Picture of assorted folk instruments

The Herefordshire session for the beginner and improving musician

Update on 10th July 2021

Several people have said they are not available during the first week of August, and a few others have said they are not comfortable returning to sessions yet, so we will postpone the restart until 2nd September (unless HMG or “events” prevent us  from so doing). 

Update on 18th June 2021

Unfortunately, because of the continuation of the Covid restrictions, it will not be possible to restart in July. The proposed restart date is now 5th August, but watch this space for further announcements.

Update on 7th May 2021

The storm has abated and it seems probable that we can restart on 1/July/2021, but watch this space for further announcements.

Update on 18th September 2020

It now seems unlikely that we will be able to restart this year, but as soon as it’s possible and reasonable so to do I’ll be in touch via the mailing list. Please send me a message via the contact page if you are not on the mailing list and want to be, or about anything else.

Update on 10th May 2020

The lockdown continues, but the tune of the month for June is Maguire and Paterson, and there’s also a fun tune called Pumpkin Soup. The dots, links and ABC are now available from the June 2020 tab in the menu on the right of this page. Let me know what you think using the contact page.

Update on 4th April 2020

The tune of the month for May is Nantwich Fair, and the dots, links and ABC are now available from the May 2020 tab in the menu on the right of this page. It’s a great tune and goes well with Moon and 7 Stars

Do you play a fiddle, flute, recorder, whistle, squeezebox – in fact almost any acoustic instrument which suits a traditional tune and blends with other instruments – but feel a bit overwhelmed by the idea of trying to join in with the typical folk music session? Or do you want to learn some new tunes at a relaxed pace? Or are you an experienced sessioner on one instrument but starting to play a new type of instrument? If so, the Almeley Steady Session is for you.

In the Almeley Steady Session we aim to play tunes at a pace to suit everybody, so that even relative beginners will feel they can take part. The first hour is at a very steady pace and the second hour is slightly faster. During these first two hours we only play from a published list of tunes and the name of the tune is announced before starting to play it. After 10 PM it’s a normal session for those that want to play other tunes or sing.

The tunebook grows each month as we add at least one new “Tune of the Month”, so you can develop a solid repertoire which will give you confidence to play elsewhere.  The scores, abc code, and (sometimes) links to videos or recordings will be available on the website to help you learn the tunes – see the sidebar.
The hope is that those who play from dots will quickly gain the confidence to put the dots away – but do use them while you need them.

Experienced musicians are also very welcome, maybe to add some harmonies or to learn new tunes at a comfortable pace – just don’t expect us to play more quickly.

Image of The Bells Inn, Almeley

We meet on the first Thursday of each month at the The Bells Inn, Almeley, HR3 6LF  at 8pm. The Bells is not only a fine pub, but also an award-winning shop, open during pub hours, so you can play tunes and pick up your groceries!

Do note however that this is not a workshop or tutorial, so the onus is on players to familiarise themselves with the tunes, using the scores, abc code, and links to videos or recordings that you will find in the sidebar on this page. Also, it is an event for participating musicians, not for an audience.

I look forward to seeing you soon!


Any questions? Please send me a message via the contact page.

I would like to thank David Johnson from Alton in Hampshire for permission to crib his steady session idea and, frankly, most of his website! It was through David’s steady session (and with encouragement from Cath Watkins and others) that I started to get the confidence to play in sessions a few years ago and gradually realised that I didn’t always need the dots.  David’s website can be found here. Thanks David.