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Do you tell someone to shut up?

Herge 08 Jan 00 - 05:30 PM
DonMeixner 08 Jan 00 - 05:34 PM
sophocleese 08 Jan 00 - 05:41 PM
Magpie 08 Jan 00 - 05:47 PM
wildlone 08 Jan 00 - 05:48 PM
DonMeixner 08 Jan 00 - 05:51 PM
Barry Finn 08 Jan 00 - 06:00 PM
DonMeixner 08 Jan 00 - 06:03 PM
clare s 08 Jan 00 - 06:22 PM
Eric the Viking 08 Jan 00 - 06:28 PM
Jon Freeman 08 Jan 00 - 06:37 PM
Rick Fielding 08 Jan 00 - 06:53 PM
Joe Offer 08 Jan 00 - 07:21 PM
_gargoyle 08 Jan 00 - 10:54 PM
Willie-O 08 Jan 00 - 10:55 PM
_gargoyle 08 Jan 00 - 11:05 PM
Peter T. 09 Jan 00 - 10:39 AM
Peter T. 09 Jan 00 - 10:46 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 09 Jan 00 - 11:50 AM
Midchuck 09 Jan 00 - 12:08 PM
RichM 09 Jan 00 - 12:19 PM
Chet W. 09 Jan 00 - 01:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jan 00 - 01:30 PM
Mikal 09 Jan 00 - 08:05 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jan 00 - 09:05 PM
Little Neophyte 09 Jan 00 - 09:22 PM
Mudjack 09 Jan 00 - 09:35 PM
Mikal 09 Jan 00 - 10:24 PM
catspaw49 09 Jan 00 - 10:36 PM
Mikal 09 Jan 00 - 11:12 PM
JamesJim 09 Jan 00 - 11:49 PM
The Duck of the Irish 10 Jan 00 - 12:53 AM
Roger the skiffler 10 Jan 00 - 05:30 AM
Lady McMoo 10 Jan 00 - 06:07 AM
Lady McMoo 10 Jan 00 - 06:09 AM
10 Jan 00 - 09:59 AM
kendall 10 Jan 00 - 10:11 AM
Mike Billo 10 Jan 00 - 10:53 AM
Den 10 Jan 00 - 01:17 PM
peg 10 Jan 00 - 03:51 PM
Jeri 10 Jan 00 - 04:34 PM
Steve Latimer 10 Jan 00 - 04:40 PM
Petr 10 Jan 00 - 04:58 PM
Nick Jones 11 Jan 00 - 04:17 PM
Rick Fielding 11 Jan 00 - 08:02 PM
reggie miles 11 Jan 00 - 11:33 PM
Jon Freeman 12 Jan 00 - 12:16 AM
WyoWoman 12 Jan 00 - 12:36 AM
Liz the Squeak 12 Jan 00 - 05:41 AM
Nick Jones 12 Jan 00 - 07:02 AM
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Subject: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Herge
Date: 08 Jan 00 - 05:30 PM

At my local session there is an abundance of Bodhran players! One in particular who is very young plays very fast to evey single tune that is played, including solo songs and slow airs. We don't want to discourage potential fucture talent, but this is beyond a joke! What can we do? Herge


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 08 Jan 00 - 05:34 PM

You are talking about a bodrhan manipulator Herge, can't do much but shoot them.


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: sophocleese
Date: 08 Jan 00 - 05:41 PM

Can the singers make a request for NO accompianment on some songs? And then be sure that the older, more experienced, players follow that direction. The others will pick it up in time if they are the only ones playing into the void, at least, I hope they would. Also, depending on your personality and that of the young player, can you talk quietly after a session about it and explain that you don't want to discourage him/her but sometimes he/she needs to hold back and consider the song as a whole? My sympathy to you. Its a very tricky issue to tread that line between crushing beginner egos and having to listen to them persistently play when its not necessary. Do they get chances for bodhran solos? Perhaps if they were given that opportunity they would understand the need during other's solos to back off. Then again we are talking bodhran players and they aren't necessarily the brightest lights on the tree.


