Sessions are open to anyone who wants to join in, however, it's important to learn the rules first! Here are some things to consider before and during a session:
‐ If you're new to the session, greet the other musicians and ask it it's ok to join. They will likely welcome you with a smile!
‐ If you don't know the tunes being played, sit and listen. This is the best way to learn new tunes. You can also download a collection of the tunes regularly played in Oulu . Ask the musicians for the names of tunes you don't know. You can also ask the musicians if it's ok to record the music being played.
‐ Play close attention to the flow of the session. If someone starts a tune, it's impolite to talk or play something else. If you'd like to start a tune, wait for the right moment. Once you've been to a few sessions, you'll get a feel for how this works. If in doubt, it's best to ask the others!
‐ Keep your instrument in tune and check your tune every now and then. Tune quietly, especially when others are playing.
‐ If you play a rhythm or backing instrument, you should be especially sensitive to the flow of the music. A good rule of thumb here is: ''one bodhrán and/or guitar/bouzouki at a time''. More than one will often clash. If another accompanist is present, this is a great opportunity to exchange information and learn something new.
‐ When a song is started, put down your instrument and concentrate on listening. Most Irish singing is unaccompanied and solo.
‐ Irish music sessions are for Irish music. Once you've been to a few sessions you'll see that sometimes it's ok to bring in music from other cultures. However, you should always stick to Irish if you're not sure!