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Annoying Bodhran, what to do?

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John J 15 Jun 01 - 08:46 AM
IanC 15 Jun 01 - 08:50 AM
Midchuck 15 Jun 01 - 08:51 AM
MMario 15 Jun 01 - 08:51 AM
Gervase 15 Jun 01 - 08:55 AM
kendall 15 Jun 01 - 08:55 AM
English Jon 15 Jun 01 - 08:56 AM
pavane 15 Jun 01 - 09:05 AM
English Jon 15 Jun 01 - 09:07 AM
Skipjack K8 15 Jun 01 - 09:08 AM
John J 15 Jun 01 - 09:10 AM
Gervase 15 Jun 01 - 09:13 AM
John J 15 Jun 01 - 09:14 AM
English Jon 15 Jun 01 - 09:14 AM
English Jon 15 Jun 01 - 09:17 AM
Jim Cheydi 15 Jun 01 - 09:19 AM
English Jon 15 Jun 01 - 09:23 AM
Gervase 15 Jun 01 - 09:37 AM
KingBrilliant 15 Jun 01 - 09:37 AM
English Jon 15 Jun 01 - 09:40 AM
Uncle_DaveO 15 Jun 01 - 09:57 AM
Linda Kelly 15 Jun 01 - 10:00 AM
Gervase 15 Jun 01 - 10:02 AM
Jon Freeman 15 Jun 01 - 10:04 AM
Les from Hull 15 Jun 01 - 10:05 AM
A Wandering Minstrel 15 Jun 01 - 10:12 AM
English Jon 15 Jun 01 - 10:18 AM
Charmion 15 Jun 01 - 10:19 AM
Peg 15 Jun 01 - 10:24 AM
Les from Hull 15 Jun 01 - 10:27 AM
English Jon 15 Jun 01 - 10:41 AM
kendall 15 Jun 01 - 10:43 AM
Midchuck 15 Jun 01 - 10:56 AM
John J 15 Jun 01 - 10:59 AM
John J 15 Jun 01 - 11:43 AM
Gervase 15 Jun 01 - 11:47 AM
Jim Cheydi 15 Jun 01 - 12:13 PM
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GUEST,Raggytash 15 Jun 01 - 01:08 PM
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Clinton Hammond 15 Jun 01 - 01:29 PM
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Subject: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 08:46 AM

Please can someone (all of you?!) advise me how to handle this situation.

I regularly go to a local folk club where the singers nights are generally quite well supported by audience and singers / musicians alike. The beer is good. The company is good. I really enjoy going.

BUT (big but), my mother sold a bodhran to one of the singers and now he plays the bodhran at absolutely every opportunity. Sometimes it's not too much of a problem, occassionally enhancing a performance. Generally however, I find it a major problem when I sing (unaccompanied).

Last week the bodhran caused me so much of a problem I had to stop singing and ask him to stop playing. I didn't want to do this, it's obviously embarrassing for the man. At the end of the night I went over and apologised to him for having to ask him to stop, and explained to him that I found it really off-putting. His reaction was to say that it was my fault I didn't sing in time. He really got the hump, although I expect some of it was beer talking. Time to walk away, so I did.

Last night at the club, whilst he didn't play the bodhran when I sang, he played it for ALL the other unaccompanied singers performances.

I don't really want to stop going to this club, but it's getting to the point where it's going to become a chore, and that would be dreadful. I have no wish to offend anybody (including those who play bodhran, well or not).

HELP. what do I do? Sorry to go on, but this is a problem for me.

John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: IanC
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 08:50 AM

Whilst it's not what you want to do, I'd suggest you do stop going to this club. At least for a time. You're obviously not enjoying it just at the moment.

I bet things will have changed if you just go somewhere else for a few weeks. At least you will have had some space to evaluate how you feel about it all.

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Midchuck
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 08:51 AM

Refer to the Heinlein quote in my post to the "Extreme Prejudice and Friends" thread.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: MMario
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 08:51 AM

If you sing unaccompainied - then I would say announce that at the beginning of your song. that should take care of it for you - and if you are doing it I suspect that others will pick up the habit rather quickly.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Gervase
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 08:55 AM

Time to reach for the trusty tuning knife...


