Etykieta na sesjach w Szkocji

THE WORLD OF THE SESSION can be extremely daunting for the uninitiated. Sessions often exude an air of elitism, only for those who know a mysterious repertoire of tunes, or those who can play tunes at a very fast pace. Those who do not know the unwritten rules can either be nervous of joining a session, or insensitive to its aims and purpose.

The trouble with session etiquette is that there are possibly as many opinions about this delicate subject as there are participants in sessions, and nobody can give you hard and fast rules about it. I have attempted to give advice about some aspects of the session, and hopefully you can use these comments as guidelines. In general, the watchwords are courtesy, consideration, sensitivity and patience.

In talking about sessions, I have divided the playing standard into three main types:

  • Advanced: The session appears to be going at warp speed, with long strings of tunes played by all those there. There is an inner circle of experienced musicians who prefer the company of others of the same skill level.
  • Intermediate: There’s a lot of stopping and starting, and the skill levels of the musicians appear to vary. Less serious, more welcoming.
  • Beginners: Participants have been playing a year or two and are just building up their skills and repertoire. It may be acceptable to use books or sheet music. It’s usually led by one more experienced player who calls the tunes and sets the pace.

Of course, in reality, the standard of a session may fall anywhere between these definitions.

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