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Bat Goddess Singarounds: Code of Conduct (90* d) RE: Singarounds: Code of Conduct 27 Aug 18

Our Press Room weekly session (and now the Press Room-In-Exile while the PR is closed for renovations) has been going strong for 36 years. It's both vocal and instrumental. It's a SESSION, not a song/tune circle so I sometimes have to remind newer members that it is not a SHOW but a session -- tune your contribution to maximum participation. Part of my job as session meister ("She Who Must Be Obeyed") is Traffic Cop -- to make sure no one takes over and less aggressive members get enough chances to lead. Recently I've been reminded that I need to remind session members to not do things that can distract the lead singer. It might be cute, it might be funny, but the humor fades if it goes on too long or often or makes the singer forget the words. If necessary, I have a gavel out in the car (AND a tiara!).

Tom (Mudcat's Curmudgeon) and I came across this list a number of years ago and made a few modifications --

The Ten Commandments of Sessions
-- slightly revised and addended by Linn Schulz & Tom Hall)

1. Thou shalt not ever forsake the beat.

2. Thou shalt arrange thyselves in a small circle so that thou mayest hear and see the other musicians. Thou shalt listen with thine ears to the songs and tunes and attempt to play in accord with the group; also, open thine eyes betimes to look about thee, lest there be some visual sign someone is endeavoring to send thee. Thou shalt play softly when someone lifteth his voice in song, when playing harmony, and when thou knowest not what thou doest.

3. Thou shalt play in tune. Tune thine instrument well, and tune it often with thine electric tuner, lest the sounds emanating from thine instrument be unclean.

4. Thou shalt commence and cease playing each tune together as one, so that the noise ye make be a joyful noise, and is not an abomination. Whensoever a musician sticketh forth his foot as though he were afflicted with a cramp in the fatted calf, thou must complete the rest of that verse, and then cease. Thou shalt not noodle in the blessed silence, nor interfere with a singer seeking a note.

5. Thou shalt stick out thine own foot or else lift up thy voice crying "This is it!", or "Last time!" if thou hast been the one to begin the tune, and it has been played sufficient times over. If the one who began a tune endeth it not by one of these signs, then the tune will just go on and on, like the Old Testament, until the listeners say, "Hark! It all soundeth the same."

6. Thou shalt concentrate and thou shalt not confound the music by mixing up the A part and the B part. Most tunes, but not all, proceed according to the ancient law "AABB". But if thou sinneth in this regard, or make any mistake that is unclean, thou may atone not by ceasing to play -- but by reentering the tune in the proper place and playing on.

7. Thou shalt be ever mindful of the key the banjo or concertina is tuned in, and play many tunes in that key, for the banjo is but a lowly instrument, which must needs be retuned each time there is a key change, and the concertina may not be tuned at all except by an expert.

8. Thou shalt not speed up or slow down accidentally when playing a tune, for it is an abomination. (See commandment 1)

9. Thou shalt not, by thine own self, commence noodling off on a tune the other musicians know not, unless asked or unless thou art teaching that tune, for it is an abomination, and the other musicians will not hold thee guiltless, and shall take thee off their computer lists, yea, even unto the third and the fourth generation.

Chapter 3, vs 17-18 Book of Khanduikus:
      Thou shalt not come to the jam session to impress others with thine amazing talents for this also is an abomination. The song shalt be the center around which all musicians shall rotate, not vice-versa.

"Attempts to make thine own star shine shall lead thee into darkness."


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