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Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?

Nick 23 Aug 06 - 07:19 AM
GUEST 23 Aug 06 - 07:33 AM
Paul Burke 23 Aug 06 - 07:34 AM
Scrump 23 Aug 06 - 07:40 AM
GUEST,Jon 23 Aug 06 - 07:47 AM
Leadfingers 23 Aug 06 - 07:51 AM
The Borchester Echo 23 Aug 06 - 07:53 AM
Nick 23 Aug 06 - 08:09 AM
Richard Bridge 23 Aug 06 - 08:10 AM
Nick 23 Aug 06 - 08:16 AM
The Borchester Echo 23 Aug 06 - 08:28 AM
treewind 23 Aug 06 - 08:31 AM
InOBU 23 Aug 06 - 08:35 AM
The Fooles Troupe 23 Aug 06 - 08:39 AM
Pete_Standing 23 Aug 06 - 08:58 AM
Sooz 23 Aug 06 - 09:08 AM
Nick 23 Aug 06 - 09:15 AM
Bagpuss 23 Aug 06 - 09:20 AM
Scrump 23 Aug 06 - 09:32 AM
Bert 23 Aug 06 - 09:37 AM
Leadfingers 23 Aug 06 - 09:45 AM
Scrump 23 Aug 06 - 09:51 AM
sciencegeek 23 Aug 06 - 10:05 AM
Den 23 Aug 06 - 10:13 AM
SINSULL 23 Aug 06 - 10:24 AM
kendall 23 Aug 06 - 10:27 AM
Scrump 23 Aug 06 - 10:31 AM
sciencegeek 23 Aug 06 - 10:34 AM
SINSULL 23 Aug 06 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,Jim 23 Aug 06 - 10:47 AM
John J 23 Aug 06 - 11:06 AM
Paul Burke 23 Aug 06 - 11:29 AM
GUEST,Bee 23 Aug 06 - 11:33 AM
Scrump 23 Aug 06 - 11:46 AM
Little Hawk 23 Aug 06 - 11:50 AM
Scoville 23 Aug 06 - 11:54 AM
Betsy 23 Aug 06 - 11:59 AM
Scrump 23 Aug 06 - 12:06 PM
Amos 23 Aug 06 - 12:17 PM
John MacKenzie 23 Aug 06 - 12:19 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 23 Aug 06 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,maire-aine 23 Aug 06 - 12:45 PM
kendall 23 Aug 06 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,Geoffrey Curtain 23 Aug 06 - 01:09 PM
Janie 23 Aug 06 - 01:14 PM
sciencegeek 23 Aug 06 - 01:48 PM
Don Firth 23 Aug 06 - 01:50 PM
Bert 23 Aug 06 - 01:53 PM
Skipjack K8 23 Aug 06 - 02:02 PM
Peace 23 Aug 06 - 02:21 PM
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Subject: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Nick
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 07:19 AM

I'm still a little stunned by the following. I've seen a few crass and thoughtless acts in singarounds and sessions but I think this one stands out as being in a league of its own.

I was in the Endeavour pub in Whitby lateish on last night and thought I'd just go in for a song or a play before going off home. The pub was fairly busy and there were perhaps 6 or 7 people there playing tunes and things with three musicians in the middle being the 'centre of attention', one playing a squeezebox, one a piano accordion about the size of a small fridge and a guitarist.

So a guy starts singing 'Shoals of Herring' unaccompanied ...

After a brief period of time the squeezebox player tells him he's playing it in the wrong key and that he should be doing it in C (presumably as he didn't have the competence to play it in the original key) and starts playing in 'his' key. The singer - perhaps looking a hint surprised - adapts to the new key and continues singing. On balance he had few options as it's tricky to pitch an unaccompanied song in a different key and time against a squeezebox.

At which point the squeezebox's two other playing companions join in and change the time of the tune. This pretty effectively throws the singer again - firstly as the timing is different and secondly because the accordion being played heartily would probably drown Concorde taking off.

Now for the real clincher...

The squeezebox player has spotted the real flaw with the rendition of Shoals of Herring - THE WRONG MAN IS SINGING IT. Of course, how foolish of the original guy to start singing it - it should be Mr Squuezebox singing it. So he now sings away in his own fashion.

