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Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm

Little Neophyte 16 Jan 01 - 12:02 PM
mousethief 16 Jan 01 - 12:06 PM
kendall 16 Jan 01 - 12:12 PM
Clinton Hammond 16 Jan 01 - 12:13 PM
RichM 16 Jan 01 - 12:13 PM
Clinton Hammond 16 Jan 01 - 12:14 PM
Clinton Hammond 16 Jan 01 - 12:15 PM
A Wandering Minstrel 16 Jan 01 - 12:22 PM
dick greenhaus 16 Jan 01 - 12:24 PM
GUEST,chanteyranger 16 Jan 01 - 12:32 PM
kendall 16 Jan 01 - 12:53 PM
Uncle_DaveO 16 Jan 01 - 01:18 PM
Little Neophyte 16 Jan 01 - 01:19 PM
catspaw49 16 Jan 01 - 01:30 PM
Gary T 16 Jan 01 - 01:38 PM
mousethief 16 Jan 01 - 01:43 PM
Little Neophyte 16 Jan 01 - 02:04 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Jan 01 - 02:16 PM
Mrrzy 16 Jan 01 - 02:28 PM
Sorcha 16 Jan 01 - 02:42 PM
black walnut 16 Jan 01 - 02:43 PM
catspaw49 16 Jan 01 - 02:45 PM
Ferrara 16 Jan 01 - 02:56 PM
Pseudolus 16 Jan 01 - 03:04 PM
catspaw49 16 Jan 01 - 03:14 PM
GUEST,petr 16 Jan 01 - 03:38 PM
Turtle 16 Jan 01 - 03:42 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Jan 01 - 04:23 PM
GUEST,emily b 16 Jan 01 - 04:28 PM
NightWing 16 Jan 01 - 04:35 PM
jets 16 Jan 01 - 04:59 PM
Mrs.Duck 16 Jan 01 - 05:17 PM
mousethief 16 Jan 01 - 05:20 PM
Little Neophyte 16 Jan 01 - 05:37 PM
catspaw49 16 Jan 01 - 06:05 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Jan 01 - 06:07 PM
Little Neophyte 16 Jan 01 - 06:49 PM
kendall 16 Jan 01 - 09:04 PM
aussiebloke 16 Jan 01 - 09:39 PM
ddw 16 Jan 01 - 10:52 PM
ddw 16 Jan 01 - 11:06 PM
Callie 16 Jan 01 - 11:32 PM
rangeroger 16 Jan 01 - 11:39 PM
ddw 16 Jan 01 - 11:44 PM
Little Neophyte 17 Jan 01 - 07:01 AM
kendall 17 Jan 01 - 08:44 AM
Ella who is Sooze 17 Jan 01 - 09:04 AM
John Hardly 17 Jan 01 - 09:17 AM
Jon Freeman 17 Jan 01 - 09:29 AM
Mooh 17 Jan 01 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,Matt_R 17 Jan 01 - 10:22 AM
GUEST,Russ 17 Jan 01 - 11:21 AM
Inukshuk 17 Jan 01 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,Matt_R 17 Jan 01 - 11:46 AM
John Hardly 17 Jan 01 - 12:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Jan 01 - 02:16 PM
sophocleese 17 Jan 01 - 08:38 PM
Callie 18 Jan 01 - 01:58 AM
Nicky 18 Jan 01 - 05:04 AM
Trevor 18 Jan 01 - 06:01 AM
KingBrilliant 18 Jan 01 - 06:57 AM
Jim Krause 18 Jan 01 - 01:56 PM
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Subject: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 12:02 PM

When I first starting playing the banjo I noticed others tapping their foot to keep in beat. I thought how do they do that? In the beginning I never tapped my foot to keep in beat. I felt that was way over my head . It was more comfortable for me to stay still and focusing on picking notes & chords and getting the tune sounding right.
Then I started to work with a metronome to learn how to keep a steady beat. I started noticing my foot wanting to tap along with the tune but I was having difficulties keeping it all co-ordinated between the metronome, my picking and tapping my foot. So I broke the tune up in sections. Started tapping to the metronome and adding a section of the tune. I still find it challenging. Especially when I am tapping to a full note of the metronome but the tune has gone into 1/4 or 1/8th notes but I still have to keep my foot tapping pace with a full note. Oy, thats tough. Kind of like learning how to juggle balls.
Then there is the problem of playing in front of others where I do not have a metronome but I do have a fearful foot frozen in mid air. But thats another story.
Do any of you guys relate to these kinds of difficulties?

