Page 4 of 8 FirstFirst 12345678 LastLast
Results 76 to 100 of 188

Thread: "Noodling" at Sessions

  1. #76

    Default Re: "Noodling" at Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by Bren View Post
    Each 10 dB increase results in a 10-fold increase in sound intensity which we perceive as a 2-fold increase in sound volume.
    That's the rule of thumb, but perceived loudness is literally a matter of opinion. Studies show that most people report "twice as loud" to be in the 6-db to 10-db range.

    The part that gets me is, if you assume the 10dB rule, to be twice as loud you need 10 times the watts! Double the wattage and you get only 3 extra dB. It's clearly noticeable, enough to get from "almost loud enough" to "definitely loud enough." But not nearly what we'd expect. A 1 dB change is barely noticeable.

  2. #77

    Default Re: "Noodling" at Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by Bren View Post
    Is there an app (Android or Apple, either will do) which would be good for comparing signal strength both acoustically and when plugged in?
    Any "sound pressure meter" app should work. As mentioned above, the numbers won't necessarily correlate to a calibrated measurement, but should be good for relative comparisons. Just be sure to be the same distance from the sound source.

    I've used a "Sound Meter" app on Android which I've found useful.

    An "SPL" (sound pressure level) meter isn't expensive and comes calibrated (close enough for what we do.) Here's one for $20: https://smile.amazon.com/BAFX-Produc.../dp/B00ECCZWWI . I always preferred analog ones with a needle, because SPL usually bounces around a lot and I got more information watching the needle and seeing the full range of motion. But I don't think they're around anymore. They're very handy to have. The only advantage of a phone is that you always have it. (Note that with some software you can use the meter to [try to] calibrate your phone's app.)

    Note that there are two EQ curves: "A" and "C". (No idea what happened to B!) A is what law enforcement uses for loudness complaints, measurements by OSHA, and in most city regulations. It's for "general sound." C is specifically for music and includes more lower and higher frequencies. The reason is that the A range is more closely matched to the frequencies needed for speech and that are also more likely to damage hearing. For measuring your mando, you'd use C. But for relative measurements like what we're talking about here, either curve should work well enough.

  3. The following members say thank you to JeffLearman for this post:

    Bren 

  4. #78
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Cornwall & London
    Posts
    2,859
    Blog Entries
    5

    Default Re: "Noodling" at Sessions

    One I've used with external and on board mics on the iPhone is https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/decibe...er/id448155923

    What I like is the ability to record a sound chart which can make the relative loudness easier to judge by eye as well as getting the peak transients in some context.
    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

  5. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Beanzy For This Useful Post:


  6. #79
    Registered User Simon DS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    South of France
    Posts
    1,945

    Default Re: "Noodling" at Sessions

    Is it possible to print out a colour graph of the sound levels over time?

    It would be super-useful if it comes with a 6mm. jack, cable and the mandolin is acoustic/electric.
    Then you can politely interrupt the person who’s doing noodling to plug their instrument straight into the meter.

    With the colour graph... they’re busted.

  7. #80
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    5,220

    Default Re: "Noodling" at Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon DS View Post
    Is it possible to print out a colour graph of the sound levels over time?

    It would be super-useful if it comes with a 6mm. jack, cable and the mandolin is acoustic/electric.
    Then you can politely interrupt the person who’s doing noodling to plug their instrument straight into the meter.

    With the colour graph... they’re busted.
    It might work, but it's too complicated. All you need is either the session leader or an "elder" in the session to say "Hey you, tone it down a bit, would ye?" and then the session continues with the interloper duly chastised. At least, in theory. I've seen it work with a strong enough session leader.

  8. #81
    Registered User Bren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    Posts
    860

    Default Re: "Noodling" at Sessions

    How it works, sonically, for you in the exact place you're sitting, in a room that gets progressively more or less noisier and crowded over the course of a session isn't something your phone can tell you.
    But you can get a better assessment of the odds.
    Bren

  9. #82
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    High Peak - UK
    Posts
    3,771

    Default Re: "Noodling" at Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffLearman View Post
    Any "sound pressure meter" app should work. As mentioned above, the numbers won't necessarily correlate to a calibrated measurement, but should be good for relative comparisons. Just be sure to be the same distance from the sound source.