As I commented out to the guy sitting next to me it gave me a whole new perspective on the concept of accompaniment. How silly to think that accompanists are there to add to the singer when you can improve things by obliterating the misguided idiot by key, timing and noise. I will of course be adopting this new policy forthwith and may even change my instrument to something noisier so that I can best implement this new strategy. What's even better is you only have to learn tunes in one key - think of the saving in time!

I watched for a few more minutes as the trio blasted away with a few more tunes while the other musicians there had a look which I can best describe as 'deer caught in the headlights' - looking into space, not playing etc

Perhaps it's just me but I thought the guy singing the song was doing just fine until he got f***ed by the rest of them.

I have the following little scene playing through my head...

[Enter stage left white haired squeezebox player]
WIFE: Your pot roast is in the oven, dear. How did you get on at the folk festival?
MR SQUEEZE: There weren't many players there getting involved surprisingly so we had to play all the time practically.
WIFE: How tiring for you - all the time?
MR SQUEEZE: Well there was one time when a misguided chap started to sing Shoals of Herring but he was doing it all wrong.
WIFE: And did you set him right?
MR SQUEEZE: Oh yes [smug smile from ear to ear] - I don't think he'll get that wrong again while I'm there to put him back on the straight and narrow.
WIFE: Swoon. My hero...


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 07:33 AM

Jaysus! The poor singer. I've always found it quite hard to swallow when ANY musician deigns to tell ANY other musician at a session how to play or sing. It's presumptuous and pompous. If one feels that something absolutely has to be said one should pick a different time or place. I believe, had I been put in a similar situation, I would simply have stopped singing altogether and quietly gone up to the bar AND I would have resisted any attempts or urgings to offer my "services" again.
Hey everyone, they are sessions! not performances....sometimes you take the great moments with the not so great ones. If something not quite up to par takes place, it makes the up to par things seem all that much better.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 07:34 AM

Sadly you get sphinctroids like that in every kind of music, and with folk being participatory it shows up a lot more than in some other genres.

Solution: next time take a Breton biniou, a bombarde and entertain them with a 24 hour medley from 1930s musicals.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Scrump
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 07:40 AM

I would say LOL, but the accordionist sounds a right a**hole, as I believe our American friends would say (correct me if I'm wrong, guys). I'm fairly gobsmacked at the arrogant behaviour of this person, as described above.

Presumably the accordionist thought "Shoals of Herring" was "his" song, and objected to this interloper. Of course that's no excuse.

I've occasionally been "beaten to the punch" in a singaround when I've had a song lined up. I'd just shrug my shoulders and do something else - there are plenty of soungs to choose from - and I'd probably mention it jokingly to the "usurper" afterwards ("Yer b*gg*r, yer nicked me song") :)

I will only join in and accompany another singer (or musician) if I can play it in the same key as them (as a guitarist I can use a capo anyway, so it's rarely a problem) - I wouldn't dream of asking them to change key to suit me (of course I'll only do so if I'm able to play it properly in the first place, and if the person is happy for others to join in). When I sing a song I sing it in the right key for my own voice, which is often different from the 'official' written key. If I didn't do this, I'd not be able to reach all the low or high notes. I wouldn't want to change it for anyone else and I wouldn't expect anyone to ask me to.

Likewise if I want to join in vocally I will if necessary sing in harmony to suit my voice (and I hope, the song) - again I wouldn't dream of asking the lead vocalist to change to suit me.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 07:47 AM

Presumably the accordionist thought "Shoals of Herring" was "his" song

More like his head was just stuck up his own arse.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 07:51 AM

Joining in with an unaccompanied singer is something I do quite a lot - BUT I find HIS key , and play quietly , unless I get a nod to 'up' the volume from the singer ! Usurping a song or a tune ( I Play It LIKE THIS) is at the very least BLOODY RUDE !!!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 07:53 AM

It's far from uncommon to be told, when leading a tune, that you're in 'the wrong key' because those 'in charge' have decided that the session is being conducted in something else (almost invariably D). But I haven't actually encountered anyone who'd play across someone else in a different key (apart from those who confine themselves to one entirely of their own invented temperament). If you are accompanying vocals, obviously you play in the key the singer has chosen (provided that it's recognisable). If it's not, or if your instrument lacks some of the notes you need, then you don't play and next time perhaps bring something that's fully chromatic.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Nick
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 08:09 AM

"But I haven't actually encountered anyone who'd play across someone else in a different key"

Well I just have. He exists and I'd spot him again. If you are anywhere near Whitby I'll point him out... In fact I might take my camera when I go tomorrow and see if I can get a picture.

