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Singarounds: Code of Conduct

Acorn4 21 Aug 18 - 03:18 PM
Joe Offer 21 Aug 18 - 04:07 PM
GUEST,Pete from seven stars link 23 Aug 18 - 06:49 PM
Backwoodsman 24 Aug 18 - 02:48 AM
GUEST,Observer 24 Aug 18 - 03:02 AM
Backwoodsman 24 Aug 18 - 03:11 AM
GUEST,Jerry 24 Aug 18 - 03:50 AM
Backwoodsman 24 Aug 18 - 04:27 AM
GUEST,Gazza2 24 Aug 18 - 04:29 AM
GUEST,Fyldeplayer 24 Aug 18 - 04:37 AM
Acorn4 24 Aug 18 - 06:06 AM
GUEST,Jerry 24 Aug 18 - 06:34 AM
GUEST,FloraG 24 Aug 18 - 11:11 AM
leeneia 24 Aug 18 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,Tootler 24 Aug 18 - 03:00 PM
Steve Shaw 24 Aug 18 - 08:35 PM
Leadfingers 24 Aug 18 - 09:12 PM
GUEST,Sol 25 Aug 18 - 05:03 AM
Big Al Whittle 25 Aug 18 - 05:18 AM
Jack Campin 25 Aug 18 - 09:54 AM
Tootler 25 Aug 18 - 10:47 AM
MoorleyMan 25 Aug 18 - 11:10 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 25 Aug 18 - 11:24 AM
Joe Offer 25 Aug 18 - 03:58 PM
Ged Fox 26 Aug 18 - 06:48 AM
JHW 26 Aug 18 - 07:03 AM
GUEST 26 Aug 18 - 07:46 AM
Helen 26 Aug 18 - 03:35 PM
Tattie Bogle 27 Aug 18 - 11:27 AM
Will Fly 27 Aug 18 - 11:53 AM
Tattie Bogle 27 Aug 18 - 12:09 PM
Bat Goddess 27 Aug 18 - 01:32 PM
Helen 27 Aug 18 - 03:45 PM
Tattie Bogle 27 Aug 18 - 05:59 PM
GUEST,Jerry 27 Aug 18 - 07:26 PM
Peter the Squeezer 28 Aug 18 - 04:30 AM
Big Al Whittle 28 Aug 18 - 07:23 AM
Backwoodsman 28 Aug 18 - 07:28 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 28 Aug 18 - 08:16 AM
GUEST,oldnickilby 28 Aug 18 - 11:06 AM
Acorn4 28 Aug 18 - 06:21 PM
GUEST,some bloke 29 Aug 18 - 03:54 AM
Rob Naylor 29 Aug 18 - 05:52 AM
JHW 29 Aug 18 - 06:10 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 29 Aug 18 - 06:49 AM
GUEST,oldnickilby 29 Aug 18 - 07:37 AM
Mooh 29 Aug 18 - 07:44 AM
GUEST,oldnickilby 29 Aug 18 - 08:45 AM
Johnny J 29 Aug 18 - 08:56 AM
JHW 30 Aug 18 - 05:57 AM
GUEST,Jim Knowledge 30 Aug 18 - 06:21 AM
Big Al Whittle 30 Aug 18 - 06:34 AM
Acorn4 30 Aug 18 - 01:37 PM
Acorn4 30 Aug 18 - 01:37 PM
Tattie Bogle 30 Aug 18 - 04:42 PM
Big Al Whittle 30 Aug 18 - 05:22 PM
Acorn4 30 Aug 18 - 07:12 PM
Tattie Bogle 30 Aug 18 - 07:46 PM
GUEST,Sean O'Shea 31 Aug 18 - 03:07 AM
GUEST,DTM 31 Aug 18 - 03:24 AM
GUEST,Jerry 31 Aug 18 - 03:26 AM
GUEST,FloraG 31 Aug 18 - 04:36 AM
Acorn4 31 Aug 18 - 05:35 AM
GUEST,Observer 31 Aug 18 - 05:51 AM
GUEST,DTM 31 Aug 18 - 06:07 AM
GUEST,ST 31 Aug 18 - 06:58 AM
Big Al Whittle 31 Aug 18 - 07:58 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Aug 18 - 08:53 AM
Big Al Whittle 31 Aug 18 - 09:40 AM
SPB-Cooperator 31 Aug 18 - 09:46 AM
Backwoodsman 31 Aug 18 - 10:04 AM
GUEST,Jerry 31 Aug 18 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,Observer 31 Aug 18 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,Jerry 31 Aug 18 - 02:30 PM
Sian H 02 Sep 18 - 01:42 PM
GUEST,matt milton 02 Sep 18 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,Jerry 03 Sep 18 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,FloraG 06 Sep 18 - 04:59 AM
GUEST,Jerry 06 Sep 18 - 05:49 AM
Acorn4 06 Sep 18 - 12:08 PM
GUEST,Rigby 06 Sep 18 - 12:18 PM
Big Al Whittle 06 Sep 18 - 03:05 PM
Big Al Whittle 06 Sep 18 - 03:05 PM
GUEST,FloraG 07 Sep 18 - 02:57 AM
Backwoodsman 07 Sep 18 - 03:54 AM
Howard Jones 07 Sep 18 - 05:41 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 07 Sep 18 - 06:38 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 07 Sep 18 - 07:49 AM
The Sandman 07 Sep 18 - 08:01 AM
Jim Carroll 07 Sep 18 - 09:34 AM
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Subject: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Acorn4
Date: 21 Aug 18 - 03:18 PM

I often listen to Mark Kermode's cinema reviews on a Friday (UK Radio 5 Live) and he has drawn up a code of conduct for cinema audiences.

We often get complaints on here about inconsiderate/selfish behaviour at singarounds (thinking about the organised "turn taking" ones rather than the "jump in" type). Could we compile a suggested "Code of Conduct" for singarounds.

