners endlessly looking through binders etc , though imo, that applies whether the person performing is greatly accomplished or less so.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 08:19 AM

It sounds like it's a perennial problem. Because it seems to be, would someone please explain the difference(s) between

Song circles
Open mics
Jams

and other terms used by the informed to designate where and how they display or share their talents?

Thank you.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 09:31 AM

Al, you wanna get together? you seem adrift in lifes waterways...


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 09:35 AM

not that I wish to "barge" in!


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 10:26 AM

"...But you know what? When I hear a bloody good singer and / or guitarist and look round the room to see idiots flicking through their books deciding what they are singing next, I can't help feeling they have a bit of a nerve. Anyone would think the whole bloody pub is eagerly awaiting their next rendition of Wild Mountain Thyme....">

I agree 100%.
I hate when people prep their next song or check their emails/facebook when someone is singing. It is totally disrespectful. Wait till the song is finished then do what you have to, you ignoramus.

It would be great to see everybody at a session check their phones en mass throughout the turn of one of these offenders. Maybe then they would get the message.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Sol
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 10:28 AM

Sorry forgot to fill in "From" box. Above post from Sol.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,crazy little woman
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 10:32 AM

So, Don, everybody's supposed to be exactly like you, or you'll start yelling?

People's minds differ. It may be that some simply find it impossible to memorize. People's lives differ. Some may not have the time to memorize. Personalities differ. A book or page may simply be a prop that dispels nervousness.

Some old folkies sneer at new singers and then they wonder why folk music is a dying art.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 11:49 AM

Sol gimme a ring. achat with a fellow folksinger is never time wasted.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 01:20 PM

It would take several hours and many paragraphs to totally discuss the many issues and explanations for the differences between people and their approach and abilities.... here is a semi-short one.

There are several different types of 'singaround'.. there are public, **open** ones with few rules, designed to just encourage music. These, as noted, can be pretty good or pretty bad.

There are similar ones, but with topics named days or weeks in advance, meant to stimulate people to look up songs and reduce the decision making process...(this has been the general way the Open Sing of FSGW has operated for over 40 years.) A topic can either help one choose and learn a song... or scare the amateur who 'likes music' but has problems with finding source material...(not everyone has 40 years of collecting books and LPs...etc.)
   IF one attends these, there WILL be highs & lows, and there are fairly good singers who have a high pain threshold but who like sharing and helping newcomers. The FSGW sing sorts them out pretty efficiently, but has gone thru its own stages. When I first arrived, it was "the place to be" once a month... but when a few better musicians could no longer be there, others simply did as Don & Deckman explained, and opted out. A personal decision, but tending to water down even further the overall 'quality'. This is further complicated by where meeting are held.. in public hall with plenty of room (as FSGW did for many years) or private homes with varying degrees of comfort and accessibility.

Now-- the main issue... there are also just different types of people. There are those who are **musicians** who do music almost every day, whether professionally, or as dedicated, competent amateurs who absorb folk music and its history like a sponge. Then there are those who really like the music, but whose daily life may be guided by many other things and turn to singing/playing as a nice, but occasional thing.... or who only discovered the idea of a 'singaround' recently. Sometimes these develop into serious, talented folk, but we never find out if they are discouraged by being snubbed or ridiculed in early attempts.

Then there are seriously different... for want of a better term... 'brain types' who process and memorize words quite differently and efficiently. (I MUST usually see a song in print as I learn it.... my brain often cannot follow a song I don't already know. I DO make very attempt to learn it if I intend to sing it in public, but if it is not something I expect to add to my permanent repertoire, or if months or even years pass between it being needed, I may resort to a small crib sheet.
   This bring up something referred to above by others.... I will NOT attempt to do a song is I cannot be fairly sure I can handle it WITH a crib sheet... and I have posted before that IF I can close my eyes and not tell whether someone is using a sheet, I am fine.

..and of course, along with varying abilities in memorizing, there are personality & psychological approaches to performing in public. I knew one guy who, when in the audience, could supply missing words for others, but when singing the same song himself, would stumble. I think it has something to do with 'seeing' the audience and being distracted by their reactions. (Thus the suggestion about closing ones eyes when singing...or at least looking at the floor...)

   None of all this matters to YOU if you simply cannot take the mediocre along with the good to excellent. Private, invitation events are one answer.... but if you ARE competent, it helps if you occasionally 'serve as a good example' and explicate TO the newbies and wannabes some of these basic issues. If you DO attend singarounds, I think that some effort should be made [in the name of the group and probably anonymously] to clarify how awkward fumbling and mumbling can affect the enjoyment for others.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 02:50 PM

Bill, many thanks. Most of it's what I'd thought, but some of what you wrote is new to me. Although I'm aware your writing was meant for a wider audience, it was a big help in answering my question.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Don Firth
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 03:04 PM

Perhaps my upbringing was strange, Crazy Little Woman, but I was always taught that if you want the rewards, you have to do the work.

Some good observations and suggestions, there, Bill D.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 05:09 PM

and what are the rewards, don ?....other than being confident of not needing props or reminders.   however, some preparation would be nice even in amateur application.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 06:01 PM

Don, did you know Merritt Herring? I think he came from your area. He was one of the best singers I've had the privilege of knowing. He worried about forgetting songs in the last years of his life, so he kept his lyrics in a looseleaf binder.
I'd kill to get a copy of that binder.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 06:16 PM

When I sing, I want to be--and am--personally
involved in the communication of the song (most
commonly a song that tells a story), and a big
part of that is the personal eye contact with
listeners, with my being visibly involved in
"telling" the song to listeners.

If the audience is too large to make ACTUAL
eye contact, my eyes run through the audience,
which gives the listeners the feeling that I'm
looking at various other listeners, and gives
me much the same feeling about communicating
the song.

As I see it, singing from a paper or book
(or tablet, I suppose) prevents both of those
functions. YMMV.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Deckman
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 06:50 PM

Merritt was a treasure and a joy to behold. If I ever had to assemble a list of my very top ten favorite singers and persons, he would be on that list. bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 07:22 PM

As I see it, singing from a paper or book prevents both of those functions.

You may have that disability but plenty of other people don't. Singing or playing effectively from a sheet is a skill worth learning. Try it sometime.

Was this guy lazy or a beginner? (He's playing his own composition).

Piazzolla: Resurrecion del Angel

Bill D's point about things going better on theme nights fits with what I've observed. I think it simply narrows the available choices to what people with minds like that can cope with; give them a whole folder to choose from and they act with all the decisiveness of an earthworm in the middle of a wet road.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Don Firth
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 09:24 PM

Yeah, Joe, I first met Merritt Herring in 1960 at one of the Berkeley Folk Festivals. Fantastic singer!   He moved up to the Seattle area and manifested himself at the Seattle Song Circle meetings in the late 1970s. He was a regular, every Sunday evening—at least until the dreaded "blue book" started showing up, and then he—and a fair number of others—started making themselves scarce.

Along with "Rise Up Sinking" (a good collection as far as learning words is concerned, even if they have been bowdlerized and rendered "politically correct") as the "official and ordained hymnal," plus watching people stagger into the meetings laden down with a stack of song books and three-ring binders, mull through their libraries while others waited, then regale the assembled company with feeble attempts at Jacques Brel songs, for cripe's sake (!!) was a bloody waste of a perfectly good Sunday evening.

