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spoons in sessions

The Sandman 04 Mar 10 - 01:27 PM
SINSULL 04 Mar 10 - 01:31 PM
Ernest 04 Mar 10 - 01:33 PM
The Sandman 04 Mar 10 - 02:07 PM
bubblyrat 04 Mar 10 - 02:16 PM
SunrayFC 04 Mar 10 - 02:42 PM
SINSULL 04 Mar 10 - 02:46 PM
alex s 04 Mar 10 - 04:51 PM
Guernsey Pete 04 Mar 10 - 04:58 PM
GUEST,MeliAlto 04 Mar 10 - 05:09 PM
RTim 04 Mar 10 - 05:26 PM
bubblyrat 04 Mar 10 - 05:54 PM
Jane Bird 04 Mar 10 - 07:10 PM
Paul Burke 04 Mar 10 - 07:50 PM
Dave Hanson 05 Mar 10 - 02:35 AM
Fidjit 05 Mar 10 - 03:42 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Mar 10 - 04:15 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 05 Mar 10 - 05:12 AM
Splott Man 05 Mar 10 - 06:58 AM
banjoman 05 Mar 10 - 07:15 AM
BusyBee Paul 05 Mar 10 - 07:59 AM
GUEST,kendall 05 Mar 10 - 08:04 AM
GUEST,sessionlass 05 Mar 10 - 08:57 AM
The Sandman 05 Mar 10 - 09:39 AM
Mr Red 05 Mar 10 - 10:40 AM
Les in Chorlton 05 Mar 10 - 12:42 PM
Tootler 05 Mar 10 - 04:52 PM
John P 05 Mar 10 - 06:21 PM
The Sandman 05 Mar 10 - 06:34 PM
Jim Carroll 06 Mar 10 - 02:44 AM
Les in Chorlton 06 Mar 10 - 05:19 AM
Paul Burke 06 Mar 10 - 05:51 AM
GUEST 14 Jan 12 - 09:06 AM
Les in Chorlton 14 Jan 12 - 09:26 AM
Vic Smith 14 Jan 12 - 09:27 AM
Mo the caller 14 Jan 12 - 09:36 AM
Leadfingers 14 Jan 12 - 04:49 PM
The Sandman 14 Jan 12 - 05:44 PM
Steve Shaw 14 Jan 12 - 08:46 PM
Leadfingers 14 Jan 12 - 08:53 PM
Les in Chorlton 16 Jan 12 - 06:39 AM
GUEST,Wee Jock 16 Jan 12 - 08:58 AM
The Sandman 16 Jan 12 - 10:27 AM
JohnInKansas 16 Jan 12 - 11:14 AM
Young Buchan 16 Jan 12 - 02:19 PM
Les in Chorlton 16 Jan 12 - 04:29 PM
The Sandman 16 Jan 12 - 05:14 PM
Tootler 16 Jan 12 - 05:59 PM
GUEST,Guest Brian Hooper 16 Jan 12 - 06:11 PM
Steve Shaw 16 Jan 12 - 06:19 PM
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Subject: spoons in sessions
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 01:27 PM

should spoon players be restricted to john cage 4 33.


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: SINSULL
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 01:31 PM

No


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: Ernest
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 01:33 PM

People who ask silly questions should be restricted.... ;0)


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 02:07 PM

Silly? the majority of spoons players in my experience,dont seem to realise that they should be listening to the musicians and accompanying ,not trtying to show thay are buddy rich.


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: bubblyrat
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 02:16 PM

Dame Patti Smith,EPNS *, is welcome any day at our sessions (and so is Ned Clamp !). I just awarded her a bar to her EPNS,by the way.She is THAT good on the spoons.


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: SunrayFC
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 02:42 PM

Sessions in Spoons- now that's a thought!


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: SINSULL
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 02:46 PM

Have never seen/heard a spoon player who did not accompany rather than usurp. Lucky me. Naemanson is rather good. I seem to remember Barry Finn with bones and spoons, also very good.


