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Ban which instruments @ song circles

wilco 22 Jul 03 - 01:43 PM
Clinton Hammond 22 Jul 03 - 01:52 PM
Mr Happy 22 Jul 03 - 02:13 PM
kendall 22 Jul 03 - 02:14 PM
JedMarum 22 Jul 03 - 02:22 PM
ToulouseCruise 22 Jul 03 - 02:24 PM
Clinton Hammond 22 Jul 03 - 02:54 PM
Gary T 22 Jul 03 - 02:59 PM
Richard Bridge 22 Jul 03 - 03:53 PM
GUEST,Russ 22 Jul 03 - 05:45 PM
Blowzabella 22 Jul 03 - 06:48 PM
GUEST,Scabby Doug 22 Jul 03 - 06:55 PM
Mark Clark 22 Jul 03 - 07:05 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Jul 03 - 07:40 PM
Midchuck 22 Jul 03 - 07:42 PM
curmudgeon 22 Jul 03 - 08:22 PM
John Hardly 22 Jul 03 - 08:50 PM
John Hardly 22 Jul 03 - 08:51 PM
Bert 22 Jul 03 - 10:32 PM
Gypsy 22 Jul 03 - 11:06 PM
Big Mick 23 Jul 03 - 12:09 AM
Richard Bridge 23 Jul 03 - 02:18 AM
Roger the Skiffler 23 Jul 03 - 03:54 AM
Dipsodeb 23 Jul 03 - 04:34 AM
GUEST,what's the fuss about 23 Jul 03 - 04:43 AM
GUEST,chip2447 23 Jul 03 - 04:52 AM
GUEST,BDog 23 Jul 03 - 07:37 AM
Pied Piper 23 Jul 03 - 07:51 AM
GUEST,KB 23 Jul 03 - 07:53 AM
GUEST,folk police sargeant 23 Jul 03 - 08:24 AM
GUEST,Russ 23 Jul 03 - 08:44 AM
GUEST 23 Jul 03 - 08:50 AM
Willie-O 23 Jul 03 - 09:06 AM
Raptor 23 Jul 03 - 09:25 AM
Uncle_DaveO 23 Jul 03 - 10:11 AM
HuwG 23 Jul 03 - 10:20 AM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Jul 03 - 10:22 AM
GUEST,ferret 23 Jul 03 - 10:28 AM
wysiwyg 23 Jul 03 - 10:43 AM
banjoman 23 Jul 03 - 11:08 AM
dick greenhaus 23 Jul 03 - 11:23 AM
PoppaGator 23 Jul 03 - 12:22 PM
Don Firth 23 Jul 03 - 01:02 PM
GUEST,Les B. 23 Jul 03 - 04:16 PM
Beccy 23 Jul 03 - 04:26 PM
Les from Hull 23 Jul 03 - 04:33 PM
wilco 23 Jul 03 - 05:18 PM
Jeremiah McCaw 23 Jul 03 - 06:20 PM
Bill D 23 Jul 03 - 08:53 PM
Joe Offer 23 Jul 03 - 09:26 PM
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Subject: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: wilco
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 01:43 PM

I'm in SE USA, hill country of East Tennessee. I've started some "Traditional" acoustic music clubs here. They are spread out geographically, all with the same format.
   Typically, we have fiddles, gutars, banjos, mandolines, autoharps, harmonicas, and upright bases. occasionally, a dulcimer or accordian.
    In the past, we've not allowed electronically amplified insturments, since they overpower everything else. However, we do allow electric bass guitars. Now, someone wants to bring a keyboard.
    What do you think?

Wilco in Tennessee


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 01:52 PM

I think music should be 'inclusionary', not exclusionary...

All amplified instruments have a volume control on them...


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: Mr Happy
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 02:13 PM

insturments?


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: kendall
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 02:14 PM

Take a poll, do what the majority wants. But, of course, I'm a democrat.


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: JedMarum
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 02:22 PM

my favorite session in Dallas has one rule; "the only thing electric is the campfire!"


works for me ...


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: ToulouseCruise
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 02:24 PM

Damn Jed, and I was gonna bring my electric kazoo...