    I've used a "Sound Meter" app on Android which I've found useful.

    An "SPL" (sound pressure level) meter isn't expensive and comes calibrated (close enough for what we do.) Here's one for $20: https://smile.amazon.com/BAFX-Produc.../dp/B00ECCZWWI . I always preferred analog ones with a needle, because SPL usually bounces around a lot and I got more information watching the needle and seeing the full range of motion. But I don't think they're around anymore. They're very handy to have. The only advantage of a phone is that you always have it. (Note that with some software you can use the meter to [try to] calibrate your phone's app.)

    Note that there are two EQ curves: "A" and "C". (No idea what happened to B!) A is what law enforcement uses for loudness complaints, measurements by OSHA, and in most city regulations. It's for "general sound." C is specifically for music and includes more lower and higher frequencies. The reason is that the A range is more closely matched to the frequencies needed for speech and that are also more likely to damage hearing. For measuring your mando, you'd use C. But for relative measurements like what we're talking about here, either curve should work well enough.
    DbA is the most often used spec because it corresponds better to the range of human hearing - it ignores the lower and higher frequencies. DbC simply measures everything and is generally used for calibrating/assessing electronic equipment. The first problem in using some sort of iPhone app is that you’re assessing the sound using a crappy little microphone which will have a response curve all of its own. A dedicated sound level meter should at least have a calibrated mic. with a more or less flat response.

  10. #83

    Default Re: "Noodling" at Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    DbA is the most often used spec because it corresponds better to the range of human hearing - it ignores the lower and higher frequencies. DbC simply measures everything and is generally used for calibrating/assessing electronic equipment.
    Well, both cover only the range of human hearing. C is relatively flat in that range, whereas A is weighted the way human ears tend to be (but only at relatively low levels since it's using a simple model using just one curve.)

    More info, for us nerds: https://www.theproductionacademy.com/blog/dba-vs-dbc

    Your point about phone mics is valid, though they're not as terrible as one might imagine. And for the purpose of gauging the relative volume of two instruments, probably good enough. Regardless, an SPL meter is useful and cheap! BTW, the mics in SPLs are a kind of very cheap capsules that happen to be very flat. So if they're so flat, why don't we use them for recording? The answer is that we want lots more than just flat, in a mic. It also needs good transient response and a number of other characteristics. These are the same capsules that we see in most little handheld field recorders. (Or at least, used to be. I've been out of that market for 10 years.)

    Weren't we talking about noodling? Is this discursion an example of forum noodling?

  11. #84
    Registered User Bren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    Posts
    860

    Default Re: "Noodling" at Sessions

    Apologies for the discursive diversionary arc, but whether you can hear and be heard, or not, is at least tangential , if not central, to the question of noodling at sessions.
    Bren

  12. #85
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    24,245
    Blog Entries
    55

    Default Re: "Noodling" at Sessions

    Trying to boil this all down to something effective and useful to the OP.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhillipeTaylor View Post
    that "noodling" at a session was trying to play along with the tune when you cannot play the tune all the way through at the tempo the group typically plays that tune.
    Going with that definition for a moment...

    The main question is "what can I do if I don't know the tunes". The real answer is "learn the tunes". Not meant harshly, or trying to make newbies more uncomfortable, not at all. I bend over backwards to be welcoming. But in what other endeavor can one plan to participate without knowing what one is doing. "How do you fly the plane if you don't know how to fly a plane?" You learn to fly the plane.

    Basically, if you can't play the tune well enough that you could lead the tune, and you try to play along, you are "noodling". BAD!
    No not really. That is extreme. But I can totally understand how one can feel that way. There is a difference between knowing the tune well enough to play along and knowing the tune well enough to lead. Large difference.

    If you don't know the tune well enough to play along, you can't go wrong just listening. (You can never go wrong just listening.) Or listen and record it on your cell phone so you can learn it at home later. Or after the jam ask someone to play that tune into your cell phone a couple of times, (I have done this many many times), or see if anyone as the tune written out or from which tune book it is available, or can tell you where on line they learned it.

