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Jul 5, 2020 - 11:55:04 AM
8417 posts since 3/19/2009

Musical Cliques.. Do you have one? Are there some in your area? We have several in our area..It is not a bad thing, mind you..When a group seems to 'clique" pun intended.. people tend to not want to change things...It is virtually impossible to break into some cliques.......I'm thinking in particular of two people who I've approached over the years, asking "When are we going to get together?".. One person answers in a non committal way, and the other..well, just remains silent.. The are both nice people and good musicians who seem to be in their own Cliques... I've given up trying to play music with them..
For about 20 years we had a regularly weekly jam that was "closed" and so I guess that that would be a clique.......but we closed it when it got to be 14 people in a small room. The noise was deafening, so we didn't think of ourselves as being cliquish, just sensible!!
What are your experiences with Cliques?

Jul 5, 2020 - 1:29:08 PM
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Baileyb

USA

25 posts since 1/24/2019

Right now I'm a one person clique, heavily into social distancing.

Before that I tended to avoid folks that appeared to be cliquish.

Jul 5, 2020 - 1:36:05 PM
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11043 posts since 9/23/2009

I'm with Brian...well no, not with him...social distancing, ya know. Same thought process though...staying away from people because of corona, before that, just staying away from people...lol.

Jul 5, 2020 - 1:36:48 PM

8417 posts since 3/19/2009

Cliques can be good or bad.. BUt mostly they are just friendships that are solid and musically based.. Brian, I suspect winkthat they are not malicious in their excluding other musicians but I could be wrong..........Those other musicians are obviously Intimidated by our mastery of fiddling and since they can't hold a candle to us.. then... they just shy away..laugh

Which brings up another topic.. Some cliques may be of highly skilled musicians and they want to maintain their musicality level.. I understand that.. Other cliques may be musicians  of similar skill and they don't want some rank beginner, or 'hot shot' messing with their jam..  Lots of possibilityes..

Jul 5, 2020 - 1:38:35 PM
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1270 posts since 7/26/2015

I think y'all already know my opinion, based on the discussions I start on FHO. I tend to dislike cliques, even if I agree with some of them. I suppose their formation is inevitable. Cliques have formed based on the music of people who were anti-clique.  
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

Musical Cliques.. Do you have one? Are there some in your area? We have several in our area..It is not a bad thing, mind you..When a group seems to 'clique" pun intended.. people tend to not want to change things...It is virtually impossible to break into some cliques.......I'm thinking in particular of two people who I've approached over the years, asking "When are we going to get together?".. One person answers in a non committal way, and the other..well, just remains silent.. The are both nice people and good musicians who seem to be in their own Cliques... I've given up trying to play music with them..
For about 20 years we had a regularly weekly jam that was "closed" and so I guess that that would be a clique.......but we closed it when it got to be 14 people in a small room. The noise was deafening, so we didn't think of ourselves as being cliquish, just sensible!!
What are your experiences with Cliques?


Jul 5, 2020 - 1:48:16 PM

8417 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by soppinthegravy
I think y'all already know my opinion, based on the discussions I start on FHO. I tend to dislike cliques, even if I agree with some of them. I suppose their formation is inevitable. Cliques have formed based on the music of people who were anti-clique.  
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

Musical Cliques.. Do you have one? Are there some in your area? We have several in our area..It is not a bad thing, mind you..When a group seems to 'clique" pun intended.. people tend to not want to change things...It is virtually impossible to break into some cliques.......I'm thinking in particular of two people who I've approached over the years, asking "When are we going to get together?".. One person answers in a non committal way, and the other..well, just remains silent.. The are both nice people and good musicians who seem to be in their own Cliques... I've given up trying to play music with them..
For about 20 years we had a regularly weekly jam that was "closed" and so I guess that that would be a clique.......but we closed it when it got to be 14 people in a small room. The noise was deafening, so we didn't think of ourselves as being cliquish, just sensible!!
What are your experiences with Cliques?


 


I've attended plenty  of musical  festivals.   What usually happens is that the first day everyone is in Heaven because it is such a wonderful jam experience.. After about day three, I'd find myself being drawn to a few people who because of personality or musical skill I seem to "clique" with.. Not unusual..  On day Four, I've identified those who I DON"T want to jam with, musically.By day 7, although there is of course no 'rule', cliques have formed.  Remember that old saying, "familiarity breeds contempt". Well here it might be ''Familiarity breeds Cliques" Again, not good or bad.  We are all drawn to people we feel comfortable with. I have seen this grouping of people happen at non musical events also.  It is all just human nature, like it or not, and It is debatable, as we shall see in upcoming responses to this topic.

Jul 5, 2020 - 2:16:48 PM
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1602 posts since 12/11/2008

It's not so much cliques as chemistry.

