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Unfriendly folk musicians in pubs

AliUK 25 Aug 01 - 05:33 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Aug 01 - 07:07 PM
AliUK 24 Aug 01 - 05:51 PM
GUEST,janey 24 Aug 01 - 01:44 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Aug 01 - 09:19 PM
GUEST,Jon Freeman 23 Aug 01 - 06:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Aug 01 - 02:02 PM
GUEST,AliUK 23 Aug 01 - 01:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Aug 01 - 05:38 AM
KingBrilliant 23 Aug 01 - 05:32 AM
The Shambles 23 Aug 01 - 05:25 AM
KingBrilliant 23 Aug 01 - 04:59 AM
Frank Maher 22 Aug 01 - 10:11 PM
The Shambles 22 Aug 01 - 03:26 PM
JudeL 22 Aug 01 - 11:03 AM
KingBrilliant 22 Aug 01 - 09:41 AM
The Shambles 22 Aug 01 - 08:53 AM
GUEST,Bunny 22 Aug 01 - 08:42 AM
KingBrilliant 22 Aug 01 - 05:40 AM
Jon Freeman 22 Aug 01 - 05:31 AM
JudeL 22 Aug 01 - 05:03 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 21 Aug 01 - 10:12 PM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser0 21 Aug 01 - 05:27 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Aug 01 - 03:58 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Aug 01 - 03:55 PM
The Shambles 21 Aug 01 - 03:55 PM
Frank Maher 21 Aug 01 - 02:48 PM
Jon Freeman 21 Aug 01 - 02:15 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Aug 01 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 21 Aug 01 - 01:37 PM
Jon Freeman 21 Aug 01 - 01:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Aug 01 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,Rich (bodhránai gan cookie) 21 Aug 01 - 12:38 PM
Peter Kasin 20 Aug 01 - 05:25 PM
GUEST,PeteBoom (at work) 20 Aug 01 - 02:25 PM
Peter Kasin 20 Aug 01 - 02:19 PM
KingBrilliant 20 Aug 01 - 10:44 AM
forty two 20 Aug 01 - 10:35 AM
KingBrilliant 20 Aug 01 - 10:27 AM
KingBrilliant 20 Aug 01 - 10:06 AM
The Shambles 20 Aug 01 - 09:53 AM
GUEST,bunny 20 Aug 01 - 09:27 AM
JudeL 20 Aug 01 - 06:48 AM
forty two 20 Aug 01 - 05:44 AM
toadfrog 19 Aug 01 - 05:22 PM
Rick Fielding 19 Aug 01 - 11:36 AM
The Shambles 19 Aug 01 - 06:59 AM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 19 Aug 01 - 06:48 AM
Peter Kasin 18 Aug 01 - 11:59 PM
Peg 18 Aug 01 - 01:00 PM
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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: AliUK
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 05:33 PM

McGrath, weeeeel, as a timorous newcomer waaaaaaaaaaay back when ( I was 17 when I first stepped through the bevveled glass doors of a folk club) i understood exactly what newcomers went through. That's why with the 'Ogre"there was a policy towards non-pretenciousness. Also we had PAs, so that helped a lot. We don't need folk clubs here in Brazil as traditional music is a living thing out here, music is the lifeblood and it all loops back into the popular music. But I am currently teaching at an Americam EFL school and the theme this semester is Jazz, and they seem quite keen to set up a music club with the onus on american music so I'm dusting off my Dylan and Guthrie and some of dem dere blues.


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 07:07 PM

That would have been the second club, not the first one that died the death? Sounds good.

I didn't mean to jump down your throat AliUK, if it felt like that. I get nervous about anything that threatens to freeze out timorous newcomers. (Which doesn't just mean young performers - getting back into the swing of it after years away can be the scariest thing of all - here is a song about that.)

Anything resembling folk clubs in Brazil? Maybe that should be another thread though.


