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Tech: obtrusive session instruments

GUEST,Jim Carroll 04 Oct 07 - 03:46 AM
slowerairs 03 Oct 07 - 05:34 PM
Tattie Bogle 02 Oct 07 - 07:54 PM
Melissa 02 Oct 07 - 07:13 PM
Kaleea 02 Oct 07 - 03:42 PM
Mr Red 02 Oct 07 - 01:11 PM
Big Al Whittle 02 Oct 07 - 10:48 AM
Betsy 01 Oct 07 - 11:50 AM
Big Al Whittle 01 Oct 07 - 08:21 AM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 01 Oct 07 - 04:40 AM
Geoff the Duck 30 Sep 07 - 08:43 AM
bubblyrat 30 Sep 07 - 06:04 AM
Willie-O 29 Sep 07 - 02:55 PM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 29 Sep 07 - 04:04 AM
Mark H. 28 Sep 07 - 06:29 PM
Mark H. 28 Sep 07 - 06:28 PM
GUEST,Peter 28 Sep 07 - 05:13 PM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 28 Sep 07 - 03:14 PM
The Fooles Troupe 28 Sep 07 - 10:14 AM
PMB 28 Sep 07 - 04:01 AM
Ernest 27 Sep 07 - 02:10 PM
Paco Rabanne 27 Sep 07 - 09:42 AM
Snuffy 27 Sep 07 - 09:10 AM
Geoff the Duck 27 Sep 07 - 04:46 AM
Big Al Whittle 27 Sep 07 - 03:01 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 27 Sep 07 - 02:54 AM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 27 Sep 07 - 01:40 AM
Snuffy 26 Sep 07 - 07:43 PM
Big Al Whittle 26 Sep 07 - 07:28 PM
GUEST,Jonny Sunshine 26 Sep 07 - 07:23 PM
the button 26 Sep 07 - 05:20 PM
GUEST,george garside 26 Sep 07 - 05:15 PM
The Fooles Troupe 26 Sep 07 - 10:53 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Sep 07 - 08:52 AM
GUEST,Jo Loudenfast 26 Sep 07 - 08:37 AM
PMB 26 Sep 07 - 07:46 AM
GUEST,martin ellison 26 Sep 07 - 07:30 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 26 Sep 07 - 06:51 AM
GUEST,Jonny Sunshine 26 Sep 07 - 06:26 AM
GUEST,mike gott 25 Sep 07 - 10:38 AM
GUEST,martin ellison 25 Sep 07 - 09:32 AM
GUEST,Redwing 25 Sep 07 - 08:25 AM
GUEST,george garside 25 Sep 07 - 08:22 AM
Midchuck 25 Sep 07 - 08:09 AM
Richard Bridge 25 Sep 07 - 08:07 AM
Ruston Hornsby 25 Sep 07 - 07:57 AM
Betsy 25 Sep 07 - 06:23 AM
Big Al Whittle 25 Sep 07 - 06:21 AM
Geoff the Duck 25 Sep 07 - 06:01 AM
stallion 25 Sep 07 - 05:53 AM
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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Oct 07 - 03:46 AM

Years ago I attended a lecture on accompaniment. The lecturer described 'Dubliner' Ronnie Drew being accompanied by a plucked mandolin as 'an elephant with fleas'.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: slowerairs
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 05:34 PM

I find that a drummer and full drum kit, is rather

daunting. As a consequence, those among us, prone to headaches,

no longer attend that particular session.


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 07:54 PM

Well for my money, the most intrusive instrument can be.........the human voice!
There are sessions where those who have been coming here for 30 years object to anyone but themselves singing a really well-known song - oh, if you're really good you might just like to join in on the chorus, but woe betide you if you so much as open your mouth during the verses! And if you should happen to sing "my" song, then prepare for the black looks! The same holier-than-thous then go on to talk (or even snigger) all the way thro' your own singing. I have stopped going to said sessions, rather than telling them to shut the f*** up.

