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Please check your bones at the Door!!!!!!


Park
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I was playing a gig the other night, and a guy walks in with his bodhran, and other ethnic percussion stuff. He's a regular and he has done this before. Any of you Celtic players should know what the bones are. The two bones, or strips of wood that clack together, and when done properly make some nice percussion sounds and triplets. When played poorly however, they just piss people off. They tend to be really loud.

This guy started playing bones, and never did get on beat. He played constantly. No one said anything to him, in hopes that there would not be a seen, and maybe he won't do it anymore. Everyone was glaring at him. Bad thing is....he thought he was great. I've spent alot of time getting my bone playing to be crisp and clean. Man, I was about to slit my wrists after that.

Anyone else ever have this problem? It can be annoying to have to deal with this. The best way to fix it is to never let it happen in the first place, but it happened a long time ago. Another bad thing is that some of our own arrangements are very syncopated, and have some pretty tricky rhythmic work going on. Good thing we're well rehearsed!

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I've encountered people like this before. Some people seem to think that if they don't have the talent or perseverence to learn to play the guitar/piano/flute or other such instrument that they can still play percussion instruments because in their mind anyone can bang on something and sound good. WRONG! I like Ole Bull's suggestion.

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I may get kicked off the board here for going religious, but, my never to be humble opinion (I always want to know the bottom line about stuff) paraphrased: "God has set the foolish things in place to confound the wise - so that no flesh should glory in His presence." Point being that this guy is annoying as **** but we should stand in some humbled attitude to deal with this kind on situation. If you are playing a GIG then it sounds like it is a paying job then who is responsible for hiring firing and directing? or, if this is just a jam session the nicest thing to do would be to offer the guy some pointers: "let's see, this tempo seems to be off - set these things down for now and come over to my place this weekend and we'll work on it..." or for a jam session you could just leave it ....

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Yes, some people just don't take the pointers. When in band I played flute and had to sit next to this girl who could never play in tune. No matter how often we told her she was out of tune she just couldn't get it right on her own. She thought it was funny. Same thing in choir. Guess who shows up and sings out of tune. She was told many times, by a variety of people, in a variety of ways, that she was out of tune, but it made no difference. She wouldn't take the hint and give up, She wouldn't take the pointers,the teacher wouldn't ask her to leave because he thought he would get in trouble (this girl's father was one of the more senior teachers at this school), so we had to tolerate her, and just try and drown out her voice. I seem to recall she was always off tempo as well. Thinking back on it I think she just like to tell people she was involved in these musical activities. A kind of status symbol to her.

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I've been on both ends as the guy being screwed up as well as the guy screwing things up.

Yesterday, I was asked to play violin and guitar in a terrific jazz fusion band. I just couldn't get into the groove of things and likely never will. Fortunately, we were just REHEARSING.

I was very blunt with the guys last night, and they were blunt with me. It was easy that way, and we'll likely part ways.

In an open mike situation, I will usually do a few numbers with my band and simply tell people that I've got a few arrangements of my own to do with my own guys.

Then in the "open" situations, I'll try to adjust to what others are doing even if it's screwed up. Usually, we can come to a consensus.

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Yankee: i believe those thoughts were for the 'imperfect world'. smile.gif

HKV: you've got a very up-front and likeable way of dealing with people.

i wonder how much of the squirming that my emotions would go through in that kind of situation have to do with the horror i'd feel if the tables were turned.

[This message has been edited by caleb (edited 04-21-2001).]

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I was passing by one jam a few years ago and noticed that there was a woman banging on a hammer dulcimer. What she was doing bore no relationship to what the other 6-8 people were doing, and I couldn't think for the moment why she was sitting so close to them. Then the penny dropped and I hardly knew whether to feel more saddened for her, so unaware, or for them.

I quite like Ken's approach of offering help, though as YF and AJ point out, the ground is not always fertile enough for the seeds of kindness to root.

[This message has been edited by Mairead (edited 04-21-2001).]

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I have a friend who plays bodhran. She learned from a highly respected professional player and she is loads better than most other bodhran players I know. But people shudder when she walks in with the thing (if they don't know her), I guess because so many people play who do not understand rhythm.

It's gotten so that she doesn't like to take her drum with her any more if she knows there will be mostly people she doesn't know.

I think that's a shame, but I guess I understand.

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About 16 years ago I was teaching band in a small private school. I only had 16 students. I said SMALL! Anyway, there was an Hispanic girl who dearly wanted to play but she knew she just didn't have the ability. I thought 'Well, sure. anyone can do rhythm, especially someone with Latin blood.' I told her we could sure use someone to keep time on the bass drum. Well, like you said- not everyone can keep the beat! When we performed for parents I just told her to hit it softly! The music wasn't perfect but she had a good experience and the other kids didn't seem to mind a bit.

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While I know what I would say to the guy, I won't say it. It really is the place of the band leader to say what needs to be said. I understand that people enjoy our music and want to be part of it. They can't be permitted to infringe upon our grounds. This is a gig, not a jam. When our Celtic band is contracted to play with an orchestra no one plays along in the crowd. I really like the "christmas gift" reply. However, I don't think I can be that calm. This is drawing attention away from the band, and distracting patrons. Musicians in this kind of mess need to remember that they are employees of the establishment. They are not members of the groups that come in.