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: mousethief
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 12:06 PM

Yes! I have a hell of a time just keeping the SONG in time, and if I try to tap my foot, sometimes it works perfectly (not very often, mind you!) and sometimes it makes me lose my place beat-wise in the song. Augh!

But if I'm not the one whose job it is to keep the beat -- for instance if I'm playing with others, or listening to recorded music -- it's just as hard. It's like there's a disconnect between the rhythm centers of my brain, and my arms and legs. Very frustrating.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: kendall
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 12:12 PM

I've never been a foot tapper, cant understand the value of it, because I have seen too many tapping their foot way out of time as if there was no connection to the metre of the music.I've seen Bluegrass groups totally ignoring the bass player. He/she is in charge of the beat, the foundation, if you will, and if you ignore him/her, why bother having a bass?


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Subject: Tapping Your Rhythm To Keep In Foot
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 12:13 PM

On the other end of the spectrum... I can get to tapping and find all kids of syncopation and off tempo stuff while I'm playing... this usually drives the others on stage with me nuts!!

Mostly because they don't know how I do it... and neither do I...


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: RichM
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 12:13 PM

Tapping your foot is a good thing. Your body intuitively feels the rythmn--Let it out!. Don't focus on tapping; just let it happen.

Music IS rhythm! I believe that letting your body sway and go with the beat is helpful...to your music, and your interpretation of it.


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Subject: Tapping Your Rhythm To Keep In Foot
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 12:14 PM

On the other end of the spectrum... I can get to tapping and find all kids of syncopation and off tempo stuff while I'm playing... this usually drives the others on stage with me nuts!!

Mostly because they don't know how I do it... and neither do I...


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 12:15 PM

oops...

sorry...


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 12:22 PM

RichM has a good point. One caveat however, I once led a roaring shanty session in an upstairs room in an old pub and the landlord came up to complain that all the foot stamping was causing plaster to fall from the ceiling below into his patrons beer!


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 12:24 PM

It's a habit that can produce problems if you're working with a mike. Oscar Brand, many years ago, found he had to remove his shoes for his radio show; he was billed for a long time as the shoeless troubador.


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: GUEST,chanteyranger
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 12:32 PM

In the Irish music scene, tapping your foot is like breathing, for the reasons RichM mentioned. In addition, since many sessions are in noisy bars/pubs, if you have trouble hearing the rhythm of a tune someone is starting, you can pick it up by glancing at their feet, and of those near that person.

-chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: kendall
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 12:53 PM

..and then there is Stompin' Tom Conners...


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 01:18 PM

On some of Pete Seeger's recordings you can hear that he's got to be lifting his foot and smashing it down three or four inches, at least. "The Foolish Frog" immediately comes to mind.


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 01:19 PM

RichM, I understand what you are saying......how tapping my foot is a good thing. I can sense when I do let go that my body is intuitively feeling the rhythmn. It is an amazing feeling and I believe once I allow this flow to happen I won't want to stop tapping.
Although I have always felt comfortable dancing and moving my body to the music. But I do not feel very relaxed as a player yet so maybe that has much to do with the problem. Being that I've only been at this for less than 2 years.

I wish it was as natural for me as it is for Clinton Hammond. Guess you are an uninhibited kind of tapping guy Clinton. Nothing to do with drinking too much beer on tap.

As for my foot tapping bothering other folks I figure since I am playing the banjo most people would assume I'd be stomping my foot once I get the swing of it.

Bonnie


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 01:30 PM

If you're using the "Rhythm Method" of birth control, tapping your foot will not keep you from getting pregnant. But then again, neither will the Rhythm Method.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: Gary T
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 01:38 PM

When I was in fifth grade, our teacher had us practice "Joy to the World" (back when such things were done in public schools), then recorded the class singing it, seated at our desks. She then played back the recording, pointing out the disturbing (to her) metronomic tapping of a foot throughout the song. Yep, it was my foot--something I had done automatically and unthinkingly.

For reasons beyond my ken, she both considered the recording ruined by the tapping and chose not to have us do it again, sans tapping. Ah well.


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: mousethief
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 01:43 PM

Tapping your knees together HARD, and then leaving them there, can prevent pregnancy, spaw. If you're a woman. But you're not, are you? Never mind.


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 02:04 PM

Alex that technique is also good for holding your bladder when you have to pee real bad.


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 02:16 PM

They say if you want a French Candian fiddler to stop playing you just nail his foot to the floor.