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Magpie
Date: 08 Jan 00 - 05:47 PM

In my opinion, bodhran players aren't any worse than other musicians, but they are a bit louder. If you don't want to insult or hurt anyone, wait a bit, and the topic will be brought up in a discussion.(I assume you have them every once in a while.) That would be a good time to let everybody know that sometimes, less is more. Then it doesn't have to be directed at any particular person or instrument.

Magpie


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: wildlone
Date: 08 Jan 00 - 05:48 PM

I am sure this is the bane of all sessions.
At our ECWS events there will be a session in a local pub or round a fire and a guy used to play a guitar but he used to drink as well somtimes at the same time as his booze level went up his ability to play went down.
On night the guitar was even more out of tune than usual. There was a realy good accapella session going and off he started one of the group got up took the guitar and wound the strings off the tuning heads saying "sorry I am a music lover". At the next event our guitar playing friend took along a recorder,whistle and harmonica.


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 08 Jan 00 - 05:51 PM

OK Magpie,

I won't pick on the drummer. Can I pick on the piper instead?

Don


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 08 Jan 00 - 06:00 PM

I found that it's best handled by a fellow bodrhan player. If they're taken under the wing & showed a few helpful tricks along with an explanation on bodhran manners, something that alot of beginners have never heard of. If you don't want drum accompanyment (though I couldn't for the world understand why) just gently put your hand up as in halt or be a little more forward & softly put your hand on their drum, if that doesn't work tell 'em that you chose not to accompany yourself so follow suit. It's not just the drummers that need some TLC those strung out stringers & those button pushers could use a little too. Barry


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 08 Jan 00 - 06:03 PM

Actually this is an easy thing to deal with. Be polite, be honest, and try to show by example what they should do, don't hurt the enthusiasm, just direct it.

Don


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: clare s
Date: 08 Jan 00 - 06:22 PM

I tell lots of people to shut up...

Especially Americans :-)

Clare


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 08 Jan 00 - 06:28 PM

I find it very difficult, I used to sing and play in one place and this guy always tried to accompny me on his guitar, didn't matter if I was picking or strumming and he didn't often get it right either. In the end I gave up and never went back. (It was his problem , he did it to others as well as me, but he was part of the "local group" and that was it. If it's a bodrahn player though get out a bloody big Bowie knife and say.............. Eric


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 08 Jan 00 - 06:37 PM

A diffuclt one and I have made my comments in previous threads relating to session etiquite etc and am not going to go through all that again. I do however wonder about Barry Finn's advice. This is fine if the player(s) have respect for the "senior" bodhran player but I have known a person giving a fellow bodhran player being thought of as being jelouse because the clueless player really thinks that he is the best in the session, have seen stupid petty rivalrys creep in...

Jon


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 08 Jan 00 - 06:53 PM

Yep it is a dilemma, and there is NO answer that will please all. Happens (eventually) in every group, and your options are the same now as they would have been 500 or a thousand years ago.

A. Leave the group, give your reason, and start another.

B. Continue to be annoyed and tough it out.

C. Tell the person politely to stop making it difficult, and I can almost guarantee you they will react with hostility. self-centred people NEVER,NEVER can see that they are making life difficult for others, and their very nature makes them immune to a subtle approach.

D. Remember that the sage who first said "One bad apple can spoil the while bunch" knew what they were talkin' about.

E. 'Course ya could shoot them, but the satisfaction would only last for an hour or so!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Jan 00 - 07:21 PM

Same things happens with group singing, but I'm working on a solution that seems to work pretty well. Instead of telling people to quiet down, I suggest that they listen for the blend of the sounds of the voices and instruments, rather than just listening for their own voice. That has made a lot of difference in three of the groups I sing with.
Now I'm working on two choirs to get them to let the sounds of the voices blend before they reach the microphone, rather than having people fight to see who gets closest to the mike. That part of the experiment isn't working very well yet. I've sometimes resorted to putting unplugged microphones in front of people, just to get them to stand where I want them to stand.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: _gargoyle
Date: 08 Jan 00 - 10:54 PM

It has been my experience, at least within the U.S.A., that the phrase, "shut-up" was tatamount to "FUCK-YOU"

In the past, there has been Unbelievable Offense, Ubridge (sic), taken by the offended party.