This might kick it off - not all suggestions here of equal seriousness:-

Singarounds: Code of Conduct:-

1.        If you arrive after the start, fine, but please wait until the end of the song before going in. If you want to greet people enthusiastically and noisily please get there for the start or wait for the interval.
2.        With many of us getting to an advanced age it’s fine to use a sheet of words or ipad/phone but please don’t constantly flick through pages or stare at your phone under the table – it’s bad manners!
3.        When going to the toilet/bar please wait until the end of the song – even the weakest of bladders can last out a Child Ballad – try to avoid going to the bar/toilet during the same person’s turn twice.
4.        If you have multiple instruments plus cases, music stand and words it is suggested you get there for the start of a session rather than interrupting the flow of the night with a “kerfuffle” while you sort yourself out.
5.        It is fine to do a long song but try to avoid this in the last half hour when others are hoping they might squeeze a song in.
6.        If your rear end could be described as “generous” and the room has bench seats do not try to fit in a space half the width of your behind – it may mean the poor person at the end falling off!
7.        If you must do “Ride On” try to make it last no more than 4 minutes; if you do “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” try to make it last no longer than 3 minutes.
8.        Try not to do your turn and then leave straight away – it gives the message:- “I’m here to be listened to not to listen to other people”.
9.        If you join in with someone’s song, LISTEN to what they are doing – it might be different to the usual treatment of the song – don’t impose your own version.
10.        Fine to discuss the songs –it’s all part of the night, but try not to get involved in conversations which only include two or three people – your geraniums may be of no interest to the rest of the room! Wait til the break.
11.        If you play tunes on a melodeon remember this doesn’t entitle you to twice as many turns as everybody else.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Aug 18 - 04:07 PM

I belong to a singaround group called In Harmony's Way Up in Auburn, a spinoff from the group that meets in the east San Francisco Bay area. We sing 2-5 PM on the third and fifth Sundays of every month. Usually, 10-12 singers come, some from 75 miles away. It's a delightful gathering, a very supportive group that somehow accommodates singers from a wide range of skill levels. Our host is Sharon Carl, who moved to Auburn from the Bay Area and brought music along with her. Sharon read us this "In Harmony's Way Song Session Values and Culture Statement" at the beginning of our first few sessions. I think Sharon got it from the Bay Area group - I think you'll note that it has a real California tone to it. We regularly defy it, but it has served us well:


    IN HARMONY'S WAY SONG SESSION VALUES AND CULTURE

    Value #1: Revering the Circle
    Every time someone leads a song in our presence they offer us a gift, not only of their music but also of their willingness to be vulnerable in our presence. We receive their gift best by giving them our full attention. We ask each participant to help keep the circle a place where the music is honored and each singer is respected as they share that gift. (If you’re reading this sheet during a song, flipping through a songbook or texting, you’re depriving another singer of your attention. That makes us sad.)

    Value #2: So Many Songs, So Little Time.
    We usually go around in a circle at least once, so everyone who wishes to gets a chance to share a song early in the Sing. When it is your turn, please be ready with one of your three options: 1) sing a song, 2) request a particular song from someone else, or 3) pass. If you can’t decide, yield quickly to the singer waiting next to you. Passing is totally OK.

    After we've gone once around the circle, the session leaders will switch to “moderated chaos,” where people are free to jump in spontaneously and sing when they feel moved [We keep going around the circle in Auburn]. This can be great fun, and also a bit intimidating for shy folks. If you want to lead a song during moderated chaos but feel uncomfortable jumping in, just raise a finger or make eye contact with a session leader and they will call on you very soon.

    We have a strong preference for chorus songs, ones that all can join in on. We also prefer to keep it simple so as to avoid spending valuable Sing time being taught difficult material.

    Value #3: There Are No Bad Singers.
    We are eager to hear songs from experienced singers and novices alike. So whether you love your voice or not, feel free to share it with us. And if you’re feeling shy, you are always welcome to join in on the choruses.

    Value #4: The Circle as a Food-Free Zone.
    Everybody gets the munchies, and we usually have a few snacks on a nearby table. But eating, chewing, crinkling wrappers and such take focus away from the music. Help us keep the circle a place of reverence for song and singer. If you want to grab food, please wait until the song is over to leave the circle. When you return, please do so food-free and in a way that does not take focus away from the lead singer.

    Value #5: Save a Tree: Memorize Your Song.
    We love the closeness that comes from sharing songs in the oral tradition and we have seen how much richer the singing can be without lyric sheets. Songs that come straight from the heart tend to communicate feelings more than those delivered through paper (or smart phones.) Give memorizing a chance, even if it means taking a bit of time to prepare before the session. And if you really feel you need to bring a lyric sheet, no worries. Please bring just one sheet for yourself so we can give our attention to you rather than to papers in front of us.
    And remember, whether you memorize or not, we are glad you're sharing. [We generally don't memorize in Auburn]

    Value #6: We Love Guitars, But ….
    We are primarily an a cappella session. If you would like to accompany yourself on a song that you lead, go for it, and then quietly put the instrument away. Also, if you want to body percuss during someone else’s song, please do so in a way that is not intrusive.

    Value #7: Rejoice in Song!
    It’s great that you're here and not home watching TV!


We've been singing together for almost ten years, and we're still going strong.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,Pete from seven stars link
Date: 23 Aug 18 - 06:49 PM

Yep , recognise a lot of those Acorn. Sing around I go to is generally respectful , and even attentive of others efforts , but still sometimes performers that just look at their phones much of the time when not singing or playing themselves . Sounds like joes session has it about right


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Aug 18 - 02:48 AM

12. If you accompany yourself on an instrument that needs to be tuned, tune it before your turn comes around, so that your performance can begin straight away rather than being preceded by five minutes of ying-yanging and embarrassed muttering such as, "New strings" or "It was in tune when I bought it in 1952".

12a. If you're tone-deaf and unable to tune your instrument by ear, make sure to bring a fully-operational electronic tuner to the singaround, and be fully conversant with its operation. Use it to conform to (12) above.

12b. To avoid time-wasting when you need a capo and have to resort to borrowing one, and then can't decide where on the neck to place it, bring your own f***ing capo and know in advance which fret it needs to be placed on!


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 24 Aug 18 - 03:02 AM

Backwoodsman if Joe Offer's groups rules applied, specifically Rule 6 all that would be unnecessary.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Aug 18 - 03:11 AM

True enough. But none of the singarounds here in my part of the backwoods have that stipulation - instruments are welcome, not only as accompaniment but also to provide the occasional tune by way of variation. And if they did have such a stipulation, I wouldn't be there anyway.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 24 Aug 18 - 03:50 AM

So, do you have a rule for duos and trios, etc.? They often tend to get two or three times as many turns as others, if treated as individual performers? Perhaps there should be a rule about groups not using singarounds or sessions as band practice too.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Aug 18 - 04:27 AM

I'm OK with duos, trios etc, at singarounds but, AFAIC, one duo, or one trio, is one 'performer', and should get the same turns as a solo performer. So if a solo gets one song per go-around, the duo/trio/band gets one song per go-around, not two, three or however many.

