The Irish Festival of Oulu

Official program partner of Oulu 2026

Traditional Irish music session etiquette

You’re warmly welcome to join our Irish music sessions!

Traditional Irish music sessions involve a few standard practices that make the session an engaging experience for musicians and the audience alike. These tips help you make the most of any trad session.


Enjoying the music and playing together is the heart and soul of a session. Some great ways to show your appreciation to the music and other musicians are for example only playing tunes that you’re comfortable with and respecting the silence during songs. If you’re learning a new tune and aren’t quite confident with it yet, you can play along softly with low volume.


Accompanists (guitar, bouzouki etc.) and bodhrán players often play with their own style and individual chord/rhythm choices, and this is why it is recommendable to give space to one another and communicate together about playing in turns if there are more than one guitarist or bodhrán player present. New musicians can play with less volume softly among others to learn and find chords.


Our goal is to unite as musicians and play the music we love together and there is plenty of opportunities and space to do so by communicating together. Thanks and see you at the sessions.

Irish music session icon