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: alex s
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 04:51 PM

Our Bob Spoons is great! and he only comes in when appropriate - then he does terrific solos


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: Guernsey Pete
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 04:58 PM

How's Ned Clamp then ?
Haven't seen him in years.
PS MY wife plays the spoons, also flute, whistles, bones, washboard, 5-string banjo, ukulele, jews harp - carries them all around in one of those big re-usuable shopping bags.


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: GUEST,MeliAlto
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 05:09 PM

You've never heard of Noel Crombie, obviously. Member of the legendary Antipodean band Split Enz. He plays the spoons and there are a few vids of him on YT doing just that in concert. Check him out.


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: RTim
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 05:26 PM

I can remember when the great gypsy Bones Player (from the New Forest) - Ted Duckett, would play his bones while in the audience at the Fo's'le FC in Southampton - no matter who was on stage and NO what they were singing!!

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: bubblyrat
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 05:54 PM

Guernsey Pete ; Ned's fine (apart from some recent car trouble),and is a regular here on Mudcat !


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: Jane Bird
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 07:10 PM

I can recommend playing wooden spoons (no, not the big sort you stir the porrage with) for a more subtle sound in a session.


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: Paul Burke
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 07:50 PM

I think you are lucky, or perhaps young, to have such happy experiences of spoonistas. Back in the 70s, a few spoons players were good, a few tolerated for their status- the rest were unmitigated pests, lower in acceptance than unskilled bodhran players. I suppose a contemporary parallel would be trolling concertina players.


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 02:35 AM

Unlike most bodhran and shaky egg players, most spoon players I have heard have learned how to play first.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: Fidjit
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 03:42 AM

I use tea spoons. Keeps it down to a minimum. Also easier to carry around.

Chas


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Subject: ADD: The Spoons Murder (O'Drisceoil)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 04:15 AM

Says it all really
Jim Carroll

THE SPOONS MURDER
Con 'Fada' Ó Drisceoil
(tune Devil And Bailiff McGlinn)

In the tavern one night we were sitting -
I'm sure 'twas the last week of March –
From our drinks we were cautiously sipping
To ensure that our throats didn't parch.
We played music both lively and dacent
To bolster our spirits and hopes,
As we gazed on the females adjacent
And remarked on their curves and their slopes.

Till this gent wandered into the session
And divided to join in the tunes;
Without waiting to ask our permission
He took out a big pair of soup spoons.
Our teeth in short time we were gritting
As he shook and he rattled his toys,
And the company's eardrums were splitting
With his ugly mechanical noise.

Hopping spoons off our heads to provoke us,
He continued the music to kill;
Whether hornpipes, slow airs or polkas,
They all sounded like pneumatic drills.
Then he asked could we play any faster,
As his talent he wished to display,
With a grin on the face of the bastard
Like the cat when she teases her prey.

Our thoughts at this stage were quite bloody
And politely we asked him to quit;
We suggested a part of his body
Where those spoons could conveniently fit.
This monster we pestered and hounded,
We implored him with curses and tears,
But in vain our appeals they resounded
In the desert between his two ears.

When I went out the back on a mission,
He arrived as I finished my leak;
He says "This is a mighty fine session,
I think I'll come here every week".
When I heard this, with rage I was leppin',
And this torture no longer I'd take:
I looked round for a suitable weapon
To silence this damned rattlesnake.

Outside towards the yard I did sally
To find something to vanquish my foe:
I grabbed hold of a gentleman's Raleigh
With fifteen-speed gear and dynamo.
Then I battered that musical vandal
As I shouted with furious cries
"My dear man, your last spoon you have handled,
Say your prayers and await your demise!"

With the bike I assailed my tormentor
As I swung in a frenzy of hate,
Till his bones and his skull were in splinters
And his health in a very poor state.
And when I was no longer able,
I forestalled any last-minute hitch
By removing the gear-changing cable
And strangling that son-of-a-bitch.

At the end of my onslaught ferocious
I stood back and surveyed the scene;
The state of the place was atrocious,
Full of fragments of man and machine.
At the spoons-player's remains I was staring,
His condition was surely no joke,
For his nose was clogged up with ball-bearings
And his left eye was pierced by a spoke.