However, they HAVE deserved the "disciplinary action."

"shut up" is not Fuck You!

But I have been more than happy...that they have interpeted "it"...that way.


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Willie-O
Date: 08 Jan 00 - 10:55 PM

Quite a few years back, I used to go down to the regular Saturday night jam session, country-music-type, in a lakeside tavern in freeze=yer=ass=off country where I lived back then. I was a better than average guitar player in that crowd, so I always figured I could do no wrong. It was a serious drinking scene, and I was right into that too.

One Sunday afternoon I dropped into the bar, where I'd been jamming the night before. Without saying a word, Rick the owner (an o.k. guy but mediocre musician who'd basically bought a bar so he could have a place to play and drink--obviously not Rick Fielding) started playing a tape he'd made of the previous nights jam. About halfway through the second song, I realized the abysmal sounding vocal disharmony I was hearing--on the whole song, not just chorus--was my own voice. Just awful sounding. I kept jamming there sometimes but cut way back on the "harmonies". Never was quite sure if this was the message I was intended to get from hearing the tape--the subtle approach was not this guy's strong point--but it was difficult for me to feel insulted, since it could have been a sort of back-handed compliment that he figured I was smart enough to get the message in a sober moment.

Worked on me, it might even work on a bodhran player...

Willie-O
Older Not Much Wiser


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: _gargoyle
Date: 08 Jan 00 - 11:05 PM

If....a member of the audience .....or the ensamble

Is out of line.....

.....................YES!!!!.....tell them....and make it

emphatic!!!


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Peter T.
Date: 09 Jan 00 - 10:39 AM

I think Joe's tactic is very interesting. I have a related, but different problem, with students and essay writing. They think that they are writing for themselves, and it comes as a shock to them when I point out that the whole essay format is designed to present a tool for other people to use. They have been taught self-expression for so long (as a way to get them writing in high school) that the idea that someone else would read it, or need what they have written is quite shocking. It is a real mental "paradigm shift" -- read this as if you were someone else. It seems that in the performing case people get so much pleasure out of being immersed in playing the music that they have no idea what an audience is hearing. It is interesting because obviously you want to have both -- pleasure in participating, and also giving pleasure; but the shifts back and forward over that divide obviously require some work for some people. I never thought about it in music before.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Peter T.
Date: 09 Jan 00 - 10:46 AM

Actually, he said warming to his subject, the reverse is interesting too. As someone who has never performed music in public, but has done a lot of theatre, I notice that people who are self-conscious about how people are reacting to their performance lose all pleasure in participating in the creation of a piece, and become choppy and disconnected. So for the reverse problem to the one originally posed -- get people who are performance shy in music to focus on the experience of playing to take their mind off their how they are appearing? Hmmm. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 09 Jan 00 - 11:50 AM

Joe,
Did you ever see the episode of the Andy Griffith Show, where Barney Fife joins the local choir?

As far as the loud, or inexperienced Bodhran player is concerned

1 - The singer should have the option of saying no "drum", or no "accompaniment" on this or that song.

2 - whomever is facilitating the Session, should have the clout to do that as well.

Speaking as a non-musician, who has to STRETCH his ears to hear one singer among 6-8 guitars and 2 bodhran players and a fiddle. And this from only 8 feet away!


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Midchuck
Date: 09 Jan 00 - 12:08 PM

"Peter T." said:

"It seems that in the performing case people get so much pleasure out of being immersed in playing the music that they have no idea what an audience is hearing. It is interesting because obviously you want to have both -- pleasure in participating, and also giving pleasure; but the shifts back and forward over that divide obviously require some work for some people. I never thought about it in music before."