I say this as someone who performs solo and in a four-piece band, and who has played also in duos and trios.

And I get very miffed when 'Fred' does a song, then 'Jim' joins 'Fred' for a song, then 'Mary' joins 'Fred' and 'Jim' for a song, then Jim and Mary do a song with Elsie, then Elsie and Mary......you get the picture? It's called 'Hogging It'.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,Gazza2
Date: 24 Aug 18 - 04:29 AM

Went to small festival last weekend and attended advertised Big Sing singaround. Got there on time and sat six feet away from organiser and in direct eye contact. The organiser chose singers from amongst her mates sitting all around me. Told couple behind that there was no list and she would choose when people sang. Fawned upon paid guests at the festival and immediately put them on. Welcomed late comers and put them on. After an hour of this I got up and left. Will never go to this festival again. Why do organisers advertise these things as friendly and inclusive and then act in this manner?


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,Fyldeplayer
Date: 24 Aug 18 - 04:37 AM

I sang several times at Middle bar, Anchor at Sidmouth this year. My first chorus song was dragged back in the timing - one of the regulars standing near said " you won't win! ". At the 3rd chorus I smiled and announced " in your own time", much laughter, really enjoyed that session. Another time sang with trio, much joining in - got three songs which surprised us.

Many issues raised here are about manners and that's hard to impose.ive never been to a 'jump-in ' singaround, prefer a " you're after them " from an MC. I agree, keep the intro chat brief and be prepared to change song to finish a session on a chorus, not a long ballad, long story or unknown new piece. No 8 applies to booked performers at clubs as well, remember where you came from!
Here's to all the fine well mannered singarounds that work well. Enjoyed the list Acorn4.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Acorn4
Date: 24 Aug 18 - 06:06 AM

Gazza2.

Perhaps we need a "code of conduct" for organisers as well?


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 24 Aug 18 - 06:34 AM

I do agree that it’s discourteous to leave as soon as you’ve done your song, but I confess I sometimes have had to do that myself, but normally because I do genuinely need to be somewhere else, rather than rushing off to gatecrash another venue to bore another audience with the same song (which I’m sure some festival punters do).

However, to be fair I’ve also sat for over two hours in a singaround waiting to be asked, and then had to leave before getting a chance because my parking ticket was about to expire. In tune sessions though, that is less of a problem because most of the performances are open to everyone to play along with, usually without fear of ruining someone’s carefully arranged personal interpretation. However, I can think of a few rules of conduct for tune sessions too.....


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 24 Aug 18 - 11:11 AM

Surely the only rule is ' gauge what sort of sing around it is', then try to do something appropriate. There is one very packed session at Broadstairs where people are asked to do things that others can join in with. Some people still get it wrong.
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: leeneia
Date: 24 Aug 18 - 01:09 PM

That's a sad story, Gazza2. At the singarounds I've been to, the organizer's only job is to lock and unlock the door. Singers sit in a circle and sing in order, going around the circle.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,Tootler
Date: 24 Aug 18 - 03:00 PM

At singarounds I go to the MC is usually very good and either goes round the room or, if they dot about the room, do their best to ensure that everyone who wants to sing, gets a turn.

Practice varies with duos and trios. Some give them a turn each per member and some treat them as a single turn. At one club I go to duos are treated as a simgle turn but if there is time after they've been round the room, the duos are given a second song. That seems a fair way to me.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 Aug 18 - 08:35 PM

"...embarrassed muttering such as, 'New strings' or 'It was in tune when I bought it in 1952'..."

Just bawl out "No problem. When you've finished tuning it we'll get it welded for you..."


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct,
From: Leadfingers
Date: 24 Aug 18 - 09:12 PM

All attenders at sessions should think very hard about what annoys them about other performers and NEVER do any of them !


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,Sol
Date: 25 Aug 18 - 05:03 AM

One thing I'd like to suggest is, if you're a singer and don't play an instrument, it's probably wise to state before starting whether or not you would like accompaniment. You can make your case clear by saying tactfully either "I'd like to sing this song a capella" or "Please join in if you know it". Some players (rightly or wrongly) assume that solo singers like some backing.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Aug 18 - 05:18 AM

sometimes its nice to just go and listen


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Jack Campin
Date: 25 Aug 18 - 09:54 AM

By using the wrong specs, my first reading of the title had "Code of Combat".

Which is what singarounds often feel like. Events where the participants get much of their fun out of shutting others out or making them feel second class aren't events I want to spend much time at.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Tootler
Date: 25 Aug 18 - 10:47 AM

One thing I'd like to suggest is, if you're a singer and don't play an instrument, it's probably wise to state before starting whether or not you would like accompaniment.

Here in the UK, it's customary not to accompany or add to an accompaniment unless specifically invited. That does get relaxed a bit in a mixed tune/song session where most people have instruments with them. Even then if someone sings a capella, it's customary not to try accompanying.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 25 Aug 18 - 11:10 AM

What a sensible and well-informed thread, which brings up some excellent points. Thanks Acorn4 and Joe for starting it off.

A well-run singaround should not need "rules" - especially if the host knows what he/she/they be doing! - but certainly the Code Of Conduct interpretation is sound as a guideline.

Gazza2 - yes, I too have attended singarounds very much like this, which is why I despair of the recent trend at most festivals to treat singarounds and the like as a poor relation, often just slotted in at an awkward time or at an uncongenial or plain unsuitable venue just to "tick the box" on the programme page...

Too many festival organisers seem (whether knowingly or otherwise) to persist in engaging singaround hosts who "hog it" or use the event as a vehicle for their own band or mates to try out new songs or do a mini-concert.
And - even worse - are the festivals who advertise a Big Sing which is nothing less than a parade of booked guest artists who already have plenty of concert or other exposure during the festival. And many festivals advertise a "Folk Club"-cum-singaround which has (again) timed 20-minute booked-guest feature spots every 40 minutes or so, leaving absolutely minimal time for other singers. Then, if we're lucky, there might be an isolated singaround that's genuinely fairly run, but has so many potential singers that it only gets round once and is over after a couple of hours so that the room can be used for yet another mini-concert or whatever. Like Guest Jerry, it is often the case that the parking ticket will expire, and it simply isn't on to wait two hours to get a turn especially when you've travelled a long way to get there (as opposed to having just fallen off the campsite and turned up late at the singaround).

This is not just idle sniping and griping, for I speak from experience. Experience as a regular singaround attendee, but also practical experience of running/hosting singarounds etc - and over the past 20 years receiving plenty of positive feedback for a well-run singaround or session.