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: AliUK
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 05:51 PM

Dear Mr. McGrath, the club was Luton Folk club, not too many miles away from you, that segued into The Wild Ogre ( and survived about 2 years after I moved out here to Brazil. I just read my posting and due to uncommon haste I realised that I hadn't put in what I really wanted to say. Many of the performers that came to the club where first time performers ( not just musicians and singers, but poets and comedians as well). They all got a good listening to, what I was trying to get at was that no one turned their backs on them, no one ( and I mean NO ONE) was turned away ( things sometimes went on until the early hours. This was an arts centre with a bar and not a pub). The only difference was on guest night, which were kept to a minimum. When the floor spots were more organised.


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: GUEST,janey
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 01:44 PM

i can't believe all this; some people in folk sessions are boring miserable old gits and some are a right laugh. that's just the way it is. i always find that if you go to a session or a club with the right attitude and a bit of a grin on your face there will normally be someone who responds and makes you feel welcome. if there's no one like that then do you want to be there anyway? go and have a kebab instead. ps whitby folk week was great everyone dead friendly until i got the flu.


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 09:19 PM

True enough, that's a different variety again. The more you think of it, the more complicated it all gets. The one thread that goes through all of them is having proper respect for the situation, and for the other people involved. And in a strange place, observe what's going on, and never be afraid to ask if you aren't clear.


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: GUEST,Jon Freeman
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 06:54 PM

McGrath, I agree with your assessment but there are of course situations such as an Irish society do I try to get to once a month where the musicians and the music is wanted as opposed to the bar where people are just being tolerant towards them but the night is still a social event with music rather than a session. It's a good night too as long as people expect and understand (and can cope with) the more noisy (although very friendly) environment.

Jon


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 02:02 PM

That's a whole different thing from the question of unwanted musical or vocal accompaniment.

If people don't quieten down and listen to a singer who is not that loud or who is not that confident, that is not within my definition of a "friendly atmosphere."

Control freaks can screw up a club or a session. But so can bad-mannered oafs who don't care about music and other people. Wanting to hear nothing but the sound of their own voice isn't limited to singers - it's more typical of the loudmouths who prop up the bar in some places.

I think there's a difference between two situations - one is where a bar that is primarily a talking socialising place is tolerant about having a few musicians in the corner. The other is where there is a full-fledged session, and most people are listening. In the first case it's unfair to expect quiet, so you just have to bellow a bit. But the second case quiet for songs is good manners and to be expected of anyone with good manners.


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: GUEST,AliUK
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 01:45 PM

I agree with the guy from Newfoundland. This "preciousness"of clubs and sessions is what kills music. I was on the comitee of one such club that died ( people had to be quiet, we had to know you before you got a spot, no ne joined in) and it died a slow and embarrasing death. I then set up another club ( I was invited to by an arts association) where you could talk smoke, join in, a club with a friendly atmosphere. If the performer was good, usually people would shut up and apprediate the music or song, if not then 'Bye, Bye may Brudder." Which I actually felt was more the way it should be.


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 05:38 AM

"session etiquette" is just supposed to be a handy way of summing up "common sense, good manners and consideration for others". All of which include newcomers paying respect to the customs of the place, and regulars paying respect to the needs of newcomers.

Yes - Figgy Duff is still remembered in Harlow. Unfortunately I missed the occasion when this strange bunch of Newefoundlanders suddenly emerged and shook everyone up. Send us some more.


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 05:32 AM

Oh blimey!


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 05:25 AM

Now I'm confused. *Smoles*


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 04:59 AM

Shambles I'm confused now. Surely if the session ettiquette is set up by people of CS, GM & CFO then that becomes the framework in which the session operates and therefor should guard against the wilder excesses of those with lesser degrees of the 'three virtues' (saves typing)?
So it would only allow infliction of the lack thereof if the session were set up by (or controled by) the fiendishly unvirtuous? - in which case the session would be naff & would probably die?
The only other thing to do is to exclude people without the 'three virtues' and excluding people is what we want to avoid.

Kris


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: Frank Maher
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 10:11 PM

Yes!Memorial University of Newfoundland has a Campus in Old Harlow..I Played There on a Couple of Occasions when I Played with the Figgy Duff Band...The People in Old Harlow are Wonderful!!!!!