Then there are those "mixed" sessions where the instrumentalists talk thro' all the songs, and the singers shout through all the instrumentalists' tunes (sorry, wallpaper music).
And I also echo the complaint re keyboard players who turn sessions into nothing far short of a karaoke lounge.


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: Melissa
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 07:13 PM

While I'm definitely opposed to Loudness as a drowning technique, I almost prefer it to Blaring Egos and Rudeness.

I might change my SnobFocus if I accidently find myself surrounded by hurdy-gurdy and trombone, but for now, I am more concerned with Manners than Skill.

When I could only play in one key, I was accomodated..figure it's my turn now, no matter how exhausted I am at the end of a particularly rancid evening.

A St Barbara medallion will protect you from being hit by a cannonball. Is there one that will protect us from being bludgeoned by noise masquerading as music?

M


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: Kaleea
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 03:42 PM

Thank you, Ruston--spoons & bones constant & loud are a scourge, nay a pox. Some folks think that they have dinally discovered a real musical instrument which they may use to join in a session to the delight on none, save themselves. I have a recording of a session which would have been terrific, if the accursed personage with the noisemaker had not made the the demon racket loudly & constantly throughout the session.
But then there was that time the guy showed up with the trumpet.
I shall ever hold my head with whilst whistling or tipping forevermore. Ah, if only I could do both simultaneously!


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: Mr Red
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 01:11 PM

and the difference between a chain saw and a Hurdy Gurdy is


vibrato



And a musical saw - is that the one you use to disect a banjo?


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 10:48 AM

I should imagine a man the size of whale playing a the flight of the bumble bee on sousaphone would be the most disruptive thing you could have.

But you never know, some large people are very dainty in their approach to life.


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: Betsy
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 11:50 AM

What about a Chain Saw ? - that could sort out a few Obtrusive Instruments


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 08:21 AM

Poor bubblyrat! Physically intimidated by a trombone at a major cultural event...

That shows the sort of cavalier disregard for the tradition which is all too prevalent nowadays.

If I had been present, I should have interposed my body in your defence - I am a pacifist by inclination, and a coward from deep inner conviction - but you would not have gone unprotected.


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 04:40 AM

I suppose everybody knows about Con 'Fada' O'Driscoll's 'The Spoons Murder' (book of texts and CD), where the perpetrator meets his maker at the hands of an irate Raleigh bicycle-wielding musician - moving stuff.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 30 Sep 07 - 08:43 AM

Bill Sables is actually very good on the musical saw, (and not the person you are referring to) but I don't think he would regard it as a "session" instrument.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: bubblyrat
Date: 30 Sep 07 - 06:04 AM

A well-played Musical Saw can enliven,add atmosphere to ,even, a well-acted ghost story or horror film, but my heart sinks when a certain person arrives at a session at Sidmouth (and other places ) with his Speare & Jackson No. 7 Logbuster, or whatever it is, and unleashes it from its case. Also , Trombones can be both nauseating and physically intimidating, even in a so-called "English" session ,and should be "spiked" ( I have seen it done most effectively with several dead Mackerel in deepest Cornwall ) whenever possible.


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: Willie-O
Date: 29 Sep 07 - 02:55 PM

"inadvertently leaned on the bodhran smashing it into a thousand pieces."

Why does this action not sound so inadvertent to me? Is it just my suspicious nature? I wonder...this anecdote though goes a long way towards explaining why many bodhranists are exceedingly twitchy about others touching their, um, instruments.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Sep 07 - 04:04 AM

For a time here in Ireland you could buy car stickers similar to no-smoking signs (cigarette with red line through it), but with a bodhran instead and the words "no dead goats".
Some years ago at a local music pub a stranger walked in with an enormous, very flashy bodhran, with which he began to nause up the session very loudly.
After a while, he went to the toilet, leaving the offending instrument on his stool.
A local lady (with drink taken) walked in and inadvertently leaned on the bodhran smashing it into a thousand pieces.
The following week she arrived at the session to be greeted by a deputation of locals, one of whom made a congratulatory speech and ceremoniously presented her with a medal and a scroll for her services to traditional music.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: Mark H.
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 06:29 PM

Don't know what happened to that post. Never mind.