Who knows he might even see this post.

I have come across a number who hijack other people's songs to some extent or another. People sing choruses the way that they know or the way that is 'right' and often drown out someone who plays it differently (eg I sing Caledonia by Dougie Maclean and do the chorus slightly differently pausing between line 3 and 4 rather than following straight on and invariably get drowned out by people doing it the 'right' way); I know someone who plays guitar and accompanies people and invariably changes the tempo of the song to HIS version rather than following the singer; there are buckets of people playing horrible inappropriate pentatonic solos over all sorts of unlikely songs to improve them.

I also accept that a session or singaround is not a performance (but it sort of is to the person doing it I would think in most cases) and one must make allowances that people will leap in.

It was the overwhelming scale of the thing that got me in this particular instance. I suppose the only thing they didn't do was actually play a different song over him so it could have been worse I guess.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 08:10 AM

I'm pretty much in favour of joining in (unless an unaccompanied singer has specifcally requested no instruments), but it is very much up to the joiner to make sure he or she can do the necessary, and keep with the original carrier of the song/tune. Having some arseholes is the price of participative music, but there again some "singers" who account it a right to bore/embarrass the arse of us almost inaudibly in varying keys and tempi do need to be told firmly to get over themselves.

Perhaps these good squeezers genuinely thought the singer had in error started in a key that was going to make matters hard for HIM (the singer) and were trying to help. Perhaps they weren't.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Nick
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 08:16 AM

Perhaps they weren't.

There was little hint of help and the whole body language of the group of three was 'yup - we know this one and know how to do it right. Good request you are now irrelevant and we'll now show you how clever we are.'

Bunch of rissoles.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 08:28 AM

varying keys and tempi

O tempora O mores!

(Cicero)


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: treewind
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 08:31 AM

My reaction if the squeezebox player ever came in again would be to walk out. All the rest of you. And make sure he knows why. Or maybe offer him the option of leaving first, but it doesn't look as if civilized behaviour is in his repertoire (in any key...).

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: InOBU
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 08:35 AM

OK How is this, a certain flute player, who with his new dread locks looks vaguely like Sideshow Bob, from the Simpsons (Crusty the Clown's sociopathic straight clown), who about this time last year - three hours before a big, well paying gig, informed me when I called him ( he did not even call me to tell me this...) informs me he is blowing off the gig, as is the other member of the band, leaving me to have to cancil a gig, the first time in some 30 years of playing, mind you) Well... as folks know, after a playing for awhile in airconditioning, Uilleann Pipes often go sharp, so instead of saying anything to me, accross the table, Sideshow Bob turns to the box player next to him, and says, "Is he out of tune with you also?" This fellow has never once acknowleged that it was wrong to have ruined my reputation with a venue that had my band come back year after year, and now has something to say about my playing and does not have the curtisey ( or the family jewels enough) to say it to my face, across the table from his dread locks and he... not to mention that whenever I sing a ballad, he gets up from the table and walks away... some people don't have a thread of common decency or manners...
ah well, what can you do, clowns... they're all over the place.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 08:39 AM

"How silly to think that accompanists are there to add to the singer when you can improve things by obliterating the misguided idiot by key, timing and noise."

ROFLMAO!

Love your little 'play'!



"It's far from uncommon to be told, when leading a tune, that you're in 'the wrong key'"

Yeah, I know, I have been told that. I have even been told I am in the wrong room...


"I will of course be adopting this new policy forthwith and may even change my instrument to something noisier so that I can best implement this new strategy."

Since you can already play at least one instrument (and thus know most of the music theory you need!), and wish to learn another, thus qualifying you as a 'recycled muso', may I recommend the Piano Accordion and this thread.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Pete_Standing
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 08:58 AM

There is a singer in Oxford who will tell you to shut up if you try to accompany the song.

Trying to accompany an accompanied song is risky and potentially rude. Apart from the problem of finding the key (which could be unplayable without retuning) there might be variations in the tune, the verse structure or tempo - many old source singers did this. I know several songs where the structure is not uniform.

