Bampton Folk Club now has a second session which aims to encourage players to learn new tunes together in a collaborative and supportive group.
Commonly, new players are nervous to join sessions for a number of reasons including feeling that they don’t have enough repertoire, that they can’t play fast enough to join in, that they might make mistakes playing along with others, that they can’t lead tunes. The Slowplayer Session concept addresses all these perceptions.
The Sessions are dedicated to learning tunes, building tune sets, playing together in session format – basically all the stuff one might feel is required to become a rounded session player.
BFC Tunes Tuesdays are Open to all players, all instruments, all ability and experience. Accompanists are more than welcome too.
WHERE: The Barn @ The Morris Clown, High Street, Bampton
WHEN: 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month, from 8pm
In the meantime, both monthly Tunes Tuesdays will be the same format, some time spent learning and new material and some time spent playing together. At some point probably early 2022 it will likely move to a dedicated learning session and a dedicated playing session which will remain focused on ensuring newer players can progress and build confidence.
The format of the sessions is designed to bring players to the point where we all play a tune together. A few useful points:
- New tunes will have been decided at the previous session – keep a lookout for new ones here and on whatever channels (likely WhatsApp) are being used.
- Please do your best to get to know the new one before the session – actually having it fully “learned” and committed to memory isn’t important, knowing the flow of the melody is. Try playing it, search for some recordings of it, get to know it.
- At the session, if there is a new tune, we’ll start with that, playing it slowly together phrase by phrase taking the time to get it right.
- Soon enough it will all come together and we’ll practise it at a very steady pace to build the muscle memory. We’ll gradually increase the tempo and everyone gets that incomparable joy of making music sound awesome.
- We’ll reprise some of the previous tunes, by request if anyone feels there’s something they need to polish up.
- Finally we play for fun. Starting with any tunes we learned anew or refreshed, then on to other past tunes and potentially some possible new tunes for learning in future sessions, again, all just for fun.
Tunes Tuesdays Tune Listing
The tunes list covered so far is:
- The Banshee – relatively recent fun fast reel.
- Goddesses – John Playford collected dance tune. On YouTube here.
- The Haunted House – Traditional Irish jig.
- Knees up in Hanoi – Contemporary Scottish pipe tune by Calum McCrimmon. Played here by the wonderful Duncan Chisholm.
- Parson’s Farewell – Bellowhead classic originally collected by John Playford and published in the 1651. On YouTube here from 1:39
- The Quaker – Traditional Morris dance tune in the Bampton Tradition.
- Saddle the Pony – Traditional Irish Jig.
- Song of the Chanter – Traditional Irish Air.
Score + mandolin tab for all the tunes is available by clicking the tune name, so if you are new to Tunes Tuesday, then you may feel like you want to learn them – which is amazing. If you prefer to play a non-GDAe-tuned string instrument and prefer tabs to score, just ask!
While we welcome all instruments and accompanists, we must respectfully remind accompanists that it is a tunes learning session and the tunes learners really have to be able to hear the tunes so please work out and practice your accompaniments at appropriate amplitude and also please don’t take offence if asked to refrain.
Tune selection will, in the short term at least, continue to be driven by existing BFC tunes players simply on the grounds that it’s easier to lead and teach material we know. If you have particular tunes you would like to include in future, just let us know.
New Tunes added to the session will be posted on this page.