Brian


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 02:54 PM

Rules... pffft... art is NOT about rules...


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: Gary T
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 02:59 PM

It's easiest to get away with electric basses because bass sound tends to be omnidirectional. It also tends to be non-piercing.

90+ percent of the time, an electric guitar will be significantly too loud for everyone except the person playing it, who thinks it's way too soft and wants to turn it up.

I have jammed with a keyboardist using a sit-down-to-it electric piano, amp, and speaker whose sound was not overpowering. I don't know if it was the nature of the instrument, the placement of the speaker, or where I was standing, but it worked in an otherwise acoustic jam.

I have also jammed with a keyboardist using a put-it-on-your-lap keyboard with only its built-in speaker. I had no problem, even standing next to him. Others did find it difficult to be next to him.

If you can trust the keyboardist to take it well if people don't like it, I'd say give it a try. By take it well, I mean TURN IT DOWN or even stop if requested, without getting his knickers in a knot. Otherwise there's always the risk that it will be a problem, and he won't perceive it or do anything about, and a bunch of folks will be upset.


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 03:53 PM

If the keyboard player plays the same volume when he sings as when others sing, singers who can't compete can take singing lessons from him...


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 05:45 PM

Wilco,
I am not against rules per se, but I think it pays to keep them simple. I participate in a number of local music gatherings where the basic rule is "acoustic instruments" only. I highly recommend such a rule. Once an exception is made, there goes the neighborhood.


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: Blowzabella
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 06:48 PM

I agree with Russ - keep it acoustic ...but ban shakey eggs just on principal!!


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: GUEST,Scabby Doug
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 06:55 PM

...and ocarinas.

Ban ocarinas. They make them from turtles and terrapins, so ban them for that never mind their tuneless, toneless hooting qualities.

Ocarinas well-played may be a thing of beauty and a joy for ever. Know what? you'll never know for sure, because you'll never hear one well-played. The only people that own them play them in that crazed manner beloved of primary school recorder ensembles, hhohoooo -ing like a squadron of startlked barn owls, which leads you to believe that Vincent Van Gogh had a good idea which just needed followed to its logical conclusion...


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: Mark Clark
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 07:05 PM

I get together with a bunch of pickers once a week. The main thrust is bluegrass but one fellow shows up occasionally with a very nice pedal steel guitar that we manage to fit in just fine. We've had harmonicas and the odd autoharp show up as well and never had any problems. The paying customers seem to like it, at least they keep buying us beer and requesting tunes. We played a concert for an Independence Day celebration and included the pedal steel. It went over quite well.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 07:40 PM

Keyboards can be all right pn squeeze boxes, or on pianos. Otherwise I think they are better left at home.

And please, no bongo drums.


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: Midchuck
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 07:42 PM

Nothing electric - i.e. that plays through an - amp except electric basses if the player can control his impulses with regard to the volume knob, and by all means, a pedal steel - I Love 'Em - if the player has a realistic idea of what kinds of stuff one sounds good on and can control his impulses with regard to the volume knob.

No shaky eggs.

No washboards unless the owner can limit his playing to zydeco, ragtime and jug band numbers if anyone does one.

No "stomp boards."

And no G**forsaken, Jeezly, f***ing, never-to-be-sufficiently-damned Spoons!



Peter. (Yes, these are my particular personal prejudices - but I cherish them.)


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: curmudgeon
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 08:22 PM

I've been running a weekly session for nigh on twenty years now; no rules, per se, but rather consensual guidelines, to wit: electronics should be limited to tuners. We had a plastic electronic saxophone there for a while which diminished the overall listening/playing experience markedly. No instrument should be so large as to replace the space which could be filled by another person. We do have a small corner into which we can tuck a standup bass and player. There was once an incident with a cretin who, after permission was denied, still brought in his snare drum. While I am sure that I was more offended than he, he never came back.

On the other hand, the thread title refers to "song circles," which in my mind precludes the instrumental aspect. We also have monthly shanty/forebitter sessions. Instruments there, again by consensus, are limited to intros and accompaniments for forebitters and fo'c's'le ballads, not for shanties.

