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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Tom Bliss Guitar in Sessions (71* d) RE: Guitar in Sessions 05 Mar 10

It would be a great shame if people who don't normally go to tune sessions got the idea that tune players are hostile because we/they're not - (ok, a very few might be, but then some singer folks can occasionally be a bit off too).

It might help if I explained that tune gatherings are crucially different from song gatherings in one respect. In tune sessions everyone plays together, so differences in ability or feel or understanding will impact on everyone, whereas in song gatherings there's always only one 'lead' singer who people either just listen to or else try sympathetically to accompany.

Of course different sessions will be attended by players of varying ability, and if you encounter an 'all-comers-welcome / bring and bash whatever you like / read off the dots / sing lots of songs' type event, then of course whatever goes, goes. But most tune sessions are not like that.

Some are visited by very skilled players who are looking for a particular 'fix' - and, as I've explained, they can't get this in a private gathering - so tune sessions really do need to take place in public.

But that doesn't mean that everyone is welcome to join in regardless of preparation or sympathy.

Song gatherings often contain an element that's about self expression and personal development. In tune sessions this is subjugated to the group ethos.   

That may sound cliquey, but it's not. It's just that tune playing only works properly if most people present are of a broadly similar ability.

So new faces are welcome as long at they're prepared to suss out the group mood and join in with due deference (NOT to the best players but to the group zeitgeist).

Yes, some instruments may be looked at askance, but only because they send warning signals that the holder may be expecting more songs than the group wants to hear, or a more driving rhythm than the group want to play over, or more chords than the group feels comfortable with or any of the other reasons mentioned above.

But DON'T be put off! Take a while to read the room, remember that the tune matters most, and then join in gently and you'll be welcomed by 99% of sessionaires. And sod the 1% eh?

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