You could say the same of me. It's why I prefer to play sitting down, that way I can stay in one place. Not when I'm singing on my own though, just when it's a bunch of us.

And when you're sitting you've hit two feet, and they can be doing different times. (Double time and stuff like that I mean.)


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: Mrrzy
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 02:28 PM

Well, I used to be able to tap out of time, on purpose, but none of my sisters could, unless I started it and then they could do it along with me. We used to do it (we were CHILDREN then) just to annoy the people playing.. imagine playing to an Embassy crowd, most not listening, most drunk, and to one side is a table with 4 kids, all clapping together and not in time with your stuff... Man, that was mean. I offer sincere apologies now to anyone I did that to!


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: Sorcha
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 02:42 PM

I do it sometimes, but Classicists are trained NOT to tap---watch the conductor!!! Usually MY foot ends up off the beat and I of course, follow my foot, not the bass. I am usually better off not to tap. We have a Stompin' Banjo player that wears cowboy boots--just follow Bob!!


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: black walnut
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 02:43 PM

i tap my foot/feet to keep the rest of me from jumping off the chair....if the tapper isn't dancing way deep down inside, if she's sitting all still and proper in the back and the neck and the shoulders and the knees....then the foot ain't gonna keep the right time, and there ain't no purpose to it.

i think one could learn how to tap a foot, and perhaps the best way is to try to do it when just listening to some music, then just when singing, rather than as a means of trying to keep the beat straight when playing an instrument. that would be the advanced level of foot~tapping.

~'nut


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 02:45 PM

The knees-together approach works if you're using the front door, but the back......................Let's not go there........Well, its not there that I mean but there as in there and here.

Skip it.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: Ferrara
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 02:56 PM

Mudcatter Lorraine and I were discussing foot-tapping just yesterday (ain't it wonderful how folk music broadens your interests?) in connection with doing choruses when singing unaccompanied. It can be a great help in keeping the rhythm steady when you don't have an instrument to help keep time.

Helen Schneyer often pats her knee or taps a foot and I always assumed it was to help her keep a steady beat on the slow unaccompanied songs she does.

Years ago, when I liked the rhythm of music, and if I was sitting down (don't try this if you're standing up!), I would tap both feet (alternately, that is). Friends made fun of me so I made myself stop it.... Obviously they weren't folkies.

But the last few years at the Getaway, I've noticed that Dwayne Thorpe very often taps both feet (not at the same time!) when he gets into the rhythm of a song. So I felt better about it.


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: Pseudolus
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 03:04 PM

Spaw, Is it safe to assume that if you're using the back door and someone still gets pregnant that your aim really stinks?!?!

Frank


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 03:14 PM

Not if you locate the back door to a second story level.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 03:38 PM

Ive noticed that some of the best fiddle players Ive seen tap their feet (Liz Carroll, Martin Hayes) in fact Liz Carroll puts her whole body into it and she uses both feet, one for the down beat and one for the upbeat. I didnt used to tap my feet as I was classically trained although I naturally kept rhythm by grinding my teeth, I didnt even think about this until my music teacher asked me what I was doing (he noticed) I do try to tap my feet and generally when I do my rhythm is on. But RichM is right on foot tapping is good but dont try to think about it. Generally you do feel the rhythm in your feet (you can try this by standing up and stomping 1 foot and the other and clapping your hands (diff. pattern) to a tune - you will notice that even if you should lose the rhythm with your hands you can feel it most in your feet. I happened to do a afro-cuban drumming course and it was amazing just how handy it came in. and how much I didnt know about a major part of making music. Cheers Petr.


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: Turtle
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 03:42 PM

Bonnie, my fiddle teacher has been encouraging me to try to learn to tap my foot when I play. (I've been playing just about 2 years, too.) He says it helps you keep steady time and also is a way of communicating your tempo to other folks you're playing with. I find it VERY difficult, kind of like patting my head and rubbing my belly at the same time. I often have to start by tapping the time while I'm humming the tune (I don't have this trouble when I sing, and in fact almost always keep time with a hand or a foot when I'm singing). Then if I pick up my fiddle and play pretty slowly sometimes I can play and toe-tap at the same time. Sometimes I find it easier with tunes I know really well and can play a little faster--maybe I don't have to concentrate so hard on playing the right notes. But I've noticed many good musicians around these parts don't toe-tap, while others do, so I'm beginnning to question the necessity. Maybe it's another of those things that works differently for different folks, and thus shouldn't be the subject of hard and fast rules . . . ??