Just my own experience -- Tom


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: John Hardly
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 08:50 PM

Volume (with keyboards) is often not the problem -- "arrangement" is. Suddenly everyone is sounding wanky against the aug min 7th flatted ninth that the keyboard can do with two fingers and a pre-programmed loop (complete with rhumba rhythm).


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: John Hardly
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 08:51 PM

.....oh yeah, and ditto on the eggs.


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: Bert
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 10:32 PM

Allow the keyboard and ban the guitars, every singly bloody one ofg them.


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: Gypsy
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 11:06 PM

Rules at our session: No alcohol, no amps, no attitudes! 'nuff said


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: Big Mick
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 12:09 AM

Amps are appropriate at open mic sessions. In a song circle or tune session it should be acoustic, I would think. I might let an amp in if I could control the volume knob.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 02:18 AM

No alcohol?????????????????????


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 03:54 AM

So, I better cancel my visit to you, then, Midchuck!
Bans? We don't need no stinking bans!
I'm with Clinton on this one though as I don't attend any, my opinion isn't worth a gnat's fart!

RtS
(exits, doing bad Gracie Fields impression :"I took my kazoo to the party, and nobody asked me to play...")


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: Dipsodeb
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 04:34 AM

I wondered how long it would take to get around to shaky eggs, spoons and as yet unmentioned bodrhans, YAAAWWWNNnnnn.


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: GUEST,what's the fuss about
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 04:43 AM

all instruments need amplification - whether it is done acoustically or electronically shouldn't matter - if you had a group of jew's (jaw) harp players and a banjo player came along he'd over power them.... don't set restrictions on instruments or type of amplification just set a volume level! and anyone who can or who wants to can go up to that level!

Carl


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: GUEST,chip2447
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 04:52 AM

All things in moderation, otherwise you might as well claim to be music hypocrites. It's not about the instrument in question, its about everyone having a good time. If said electrified musicians can cooperate and maintain a nice volume, I.E. work and play well with others then I dont see a problem with it.

Scabby Doug, you need to get out more, and broaden your horizons. Being one of those dreaded Ocarina players that you despise I feel like I need to inform you that there is more to an oc than meets the eye. Yes, there are hoo hoo hooters out there, but there are also some very talented players, playing very nice high quality, properly tuned instruments. Should you care to PM me I can provide you with several links to OUTSTANDING oc players...

Chip2447


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: GUEST,BDog
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 07:37 AM

It's easier to control the volume of electric instruments than it is to control the volume of a set of war pipes, which is both traditional and acoustic! Though, some may argue that pipes don't qualify as musical!

Problems are caused WITH instruments, not BY them - electric or not.

Brian


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: Pied Piper
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 07:51 AM

What's wrong with the following syllogisms?

Electrically amplified instruments can play loudly.
Therefore
Electrically amplified instruments cannot play quietly.

All the Ocarina (Keyboard, Bodhran, Spoons) players I've met cannot play well.
Therefore
No Ocarina (Keyboard, Bodhran, Spoons) players can play well.

I cannot play while consuming alcohol.
Therefore
Nobody can play while consuming alcohol.

I am a Mudcat know it all.
Therefore
I am always right.


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: GUEST,KB
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 07:53 AM

Piper - nail, head, bang.
:>)


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: GUEST,folk police sargeant
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 08:24 AM

you should only allow classically trained musicians to play instruements .We do not want any scuffs in our sessions!!
And that goes for vocalists as well no one who cannot hold a true note
should not be allowed to sing. All people who atttend you session /song cirle MUST have an audition before they can join in.
A


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 08:44 AM

Wilco,
hill country of East Tennessee?
Looking at your list of typical instruments and taking into consideration your location...
I would assume that the people who show up at your clubs are familiar with bluegrass music. Maybe a fair percentage are also familiar with old time music. Why would you have to explain to such people that keyboards are not appropriate?

Additional comments

1. Useful reasoning.
Perfect syllogisms never work anywhere but in a logic class. In the real world the most useful arguments are probabilistic

Most x-players I've ever heard are annoying participants in a jam
Fred is an x-player I've never heard.
Therefore, Fred will probably annoy me in a jam.