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 03:26 PM

But Shambles - not everybody has common sense, good manners and consideration for others. Hence the need for some sort of artificial structure or ettiquette.

But surely 'session ettiquiette' should never be seen as a replacement for common sense, good manners and consideration for others?

If you don't have these qualities, no ammount of 'session ettiquette' will disguise the fact and hiding behind the term, only allows these people to inflict their lack of common sense, good manners and consideration for others on everyone else.


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: JudeL
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 11:03 AM

Not just Thursday but it'll do for starters.
Sorry bout the minor rant, I'd just finished a 10 hour waking night duty & I'm working another tonight. Roll on tomorrow lunchtime.
Jude


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 09:41 AM

But Shambles - not everybody has common sense, good manners and consideration for others. Hence the need for some sort of artificial structure or ettiquette.

Kris


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 08:53 AM

This so-called 'session etiquette' is just a term for some musicians to justify being rude and self-important.

Al that is needed is common sense, good manners and consideration for others.


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: GUEST,Bunny
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 08:42 AM

Jude L. If you had been able to see my face as I was typing you would have noticed that my tounge was placed firmly in my cheek.My point is I suppose that some folkies appear to take thamselves a little too seriously. I am new to the session scene, having been introduced by my husband( Born again scouser) and I am a singer. However I have found the so called 'session etiquette' something of a turn off. Maybe I'm just too much of a disco chick.


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 05:40 AM

Jude - just on Thursday? Will you be sleeping it off on Fri Sat Sun & Mon?

kris


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 05:31 AM

No Chris, it was Norwich way.

Jon


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: JudeL
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 05:03 AM

Bunny you appear to have completely missed the points I was making:
1) there is a difference in style between singing with or without instruments, just as there is a difference in style of playing instruments without the restrictions of accompanying a singer
2) different types of song invite/expect different levels of (singing) participation, e.g. songs with a chorus or refrain, ballad or shanty 3) far from it being due to overinflated self importance, there is recognition that a singer can be so thrown by someone's joining in where they are not expected that the singer may find it difficult to carry on with the song at all . (Joan Byaz and her amp may be unfazed but not everyone is that confident and I wonder how she would feel about a fiddle playing a slightly different tune louder than she was singing!)
Finally as I said in my previous post, appreciation and manners - appreciation of what is apt, and manners to only join in where apt. Jude - who intends to get suitably drunk and thoroughly enjoy lots of chorus songs at Towersey on Thursday.


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 10:12 PM

Some of you should visit Hull, there is a good folk session every night exept Saturday, and every session I have ever been to has been really friendly.Maybe that's why there is so many folkies & Mudcatters in hull. :-)


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser0
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 05:27 PM

Sorry, Jon. Just messin'.

Sounds good, by the way. Not round Liverpool way, is it, by any chance?


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 03:58 PM

Sorry, I screwed up that link to my website. Here goes again.


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 03:55 PM

And Newfoundland's St John's University even has the good sense to have an overseas campus here in Harlow! (But there never seem to be any musician students, or if there are, they keep out of the way of us locals. Which ius a shame, they'd be very welcome. And if they want to find out what's on, they can visit

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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 03:55 PM

Is there a bus?


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: Frank Maher
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 02:48 PM

If You want a Friendly Atmosphere,come to Newfoundland... You can Play anything,Sing anything,Butt in Anytime.. If You Sing out of Tune,We'll Tune the Instruments to Suit Your Voice...No Stress,no Petty Jelously,just the Love of Music and Musicians...We even allow Bodhrans:-))


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 02:15 PM

Oh well, BAS, I'm off to a session in about an hour and you'll be pleased to know I won't be singing it or singing anything for that matter. Just Irish music played on pipes, flutes, fiddles, guitar, bazouki (at least that's the regular crowd) and me rattling along on the banjo. It's the best night of the week for me.