There are also times when someone starts a tune and nobody joins in, not because they can't but because the general feeling is that the tune and player deserves to be listened to.

As for the incident mentioned, the singer was treated apallingly. Session etiquette can be a hard thing to define, but these "musicians" don't have a clue.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Sooz
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 09:08 AM

An unaccompanied song is just that - unaccompanied. There are people who sing unaccompanied simply because they can't play anything but a genuine unaccompanied singer puts over the rhythm and the melody of the song in their own special way and no accompaniment is needed. I don't sing unaccompanied very often, but if I was and someone started to play I would stop singing. (Thinks - perhaps this is why I tend not to go to sessions!)


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Nick
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 09:15 AM

I tend to leave unaccompanied singers to sing unaccompanied.

I have enough friends who do it and have explained that it is by choice rather than that they can't play an instrument (which in many cases they are perfectly able to do very well).

The exception is when (and this may be pompous and patronising but isn't meant to be) I judge that the unaccompanied singers ability to stay in tune is limited without a couple of audio stabilisers. But even then the aim is still to stay in the background not to take over the song.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Bagpuss
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 09:20 AM

I often sing unaccompanied, and I have no problems with instrumentalists joining in, as long as they dont try to take over and just listen for the first verse to see how I am performing it, so that we don't clsh over timing etc.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Scrump
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 09:32 AM

IME most musicians and singers know instinctively when to join in and when to listen (e.g. for a slow air on a flute, or an unaccompanied "serious" song). But I have had people at singarounds attempt to accompany me when I've been doing a song that I think would have been better left to me, especially as on the particular occasion I'm thinking of, the guy couldn't play the right chords anyway. However, it's just a singaround and not a concert at the Albert Hall, so I don't let it bother me. Usually people will invite you to join in by saying something like "It's in A, if anyone feels like playing along", to make it clear.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Bert
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 09:37 AM

I finally gave up going to the Philadelphia Folk Song Society because of the few guitar hogs who would take over every song circle and not give anyone else even the chance to start a song.

One of them once said "You've got to push in if you want to sing". If "pushing in" was what I wanted to do I'd have joined a Rugby club instead.

Ill mannered louts.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 09:45 AM

'Joining in' with unaccompanied singers does NOT mean laying a steady Four Four beat to a Ballad , or indeed MOST traditional songs ! An unaccompanied rendition of a contemporary song is a slightly different thing .


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Scrump
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 09:51 AM

The singarounds I go to are just as the name implies - each person takes it in turn, going around the room, to sing a song or play a tune, or tell a story, recite a monologue or a poem, as the mood takes them. Sometimes an individual will invite others to accompany them or join in. The idea of "jumping in" just doesn't figure at all - anyone who tried that would get harsh words from the rest.

Sometimes there are so many people that you're lucky to get to do more than a couple of songs; other times you may be kept busy all night - that's how it goes.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: sciencegeek
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 10:05 AM

Boy, does this hit home. As an a cappella singer, I know first hand what the poor singer went through.

I can play several instruments... but poorly, so I do not inflict my playing on others. My true instrument is my voice, and I am quite capable of doing justice to a fine old aire, ballad or shanty. But I find that here in the USA, as you saw over on your side of the puddle, folks with an instrument tend to domineer sessions and what are called "sing-arounds"( but tend not to be so in practice).

And many of these individuals are just not capable of actually accompanying the singer, but rather play in whatever key they can regardless of what key is actually being sung. So, while they may be able to play an instrument, I don't regard them as accomplished musicians. Especially because they are ignoring the "music of the performance", for want of a better term.

And what often happens is that good singers get tired of having to "fight the crowd" just to get equal time and just stop attempting a song or even attending. And that's a loss to everyone.

I guess the only way to ensure good etiquette at these gatherings is to have a set of ground rules and then enforce them. Relying on the curtesy of others doesn't seem to be very effective... which is a real shame.