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: Mark H.
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 06:28 PM


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 05:13 PM

Then there was this musician who died and went to to eternity, "Stand over there" he was told, "There's William Kimber and Scan Tester waiting to play with you"
"Wow!" He said" My kind of heaven"
"Nah, this is the other place, there's an unacommpanied folk singer gonna join you!"
Ho!


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 03:14 PM

Then there was the drummer joke.
A man walked into a shop and said "I am changing my instrument and would like to purchase a guitar. I want an acoustic guitar, with Thomastic strings, a high action and pearl inlay along the neck".
The shop assistant replied, "You're a drummer aren't you?"
"How did you know".
"This is a fish shop", came the reply.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 10:14 AM

PMB, you got any spare bridges for sale?


:-P


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: PMB
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 04:01 AM

If you'd gone to Ockbrook (near Derby) on Wednesday night, you could have danced to (or played alongside) a band comprised of THREE hurdy-gurdies, three melodeons, a bagpipes, a cello, and two point five fiddles (of which I was the 0.5). Sometimes there are more bagpipeses. I took advantage of the situation by tuning one string to each of the hurdy-gurdies, the fourth to the high e(na) of the bagpipes, and playing tunes I don't know with variations.


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: Ernest
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 02:10 PM

WLD: Does that mean we`d all be fifty years younger at Scunthorpe?

The place must be crowded by young women then..... damn, I am only 47!

;0)

Ernest


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 09:42 AM

PMB's post at 7.46am on 26th sept was the funniest, but most accurate thing I've read on mudcat for a long long time.


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: Snuffy
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 09:10 AM

Geoff,

It was in B flat when you brought it to Llanstock six years ago. I'm sure we are all grateful for your rate of progress.


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 04:46 AM

The bombarde!
It's in B flat and I haven't learned to play it yet...





Oh, Sorry! You said Dominate, NOT Demolish...


Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 03:01 AM

My favourite Humph-ism....

Air Pilot Announcement: We have just landed at Scunthorpe Airport. For local time, you must set your watches back fifty years........

I love the way everybody's playing the innocent on this thread. And have YOU never dominated a session...?
Has anybody got any techniques for imposing themselves, they would like to share?


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 02:54 AM

Careful Mr Ellison.
I might just relate a few stories......
Know what I mean?!
Hope you are well.
Need a sound engineer?????
Ralphie


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 01:40 AM

Joke from Humphrey Lyttleton:
Q. If you walk into a room and see a good banjo player, a bad banjo player and a pink elephant, who do you talk to?
A. The bad banjo player - the other two are figments of your imagination.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: Snuffy
Date: 26 Sep 07 - 07:43 PM

I've been told that hurdy-gurdy players spend half the time tuning up-- and the other half playing out of tune.

And no-one else can tell which half is which.


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Sep 07 - 07:28 PM

and some of the time walking round shouting, anyone for a choc ice!

how we laughed!


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine
Date: 26 Sep 07 - 07:23 PM

I've been told that hurdy-gurdy players spend half the time tuning up-- and the other half playing out of tune.


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: the button
Date: 26 Sep 07 - 05:20 PM

Restricting the length of your session to a couple of hours or so is a good way of thwarting hurdy-gurdists. That way, they don't have time to tune up.


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: GUEST,george garside
Date: 26 Sep 07 - 05:15 PM

PMB - sadly you may be right!
Foolestroupe - I agree, not only an accordion but also a bohran . Even a trombone or a medieval drainpipe can be played so it doesn't intrude even though it lowest volume may not be that low - its all a question of making your instrument and you find a way of making your renderings complimentary to what others are doing rather than as PMB suggested all working selfishly against each other on the sort of 'Ive got the biggest' basis

george (keeping his head down in case of flying hurdygurdies or highland pipes)


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 26 Sep 07 - 10:53 AM

"it's impossible to play a bombarde quietly."