Jon


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 01:49 PM

When I talk about unaccompanied and joining in or not , to me that's musical instruments joining in I'm referring to. The only occasion I've ever come across the house rule was don't join in the chorus was in a folk singing contest - and even there, it had to be formally stated.


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 01:37 PM

Johnny Jump Up??? Jesus.....


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 01:30 PM

In most of the mostly instrumental sessions I go to, the "rule" (which happens to be the way I prefer things) is, if someone starts a tune, it is a cue for everybody to join it but if someone starts a song no one joins in unless asked unless of course the song is a chorus song - I'd be very dissapointed if no one joined in if I sang Johnny Jump Up for example.

Jon


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 01:18 PM

Some places the informal house rule is people join in playing unless they've been told not to, others it's the other way round. I think I prefer the former, but either way works fine.

Confusion arises if people misunderstand which way it is. But that only happens if they haven't bothered to find out, by asking or observing.

And of course every now and again you're going to run into someone who is totally socially inept, like the one rock chick tangled with.


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: GUEST,Rich (bodhránai gan cookie)
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 12:38 PM

Regarding singing along with Joan Baez, chances are, she had a PA system and monitors. I've yet to play in a session where these are provided. There have been a few players at sessions in recent memory, where I'd have taken this or that player out of my monitor mix, had it been an option.

I'm getting ready to head home from a visit to Chicago. While here, I played a a number of sessions, a couple of which I've played before. There was one that was absolutely remarkable last year, before people found out about it. After about a half hour of it this year, I found myself staying only out of courtesy to the session host who'd invited me. It's really sunk. It only takes one or two loud players playing out of time to tank an otherwise good session.
I play the instrument that most people find it easy to be unfriendly to, and barring being introduced by a regular, I often get a few looks until people see that I'm not "one of those bodhrán-owners" and that I can play quietly in time, and trade off with other percussionists. I can't say I blame the regulars of a given session for not throwing down the red carpet. Chances are they've been stung by being too friendly before.

Rich


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: Peter Kasin
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 05:25 PM

I think the onus would best be on others to wait for a cue from the singer, therefore making it unnecessary for the singer to say "don't accompany." If that is understood by all attending, no problem. getting that understood to a newcomer is something else, hopefully to be dealt with tactfully.

-chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: GUEST,PeteBoom (at work)
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 02:25 PM

So... the discussion has veered from unfriendly folk musicians in pubs to session ettiquette - violations of which result in unfriendly folk musicians.

Would it suffice to say that if you are not well versed in the style of the tune/song being presented you sit tight and appreciate it? If you are well versed, and can lend a bit of support, can you be subtle in requesting to join in? Is the onus on the person desiring to join another in making music on a particular song/tune or should the lead/soloist be put in a position of saying "I'm doing this solo so don't think of joining in or else"?

Finally, my PERSONAL pet peeve, non-performing observers attempting to clap in time with the tune, and not quite being there. (One session I was in, a rather intoxicated fellow managed to clap EXACTLY 1/16 note off the beat - I doubt he could do it when sober.)

Regards -


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: Peter Kasin
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 02:19 PM

Now I know why this is called a "thread."


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 10:44 AM

Aha!!!! So now we have unwanted accompanying Singers??
The plot thickens.
Singers? who needs 'em....

And do these Singers ever perform unaccompanied? And if anyone joins in do they get needled?
Kris


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: forty two
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 10:35 AM

Shambles - yes I agree we're not too far apart. Me too, I don't mind if anyone joins in.

No not true!! In my local there are old pedal operated Singer sewing machine tables and sometimes someone pedals away to the beat squeaking the mechanism. It's annoying and very hard to keep in beat!!

Surely, people, we must agree that Singer sewing machines are not musical instruments LOL


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 10:27 AM

Shambles - I was posting at same time as you, so my reference to control freaks is coincidental & not related to yours - just in case confusion ensues......

