Flute player Shannon Heaton helps Irish music students dig into and really know their tunes in the first guest blog for the Irish Fest School of Music.
It's not what you play, it's the way that you play it.
It's sometimes hard to believe this, especially when you're sitting in a session and you don't know all/any of the tunes being played. There are so many tunes to learn. There are so many great players who seem to have their finger on the pulse of the "right" tunes, even though there are plenty of tunes that they don't know, too.
Really, at the end of the day it serves you best--and it's best for your fellow players and probably the world--to play Out on the Ocean and the Kerry Polka with fine, steady rhythm and tone, much more than it does to hack away at esoteric modal tunes that you don't really know fluently.