That's when the singers like Merritt Herring, Bob Nelson, John Dwyer, Stan James, John and Sally Ashford, and others decided that there were better things to do with their time.   Wotthehell! Sunday evening. Masterpiece Theatre is on TV, so….   

=======

Fair question, pete.

One aspect is simply loving the song and wanting to keep it. And one way of keeping it is to memorize it, so you can hear it any time you want, even if it's silently in your own mind.

Another is to be able to sing it—and sing it well, not just by rote. One of my voice teachers had me bring my guitar to lessons and sing whatever song I was working on at the time. As I sang it, he would often stop me and say, "Now, what does that line (or phrase, or word) mean?" Now, he knew perfectly well, he just wanted to make sure that I knew what it meant, and was not just singing the song by rote.

The key to really putting a song across to others is to know what it is you are singing about. And it's next to impossible to do that—with feeling—unless you have the song solidly memorized.

And then the reward of enthusiastic and genuine applause, indicating that the audience you are singing for at the time enjoyed your rendition of the song. And if you can do this consistently with all the songs you sing, you might qualify for

Financial rewards. And who knows how far that can go?

Early on, as I was first learning songs, I sang at "hootenannies," parties, generally in private homes, where folk song enthusiasts would get together and sing for each other. We were all working hard at learning songs, so there were no song books or crib sheets in evidence. We brought our particular collection of songs in our memories.

After I'd been doing this for maybe five or six years, and had developed a repertoire of maybe a hundred or so songs (I also studied up on where they came from, which also informed me as to how the song should be sung), I was approached by a jazz musician friend who often attended these "hoots" just to listen. His day job was working for the Seattle Public Library, developing programs for the newly formed educational television channel based at the University of Washington, to make people aware of materials available at the library. He had put on a series of shows about jazz, his particular field, then another series about string quartets, calling on a fledgling group of students at the U. of W.'s music department—and he asked me to do a program of folk songs and ballads with explanations about the backgrounds of the songs. Since I had learned a number of songs from songbooks and records I had checked out at the library, this would not be a problem. I panicked a bit at the thought of doing a series of live television shows, but he assured me that I would do fine.

I did manage to bring it off, and I was told that the library--and the U. of W.--were happy with the programs.

Important point for the purpose of this particular discussion: this was before the days of teleprompters, and the small, mostly student-run station didn't have the personnel to do me up a bunch of cue-cards. I had to rely solely on my memory! There were a number of near coronaries during the series, but my careful memorization of the songs helped me to muddle through.

I muddled through well enough, apparently, because I got a number of offers for singing jobs from people who watched the series—including an offer for a steady job from a man who was just about to open what turned out to be Seattle's nicest coffeehouse, next door to the art and foreign film theater that he owned—hence the name of the coffeehouse, "The Place Next Door."

That involved singing four or five half-hour sets per evening, three evenings a week. It was a steady, on-going job, and it paid, not lavishly, but well and regularly! It paid my rent and kept me fed!!

This, in turn, led to other singing jobs, some at private parties, but mostly at nearby schools and colleges. Each singing job led to others.

I was off and running!! Upthread, at 14 Aug 15 - 06:17 PM, I mention a number other singing jobs I've had, including at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair.

I have a whole bookshelf full of song books and academic ballad study books, and big shelf in the living room of folk music LPs, another shelf of CDs, I keep my repertoire of a few hundred songs and ballads in a couple of three ring binders (alphabetized) along with set lists and concert programs, and other related notes and materials. I also keep the same materials on my computer, safely backed up on flash drives.

The only "visual aid" I use when I'm performing is my planned concert program or set list taped to the side of my guitar, so a quick glance will show me what song is next. These, however, are not chiseled in stone. I can make last minute changes if I deem it necessary.   

This post is getting pretty long, so I'll end it here. If anyone is interested, I can post a rundown on my procedure for memorizing songs.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Deckman
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 10:31 PM

Great posting Don. You might remember that early on, it was YOU who taught me so much, especially with tips about just how to memorize the words to the songs I was trying to memorize. My dim memory tells me that, as you suggested, I actually taped to words to a ballad I was struggnig with, to the bathroom mirror. That way, even though I was supposed to be shaving my young face, my "next song" was always in view! bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Aug 15 - 10:56 PM

Now, be nice, Don. After all, please realize that I am associate editor of Rise Again, sequel to the Rise Up Singing Songbook. However, when I saw this song in the galleys, I remembered that I was the associate editor, not the editor:

    The gypsy
    [trav'ling] rover came over the hill...

I won some battles, but not all of them...

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Aug 15 - 01:25 AM

My big battle with "political correctness" occurred off and on from a song I learned from Walt Robertson, who, in turn, had learned it from Leadbelly.

The opening verse, which becomes the chorus, goes:

Black girl, black girl, don't lie to me,
Tell me, where did you sleep last night?
"In the pines, in the pines,
"And I shivered when the cold winds blow."

A poignant song of a young woman whose husband was killed in a railroad accident.

I got pounced on because of the "black girl" lyrics. Not "politically correct!" I shouldn't sing it!

I sang it for two young women, Lynn, a folk black singer, and Rosetta, a non-singing operator I worked with when I was with the telephone company in the 1980s. Both liked the song and said they were not at all offended to hear it sung by a white folk singer. They both told me to keep right on singing it.

Lynn had her own problems. People (white people) were on her case because she (horror of horrors!!) didn't sing blues and didn't want to. She liked ballads and sang them very well indeed.

Reminds me of Marian Anderson, a rich voiced operatic contralto, who, when they finally let her sing in "white" venues, expected her to sing only spitiuals!

On "Black Girl," I've heard a few white singers wimp out and sing it "Little Girl...." Totally limp! Gutless!!

Sorry for the thread drift…. Now, back to our regular broadcast.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Aug 15 - 01:34 AM

'Scuse me:

"Lynn, a black folk singer..." (Or a young woman who sang folk songs who just happened to be black).

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Ged Fox
Date: 16 Aug 15 - 04:59 AM

Aha - a useful tip from Don for those who use crib-sheets at singarounds - keep them in "ring binders (alphabetized.)" That makes searching time much shorter, and it makes it easy to remove the songs that you have memorised. (I was once asked if my fat folder contained all the songs I know - my answer was "No, it contains a few of the songs I like but don't know.")
And, in these days of cheap computers and cheap printers, have the songs typed in a large enough size to read comfortably at a glance. (I prefer 14pt Verdana.)
If that makes the song too big to fit on 2 A4 sheets, then cut out verses until it does fit.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Aug 15 - 05:16 AM

Perhaps there is a place for singing with a ring binder but I for one am not talented enough to use them

I stand (not sit..) in awe of people who can manage to concentrate on reading words and sing them with feeling at the same time. Snag is, I rarely come across such people.

Call me thick, but I thought those around you were supposed to be listening to you as you offer them the courtesy of listening to them.

Two things here. Not learning a song before performing it in public and sat reading whilst some poor bugger is trying to sing.

Both are bad manners.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Ged Fox
Date: 16 Aug 15 - 06:23 AM

Well, anonymous Guest, we all have different talents. I learnt the skill of singing with a book in front of me when I was a boy in a church choir. As far as folk-singing in England goes, I think it only a slight exaggeration to say that every non-gentry male singer in rural parts, up until the mid twentieth century, learnt his craft in exactly the same way. From the late nineteenth century onwards, school singing lessons (using books) would have been a starting point for working class children everywhere.

