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Rhythm

GUEST 28 Jul 12 - 03:25 AM
GUEST,BobL 28 Jul 12 - 03:36 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 28 Jul 12 - 05:09 AM
GUEST 29 Jul 12 - 12:51 AM
GUEST,Charles Macfarlane 29 Jul 12 - 02:25 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 29 Jul 12 - 03:13 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 29 Jul 12 - 03:20 AM
Marje 29 Jul 12 - 04:05 AM
GUEST 29 Jul 12 - 05:04 AM
GUEST,Charles Macfarlane 29 Jul 12 - 08:36 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 29 Jul 12 - 12:05 PM
GUEST,999 29 Jul 12 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,999 29 Jul 12 - 01:59 PM
John P 29 Jul 12 - 03:07 PM
GUEST,Charles Macfarlane 29 Jul 12 - 04:02 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 29 Jul 12 - 04:09 PM
GUEST,Charles Macfarlane 29 Jul 12 - 04:23 PM
Amos 29 Jul 12 - 06:01 PM
GUEST,Stim 29 Jul 12 - 08:15 PM
GUEST,Charles Macfarlane 29 Jul 12 - 09:59 PM
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Subject: Rhythm
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jul 12 - 03:25 AM

I'm not sure if this question is aimed more at dancers or at those who play for dance but it's about where to emphasise the beat for various types of dance. I don't dance myself but my wife and I both play for a clog side and I hope to also play for a Morris side. The question is: For the sake of the dancers where should one be trying to get some lift for different types of dance. A Waltz seems fairly obvious being ONE, two, three, ONE, two etc. but what about Hornpipes, Polkas, Scottisches,
Jigs......?
Any input would be much appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Rhythm
From: GUEST,BobL
Date: 28 Jul 12 - 03:36 AM

Watch the dancers, look for the best ones, and let the way they move inspire your playing.


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Subject: RE: Rhythm
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 28 Jul 12 - 05:09 AM

Even if you don't intend to dance yourself, it's worth learning the basics. You'll have a better understanding of how to play for dances if you know how the tunes should feel to move to.


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Subject: RE: Rhythm
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jul 12 - 12:51 AM

it should be a relationship of organic interplay and interaction
nor strict rigid mechanistic formulated frigid notes on a barbed wire bondage stave.


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Subject: RE: Rhythm
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 29 Jul 12 - 02:25 AM

> From: GUEST
>
> it should be a relationship of organic interplay and interaction
nor strict rigid mechanistic formulated frigid notes on a barbed wire bondage stave.

What a load of meaningless, pretentious, pseudo-intellectual drivel!

I'll second Howard Jones' very good advice.


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Subject: RE: Rhythm
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Jul 12 - 03:13 AM

that guest was me

As an experienced rhythm guitarist of getting on 40 years playing in bands
I believe the pretentious drunken laughable bollocks I posted earlier
is actually not that far from accord with Howard Jones'very good advice
regarding 'feel'..

Charley Macfarly, are you a musician, have you heard of syncopation !!!!???


or are you just an obnoxious over opinionated armchair hip swivelling air guitar playing wanabe look at me ???


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Subject: RE: Rhythm
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Jul 12 - 03:20 AM

..and before you say "I've owned really expensive guitars & played on really big folk stages"

I still ask the same question.


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Subject: RE: Rhythm
From: Marje
Date: 29 Jul 12 - 04:05 AM

If you ever get the chance to go to a workshop on playing for dance, you'll pick up lkots of tips. They'll probably get you up to try out the dance steps which, as Howard says, really does help.
A sample tip from John Kirkpatrick: if you want to stress a beat (e.g. if it's an important one for the dancers to jump or turn on), keep it short and staccato, which might seem counter-intuitive but really does help the dancers.
And there's lot to be said for stressing the off-beat, in between the downbeats on which the dancers hit the ground. Gravity will help them achieve this, but a bit of welly from the musicians on the off-beat will help them get lifted up in between steps.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Rhythm
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jul 12 - 05:04 AM

Thank you Marje et al for your helpful advice. I went to a workshop with Brian Peters recently, where we spent most of it looking at stressing the off-beat. For me it was one of those eureka moments as suddenly there seemed to be so much more that you could 'do' with a tune. As for stressing a beat by keeping it short and stoccato; Well if it's good enough for John Kirkpatrick......


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Subject: RE: Rhythm
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 29 Jul 12 - 08:36 AM

> From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
>
> that guest was me

How unwise of you to admit it!

> As an experienced rhythm guitarist of getting on 40 years playing in bands
I believe the pretentious drunken laughable bollocks I posted earlier
is actually not that far from accord with Howard Jones'very good advice
regarding 'feel' ...

No, try to read what you wrote with someone else's eyes, as someone else other than yourself would read it. It's just a load of buzzwords joined together to make a superficially impressive-sounding sentence, but in fact it's meaningless, because it doesn't convey any clear meaning. You could probably ask 100 people what it meant and get 100 different replies.

> Charley Macfarly

The name is Macfarlane. Stooping to personal abuse is the sign of a loser.

> are you a musician, have you heard of syncopation !!!!???

I have played instruments for many years, and passed a degree unit in music.

> or are you just an obnoxious over opinionated armchair hip swivelling air guitar playing wanabe look at me ???

Yawn! More personal abuse.