Sorry for venting, but like I said... this really hit a nerve.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Den
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 10:13 AM

Good points made. I like the "turn" system. That is you do your turn whatever that might be. If you want to do it unaccompanied that sholud be your call, not someone elses. If you wish to be accompanied its just a matter of asking. I'm sure there will be any number of accompanists to comply with your wish. There are ignorant assholes everywhere in this life folk music does not have the monopoly. Manners cost nothing.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: SINSULL
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 10:24 AM

I have been known to say "STOP THAT!" on the rare occasion but only in my own home. I have also been known to join in uninvited but will shut up if a sign is given. When stress and wine go into overdrive, I can be a nuisance - so Kendall and Jacqui tell me. Send me to the kitchen for ketchup and I calm down.

Some just don't have a clue. Some arrogantly think they alone know the way any given song should be performed. Song Circles at my house are all inclusive - all ranges of expertise and skill. And look what happens - Bente who "can't sing" opens up and delights the entire group with her sweet voice and a song we haven't heard in years. Several "Non-singers" are regulars now. One even meets weekly with friends to learn new songs. Isn't that we are trying accomplish?

There have been times when someone's "song" has been performed by someone else. So what? Go learn a new song. Everyone is probably sick of hearing it anyway.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: kendall
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 10:27 AM

The best way to handle that kind of rudeness is for all hands to go to the bar, or leave the pub.
The most satisfying way would be to pour a beer over the asshole's head.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Scrump
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 10:31 AM

I've had to sit through some frankly dire performances by people who aren't that accomplished at singing or playing, but that's part of what singaraounds are about. Those people are getting pleasure from it (even if the listeners may be inwardly cringing at times), and to see the enjoyment on their faces makes it worthwhile. You never know, some of these people may be beginners who will one day blossom into good performers (some probably never will, but that's another story!)

In the 60s and 70s they used to advertise singarounds as a Come All Ye - I never see that term used any more. Does anyone still use it? It sums up the attitude of the best singarounds - anyone can have a go.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: sciencegeek
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 10:34 AM

kendall, while I like the sentiment.... the thought of wasting a good beer, oh laddie.... think about it.... lol

maybe we should come up with an award... kinda like the Darwin Award that's given to folks from the shallow end of the gene pool who manage to remove themselves before they add offspring....

but we'd need a catchy title... any suggestions?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: SINSULL
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 10:40 AM

At Old Songs a few years back, Roy Bookbinder was performing in an informal group. One "fan" kept singing and playing along LOUDLY. Bookbinder changed tempo so slightly as not to affect his performance but threw off his "accompaniest" completely. Wonderful to see.

He was not as successful with the clod in his face with a video camera. The photographer was told not to, was accused of stealing his techniques, was outright insulted but kept smilingly filming away.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 10:47 AM

Nick said,"I suppose the only thing they didn't do was actually play a different song over him so it could have been worse I guess."

No, it couldn't have been worse. Changing the key and tempo... is just as bad as or worse than changing the song.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: John J
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 11:06 AM

I was singing unaccompanied in the Tap & Spile on Saturday afternoon. Apart from there being a VERY high ambient noise level, a box player behind me tried to accompany me. This threw me, I just can't sing accompanied. Apart from anything else I find if I want to tweak the pitch / alter the tempo during the song...well I just can't. I'm sure these people mean well but they're really just a damned nuisance.

Some years ago I was singing unaccompanied at the Railway Folk Club in Lymm, a man with a bodhran started playing along. I had to ask him to stop and in consequence he saw his a*se (big time). It didn't help that he'd had more than enough beer. This guy gave me such a bollocking for not singing 'properly' that a now rarely go to what was a really good club. Sadly the club has changed it's title now and includes more 'pop' stuff than folk song & music.

On a brighter note, the Railway now has a most excellent sing a couple of times a month (Songs in the Snug, second and fourth Wednesday evenings))where a dozen or so singers gather to sing traditional (mainly unaccompanied) folk songs from the British Isles & further afield. Interestingly the change in direction of the Thursday former folk club night has spawned an excellent music session on the same night in a downstairs room of the pub. We often get good audiences!

I'm wandering.