Ah! but it IS possible to play an accordion quietly - if you are even HALF as good as you think you are.... :-P

;-)


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Sep 07 - 08:52 AM

I've made a speciality of playing traditional Irish music on 10-hole blues harps. Most of the time in our session I use a small battery amp. I just might as well not be there otherwise if the session has seven or eight players who are all louder than I am and the background noise is considerable. I ask the others constantly to keep a check on my volume. If the pub's quiet and there aren't too many players I gladly switch off.   I can play with volume and projection but I have to face the fact that I need help in order to be heard sometimes!


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: GUEST,Jo Loudenfast
Date: 26 Sep 07 - 08:37 AM

Thermonuclear whizzbang eh?
Can I get one on-line?
Do they come in D & G? Heck,would it matter?


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: PMB
Date: 26 Sep 07 - 07:46 AM

It's the same reason the trees grow tall in the forest. If only they could agree to grow low, think of all the extra seeds they could produce instead of all that useless trunk, that only makes them easier to blow over.

So the box player wants to be heard, so he plays louder than the fiddler, who in turn plays louder, and so on round the band until the whistle player goes home and gets his bombarde.

Then the fiddler tunes up a notch, so the flute player notches up a bit more. So the banjo perpetrator plays the tune faster, so the box player starts leaving out notes and vamping a bit but faster still, so the accordeonist smears the tune out all over the keyboard and the left hand knoweth not what the right hand doth.

In another thousand generations of this, a session will consist of people hurling thermonuclear whizzbangs at each other.


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: GUEST,martin ellison
Date: 26 Sep 07 - 07:30 AM

Well Ralphie, at least that's one thing you can play in tune.
(ducking to avoid a bulky MacCann duet concertina aimed at head)
Cheers
Martin


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 26 Sep 07 - 06:51 AM

Mmmm
Quite a quirky discussion.
Not sure of
the point, but it's funny.
A story that some of you may have heard.
Midway through Sidmouth Fest this year, Our residence was invaded by Jon Loomes and partner.
Thursday morning, the two of them were tuning various Gurdies, for a 1000 workshop..(Yes, Yes.....Why???)
It was then that the blinding light of understanding fell upon me.
My Electric Shaver is in the key of......D!
I'm off now to get the complete set...
Me to shop assistant....
"No I don't care that it's got a beard trimming attachment, what key is it in?"
Carry on chaps.
R


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine
Date: 26 Sep 07 - 06:26 AM

Yes, I agree with the point about musicians, not instruments. The thing is, a good musician knows when to shut up quieten down. It's people who don't that can ruin a session.

That said, it's impossible to play a bombarde quietly.


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: GUEST,mike gott
Date: 25 Sep 07 - 10:38 AM

Yes, well put, George. It's not really obtrusive types of instruments that are the problem, it's obtrusive musicians. I agree with Martin's point on the sessions behind closed doors as well, I much prefer playing out in the bar with the other people in the pub, the idea of inward looking little cliques behind doors doesn't attract me at all. There are also more plug sockets for the theremin.


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: GUEST,martin ellison
Date: 25 Sep 07 - 09:32 AM

George - I like your chocolate/shit analogy. Reminds me of Chris Sherburn asking the the soundman to turn the guitar down in the monitor and then adding "can you tune it from there as well?".

There is a fine line between "leading" a tune and dominating. I have always loved accompanying other musicians - I think this also creates a frisson of excitement for musicians and listeners. I don't believe that good sessions should be behind closed doors (except those oh-so-polite round the room things).

Martin


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: GUEST,Redwing
Date: 25 Sep 07 - 08:25 AM

I think a Mighty Wurlitzer cinema organ would be very intrusive in sessions, particularly the type that rises up out of the floor.


