These Etiquette Guidelines are in place to preserve the session for the enjoyment of all the trad Irish musicians that join us for our Moosehead Monday Traditional Irish Session on Zoom. For the most part, we are a friendly and welcoming online group of traditional Irish musicians. If you are a seasoned player, you will likely fit right in, even in this rather odd electronic environment! If you are new to a traditional Irish session, especially one online, there are a few things to keep in mind before you join in…  

Newcomers: If this is your first time attending a traditional Irish music session we do recommend that you observe and enjoy, without joining in straight away. It will give you a greater sense of the atmosphere and our session etiquette. You are encouraged to join in later when you feel more comfortable, once you have a good sense of our session, and have read through all of these guidelines.  

Learners: Know your limits, and please don’t be discouraged if you find that our session is beyond your capabilities. There will always be an opportunity to learn and see how it is done, and often we share the name of the tune, and even try to post a link to the dots if you find that helpful.

Learning new tunes: The beauty of playing at an online trad session is that if you don’t know the tune nobody will hear you doodling along. While this is NOT a recommended practice at a live session, of course, there is a great opportunity here to try and find the tunes on your instrument. The only ones offended by your attempts might be your spouse, or cat. The rest of us are blissfully unaware!!  

Singing: Normally, we do not allow singing at our sessions. If you are a regular member, and suddenly break out into song one day, I am sure we will all applaud. If you are a traditional Sean-nós singer, please let the session leader know, and you may welcome you to sing for us. All others might find another session that is more suitable for ballads and sea shanties, etc.

Traditional Instruments: If you are new to this session and showing up with an obscure instrument that is not considered to be traditional Irish, we recommend that rather than jumping in to play, that you pass your turn for the first few visits. {If you are unsure if your instrument is traditional Irish, then ALL the more importance to follow the next steps!} Sit back, listen to get a feel of how we conduct our sessions. {This is the recommended course if you want us to like you!}

Those that turn up with a Theremin or a Hydraulophone and start playing a rousing rendition of ‘Danny Boy’, are not going to make a favourable first impression with us. Some might even be asked not to return, if they insist on pursuing this track. Although, if you are a regular attendee, and decide to pull out your Gravikord, we would likely be very intrigued and welcome it… The once!

Tune Your Instrument: Even though this is an online session and only one person is playing at a time, remember all the other musicians are playing along with you at home when you play live at the session. Make sure you’re in tune, so that the experience can be enjoyed by everyone.

Feed Back: Compliments are welcomed at session, of course — Critiquing anyone else’s playing or tuning is a slippery slope and may not always be welcomed. There are obviously some technical strategies on Zoom that need to be addressed and discussed, but anything beyond that is best left unsaid.

Respect: Contention is often lurking in any setting in life, and no different in an Irish trad session. It would be best practice to leave your indignation at home and sit back to relax and simply enjoy the session that is taking place. These are all simple guidelines in place that seek to ensure everyone’s enjoyment, that will be revised as required as our sessions develops. We ask that people treat each other respectfully and kindly to the best of their ability, and most importantly… to have fun!