Thursday, April 19, 2012

Looking Forward

This message from three of our slow session members who are makin' it happen!

Celtic Hall "Medium" Session. - this is a new session which hopefully will encourage people who don't have a large repertoire of tunes, and maybe not up to regular session tempos to come out and play some music.  We would like to use material from the Old Songs and Comhaltas slow sessions, along with the usual "session standards", and have it in an environment where people can be comfortable with making mistakes and not being familiar with all the tunes.  
The first meeting is scheduled for Sunday April 29 2:00 to 4:00 at Celtic Hall, 430 New Karner Road, Albany, NY.  Its about a 1/4 mile north of the intersection of Routes 5 and 155 on the west side of New Karner.  The main entrance is on the south side of the building.  The next meeting will be May 13th. 
We will try to run this as a typical session, and everyone will have the opportunity to select a set of 1 to 3 tunes to play.  Each tune would have 3 repeats. (it's a good idea to have sets picked out ahead of time to avoid the usual mental block of being put on the spot).  People are encouraged to play without music as much as possible - don't worry about mistakes, that's how we learn.
This session will be open to all levels.  Experienced players are welcome to participate and offer support, comments etc. 
If you have questions or comments, please contact Joe Leathem: email jfleathem at
Hosts: Joe Leathem, Uillean Pipes, Whistles
           Amy Schoch, Fiddle
           Paul Derby, Bouzouki

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fantastic April Session!

This month's session was absolutely incredible! We had fourteen players including me, and we sounded really great! Nice job, guys! This month we played through the Merry Blacksmith set, Garrett Barry's set, Hardiman the Fiddler set, Rose in the Heather set, Kid on the Mountain, The Friendly Visit, Madame Bonaparte, and this month's new session set: Willie Coleman's/Tripping up Stairs/Out on the Ocean.

We took bits of Madame Bonaparte and practiced them before we started the tune. Remember there are lots of arpeggios in that tune and it can help to focus you in the tune if you take the difficult or strange bits of the tune and play them slowly a few times to get them "under your fingers" and in your mind.

Melody players who have some comfort level with their instruments, but are looking to work on tunes at a slow to moderate pace are invited to join us every second Wednesday at the Old Songs Community Arts Center for a chance to play sets of tunes at a moderate pace and single learning tunes at a slow pace.

Each month we add a new set of three session tunes that we play through three or four times each. We also add a new learning tune each month so that folks continue to build repertoire but don't get overwhelmed by a constantly changing list!

So, if you're new and you want to join us, the first assignment is easy!
1. Go to the "Slow Session Tunes (Current)" page (see the link to the right on this page?)
2. Print out the PDFs of the tunes (keep them in order of the sets and it will be easier to find them during the slow session)
3. Download and listen to the MP3s of the tunes so you hear how they sound
4. Practice the tunes
5. Come to Slow Session!

Thanks for another great evening, everyone! See you soon...


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tunes are up!

Hey, guys! So sorry it took me so long to do this. Things have been super busy! Anyway - I'm planning to see you tomorrow night at the slow session from 7:30-9:00 PM. Remember, cost is $3 donation to Old Songs to help maintain this wonderful resource!

Tomorrow's new Jig Session Set will be: Willie Coleman's Jig/Tripping up Stairs/Out on the Ocean. I'll have links up on the tunes page shortly and you'll be able to download the PDFs. In the meantime you can access them through the links below...

All the best,


Link to Willie Coleman's Jig PDF
Link to Tripping up Stairs PDF
Link to Out on the Ocean

Friday, April 6, 2012

April Slow Session Next Wednesday April 11!

I can't believe it is already April! Where did the time go? I hope you all had a great St. Patrick's month. I know at least one of you went and saw Martin Hayes down in the Kingston area last month. I'd love to know who else you went to see/hear and what tunes you're playing these days!

Just a quick reminder that our slow session is next Wednesday from 7:30-9:00 PM. We'll be playing the tunes that we have on the session list on this blog.

This month's new session set is: Willie Coleman's Jig/Tripping up Stairs/Out on the Ocean. I will have PDFs posted and link to the tunes by tomorrow, but you probably all already know these tunes!

So, brush up and be ready for our fun session next week! Remember, even the pros practice their tunes before a session! Lord knows, I'll be practicing!

See you all soon and have a great weekend,