Online social forum for Irish traditional musicians

Tony Lawless is the founder of TradConnect which aims to connect musicians from all over the world who like to play Irish music.

Connection has always been at the heart of music. Be it between the musician and the tune or the listener and the music. Irish music in particular has at its very heart the idea of connection. Players coming together, the format of sessions, emigrants finding a sense of home in the music.

Thousands across the world are drawn to it and in meeting other musicians they learn, share and expand their musical knowledge. For people learning the music in particular, it is so important to play with others. This aids the development of your skills as a musician.

Meeting Musicians

However despite the age of the internet there has never been a single online home for musicians to meet up with others in their area. I’ve tried to fill that gap with an online social network called TradConnect. It attracted close to 700 musicians in just over 12 weeks. We don’t need to make this complicated. TradConnect is simply about connecting musicians with others in their area so that they can play, practice, learn, and talk about the music that they love so much.

The response has been fantastic. I never believed that in such a short time the site would take off as it has. Our members are split evenly between Ireland, UK, USA with others countries such as Sweden, Brazil etc showing a significant number of Irish traditional musicians.

The site is about real people connecting on line. Members are uploading videos of themselves playing their tunes and others are commenting on and supporting them in their music. In addition they can take part in the discussion forums, blogs etc.

Connecting Irish musicians

TradConnect aims to form subgroups within the site for every county in Ireland, every state in the USA, county in the UK, as well as groups for every other country where Irish musicians gather.

Through these groups musicians can gather with others in their area. From this musicians can get together. As the numbers on the site grow, so does the potential for connections. Professional musicians can get together with other professionals, learners can get together with others that are learning. Ideally what we want to achieve is a growth in music in our pubs and clubs.

There are lots of competent musicians out there that have the capabilities to start some nice little sessions. If they get together with others and learn a dozen sets of tunes, they have the ability to go out and play. I firmly believe that places like Dublin is full of unexplored quality that should be heard. Especially in these recessionary times. People need to get together and get out playing”

In addition to this local connection people can get to know musicians all over the world. You can have a friendly session to go to no matter where you travel.

TradConnect is still in its infancy and is growing at a very strong rate, especially over the quieter summer months. My aspiration is to have tens of thousands of musicians on it within the near future. Then things will really take off. Then you just might start to see more music in your area.

Visit TradConnect to find out more about teaming up with other musicians.

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Andrew Moore

Andrew Moore is a writer for Irish Music Daily and Ireland Calling. His favourite Irish music bands are the Dropkick Murphys and the Pogues.

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