The marks of a good singaround?
Hosts treating fellow-singers with respect rather than as an annoyance that gets in the way of one's own party-piece.   
Being flexible having observed the mix and dynamics of those who've turned up, being prepared to take things as they come to some extent but also to have a grasp of purpose and structure to the gathering without being over-didactic...
Not announcing "short songs only for this round please" then proceeding to sing a lengthy ballad yourself or allow your mate an extra turn.

I run a monthly singers' club, and I know it is perfectly possible to get around the circle at least four or five times, sometimes even six, during an evening, and also allow for some in-between-songs information exchange. So why do so many singarounds start late, then turn into an extended chat session and finish early or predictably on the same song every week?

One final point (unrelated to the above) - in a mixed session, an instrumentalist or duo/trio/etc can often get away with a medley of up to three tunes (with repeats!), yet a singer is frowned on when he/she performs a medley of two short songs that actually go well together... (and often lasts half the time of the aforementioned tune-set).
Hog-it means hook-it!

OK, I'll get off me soapbox now!


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 25 Aug 18 - 11:24 AM

But I have seen cases where off key solo singers have been tactfully kept in key by the judicious playing of the odd chord during their performances. On the other hand, it can wreck the singer's mood if people join in when they don't want it. No easy answers.

Agreed that this is a useful thread.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Aug 18 - 03:58 PM

I often wonder about the place of guitars and other instruments at a singaround. I like to sing with a good accompanist, particularly guitar, piano, or autoharp; but I don't play well enough to use an instrument when other people are in earshot. But I don't like to sing with an out-of-tune instrument, or when the instrumentalist tries to lead me, or when the instrument wants to play on songs that really work better without instrumentation. So, I like our "In Harmony's Way" guidelines that let instrumentation be governed by the person whose turn it is.

I don't really like the idea of a song circle having a leader, but maybe that's an impossible ideal. In our "In Harmony's Way" circle, Sharon, our founder/host, keeps us in line in a gentle, humorous way; and that's very helpful.

Our Sacramento Family Song Circle sings mostly from the Rise Up Singing and Rise Again songbooks, and we have a lot of people who really don't know music - and a lot of beginner guitarists. The late Bob Fitch was one of the people who founded the circle in 1988, and he was the "Alpha Male" when I joined the circle in 1993. He was a great guitarist for group singing, and that helped carry the singing.

Bob moved away in about 1996, and I guess I've been more-or-less the Alpha Male since then. I even dated a number of women Bob had dated first - and I've been married to one of them since 2002. Gradually, people came to depend on me to lead the singing, although I try my best not to dominate the singing and to encourage our more capable members to take the lead when it's their turn. I started working for the songbook editors in 2013, and that kind of sealed my position as leader. I know most of the songs, and I can start songs on key (although I prefer to have an opening chord from a guitar, so instruments can play along). I try to sing underneath the group, so it's not so obvious that I'm leading. I'm not all that sure that I like being leader, but it works.

The Sacramento Song Circle is a community singing group, while most of the other singarounds are based on individuals singing for and sometimes with the rest of the group. In community singing, a leader helps. We sing pretty darn well, and we've been having a good time every month since 1988; but it's the other singaround that feeds my soul.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Ged Fox
Date: 26 Aug 18 - 06:48 AM

"I can start songs on key"

In this context, does "on key" mean "on the nearest comfortable key in concert pitch" or "pitched comfortably for singing?"

For unaccompanied singing, concert pitch is irrelevant or even, if an instrumental accompaniment is not wanted, undesirable. (To add to the rules, "no twangling of guitar strings, or pokes on the melodeon, to work out what key the singer is using.")


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: JHW
Date: 26 Aug 18 - 07:03 AM

'3. When going to the toilet/bar please wait until the end of the song – even the weakest of bladders can last out a Child Ballad – try to avoid going to the bar/toilet during the same person’s turn twice.'

Entirely fair but one night in the Southfield at Girvan an interminable song was being sung (well) about a boxing match. One guy did get up and go but on return asked "Are we still winning" as the song had still some time to its finale. Well received.
(Going twice might indeed have been frowned upon)


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Aug 18 - 07:46 AM

The biggest sin for me in a singaround is the failure to definE between the verse and the chorus how much better it would be if people would refrain from singin or humming during the versebut come in prompt at the start of the chorus.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Helen
Date: 26 Aug 18 - 03:35 PM

Hi all,

This is on topic re: Code of Conduct (C of C), but off topic as it is in reference to an instrumental session group which has been in existence (through various evolutions along the way) for over 40 years.

The core group don't need any guidance on C of C, but sometimes a newcomer or two need to be sheep-dogged into a more comfortable place for the rest of the group's benefit. (Guess who gets to play the part of the sheep-dog!!)

My first issue was that a few people were inviting newbies and giving out the private residential address of the session, without asking the residential owner (i.e. me) whether it was ok.

Mostly not a problem, until lately when the latest newbie has been making a nuisance of its self in the session by *talking during tunes*, including arguing about the best key or how fast or slow the tune should be played, making edicts about "better" chords i.e. 3-chords only even in minor parts of the tune, trying to convince another guitarist to use it's own chords instead of the ones which suit the music, arguing about the correct rhythm for unusual tunes (e.g. Crested Hens/Les Poules Huppées composed by hurdy-gurdy player Gilles Chabenat), and playing guitar really loudly in a rhythm which sometimes does not suit the tune.

The sheep dog is getting revved up to pounce, I'm afraid. I'm trying to get into a diplomatic frame of mind for the showdown, but I'll keep you posted on the outcome.

So, this thread is very timely for me.