    And if you have a recording of the tune, either recorded at the jam, or you asked someone to play it twice into your phone after the jam, or a youtube of someone playing it, or the tune is on a CD - there is no problem at home noodling along with the recording until you can play along.


    Another option is a learning jam. (I much prefer that name to what it is often called" "the slow jam".) You see them at festivals often enough. and also I know of some regularly meeting jam session where the first hour and a half is for newbies, and things go slower, and with explanations if needed. After an hour and a half the main group comes in, and newbies are welcome to sit in on that if they want, with full knowledge that it is a regular jam.
    Life is short, play hard. Life is really really short, play really really hard.

    The entire staff
    funny....

  13. The following members say thank you to JeffD for this post:


  14. #86

    Default Re: "Noodling" at Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by Bren View Post
    Apologies for the discursive diversionary arc, but whether you can hear and be heard, or not, is at least tangential , if not central, to the question of noodling at sessions.
    Well, it is a relevant point, actually. The conversation simply evolved:

    This point got brought up because the point was made that "noodling" by a mandolin is not the same - and often forgiven - since our instruments are often overwhelmed by other, louder, instruments. A violin or flute noodling might be a real problem, a mandolin, no one cares.

    Then someone claimed that we really CAN be heard. The point was made that the angle of the instruments relationship to us - the player - produces this "quieter instrument" effect more than the instrument itself.

    Others claimed that, as a plectrum instrument, the "staccato" sound of the instrument makes it stand out despite it being quieter, but it is, in fact, quieter.

    This evolved into a discussion about HOW quiet our playing REALLY is, and thus, the current discussion. So, I'd like to know the relative range, according to these measurements, since it has been an interesting discussion. I am curious where this conversation lands.

    Thanks!

  15. #87
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    1,290

    Default Re: "Noodling" at Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    The main question is "what can I do if I don't know the tunes". The real answer is "learn the tunes". Not meant harshly, or trying to make newbies more uncomfortable, not at all. I bend over backwards to be welcoming. But in what other endeavor can one plan to participate without knowing what one is doing. "How do you fly the plane if you don't know how to fly a plane?" You learn to fly the plane.
    In my experience, most things in life you learn by participating before you know what you're doing. Activities like flying a plane and performing surgery are exceptions. Sports, arts and crafts, cooking, building, farming, camping, riding horses, birdwatching, foot racing, reading, writing, singing, sewing, telling stories, making jokes -- I learned these skills by trying them out with or observing others before I knew what I was doing. I know many musicians who started the same way. I became pretty good at some of these activities, not so much at others. By and large, that's how people learn. On the farm, starting when I was about twelve, I even learned to drive by trial and error. (Of course, I had to pass a test to drive on roads legally.).

    Among people playing traditional music in both Atlantic Canada, where I was born, and the Ottawa Valley, where I now live, I've found most musicians to be nothing but encouraging. Not coincidentally, traditional music is alive and well in these places. No one is complaining that young people aren't taking up the music. It's only in the last couple of decades that I've run across people who felt that going into a public place, sitting in a tight circle with your back to everyone, playing music for yourselves, and excluding everyone else was somehow "entertainment" that should be advertised and for which musicians should be paid. Tight-knit communities in Ireland have their own cultural rules that may work well there, but this kind of session does very little to encourage budding musicians in my country. I'm not objecting to sessions or jams having rules and levels. I know a bit about playing hockey, but I wouldn't turn up at an NHL game in my skates, expecting to play. I respect the right of the best musicians to get together at times -- at home, if they have to -- and exclude the learners. I also like the idea of a jam that gets more complex and exclusive as the afternoon or evening goes on, with the best musicians playing by themselves at the end. However, If you want to create or encourage a musical tradition, you won't have much success by encouraging exclusivity.

    If noodling means making sounds with your instrument continually throughout a session, I'd put myself on the anti-noodling camp.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  16. #88

    Default Re: "Noodling" at Sessions

    I feel like the "noodling" concept is much more about "etiquette" than anything else. And still, the discussion gets confused and difficult as we refer to various ideas and experiences. Examples:

    We try to discuss the "rude" players who come into a tavern and just jump in, without knowing the tunes, even trying to lead tunes without even bothering to get to know the group dynamic, and basically crashes a group. So, we discuss general rules and a sense of etiquette with groups, to help newer players to Irish sessions learn how to "size up" the group.