2. Instruments don't cause problems, instrumentalists cause problems.
Players of non-acoustic instruments come from a world which is very different sonically and aesthetically from the world of acoustic instruments. My own experience does not convince me that the twain can successfully meet often enough to warrant inclusionary guidelines.

My heart goes out to curmedgeon who mentions a participant who played a plastic electronic saxophone. That person not only didn't "get it", but probably will never "get it."

3. Who needs steenkin rules?
The advantage of the sorts of rules this thread has been about is that they can prevent unpleasantness before it happens. I personally would rather have a snare drum player stay home and think bad thoughts about my noninclusive musical gathering than to have to be the one to ask the drummer to please go away.

Rules save time, energy, and egos.


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 08:50 AM

The thing about electronic instruments is that they can always be turned down. Not so for loud Bluegrass banjo players, or accordians.
It's about taste. And consideration for other musicians which I believe goes together.

There are some electric players who are so tasteful that you wouldn't be able to distinguish their playing from accoustic musicians.

It's the musicianship, not the instrument. (Variation of an old bawdy joke).

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: Willie-O
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 09:06 AM

By banning classes of instruments outright, you may indeed be preventing some nuisances, but you are also closing yourself off to some great experiences.

Keyboards are pianos with extra options. Someone who can play honky-tonk style piano, or tune-accompaniment, in appropriate style and volume is a great asset to a country-style jam. It's been said that the most unique feature of Cape Breton fiddling is the piano playing that goes with it, which even in that rule-bound musical culture has been allowed to develop into a stunningly virtuostic style.

Plastic electric sax? Well, did they know the tunes and how not to solo over everyone else? An acquaintance of mine used to play soprano sax at late-night folkfest jams, and I would crawl over broken glass to invite him to any jam I might put on.

I guess if you start the session, you can make the rules, then see which ones can be profitably broken...

W-O


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: Raptor
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 09:25 AM

I did a accustic Jam for 5 years just a bit north of Toronto and I have learned 3 Things:

1 Electric players never play quietly enough!

2 If you tell an electric player not to bring his AXE he will find an accoustic guitar!

3 Never put your face in a bag full of angry squerrels!

Raptor


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 10:11 AM

Pied Piper: What's wrong with your syllogisms? They aren't syllogisms, to begin with. A syllogism has three parts, and the relation between the first two causes the conclusion, which comes in the third.

Pedantic definitions to one side, your basic point is well taken.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: HuwG
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 10:20 AM

I hate to contradict anyone, Pied Piper, but all the syllogisms you have postulated lack a distributed middle term. In fact, they lack any explicit middle term, although in many cases, one can be implied.

To take an exmple :

Electrically amplified instruments can play loudly.
Therefore
Electrically amplified instruments cannot play quietly.


A more valid syllogism might be :

Electrically amplified instruments can play loudly.
An electric guitar is an electrically amplified instrument.
Therefore an electric guitar can play loudly.


Or better yet :

Electrically amplified instruments can play loudly.
Owners of electric guitars are brash, insensitive show-offs.
Therefore they will play an electric guitar loudly.



Of course, an invalid syllogism doesn't invalidate the initial premises, and doesn't necessarily invalidate the conclusion (as in this case, where I will acknowledge that you are always right).

However, I will allow that certain instruments have the capacity to ruin a session, either by dominating the play to the exclusion of all others (e.g. a Strat, played through a Marshall Stack and a Distortion pedal, or by providing an irrelevant and distracting accompaniment (e.g. a shaky egg, played too fast or on legato tunes which don't need any accompaniment).

As do certain players I know ...

I attend the Monday sessions at The Globe, and usually find myself sitting next to the player who brings along the electric bass guitar. I have no trouble with this instrument, or with the semi-professional percussionist who brings along a bongo, or the nice lady with the bodhran. However, one player once turned up with nothing more offensive than an acoustic guitar. As the fiddle player started the first tune in the round, the guitarist picked up the key of D, and started thrashing along to it so loudly and enthusiastically that he and everybody next to him missed the chord change to Am. Like, ugh !

Other guitarists have the bad habit of "noodling", playing all sorts of irrelevant snatches and licks while somebody tries to start something with fiddle, squeeze box, mandolin or voice. And yes, I was guilty until someone trod heavily on my foot as a gentle reminder.


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 10:22 AM

"Keyboards are pianos with extra options."

That's the problem. Extra options tend to be destructuve of folk music, which thrives on making the most of our limitations.

Obviously "ban" in this kind of context should be a shorthand way of saying "I tend to be a bit apprehensive of this kind of thing". Attempts to impose actual bans are just be a signal for most of us to decide to go somewhere else. "Alcohol?" Good grief! That's the folk scene in the British Isles out the window for a start.


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: GUEST,ferret
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 10:28 AM

McGrath - that is an interesting thing - how do you mean about it thriving on making the most of our limitations? D'you reckon that might make an interesting thread all of its own, or has it been done already??


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: wysiwyg
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 10:43 AM

I'd have said no keyboard, till I heard both regular piano and keyboard one used with great effect (and tastefully not dominating) at oldtime jams. Used with fiddle tunes it can be a great help to chord-players to catch the chord changes. There are a lot of parlor, oldtime, blues, and jugband songs for which piano is appropriate.

So I think it dpends on how it is being used and how it affects what happens. The focus should be on the music, not the instrumentation used to create it.

So often, we worship "tradition" and insist on using only "authentic" instrumentation. But it's kinda shortsighted I think-- since the "tradition" of oldtime music in particular was to use whatever instrument happened to be at hand in order to create and enjoy something that is informal by its very nature. What we insist on replicating so rigidly often turns out to have been complete innovation in its time! So I think we need not to hold onto what we love so tightkly that we strangle the life out of it.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: banjoman
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 11:08 AM

Admit any amplified instruments on the understanding that they must not be plugged in. I would restrict the number of melodeons to no more tha two, otherwise the tend to co-habit and hog the session.
Spoons are fine in the right place - on the table- and as for shaky things - ok provided they dont feel they have to accompany ev erything thats played. Tho' I guess thats true of most instruments. I'm always happy to put up my banjo or guitar and listen to others playing - its gives the fingers a rest and lets others have a go.
My worst horror is the Lagerphone - especially those that have a concrete filled boot on the end as happened at on session I was at. That particular character was told in n o uncertain terms where he could put his instrument.,
Keep on playing


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 11:23 AM

A workable, if seldom-employed, option is to poll the regulars about what they want. If you enforce that, you'll at least keep the regulars. The instrument that, IMO, has wrecked more singalongs than anything else is a certain blue book.


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: PoppaGator
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 12:22 PM

On the one hand:

If "non-traditional" instruments had never been allowed to take part in traditional playing, a whole lot of the instruments we currently consider to be "traditional" would never have come into use. The Irish bouzouki is an obvious example, but even the ubiquitous guitar is a relative newcomer to virtually all varieties of folk music. I know for sure that the banjo was invented in the US relatively recently, and if I'm not mistaken, the various squeezeboxes are of even more recent vintage, as products of industrial-revolution technology. When played tastefully by a competant musician, almost any instrument should be able to fit in -- and may even eventually become "traditional." (The pedal steel guitar is a current-day example.)

On the other hand:

Blowhards and egomaniacs can ruin everyone else's experience wielding almost anything that can generate a moderate to excessive amount of decibels. An "acoustic-only" policy seems like a reasonable and (more importantly) unambiguous ground rule, but it does allow badly-played homespun percussion instruments while excluding amplified instruments that *might* be played appropriately and, indeed, delightfully.

The single exception of the electric bass to the all-acoustic rule seems very reasonable. More bass players own electric than acoustic basses, and are accustomed to keeping their volume at an appropriate level to fit in with an acoustic jam -- after all, they are, by definition, accompanists.

This exception should *not* necessarily "open the door" to all other electrified instruments, but I suppose that might be difficult to explain.


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 01:02 PM

Song circles should be focussed on songs. Any accompaniment should by just that: accompaniment. If someone is hell-bent on displaying their instrumental virtuosity, he or she is in the wrong pew. Also, learn what you plan on doing and leave the damned songbooks at home. To me, it's bloody boring to sit around with everybody singing from a songbook. I can do that in church on Sunday.

Anyone who plays a percussion instrument should be attended by someone with a brain who will sit close by and administer a dope-slap whenever the person with the percussion instrument doesn't seem to know when to remain silent. And bongos per se are an abomination. I'll never forget the bongo player who used to follow me around and insisted on backing me on everything, including Greensleeves.

Other instruments: if you can't carry it with one hand and/or if it needs to be plugged in, leave it at home.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: GUEST,Les B.
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 04:16 PM

The "acoustic" only rule doesn't eliminate Tubas or Bagpipes, both of which I've had less than positive experiences with at a mainly stringed instrument jam :)!!!!


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: Beccy
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 04:26 PM

Harmonica and bodhran unless you can prove that you know how to play it!!!! :-)

Beccy


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: Les from Hull
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 04:33 PM

I hope that you lot have realised by now that it's not the instruments - it's the players. All instruments can sound fine in the right context. The instruments don't make too much sound when they're not being played, although they do occupy a certain amount of space.

It should be fine for someone to be able to say 'I'm happy with my own accompaniment for this song' or 'I sing this song unaccompanied', which basically mean 'shut up and listen for a change'.

People need to realise that the person with the song is in charge, and is entitled to look daggers at anybody who is transgressing. And the transgressor will immediately stop playing. If you are not looking at the person you are accompanying, you're doing it wrong.

It's also fine to include people - 'I'm hoping that xxx will help me out with some of her excellent nose-flute playing, with a break after the third chorus' means just that, and any other nose-flutists should shut up and listen. And other instruments should give xxx's playing a chance.

Of course some people don't know how to accompany - they play too loud, too badly or they just hammer out the melody, drowning the singer.

Les (player of non-traditional Irish bouzouki, electric bass, melodeon and annoying harmony singer)


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: wilco
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 05:18 PM

Lots of the folks in our music clubs come from "holiness" church backgrounds (Think Jerry Lou Lewis doing honky tonk gospel), where they have played pianos and lap steel guitars in church services. These will often have guitars, bajos, and mandolines too, occasionall a fiddle too.
   So, pianos and lap steels fit right into "traditional music" in East Tennessee. The younger generations have grown up in these same churches with keyboards and insturmental accompaniment tapes, not pianos; to them, the piano isn't as versatile. I really don't want to have to "police" the keyboards.
    The only reason we would allow electric basses is that upright
doghouse bases are less common that electric basses. You really need some kind of bass.
    Bear in mind that its bluegrass, old time country (pre 1960), old gospel, old-time, early acoustic blues, traditional fiddle tunes.


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: Jeremiah McCaw
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 06:20 PM

"All amplified instruments have a volume control on them..."

"...if the player has a realistic idea of what kinds of stuff one sounds good on and can control his impulses with regard to the volume knob."

Be it noted that maturity may be well defined as that age when one realizes that volume knobs also operate in a counter-clockwise direction!

On the subject of basses; I have a very nice acoustic bass guitar but it simply does not have the volume to hold its own in a multi-guitar session. So the electric goes with me. It's unusual that I'll go to any session without knowing some of the players; but if it's a first-time session for me, I'll just go in and listen for a bit and then ask if I can bring the technology to bear.

Sidenote: While setting up for one of the esteemed Mr. Fielding's radio shows, I asked if my bass was too loud. A (mock) amazed look passed over him as he said, "Good Lord, the next thing you'll be asking is if you're playing too many notes!"


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Subject: RE: Ban which insturments @ song circles
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 08:53 PM

seems to me the operative conclusion in all this is: "It all depends"

I, personally, don't care for electric...but....'sometimes' in 'some' places, electric can be ok...IF they are played reasonably by sensitive players. (I know a couple players who CAN be trusted)

In our circles, held in private homes these days, there is usually not room or easy access for an electic keyboard...but if the same people meet in the same place, week after week, and approve...go ahead!

"We'll try it once, Bob...but I dunno if it'll fit...let's see how it goes"


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Subject: RE: Ban which instruments @ song circles
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 09:26 PM

Maybe it's not an insturment, but I sure hate whistilng at song circles. We have one woman who will whistle through entire songs, one song after another.
-Joe Offer-


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