My friend McCormack put out a publicity brochure years ago, in which he said essentially the same thing but more strongly. He said, approximately:

"An artist who performs only for the audience is a whore. An artist who performs only for himself is an insufferable bore, unless he's a genius, which I'm not."

His point was the same, that a performer has to strike a balance - unless, I suppose, if he likes being a whore because it pays better.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: RichM
Date: 09 Jan 00 - 12:19 PM

I don't really have a simple answer to this. I have met this problem in many different kinds of music over the years. For instance, at a bluegrass jam session, where there are 10 musicians, 7 of which are guitarists---including me!

Some of these jams I ran, when I was a session leader for our local bluegrass club. Even then, it wasn't easy to resolve. Some people have one or two formula accompaniments that they use, whether it fits the song or not.

I have tried a) politely asking everyone to keep the volume down, especially if they don't know the song...

b)Asking people not to play the MELODY loudly while someone is singing.

c)Sometimes I would play in a key like Gflat or Eflat WITHOUT a capo...usually this would delay the onslaught of wrong or off-tempo chords...

d) This one is mean, but sometimes, I would fake chord changes during a song, and watch the fingerboard hawks try to figure out what chord that was...This is only effective when the wall of sound hides everything anyway.

What I do now, is sometimes ask people not to accompany me when the circle comes round to me. Or I deliberately choose to sing an un-accompanied tune. AND make it clear, that it is NOT to be accompanied...

Rich McCarthy


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Chet W.
Date: 09 Jan 00 - 01:22 PM

Back in my college days at the University of South Carolina, on warm days (not hot) I would occasionally take my guitar to one of the more serene shady parts of the campus and play and sing, just for my own pleasure. One of the nicest spots was right outside the College of Music. On more than one occasion, I would be playing this or that folk song and someone would come out of the building, instrument case in hand, and would stop and take out his/her violin, oboe, or whatever and join in. Then there would be another, and another, and before I knew what was happening I was being accompanied by a fairly large orchestra. Sometimes the upper windows of the building would open and someone would join on the pipe organ, or the carillon would pick it up in the adjoining chapel's bell tower. Trying to get them to stop was out of the question. When I finished a song, someone would say "How about 'Midnight Special' again?", which they knew was one of my favorites. I didn't know whether to be grateful or humble or what, and after a few songs I usually just got up and left, to a chorus of "Let's do this again" or "When will you be back?". I do look back on those days with some pleasure, but at the time it was a pain in the ass.

Chet


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jan 00 - 01:30 PM

Herge wrote in the poist that started this thread: "One in particular who is very young plays very fast to evey single tune that is played" - sounds very like a young boy who used to come to sessions with his dad, and accomplished musician.

The boy was actually very good technically, but also very enthusiastic and loud. So one day one of the other msuicians asked him to move away a bit. The man's good natured enough, but he has a gruff and abrupt manner to him sometimes.

Anyway the upshot was that the boy stopped coming, and decided he didn't want anything more to do with this type of music.

The point I'm making is that you've got to be careful in this kind of situation. People are often much moire vulnerable than you realise. There's no harm in the bodhran bashing jokes between friends, once you can trust each other, but you've got to make sure it doesn't get out of hand.

When people really can't play, it's not so hard to find a appropriately +tactful way of shutting them up (and, depending on the person, "appropriately tactful" can be quite forceful). But when people are actually technically good, but playing in the wrong way at the wrong time, it can be harder, bvecause they have invested more of themselves in what they are doing - and that was what happened I think with the boy in this case.

But whatever happens don't anyone go following the example of the oaf wildlone mentioned who destrung the guitar while making a cheap crack about being a music lover. Not with a young player anyway. You might try that one with an old bastard like me - but you'd be taking a bit of a chance.


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Mikal
Date: 09 Jan 00 - 08:05 PM

Gee...I am a Bodrhan player...