Alpha male, huh, Joe? Including choosing - and keeping - the best of the females. Well done, you!! :-D

Helen


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 27 Aug 18 - 11:27 AM

I recognise a lot of the various scenarios painted here, and some are really "not on".
Yes, those "singarounds" where the host only asks people he/she knows personally to sing - harumph, the rest of us can sing too, you know!
And not getting a song when the last few before you choose to sing 40-verse ballads when they know time is running out.
And been at one of those where the host seemed compelled to ask the festival guest singers to sing 3 songs each before asking any of the "floor singers" to have a turn, with the result that many people in the room, all singers, did not get a song in a two-hour session. Yes, we love the professional singers, but they could be heard at the concerts that evening
The duos thing: My friend and I often go to festivals together: we are NOT a duo but 2 independent people: I sing a song, she might accompany me on her mandola. She would also like to sing, but how often is she passed over, unless we protest?
Then there are the self-appointed accompanists who try to pull people into a different key or rhythm, when they don't want to be accompanied at all. Or everyone with an instrument wades in full tilt and drowns out the poor singer. Or the people who accompany themselves on LOUD instruments, (concertinas, melodeons, accordions, even fiddles) and don't realise we can't make out a word of their song!
Talking during tunes: we once had a real standoff when this happened and the tune player rightly told the talker to shut up and listen: "you expect us to listen when you're singing, so why don't you listen when we are playing?"
Most of the sessions I go to, with a few notable exceptions are "mixed", so songs and tunes both happen: at the best organised one, the host/facilitator, will make sure that there is a balance of these, e.g. a couple of songs then a set of tunes, and so on.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Aug 18 - 11:53 AM

This topic has appeared on Mudcat on many an occasion, so apologies if I repeat what I've said before on other threads.

I started a session in my village local over 10 years ago. It's still going, now under someone else's guidance, though the "rules" I set up then apply now. They're very simple:

1. Everyone is asked to lead off on a tune or a song, in order of seat. Sometimes we go clockwise - sometimes, for fun, widdershins. No-one who wants a go gets missed out, ever.

2. Duos get two goes.

3. Unless the person whose turn it is specifically wants to play/sing a solo, and says so, anyone is free to join in. I personally encourage anyone to join in with me at all times.

The whole point of the evening is to have fun, to make music communally, to listen, entertain and learn.

No big deal.

Will (currently in Rouen and off to Le Touquet tomorrow).


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 27 Aug 18 - 12:09 PM

Parfait, Will!


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 27 Aug 18 - 01:32 PM

Our Press Room weekly session (and now the Press Room-In-Exile while the PR is closed for renovations) has been going strong for 36 years. It's both vocal and instrumental. It's a SESSION, not a song/tune circle so I sometimes have to remind newer members that it is not a SHOW but a session -- tune your contribution to maximum participation. Part of my job as session meister ("She Who Must Be Obeyed") is Traffic Cop -- to make sure no one takes over and less aggressive members get enough chances to lead. Recently I've been reminded that I need to remind session members to not do things that can distract the lead singer. It might be cute, it might be funny, but the humor fades if it goes on too long or often or makes the singer forget the words. If necessary, I have a gavel out in the car (AND a tiara!).

Tom (Mudcat's Curmudgeon) and I came across this list a number of years ago and made a few modifications --

The Ten Commandments of Sessions
(from http://trillian.mit.edu/~jc/music/humor/JammingRules.html
-- slightly revised and addended by Linn Schulz & Tom Hall)

1. Thou shalt not ever forsake the beat.

2. Thou shalt arrange thyselves in a small circle so that thou mayest hear and see the other musicians. Thou shalt listen with thine ears to the songs and tunes and attempt to play in accord with the group; also, open thine eyes betimes to look about thee, lest there be some visual sign someone is endeavoring to send thee. Thou shalt play softly when someone lifteth his voice in song, when playing harmony, and when thou knowest not what thou doest.

3. Thou shalt play in tune. Tune thine instrument well, and tune it often with thine electric tuner, lest the sounds emanating from thine instrument be unclean.

4. Thou shalt commence and cease playing each tune together as one, so that the noise ye make be a joyful noise, and is not an abomination. Whensoever a musician sticketh forth his foot as though he were afflicted with a cramp in the fatted calf, thou must complete the rest of that verse, and then cease. Thou shalt not noodle in the blessed silence, nor interfere with a singer seeking a note.

5. Thou shalt stick out thine own foot or else lift up thy voice crying "This is it!", or "Last time!" if thou hast been the one to begin the tune, and it has been played sufficient times over. If the one who began a tune endeth it not by one of these signs, then the tune will just go on and on, like the Old Testament, until the listeners say, "Hark! It all soundeth the same."

6. Thou shalt concentrate and thou shalt not confound the music by mixing up the A part and the B part. Most tunes, but not all, proceed according to the ancient law "AABB". But if thou sinneth in this regard, or make any mistake that is unclean, thou may atone not by ceasing to play -- but by reentering the tune in the proper place and playing on.

7. Thou shalt be ever mindful of the key the banjo or concertina is tuned in, and play many tunes in that key, for the banjo is but a lowly instrument, which must needs be retuned each time there is a key change, and the concertina may not be tuned at all except by an expert.

8. Thou shalt not speed up or slow down accidentally when playing a tune, for it is an abomination. (See commandment 1)

9. Thou shalt not, by thine own self, commence noodling off on a tune the other musicians know not, unless asked or unless thou art teaching that tune, for it is an abomination, and the other musicians will not hold thee guiltless, and shall take thee off their computer lists, yea, even unto the third and the fourth generation.

Chapter 3, vs 17-18 Book of Khanduikus:
      Thou shalt not come to the jam session to impress others with thine amazing talents for this also is an abomination. The song shalt be the center around which all musicians shall rotate, not vice-versa.

"Attempts to make thine own star shine shall lead thee into darkness."

Linn


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Helen
Date: 27 Aug 18 - 03:45 PM

Thanks Linn & Tom. Spot on! Yes to everything in the list, but especially these bits:

1. Thou shalt not ever forsake the beat.

2. ....also, open thine eyes betimes to look about thee, lest there be some visual sign someone is endeavoring to send thee. Thou shalt play softly when someone lifteth his voice in song, when playing harmony, and **when thou knowest not what thou doest**.

Yep!!

3. Thou shalt play in tune. Tune thine instrument well, and tune it often with thine electric tuner, lest the sounds emanating from thine instrument be unclean.

9. ...and shall take thee off their computer lists, yea, even unto the third and the fourth generation.

Yep!! Triple & quadruple Yep!!


Thanks for the laughs and also for the useful C of C.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 27 Aug 18 - 05:59 PM

Re 1. Disagree in certain circumstances:
If thou chooses to sing or play rubato, then assembled company should respect this and NOT try to pull thee into strict timing, and thou should be able to continue to vary thy timing all over the place, as befits the song or tune and thou thinkest best!
(Saw a splendid example of this by fellow Mudcatter, Diva, once, when assembled company tried to sing along to a perfect beat, but she did it her way - the more they tried to pull her into a straight timing the more she rubato'ed to put them off the scent!)


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 27 Aug 18 - 07:26 PM

Thou shalt not arrive half way through a session and launch into a set of tunes straight away without checking that we haven’t played those already, and possibly more adeptly.

