I've not played for ages, can I come?

Of course! We play slowly and gently. If you can play a G-major or D-major scale on your instrument then you'll be fine joining in. Most folk music doesn't do anything too complicated.

I'm new to my instrument, will it be too fast for me?

We try desparately to keep the speed manageable by everyone. We are quite happy for you to tell us we're playing too fast and we'll play slower. So, the short answer is no, it won't be too fast.

Can I read the music?

Yes, but only for the second half of the session. We encourage you to learn the tunes by heart, so we teach a tune by ear during the first half (which means no music!). It might sound hard, but you'll get better at it, I promise. During the second half, we play any of the previous tunes we've learned and you may use music for this to remind you of the tune. Just print off the music However, if you plan to progress to pub sessions it is highly recommended that you learn the tunes by heart. To join in at pub sessions, you need to be able to identify a tune from just hearing it. The tune that comes next is rarely announced (or even decided) prior to the set starting. By the time you have identified the tune and found your score, the set will be over.

Do I need to be able to read music?

Not necessarily. We spend the first hour learning a tune by ear and for that part we don't use music. For the rest of the session we allow music to be used to play other tunes from the repertoire, but it's not a necessity. It may help to be able to read music if you don't know any tunes and wish to play during the second half of the session.

Can I just turn up?

Yes! Just come along. You don't need to let us know in advance. We're very friendly and welcoming and you can just come in for as long as you like and leave when you like.

Can I bring friends?

Listeners are also welcome. If you want to bring someone just to listen they may come in for free. There's a pub very nearby if you want to bring someone but they don't want to sit and listen!

I play an unusual instrument, can I come?

Yes! We don't discriminate. At the moment, we're mostly fiddles, but we've had double basses and clarinets. Why not start a new trend in Irish music on your instrument?

How much is it?

It currently costs £4.50 for the whole evening, which covers our costs for hiring the hall and for the refreshments we provide. However, if our kitty is blushing, we may have the odd free evening or have some special refreshments at Christmas.

Is it the same every month?

Mostly yes. We spend 1 hour learning a tune by ear. Then we have a coffee and chat break. Then we play for another hour until about 10:30pm. At Christmas we may play Christmas carols and have done bell ringing before! Sometimes we may go over previous tunes rather than learning a new one.

Do I have to practise?

You don't have to, no; especially if you can read music. However, we recommend that you try to learn tunes by heart at home after the session. Remember, the idea in the session is to get you confident enough to get to a real pub session, and you need to know the tunes by heart to do that.

I want to learn a specific tune, can you help?

Yes! Just let us know what you want to learn and if it's a tune that would be manageable for everyone, we'll teach it at a following session.

I'm feeling confident. Where can I play?

With the various COVID restrictions, sessions are a bit sporadic at the moment. Ask us at a session to find out where you might be able to come along to listen to a session or maybe even join in.

Remember there is an etiquette for sessioning. This is a good overview of the etiquette, but don't be put off; it basically boils down to 'listen to what everyone's doing and don't annoy them'.