(Chuckle) I know what the kid is doing, and that is the young attempt to be that "drumming wizzard" he saw at the local Ren-Fest, or pub. It's an image thing.

I introduced one "would be drum god" to another friend of mine. She plays well now, but wears a wrist support due to over-playing and trying for all those fast "tripples" on every tune.

I have also offered a kid one of my towels. I keep one to muffle the drum when I practice. (Held behind the head, the effect is to reduce most of the boom to a tap.) I have the habit of bring three with me now, just in case.

Just to be fair, almost all of us were that kid at one time or another. Just starting out, that goatskin feels so cool when you slide a tipper over it. and the feeling you get is something like the all drummers get, of rhythum and magic all in one...(And this from a C of E kid!)

Give him a towel and have him try it for a muffle. It will make for less sound and just as much practice for him. Also tell him that the long term effects of drumming fast can mean never playing without a wrist brace, and lots of cortisone injections! The best players are hardly there, just a hertbeat in the background most of the time.

Mikal, (aspiring to be a heartbeat in a Celtic song.)


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jan 00 - 09:05 PM

"The best players are hardly there, just a heartbeat in the background most of the time."

God, that's a great way of putting it. It's memorable, respectful and poetic. And true. It needs to be put in a song. If I write it I'll send it to you, Mikal.


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 09 Jan 00 - 09:22 PM

Peter, you have a good hmmmmm there.
I use to do a great deal of lecturing to the public. In the beginning, I was nervous and uncomfortable. If I lost my audience, it was because I had to be completely focused on my materials just to get through the lecture. As I became more comfortable with my presentations I was then able to be more aware of my audience and read their needs better. Maybe with musicians this kind of thing also comes with time and experience.

BB


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Mudjack
Date: 09 Jan 00 - 09:35 PM

When an honest and polite attempt has failed to cease the intrusiveness, then size up his back side and see if his arse will accomodate the propper placement of said instrument....and shove it where the sun can't shine. We all can screw up on occassion, but there cames a time when just "SHUT UP" ain't enough.
One on one and not to single him out with others present, ask him to lighten up on the hand-drum or not play at all on your selections, that it is disturbing and that you lose your concentration and can't keep in touch with your music.
Mudjack


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Mikal
Date: 09 Jan 00 - 10:24 PM

Thanks McGrath. I would love to hear it. Write the song. And those rare few of us, (the drummers that also sing and realize the damned "flat box thunder" is louder than us), will feel justified in wetting the "skin" to be a bit softer.

By the way, I don't wet the head normally on mine. It's a Remo Artificial head. Will probably last past the next ice age! But pouring a "Harp" on it looks good, and let's me get to ask for Guiness next time!

Mikal


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Jan 00 - 10:36 PM

Geez Chet...You're a real curmudgeon ain'tcha'? LMAO...A Great Story!!!

Now I used this earlier, but you might stack up the bodhrans in a pile and USE THIS METHOD which will hopefully get your point across.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Mikal
Date: 09 Jan 00 - 11:12 PM

Sheesh! Don't try to shove the drum up there! It will hurt your playing hand!

Look at the tipper, (Drumstick, for the unlettered.) Ever wonder why it has that shape?

Answers why we walk funny, too...

Mikal


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: JamesJim
Date: 09 Jan 00 - 11:49 PM

I didn't read this entire thread (shame on me!), but Willie-O's response caught my eye. A lot of years back,a member of our band made a video tape of a performance. I was new to the band and other than speaking in public (over a PA system), I had had little experience with a mic (performing). During previous performances, we had had conversations about getting too close to the mic - just general discussion, saying that the mics were "hot" and we didn't need to be right up on them. The conversation (certainly meant for my benefit) had apparently gone over my head, but when I heard and saw the video (my two buddies looked over at me as we were watching it, but didn't say a word), it was obvious that I was way too close. I was totally embarassed and apoligized to my friends. Recording a performance and playing it back sure did the trick for me. Maybe it will for you too! Jim


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: The Duck of the Irish
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 12:53 AM

Easy! When he starts to get out of hand just stop playing and stare at him for a few seconds. Start again and stop. Don't say anything. It will kill a few songs but he will catch on.


