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How fast is a jig?

Kim C 19 Apr 01 - 04:31 PM
Jenny the T 19 Apr 01 - 05:36 PM
IanC 20 Apr 01 - 04:24 AM
Louisa 20 Apr 01 - 04:41 AM
manitas_at_work 20 Apr 01 - 07:23 AM
IanC 20 Apr 01 - 07:39 AM
Kim C 20 Apr 01 - 10:13 AM
Lady McMoo 20 Apr 01 - 10:17 AM
M.Ted 20 Apr 01 - 11:09 AM
Kim C 20 Apr 01 - 12:29 PM
M.Ted 20 Apr 01 - 01:37 PM
Kim C 20 Apr 01 - 04:21 PM
Chicken Charlie 20 Apr 01 - 04:22 PM
Kim C 20 Apr 01 - 05:02 PM
Bedubya 20 Apr 01 - 05:04 PM
Kim C 20 Apr 01 - 05:47 PM
Bernard 21 Apr 01 - 10:28 AM
Blackcatter 21 Apr 01 - 11:40 AM
M.Ted 21 Apr 01 - 11:50 AM
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Subject: How fast is a jig?
From: Kim C
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 04:31 PM

Teacher said I was playing Haste to the Wedding way too fast. And she's right, it is way too fast, but it's just way too much fun to play that way! Anyhow... how fast should a jig be, if someone were actually going to dance to it? I have a metronome so if anyone can cough up a number maybe I can figure it out. Thanks!

KFC


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Subject: RE: How fast is a jig?
From: Jenny the T
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 05:36 PM

It depends on the dancer's skill level and desires. Paradoxically, the really expert competitive dancers often like their music slower (sometimes to a ridiculous degree) than the relative beginners. This is because the experts' footwork is a great deal more complicated than the beginners, and they need more time to work it all in.

When I'm playing, I just naturally want to play at my normal dancing speed, if I start the tune.

130-150 beats per minute (for jigs) works fairly well for me in dancing (gives away my relative skill level, doesn't it?). Reels I can manage up to about 180 bpm, but I will be huffing and puffing.

The best rule of thumb, for me: if you can do your ornaments cleanly, you're not playing too fast. If you're dropping out ornaments because of the speed, you need to slow down.

J-t-T


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Subject: RE: How fast is a jig?
From: IanC
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 04:24 AM

Depends on the purpose, also. For listening, you shouldn't really be playing above .=120 as above this the notes merge to the ear. Some jigs are better at around .=90. Rapper sword dancers prefer .=160 when they're young.

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: How fast is a jig?
From: Louisa
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 04:41 AM

Not as fast as a reel!

Louisa


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Subject: RE: How fast is a jig?
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 07:23 AM

Ian,

Ian Cropton?

160 when they are young? Saxons aim to get to 180bpm but it's usually around 170 and we're all in our 40's except for John.

For other purposes than rapper jigs are slower than you think. I think that 120 is a good compromise and then you can slow down or speed up as the dancers require

Paul Draper


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Subject: RE: How fast is a jig?
From: IanC
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 07:39 AM

No

Ian Chandler, but I danced with Croppo in Stevenage Sword before he up and off!

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: How fast is a jig?
From: Kim C
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 10:13 AM

Thanks y'all. I think at one time I had been practicing at 120. I will give it a try.


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Subject: RE: How fast is a jig?
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 10:17 AM

As fast as seems right for listening and as fast as the dancers require for dancing. In 40 years playing I have never counted the beats per minute (or second it seems in some of the speed-freak sessions round here!).

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: How fast is a jig?
From: M.Ted
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 11:09 AM

I started shuffling through my sheet music to see what tempos were indicated, and discovered that no one ever seems to specify anything--the closest I got was the notation that it be played ""Lively"--

Regardless of the tempo that pleases your dancers, however, you should keep in mind that the jig is in compound time, with an underlying march pulse, and it is really important to keep that clean and solid--which also curbs the temptation tp play it too fast--


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Subject: RE: How fast is a jig?
From: Kim C
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 12:29 PM

We're not playing for any dancers, just for listeners. :-)


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Subject: RE: How fast is a jig?
From: M.Ted
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 01:37 PM

That's what you think! When real people play dance music on real instruments, people who are supposed to be sitting and listening have a tendency to get up and dance, often even when they have no idea what the dance is--especially true for the both older and younger people--

I played in a folkdance band for quite a while, and from time to time, we would be asked to play background music,"just for listening"--it never happened--someone would always start dancing-- a couple shameless show-offs would start sashaying around in an open area, a few compulsive teachers would start showing "the willing" what to do, and before you know it, chaos had broken loose--


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Subject: RE: How fast is a jig?
From: Kim C
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 04:21 PM

Well, y'know, you're RIGHT.... we usually do encourage people to dance if they feel like it, and usually it's little kids because their parents are too damn stodgy.

Although once we were playing a gig at a historic site, it was Sunday afternoon and we were all exhausted by the time the last set rolled around. Mister and I launched into Buffalo Gals, and here came two guys from the medicine show, dancing around with each other in front of the stage ---- one of them had put on a ladies' bonnet and a petticoat. It was a great laugh and a really priceless moment I'll always remember.(Gee, and I thought I didn't have anything to post on the Funniest Gig Stories thread......)


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Subject: RE: How fast is a jig?
From: Chicken Charlie
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 04:22 PM

A fast jig or a slow jig?

CC


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Subject: RE: How fast is a jig?
From: Kim C
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 05:02 PM

I think Haste to the Wedding is generally regarded as a rather brisk tune.


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Subject: RE: How fast is a jig?
From: Bedubya
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 05:04 PM

You may legally play a jig or a reel as fast as you wish. The only type of fiddle tune which is regulated by a governmnent agency is the hornpipe, which is subject to the speed limits imposed by the Hornpipe Police. The Hornpipe Police are usually present at all sessions with more then five players and at all festivals. However, please note that certain fiddlers and button-accordian players of international renown seem to regularly ignore the posted speed limits with no apparent ill consequences. You may rest assured that a higher authority will correct this oversight when the time comes.


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Subject: RE: How fast is a jig?
From: Kim C
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 05:47 PM

I have not got into hornpipes yet...


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Subject: RE: How fast is a jig?
From: Bernard
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 10:28 AM

Sod the teacher! Music's for enjoyment - I'll probably be excommunicated from Mudcat for preaching such heresy! - so stick with what you enjoy!!

Seriously, as I've always told my pupils, playing fast is easy - it takes an expert to slow down. When you play fast the listener often cannot hear the mistakes, which you inadvertently reinforce through practice.

Only play a tune fast if you can slow it down in a controlled way whilst playing (though not in a session, just when practising!).

There's no real 'right' or 'wrong', it's down to preference, and everybody has different preferences for different reasons.

That's what makes the world go round...


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Subject: RE: How fast is a jig?
From: Blackcatter
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 11:40 AM

All I know is that whatever jig my fellow musicians are playing - they are playing it just fast enough to allow me to screw up on the tin whistle.

Then again when I'm singing songs like Little Beggarman and Mary Mack they usually can't keep up.

I guess it all evens out.


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Subject: RE: How fast is a jig?
From: M.Ted
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 11:50 AM

I am a firm defender of the old tunes, played in whatever way makes people happy, with the idea that singing and dancing are most sublime sorts of happiness--


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