John


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 11:29 AM

I wasn't even playing when I fell out (permanently so far) with an old friend at a session. Another guy was doing a very sensitive, slow solo on the fiddle. My friend (drop taken) joined in, "improvising" loudly with respect to none of tempo, rhytm nor melodic structure. I asked him to stop, he threw a huge wobbly that ended up with him threatening to hit me. That was over a year ago, I haven't seen him since.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,Bee
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 11:33 AM

Unaccompanied singing is regarded as a bit of a freak show in one small group of musicians that I regularly sing with. I actually prefer some accompaniment, which is one of the reasons I'm learning to play guitar, but this particular group plays mostly old country and western songs, while I am inclined towards folk and ballads. They rarely know the songs I know. I used to try singing a non c&w number with them now and then, but gave up after one time they actually started playing a c&w standard before I'd finished singing. These musicians are my friends!

They will ask me to solo (with accompaniment) various country songs, so they like my voice well enough. But they are diehard c&w -ers; no other genre exists for them.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Scrump
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 11:46 AM

John J wrote: "I was singing unaccompanied in the Tap & Spile on Saturday afternoon. Apart from there being a VERY high ambient noise level, a box player behind me tried to accompany me. This threw me, I just can't sing accompanied. Apart from anything else I find if I want to tweak the pitch / alter the tempo during the song...well I just can't. I'm sure these people mean well but they're really just a damned nuisance."

As a band member as well as a soloist I always try to fit in with the leader on any particular song or tune. If I know it well I will know when the leader is likely to slow down (e.g. at the end of a song) and do likewise. One thing that's good about solo work is that it's up to me to vary the tempo as I feel like, to fit in with the mood of the song (it also helps if I forget the words of a verse, as I can play a little bit more while I rack my brains). At singarounds I will just do the same (i.e. vary the tempo as suits me), and if someone has taken it upon themselves to join me without invitation, it's up to them to keep to my tempo. If they don't it's their problem, not mine. But like I said, it's just a singaround and not to be taken too seriously.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 11:50 AM

This seems to be mainly a U.K. problem, judging by the posts.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Scoville
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 11:54 AM

What a jerk!

The general rule in the circles in which I've played is that whoever picks the song picks the key, tempo, and how long it lasts. We rarely sing so that's less of an issue, but if the person who called the song wants to sing, you do it his/her way or you shut up. You can do it your way when your turn comes.

I only had this happen once, and it wasn't nearly that bad. It was a particularly slow night at the local Irish session so the guy who was sort of leading the jam called me up to play, mic'ed, on my Appalachian dulcimer (which is, of course, not Irish, but the tune he asked me to play was a crowd favorite learned from another session regular, who had left his concertina at home that night but told me I was welcome to play "his" tune. I even play it in "his" key and tempo.) Session "leader" is an excellent bodhran player and played quietly behind me for a bit until one of the flute players decided this would be a good time to teach the guy next to him a completely different tune--on stage, mind you, about three feet away from my left elbow. Bodhran suddenly got a lot louder and "leader" gave the guy a look that would have curdled milk, which got the point across.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Betsy
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 11:59 AM

Nick ,
The singer should have simply said " Why don't the three of you - shut the F*ck-up you ignorant bastards."
It would work if I or Ossonflags said it - Honest it would.!

Cheers,
Betsy.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Scrump
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 12:06 PM

Hmm, Betsy's suggestion is all very well, but I wouldn't want to be playing an accordion tune with my backside as I walked home afterwards ;-)


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Amos
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 12:17 PM

Well, it might be a novelty act, and make your fortune!


A


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 12:19 PM

A bum note indeed!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 12:41 PM

I would have waited until the rude SOBs had finished, thanked them for their accompaniment, then handed each of them a dollar bill (pound note in the UK) while advising them that it was their payment for not accompanying me while I sang the goddammed thing again my way.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,maire-aine
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 12:45 PM

I can't claim to be a great singer, but I think I do OK. I try to pick songs that have meaningful lyrics and sing them clearly. I also play guitar, and supply my own accompaniment.

But if I put down my own guitar to sing un-accompanied, nobody else should join in unless I ASK them to. And I only do that with a few people who are top-notch guitarists.

I have no problem with giving a withering look, or holding up my hand. If that doesn't work, I'll escalate to "stop it" if need be.

Sometimes it's hard to get a song started in a session, because others aren't always paying attention to the other side of the circle. If I feel support from the rest of the group, I'll continue.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: kendall
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 01:05 PM

I didn't mean GOOD beer, I meant Bud lite.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: GUEST,Geoffrey Curtain
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 01:09 PM

Whit d' ye say when a daft drunken highland Scot comes aroond tae the singaroond wi' his bluidy bagepipes and insists on playin' along wi' every damn song, and that's nae all! The stupid git plays the damn thing off-key.