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Roger the skiffler
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 05:30 AM

My wife always lets me know when my "singing" goes from bad to abysmal. Also the sight of the rats coming out of their holes and throwing themselves on to the traps gives me a clue when it's time to shut up!:o)
RtS


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 06:07 AM

You could advise him that such overenergetic indulgence could have an adverse effect on his sex life!

Regards,

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 06:09 AM

I was of course referring to the dangers of repetitive strain injury.

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From:
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 09:59 AM

I forgot what a curmudgeon is.

Chet


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: kendall
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 10:11 AM

definition of curmudgeon .. Kendall


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Mike Billo
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 10:53 AM

Is someone being paid to run the session? Is participation by invitation only? If so, then the solutions are obvious.

However, if it's an open session attended mostly by non-professionals, then, you play with whoever shows up (not everyone of them is going to be someone you would seek out to play with on your own), or else move on.


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Den
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 01:17 PM

Hide his tipper during the break. Den


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: peg
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 03:51 PM

hmmm...

interesting thread.

I am a good singer and a fair-to-middling boudhran player. Hence, at any given sessiun, I wait my turn to play or be heard. I end up sitting and listening a fair amount of the time, because even when I am the only boudhran player present, I think it is impolite to drum on every tune. It would also be impolite to ask to sing too often; I usually wait to be asked unless I don't know anyone. Any good drummer knows that they should not play along with every song; just as every singer knows singing along on every song is not appropriate, since sometimes an a cappella performance is indicated. Same goes with all those fiddlers, pipers, accordionists, etc.--if the tune does not seem to call for your instrument (and some tunes really do not lend themselves to a complete instrumentation every time), then, heck, sit it out! Sip your beer, listen for a change.

Same goes when you are trying to learn a tune; listening or recording it is far better than just trying to jump in, especially if you are a not a real quick study...I'm not saying players should always sit back and remain silent when they don't know the tune, but if we all tried this occasionally it might help things run more smoothly...

but to respond to the original question, drummers simply need to be sensitive to the needs of the sessiun...and of course, no matter what, there will always be someone who criticizes or ostracizes even the most considerate and accomplished boudhran player; call it prejudice borne of so many years' traumatic experience. But one bad boudhran experience need not color everyone's lives forever! We don't all suck, ya know...

peg


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Jeri
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 04:34 PM

There are some people who are listeners. They're the folks you have to cajole, encourage and threaten to get them to either play at all, or play loud enough to be heard. When they do play, they'll find ways to fit into the music. They'll listen to what others are playing and what they're playing and adapt. There are some who won't listen, and I don't quite understand them. They don't care if they fit in, they only care if they're heard. I don't know, maybe they think everyone else will adapt to them. Maybe they don't know that music is about communication, not exhibition. It doesn't matter what instrument someone plays, or if they sing and don't play - this type of individual can be a real pain in the ass.

I don't know if they have the capability of learning - I've never seen it happen myself. I'd always vote for blunt but kind honesty first. People often wait too long to say something and get mad and blurt something out. What about "Are you aware you're playing faster than anyone else? Would you please slow down a bit?" If that doesn't work, simply "slow down" during the tune. If that still doesn't work, take the fellow aside and let him know that he can choose to play with everyone else, or not play. And if it still doesn't work, and you have the backing of other session musicians, you may need to simply tell him to leave.


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 04:40 PM

I attend a Sunday night blues jam quite regularly. The band plays primarily Chicago Blues with some Stevie Ray thrown in. They four or five piece depending on whether the keyboard player can make it, are quite good, and nice guys as well. This is advertised as a blues jam and it's a blues club and a lot of harp players, guitar players, the odd horn player show up, most of whom are also quite good blues players.