At the sight I was feeling quite squeamish,
So I washed up and went back inside;
Then I drank a half-gallon of Beamish,
As my throat in the struggle had dried.
Unpolluted by cutlery's clatter
The music was pleasant and sweet;
For the rest of the night nothing mattered
But the tunes and the tapping of feet.

At an inquest, the following September,
The coroner said "I conclude
The deceased by himself was dismembered,
As no sign could be found of a feud.
For the evidence shows that the fact is,
As reported to me by the guards,
He indulged in the foolhardy practice
Of trick-cycling in public house yards".

So if you're desperately keen on percussion,
And to join in the tunes you can't wait;
Be you Irishman, German or Russian,
Take a lesson from his awful fate.
If your spoons are the best silver-plated,
Or the humblest of cheap stainless steel,
When you play them abroad you'll be hated,
So just keep them for eating your meals.


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 05:12 AM

Spoon rattlers and "muscal saw" players like children should be seen and not heard. Either will sabotage a good session within seconds. Definitely a practice that should only be done in private.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: Splott Man
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 06:58 AM

The Dame herself uses the spoons sparingly in sessions, and if another pair start up, she stops. She's very courteous is out Pattie.

I've PMed you Pete, nice to catch up.


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: banjoman
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 07:15 AM

The late Rip Ripingale played spoons but thought that every piece of music the band played must be accompanied by him playing spoons. It got to the stage where one of our few recordings turned out as a spoon solo he was so loud. We ended up sacking him as our caller. He also played ? melodeon and knew 2 tunes which both sounded the same. Always complained that he got his thumb stuck in what became to be known as the "Oh Sh*t button" R.I.P. Rip


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 07:59 AM

Watching someone play "air" spoons for the first time was VERY disconcerting! He's now been given plastic ones.


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 08:04 AM

I find them very annoying.


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: GUEST,sessionlass
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 08:57 AM

"I can recommend playing wooden spoons (no, not the big sort you stir the porrage with)"

you don't use a wooden spoon to stir porrage (sic) - you use a spirtle.

"most spoon players I have heard have learned how to play first."

who on earth would choose to 'play' spoons if they can play an instrument?


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 09:39 AM

dame patti,plays squeezboxes


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: Mr Red
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 10:40 AM

a drummer?

count me in (pun intended)

are red spoons kosher?


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 12:42 PM

Spoons, melodeons, piano accordians, bagpipes? Let em all come

The Beech, Beech Road, Chorlton, Manchester

Les Tuesday of each month

L in C


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: Tootler
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 04:52 PM

who on earth would choose to 'play' spoons if they can play an instrument?

I can think of two reasons

1. Spoons are cheaper than most instruments - even whistles

2. To get up the collective noses of the other session participants :-)


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: John P
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 06:21 PM

Should out-of-tune fiddlers be allowed in sessions? Should guitarists with no rhythm be allowed in sessions? Should squeeky pipers be allowed in sessions? Should anyone who can't play along competently be tolerated?

Hello!! Any instrument can be well played or badly played. So what?


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Mar 10 - 06:34 PM

people should not be allowed to enjoy themselves.


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Mar 10 - 02:44 AM

Spoons are for eating soup - not nausing up good music.
They are not musical instruments.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 06 Mar 10 - 05:19 AM

I think a stronng case can be argued for using the spoons creatively and sensitively whilst waiting, in a Session, for the soup course to arrive.

L in C


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: Paul Burke
Date: 06 Mar 10 - 05:51 AM

A mashie and a niblick sound better than a pair of spoons.

What is the sound of one spoon clacking?


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Jan 12 - 09:06 AM

That's my great grandaddy!! Old jack the lad!!