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: GUEST,george garside
Date: 25 Sep 07 - 08:22 AM

I agree totally with the point that has been made in several postings that its the player rather than the instrument that plays too loud. Perhaps the over reliance on the 'sound engineer' to balance instrument volume in bands has lead to the idea that you just play flat out and leave the balancing to somebody else!.( a bit like expecting the sound man to make milk chocolate out of shit)

In my view it is up to the individual musicians to be sensitive and adjust the volume so that a harmoneous balance between instruments occurs whether playing in a session or a band.

In a session it should be quite feasable for everybody to quiten down to the degree that if somebody is leaading a tune on a quiet instrument such as a whistle or mouth organ the 'lead instrument' can be heard and followed.

The problem is playing loud is easy - playing quietly takes skill

some may disagree!

george


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: Midchuck
Date: 25 Sep 07 - 08:09 AM

I am fully aware that this thread is about Irish and Celtic sessions.

Even so, I think the Ten Commandments of Bluegrass are directly on point and should be reviewed by all participants.

Peter


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Sep 07 - 08:07 AM

As a singer-guitarist (with capos) I do do a number of things in F# and in Gbm and one in C#m which does tend to upset people, but it's always because it sings or plays best there, not out of sabotage.


Oh all right, not usually out of sabotage.

However (and sorry to say this Geoff) the worst hijacker I know is a tenor banjo player, who segues seamlessly from tune to tune, and once in the same evening by dint of noodling or waiting until singer drew breath and then starting full-machine-gun-fire managed to make three singers who were a bit hard to put off each take three goes to start a song.

The three singers were

Me (not that hard)
Barden (normally pretty resolute)
Dave Bryant (! - it normally took more than a banjo to stop Dave with the bit between his teeth....)

He's a dab-hand at G to A to Bm as well...


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: Ruston Hornsby
Date: 25 Sep 07 - 07:57 AM

Spoons. Spoons played by somebody with no natural timing whatsoever.


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: Betsy
Date: 25 Sep 07 - 06:23 AM

I was told a nice story by an Irish friend. At a session there was a lull whilst people went to the bar , toilet, outside for a smoke - an old fashioned beer-break if you like .The Irishmans friend enquired to an assembled "musician" - "And what do you call this thing then ?" - A Didgeridoo cane the reply . Well the says the Irishman "Next time the music starts didgeri-F**king-don't".


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Sep 07 - 06:21 AM

Know what you mean Geof. I always think with folk music - it's a bit like that scene in Men Behaving Badly.
Leslie Ash asks Caroline Quentin if she's looking forward to getting married, and she replies - I supoose so....I just wish.......I was marrying..... someone better!

You just feel the whole bloody thing could be...... better!


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 25 Sep 07 - 06:01 AM

A lot of it iss the difference between being a musician and just being a player. A musician LISTENS to what other people are doing. A player just plays what they know.
A musician who accompanies usually doesn't play the melody, they fill in bits between, often during the gaps between what is sung. Most importantly, they watch the singer for clues that the singer is happy or otherwise with the accompaniment being added, its speed or appropriateness, and shut up if it isn't right.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Tech: obtrusive session instruments
From: stallion
Date: 25 Sep 07 - 05:53 AM

Geoff,
Sounds like you've met Ron, he used to sing in obscure keys to stop musos spoiling his songs! Got rid of the Bb but still use F# occasionally! There are some very good accompanists at our sessions, Steve Thompson, Frank Pallister and Damien Fynnes to name three but there are a plethora of good, nay very good, musicians who are not so good at accompanying singers. I have even been told by musicians joining me in one of my songs that I "was singing the wrong melody"! I don't feel confident singing with musicians because they tend to, even if it is only in my head, hi -jack the tempo and spoil the whole rhythm of the thing, the three I mentioned, and there are others, don't "ya-ta-ta-ta-taaa" but drift in and out and around what one is doing, complementing it. So, any musician hi-jacking the tempo and feeling from a song is unwelcome whatever the instrument.


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