    Another person shares the same story of being treated like a session "crasher" but it turns out he was INVITED to come and play, but then given the cold shoulder for doing what he was invited to do - explicitly so!!!

    So, even when we discuss "etiquette" and how to approach and participate in a way that isn't disruptive or rude, we have to be careful to understand that group dynamics are complex and varied, and that it's not so easy to determine what is "rude".

    I was invited to one session, for example, at a person's house - personally invited by the leader of the group. I was looking forward to it, since it was one of the first ones coming out of COVID. I knew the tune list, I came ready to go, I knew which tunes I could play and which I couldn't and at what pace. I was SET. When I show up, having been present at SEVERAL zoom sessions prior to this, several people ask who I am, and kind of give me the third degree. They are quite pushy about it. I'm feeling very weird, like, "did I misunderstand the invitation?" I mentioned the leaders name several times. I mentioned where they saw me before. They are still skeptical. The leader shows up, and they ask who I am. She tells them. Same as what I said. They are still skeptical. There's some weird push-pull there. Now I'm really feeling weird. "What did I get in the middle of here?!" I wonder. My bullet tuner breaks. What an embarrassing sh*t show! What did I do wrong? I keep telling myself I didn't do anything wrong, but I feel like an ass party-crasher the whole time.

    Turns out, the group was preparing for a specific performance with specific tunes NOT on their standard tune list. They were truly confused WHY I got invited to what was, essentially, a rehearsal. Yeah, I get it. The leader DID specifically invite me, but she really shouldn't have. Not sure what she was thinking, probably she was just eager to include me.

    No one's fault, just flawed human beings trying to come together.

    I still play with these people occasionally, but I'm careful to show up to public sessions and not private homes with them anymore.

    Human dynamics are complex.

  17. #89
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    24,245
    Blog Entries
    55

    Default Re: "Noodling" at Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    Among people playing traditional music in both Atlantic Canada, where I was born, and the Ottawa Valley, where I now live, I've found most musicians to be nothing but encouraging..
    Yes. True. Overwhelming true every where I have played.
    Life is short, play hard. Life is really really short, play really really hard.

    The entire staff
    funny....

  18. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to JeffD For This Useful Post:


  19. #90
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Cornwall & London
    Posts
    2,859
    Blog Entries
    5

    Default Re: "Noodling" at Sessions

    Possibly people aren't aware of just how different the whole ecosystem for trad is in Ireland,
    Here in Cornwall we don't have this and up in England they don't either, so it might be worth outlining some aspects here.

    A huge difference is where the basic learning happens and for this the National school system is a big factor.
    When you go to music class in the National schools or the Irish speaking secondary schools, it's going to be learning trad instruments and music first.
    Where I went in a private school in Dublin it was very similar to what my son had here in Cornwall & most English schools (recorders, guitars, classical etc)
    So the National schools have been producing generations of youngsters who leave school with hundreds of tunes & songs learnt by heart & played many times over. (along with many others who wish they could forget them, but won't look to their plight here)
    There's also the Gaelteacht summer schools which are a real immersion in the language, music & oral traditions from different parts of the country.
    Related to this & something which many are familiar with here is Comhaltas Ceolteórí na hÉireann which has branches all over the planet. For all that they are both loved or loathed by different aspects of the tradition, they have been very influential in providing a focal point & outlet which legitimised parents in allowing their youngsters to pursue traditional music as a formal subject in schools.
    There are also countless local music learning groups both permanent & set up around the various festivals and fleadhs throughout the year.
    Then there's the playing at home or around the neighbours to get a bit of practice in, which is completely unquantifiable, but very normal for people.
    (I've been told that's actually the original meaning of the word céilí & it might even have come from the French language as many of our words & names did in Ireland)