Jul 5, 2020 - 2:21:50 PM

8417 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Lonesome Fiddler

It's not so much cliques as chemistry.


Could they be synonymous terms?   Yep..

Jul 5, 2020 - 3:36:05 PM

1746 posts since 8/27/2008

I've seen them sometimes. One reason can be musical snobbery. I've known players  that just couldn't quite abide a style outside their prefered one. Old Time players who can't trust Bluegrass, Bluegrassers who dislike Old Time, etc. Maybe snobbery is too strong a word. But not always.

Jul 5, 2020 - 4:19:55 PM

157 posts since 6/11/2019

In my area of the Ozarks, it's the opposite. You just about can't find an established jam whereupon folks would get uppity. They come and they go--hardly any regional jams stick. I don't know why.
But I have experienced a little of what you describe at a regular church bluegrass "singin," where, as someone not a member of that particular church, I rarely got a nod for a solo. But that's small stuff, I was only with them once a month.

In my "neighborhood", though--which in the hills encompass several sections and dirt roads--there's many, even pro's, that will gladly pick with you even if you showed up at their place unannounced. It's just hard to get the folks to participate centrally on a regular basis. Still tryin

Jul 5, 2020 - 5:58:24 PM
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2526 posts since 9/13/2009

I think for most folks, the term "clique" is perceived as more than, going beyond natural good reason; of just group of friends, or shared interest, or style, or just chemistry.

Many have observed the "cliquish" behavior and game playing of some folks. Has an exclusionary aspect... not open;  sometimes kind of idea of some exclusive club, reminds one of the  "in" crowd; or the "cool" kids.  A bit of desire to exclude, seems more based on rather artificial "clique" behavior, conditions, and rules.. one has to conform to. These seem to often include a element of superiority of the "in" crowd; and dismissiveness, or ridicule/demeaning of others, outsiders.

Not everyone in a group necessarily shares that cliquish attitude, but there are a few that take it upon themselves to be enforcers, judge as who is worthy, who is in; and who isn't. As well, a bit of status, ranking, pecking order. Cliquish exclusivity seems important to them.

For the most part, I generally try to avoid that "cliquish".

edit; some folks have pointed out this as more a revivalist East Coast thing? Is that others perception?

Edited by - alaskafiddler on 07/05/2020 18:07:19

Jul 5, 2020 - 7:12:37 PM

8417 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by alaskafiddler

I think for most folks, the term "clique" is perceived as more than, going beyond natural good reason; of just group of friends, or shared interest, or style, or just chemistry.

Many have observed the "cliquish" behavior and game playing of some folks. Has an exclusionary aspect... not open;  sometimes kind of idea of some exclusive club, reminds one of the  "in" crowd; or the "cool" kids.  A bit of desire to exclude, seems more based on rather artificial "clique" behavior, conditions, and rules.. one has to conform to. These seem to often include a element of superiority of the "in" crowd; and dismissiveness, or ridicule/demeaning of others, outsiders.

Not everyone in a group necessarily shares that cliquish attitude, but there are a few that take it upon themselves to be enforcers, judge as who is worthy, who is in; and who isn't. As well, a bit of status, ranking, pecking order. Cliquish exclusivity seems important to them.

For the most part, I generally try to avoid that "cliquish".

edit; some folks have pointed out this as more a revivalist East Coast thing? Is that others perception?


Yes, the term can be considered 'exclusionary..  I see some of that.. One group in particular,  but not all for sure.. Guess I should have  "defined" the term before I threw it out there..

Jul 6, 2020 - 5:58:21 AM

2264 posts since 10/1/2008

You go to an open jam say hello and your name , tune up and bam it's like you don't exist. The bunch of players there are obviously a club and they are not accepting new members. I won't get into electricity and it's abuse.
There is a lack of 'grass jams in my area, any jams really. I have been known to drive an hour to try one out. It's quite the let down when you realize you have wasted both your time and your money.
I just like to play with other folks. Grass , gospel old country, oldtime ... whatever. It is so much more fun than playing along with a track at the house. Alas ... it is what it is.

Jul 6, 2020 - 6:27:19 AM
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8417 posts since 3/19/2009

As I may have mentioned.. I can imagine not getting invited to a jam with really good musicians... maybe we are not good enough musicians, but I find it interesting when not being invited to a jam because we may to Too good.. Go figure... Of course in my case it may be my personality!!!cheeky that keeps me from being invited 

Jul 6, 2020 - 7:44:41 AM
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4726 posts since 9/26/2008

quote:
Originally posted by UsuallyPickin

You go to an open jam say hello and your name , tune up and bam it's like you don't exist. The bunch of players there are obviously a club and they are not accepting new members. I won't get into electricity and it's abuse.
There is a lack of 'grass jams in my area, any jams really. I have been known to drive an hour to try one out. It's quite the let down when you realize you have wasted both your time and your money.
I just like to play with other folks. Grass , gospel old country, oldtime ... whatever. It is so much more fun than playing along with a track at the house. Alas ... it is what it is.


