Do members feel there are sufficient venues/outlets to play and practice their music?

As this is a site that deals with people having sufficient outlets/venues/opportunities etc to play and practice their music, what do the members think? Personally I think there should be more spontaneous opportunities to get together with others. To play at short notice. Get a few players together on a Saturday afternoon, head into town and pick a bar and have a few tunes ? Maybe on Sunday morning have a few tunes, a family session? Why be constrained by the weekly late night session?


What do our members think? What are the opportunities where you live? Are they limited? Let us know your thoughts and ideas?

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Hey Lawrence, I am quick to agree with and admire your level of confidence in being able to play with "almost anyone". I also have been a musician for more than 45 years, and have had the pleasure and honor of playing with a number of different musicians, different levels and different genres,....and I do love a good Jam session (gets the blood moving and the juices flowing). But "Die-Hard Irish Trad Sessions" are a different kind of animal. In some, if you don't conform to the music being played or you're too "out there", you may find yourself being snubbed, or even told with some annoyance or hostility that: "this isn't a bloody jam session!!! What's that you think you're doing???". For the most part, session mates can be very tolerant and supportive to a new person joining in. But then there are those that might not take kindly to "someone messing things up from the way it aught to be". I've seen this happen on a number of occasions: from the polite suggestion to the rude and hostile confrontation. If it's an Irish Trad musician, no matter the level of experience, acceptance and tolerance is more forthcoming.

Creating a session (kitchen, parlour or cofee house/pub) gives you the flexibilty for a more forgiving atmosphere and acceptance of new members. After all, it's not only the music but the social activity and interaction that makes it what it is.

People like Barry and Nancy may not have the luxury of being able to interact with other players if they took the virtual route of playing along with or YouTube, but maybe starting a "home session" might be the way to go for their own unique situations. Cheers,


"45 years" Danny? That is a long time--speaking from my own experience.
Since my mother began teaching me to play the piano when I was seven and I am now in my fifties, I have probably been playing music as long you have. I still enjoy playing music and I still look forward to opportunities to play whether or not it is a performance or a jam session or something else.
As for my musical ability and level of confidence, I have been lucky enough to have some good teachers (starting with my mother) and mentors on the way through my musical life. As a music major in college, I got a thorough and rigorous classical training which included ear training; learning to play by ear; accompanying voice majors during their lessons; a lot of music theory courses; and even one semester of voice lessons.
After I finished at the University of Absolutely Last Resort (UALR actually stands for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock), I began sitting in and playing at local jam sessions--especially a Blues Jam which was held every Tuesday in the bar at a combination Tex/Mex/Southwestern/Mexican restaurant in downtown Little Rock. Some really talented musicians which included some semi-retired professional musicians liked to participate regularly in these Blues Jams and I learned a lot about playing and performing music from working with these musicians (the mentors whom I mentioned above). They thought I had a lot of ability and talent. They encouraged me to develop my abilities to my full potential as well as telling me that I was good enough to play professionally. However, my goal wasn't to make a living as a musician and play professionally. Instead, I play music when I am not working at my day job at a local hospital because I know that I need to spend my free time doing something I truly and genuinely enjoy doing.
As for the local Irish sessions, before some local folk musicians started them here in 1995, I had never heard of Irish sessions and didn't even know that they existed. I have been playing piano at the local Irish sessions off and on more or less regularly since then.
I understand your comments about complaints of not conforming or being too far out there or being snubbed and/or annoyance; hostility; etc. because I have been there and experienced that (unfortunately).
But some people will just never want to believe that you are capable and competent as well as being perfectly able to keep up with them when playing music. If you believe in yourself and your own capabilities, then you can't allow fools like that to worry you. Especially if you have performed for an audience and the audience applauded when you finished playing instead of throwing rotten tomatoes or beer bottles (either empty or half-empty) at you.


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