Last week a guy showed up with an acoustic and did some eagles kind of stuff solo. Last night he came back, WITH A DRUM MACHINE and did about four songs, two of which were country. What do you do with a guy like that?


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Petr
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 04:58 PM

Offer the bodhran player a switchblade tipper. Seriously. People should be told if they're playing too fast or loud - tactfully. I think its better to take them aside quietly, rather than in front of everyone. One idea that worked with a bodrhan player that used to come to our sessions and used to speed up and play all the time (including airs) the session leader took him aside and suggested that he might want to practice with a metronome. You always risk offending people but sometimes its better that they go away than to stay and ruin a session. The same applies to other instruments as well, especially rhythm - eg guitars. Not that many guitarists are aware that accompaniment for Irish music is more subtle - not just crashing chords, they should be more in the background - eg Dennis Cahill, Randal Bays.

As a fiddle player I play the bones sometimes, but after listening to a tape of a session I became aware of just how annoying it is, just a clacking sound. They should be used sparingly and a good bodrhan or bones player will actually play the tune. A bodhran should never set the rhythm and 1 bodhran or guitar for that matter should generally be the maximum for a session. cheers Petr


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Nick Jones
Date: 11 Jan 00 - 04:17 PM

A major point that has been missed in this thread is the obvious fact that the bodhran is only really suitable for the accompiament of Irish music, clearly we don't just play Irish music ALL the time, there is English,French,French-Canadian,Scandinavian etc. None of this music requires the driving rhythm that is a characteristic of Irish music. In fact playing the bodhran on any other style of music actually destroys the nature of the music and makes everything sound Irish (like it's the only type of folk music in the world or something). I have been known to be very rude to people who ruin my music by playing inapropriately and also ruin the session for everyone by just not bothering to try to understand the music. And as for the bodhran player who started playing from the audience while John Kirkpatrick was on stage!...... John told him to SHUT UP, Quite right!


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 11 Jan 00 - 08:02 PM

Steve, you must be joking!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: reggie miles
Date: 11 Jan 00 - 11:33 PM

Well folks I haven't experienced a session before but it doesn't sound like something I'd want to get involved with either. The feelings here seem fairly strong about what a session is but no one has made that definition very plain as Mike was trying to point out. From what I've gathered after reading these posts a session is:

A group of people who perform together certain specific types, styles or kinds of music, right down to the type of chords used in any given secified form. These folks do not necessarily comprise what might be considered a "band" but rather a loose conglomeration. These groups do not jam but rather might be considered a preservation society for a given type of music. The type of music which is played and the instruments allowed at the session are determined by someone who is either hosting or leading the session. These events happen in either an open or invitational format and can be in a public place or not. Those performers in attendance are obviously lovers of specific disciplines or styles or just lovers of the whole idea of music and performance and can be professionals or amateurs. Alcohol can be but is not necessarily a component in these events. Does that about cover it?

So if I were a lover of say jug band music, I shouldn't expect to be able to carry my washboard into an Irish session and find acceptance by those in attendance for the type of rhythms I might be able to produce because the washboard is not the type of percussion instrument normally associated with Irish music. Unless of course the rules dictated by those governing the session allowed such diversity and my abilities were deemed adequate by the group.

Wow, that's a lot of hoops to have to jump through just to have some fun playing music with others. I find it hard to believe that all these forms, stlyes or genres that so many hold as sacred today ever started out with that intention. I think it was just a bunch of folks who were having a get together to enjoy some good food, drink and music. I'm not saying there weren't those with specific ideas that they wished to explore. I mean there were certainly those, years ago, who could not handle the idea of Elvis. Heck, Elvis couldn't handle The Beatles. That didn't stop the metamorphose of music from changing exapanding and growing into new and different expressions and so it continues despite the best efforts of some to confine it to a static identity. It is only ever dynamic, changing with each new soul who is enticed by the calling to explore it's endless reaches. It is as well a glorious gift well worth sharing with others whether they be novice or sage.