It is indeed a shame that bodhran players are looked at in that manner. same with hammered dulcimers. Although many hammered dulcimer players are usually in their own world as far as playing with a group. but most guitar players are looked at like that too.

I resolve to keep quiet until it can go on no longer before I say something. I usually have a bad way of saying things, and make people mad. Which doesn't really bother me, but bothers other members.

I hate this, and wish that I could make it stop. Everyone does not have a little bit of talent. Some should just watch. I don't think it is my duty to let others play along side me when they have little or no talent just to make them feel good about themselves.

Thanks all for the replies on my ranting.

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funny how that fifth word, only three letters, changes the whole picture.

park: since it's a 'customer' disrupting something that the 'establishment' has set up, couldn't you ask the owner (maybe the bouncer smile.gif ) to handle it? he might have a cooler head dealing with it and it also seems to be his responsibility. i mean, what if a drunk got up on the stage and started participating...is it the band's duty to control him?

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Yup...paid gig. All your replies hit it on the nose. something should be said. I like the audition bit, that's great. This is a restaurant so there are no bouncers. If nothing is said this week if he shows up, then I will say something and go ahead and make everyone involved mad at me, but oh well. What the guy needs is the bout of my guitar up side his head....it's that bad. I only wish that words could convey just how bad this is. Actually it hurts our playing more because we're trying not to laugh. I know that sounds terrible but I can't help it. Bad thing is...the guy will actually comment on the playing of others, and how tasteless it is!!!!!

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I'll tell a story that may relate. Several years ago in lewisburg, at Carnegie hall (yes folks it's real), a Celtic group was playing, I think they were called, Ceolas.

Well, a young man was on stage doing an a capela air, londonderry to be precise. Long about tthe midlle of the second verse a man came charging down the Isle, hopped up on stage and began crooning his version. someone else followed and stood helpless on the front row. The singer sang on. so did the crooner. well It became evident that the crooner did was a few bricks short of a load. The singer sang on. Mind you, a capela. After the number, the other fellow mounted the stage and escorted the retarded fellow off stage to a standing ovation.

As it turned out, and as many locals realized, that the crooner was attending from "Open Doors", a community assisted living program.

The show went on, no one the worse for wear, and the professional probably allot wiser.

Park, I don't mean to draw a parallel between the situations except to say that life is a moment by moment thing .

Bud

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To me, this is the most difficult subject in the world, I mean, we're dealing with people here and some of them can be so nasty - anyway, since I have had to put up with bullies for bosses and occasional creeps as fellow workers and all I can offer to do is to pray (this has been the only answer for me) I'll just share what one lady I know said to the school class that she taught: "You don't have to blow out my candle to make your's burn brighter."

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Park,

Why not just go to the offending person during a break and quietly tell him that you're not used to hearing that kind of rhythm from the audience and it is throwing you off.

If you say something from the stage, you run the risk of making the audience think you are mean, thus spoiling the mood.

Larry

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of

quote:

Originally posted by Park:

I was playing a gig the other night, and a guy walks in with his bodhran, and other ethnic percussion stuff. He's a regular and he has done this before. Any of you Celtic players should know what the bones are. The two bones, or strips of wood that clack together, and when done properly make some nice percussion sounds and triplets. When played poorly however, they just piss people off. They tend to be really loud.

This guy started playing bones, and never did get on beat. He played constantly. No one said anything to him, in hopes that there would not be a seen, and maybe he won't do it anymore. Everyone was glaring at him. Bad thing is....he thought he was great. I've spent alot of time getting my bone playing to be crisp and clean. Man, I was about to slit my wrists after that.

Anyone else ever have this problem? It can be annoying to have to deal with this. The best way to fix it is to never let it happen in the first place, but it happened a long time ago. Another bad thing is that some of our own arrangements are very syncopated, and have some pretty tricky rhythmic work going on. Good thing we're well rehearsed!

"Of course there must be something wrong, in wanting to silence any song." Robert Frost

I would suggest that you can be more effective with directed praise than (mallets!)<yuck yuck yuck> Kindly suggest to the dear neophyte that he should make a recording to preserve that performance for posterity. The naked truth can be brutal and nothing makes us more naked than listening to a recording of ourselves playing. After listening to what he actually sounds like he may have an epiphany.

Respectfully

Don Crandall

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Hehehe! Boy, is this all familiar! In the world of Cajun music, the people who can't play a fiddle, accordion, guitar, or whatever usually try to bang on the triangle, spoons, or washboard. Very rarely do they play at the right tempo! I've learned to tune it out, though. I've played at a ton of schools where the kids get involved by playing percussion instruments...badly!

This is slightly off the subject, but this thread reminds me of a gig I did about a year or so ago. I was playing with a band at a private party for a college football team. After a while of playing, one of the guys asked if he could come say something over the mic. No problem, right? Wrong!! He talked for a few seconds about something, then began rapping!! This opened the floodgates. About 75% of the team ended up on the stage, rapping, dancing, beating up the drums (that the drummer quickly abandoned after a short period of time), and no telling what else. I was playing bass guitar on this particular gig, and after a while I just unplugged it & took it off the stage with me. The fiddler packed up her fiddle safely in its case, and the accordion player moved his stuff to safety. We all just sat around & let them finish their rap concert. What a night!!

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