Turtle


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 04:23 PM

I think, if you don't tap, it's not because you haven't learnt to tap, it's because someone has taught you not to tap, way back, and you haven't unlearnt it.

One thing occurs here drift, but I think it's interesting drift - that talk about bluegrass, and how other players follow the bass. Well,in Irish session music there's no bass normally, and the bodhran in a way takes it place - but the bodhran follows the others, never the other way round, in my experience. Maybe that explains something about the difference. (And maybe it also explains why some people just can't seem to make the bodhran fit in, even though they've the technique worked out.)


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: GUEST,emily b
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 04:28 PM

Little Neo,

Congrats on your 1st play out in public. As for the foot tapping, since you are comfortable dancing, you might try feeling the beat in the core of your body. I feel it in my hips usually. Often if I'm having trouble staying with the beat on a song I'm singing, I have to move to the music. It's almost like the foot is too far removed from my brain. I have to have a closer connect. I also find it easier to lift my heel to the beat rather than tapping my toe. Maybe that has something to do with the muscles in my calves.

I saw a Breton band play last year and their feet were all over the place. Often it looked as though they were dancing. Fun to watch. I'm sure they didn't even realize it was happening.

Good luck. Just feel it, don't think it.

Emily


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: NightWing
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 04:35 PM

As for me, I've always tapped, even when I was playing classical. With a little practice, you can learn to tap only your toe -- inside your shoe -- and it doesn't make any noise at all. But when I'm on-stage with a small group(not that THAT has happened in a long time), I tap my heel. This makes a BIG motion -- the knee has to bend to do it so your whole leg moves -- that the audience can follow easily.

But when I tap -- however I tap -- I'm following the rhythm set by someone else: the conductor, the drummer, the bass, the keys, etc. I've never been a rhythm kinda guy. Never played a rhythm kinda instrument, that is.

But, as I said before, I've always tapped. Couldn't tell you how I learned, or even when. But then mom started me on piano lessons when I was 3. 'Spose that could have something to do with not remembering. *G*

BB,
NightWing


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: jets
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 04:59 PM

When I am playing the accordion{diotonic]with the band I tap my foot,not on the floor but on the kick pedal of the bass drum. It seems odd to me that others have a problem tapping out time with there foot as they play.


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 05:17 PM

I have never learned not to tap. It just comes too naturally and did get me in bother when I used to sing in a church choir and the sound of my tapping used to echo!!! And you're right 'spaw five kids later I realise it was not the best method of contraception!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: mousethief
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 05:20 PM

Wow, Mrs. Duck, forgive me, but you learn slowly!

Alex


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 05:37 PM

Thanks everyone your postings. They are so helpful, even yours Catspaw.

Emily I can relate to what you are saying. Moving my body to the rhythm of the music while playing is much easier for me than tapping my foot in beat. If I tap my heel, that is easier too. But I straddle my banjo between my legs so tapping my heel is not the best thing for keeping my instrument steady.

Catspaw, if I straddle my instrument between my legs, would that be a better choice of birth control?

Bonnie


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 06:05 PM

I dunno' but you sure as hell would get MY attention!!!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 06:07 PM

Do you stan or sit when you are playing? The banjo I mean.


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 06:49 PM

Kevin, I sit with the banjo. I have never even tried to stand with it. In the beginning Rick tried to get me to use a strap. I was so stubborn about it. To this day I haven't dealt with the strap issue. Feels like I am wearing a seat belt or something. Guess that would make another good thread topic. Something to think about.
Standing playing feels so unnatural too.

Bonnie


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: kendall
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 09:04 PM

Have you ever seen Stompin' Tom Connors?


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: aussiebloke
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 09:39 PM

Tap your feet with gay abandon all ye foot tappers.

As a bodhran and lagerphone player - I take my 'beat cue' from the lead melody player - this translates to 'I'm playing so-and-so's foot' for this tune...

I give this advice to beginner percussionista - watch and follow the tapping foot of the lead melody player - most are nice and steady and easy to follow, however there is one chap who plays whistle at our sessions who has a 'non-standard foot tapping technique' - more a rocking action that a tapping action - if I follow his foot I'm in trouble...

When I play the bodhran, I'm unable to play without tapping my foot - It is quite unconscious these days - I tap my foot on the 'on-beat', and on 'pause beats' I find my tapping foot gives an extra big tap as if to compensate for the missed drum-beat.

cheers

aussiebloke


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: ddw
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 10:52 PM

No fair pointing out Stompin' Tom, Kendall. Bonnie was talking about tapping her foot and MAKING MUSIC at the same time. That pretty well eliminates STC from the discussion. Stay on topic, OK?