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 14 Jan 12 - 09:26 AM

Spoons, melodeons, piano accordians, bagpipes? Let em all come

The Beech, Beech Road, Chorlton, Manchester M21 9EG

2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month

L in C


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: Vic Smith
Date: 14 Jan 12 - 09:27 AM

If you click here you can sign up for:-

A monthly class for adults to learn to play the spoons begins on Thursday 3 March 2011 from 8 to 9pm at the Douglas McMinn Centre, East Street, Chesham. Jo May said it will also incorporate other related instruments such as the Irish bodhran in future sessions. Spoons will be provided but feel free to bring your own if you wish. It cost 5 pounds per session. Call Jo on 07973 721260 or email jo.may@ukf.net


Jo originally trained at the Royal College of Music and began her career working with orchestras such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra. A trip to Sidmouth Folk Festival sparked an enthusiasm for traditional music, which led to her interest in West African and Afro-Cuban music, as well as folk music from Europe and the British Isles. She has studied West African drumming and balafon with a number of different teachers, both in England and in Senegal. And she has completed courses in Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian percussion with One Voice Music.

Jo is an experienced percussion teacher and workshop leader. She spent many years as a peripatetic music teacher in schools, and running a range of exciting rhythm-based workshops with her group, Tapatak. She currently runs African Drumming Workshops and Spoons Workshops for all ages.

In her band, Zoox, Jo plays an assortment of instruments, including djembe, congas, cajon, balafon, bodhran, spoons........... Amongst others, she also currently plays with the funky ceilidh band, Token Women.

She is currently in Dakar in Senegal developing her skills on the wonderful balafon.

You can see Jo displaying her talents on a range of percussion instruments (including the balafon and the spoons) with Zoox on a range of recent Youtube videos taken at the Royal Oak in Lewes in November.


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: Mo the caller
Date: 14 Jan 12 - 09:36 AM

I am reminded of Poynton Folk Festival (in the days when it happened in Poynton, Easter weekend)
They had a spoons workshop there, and one enthusiast accompanied all the acts in the concert. Till one tune player managed to shake him off by playing faster than he could. Anyone remember, was it Vin Garbutt or does he only sing?


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: Leadfingers
Date: 14 Jan 12 - 04:49 PM

ANY badly played instrument can spoil a session , and the louder the instrument the more effect it has ! But a GOOD Spoons player can add to a session ! As can a WELLPLAYED Bodhran !




OR a Concertina Dick ! LOL


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Jan 12 - 05:44 PM

I would love to see a session with a rhythym guitar bodran and spoons, they all need a melody instrument,
They also need to listen to the melody instrument, ideally if the rhythm instruments owners cannot cannot sing the tunes they should not play, because they do not know the feel of the tune.
Spoons are difficult to play quietly, more difficult [imo]than guitar and bodhran,
yes , I played percussion too for years in ceilidh bands, Iknow a little bit about percussion instruments.
melody instruments can have a session without rhythm instruments, they are not necessary.
I am sorry to say this but the amount of guitarists,bodhran and spoons I have come across in sessions who were able to lift the music, I can count on two hands, i have come across a fair few that are neither a hindrance or a help, that is they have most of the chords right and are not out of rhythm , but that is not the same as positively lifting the music.
rule number one if you have never heard the tune before do not join in, if you must join in do it very very quietly.


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Jan 12 - 08:46 PM

Yeah, bones, drums and spoons are just great in sessions. Any session but mine, that is. Zero tolerance for these talentless, insensitive tossers is the order of the day. The people who can lift the music are the people who play the music. That means people who play melody instruments, them and Ringo McDonagh and, well, that's about it really.


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: Leadfingers
Date: 14 Jan 12 - 08:53 PM

The late Len Davis (Davies) was an excellent Bones player who only added to a session , but he only played Up Tempo stuff - Sweet Georgia Brown was one of his favourites !


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 16 Jan 12 - 06:39 AM

Steve,

why not say what you really think so much is lost when you say this kind of thing:

"Zero tolerance for these talentless, insensitive tossers is the order of the day."

Trust it's agood day

L in C#


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: GUEST,Wee Jock
Date: 16 Jan 12 - 08:58 AM

At the Good Intent Rochester Kent we have the excellent spoons player Phil Birkin who is par excellance bar none. On his cd The Iron Road he plays the spoons whilst singing Blackleg Miner.