The CF to whom you refer was probably labouring under the delusion that he/she was being helpful encouraging and complimenting the poor embarrassed guy. I've seen similar happen a few times. It can be quite funny, so long as all the musicians see the funny side.
At a festival campsite recently someone gave feedback the next day on what they'd overheard of a bunch of people singing & playing. They pointed out who they thought was good & who was bad etc, and had completely missed the point that it had been a bunch of people enjoying themselves & that relative abilities hadn't been an issue.
- sort of related I think - but maybe a bit drifty, sorry.

Kris


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 10:06 AM

Bunny - nobody is being self-important. Its all a question of preferences, the prevailing mood of a session, etc. Having put in some effort to prepare the presentation of a song its not unreasonable to want to present it that way. As various people have said, it can be offputting for someone to join in unexpectedly, and folk is full of variations - they may not join in with the same variation. It can be particularly offputting to people who are new to performing.
Nobody is saying that joining in should be discouraged generally - however we would like to be able to express a preference. If people ignore that & join in anyway then its not the end of the world & I'm sure most singers would accept it with good grace at the time - we don't want to be control freaks.
I believe that singers should tolerate the occasional unexpected accompaniment & also that participants should tolerate the occasional adamant soloist. Most times it just kind of works itself out without anyone having to get uptight.
Also - Joan Baez is very experienced and gets plenty of chances to shine solo - its not a very fair comparison.

Kris


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 09:53 AM

Forty Two

I don't think we are too far apart.

No matter how hard you may work on developing it, I think that you are fortunate to be gifted with the ability to make music. The more humility you show and the more generous you are to those that may not share your ability, and who may appreciate yours, the more friendly you will appear.

The original post was from a fellow musician, not a member of the public but it matters not. The best sessions, in my opinion are those that involve as many folk as possible. If that just means a members of the public, clapping along, I would consider those to be a musician anyway.

Anyone who makes music is a musician.

When musicians think that they are more important than others, and more important than the music, they do themselves and music a disservice and will be in danger of being perceived as unfriendly, with some justification.

Why hold, what is in effect a mutual back-slapping exercise in a public place? Do you need the public there, so they can feel excluded or just to admire ones brilliance?

The public can be difficult, I know but you are inflicting yourselves on their night out. They have not asked you to play, paid for or even come to hear you at all.

You do get some members of the public who are a pain in the bum however. Have you come across the control freak, who will after a few drinks insist on organising who and what will be played? The most recent one stopped the music and rounded in and pointed at one individual who was quite happy just playing along in the background, and insisted that he played a tune on his own. This was much to the discomfort of this individual and caused him and everyone else present much embarrassment.

Maybe it is possible that you can appear too friendly?


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: GUEST,bunny
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 09:27 AM

I went to see Joan Baez a while back and she didn't mind people singing along with her. Do you not think you are bit a tiny bit self important- after all you ar singign in a pub not performing brain surgery. Perhaps you should have a couple of drinks dear, and relax a little.


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: JudeL
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 06:48 AM

If you normally sing unaccompanied by instruments it can be very offputting to have someone suddenly join in uninvited. When you sing without instruments you are free to adjust the phrasing, timing, tone , you can pitch it to suit the song and voice and even vary this within the song as needed to convey emphasis and meaning. I make the distinction of singing unaccompanied by instruments because in many singarounds singers tend to choose mainly songs with a chorus or refrain to enable others to join them for that part of the song. Chosing to sing without instruments is not precious but it is a different type of singing, just as there are different styles of playing instruments. In the end it all comes down to freedom, appreciation, consideration and most of all manners. IMHO
Jude

BTW thanks Deni


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: forty two
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 05:44 AM

Shambles, I still defend my stand that sessions are for the musicians - and the music of course. There is no conceit in this at all. There is a friendship between sessioning musicians which will involve swapping of tunes or talking about tunes and songs. There is the craic that happens between sets and all that happens in the time scale that the session sets itself. Now all of this does tend to exclude the punter in the pub. Again, it might be read as unfriendliness. But to be fair, it's not. Is it?

Now if you put a mike in amongst the muscians that casts a totally different light on the subject because that then implies public entertainment. And in that case, yes I would agree with you, that would be conceit. But that is not a true session in the terms that I have known them for many years.


