Workshops & No Pressure Sessions

R3S dulcimer workshop – Photo: Sue Coe

Ryburn 3 Step has, throughout its existence, been committed to helping people discover their abilities to sing, to dance, to play and to understand the richness of the folk and traditional culture which has defined our lives over the centuries and continues to do so in the modern world.

To this end, we offer a range of activities both regular and occasional to help people of all ages discover their abilities, learn something new, get some exercise or just have a good time in a pleasant social setting.


‘No Pressure Sessions’ – friendly fortnightly sessions for less confident musicians.

A notable feature of many UK Folk Festivals is the guided session as promoted by the Tuneworks group at Warwick, Shrewsbury and Bromyard. These sessions cater for beginners and intermediate level players, are generally located in the bar and are very popular.
Ryburn 3 Step has been running something similar under the guise of the “No Pressure” session which meets fortnightly. The idea of the session is to provide a “safe” place to play tunes with other musicians and develop confidence in playing your chosen instrument.

We have musicians of varying ability playing a range of instruments. We try to leave no-one behind so sometimes we play very slowly, particularly when we are learning a new tune. Some of us have difficulty memorising tunes so sheet music is provided in a “No Pressure Session” Tunebook – HERE which you can bring to the session and consult. Suggestions for new tunes to learn are welcomed and in order to prepare for the following session a list is circulated which suggests tunes to play, so those who want to, can practice them. View the index of tunes HERE.

The No Pressure Session has relocated (because of the Covid-19 pandemic) to a dusty corner of cyberspace via Zoom.  We have stopped taking new members temporarily until we can meet in the flesh (so to speak) in a safe earthly environment.

A couple of our “No Pressure” Sessioners recently had the bright idea of pulling together contributions from the rest of the group and mixing them into a single track. We chose a couple of popular slow airs to be the tunes (South Wind and Planxty Irwin) and created a master click track playing at 55 bpm. The final mixes (1 from John and 1 from Graham) which featured mandolin, whistle, guitar, hammer dulcimers, octave mandolin, recorder and fiddle were very good, given the variety of instruments and have prompted the consideration of second track. You can hear both versions of the final mix HERE and HERE. Thanks to John and Graham for putting in the hours to record the moment for posterity.


Workshop Days:
There have been dozens of workshop days over the years. People have gathered together to learn tunes, learn an instrument, sing, write or accompany songs, or learn a style of dancing – clog, flat footing and more. Our last one was on the topic of hornpipes, in November 2018.

Weekly workshops / practice sessions – at 103 Oldham Road – presently suspended:
Tuesday: Appalachian step dancing;
Wednesday: Traditional Longsword dancing;
Thursday: Singing.

Fortnightly – at 103 Oldham Road: “No Pressure Tune Session”, 8.00 – 9.45pm.

Monthly – at 103 Oldham Road: Ryburn Ukelele Group.

For more information phone 01422 822569 (dancing) or 01422 822413 (singing) or 01422 823099 (playing).

An Independent Folk Development Project in the Ryburn Valley