all i want to do these days is play my keyboard. i feel like i could really handle all of the other myriad difficulties of moving to a much more staid culture if i could just play music with people.
when i say keyboard, i mean that i play a computer keyboard in the manner of a washboard. that's not really accurate, as i play it in a manner somewhere between a washboard and a guitar. suffice it to say that it is an acoustic rhythm instrument.
i'm very familiar with traditional british (irish, scottish, etc.) music, having grown up with it due to my father being british. i've been playing for about 2 years, and recently have been practicing constantly, and i'm not half bad. i'm actually pretty good at this point, really.
one problem is i don't want to play folk music (in terms of people playing whiny american ballads on guitar, etc.) it's boring. i prefer bluegrass or jigs and reels etc.
i'm so happy to be in the UK because i love this kind of music. but the "sessions" i've been to that are worth anything look at me like i'm some sort of alien bug-person. i realize i'm not playing a bodhran, but i'm playing what i play well, and quite frankly, i have little desire to play a bodhran. i respect it, but it doesn't interest me. all of the research i've done says that rhythm players are the serfs of the music session kingdom, and i'm not supposed to play when any other rhythm players are playing, which is a giant bummer, because i'm doing a totally different thing than they're doing. i understand completely why five mid-skilled bodhran players shouldn't play together. but what i do is more akin to a snare drum, though less loud.
i am not a jerk yankee running roughshod over everyone else's good time, but i feel so ostracized, and i don't know how to find those that wouldn't find me offensive.
i am super respectful and have learned session etiquette from playing song circles in texas. but in texas, they welcomed me, even though i wasn't playing an instrument they were expecting. i've done research about what the expectations in irish sessions are, but what i've come away with is that they basically wish no rhythm players were there at all, even traditional-instrument-playing ones. so i feel really unwelcome, and that's only confirmed by how people treat me, even after leaping out of seats for them, never touching their instruments, waiting to play, never being loud, (all obvious) and being extremely courteous, etc.
i practice and i study, all the time, almost every day, and i'm good. but i show up at a trad circle and i'm playing an instrument that literally no one's ever heard of before. call me a crazy american, but i think that's awesome. furthermore, that's the damn POINT of folk and traditional music! how did washboards come about? jugs? cajons? spoons? i'm so frustrated that all i want to do is play music with people and while i am respectful and i don't suck, everyone is looking down their noses at me. i don't know how to find the circles that would accept me at a minimum, and ideally teach me more. so that's what i'm asking: does anyone know where or how to find that?
i would actually move anywhere where that was possible. all i want is woods to walk in and people that will let me play my chosen instrument with them.
does anyone have any ideas? other than london. i can't stand london.