Thou shalt not grab for thineself one of the seats in the inner circle and then sit there texting on a smartphone whilst waiting for the barmaid to bring a bar meal to you.

Thou shall not play Midnight on the Water without a previously submitted petition in favour bearing at least 100 signatures, since it is a tedious abomination IMHO.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Peter the Squeezer
Date: 28 Aug 18 - 04:30 AM

Basically, all of this can be summarised in one word - CONSIDERATION.

I am generally in agreement with these rules / guidelines, but have to admit that I have (hopefully rarely) transgressed some of them.

"Let he who is without sin ....."


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Aug 18 - 07:23 AM

absolutely Pete! Consideration and good manners. However some folks need booze to get the courage and lose the inhibitions.

and booze loosens inhibitions, but it also looses tongues and cruel things get said- too loudly in some cases.

however criticism goes with the territory. you need the hide of a rhino to pursue becoming a folksinger. not everyone is going to love what you do.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 28 Aug 18 - 07:28 AM

Amen to that, Al. Hopefully, though, people frequenting clubs nowadays are far less judgmental than in the '60s and '70s.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 28 Aug 18 - 08:16 AM

Thou shalt not, by thine own self, commence noodling off on a tune the other musicians know not, unless asked or unless thou art teaching that tune

NO.

That way lies ossification. If you even CAN know what everybody else in the room knows, you've all been there too long.

I wouldn't bother going to a session where nobody's ever going to play something I don't know.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,oldnickilby
Date: 28 Aug 18 - 11:06 AM

Once upon a time, we stood on the stairs at the Red Dear in Sheffield whilst a "Certain Person " did a SEVENTEEN minute song, almost long enough for an Acorn for to grow into a tree

I have been to a few Singarounds where we have been passed over as we were not "known" to the M C who only got their mates to sing. Bradfield being by far the worst I have experienced in over 58 years as a Folkie. Others such as The Wail are models of Democracy
The other Bete Noir is the person who stands by the door ,sees who is to sing next and muscles in next to them, goes out for 10 minutes and repeats the procedure. NOT when I am in charge , no Bloody chance


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Acorn4
Date: 28 Aug 18 - 06:21 PM

And once down the musician Nic, when a certain duo reached verse 42:-

"and now to conclude and to finish our song"

another certain person in the audience who had apparently been asleep since verse 12 suddenly woke up and blurted out:-

"About, bloody time too!"

For others on this thread this isn't a case of "handbags" - Old Nic and Acorn4 are in fact very close friends,


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,some bloke
Date: 29 Aug 18 - 03:54 AM

Gosh, I didn't realise how much fun you could have writing up lists of rules and hoping people aren't confusing you with someone who gives a shit. Apparently pigeon fancier associations and political parties get bogged down in rules too.

You know, you could always go whole hog and set up a committee to run it. I would advise you read Orwell's Animal Farm first though.

Back in the real world, the person nudging it along decides all and decent people go along with it. You can't educate pork, so no point in trying.

Ok, just one rule. Sat flipping through your book of words you never bothered to learn or looking at your phone whilst the person next to you is trying to entertain you should be a capital offence.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 29 Aug 18 - 05:52 AM

Will Fly's "rules" are short, sweet and sufficient for any event I've been to:

I started a session in my village local over 10 years ago. It's still going, now under someone else's guidance, though the "rules" I set up then apply now. They're very simple:

1. Everyone is asked to lead off on a tune or a song, in order of seat. Sometimes we go clockwise - sometimes, for fun, widdershins. No-one who wants a go gets missed out, ever.

2. Duos get two goes.

3. Unless the person whose turn it is specifically wants to play/sing a solo, and says so, anyone is free to join in. I personally encourage anyone to join in with me at all times.

The whole point of the evening is to have fun, to make music communally, to listen, entertain and learn.

No big deal.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: JHW
Date: 29 Aug 18 - 06:10 AM

Value #5: Save a Tree: Memorize Your Song.

I've only been to one Sing(around) over the water, in Portland Oregon. There incredibly everyone had a ring binder full of every song anyone might sing so that they could all join in. When my freind (who lived in Portland) suggested they might let me (over from Emgland) on stage the assembled company was aghast that any individual should so hog the space.
May be unusual but I'll never forget it!


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 29 Aug 18 - 06:49 AM

We used to have those events in the UK - it was called "community singing" and at its peak they could fill stadiums. I don't see where the "around" comes in if everybody's singing together.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,oldnickilby
Date: 29 Aug 18 - 07:37 AM

We have been to Singarounds where we were not invited to sing as we had neither Tome nor Tablet, as they were unable to see the songs in our Heads
Glad you liked the joke Dave, enjoy the Hols M'Duck


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Mooh
Date: 29 Aug 18 - 07:44 AM

"3.       When going to the toilet/bar please wait until the end of the song – even the weakest of bladders can last out a Child Ballad – try to avoid going to the bar/toilet during the same person’s turn twice."

Ever met a man with no prostate?

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,oldnickilby
Date: 29 Aug 18 - 08:45 AM

Or even a man taking Niagara (that's water tablets). It's like Viagra , only it keeps you up all night peeing


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Johnny J
Date: 29 Aug 18 - 08:56 AM

I should really keep out of this discussion. It's a whole big can of worms....

Singarounds like sessions vary from location to location. They all have their own idiosyncrasies.

Personally, I don't believe in formal rules but we should all make ourselves aware of the "de facto" procedures which exist in such situations. We should also accept these when visiting a new session or singaround and behave as expected. If we don't like it(as I often don't), then it's up to us to seek our enjoyment elsewhere or start something ourselves. The latter, of course, is not always the easiest thing to do. I admit that.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: JHW
Date: 30 Aug 18 - 05:57 AM

This is a good discussion and thanks to Acorn but I guess that as ever he is part being serious and part taking the proverbial.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 30 Aug 18 - 06:21 AM

I `ad that Joe Offer in my cab the other day. `e was pawing through a copy of "The Observers Book of Session Be`aviour"
I said, "Morning Joe, I see you`ve been giving it large on that Mudcat post about `ow Singarounds ought to be conducted"
`e said, "That`s right Jim. There seems to be a lot of concern about it these days. `ere, you and your band used to run "Singing and Playing Nights" down in "The Blacksmiths Arms". `ow did you get on?"
I said, "Well, initially there was always this contention about do we go clockwise or anti-clockwise?. Do a couple get two songs per go?. What `appens if a trio turn up? Could the singers dance while the players did a reel? `oos song is `oos? Can we close the bogs while someone in singing? etc.,etc. Some of `em used to get quite po faced about it all."
`e said "What did you do about it all, then?"
I said, "We charged `em `arf a dollar per song or tune. That slowed it all down a bit, they seemed to accept it and, of course, it was a nice little earner!!"


Whaddam I Like??


👍 -Joe O-


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Aug 18 - 06:34 AM

Never wipe your bum on the beer mats.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Acorn4
Date: 30 Aug 18 - 01:37 PM

We always flip a beer may to decide which way to go around.

Leaves it to serendipity.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Acorn4
Date: 30 Aug 18 - 01:37 PM

beer mat!


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 30 Aug 18 - 04:42 PM

They flip a coin in one session I go to, but then again, sometimes, just to be different (awkward?) they go "one from the left, one from the right".....which means if you're halfway round the room you've got a cat's chance in hell of a song before half-time, and definitely not a second one that night!


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Aug 18 - 05:22 PM

And if they tip you the black spot, you've been deposed matey!
Made to walk the plank with your ringbinder stuck up yer bum.

Them as die will be the lucky ones....!


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Acorn4
Date: 30 Aug 18 - 07:12 PM

Some clubs do "cast in order of appearance".


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 30 Aug 18 - 07:46 PM

The club I mentioned above will put any late-comers last to be called, regardless of where they sit or what the other main order is of the night: seems fair enough!


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,Sean O'Shea
Date: 31 Aug 18 - 03:07 AM

I'm surprised at the lack of comment on the initial suggestion that using words is all right.
Its not.It's not singing when you do this, merely presenting words which many of the audience will be already familiar with.I cannot tolerate singers who will appear at a sing around with the same song regularly and still be reading it,time and again.There is no heart in presenting songs like this.Singing is emotional and should in some degree be an artistic gift to the audience.And as for setting up IT in front of you and reading from it...get thoroughly lost.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 31 Aug 18 - 03:24 AM

Someone once said to me that if you need to read the words at a gig you'll never learn them and there's some truth in that. A friend of mine sang a well-known song (with only two verses) every week for well over 10 years and couldn't do it without the lyric sheet in front of him.
'In the old days' we wrote the lyrics out manually and this probably helped you absorb them to some extent. In these days of 'cut and paste' that benefit has gone.
I must hold my hand up and say, as I get older my memory doesn't seem to work as good as it did, especially when trying to learn new songs, so I do like to have the lyrics close at hand for those embarrassing CRAFT moments.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 31 Aug 18 - 03:26 AM

True, but that has been covered ad nauseam on other threads, with people pointing out that it is generally bad form - apart from lack of emotion, you cannot connect with your audience if you are staring at something else, if you cannot memorise sometimes only a couple of verses or a basic chord sequence perhaps you shouldn’t be performing in public yet, plus it’s arguably disrespectful to your audience “here’s a song I’d like to sing but I can’t be bothered to learn the words”.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 31 Aug 18 - 04:36 AM

How long should a song be?
I always reckon that in a song where the verses are not critical to the story 6 is the maximum.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Acorn4
Date: 31 Aug 18 - 05:35 AM

In the initial thread I was just being realistic - if you tried to
ban words or pads, many singarounds would be very thinly attended these days.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 31 Aug 18 - 05:51 AM

if you tried to ban words or pads, many singarounds would be very thinly attended these days.

But they would be far better in terms of quality of performance, and you never know it might just encourage the ring-binder and i-pad brigade to actually make the effort to actually learn a song.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 31 Aug 18 - 06:07 AM

"Guest, Observer-But they would be far better in terms of quality of performance, and you never know it might just encourage the ring-binder and i-pad brigade to actually make the effort to actually learn a song".

Or not bother turning up at all.
Alternatively, they could start up a rival "Ring-binders Only Club" ;-)

Personally, I don't think Folk Clubs should put up any unnecessary walls around their sessions. They are social gatherings, not military exercises.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,ST
Date: 31 Aug 18 - 06:58 AM

I tend to agree with Acorn4’s list, although the best clubs/sessions/singarounds seem to be those where those guidelines (rules) are just generally understood on the basis of good manners and respect for the songs.

The ‘not learning the words’ trend (I call it a trend because I can’t remember any club or session from the 60s and 70s where it happened), which has raised its head here, seems to have a ‘critical mass’ aspect. In singarounds and clubs where the regulars set the example of knowing and respecting their songs, newcomers soon see what’s expected of them and follow suit. If too many think it’s OK to read the words then it becomes the norm and soon nearly everyone is doing it - including the younger generation to whom we geriatrics should be setting a better example. That seems to change the whole atmosphere of a club.

My own, very biased view is that I go out to sing songs and it’s the songs that are important, not me. If I hadn’t bothered to learn the words it would seem to be more about me getting an opportunity to sing than about the song getting the respect it deserved. It depends on whether you see the clubs as about keeping the spirit of the songs alive or as care in the community places where people can go out and be noticed for a few minutes. There’s room for both but I know which I prefer to go to.

(I’m embarrassed to admit that twice in the last 2 months I’ve forgotten the words of a song that I started. True, I've sung quite a lot of songs in that time (74 different ones) but that’s no excuse. I’ve decided I’ll have to sing less or choose and practice particular songs before I go out if this is what old age brings but what I won’t do is start to read the words – but that’s just me and my choice: chacun a son gout


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Aug 18 - 07:58 AM

How long should a song be?

About 2minutes 10, I reckon. Then it should be recategorised as an opera.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Aug 18 - 08:53 AM

"How long should a song be?"
As long as it takes
A poor song badly sung is far to long no matter how many verses has
A good song well sung is never long enough
Jim


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Aug 18 - 09:40 AM

you can say that again!


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 31 Aug 18 - 09:46 AM

It is not so much bits of paper these days, but people reading off their tablets, and the uncomfortable pauses as they swipe to the next page.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 31 Aug 18 - 10:04 AM

"and the uncomfortable pauses as they swipe to the next page."

Which would be completely unnecessary if they used OnSong and set the page to scroll.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 31 Aug 18 - 12:09 PM

We certainly don’t ban ringbinders and tablets, etc at my club, although I would hope that they might take the hint by the way I carefully move music stands to the side after such performances. As someone suggested above here, the more they are tolerated the more that people think it is the norm, and for many teenage strummers playing in our pubs here now, it sadly is, with Mum and Dad nearby to turn the pages for them. But don’t get me started on that.....