I just looked your town up. I see your are a couple of hours from Nashville and St Louis but are otherwise surrounded by rural settings. It would seem like someone out there plays bluegrass, but how do you connect with them? Sorry you can't find folks to play with on the regular, it is the condition of most fiddlers I know - too many miles between players. 

Jul 6, 2020 - 9:20:51 AM
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5780 posts since 8/7/2009

I've been blessed through the years. Up until I moved back to TN, I never lacked for an opportunity to play at jams in just about any genre I want to play. Alaska is rich with great musicians. And I don't think I ever went to a jam where I didn't feel welcomed. And I could play music somewhere just about every night of the week.

Before CV-19, I had 2 groups of folks I played with in our local area here. Folk jam and old time session. Both have really good musicians, and - after a few visits - both groups made me feel like I was a long lost friend.

But that doesn't mean I haven't been disappointed a time or two.

Jul 6, 2020 - 1:30:24 PM

11043 posts since 9/23/2009

I'm jelly. I haven't enjoyed jamming since we moved 30 years ago...lol.

Jul 6, 2020 - 2:12:27 PM
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1602 posts since 12/11/2008

I'll show up at a jam. If I like their style and I see a way to blend in, I'll grab a back chair or a spot to stand and begin to saw away in the background. If the bunch are playing a style that has folks taking solos, I'll wait for the player who seems to be in charge to give me a nod. I'll launch into a happy, simple, short solo, nod my head in thanks, and then start chopping away again.

Jul 6, 2020 - 2:39:09 PM

8417 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Lonesome Fiddler

I'll show up at a jam. If I like their style and I see a way to blend in, I'll grab a back chair or a spot to stand and begin to saw away in the background. If the bunch are playing a style that has folks taking solos, I'll wait for the player who seems to be in charge to give me a nod. I'll launch into a happy, simple, short solo, nod my head in thanks, and then start chopping away again.


Sounds, Ed, like you are good company.. At least there was some sort of Invitation... Some Cliques don't invite..!!!laugh

Jul 6, 2020 - 2:56:11 PM
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1602 posts since 12/11/2008

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver
quote:
Originally posted by Lonesome Fiddler

I'll show up at a jam. If I like their style and I see a way to blend in, I'll grab a back chair or a spot to stand and begin to saw away in the background. If the bunch are playing a style that has folks taking solos, I'll wait for the player who seems to be in charge to give me a nod. I'll launch into a happy, simple, short solo, nod my head in thanks, and then start chopping away again.


Sounds, Ed, like you are good company.. At least there was some sort of Invitation... Some Cliques don't invite..!!!laugh


I'll never show up at a private residence if I don't have at least some sort of invite.  If the jam, though, is happening at a public place and the jammers aren't up on stage, I figure they're fair game.

Jul 6, 2020 - 3:01:59 PM

8417 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Lonesome Fiddler
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver
quote:
Originally posted by Lonesome Fiddler

I'll show up at a jam. If I like their style and I see a way to blend in, I'll grab a back chair or a spot to stand and begin to saw away in the background. If the bunch are playing a style that has folks taking solos, I'll wait for the player who seems to be in charge to give me a nod. I'll launch into a happy, simple, short solo, nod my head in thanks, and then start chopping away again.


Sounds, Ed, like you are good company.. At least there was some sort of Invitation... Some Cliques don't invite..!!!laugh


I'll never show up at a private residence if I don't have at least some sort of invite.  If the jam, though, is happening at a public place and the jammers aren't up on stage, I figure they're fair game.


Exactly.. There is only two open jams in our area.. One in Indianapolis, that my son started and another in the county south of Bloomington, which a friend started..Anyone can go to those..they are NOT cliquish....BUT..we who do go to the Indy jam don't 'advertise' it because the venue is small, and it already gets a pretty big turnout of some very good musicians.. We don't want to be overwhelmed...that can happen..however it IS an open jam... ED..You are invited..!!!

Jul 6, 2020 - 3:08:32 PM
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DougD

USA

9680 posts since 12/2/2007

"I'll tune up my fiddle, and rosin my bow,
And make myself welcome wherever I go."

Not being much of a jammer I guess this is one more stress I've avoided.
Not a "clique" exactly, but as some of you know I played in a band for quite a few years. If you're out traveling for days, and onstage in front of hundreds or even thousands of people, you have to rely on each other and it becomes a very closely knit group. Impenetrable really.
An example: We were in NY once playing at the South Street Seaport. A young woman I knew who was interning at a NY hospital rode her bike to see us, and we had a nice visit. Next day she said "It was nice to see you, but next time don't bring your gang with you." She knew all of us, but it was really pretty accurate!

