The Best ITM Tune-Learning Tutor


The BASS session, for which this page was written, is no longer functioning, and seems to have ended some time after 2004.  I have maintained the information for posterity.  Perhaps someone might restart it!  They used to meet at McGrath’s Irish Pub (1539 Lincoln Avenue, Almeda CA) every Sunday afternoon  from 2:30-6:00, and the regular session would start at 8:00 at the Starry Plough.  McGrath’s then changed hands a few times, and finally closed around 2010.

Current information about slow sessions in California is held at  If you want more information about tunes go to

BASS Session (Seisiún) in Alameda, California

BASS is a group that plays traditional Irish music. The sessions are held weekly in Alameda, California.BASS a.k.a., Bay Area Sunday Session, Berkeley Area Slow Session, Berkeley Area Sunday Session, Berkeley Alameda Sunday Session.

Welcome | Tunes | Etiquette | Contact ]

Welcome to B.A.S.S.


B a y    A r e a    S l o w    S e s s i o n

We are a dedicated group of people that enjoy Celtic music and are devoted to learning and teaching it in a group format. A slow play session is a session that plays the tune at about half speed or less. As we learn the tune the pace will often progress to full speed. The overall goal of the session is to learn the tunes in a friendly and supportive environment.

We are attempting to bring this format into a public setting and make it available to all who would like to listen or to join in. In order to help someone understand BASS and how it functions, how to join in the fun and be invited to participate, we have put together the following list of guidelines for your benefit.

First, we all approach the music in a relaxed and comfortable manner. As the main focus is to learn tunes we are never in a hurry and if you find that you are in a hurry to play, well…take a breath, lean back and enjoy all that is happening around you.

A calm, focused approach is best to learning this music, and a good listener makes a good player. If you are not sure of the tunes or you ability, try to listen more than play in the beginning. As you become more proficient and confident join in more.

Make sure that you are tuned up ahead of time, or at least move away from the group to tune, it will make your entry into the group much easier.

We have a specific list of tunes that we are currently working on and while we might entertain a recommendation of a new tune chances are for the first half of the session anyway, we will want to work on the tune list that we put together in the first place so don’t be disappointed.

It is really easy to ruin a session by insensitivity to what is going on around you. If you play to loud, fast or in the wrong key you will stick out like a sore thumb, be aware! Listen for key changes, tune chances and tempo changes.

If the music sounds too fast it probably is, if it sounds too slow it is probably just right.

Enjoy yourself but please be considerate of your session mates, otherwise you might be asked to leave and not join in again, and we don’t want that to happen.

Thanks and Enjoy, B.A.S.S.


Thanks! Any comments?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: