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Thread: Playing Melody in Irish Sessions

  1. #51
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Melody in Irish Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    I have rarely been to a jam, OT or ITM that had fewer than three guitars. Often more.
    Oldtime, sure. If it's Irish or Scottish, you're going to the wrong session.

    And yeah, I know we don't get to pick and choose depending on where we live. I'm lucky... every session I go to in this area has a one-guitar-at-a-time rule because it just doesn't work otherwise.

    Late at night, after the backers have left and it's just the melody players? That's where the magic happens.

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  3. #52
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Melody in Irish Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    I have rarely been to a jam, OT or ITM that had fewer than three guitars. Often more.
    Come to our OT jam here in Yorktown Heights, NY. Actually, more accurately we have a few string guitar players but sometimes they don't show up. I am one of them and I usually lead on fiddle. Another one prefers to play fiddle. There are a few others who play very softly or sit way back so we can't depend on them either. Luckily one of our regulars plays moderately strong bass and she has been getting better all the time. She holds up the bottom end. When she is there often I pound away to keep the timing steady. Very important esp the larger the jam gets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by foldedpath View Post
    Late at night, after the backers have left and it's just the melody players? That's where the magic happens.
    Yes!! I know what you mean esp with ITM.
    Jim

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  4. #53
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    Default Re: Playing Melody in Irish Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    I went to these huge ITM sessions in Edinburgh Scotland, where there would be maybe 20 musicians, and something like half of them would be playing bodhran. The drums the drums the drums the drums.
    Bodhran player; that's we call the guys who like cheap beer and hanging around musicians.

    as bad as a flock of guitar players or bodhran players are fistfulls of fiddlers who all are using screwball bowings and ornaments all over the place. what an aural mess. Sometimes it really seems like some players are competing with each other and have stopped listening. For me that's like my mom yelling out the door back in '70 "boy, the streetlights are on!" Time to scram.

    I'm pretty sure I don't have any new advice for the OP that hasn't been mentioned several times: metronome, playing with CDs, youtube videos, with/without written music. playing with one or two other musicians, etc.

  5. #54
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Melody in Irish Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    I went to these huge ITM sessions in Edinburgh Scotland, where there would be maybe 20 musicians, and something like half of them would be playing bodhran. The drums the drums the drums the drums.
    Those are not musicians. They're just tourists who've been watching too many pipes&drums marching bands.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

  6. #55
    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Melody in Irish Sessions

    BTW-- are you sure that it's playing with other melody instruments that's throwing you off, or simply playing mandolin melody in public? That's a whole other issue.
    For wooden musical fun that doesn't involve strumming, check out:
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  7. #56
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Melody in Irish Sessions

    You mean, mandolins play something beside melody?

    for the OP, the fact that you caught up in enough time to play part of the third way through is a win. You've just proven to yourself it can be done!
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  8. #57
    Dave Sheets
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    Default Re: Playing Melody in Irish Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by BJ O'Day View Post
    So tonight it happened again where I froze up. A tune I know well but was being played a bit faster than I'm used to. I had to really focus on releasing the tension in my hands, stop worrying about flubs and relax with the tune. I was able to start really playing along about halfway through the third time around. Oh well,...next time.
    BJ
    I think that's actually really good news. Matters will start to improve now, maybe not right away, but you have probably turned a corner here.

    If you haven't already seen thesession.org, have a look at it. They have MIDI files of many ITM tunes you can download and practice with. Adjustable tempos!
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  9. #58
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Melody in Irish Sessions

    to the OP: Ever walk around in your yard playing mandolin tunes up to speed? It's the enhanced version of walking and chewing gum!

    No joke, it's a fun challenge, 'cause you have all sorts of other things going on and playing just has to remain present. It really calibrates your mind to adapt to distractions.

    f-d
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  10. #59
    Registered User Mike Scott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Melody in Irish Sessions

    I am the OP. I sort of thought we were done after post number 30. Then Mr. O'Day posted number 48. Don't mean to be obtuse, but now it seems we are somehow both OPs in people's minds in this thread. As for me I am forging ahead with the metronome (painful at best,but very worthwhile) and the link provided by Jill way back on page 1. Nice to know (although too bad for the others) that I am not alone in this problem............
    Thanks, Mike


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  11. #60
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Melody in Irish Sessions

    The OP is not in control of the thread. Starting a thread is like raising a gremlin and then feeding it after dark.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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  13. #61
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Melody in Irish Sessions

    But sometimes staying on topic can be a bit......
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    Eoin



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  14. #62
    Registered User Mike Scott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Melody in Irish Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    The OP is not in control of the thread. Starting a thread is like raising a gremlin and then feeding it after dark.
    True enough. No intent on starting a flaming war, so I will go "quietly into the night".
    Thanks, Mike


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  15. #63
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Melody in Irish Sessions

    No need to go. Its like bowling, once you let go of the ball, but its better than bowling because you can jump in and change the ball's direction.

    Excellent question BTW.
    Indulge responsibly!

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  16. #64
    Registered User Lowlands Blue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Melody in Irish Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by fatt-dad View Post
    to the OP: Ever walk around in your yard playing mandolin tunes up to speed? It's the enhanced version of walking and chewing gum!

    No joke, it's a fun challenge, 'cause you have all sorts of other things going on and playing just has to remain present. It really calibrates your mind to adapt to distractions.

    f-d
    I too find that once I've memorized a tune, the best way of getting a true hold on it is by playing while distracted. I'll turn on a news channel, walk around my living room or stare out of my window while playing.

    Recently I went to my first Irish Session, and although I was a little intimidated and didn't know most of the material, I found it a great learning experience. Playing with others instead of alone really is a different discipline. I tend to listen to the other players and lose track of what I'm doing, and it requires a lot more attention. But hearing myself play the music the way its intended with others (despite the occasional fumble) gave me a real sense of satisfaction that I can't create just playing by myself, no matter how clean or good I play a part.

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