When his turn tae play comes up he raises bluidy hell if anyone plays along wi' him! He says, "Dinna be playin' over ma song! I cannae tolerate that!"

This particular damn Scot has a personal hygeine problem whit ye would have tae experience tae ken whit it's like. Tae puit nae too fine a point on it, he stinks.

He also makes it a habit tae say, "That song of yours wis absolute rubbish! I hope you dinna play it again tae soon."

If there are any women at the singaroond, married or not, he flirts wi' them ootrageously. He thinks he is a combination of Sean Connery and William Wallace. He says, "I could fancy you...and I'm dead sexy! Want tae take a little stroll wi' me? Ye know ye do..."

When ye play a sad song he sneeringly pantomimes a crooning violin. When ye play a funny song, he yawns and says, "God! When does this one end?" Whey ye play a trad song, he says, "Ye stupid bastard! It's not 'hey, nonny, nonny' in that song. Ye've got it all wrong. Here! Let me show ye how it's done on the bagpipes."

When his turn comes he plays a song that's 25 minutes long. When you're playin' your own songs he keeps frowning and checking his watch. At the conclusion of the evening he says, "Well, that was what I call a piss poor singaroond. I may see ye next week, I may not. If nothin' else at all guid comes up, expect tae see me. Otherwise, not bluidy likely."

And then he does show up on the following week!

Whit d' ye call this kind of behaviour?


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Janie
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 01:14 PM

Boorish!


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: sciencegeek
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 01:48 PM

Bud lite!!!! ...oh, I thought you meant beer.... snicker. Probably one of the better uses for the stuff.

And as for the boorish Scot... may I suggest that it be passed through the kidney's first. Yeah, bad bad me....


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 01:50 PM

The vast majority of the songs I sing, I accompany on the guitar. But I have a small repertoire of songs that I sing unaccompanied. It happens all too often at songfests and hoots that when I launch into one of these, someone starts to accompany me, having failed to pick up the obvious clue that I am a perfectly competent guitarist and if I wanted the song to be accompanied, I would accompany it myself, thank you very much.. This has happened often enough that now I have no qualms about stopping and letting the eager accompanist know—politely, but firmly—that I prefer to sing this song without accompaniment, thanks. If Bob Nelson (Deckman) is there and I start an unaccompanied song or ballad and someone even looks like they're going to start, he simply reaches over and puts a hand on their guitar strings, silencing them. Bob is cool.

I recall on one occasion, at an informal gathering during one of the Northwest Folklife Festivals, I was in the middle of a sea chantey when a small group, including a fairly well-known singer from a nearby municipality walked in. He jumped in with his quarterdeck bellow, in a different key and tempo, and simply took over. Basically, I like the guy. He's a good singer and pretty knowledgeable about the songs he sings, but he made it quite plain that he thought I was doing the chantey all wrong. Maybe so, but that still doesn't excuse outright rudeness. He's one of these people who doesn't wear a watch, because he figures that nothing of importance is going to happen until he gets there.

I will never try to accompany anyone singing unaccompanied unless they ask. And if others are playing and I feel impelled to play along, I always keep an eye on the lead singer to be sure it's okay with him or her.   Sometimes, someone has worked out an accompaniment that, in combination with the song, is a sort of stand-alone set piece. In that case, I stay out of it and just enjoy what they're doing.

Common courtesy.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Bert
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 01:53 PM

It happens a lot in the States. Mostly though it is intended to be helpful. A lot of guitar players don't understand that many folk songs don't have a strict tempo and the tempo is changed for emphasis and to follow the story.

Often it's friends just trying to be nice, so I just put up with it and afterwards politely ask them not to do it again.


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Skipjack K8
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 02:02 PM

Could I just publicly state that I wasn't in the Endeavour on Tuesday night. It was the Tap & Spile on Saturday night, I think.........


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Subject: RE: Worst singaround/session rudeness ever?
From: Peace
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 02:21 PM

"The most satisfying way would be to pour a beer over the asshole's head."

I agree, but have to note that Kendall's remark is the best mixed metaphor I have seen in ages.


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