Some Key Points 1. Please buy a tuner and use it! 2. Starting tunes: We will move around the circle so each musician has a chance to start a tune. You may pass. 3. NO TALKING DURING SONGS OR TUNES! If you want to chat please find a corner or another area of the pub. 4. One free drink per musician. The tip jar is for the waitress. 5. If you play a loud instrument, please keep the volume to the level of the flutes and fiddles. If you can’t, don’t play. The Practice Session If you are really quite new to playing Irish music or are completely dependent on and happy with playing from sheet music, then the best slow session for you is at the Rincon Market on alternated Tuesdays at 7:00 - 9:00 and hosted by Jamie Massey The slow session at the Auld Dubliner is more of a practice or intermediate session where the goal is to try out new tunes in a more relaxed environment, and then take them to the advanced session when you are ready to play at speed. The practice session is informal, sheet music is fine and there is a very friendly and welcoming attitude and you are likely to find some of the advanced players like Sharon, Claire or Bob, ready to offer ad hoc instruction and suggestions. The Advanced Session One does not need to be a seasoned musician to participate in sessions, but because this is not a "beginner session" and it takes place in a public venue, it is important for the health of the music to maintain as high a standard of musicianship as possible. The pub owner and staff treat musicians well at The Auld Dubliner and are very supportive of the music, and they do us a great service by providing us with a nice place to play and one free drink. The musicians should return the favor by taking the time to consider if they are ready to play at a level comparable to the others at the session or not. If not, rest assured that the musicians VERY much appreciate listeners who are genuinely interested in learning the music. It’s nice to know that folks are using the session to find traditional music in the area and we regulars are always delighted to have good players find us and join in the fun, whether they’re new to the area or just passing through! *If a budding player is dependent on reading sheet music, that person is not ready to play at the advanced session! That’s what slow sessions are for and many of us started in a slow session somewhere until we were ready to play at a reasonable speed and without sheet music. Also, just "tooting along," fumbling around for notes, playing odd "harmonies," or pretending that one knows a tune is really impolite and disruptive. We can hear you…and so can the people who are there in the pub to enjoy the music. It’s really quite OK to sit out a tune if you’re not ready to play it or to sit off to the side of the playing table to listen and learn. The beginning player should not seat himself next to the lead player or among the other experienced players . New musicians should listen to their Irish Trad CDs and MP3s….if they can play along with those tracks and up to speed by and large, then they’re ready to join the advanced session at The Auld Dubliner! We tend to be a bit slower than sessions in Boston, Chicago or San Francisco and is ideal for the intermediate player. Unlike , for example, a bluegrass jam, an Irish session does not feature breaks or leads, and the goal is for all instruments to be heard by all the musicians and listeners. The sound should be a blend of the melody and back up instruments. One can pick up out a specific instrument if one listens for it, but no instruments should overpower the session. Consequently, certain instruments that cannot be played softly or are not suited to the music are generally not welcome at sessions including 5 string banjos, spoons, tubas, etc. There are certain instruments that need to be played carefully including tenor banjo, button and piano accordion, hammered dulcimer and concertina, to avoid overpowering the flutes and especially fiddles. Instruments that may need to be played in moderation include the bodhran, guitar, bouzouki and bones. Two or even three expert bodhran players may be OK, one newbie may not. It’s all about listening to the group and not just your self. Do not feel offended if one of the regulars asks you to sit out a set, or play softer. We really want to have as many contributing musicians as possible and the more musicians, the more rewarding the session is for musicians, audience and dancers.
© Gulf Stream International 2021