Traditional Irish Sessions
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Session Schedule
Chelsea & Ypsilanti, MI
for a listing of more sessions in S. Michigan

  These are "open" sessions: Any and all local or traveling musicians are invited to join in.
Sessions are run in a round-robin fashion so everyone gets a turn to start a tune or set.
  1st & 3rd Saturdays
of every month
Seitz's Tavern, 110 W Middle St, Chelsea, MI 48118, (734) 475-7475.
Seitz's Facebook
Every 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month from 3:00-5:00.
(Note: This is a new location for the Chelsea session which will begin on Feb. 2, 2019)

  2nd & 4th Sundays
of every month
Ypsi Alehouse, 124 Pearl St #100, Ypsilanti, MI 48197, (734) 487-1555.
Every 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month from 2:00-4:00.

What is a "Session"?
  An Irish session is a gathering of musicians for the express purpose of playing traditional Irish music on acoustic instruments. Unlike a performance for an audience of passive listeners, the session is primarily for the musicians themselves, although many non-playing attendees often come for the express purpose of enjoying the music. The type of session at Cleary's Pub is known as an "open session" in which all able musicians are invited to participate.

The tunes played at sessions are typically grouped into "sets" (several tunes of the same type strung together) and are usually played in unison and in a straightforward manner, which means that there are no special arrangements which deviate from the traditional tune. They tend to be mostly reels and jigs and, to a lesser extent, hornpipes, waltzes, polkas, and marches.

Session Etiquette
  Session etiquette is nothing more than exhibiting common courtesy and sensitivity to others.
A few key points are:
  • If you are new to a session it is advised that you introduce yourself and ask the session leader for permission to sit in.
  • If you're not familiar with a tune being played or are trying to learn it, either sit that one out or try to play very quietly so as not to be disruptive.
  • The use of recording devices is encouraged as a method for learning new tunes at home.
  • Use of sheet music during the session is discouraged.
  • Playing in an incorrect key or improvisation (noodling) is highly frowned upon.
  • Only one bodhran and/or guitar/bouzouki playing at a time, switching off if there is more than one. More than one will often clash with each other, disrupting the melody.
  • At times a song may be sung or a slow air played by a single musician between sets. Unless invited, these are generally unaccompanied by the other instruments.

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