The idea of this session is to start slow… we start as slowly as necessary so that everyone can join in, and maybe we gradually get faster.
(PS. If you are looking at this on a mobile, click ‘show’ on top left and scroll down the next session notice for the list of all the tune pages). If you want to know plans for next session: see the Tune of the Month page.
The plan is that we nominate a tune of the month so we know what to practice. If you prefer to read music, you can, and if you’d like to hear it and copy, that’s fine too. Ideally, we play by heart (the dots are merely a starting point). I’ve managed to upload some music script (see tune pages) and more importantly, attached links to a few youtube videos so we have an idea of what it could sound like. If you come across other good recordings, please do add them to the comments. We will definitely play the tune of the month and quite a few others depending on the mood.
Sometimes we play a tune through, discuss how we might play it better and then give it another go… and it can made a difference. Some of us have learned tunes off by heart and others are still reading the notes, but listening to each other as we play is the new skill that we are learning. Generally we try to play the easier tunes in the first hour and start slow, and then after a short break, we have another hour of the harder or faster tunes. Chord notes and harmonies add flavour, so if you can’t manage all the notes, play what you can and it will help you learn the tune too.
We will play the Tune of the Month and a selection of the others listed here. Please do say tunes you’ve been practicing. The idea of the slow session is to create a monthly goal for ourselves to learn by heart and to enjoy tunes that grow gradually more familiar. Gradually we are adding to our list of tunes and perhaps you have a favourite you would like to add? There is a list of the easier tunes on the Tune of the month page if you want to know where to start.
I’ve been inspired to learn and play much better thanks to being taught by Jane Griffiths (editor of Traditional Fiddle, OUP) and also to a slow session in Wantage (2.30pm second Sunday of the month that used to be at the Shoulder of Mutton, but is now found at The Bell at Grove pub in Wantage) and I thought it would be a nice thing to have a local one in Oxford. No doubt this Oxford slow session will evolve as we develop as players. The website is just a place to park the music that we accumulate and share links. On our fifth anniversary, Michael took a 360º video of us playing Ille Bhig, so have a look on that page! We are not quite ten yet, but Peter took a couple of videos of us in March 2023, so you can see us in our new venue. Have a look at Eade Road and Motorway Mazurka for the films.
If you are an experienced musician, you are welcome to join us too and experiment with playing harmonies and variations. Traditionally tunes are played at least three times through, with the basic tune the first time so that everyone knows what to join in with.
We meet at 4.30pm on the first Sunday of the month, upstairs in the White House Pub, 38 Abingdon Road, Oxford OX1 4PD, but you can also join us on zoom (see Tune of the Month page).
Anyone with an instrument is welcome.
Any questions and if you’d like to be added to the emailing list, please email suke at firstname.lastname@example.org
(See menu (after next session notice) for all the tune pages and more information)
2 thoughts on “Are you interested in joining folk sessions?”
Very impressed with your presentation here, all the contacts, video clips etc tying everything in, a lot of time put in.
Having begun to learn to play the Fiddle as an adult I found it frustrating to keep up in a normal session and I did start a small slow session at my home for others of the same.
Also the frustration where “sheet music” was looked down on at most sessions to someone who did not find playing by ear easy but just wanted to play.
I have a website showcasing my Fiddle Art, Sessions, Events, Festivals, Summer/Winter Schools, groups etc throughout NZ, Australia, Scotland, Ireland and I will be posting and promoting your site on it and on Grace-Notez FB page because I see it as being very helpful to others.
Enjoyed seeing the Catherine Fraser article and video as I am in New Zealand and a few familiar faces there and I have attended workshops with Catherine.
I found your website when I googled for the sheet music of “The Booley House” after hearing it played on my FB feed. I obviously found a lot more than I was looking for and as you see delighted!
At the moment I am updating, refreshing and reorganising my website so some of it is in a bit of a shambles.
Do make sure to leave a link here to your website as I’m sure other people near you would like to find out more!
It’s great to see that the word of this website is spreading (and the tunes too!).
Best wishes, suke
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