Obviously, there are many other non-literate strands in the fabric but, from the time of Wynken de Worde at least, singing from a song sheet has been a major part of communal singing.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Aug 15 - 07:06 AM

As far as folk-singing in England goes, I think it only a slight exaggeration to say that every non-gentry male singer in rural parts, up until the mid twentieth century, learnt his craft in exactly the same way. From the late nineteenth century onwards, school singing lessons (using books) would have been a starting point for working class children everywhere.

There is a book about the social history of hymns in Victorian England which points out that they were THE mass literature of the time. Novelists like Dickens or populist poets like Tennyson came nowhere near the readership of a popular hymn writer. Their reach was far greater than the school system. And hymns always meant hymnbooks. It wasn't just recognized male "singers", it was the entire literate public of both sexes. (You didn't get delays in a service because the numbers were there for you, up on a board).

Anyway, there are already innumerable threads here about using written texts or not when singing. If I'd expected this thread to turn into yet another orgy of selfrighteousness by people who can't sing and read at the same time, I wouldn't have started it.

If you haven't yet learned how to work your use of a cribsheet into a fast-moving, slick act that conceals its considerable stagecraft, watch Les Barker in action.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 16 Aug 15 - 07:08 AM

Give me a break. I am in my seventies and sing and play guitar every week and try to not repeat songs too often.Therefore i have a choice of using a prompt sheet, previously prepared with big print, or singing the same 10 songs I can remember. I would be criticised in each case. I could, of course, spend the week prior to the club learning the words but I have many more important things to do like taking the dog for a walk, talking to my wife or watching soaps on TV. I have a life!

If you do not want to see us amateurs play go and see Martin Carthy tune a guitar or Bob Dylan forget his words. See non of us are perfect.

By the way at the weekly club I attend all the above crimes are committed and all are forgiven with love because we respect each other and our wish to perform, however inadequate.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 16 Aug 15 - 07:15 AM

By the way again, if you are ever in Wimborne, Dorset on a Thursday night come along to the Rising Sun Everyone is welcome as variety is the spice of life.
You can borrow guitar tuners, reading glasses and, on a bad night, even a banjo.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Will Fly
Date: 16 Aug 15 - 07:29 AM

I think the key phrase in your post, Warwick, is "the wish to perform". To me, this implies that the performer is centered on self, rather than on the audience.

Unfortunately,the wish to perform doesn't automatically confer the right to be heard.

As for people in their seventies - well, I'm one of them, and happy to perform for 2-3 hours off the cuff, which I do regularly. I wouldn't in a million years claim to be the greatest performer in the world - or even in my village - but I've worked hard over 50 years or so to try and give people pleasure and earn a few bob now and then. Which has been very enjoyable for me and, I hope, for the audiences I've played to. (I've also had a full life!)

Of course none of us is perfect - we all stumble occasionally - but good preparation minimises this, and the work put in reaps its own reward when you get to be "at one" with the audience.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 16 Aug 15 - 07:48 AM

I take you point Will but we are confusing players, like yourself, who could be disc ribbed as semi- pros and the great unwashed who just like to perform with no ambition to become paid entertainers, or where the audience pays to attend. I also feel, in these days of equal opportunities everyone has the 'right' to be heard.
Incidentally I have done gigs where I manage 90 mins on stage (2-3 hours a bit too long) but that is not at the same club every week
Regards
Warwick


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Will Fly
Date: 16 Aug 15 - 08:00 AM

And regards to you as well, Warwick! Yes, I suppose I could be called "semi-pro" - used to be fully pro at one time - but I've never considered an unpaid performance any less demanding or less worthy of preparation than a paid one. It's still people sat in front of you, after all.

Incidentally, if you've done 90 minutes on stage - paper or not- then I say, "Well done!"

I suppose that, over the years, I've sat as an audience member in many folk clubs on several occasions. Latterly - by which I mean the last 10 years or so - I have been so bored by whole evenings of lamentable, paper-shuffling, note-peering performers, that I've lost the will to live. I vowed I just wouldn't go back to those places. So, if I sound a little jaded about all this, there are reasons for it!

I run a monthly music session/singaround down here in Sussex, and we regularly have attendees who sing from sheets. It's a singaround, really - certainly not a club - and I have absolutely no problem with it at all, though I do encourage people to have a crack at doing it all without benefit of paper.

At the other monthly session - also in Sussex - that I help to run, we don't use paper on the whole. And it's a cracking session - fiddles, guitars, mandolins, nyckelharpa, whistles, serpent - why, I even encourage a chorus of shaky eggs when singing one of my 1920s bits of trivia!


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Airymouse
Date: 16 Aug 15 - 10:34 AM

The songs I have learned first hand are like companions who are always with me. But I like to sings two versions of a song in tandem, one of which is my companion and the other of which is something I learned from a CD or the internet etc. I am 76 and I find sometimes that I have to stop to remember the opening line of the other song. It's like priming a pump: once I get the 1st line the rest flows naturally.
Those of you with a tradition of singarounds don't realize how lucky you are. Here (roughly Floyd VA) there are mostly two types of singers, performers and contestants. I have listened to Mary Lomax sing songs from her Ballad Book, sometimes stopping to look at a verse or two. And no, at 88, her voice is not so good as Joan Baez's. But it was a great privilege to have heard her.
If you require polished performances, you will eventually get the top acts; what you will lose are the songs that have hung on for centuries and then disappeared.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Pete from seven stars link
Date: 16 Aug 15 - 12:19 PM

Well Warwick, were I in Wimborne on a Thursday night, I reckon I be glad to come along and participate in your open , easy ,and respectful sing around.                               You done well , don , but for meself, at my time of life and other commitments, I am happy singing and playing my own songs on local level without getting paid....and with a safety net in front, just in case !.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Pete from seven stars link
Date: 16 Aug 15 - 01:26 PM

I just clicked to send an email for error non post , but I see it has posted .......?


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Aug 15 - 02:38 PM

aplace with a similarly liberal attitude)
BIG BIG NEWS!!!!!
We're starting a new open mic every Sunday from next Sunday August 23rd
8pm-11pm
At the restaurant at
http://walledgardenmoreton.co.uk/
(DT2 8RG)
host: Big Al Whittle
All those of a musical/performing bent welcome
Usual suspects particularly welcome!


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 16 Aug 15 - 02:55 PM

Bad timing Al. I had a meal there last month when Mrs Musket and I had a walking holiday with the alleged greyhound in Dorset last month.

We stayed at Whatsit St Andrews and coincidentally visited Mrs Musket's Aunty in Wimborne.

You and I both played the 'cow in Mansfield years ago. Bibliography was something practiced elsewhere back in those days.

By the way, whoever mentioned Les Barker. Yeah, poets can use notes. So can musicians but either way, poets aren't trying to concentrate on tune and often accompaniment whilst reading.