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: kendall
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 08:55 AM

Why fret over the attitude of an insensitive clod? He cant be very bright, or else he doesn't give a damn about anyone but himself. What makes people think that all you have to do is pound on a bodhran any old way and it's ok?

I've had a couple of festival type gigs where te "House band" expected to play along, but, I tell them, "Lookie folks, I dont know how to play with a band, so, by the time you finish your coffee, I'll be finished, ok?"

Diplomacy... The art of saying "Nice doggie" while you are looking around for a rock.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 08:56 AM

Petrol and matches.

or ask to borrow it, and then play it Clawhammer style. You can get one of these from any good hardware shop.

EJ


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: pavane
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:05 AM

Spill a pint on it, accidentally. That should put it out of use for most of the evening.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:07 AM

Get a bigger, louder, more annoying bodhran.

Or better still, a 14 inch military snare.

EJ


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Skipjack K8
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:08 AM

I read here, ages ago, some good soul recount the tale of John Kirkpatrick telling the bodhran player in the second row of the stalls to shut the feck up, mid song. That takes balls, but Captain Kirk isn't short of them, having had a well earned rasping from the man himself.

John, perhaps you should have the quiet word with a few 'key' performers that they each announce their 'unaccompanied' wish before their turn. Bet you he will drop it before the last one rises.

How's the running going? I'm going backwards fast!

Skipjack


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:10 AM

I don't think I've ever experienced a faster response to a post, thanks folks....you've all cheered me up at least! Keep the suggestions coming.

Thanks lots,

John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Gervase
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:13 AM

How's about asking if you can borrow it for a number?
Don't play the bloody thing; just hang on to it while you sing and then hand it back. He'd have to be terminally dense not to get the message (still, he is a bodhran player...)
...ducks and runs to avoid abduction and forcible anal probing from crazed bodhran-playing aliens...


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:14 AM

Thanks Skipjack, the running is going ok...just did blackpool Marathon in 4:22, my PB. I'm doing a tough 7 miler this Sunday in Stainland near Halifax (thats in Yorkshire you know).

Re: bodhran player, that is just how I dealt with the situation last week, but more politely.

Thanks,

John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:14 AM

Stanley knife, cut neatly along the inside of the hoop.

or you could fill it with quick drying cement.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:17 AM

...."Ah! I see you've brought your Boring!"


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Jim Cheydi
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:19 AM

Use it as a tray for carrying drinks or as a frisbee or as a template for drawing Charlie Brown's head, or to fake some flying saucer photos, or perhaps you could just point out that he's lost the jangly bits on his tambourine.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:23 AM

Turn it into a satelite dish by poking a penny whistle through the middle of it.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Gervase
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:37 AM

...Put it skin-down on the table and fill it with crisps and nuts.
...Dollop something oil-based on the skin - a squirt of WD40 or some 3-in-1; it'll take a lot longer to get the tension back than using beer (and it's a waste of good beer).
...Congratulate the "player" on his new dog-collar. When he looks puzzled, ram the bloody thing down over his head.

Hey, anyone fancy knocking off an instant book - 101 uses for a Bodhran?


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:37 AM

Isn't this the sort of thing where the club organiser/s should quietly have a word? If its a singaround thing then couldn't they explain that if its someones 'turn' then they should be assumed to be solo unless they state otherwise.
Could it be a sort of general announcement, aimed at the singers, that if they want accompaniment or not then could they please specify before commencing
Or how about suggesting that the evening be devided into two halves, the second being the one where its free for all to join in if the person whose turn it is says so.
Its unfortunate that he reacted badly to your first approach, and that he has not applied the lesson across all the singers. It would be a shame to let the situation go on though, because it could be putting more people off & then the numbers might fall. Also this enthusiastic new player will surely at some point twig to the unspoken ettiquette & be embarassed at having transgressed so often.
The happy ending would be if there is some way of channelling the enthusiasm into encouraging a jamming element when required. As I said at the start - I'd be inclined to expect the organisers to pick up on the problem and find some way round it. Bit of a tough job though...

