Photography in the session

One night at a festival – well, one very early morning at a festival – a bunch of us were sitting around under the big marquee having a singing session. We’d been sessioning for hours, following a day of performing, MCing and generally running around. It was cold enough to freeze the gonads from a... Continue Reading →

To accompany or not to accompany? Pt 2

What about vocal accompaniment? Singing along in choruses is conventional. But do you join the lead singer on the verses? This is where we really move into opinion territory. Here’s mine, for what it’s worth, but do feel free to chime in and disagree (in the Comments section please, not Facebook). If everyone knows the... Continue Reading →

To accompany or not to accompany? Pt I

Note: Couple of ‘picky posts’ coming up, for those who view sessioning as a collaborative performance artform. If that’s not you, give these posts a miss – they'll probably only make you cross or dismayed. Please remember nothing on this blog is a ‘rule’ – it’s all guidelines, opinions and received wisdom, to be taken... Continue Reading →

Song choice

Introducing our first-ever guest blogger, the lovely Sam Krauser. Sam, who has been sessioning since he was a cute little red-haired boy of 12, is now a cute big red-haired boy of 22 who plays guitar, bouzouki and mandolin. He is a fabulous singer and his session-mates like him quite a lot. Huge round of... Continue Reading →

Kids in the session

Today's kids are tomorrow's musicians. If we want to leave a legacy of sessioning, we need to welcome kids into session culture. Pearl, pictured deep in concentration in a session, aged 2, is now 9 and a splendid fiddler: she says she enjoys making music because 'it's so much fun'. And so say all of... Continue Reading →

Words in the session

In the last post, I suggested a bit more chin-waggery about the pros and cons of bringing song lyrics to the session. People have passionate feelings on both sides of this issue. Pro Words Some of the most energised ‘sessions’ I’ve seen are ukulele gaggles (not sure of the collective noun for ukulele-players), in which... Continue Reading →

Remembering words

I get this a lot: ‘How do you remember all those words?’ The short answer is, ‘Often I don’t.’ These factors make me forget words: Too much alcohol Not enough alcohol Tiredness/ lack of sleep Not having sung the song in a while Not having worked on the song enough for my mouth to know... Continue Reading →

Will the circle be unbroken?

This is probably the first of many times I’ll need to point out that I don’t make the rules, I’m just trying to articulate them. This blog is all about the etiquette I’ve been taught over many years of sessioning, and a fundamental puzzle when you join a session is where to sit. Sessions last... Continue Reading →

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