Before Les started resorting to scripts, presumably after he stopped having a dog to prompt him, he once, without cribsheet, chased the first Mrs Musket round the stage and rest of a marquee with a cucumber.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 16 Aug 15 - 08:33 PM

Cracking up at what Warwick Slade said! YESS! Love it!
Singing in an informal singaround is singing a song, not "a performance" to my mind anyway. As I said higher up the thread, too many people talking about and confusing entirely different scenarios here. If I get invited to do a floor spot at our local folk club, yes, I will try to get up there on stage, with a mike, and lights burning my eyeballs out and sing a song i know from memory. Then I'm performing.
But next week, with the same people, down at the pub session, if I want to sing something I know pretty well, but haven't yet fully memorised completely, I might put the words in front of me and glance at them when needed: that's participating, not performing.
And for other sessions now, I don't take big folders: just pick 2 or 3 song-sheets which I might never use, because, as others have said, you might change your mind about what's the best song to sing next, according to what's gone before.
I' also getting on a bit and recognise that there are still things in the memory bank that I learned at school or in my late teens, but trying to learn new songs now, becomes increasingly difficult. I have a far better memory for tunes than I do for words: that's just a facet of how my brain works, and you who can learn song lyrics after reading them through twice are surely blessed: but DON'T try to tell everyone they can do the same, because we are NOT all made the same way.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Aug 15 - 04:14 AM

on the flip side, there are singers who can't wait to get up there...that sort of Julie Andrews vibe. just can't wait to brighten our lives...!


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 17 Aug 15 - 07:14 AM

There are some who can use crib sheets and give a great performance with the audience hardly noticing use of sheets if they are noticed at all. There are others who stick their nose into the paper and don't look or interact with the audience at all. Likewise I know some who use no crib sheets and give great consistent performances whilst there are others who don't use crib sheets and can hardly finish any song without fumbling to a halt half way through because they've forgotten the words. Surely the issue is not crib sheet or no crib sheet as much as being prepared enough to give the best performance you can? For many people being prepared will mean having a crib sheet to hand. If they give as good a rendition of the song as they can though where is the harm?

I agree the regular fumbling about because you haven't considered what you might sing that night, the not even knowing what key it should be in, and the making a noise during other people's songs are annoying.

There are occassions though where someone may, because of the way things have gone, choose to sing something they weren't expecting to be singing that night. That is often the way people share maybe less known songs.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Aug 15 - 09:10 AM

It isn't the crib sheet per se. It's using it as an alternative to learning the song at all at any level and, the real crime, flicking through your notes rather than listening to others.

Many people just cannot commit a song to memory, but a working knowledge of the song sounds far better than sight reading, and surely if it is for entertaining others, you owe your audience at least that much?

I usually have a piece of paper with first lines of set and key sigs blue tacked to my guitar.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Ged Fox
Date: 17 Aug 15 - 09:12 AM

"not even knowing what key it should be in," - As an unaccompanied singer, I very rarely consider what key I might be singing in; I suspect I generally sing in the key of the previous song. Occasionally, and relevant to this thread, where the song extends over a greater range than usual, I might take a moment or two to sing the extreme part to myself to make sure that it is pitched right for me.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 17 Aug 15 - 10:12 AM

Yeagh Ged sorry I wasn't clear enough there. I am not talking about unaccompanied. I'm talking guitarist/singers here. There is a regular at our club who plays guitar and sings with one of those Ipads for words/chords etc. He regularly stops at the first chorus mumbling "oh wrong key.....let's try again" and he restarts shifting the capo up and down the neck. I've seen others do similar. Yet all that is needed is to remember what key you sing it in; write it at the top if using a crib sheet; or save it in said key on your Ipod thing. It must be embarrassing as much as anything else. I sometimes sing unaccompanied myself so know what you mean.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 17 Aug 15 - 10:48 AM

I couldn't agree more. When I started in Avoustic/folk/open mic clubs I used Foldrs or word sheets. I ALWAYS made sure I had the right Words ready and my guitar tuned ready to go. And soon as I could I lernt to memorize the words
But it amazes me how many people neithr have the right words ready, and even worse (and many pros do this)do not have the guitar/instrument tuned up. Ok some folkies change the tuning between songs but surely they could be in tune for the first song, and not spend quite so long retuning in between songs, it's very boring and very annoying. BE PREPARED performers please and if you MUST talk between the songs make it bloody interesing ok


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 17 Aug 15 - 10:55 AM

Best of luck with your new session at the Walled Garden, Moreton, Al.

Have you started a thread about it?


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 17 Aug 15 - 09:35 PM

Answering the question, "What to do?'--This is not a difficult problem to solve!

I organize and lead a monthly hymn sing(in a religious meeting that has a principled objection to the idea of any sort of leading). with a pianist who is an excellent sight reader, and we've instituted a "60 second rule" which simple is that no more than 60 seconds are allowed to elapse from the end of one hymn to the beginning of another. People in the group call out hymns(and, hopefully, their page number) and sing them.

Of course, this is not all there is to it, there are a couple secret tricks to keep it going--first, though people from the group call our tunes, and all seems spontaneous, I am "the decider" and subtly let George know which of the tunes called we'll actually do next, second, I keep a written out list of the favorite songs of the group, and when their is indirection, I've got something immediately ready so that there is no lag.

Also, when we do a difficult song, meaning one that doesn't work for one reason or another, I move immediately into a favorite. This is important because we have a few folks who call out songs they don't really know, and that are unfamiliar to the group--

I do try to get to everything that is called out, so people don't feel like they've been overlooked, and when new people join us, I make a point of finding something that is special to them, and when possible, I, or one of the regulars will pair with them on the song--

The thing is, I think don't think that the group should just let someone who isn't prepared take control of things, which is really what is happening above--I have three priorities: to keep it moving, to keep it interesting, and to make everyone feel like they are part of things. I try not to let anyone get in the way of that, including myself---


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Aug 15 - 02:07 AM

leenia - i'm not sure anybody will find their way there. its a lovely place -its where Lawrence of Arabia is buried - but its somewhat off the beaten track.

Stim - i love the idea of a 60 second interval. a red hot poker up the roozle for anyone holding things up.

Ringbinder Blues
Got those Ringbinder blues down by Weymouth Bay
Folksingers there can't sing no other way
Memory is so bad
They cling onto notepads
Singing folksongs down by Weymouth Bay
Meanwhile down in Bridport
Singing at The Woodman Inn
Thought I'd sing Tom Paxton – but I don't like to begin
Lesson too late for the learning to you My Rambling Boy
If I could remember the next bit
I'd be overcome with joy!
(apologies to jesse Fuller)


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 18 Aug 15 - 03:14 AM

Al. Ask the staff if they remember the greyhound who called with his slaves a few times last month and demolished a tub of diabetic ice cream each time... By the third time we called after a walk, a waitress said "good afternoon Rio" to him.

Bloody dog would be a bar fly if we let him...


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Aug 15 - 08:00 AM

I used the angst expressed here to model how to prevent this issue, at a new quarterly song/story circle we instituted Sunday evening. Thanks!


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,JHW
Date: 19 Aug 15 - 06:56 AM

The first Festival I went to was at Cleethorpes. Everything was on the Pier and the Singing was continuous in the Bar.
No MC. You had to have your song ready to start words and right key and be straight in quicker than a dog's unmentionable the moment the last song finished OR YOU DIDN'T GET TO SING!