Kris


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:40 AM

Ask him why he never chose to take up an instrument.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:57 AM

What shall we do with the bodhran player?
What shall we do with the bodhran player?
What shall we do with the bodhran player?
Er-lye in the mornin'?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:00 AM

Right, me and the guys turn up, surround him and whilst your doing your song we make our move -I can grab his legs and the rest of us can beat the living whatsit out of him....


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Gervase
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:02 AM

Maybe you could enlist your mother's help - ask her to approach the eejit and tell him she needs the bodhran back (insert any old lame excuse as required - bird-bath, panning for gold, serving cous-cous...)
Failing that, how about strength in numbers. Have a quiet word with the other singers, and if the pillock starts beating off, get everyone to come out with a collective groan and a few glares in his direction.
Trouble is, it's amazing how thick-skinned some people can be (...the bodhran's is probably thinner...!).


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:04 AM

I'm with kris - it should be one for the organisers.

BTW, the Conwy Club used to open with a session and have another during the beer break and it worked well.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:05 AM

Before I upset every bodhran player, I'd better explain that my comments here refer to the unsensitive type of player who 'only bought one because I can't sing or play a musical instrument but I could manage one of them drum-things.'

I'm sure that someone needs to deal with this problem head on. What'll happen if all the unaccompanied singers clear off because of insensitive bodhran person? He must learn that there are times that the beat of the bodhran is welcome and times that it's not. I do a lot of joining-in stuff (but never on the bodhran!) and I'm lucky that the people who join with me or who I join in with know how it works. But I never join in with unaccompanied songs except with voice. For them that doesn't, they has to be told.

It's probably a job for the organiser. Get together with fellow singers, find out if they are fellow sufferers and then tell the organiser. I'm sure that he or she would rather lose one bodhran player than a whole bunch of singers.

But don't forget to encourage the bodhran bloke with stuff that he can join in on. Kris' idea of splitting the night up between 'performance' and 'joining-in' is a good one.

These bodhran things should have to be licensed. As a melodeon player I'm always happy to see them though, 'cos it means I won't be the least popular person in the room! Just keep him at your side of the Pennines, eh mate?

Les (who has a bodhran, but never plays it)


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:12 AM

Hello! I am A Wandering Minstrel and I am a bodhran player! It is not some sort of foul disease any more than accordion or banjo playing, Please don't expect someone to have an instrument and not at least try playing it. Please don't damage his toy either!

Where your friend here has a problem is that he isn't getting the real message about manners!. Most clubs I go to have a "beer break" mid evening lasting around 30 minutes where playing tunes all together is OK. after that instruments are put away.

I used to have a "helpful guitarist" who strummed along to my songs I just stopped singing everytime he started and looked at him. He gave up. Get the MC to explain matters to him. If he can't control himself its him that should leave not you.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:18 AM

Banjos and accordians can also be improved with quick drying cement.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Charmion
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:19 AM

How do you know the bodhran player has arrived at the party? The pounding on the door keeps getting louder and louder and faster and faster!

I've been a singer all my life, and I must say that I resent the intrusions of those who join in songs without refrains without invitation. I know they do it because they love to sing, or because they love the song, or even because they want to sing with me, but the fact is that my turn is my turn, and if I want to share it I will say so, usually by choosing a song with a refrain and inviting the rest of the circle to join in the chorus. Of course, I try (not always successfully) to keep my mouth shut during other peoples' turns, until the chorus comes around.

I play the bodhran -- privately. I will continue to play privately until someone asks me to play publicly. I don't expect that to happen before -- maybe -- 2010.

The invasive bodhran player should be taken aside and instructed on group etiquette, and I agree with those who think that the club organizers should do the dirty work.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Peg
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:24 AM

as a singer who sings mostly unaccompaniewd, AND a boudhran player, I gotta say, if someone is insensitive enough to think they should play the drum during an a cappella song, and expect the SINGER to keep time weith the DRUM, instead of the other way round, there is no reasoning with them.

I have been to sessiuns where the "leaders" have no compunction with telling boudhran players to just stop or not play. This I think is wrong (unless, as happened one night, the drum is really interfering with a complex or slow song on solo fiddle); the "other" boudhran player at this sessiun told me when I arrived one night the "leader" would probbaly perefr if only one of us drummed during any given song...