*BG*


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: ddw
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 11:06 PM

Bonnie,

If you want to watch a foot tapper of the first order, watch Natalie MacMaster some time. Now THAT'S tapping!

BTW, I agree with Rick on the strap — whether you're standing or sitting, having it there gives you better control of your instrument and frees your hands to move much more quickly.

david


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: Callie
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 11:32 PM

I don't mind it if people tap in time, but so many folks tap OUT of time and it drives me crazy. I have to continually ask a guy in my choir NOT to tap out of time with my conducting. He does it unconsciously. I'm going to invest in a staple gun.

The other thing that drives me spare is when someone taps loudly on the ONbeat when really it's an off-beat song. I just don't get how you could tap it out backwards.

Another strange phenomenon I've noticed is a singer at a local session who sings pretty well in time but who taps her lap with her hand ALL the time and OUT of time with her singing. Eek! Brain explosion of rhythms! It's freaky watching, coz your brain gets one rhythm from watching the hand tapping and another rhythm from listening to the music.

Callie


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: rangeroger
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 11:39 PM

I used to play rhythm guitar doing old time fiddle tunes with a fiddler and a claw-hammer banjo player.I have always tried to play rock steady rhythm guitar to provide he beat for a tune.My foot tapping, however is anything but rock steady.It just sorta goes along to its own tempo.

I would often find the fiddler looking at my foot and starting to lose the tempo. I would have to remind him to not follow my foot, just listen to the music.

rr


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: ddw
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 11:44 PM

My ex-wife was the all-time champ at being off the beat. She loved music, took modern dance for several years, studied piano and sang in a choral group, but when she'd come to my performances I couldn't look at her because she would be nodding her head off the beat. Ran me nuts! Current wife is much better.

david


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 17 Jan 01 - 07:01 AM

Well I don't even know who Stomping Tom Connors is so I miss the joke but I bet he didn't get that nick name for nothing.
I was truly inspired by Lily May Ledford. She was part of the Coon Creek Girls first all-women string band in the early 30s from Eastern Kentucky. Listening to her hard-driving clawhammer banjo, deep soulful vocals and stomping foot was truly inspiring.

Mind you ever since I started this thread my foot has been having an easier time tapping away to my playing so go figure. Maybe I just needed to talk it over with you guys.

Bonnie


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: kendall
Date: 17 Jan 01 - 08:44 AM

Stompin' Tom is a performer from somewhere in Maritime Canada. He doesn't just tap. he stomps! On top of that, he sings flat..Sorry, ddw, I was using Tom as an example..or specimen?


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 17 Jan 01 - 09:04 AM

I've noticed, that subconciously I have this odd... toe heel thing going for me...

One foot is tapping with it' toe the other foot is tapping the heel down.

Ermmm David, a bit drastic... though glad the current wife is better at tapping..

Erm.

Ella


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: John Hardly
Date: 17 Jan 01 - 09:17 AM

Little Neophyte,

Soon you'll be putting a microphone on a floorboard like John Hartford or Chris Smither--go for that one-(wo)man-band sound!

JH


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 17 Jan 01 - 09:29 AM

I gue foot tapping works for some but I am pretty much with Kendall on this. Some of the worst time keepers I have met in Irish sessions have been foot-tappers.

I rekon, if tapping comes naturally, just go with it but do not try to force it - one can feel or sense time in other ways and I think it is a case of doing what you feel comfortable with (or just happens - I am crazy, when I am playing at my best, I see little dancers enjoying themelves in my mind) rather that trying to imitate what you have seen.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: Mooh
Date: 17 Jan 01 - 09:41 AM

There's a great old Silly Wizard concert video with the Cunningham Bros. trying to amuse themselves (and the audience) with haphazard foot stomping/tapping, playing like fiends all the while. Cracks me up every time I see it.

I've always tapped my foot. Don't know why, it just happens. In folk music I've so often been the rhythm section so it helps...I think I was born this way 'cause I don't remember not tapping my foot. When I was a kid I had a big play table in the basement I would drum on while singing, and a tin of Lego which sounded like a snare when I hit it. Haven't thought of that in eons.

Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: GUEST,Matt_R
Date: 17 Jan 01 - 10:22 AM

Yeah, dammit! If they can't make music the right way, they should just shut up!


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 17 Jan 01 - 11:21 AM

I understand the value of foot-tapping. I often do it when listening to others. I know from experience that it keeps me honest when it do it. But I have never gotten into the habit of doing it regularly. Makes my leg feel uncomfortable.


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: Inukshuk
Date: 17 Jan 01 - 11:42 AM

Years of toe and heel tapping will take its toll, friends. As a young man, I pounded heavily with my right foot until I noticed that my leg and hip were always sore after a session. By pure persistance, I managed to change to my left heel, but that only messed up my left leg too. For years I tried to let the rhythm flow through subtle big toe movements. That works on slow stuff, but when my (French Canadian)fiddler pal and I really get down to it at a gig, we always end up stomping and dancing while we play. Sometimes it takes nearly a week to recover. Get that tapping under control right from the beginning!


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: GUEST,Matt_R
Date: 17 Jan 01 - 11:46 AM

Back in the old days, before conductors used wands, they were merely staff-pounding beat-keepers. Christoph Gluck used to pound his staff on his foot. He pounded it so much that he got gangrene and it had to be amputated.


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: John Hardly
Date: 17 Jan 01 - 12:25 PM

...yeah Inuk!

Make sure to learn to tap alternating feet. Otherwise one leg will become so much more powerful than the other that you will only be able to walk in a circle!


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Jan 01 - 02:16 PM

"Christoph Gluck used to pound his staff on his foot. He pounded it so much that he got gangrene and it had to be amputated."

The French composer Lully did that, and he died. The perils of being a musician.

Last time I posted here I speculated about how one of the reasons Irish music and Bluegrass feel different is that Bluegrass takes the beat from the bass player, and in Irish the rhythm comes from the strings and the melody players, and the bodhran follows it. Which is something I'd never thought about before.

But I compared notes with a friend this afternoon who hadn't thought about it either, and he agreed it made sense, and explained why, even when the same tune gets played in the two traditions, it feels different.

And it also explained a few glitches that happened in a session earlier in the week that he was at with players from both traditions.

So is this other people's experience as well? Is this a generalisation that successfully crosses the Atlantic and the Great Plains? (Yes, I know this is drifting a bit, but it's all about rhythm. I'll start another thread if anybody's would like.)


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: sophocleese
Date: 17 Jan 01 - 08:38 PM

Sorry McGrath I just want to get my two cents in before you drift away (my local internet service has been offline for the last two days so I'm catching up).

I used to, and still do, have terrible time problems. Then dancing a waltz while trying to get the timing in 3/4 tune really helped me. So now when I'm sitting down, singing or playing I'm usually tapping, heel or toe; sometimes one is easier than the other depending on the height of the chair. If I'm singing though I still sometimes get out of time with my foot and that throws me. When playing recorder I started making use of the tapping by wearing bells on my ankle. The problem with that is that for the bells to ring I have to hit the floor harder than normal so I keep slowing down. The first time I tried it in a performance I was sitting on a slightly higher chair and wearing a short skirt, I just didn't feel comfortable lifting my knee up high enough to bring the leg back down with the necessary force, although I suspect I might have had more attention from some of the audience if I had.


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: Callie
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 01:58 AM

A word of warning: don't use the story of Lully as a trivia quiz question. EVERYONE seems to know it!

Callie


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: Nicky
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 05:04 AM

My guitar teacher says it's important to tap your foot, so you don't "fall off the train".


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: Trevor
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 06:01 AM

The very first time I sang in a large chorus (The Messiah, of course) the chap next to me, who I didn't know from Adam, kept kicking me. We were a good way through when I realised that I was tapping out a jaunty rhythm (to the jaunty bits) and the platform was acting as a sound box transmitting the beat all around Shrewsbury Abbey. I just couldn't stop myself m'lud.


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 06:57 AM

I didn't used to tap, and didn't feel the lack of it particularly, but since I've been playing with friends and got generally better at playing & singing my feet have just taken it upon themselves to tap & keep time. Its most bizarre when I'm not expecting it. Mind you I have weird feet anyway, and they go round and round in circles when I'm happy (much like a cat pugging its feet when it purrs) - it drives Mark mad if I happen to feel happy and contented when he is trying to sleep!
I think tapping definitely keeps me in time better, and makes me less likely to speed up if I'm nervous.

Kris


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Subject: RE: Tapping Your Foot To Keep In Rhythm
From: Jim Krause
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 01:56 PM

Yep, I'm notorious to tapping my foot, some say stomping. Thing is, I usually tap on the back beat; in 2/4 time that would be: one, AND, two, AND, one, AND, two, etc. I can't help it, and don't think about it. It just happens, especially when the tune is hot, and the dancers are into it.


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