End of rant-


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 12:16 AM

Reggie, you raise an interesting question. It is certainly true to say that some people are predjudiced against certain instruments in particualr situations but why should that be? How many Irish instruments are there in an Irish session? The bozouki? Even the banjo? ... Where do we stop the clock - perhaps even the fiddle doen't belong...

I think that it is fair to say that some instruments are unlikely to fit in to certain types of music but there often are players who can make the "unexpected" work... and I believe people should be open to new instruments... unless of course the aim of a venu is to be purely tradational, which comes back to the traditional at what point in history...

As far as I am aware, sessions and Jam sessions are one and the same. They are pretty variable things and a lot depends on the people that are playing in the session (and the attitude of a session leader, landlord of a pub... if as and where such people exist). When it works, playing in a session, joining in with other players is IMO the most enjoyable musical experience going and you can get "carried along" with the music. There are no hard and fast rules but as with most aspects of life, it only takes one person to ruin it for everybody else.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: WyoWoman
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 12:36 AM

I try never to tell anyone to shut up and if I ever completely lose it and tell someone that, I feel as though I've demeaned myself.

I have, on the other hand, made many stupid mistakes as I've felt my way around the musical world and tried to discover where I fit in. I've stuck with the music I have because musicians have been generous and kind to me, and on occasions too numerous to mention have shared their wisdom and experience with me. I know now how song circles work, what the etiquette of group music is, when to sing and when to shut up -- and when I sing, I generally contribute something to the musical experience now. I still don't always know what I'm doing, but I'm still trying to learn.

If anyone had been so rude as some of the stuff some of you are suggesting when *I* was just discovering this world and just learning the rules of the road, I would have run away as fast as I could in the opposite direction and it would have made me permanently sad -- as I'd wager it would with most of you.

Graciousness and generosity are almost always appropriate, even when we have to "train" someone to change a behavior.

WW


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 05:41 AM

WyoWoman, you have hit it right on the head, if you tell someone to shut up in a fuck you tone of voice, then you have lost them and may even end up with your tyres slashed in the carpark afterwards (at least it is only your tyres, I've heard worse threatened by a drugged up lout at a festival). It goes back to what I've said elsewhere about my daughter. She will never learn the rules of the game, unless she is allowed to play. Telling someone rudely how not to do it, is the prime way to alienate people. John Kirkpatrick was paid to do his gig, he has a right to ASK the audience to be quiet if they are getting out of hand, but it should have been the job of the stewards at the venue to do that. If he continues to DEMAND silence during his gigs in the abrupt way that he does, he will rapidly go the way of June Tabor, and lose festival bookings. Just because someone is at the top of the profession, does not give them a right to be rude to or about their audiences. Even being the session leader does not give you the right to be rude to anyone. I've worked with the public in many situations over the years, and politeness always wins. In the library we started with a gentle sssssh, moved up to a loud shush and only then, if the noise increased, asked politely to keep the noise down. It took about 5 stages before the offenders were asked to leave. Most venues are public places, like libraries, you cannot ask for silence. If your audience is not silent, then try a different tack. A quiet tune, a slow air or similar, on a solo instrument that musicians have to strain to hear. They will soon pass the ssssh around.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Do you tell someone to shut up?
From: Nick Jones
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 07:02 AM

Well Liz, I do accept your point that demanding silence is not really practical, but to play the bodhran from the audience while anyone is on stage is completely unacceptable, particulaly as John Kirkpatrick could not be more associated with English music. I felt that he had every right to be abrupt as indeed I would have been in the same situation. Unfortunately we are dealing, not with reasonable people like you and me, but thick-skinned untalented people who think that their contribution is required. Because they are not musicians they just think that can come along and bang something and it will be alright. I think that if you have spent 25 years learning to play an instrument then you have every right to be rude to people who ruin what you are doing, it's not as if they are beginners and will get better in time (I always support beginners) they are always going to be no good (don't forget I am speaking about bodhran players not musicians).


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