If I bring my drum to a sessiun, I tend to sit out a lot of tunes; some just don't need thr drum, and you also gain a little recognition for being perhaps sensitive to the MUSIC instead of just banging away because you CAN. (Most boudhran players do not really bother to learn it properly and many cannot keep a rhythm very effectively).

It is frustrating to me that at sessiuns where no one knows I am a decent singer, and where there is no oppurtunity to sing, others assume the only thing I can do is play the boudrhan, and I am really only a middling drummer (I can keepo a beat though). A GOOD boudhran player who is sensitive to when it is most appropriate to play, is an asset to a sessiun I believe.

Peg


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:27 AM

Or perhaps I ought to pop over and sing Lord Bateman and see how he gets along with that!


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:41 AM

Great song Les! that'll knacker him... even if he can find the rhythm he'll never keep it up for 246 verses!


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: kendall
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:43 AM

The drum should never take center stage. It should be heard, but, it should never take over. It must be hell to be so untalented that you have to screw up another persons contribution.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Midchuck
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:56 AM

It must be hell to be so untalented that you have to screw up another persons contribution.

Nahhh. It's fun! It's only hell for the other person, and the listeners.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:59 AM

You're welcome to come over Les, I'll sort the visa entry details for you!

John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: John J
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 11:43 AM

One thing I neglected to mention...he brought TWO bodrhans with him last night.

John


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Gervase
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 11:47 AM

Shit - he might not know how to play 'em, but the bastard's found a way to make 'em breed!
This man must be stopped at all costs.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Jim Cheydi
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 12:13 PM

Borings in stereo? It doesn't bear thinking about. Maybe he's trying to build up a full kit a bit at a time?


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: MMario
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 12:13 PM

insensitive enough to think they should play the drum during an a cappella song, and expect the SINGER to keep time weith the DRUM, instead of the other way round

Peg - it's nice to hear this sentiment from someone. Locally I know one or two people with whom I am willing to sing accompianied without rehearsal - because they are both skilled enough and willing to follow the singer. Many of the musicians around play their particular variation of a song and no other. tempo and key. and ornementation.

For example - I was asked to sing the other night - started - and was brought to an abrupt halt by one of the musicians loudly declaiming - "that's the wrong key" - unfortunetly the key they wanted to play in was incompatible with my range (drat!) so the musicians ended up sitting out - except for the flute player who was able to transpose on the fly and play along with me.

Now I know I tend to drag some songs out - and certainly don't mind a musician giving me a high sign to pick up the pace - but as a singer I resent having (unasked for) accompianment launch into variations that I'm not singing! If I launch into song while a musician is palying - I certainly try to match what they are playing - not sing my own version! if I can't, I shut up.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 12:14 PM

John - how did you keep a straight face when he turned up with two?

Seriously, I think that its always a good thing to encourage and respect people's contributions irrespective of how unformed their talent (hey! how tactful is that!). But its not acceptable for someone to trample over a whole night (even if they're good & perfectly formed talent-wise....).
So whatever his quality and choice of instrument, he should not be joining in uninvited & persistently.
Something needs to be done, for the good of the club, the singers and the individual himself.

Keep us posted....

Kris


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Noreen
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 12:29 PM

It's a horrifying thought that someone could be so unaware (or arrogant) that not only does he play unasked with unaccompanied singers, he also has the cheek to criticise the singer who apologises to him! Geez, John- it's just as well you're a gentle soul... How about designing a 'Government Health Warning' label and attaching it to his bodhran skin when he's at the bar- something like : This bodhran can seriously damage your singing ?

Have a word with the other singers and see how they feel about it. Even if some don't find his playing intrusive, someone has to have a quiet word with him so that he realises he is annoying people. It is not his right to play as and when he wants to, and he should ask each singer if they want him to join in or not. When it's his turn to perform, he can choose whether he wants others to join in with him or not...

Before someone accuses me of being a bodhrán-hater (heaven forfend), I will say that I love a well-played bodhran in a session, but this bloke is giving bodhran players a bad name ! *grin*

Send Ickle Dorrit in!

Noreen


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 12:56 PM

When he turned up with two, I would have had to use the Joke "Name X was on his way here tonight and stopped to buy a pack of cigarettes. He had just got in the store when he realized that he had left his Bodhran on the pack seat of his car, with the doors unlocked and the window open. He ran back outside but was too late, some bastard had already thrown another in there with it. I confess I am a bodhran player too and an a capella singer. I prefer an off beat bodhran to the as**oles who don't know the tune you are singing and join in anyway on any instrument, (the mandolin player is the one who pisses me off most) hitting all sorts of notes that are not in the song. It really throws me off the notes I am trying to sing that are supposed to be there. Ah I feel better now. Thanks JohnB


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 01:08 PM

Just a thought, why not print this off, edit accordingly, ie deleting any reference to yourself, and leave it on the table where he normally sits. I've experienced a similar problem on festival campsite were some thoughtless and or insensitive idiots play their instruments before people have woken. One in particular played bodhran very badly.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: kendall
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 01:09 PM

Get him to join the Mudcat, then, refresh this thread!


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 01:29 PM

I really don't understand the problem with telling to just stop...

"Look, it's -my- turn... -you're- throwing me off, so stop playing please..."

Easy peasy...

If he won't stop, drop kick him...


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,Newfie
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 01:48 PM

I bought a Bodhran last St. Patrick's Day, I've never played it in public (It's a decoration on my wall, singing and guitar may be enough) But I can sympathize with both you and your player. I think if you have him to the point where he is not bothering you, you should count that as a blessing and let the other singers fend for themselves. Enjoy the good beer and good company, smile and applaud him when he inhances a performance and ignore him when he doesn't. If he joins in with you again, without invitation, THEN complain to the organizers.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: Justa Picker
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 01:53 PM

See how it looks on him as a collar.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: GUEST,Karen
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 02:06 PM

I think Clinton's approach is best. Even though you don't want to have a confrontation it IS your music you're defending so go ahead and tell him to please sit this song out.
Two bodhrans...*sigh*...that's so scary it's almost funny really. Perhaps he's on to the idea that someone might "harm" his instrument and that's why he now brings a spare.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 02:06 PM

Is the pub on the edge of a cliff? I hear bodhrans fly nearly as well as Frisbees.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: gnu
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 02:07 PM

Obviously, this is an isolated incident ( a**hole ?) because Hraners are just like everyone else - people are people and you are bound to find an a**hole in any group, even singers. A short, polite talk with him, aside and privately was your best option. Publically saying what you said was as ill-mannered as he. It embarrassed him and he responded in the a**hole manner that he demonstrated when joining in without being asked.

I have refused to lay down a Hran track with a singer/guitarist on a CD because I thought it detracted from the tune. I have declined invitations to play Hran on tunes in MY OWN KITCHEN becasue I thought it detracted from a particular tune. Not all Hranners are as stunned as this guy, BUT, publically embarrassing him was definitely impolite.

Even though he gave you the gears when you apologized, it may have been the booze talking, as you mentioned, so I suggest another "explanation" when he is sober. If he gives you any grief at that point, put your foot through his Hran and then shove his tipper up his ass. There should be enough other offended people to hold him down for you.


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Subject: RE: Annoying Bodhran, what to do?
From: gnu
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 02:29 PM

BTW, maybe it's Friday afternoon and the pub's "open" but I only found one derogatory remark re the Hran even remotely original. Kinda like mob mentality... let's all shit on the Hran.

I recall one fellow, a singer/guitarist/mandoleer of note asking me to play at a lively downtown spot with him while I was recovering from a wrist injury. I declined, saying I couldn't do it justice. He replied, "Your only beating a drum." Funny how people crap on the heartbeat of Celtic Trad, even when they're ASKING you to play with them. I liken it to the difference between strumming and playing a guitar.... anyone can strum... even me.

To you crappers... listen to Kevin Conneff, Mance Grady, Colm Murphy, Stephen Hannigan, Gino Lupari, or any of the other Hranners who PLAY the Hran. IF you still hate the Hran, I will politely and graciously bow to your comments. Your choice... if or off.


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