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 31 Aug 18 - 12:45 PM

Guest Jerry it must be great to live in hope, unfortunately as long as you tolerate the practice the more it will prevail and as can be seen THAT DOES become the norm.

I have, for the last ten weeks, watched and listened to two youngsters attempt to sing impossibly complicated songs while hesitatingly strumming a guitar in totally the wrong key for their voices as they stumbled through reading the lyrics made even worse as their bits of paper cascade from the music stand. On occasion you can applaud a trier but after a couple of weeks it just becomes embarrassingly pathetic. There would appear to be a total lack of understanding on their part of what is required in terms of skill and ability to perform the material of their choice in any other venue than their bedroom.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 31 Aug 18 - 02:30 PM

I don’t refute what you say about becoming the norm, but we like to be open minded and welcome anyone who wants to perform. The youngsters you and I have both referred to rarely come to Club nights, as it happens, but seem to want to go straight from bedroom practising to paid whole night gigs, and skip the slow learning process of stagecraft and presentation that Club nights provide, relying presumably on youthful good looks instead, and all their mates and relatives to fill the venue. On the other hand, they may just not want to hang around with people even older than their parents are; neither did I at that age (thinking about it, not now either). I think ithe problem is that ways of learning have greatly changed. No longer do you have to slow down recordings, compare notes with mates, search out sheet music, etc. because there are dumbed down versions of any song you want on the Internet; just print and play.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Sian H
Date: 02 Sep 18 - 01:42 PM

Our monthly Singarounds are really enjoyable for all participants and at first appearance you’d say there are no rules; but there are rules. They’re not written down nor referred to explicitly. They’re more or less the rules mudcatters have listed above. I think most singers at our singaround behave as they would like others to behave. Most want to sing and be heard, and not compete with unnecessary sounds. Newbies usually watch, listen and follow the established etiquette. Occasionally we, as MCs, give a quiet reminder if singing is disturbed. I’ve enjoyed reading this thread, and I particularly resonate with GuestST’s phrase that ‘guidelines (rules) are just generally understood on the basis of good manners and respect for the songs’. That says it all really!


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 02 Sep 18 - 05:43 PM

Had a real classic humdinger of how NOT to approach a floor spot the other night. Feel driven to share as it annoyed me so much...

Guy sits down, then spends basically the time it would take anyone else to sing an entire song just to put his guitar into some special tuning.

All the while he informs us that he's about to sing a really long song. This is why, apparently, he has the lyrics on his phone - he tells us that normally he wouldn't dream of such a thing, being such a pro etc, but they are only there just cos it's a really long song and he probably won't need them - they are there just in case.

He starts the song off really fast, in order to seem really impressive on the guitar. But he then slows down massively when he actually has to start singing at the same time.

He immediately forgets some words. He has placed his phone on a chair next to him, where he can't actually see it. So he has to stop the song to look at them. He does this three times. He also turns out to be not much of a good singer, hitting all the high notes flat. I have to fight the urge to heckle so so so much...


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 03 Sep 18 - 05:41 PM

What an utter and complete jerk. I reckon that guy must be doing the rounds, because he seems to be at every event I go to. Ouch, just realised I am that man. Thanks for not heckling though.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 06 Sep 18 - 04:59 AM

How long should an introduction be?
If I'm at a sing around with other instrumentalists who like to join in I tend to play the tune of a verse first before the song, unless its well known. However, I find I get irritated with solo singers who do long solo introductions, especially if its only a series of chords and no tune.
Any thoughts?


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 06 Sep 18 - 05:49 AM

I think sometimes that can be necessary, just to get sufficient silence around the room to make it worth launching into the lyric, particularly if the first verse is important to the rest of the song’s narrative, but if it’s just to draw attention to instrumental skills which may not be that great anyway, I agree that is irritating especially when time is short for others waiting their turn. However, when I do that myself it usually means I’ve forgotten the first line, or am contemplating whether to switch the key down a little to avoid that high e in the chorus.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Acorn4
Date: 06 Sep 18 - 12:08 PM

There is another habit of when a song is played when there is usually an instrumental break, to strum through the chords when there is no one willing to join in - just don't see the point of this.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,Rigby
Date: 06 Sep 18 - 12:18 PM

I think we are all forgetting the most important rule of all:

NO PERFORMANCE POETRY.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Sep 18 - 03:05 PM

I quite like performance poetry.

if people are well mannered and friendly, I think that's the main thing.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Sep 18 - 03:05 PM

I quite like performance poetry.

if people are well mannered and friendly, I think that's the main thing.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 07 Sep 18 - 02:57 AM

But not some poem read from a book because they have not bothered to learn it please.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 07 Sep 18 - 03:54 AM

I'm amazed how many poets have to read their own poems from a book/iPhone/tablet! Can't even be arsed to learn their own poetry! And not a single syllable of criticism from the 'Show Respect' Brigade.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Howard Jones
Date: 07 Sep 18 - 05:41 AM

The wonderful Les Barker reads his own poems from a book, or at least usually has it in front of him.

The objection to people reading, whether poems or songs, is that in most cases they do it because they haven't acquired performance skills, and while they continue to rely on this they won't gain these skills. With these people, reading detracts from the performance. There are those who can deliver an effective performance while reading, but they are very much in the minority.

The presumption, out of respect for the song and the audience, should be to learn it properly and perform from memory. If you can't do this, consider whether you are ready to perform it yet. If you have genuine problems with memory, then learn the skills to deliver the song effectively from a prompt.


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 07 Sep 18 - 06:38 AM

No performance poetry?

May I put in a word for Attila the Stockbroker at this point?


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 07 Sep 18 - 07:49 AM

Probably the most celebrated public poet of the twentieth century, and the one who got the largest audiences on earth for it:

Yevtushenko in action

and a couple of other people you might have heard of

There are those who can deliver an effective performance while reading, but they are very much in the minority.

So are those who can deliver an effective performance while not reading. Care to name anybody who could do better on the material I've linked to than the folks in those videos?


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Sep 18 - 08:01 AM

jack , i agree if people are going to read could they practise, in front of a mirror is imo a good idea, look at yourself observe,video yourself then play it back get a friend to watch and make comments


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Subject: RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Sep 18 - 09:34 AM

Why make a video
The best workshops I have ever been involved in have consisted of a group of people with a degree of experience in folk song (doesn't really matter what size - half-a dozen works as well as any), getting a singer to sing and allowing the rest t make positive and hopefully, practical comments on what they heard
It never failed to work for us
Jim Carroll


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