Excellent

Regards

Wee Jock


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Jan 12 - 10:27 AM

wee jock, I know phil burkin he is a good singer, however we are not talking about spoons accompanying singing, i am talking about spoons player listening to melody instruments and following the melody in instrumental sessions.
the most common mistake i have come across is spoons players playing hornpipes like slow reels while the melody player is swinging the hornpipe


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 16 Jan 12 - 11:14 AM

We have a local "spooner" who really is quite good, and generally knows when to play and when to sit back. He also plays pretty fair lap dulcimer, so he usually has something to trade off to; but at one informal session I think I recall that he hadn't brought the dulcy, but had his spoons.

That night, however, when he got "close to the edge" out of enthusiasm for a long series of tunes that were mostly appropriate, but with some a little borderline for spoons, I suggested that it sounded to me like his spoons might benefit from being tuned to a more pleasant tone.

He looked a bit puzzled and then asked "how would you go about tuning them?"

I allowed as how tuning them would be a little more complex than could be easily done during the session, but that he might try just using a capo on them.

After a bit of joshing with him he came around to asking "what's a spoon capo look like," so I whipped out a 15 pound test wire tie and pulled it up tight around both spoons right at the base of the bowls, and nipped off the excess.

He sat there, staring at them for quite a long while before I felt sorry enough for him to nip off the tie. (It was a pretty light weight tie, but would have been difficult to break without bending something.)

In some circumstance a "capo" does make a pair of spoons sound a lot better (as in completely silent) - but it really was a little bit of overkill for what he was doing, and it was all just for a joke.

And we're still pretty good friends, and he laughs about it now.

(For those not familiar with the wire ties, ask a cop. They use them in lieu of handcuffs quite a lot; although they go for the 30 lb test size or better, to avoid cutting into the meat quite so much.)

John


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: Young Buchan
Date: 16 Jan 12 - 02:19 PM

The great Irish fiddler Hughie McCann had a great way with spoons players who pissed him off (which was most of them). He had a wonderful ability to speed up and then slow down his pace until all but the most self-deaf spooner got the point and gave up.


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 16 Jan 12 - 04:29 PM

Music, the ultimate cooperative human experience

Best wishes

L in C#


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Jan 12 - 05:14 PM

Music, the ultimate cooperative human experience,
but there are still session etiquettes,listen to the melody players, do not play or play very very quietly if you dont know the tune or the key or the chord progression.


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: Tootler
Date: 16 Jan 12 - 05:59 PM

Yeah, bones, drums and spoons are just great in sessions. Any session but mine, that is. Zero tolerance for these talentless, insensitive tossers...

Reading through this thread, I felt very tempted to learn to play the spoons - badly - so I could get up the nose of some of the intolerant tossers who have posted to this thread.

Yes, you do get poor percussionists in sessions, just as you get poor fiddlers, poor whistle players, etc. etc. but nowhere near as often as some here seem to make out, so little more tolerance please.


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: GUEST,Guest Brian Hooper
Date: 16 Jan 12 - 06:11 PM

Leadfingers - what's a concertina dick?


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Subject: RE: spoons in sessions
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Jan 12 - 06:19 PM

Well the whole bloody point is that you can learn to "play" the bones, spoons or bodhran in half an hour, then go along and pee everybody else off. You can't learn to play a fiddle, a harmonica, the flute or the pipes in half an hour, and you can't build a repertoire of tunes in half an hour either. Practically all the drop-in bones/drum/spoons players I've experienced not only don't know the tunes they're purporting to "accompany" but also don't know one rhythm from another to save their lives. In the traditional dance music of these fair isles, the tune contains all the rhythm and drive already, and an extra layer of rattling/clattering/banging is both superfluous and annoying. That stuff has its place in bands with their arrangements, but not in sessions (in my opinion). The average bodhran owner, to borrow a phrase from a mate of mine, sounds like a couple of spuds in a bucket, and bones players sound like Pinocchio having a w**k.


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