>For our Slow Session note readers, I am writing an introduction for our
>revised book of tunes that says how to get from the Bare Bones of our
>sheet music to an accomplished sound. I would like to give them a
>compelling reason to improve, or build on, their playing. How would you do
Good luck, Douglas, that's a great goal! Helping people who are
self-driven is easy, but for the others, there is a fine line between
inspiration and proselytizing, which many of us tiptoe along.
Would it help to portray a typical (less slow) session in your booklet?
You could describe how tunes get started without a word or a title
(exciting, fun, and hard to look up in sheet music); how another musician
jumps in on the heels of the last tune to add another without a pause
(still harder for the sheet music reader); and how reading music from sheet
music at sessions seems callous to those who play from the heart. What
better way to appreciate another's playing than to listen, to play along on
a familiar tune, and in time to learn a tune on the fly, and really join
the fray! To this end, learning a stock of familiar tunes by heart is
knowledge won, and learning to pick up tunes by ear is a crucial and
A list of nearby sessions might also be helpful, with an appreciation of
the foibles of each, perhaps as an insert to the book, since sessions tend
to come and go rapidly.
All the best--
--Rick Gagne, Bath, New Hampshire, USA