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Subject: RE: Rhythm
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Jul 12 - 12:05 PM

"It's just a load of buzzwords joined together to make a superficially impressive-sounding sentence"
yes, thanks for pointing that out

impressive sounding ? - very nice of you to say that,
but it surely wasn't that good ???

See, I was just making a reasonably serious point very late at night
in a light hearted jokey manner.

Yeah I thought the 'barbed wire' bit was ridiculous tripe
but couldn't resist riffing with it just for the fun of it...

Now why would I do that, hmmm, who knows, who cares - hot summer night - good strong wine ???

"I believe the pretentious drunken laughable bollocks I posted earlier
is actually not that far from accord with Howard Jones'very good advice
regarding 'feel'.."


Ok, well as far as this unnecessary pointless mini virtual punch-up between us goes
you started it, remember!!!!

Oh and now that I consider all this in the sober light of day...

If I was provoked into lowering my behavioural standards to resort to petty personal [though tongue in cheek] abuse..

you seriously deserve it for acting like such a belligerent pompous self important arse.


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Subject: RE: Rhythm
From: GUEST,999
Date: 29 Jul 12 - 01:44 PM

An on-line metronome.


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Subject: RE: Rhythm
From: GUEST,999
Date: 29 Jul 12 - 01:59 PM

http://www.onemotion.com/flash/drum-machine/

Use demo #3 and become stupid within the next hour.


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Subject: RE: Rhythm
From: John P
Date: 29 Jul 12 - 03:07 PM

I agree with the above advice: Watching the good dancers helps a lot. Learning the dances is even better. Also, different groups of people have slightly different styles, and the same group can be in different moods on different nights (or different portions of the same night), so thinking of it as "a relationship of organic interplay and interaction" is pretty good advice.


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Subject: RE: Rhythm
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 29 Jul 12 - 04:02 PM

> From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
>
> [abuse, etc]

The best advice anyone can give you is: When you're in a hole, stop digging!


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Subject: RE: Rhythm
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Jul 12 - 04:09 PM

sorry Charlie

forgot to add 'patronising'

to "belligerent pompous self important arse.


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Subject: RE: Rhythm
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 29 Jul 12 - 04:23 PM

> From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
>
> sorry Charlie

I don't need an apology. Every contribution you make to this thread just makes you look a bigger and bigger loser.


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Subject: RE: Rhythm
From: Amos
Date: 29 Jul 12 - 06:01 PM

You hotheads need to chill and breathe a bit.


A


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Subject: RE: Rhythm
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 29 Jul 12 - 08:15 PM

This is a good question, and a difficult one to answer. I've played a lot of different types of dances for a lot of different dancers, and worked in the stage band for a performing ensemble. There is a lot more to it than you think.

Dancers need to hear different things in different dances. Some dances need to build in tempo as the dancers warm up, while others need to kept precisely at tempo because the steps can only be executed at a certain speed. Some benefit from a sharp off-beat, while others need a strong and flowing pulse. There are also dances that have their own lilt, and if you get it, the room rises to it's feet, and if you miss it, they just sit their.


Our choreographer used to say, "It is not enough to play the music, you must play the dance!"


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Subject: RE: Rhythm
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 29 Jul 12 - 09:59 PM

> From: Amos
>
> You hotheads need to chill

Fine by me. To return to topic and try and give the OP something useful ...

I did Rapper briefly while at uni, but can't remember very much about it except that the tunes were played quite fast to a regular, even beat - obviously there was accenting of the main beats, but it wasn't so pronounced that I particularly remember it, nor was there a memorable degree of back-beat. Not being a dancer of either, I'm not really qualified to comment on Morris or clog, though I used to notice when watching teams like Gloucester Old Spot that the musicians often seemed to be taking their timing from the dancers rather than the other way round.

As a former quite keen ceilidh dancer, before my knees gave out, and the then partner of a founding member of Token Women, there was, and probably still is, a huge variation in the 'dancability' of various ceilidh bands. My favourites were TW - naturally enough, but I sincerely believe that I would still have thought that without the emotional connection - The Old Swan Band, Gas Mark V, and The Electropathics. I used to get wonderful 'highs' from dancing to all these bands, whereas by contrast others seemed to play in such a way as to drive your feet into the ground rather than float them lightly over it.

Tempo had a lot to do with it. If the tempo is too slow, then the dancers can't keep in the air for the requisite hops and leaps, and so are almost forced to pause momentarily after each step, and it's much more tiring like that. If the tempo is too fast, then they haven't time to dance the steps and are almost 'fast walking' the dances in a style that seems more American than English. If the tempo is just right, it encourages the dancers to dance the steps correctly, and there's something about doing that that lifts both the soles and the soul and gives a real buzz.

Another factor was degree of electrification. Some bands seemed able to use a high percentage of electric instruments while remaining very dancable, for example The Oyster Band, but with many others the high degree of amplification involved seemed to isolate them from the dancers and their point of view, and were barely dancable. At very least, I would say the music should not be too loud at a ceilidh.

I would say that important musical features that the bands above share are a strongly held tempo, with clear phrasing of the melody which helps to delineate the sequence of figures in the dance, and an appropriate selection of good, melodic tunes.

As for accenting specifically, you could do worse than listen to recordings of these bands, and/or talk to their band leaders, and the callers who work with them.


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