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: toadfrog
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 05:22 PM

I second everything Chanteyranger just said. Chanteyranger runs a reasonably taut ship. Basically, there have to be some underlying rules and expectations, or there are going to be problems of that kind. I remeber trying to sing and play "Bourgeois Blues" at the San Francisco Folk Club, once, and had to stop in the middle, and say:

"Gee, if you want to join in, that's fine, but please try to stay in the same rythm I am in." That's the last time I attended that club, and the last time I played a guitar in public.


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 11:36 AM

Brendy said:

".....accompanied by this other cove, who insisted on putting an A7 in everywhere I was putting the proper AMINOR7 in. He also exaggerated the rhythm; playing, as he was with one of those awful three cornered plectrums, that turned every stroke into a declaration of war.

Me again:

I've been the recipient of this kind of "help" a few times. The guitarist with 'no ear, and no manners has quickly found out that my mellow 'live and let live philosophy' disappears quickly when I'm around idiots.

Brendy also said:

"Having people join in, is fine; and Dezy hadn't heard the song before. But he LISTENED to what was going on, and tempered his playing to suit.".

Me again:

God bless Dezy.

Rick


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 06:59 AM

Stick at it. If you mean business, people will soon recognise that. Besides, sessions aren't therapy. It's not about you

Well said and welcome....Sessions (even the serious and ernest ones Chis B refers to) are not for musicians, they are for music...


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 06:48 AM

Interesting site. I just came across it inadvertently and I haven't had time to check out all the messages but it seems to me that there are a lot of ideas and sentiments being expressed that it would be nice to hear expressed and discussed at sessions themselves. Of course, that never happens for a number of reasons. Time considerations, of course, plus the fact that most of the people present are there to play and not philosophise about the meaning of life, music, the price of cheese etc.

I spent nearly 15 years playing in the same session in London most Sundays. I learnt a hell of a lot there and got the chance to play and learn a lot of music I probably would never have learnt otherwise. However, it did take time to get to know some of the people who played there, not because people were unfriendly but it's in the nature of traditional music that a lot of the people who play it are very intense and serious about what they do and many of them (us? me?) heave spent a lot of their formative years learning and practicing on their own. So it often takes time to settle in and become accepted, especially if you play guitar because, after all, there are lots of them out there and unlike 'melody' instruments like fiddles or flutes there are only so many guitars (or bodhrans) that any 'serious' instrumental session can support before it all gets a bit bangy and strummy.

Stick at it. If you mean business, people will soon recognise that. Besides, sessions aren't therapy. It's not about you. If you make friends, that's a bonus and it'll probably happen in its own time anyway. But in my experience, as long as you get off on the music, it doesn't really matter what the people are like - unless you don't have any mates.


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: Peter Kasin
Date: 18 Aug 01 - 11:59 PM

I think McGrath and Peg have hit the nail on the head. The bottom line here is: singer's choice. If you're not sure if you're instrumental or vocal accompaniment would be welcomed, best to sit it out and listen to the singer, unless the singer has signalled that accompaniment is welcome. With a chantey sing, of course, (nice to read that, Melani) singing on the choruses is expected and encouraged, and there is etiquette to be followed there, too - again, being sensitive to the wishes of whoever's leading a song, if they express any - to name an ever-important one.

Jon, I agree about too many solos. Sensitivity should run both ways at sessions.

-chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: UNFRIENDLY FOLK MUSICIAN IN PUBS
From: Peg
Date: 18 Aug 01 - 01:00 PM

Jon;

I agree with what you say re: anyone "insisting" on more solos; this is not appropriate at a primarily instrumental sessiun, any more than it would be for an instrumentalist to insist on more tunes at a singers' sessiun; this all comes down to mutual respect and being flexible with what shape a sessun has. Most instrumental sessiuns want to play together; the occasional solo or song is just to add some variety and hopefully enhance the traditional color of the sessiun...

I also agree that audience members are every bit as important to consider as thos eplaying; then again soem audience members are not the least bit interested int he music, they are just there to drnk, or watch the match, etc.


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