    From that you'll see that a pub or informal session is not the most likely place you'd be expected to go to noodle along to try & pick up some tunes. It'd be like expecting everyone to go back to school just because you rocked up.
    As people have said above, there are learning sessions around, plenty of the best places for a session do the slow & easy ones out back so people don't get intimidated & the pints don't curdle. In some places weekday afternoon sessions are arranged to cater for people to dip their toe in the water without being blown into the weeds.
    I think it's really important for people to get a feel for just how different this all is in Ireland.
    Away from that we can try to recreate bubbles to give opportunities to access the core aspects of the tradition, but I'm always conscious of how different it is.
    I think this is a major part of where the misunderstanding of things happens.
    Last edited by Beanzy; May-20-2022 at 7:39am.
    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

  20. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Beanzy For This Useful Post:


  21. #91
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    1,290

    Default Re: "Noodling" at Sessions

    [QUOTE=Beanzy;1866486]Possibly people aren't aware of just how different the whole ecosystem for trad is in Ireland,
    Here in Cornwall we don't have this and up in England they don't either, so it might be worth outlining some aspects here. /QUOTE]

    Thanks for that, Eoin. Your post is highly informative, and taught me things I didn't know.

    [QUOTE=Beanzy;1866486]There are also countless local music learning groups both permanent & set up around the various festivals and fleadhs throughout the year.
    Then there's the playing at home or around the neighbours to get a bit of practice in, which is completely unquantifiable, but very normal for people.
    (I've been told that's actually the original meaning of the word céilí & it might even have come from the French language as many of our words & names did in Ireland) /QUOTE]

    In the 1990's, I spoke with Gaelic-speaking Cape Bretoners, mostly from their late seventies to early nineties, about the meaning of ceilidh (the Scottish spelling). One elderly man, fluent in Gaelic, told me that a ceilidh was simply a visit. He said if he met me on the road, he might say, "Come ceilidh with me tonight," the ceilidh being a simple visit between me and his family. At the time, I was at his home doing a tape-recorded interview and he told me, "We're ceilidh-ing right now."

    Other Gaelic-speakers said that ceilidh referred to a house visit with some sort of entertainment, not necessarily musical. They mentioned making instumental music, singing in Gaelic, telling stories, and playing games (e.g., cards, board games, indoor games involving large motor skills). Individual families specialized in hosting different kinds of ceilidhs. One house might be more oriented toward instrumental music and dancing, another toward singing, and another toward storytelling. A person could seek out the home that suited their overall preference or immediate interest. A ceilidh wasn't an event with non-stop music or stories. People would gather, discuss the latest news, politics, farming, fishing, and community happenings (i.e., gossip) before moving on to the fiddling or whatever. The entertainment would end, perhaps around 10:30 or 11:00 p.m., when the hosting family would serve "tea" (a meal), then everyone would walk home (in the dark, sometimes after an evening of frightening stories). Houses in this region of east Cape Breton were fairly large, and -- while I hate to destroy older people's fantasies of traditional cultures in which the young sat eagerly at the feet of their elders -- teens and young adults often gathered in a separate room from adults, sometimes carrying on a different activity (e.g., cards rather than singing). The word, ceilidh, unlike most Gaelic words, worked its way into Cape Breton English. Houses that often held ceilidhs were referred to in English as "ceilidh houses". One popular ceilidh house belonged to a couple with five daughters. Not surprisingly, young men always turned up there. In this region, drinking wasn't normally part of ceilidhs, though perhaps it had been before the Temperance movement arrived from New England. Many people still did drink, but not at ceilidhs -- unless they "stepped out behind the barn."

    Of course, ceilidh has taken on a new meaning since that time. Most Cape Bretoners today would think that a ceilidh refers to a public entertainment, probably during tourist season, where an audience plans down its cash to hear traditional music (likely, but not always Scottish music). Such ceilidhs may or may not be open to visitors taking part as performers, and if so, usually for brief periods (about five to ten minutes). I went to one advertised "ceilidh" in an Irish community's church basement in Prince Edward Island, and heard an evening of American country music played by locals. Interestingly, ceilidh season in Atlantic Canada has reversed from winter, when farmers and fishers had relatively less work, to summer to summer when there's a paying tourist audience available.
    Last edited by Ranald; May-20-2022 at 11:26am.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  22. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Ranald For This Useful Post:


  23. #92
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Cornwall & London
    Posts
    2,859
    Blog Entries
    5

    Default Re: "Noodling" at Sessions

    That's the gist of it. In school our teacher of gaeilge said it came from chez lui and was norman or earlier in origin.
    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

  24. The following members say thank you to Beanzy for this post:

    Ranald 

  25. #93
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    1,750
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: "Noodling" at Sessions

    I understood the term céilí as a social gathering too. And indeed the context of the local sessiun, the background musical and commercial culture has a large effect on social behavior.