Edited by - DougD on 07/06/2020 15:11:29

Jul 6, 2020 - 5:14:24 PM
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WyoBob

USA

111 posts since 5/16/2019

From what little time I've spent playing, there's lots of choices on where to play and the music that is played.  After being on the banjo and fiddle hangout, I'm even more aware on the choices available from location to location and customs vary.

When I started playing the banjo 8 years ago, I didn't know what "style" I wanted to play.  I experimented with Bluegrass and clawhammer,  and old time music.  Clawhammer, old time won out for me.

When I started the banjo, I didn't even know there was such a thing as jamming.  I was just going to learn a few tunes to amaze my young grandson's and, perhaps, instill and interest in music.

We have lots of jams in our area.  The open, Thursday nite jam at the historic Occidental hotel has been going on for 13-14 years and is outstanding.  http://occidentalwyoming.com/events/detail/thursday_night_bluegrass_jam_sessions 

I've never participated at that jam as most of the folks who play are really good and play multiple styles and I'm just an old time fiddle music kind of guy.  And, the focus is on performance in front of an audience, not just playing with friends which is what I'm interested in.

I started playing at a local slow jam 7 years ago and played with that group for several years.  At one time, the slant was towards "old time" and we got up to speed and had fun.  Then, the "performers" took over and they weren't very good.  One guy who shows up "plays" the mountain dulcimer and sings off key for, it seems like forever and he's never tune his dulcimer.  Just moves a stick from one fret to another and picks a string or two.  Another player, likes to play 40 verses of "One the Wings of a Snow White Dove" at half the speed of the slowest funeral dirge ever played.   Or perhaps, "Me and Bobbie Magee".  Janice Joplin is the only one who should be alowed to play and sing that!   That jam has pretty much dissolved into those two guys and one or two others and the good players have found other things to do so I no longer to to that jam.

My first real, old time jam experience occurred when I attended the Golden, CO old time jam hosted by my BanjoHangout friend, Jack Beuthin,  several years ago and we timed our visits to CO to visit my daughter's and grandson's to coincide with Jack's jam.  Through Jack and his jam, I found out about the CROMA festival held in the Berthoud, CO area and that has been an amazing experience and I've gone there for 6 years.   There are "closed" jams there but many open jams where anyone at any skill level can fit in and I had a blast.

Back to music and jams in the Buffalo, WY area.  The main guy in music in north central Wyoming is Lynn Young and though he can play any stringed instrument in any genre, he started an "up to speed, old time music jam" a few years ago.  He is the main force at the Occidental jam.   He was my banjo instructor and, after hearing me play at our local "Living History Days", he asked me if I'd like to join his O.T. jam group.  You bet.  All of the players are really good old time players and I was in seventh heaven when I started playing with them.   I'm the least accomplished person at the jam but, as long as they play 1, 4, 5 chord tunes, I found that I could do it.  I never, ever figured this would happen and  I have a blast playing with such good players.  But, this isn't really a closed group.  Anyone who can play, full speed ahead old time music is welcome.  If you can't play up to speed, you're expected to play in the background.

Playing with Lynn and his amazing group is what prompted me to take up the fiddle 11 months ago.  I've been mesmerized with fiddle players in that group and thought, "how on earth do they do that"!   I can now play around 25 O.T. tunes on the fiddle, up to speed while playing with recordings I've made of our group and with the tunes on Josh Turknett's old time jam recordings.   I don't imagine I'll ever be able to play the fiddle with Lynn's old time jam group "live" but I can play along with recordings I've made at our jam.

And, I'm very content to play along with those recording's in my basement, by myself during my "quarantine".  No one "raises" an eyebrow when I hit the wrong notes.  that's always good.

Jul 6, 2020 - 10:23:07 PM

1602 posts since 12/11/2008

WyoBob -- yeah, ego-maniacal, self-appointed musical geniuses can indeed put a damper on what ought to be a happy little musical get-together. Jam-killers are a hazard of the hobby. It we weren't such wonderful people we'd be throwing spitballs.devil

Jul 7, 2020 - 5:22:39 AM

8417 posts since 3/19/2009

Doug used the word 'impenetrable'.. Yes, that happens. If a group is a band, they tend to not want outsiders playing along. At festivals, often we see people sitting knee to knee, which to me means that they don't want more musicians..That of course doesn't stop some musicians from forming an outside circle, but that circle is usually not included in choosing tunes or even the conversations...

Jul 7, 2020 - 5:39:08 AM
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DougD

USA

9680 posts since 12/2/2007

This is the kind of jam I used to know. Its our band plus a few musical friends and a few more friends listening. Then in the background I see a young lady with her fiddle, I'd guess content where she is, and there's also a banjo peghead that must be connected to someone. None of us seem to remember this, but it looks plausible. The scheduled "open" jam did not exist back then, or at least were not widespread.


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