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,mauvepink
Date: 19 Aug 15 - 12:45 PM

My name is mauvepink (on Mudcat, at least) and I am a less than perfect singer with a less than perfect guitar style and less a than perfect memory. I'm a sinner...

I have just read through the thread and have found the occasional welcoming and reassuring comments from those folk who seem to embrace a more open approach to singers who are less than perfect. It would not surprise me at all to find that those free thinkers also remember that they too were once not as good as they may now be and how it was when they started out.

I have frequented a great many folk club these past 8 years and the ones I ended up gravitated toward were/are the ones with an open minded membership who welcome all songs as folk songs and those members who are not quite as good at is as some others are still being welcome. Where crib sheets are not frowned up (the good sign of which is a music stand available at the front) and where you will not get threatened if you dare sing a country song!

These days I go to more open mics than I do folk clubs. Why? Well, I get to sing more songs for one thing but another reason is that, generally, the ones I go to have good folk running them and care about helping each performer sound the best they can. These open mics are full of 'kids', often, who have embraced what seems to be an acoustic revival and want to go out there and jam with their friends. It is a fertile breeding ground for some fantastic nights and a whole mish mash of genre without judgement.

The folk clubs I still attend would welcome them with open arms and see it as meeting half way to see that our musical future and heriatge is in good hands.

One club I go to has a session at the end of night designed especially for newcomers where they are encouraged and given help to be involved with more experienced members. I attend an open mic where the 'owner' also helps out those who may struggle a bit.

I understand the need for perfection, especially from people you are paying to perform, but I would expect a modicum of acceptancce and understanding for those lesser mortals, like me, who mess up every now and then and need to read the words.

I can onlt aspire to be as good as some of the people I have met and meet at such functions. Their open mindedness makes me feel welcome and allows me a chance to become better because they cut me some slack. It's not too bad a philosophy really and their functions are always well attended.

I know where I am welcome. I, like so many, stay away from the places where you run the risk of abuse from those who think themselves perfect. The sad thing is you have to attend a place before you know what kind of place it is and that can then be too late because some can be extremely rude and unkind.

No finger pointing within the thread. Nothing personal is meant. This is merely my experience and opinion. I just think sometimes we forget what it was like when we struggled...


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Megan L
Date: 19 Aug 15 - 01:31 PM

Well said mauvepink


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 19 Aug 15 - 04:56 PM

and ditto from me too. I try to give respect to all, whatever their standard, and hope for the same.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Aug 15 - 05:02 PM

"I understand the need for perfection, especially from people you are paying to perform, but I would expect a modicum of acceptancce and understanding for those lesser mortals, like me, who mess up every now and then and need to read the words"
I am afraid you do not understand,performance is not about perfection, it is about learning how to cope calmly with your mistakes. Everyone can occasionally forget the words including Elvis Presley, THAT IS PART AND PARCEL OF PERFORMING.
How you deal with it, is part of performance, if you mess up now and again, you do not need to read the words, what you do is ad lib, or go to the next verse or sing a chorus.
what you suggest, is akin to riding a bicycle and when you fall off you go back to riding with stabilisers, well that way you never learn to ride a bike without stabilisers, you carry on like that you will never get the confidence to sing without words.
it is possible to sing well with words,but few people do, if people practised their songs with words they might be better at performing, they MIGHT look at the audience, TRAINED ACTORS can perform well with a word sheet, why, because they feckin well practice, they make contact with the audience, but far too often it is an excuse for amatuerism, unpreparedness, and fumbling paper shuffling, and poor performance.
liberate yourself throw away words, if you make a mistake learn to deal with it,carry on , or make a joke or sing the chorus or the next verse.
if this is any consolation here is Elvis, this might give you confidence not to worry about mistakeshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSeTA3549So


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Aug 15 - 09:38 PM

Good comparison, Good Soldier Schweik!

It isn't a matter of not being "open-minded," mauvepink, it's a matter of concern for those who never even attempt to ride their bicycle without the training-wheels and taking the chance of a possible tumble and a skinned knee or two. You are voluntarily limiting yourself to the point where you will never achieve what you could achieve.

To mix metaphors a bit, if you insist on using the crutch all the time, you'll never learn to walk without it.

When I first started singing (back in prehistoric times, it seems—in the early 1950s), not all that many of us had professional aspirations, but when we brought a guitar or banjo—or just ourselves—to a "hoot," none of us brought songbooks or notebooks or crib sheets with us. Unless it happened to be a list of the titles of songs we had learned, and that was generally taped to the side of our instrument. Our repertoire may have been small, but it was carried in our heads.

Everyone had his or her own way of going about it, but the way I learned a song was to listen to the record repeatedly while copying down the words in longhand. By the time I had the words written down, I had heard the song several times, and the tune was pretty solidly in my ear, as were some of the words. Then, over the next couple of days, I would carry the words around with me (usually folded up in a shirt pocket) and try to sing the song through, taking the words out and checking only when I got stuck.

Or if I was learning it out of a song book, I would copy the words in longhand, which helped me memorize them, and although I'm not the greatest sight-reader in the world, I play the tune on the guitar until I had it in my head—then put the two together.   

At night, before going to bed, I would quietly sing the song in my head or quietly to myself, checking the words only when necessary, and often fall asleep that way. That put the old subconscious to work.

Generally, within a couple of days, I had the song memorized. Generally, after a day or two, I would work out a guitar accompaniment and attempt to put the song and the accompaniment together. And I would run the song through my head both with and without accompaniment

Usually, within a week, I had it. And would cinch it down at the following hoot or session. And if I did happen to blow it, strangely enough, the world didn't come to an end.      

AND

Among other things, if you are singing from memory and you do blow it, you can often cover it. Once, on live television (no teleprompter or cue-cards), I did forget the words. It was a version of The Gypsy Davey. About three verses into the song, I blanked out. I suppressed a coronary while I launched into playing the melody on the guitar. I was using a sort of Carter Family strum, and I picked out the melody with my thumb a la Maybelle Carter, and prayed to Orpheus to let me remember the words. By the time I reached the end of the verse played on the guitar, the words had come back to me.   

Afterward, I asked people who had watch the show. Nobody had noticed! They just assumed that I normally put an instrumental interlude there

I once saw Andres Segovia goof in a concert. He got all bollixed up on a Bach transcription. Without missing a beat, he started the passage over again. I spotted it because I knew the piece, but he covered his goof so smoothly that I doubt that more than three or four people in an audience of a couple of thousand even noticed!   

You don't learn how to do this sort of thing unless it happens to you.

And you're not going to learn this sort of thing with your nose in a book!

C'mon! Take the training wheels off your bicycle and give it a shot! You might surprise yourself!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Stanron
Date: 19 Aug 15 - 10:08 PM

Got to agree with Don on this. The only difference between an amateur and a professional is that when a professional makes a mistake 80 to 90 percent of the audience don't notice. When an amateur makes a mistake 70 to 80 per cent of the audience don't notice. When some one stops and says "Oops, I blew it" at least 50 per cent of the audience will notice.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Aug 15 - 10:09 PM

I have a repertoire of about three-hundred songs. I once asked Richard Dyer-Bennet how many songs he knew and he said about seven-hundred!

Takes a while....

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Deckman
Date: 19 Aug 15 - 11:00 PM

I do believe that Don's repertoire is much greater than seven hundred, bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,mauvepink
Date: 20 Aug 15 - 04:11 AM

My songbook is around 700 these days. 25% I know without any back up. 25% I have my safety wheels in place. 50% I will often read when I play them occasionally. I am not afraid to try new stuff and I certainly agree writing them out helps the memory retain better... but not always. As I have got older I like having some safety built in. Falls at my agd can be life changing!

I am not saying never try to learn. I am merely advocating accepting that many folk will never be as good as you but there will always be someone better. I practise every day. I do not rest on my laurals but some days I am lazy. I am not quite as inept as I may have come across but I work hard to improve and that is the most I can do, with or without stabilisers! (Great anology by the way)

mp


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 20 Aug 15 - 05:32 AM

I remember meeting the late great Irish singer Frank Harte many years ago, when he was trying to migrate an index of all his songs and some basic data from one computer system to another (I think the source file was on a BBC micro, which will tell you how long ago it was!). He was moving them in batches, for some reason - and was "somewhere in the 3,000's" as we spoke...

Regards


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Deckman
Date: 20 Aug 15 - 06:14 AM

To have a working repertoire of several thousand songs is not uncommon. The late David Spence, of California in the early 1960's, certainly attained this. Also the late John Dwyer could rattle off songs at a mention that would give pause to any collector. Don Firth is certainly in that same crowd. But by far, the most astounding of all is Paddy Grabber, of N.W. Canada.

Many years ago, the late Walt Robertson and I used to entertain ourselves, ususally when we were driving to new fishing fishing hole, by creating entire (and very silly)conversations using nothing more than phrases from one song or ballad after another.

It's great way to keep your mind and memory alert, and it doesn't hurt anyone. Besides ... it's free! CHEERS, bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Aug 15 - 07:07 AM

i think its to do with nakedness. why would you want to sing a song in public that you didn't know. in a way it makes no sense.

but people have a need to expose themselves as something more than a societal unit. they need to stand tall ....its harmless. its healthy even..self expression....   a sort of emotional naturism.

it does lead to some strange sights though. one place i used to go occasionally. a bloke used to get up to the mic. hold up a piece of paper and read (not sing) the words of CrystalChandelier - like a shopping list.

i often wonder what he got out of it - what he expected us to get out of it. still, it must have fed a need inside him, and it did no real harm.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 20 Aug 15 - 08:41 AM

My comments weren't about being perfect. In fact I am far from that myself especially in regard to guitar playing. I do think though that if you are playing to people - who may not be paying but are there to enjoy themselves all the same - then some amount of basic preparation should be done. That is have some idea of what you are going to do (I concede someone may then change their mind) rather than always spend the first few minutes of your turn flapping about deciding what you should do - and if you are playing guitar accompaniment yourself then write down what key you play it in so you don't have to regularly stop after the first verse and start over placing the capo somewhere else. Things like that are just little bits of basic preparation that have little relevance to actual musical/ performance ability.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Aug 15 - 01:17 PM

"Things like that are just little bits of basic preparation that have little relevance to actual musical/ performance ability."
i think you are incorrect, basic preparation has much to do with performance, that is what Alexander technique is partly about.
professor Alexander was a professional performer, amongst other things.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 20 Aug 15 - 02:06 PM

Maybe I didn't phrase it so well. I was meaning that anybody can be prepared even if they aren't a really proficient musician or wonderful singer etc. And like you suggest whatever standard you are basic preparation helps you give as good a performance as you can give!


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Aug 15 - 09:30 PM

Above, at 14 Aug 15 - 07:45 PM, I described how a group of young singers, many of them teen-agers, learned and sang--on stage--full length operas. Operas which were sometimes three or more hours long.

One thing I didn't mention was that these were in the original languages. Faust was in French and the others mentioned, Rigoletto, I Pagliacci, and Cavalleria Rusticana were in Italian.

Quite a feat.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 21 Aug 15 - 12:23 PM

Not only is the looking for their songs in notebooks annoying, but also, some musicians, when introducing an original song, go into long-winded, unnecessary, BORING, explanations of every detail of how, why, and every emotional aspect of writing their piece. Of course, those songs may have personal significance to the singer/songwriter, but the audience, by and large, don't care about all that. Just play the piece, and let the music speak for itself. Save the 'interviews' for interested listeners. Word may/should spread, by itself, IF people like the song!
And a word to the wise: DO NOT place TWO slow blues pieces back to back. You will lose your audiences attention....whether you think so or not!...(Top Professional musicians know this, as well).

Good luck with good licks, and keep playin'!!

GfS


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Aug 15 - 02:46 PM

some times the longwinded introduction is the best bit, and it goes downhill when the music starts.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Don Firth
Date: 21 Aug 15 - 03:44 PM

I do, from time to time, introduce a song with "program notes," if I feel that it enhances the audience's enjoyment of the song. But never more than the brief comments you might find on the back of a record jacket.

It's a major boo-boo to fall into the category where it can be said of you that, "I knew he was a folk singer because he spent fifteen minutes introducing a three minute song."

I've heard people do that sort of thing. Bad!

Don Firth

P. S. I heard once heard one guy rattle on for about ten or fifteen minutes and then forget what song he was introducing!!   Not cute! But it was pretty funny. Not the way the singer would have intended it, though….


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 21 Aug 15 - 03:53 PM

Gosh Don, when you expound on music, you shine....

GfS


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Don Firth
Date: 21 Aug 15 - 04:53 PM

Actually, GfS, I scintillate in most fields. I'm a bit weak in quantum physics, however....

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Aug 15 - 07:43 PM

I remember the Rev Ken Loveless giving a long introduction to the twelve days of christmas and pontificating on the correct pronounciation of partridge.
and then starting with








On the 12th day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
A Partridge in a Pear Tree


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Don Firth
Date: 21 Aug 15 - 08:25 PM

Wow! Time really flies!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: SunrayFC
Date: 21 Aug 15 - 10:04 PM

On Tuesday, I said very little.....I just sang my three songs....


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 21 Aug 15 - 11:24 PM

So, did you get any feedback, one way or the other?
Talk to me.

GfS


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 22 Aug 15 - 02:03 AM

Interesting.

Some of us, myself very much included, are pointing out that trying to entertain people whilst ignorant people have their heads stuck in books rather than listen to you isn't exactly nice.

Some on here think that is attacking those who need crib sheets.

No. It's attacking those of any ability who think the audience is more interested in their next offering than what is being sung at the time. That ignorance is inversely proportional to ability is mere coincidence...


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Aug 15 - 02:18 AM

I sing a cappella. If it's quiet, I can almost always start a song on the right note and stay in key. Conversation sets me off a bit, and guitar tuning and strumming and particularly autoharps make the tune and key disappear from my head completely. So, I sometimes talk about a song until the people quiet down and my head is clear and the melody comes back to mind.
Seems much nicer than saying, "Shut the fuck up!" and then sitting in silence until the melody comes back into my head....
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 22 Aug 15 - 03:19 AM

Nobody ever heard of multi-tasking? I can do at least two things at once - hell, I'm watching a movie as I type this - so looking through my little book of set-lists to avoid repeating songs I did at a club the previous time I was there, and noting down my next song whilst listening to the person currently performing, is no big deal.

I'm personally far less offended by the guy leafing through his ring-binder while I'm performing than I am by the one who gets up to go to the bar, or take a piss, every time my turn comes around to perform! 😎


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 22 Aug 15 - 07:12 AM

Well hide my bleeding pint from me then!

😋


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: SunrayFC
Date: 22 Aug 15 - 12:06 PM

When I sang on Thursday they responded in good fashion. Sang heartily. A wonderful experience.

No ringbinder.

Guys....throw them away and learn to perform...


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Aug 15 - 02:24 PM

Thursday was a weird night...some very odd characters...not you Bob, well no more than usual.

who would have thought there were so many strange poets in Yeovil? What is it about about Yeovil that inspires them? Why have they all got beards/ Do they know each other?


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: SunrayFC
Date: 22 Aug 15 - 07:10 PM

Were we in the same place as I didn't see any "poets"....loads of beards.
It is a weird place.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Ripov
Date: 23 Aug 15 - 07:02 PM

Dunno about partridges, but I remember a talk about the importance of correct "pronounciation". I never worked out if it was deliberate or not, but it certainly got the message over"=!


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 24 Aug 15 - 01:13 AM

"Guys....throw them away and learn to perform..."

Forget that.

When my nieces and nephew were little, I used to get out my guitar and sing children's song for and with them. How they loved it!

Was I performing? No, I was simply being family to them. They didn't care if I sang well or if I hit a wrong chord. I was showing that I cared about them.

In the same way, a person singing at the folk club doesn't have to be a performer. Such a singer can just be a pal, sharing a piece of worthwhile music in an environment which ought to be comfortable, in order to bring out the best in people.

Performances are for stage, screen and television.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 24 Aug 15 - 08:09 AM

"In the same way, a person singing at the folk club doesn't have to be a performer ... Performances are for stage, screen and television."

I couldn't disagree more. This attitude is at the root of the problem that this thread is discussing.

I'm not talking about performing in a stage sense, and I agree that style of performance is often not appropriate for folk music. By "performance" I just mean the ability to deliver a song so that people will want to listen to it. If you are going to sing a song to an audience, then that's a performance.

Folk music puts the song itself above the singer. It is not necessary to have a beautiful voice or to be a brilliant accompanist, and these can sometimes get in the way of the song. All that is necessary is to deliver the song effectively, so the audience can enjoy it.

Before you set even out to the folk club, choose a few songs and practice them. Find which pitch suits your voice, think about what the song is about and what you want to get across to the audience, think about phrasing and breathing. For preference, memorise the words (not least because doing so will help you with the other aspects) but if you really cannot then learn to sing from a book effectively, rather than just reading the text.

None of this is difficult, and it is quite separate from matters of vocal technique which is of far less importance in this context. It is simply about preparation. If someone cannot be bothered to learn how to put a song across, why should they expect people to be bothered to listen?


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Megan L
Date: 24 Aug 15 - 09:00 AM

Never mind old folks when you die so will folk clubs so there won't be a problem with people not being word perfect. Should we now discus why there are so few young people in folk clubs


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Stanron
Date: 24 Aug 15 - 09:59 AM

Are you suggesting that young folk don't go because old folk take too long to get started?


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 24 Aug 15 - 11:33 AM

Performances are also for those who got off their arses and went out to be entertained.

Musical ability in a sing around isn't necessary and a love of what you are doing will come over loud and proud. But if people are giving you the courtesy of listening, do them the courtesy of doing you best.

Or out another way, wot Howard Jones said.

By the way, one way of improving, should you wish to do so is to listen and in the case of instrumentalists, watch others instead of having your head buried in the book, deciding if two weeks since you sang Wild Mountain Thyme is long enough a gap.

Backwoodsman said that those who go for a piss when he is singing are the ones that irritate him most. I know he will be reading this but all the same, those who get up when John sings and plays aren't interested in music. I personally sit cross legged if necessary because here is someone who does learn, who does think about how his accompaniment should sound and practices songs before singing them. Yes, he too occasionally has an iPad in front of him, but as an aide memoire, (he is, of course, much much older than me) not as something he is reading for the first time. That he is an accomplished musician is, when you think about it, irrelevant, but nice to hear as a bonus.

Another person who he and I occasionally hear is very much a beginner at the ripe old age of 60ish but each week you hear improvement, you can tell he is practicing and wanting to entertain. it isn't something you'd pay to hear, it isn't something you'd call entertainment (yet) but it is wonderful to hear the improvement week on week. His latest achievement was to throw the crutch away and fly commando. (Book shut.)


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Aug 15 - 02:22 PM

Are you suggesting that young folk don't go because old folk take too long to get started?

To some extent, yes. Some old people's behaviour is irritating to other people the same age and completely intolerable to anyone younger. If I want the experience of standing in a queue while the customer being served can't be bothered getting their money out in advance because they positively enjoy spending all day there, I can go to the supermarket for it.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Aug 15 - 03:56 PM

JACK have you tired transcendental meditation, it helps you to stop getting irritated, next time you are in a supermarket and someone in front of you is enjoying the experience of taking their time, follow suit, sit down in the queue in the lotus position, and keep the next person waiting


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Aug 15 - 04:23 PM

I agree with Howard, Musket (apart from the bit about me, which modesty prevents me from commenting on, but I'm very gratified, and would like to say that Musket ain't half bad either! 👍😎), and Jack. I have no experience of transcendental meditation, unless staring into a pint of Monkey Wrench qualifies, so I'm unable to say whether I agree or disagree with GSS, but it sounds like something worth considering!


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 24 Aug 15 - 05:25 PM

if you recognize them from before, try to get in line before them and then do it.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Don Firth
Date: 24 Aug 15 - 07:55 PM

I'm afraid that a few people here have managed to hitch the donkey to the cart wrong end forward.

It's not the younger people leaving folk clubs, song circles, and such because geezers like me spend too long drooling on their song books and crib sheets, it's the singers (like me, and Bob Nelson, and several others who've spoken up on this thread—including a number of younger singers!!) who have taken the time to learn the songs they intend to sing before going to the meetings. And who, then, have to wait around while singers new to the club or circle waste everybody's time leafing through song books and three-ring binders, trying to decide what they're going to sing, then dither and mumble their way through a song that, not only have they not bothered to learn and obviously don't know what it's even about, but they can't even be bothered to choose ahead of time. So we leave and form groups of our own. It's the singers who like the songs well enough to learn them that get fed up with the people who can't be bothered.

I have to agree wholeheartedly with both Howard Jones and Musket.

Sorry! But them's my sediments.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Deckman
Date: 24 Aug 15 - 08:33 PM

GEEZE LOUISE, DON ... why don't you stop beating around the bush and just simply say what you mean ... in plain Inglish! bad bad bob


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 25 Aug 15 - 02:18 AM

Don apologising for agreeing with me.

I'll take that.

😎


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Aug 15 - 06:12 AM

i was just listening to Josh white's 25 minute discursive version of John Henry - Josh ambles playfully through half a dozen songs and playing styles, demonstrating total mastery of his material.

i just feel it should be more like that than amateur hour. and we should all aim for that. we don't achieve that - but its what we should aim for.

in England of course we have this problem - there is this huge difference between what traditional singers sound like, and what the public expect from professional entertainers. i guess its the same in America.

however the distance is so marked that 'serious' folksingers like Carthy try to emulate a traditional version of a song like Geordie, and its different from the sprightly version like Joan Baez, who presumably would regard herself as folk song populariser like Josh.

what i'm saying is that the professional examples in England are sometimes halting and ragged sounding. and i think people confuse the studied raggedness of Carthy and the late Peter Bellamy for being rough and ready.

personally, give me slick and professional every time. but thats probably cos i'm old and i grew up with the popularisers like Seeger PPM, Sonny and Brownie - largely American - i suppose. mind you we had our popularisers - the Spinners, The Corries, and much despised they were!

the English folkscene is a bit schizophrenic!


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 25 Aug 15 - 07:43 AM

It's half getting the composure together, and half waiting for the buggers at the back to shut up.

As for the book, it's a resource, it's a prompter, it's a comfort/crutch to hold onto... Several blows to the head nearly 30 years ago means I don't remember things like I used to, and good old tempus fugiting doesn't help. I've seen the likes of Roy Bailey and Martin Carthy freeze in the middle of songs and lose them, or consult books, so I'm pretty sure, it's not going to stop the world if I do it.

The faffing about with pages, usually means someone just sang that particular song before I got my turn and I have to find another, or else the one I had chosen to sing is not the most appropriate, doesn't fit the mood of the room or is just plain wrong for the state of throat.

LTS


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 25 Aug 15 - 09:10 AM

"The faffing about with pages, usually means someone just sang that particular song before I got my turn and I have to find another, or else the one I had chosen to sing is not the most appropriate, doesn't fit the mood of the room or is just plain wrong for the state of throat."

But that's what I mean by preparation. If you expect to sing say 3 songs during an evening, don't practice only these but prepare a few more. Then if you have to change your planned repertoire for any reason you're ready with an alternative. No faffing necessary.

If someone have genuine memory problems and has to use a book, then they should learn to use it so it is merely a prompt and not (as so often happens) a barrier between singer and audience. However I doubt that most book users have medical reasons.

No one is infallible, and everyone makes mistakes from time to time and forgets words. It happens to experienced singers, including professionals, far more often than you realise, because they have learned how to cover it up. Most of the time you wouldn't know. This is another performing skill which cannot be acquired if you rely on a book.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Aug 15 - 09:24 AM

I agree wth Howard, but to quote Mandy Rice Davies, I would wouldnt I.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 25 Aug 15 - 09:47 AM

Again, it's not so much the occasional glance a a book that I find irritating (providing there's no pregnant pause while the glancer hunts for the correct line!). No, it's those f***ing enormous black music stands (the huge ones built to WW3 standards, with the holes in them) that seem to have sprouted up in every performing-space nowadays. These seem to be a device for nervous people to hide behind, even those who sing unaccomperated.

Before I burn the books, I'd take a burning torch to those f***ing monstrous stands.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Megan L
Date: 25 Aug 15 - 10:00 AM

Young folkies moan about old folkies. Old folkies moan about everything.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 25 Aug 15 - 11:16 AM

Moaning is a right earned by those who have lived long, done much and seen even more. A bit like the pension. 👍😎


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 25 Aug 15 - 12:14 PM

Aye and some moaning is gold plated, copper bottomed and index linked 😎


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Aug 15 - 09:30 PM

"Young folkies moan about old folkies. Old folkies moan about everything."

Given a sufficient number of orbits around the sun, young folkies become old folkies, and comments about old folkies may come back to bite one on the behind....

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Deckman
Date: 25 Aug 15 - 11:43 PM

To quote one of my most favorite song writers ... TOM PAXTON ...

"This world goes round and round,
What goes up must come down,
   Green leaves will turn to brown,
    It all comes back to you,

You find what ever you feel,
You loose whatever you steal,
   Just like spinning wheel,
    It all comes back to you,"

    This world goes round and round ... "

bob(deckman)nelsom


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Aug 15 - 08:16 AM

sometimes it comes forwards to you....

other times it sort of mooches sideways...

them old folksongs are only in your head


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 26 Aug 15 - 10:47 AM

"Old folkies moan about everything?"

Not necessarily, Megan. I can name you at least four cheerful and pleasant old folkies.

I bet that if you did research, you would find that the people who complain about everything * started out life as fussy babies.

They went on to become whiny kids, sulky adolescents, dour middle-aged people and now, crabby oldsters.
=============
* everything: for example, complaining about the design of somebody's music stand, for pete's sake. Here's a person who has completely forgotten to be interested in the music to come.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 26 Aug 15 - 01:19 PM

Love you too, Leeneia... 😘


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Aug 15 - 02:28 PM

'everything: for example, complaining about the design of somebody's music stand, for pete's sake. Here's a person who has completely forgotten to be interested in the music to come.'

Not sure that trumps people complaining coffee served hot is a dangerous food that should have ice added. He who is without sin...


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 26 Aug 15 - 03:23 PM

"Not sure that trumps people complaining coffee served hot is a dangerous food that should have ice added."

They cannot be serious, man! :-)


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Musket
Date: 27 Aug 15 - 03:33 AM

I moan about music.

I left my local folk club at a record 2.00am this morning and I have missed an early meeting I should be at. Frankly, I daren't drive..

Talking of coffee....


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Musket
Date: 27 Aug 15 - 03:33 AM

I moan about music.

I left my local folk club at a record 2.00am this morning and I have missed an early meeting I should be at. Frankly, I daren't drive..

Talking of coffee....


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Johnny J
Date: 27 Aug 15 - 08:35 AM

This thread is getting almost as long as some of the songs....


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Musket
Date: 27 Aug 15 - 09:34 AM

I appear to have developed an echo.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 03 Sep 15 - 05:07 AM

......or the intros and the faffing......and the echoes.....

Tuesday night session, I did a song I hadn't done for ages, hadn't planned to do, hadn't revised beforehand, hadn't brought lyrics for.
Only decided on it when I heard the previous singer's choice of song: one followed on the other. Forgot one line, made something up to fill the void, finished the song.
Now can I have my gold star please?


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 03 Sep 15 - 11:14 AM

I'd give you one if I knew how.


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: GUEST,Pete from seven stars link
Date: 03 Sep 15 - 04:41 PM

Congratulations tattie !


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 03 Sep 15 - 08:05 PM

A virtual one will do, thanks,


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Subject: RE: why do singers take so long to start?
From: Stanron
Date: 04 Sep 15 - 04:46 PM

There is for many of us the performers dichotomy.

You come off stage. Nobody threw anything, nobody threw up. It wasn't a disaster, it might have been a moderate success. In retrospect it was fantastic. You come off stage re-assured and confident that you can do this! So you practice and invest your time in the next performance.

Then there's the other side. It starts as the slightest niggle and grows as the date gets nearer. The 'It might not be as good as last time.' quickly turns into 'I'm not sure I really want to do this.' Just before you go on it's developed into a raging 'Whatever gave me the idea that I wanted to go on in front of this lot?' and perhaps even 'The last thing I want to do is perform!'

And then you are on. Everyone is looking. It's all gone quiet. You shuffle through the folder, maybe tune up the guitar, anything to delay the dreaded moment, until you can't put it off any longer and you start.

You come off stage. Nobody threw anything, nobody threw up. It wasn't a disaster, it might have been a moderate success. In retrospect it was fantastic. Of course you are going to do it again.

Or is it just me?


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