    Let's not forget that the music was also a form of personal occupation where the tunes were for social gatherings but mainly for the simple joy of playing.
    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

  26. The following members say thank you to DougC for this post:

    Ranald 

  27. #94
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    1,290

    Default Re: "Noodling" at Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by DougC View Post
    I understood the term céilí as a social gathering too. And indeed the context of the local sessiun, the background musical and commercial culture has a large effect on social behavior.

    Let's not forget that the music was also a form of personal occupation where the tunes were for social gatherings but mainly for the simple joy of playing.
    And I suspect that in the past, as is often the case today, many people at the gatherings were neither playing music or listening attentively. A person might just tap a foot in time while talking with a friend, but upon leaving, say truthfully that he enjoyed the music. Many of us, especially musicians, are far more obsessed with music than the average person.
    Last edited by Ranald; May-20-2022 at 12:24pm.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  28. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Ranald For This Useful Post:


  29. #95
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    24,245
    Blog Entries
    55

    Default Re: "Noodling" at Sessions

    Wow. In my school one had to be self deprecating about musical instruments, or accept the social consequences. "Yea I play bassoon in the orchestra. My Mom makes me."
    Life is short, play hard. Life is really really short, play really really hard.

    The entire staff
    funny....

  30. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to JeffD For This Useful Post:


  31. #96
    Registered User Simon DS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    South of France
    Posts
    1,945

    Default Re: "Noodling" at Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    And I suspect that in the past, as is often the case today, many people at the gatherings were neither playing music or listening attentively. A person might just tap a foot in time while talking with a friend, but upon leaving, say truthfully that he enjoyed the music. Many of us, especially musicians, are far more obsessed with music than the average person.
    Agreed, it’s interesting, the audience attaches quite different values to that of the musician.
    If a set begins with a bit practice guitar strumming (seventh chords), a couple of faltering bodhran beats, two stops, a groan, five seconds of noodling from a piano accordion, then three glares and a cough and a another false start with more noodling… then the audience notices.
    Last edited by Simon DS; May-20-2022 at 5:34pm.

  32. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Simon DS For This Useful Post:


  33. #97
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,476

    Default Re: "Noodling" at Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by Beanzy View Post
    Possibly people aren't aware of just how different the whole ecosystem for trad is in Ireland,
    Here in Cornwall we don't have this and up in England they don't either, so it might be worth outlining some aspects here.

    A huge difference is where the basic learning happens and for this the National school system is a big factor.
    When you go to music class in the National schools or the Irish speaking secondary schools, it's going to be learning trad instruments and music first.
    Where I went in a private school in Dublin it was very similar to what my son had here in Cornwall & most English schools (recorders, guitars, classical etc)
    So the National schools have been producing generations of youngsters who leave school with hundreds of tunes & songs learnt by heart & played many times over. (along with many others who wish they could forget them, but won't look to their plight here)
    There's also the Gaelteacht summer schools which are a real immersion in the language, music & oral traditions from different parts of the country.
    Related to this & something which many are familiar with here is Comhaltas Ceolteórí na hÉireann which has branches all over the planet. For all that they are both loved or loathed by different aspects of the tradition, they have been very influential in providing a focal point & outlet which legitimised parents in allowing their youngsters to pursue traditional music as a formal subject in schools.
    There are also countless local music learning groups both permanent & set up around the various festivals and fleadhs throughout the year.
    Then there's the playing at home or around the neighbours to get a bit of practice in, which is completely unquantifiable, but very normal for people.
    (I've been told that's actually the original meaning of the word céilí & it might even have come from the French language as many of our words & names did in Ireland)

    From that you'll see that a pub or informal session is not the most likely place you'd be expected to go to noodle along to try & pick up some tunes. It'd be like expecting everyone to go back to school just because you rocked up.
    As people have said above, there are learning sessions around, plenty of the best places for a session do the slow & easy ones out back so people don't get intimidated & the pints don't curdle. In some places weekday afternoon sessions are arranged to cater for people to dip their toe in the water without being blown into the weeds.
    I think it's really important for people to get a feel for just how different this all is in Ireland.
    Away from that we can try to recreate bubbles to give opportunities to access the core aspects of the tradition, but I'm always conscious of how different it is.
    I think this is a major part of where the misunderstanding of things happens.
    This is very eye opening and explains alot.
    "To be obsessed with the destination is to remove the focus from where you are." Philip Toshio Sudo, Zen Guitar

  34. #98
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    1,750
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: "Noodling" at Sessions

    To take this issue of cultural background a little further. My wife teaches violin and conducts a student orchestra for adults in a fancy music school. (As a folk musician, I'd look at the fees involved.) Anyway, most all of the people who attend are not only interested in playing classical music but they are very interested in learning Traditional Irish music. Other instructors at the school say their students, young and old, are also interested. All of them come from the usual middle class American musical experience, meaning that they have heard tons of popular commercial recordings and they have very little schooling in music, folk or otherwise.
    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

  35. The following members say thank you to DougC for this post:

    Ranald 

  36. #99
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Guildford + Falmouth England
    Posts
    879

    Default Re: "Noodling" at Sessions

    OT again, but there are some differences in usage of the word 'ceilidh/ceili'. A few have been discussed above. In the South of England the usual implication is that a band will play for informal folk dancing (often a mixture of English and Scottish dances, maybe with some French or Irish and other dances), usually with a dance 'caller' to walk them through each dance before they do it. A Scottish 'ceilidh' in my experience can have music and song with or without dancing. Also, 'ceilidh dancing' in Scotland usually implies informal and relatively simple Scottish folk dancing to a band, sometimes with but often without a dance caller - typical village hall Saturday night stuff. The speed and energy involved depends on the audience, and ranges from sedate to murderous. That differentiates it from 'Scottish Country Dancing', the much more complex 'art' version as performed by Royal Scottish Country Dance Society dance clubs, within a fairly narrow tempo range. Then there's 'reeling'. The latter is a selection of probably less than 15, mostly moderately energetic, Scottish dances often learned in private schools or at a few universities, or British Army officer training school. Dancers are usually expected to know the dances, but variations like heel clicking, fancy steps and pressups (with or without handclaps between) are allowed. Reeling is often seen at 'Highland balls', or relatively expensive charity evenings of all sizes - the common factor is that the reeling audience is often fairly affluent. I've always suspected that the reeling dances are deliberately 'exclusive' in that if you don't know them before you arrive, you're probably not from the right background to marry into it .

  37. The following members say thank you to maxr for this post:

    Ranald 

  38. #100
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    5,220

    Default Re: "Noodling" at Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by maxr View Post
    That differentiates it from 'Scottish Country Dancing', the much more complex 'art' version as performed by Royal Scottish Country Dance Society dance clubs, within a fairly narrow tempo range.
    You're not kidding about a narrow tempo range there. My fiddler S.O. and I once attended a local workshop in playing for Scottish Country Dance, led by a prominent West Coast USA fiddler. We spent all day workshopping the tunes, and then we played that night at a big dance for one of the area's Scottish Country Dance societies. Just a few tune sets as amateurs before the official band took over. All the dancers in kilts and other Scottish attire, the works. There's a group of Scottish expats and those of Scottish descent up here in the Pacific Northwest who take this stuff VERY seriously.

    Anyway, while practicing the tunes, the lead instructor insisted on strict 111 bpm tempo (counted 2/2) for the reels. One of the attendees who knew the leader well, said he was just messing with us by insisting on an odd number, it should be 112 bpm.

    It was an interesting experience, and it's always great to play for dancers, but I'm glad the local pub sessions are more relaxed about varying tempos, both slow and fast. I don't think I'm cut out for playing in a dance band.

  39. The following members say thank you to foldedpath for this post:

    Ranald 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •