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Author Topic: Foot tapping  (Read 4861 times)

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playandteach

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Re: Foot tapping
« Reply #80 on: July 25, 2018, 01:17:42 PM »

I agree entirely. Pascale is not moving in order to stay in time. She is at the point where the expression of the music is organic. Movement as a device to stop rushing is rarely successful. It's a bit like trying to cover up B.O. with Lynx.
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arty

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Re: Foot tapping
« Reply #81 on: July 25, 2018, 01:41:51 PM »

It's a bit like trying to cover up B.O. with Lynx.

Ha ha ha! That’s the funniest thing I have heard in ages!!!
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george garside

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Re: Foot tapping
« Reply #82 on: July 25, 2018, 02:15:19 PM »

I totally agree that foot tapping should be a natural reaction  ,as should other body movements, to the music you are playing.  When you are playing well and rhythmically - and yes even slow aires  have a rhythm - the body movement, anything from a gentle swaying to  foot tapping  or indeed waggling ones arse or whatever  should come naturally.  However developing rhythmic playing can be helped in the first instance by eg  consciously foot tapping 

What worries me is  that in some quarters foot tapping is seen as a no go area  that could well inhibit the  unconscious development of 'moving' with your music  instead of relying on counting etc.

george
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Foot tapping
« Reply #83 on: July 25, 2018, 04:58:08 PM »

... What worries me is  that in some quarters foot tapping is seen as a no go area  that could well inhibit the  unconscious development of 'moving' with your music  instead of relying on counting etc....
When playing the sort of music normally discussed on this forum - i.e. 'traditional' (whatever that might be) music, especially when used for dancing, I see no reason not to tap feet. I do it myself when playing for dancing.

However, (and I think this might be what George is referring to), in the classical music world, e.g. when playing in an orchestral or chamber group, it is true that foot tapping is generally frowned upon; it's unprofessional and downright annoying. The reason is that the player who is foot tapping is in their own little rhythmic world and therefore not properly listening to the other players or watching the conductor.

To illustrate this further: in my orchestra, there is one player who sits near me and is a notorious foot-tapper. On a wooden-floored stage, the vibrations of his tapping reverberate through my chair and feet, so I get them regardless. It is very off-putting when his foot tapping does not synchronise with the conductor and/or the other players in the section. Sometimes we have to resort to a hissed reminder "stop tapping your f*****g feet!" which works for a bit, until the next time. Grrr!  >:( 
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Theo

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Re: Foot tapping
« Reply #84 on: July 25, 2018, 05:12:48 PM »

But Steve that's not a problem with foot tapping so much as a problem musician who is not paying attention to those around him/her.   Exactly the same thing does happen in folk and dance bands.  It's also quite frequent in sessions.  And I can also think of a player or two who never taps feet and is not in sync with neighbours.  So it's poor musicianship rather than foot tapping that's the problem. The foot tapping is just a symptom.
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malcolmbebb

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Re: Foot tapping
« Reply #85 on: July 25, 2018, 05:24:34 PM »

It is very off-putting when his foot tapping does not synchronise with the conductor and/or the other players in the section ... Grrr!  >:(
Promote him to conductor. Sorted.  :|glug :|glug
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Mike Carney

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Re: Foot tapping
« Reply #86 on: July 25, 2018, 05:51:41 PM »

So it's poor musicianship rather than foot tapping that's the problem.
Hallelujah!
M
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Foot tapping
« Reply #87 on: July 25, 2018, 07:43:58 PM »

But Steve that's not a problem with foot tapping so much as a problem musician who is not paying attention to those around him/her.   Exactly the same thing does happen in folk and dance bands.  It's also quite frequent in sessions.  And I can also think of a player or two who never taps feet and is not in sync with neighbours.  So it's poor musicianship rather than foot tapping that's the problem. The foot tapping is just a symptom.

Yes - you're right in that it is one aspect of poor musicianship. But in an orchestral setting, even with fine musicians, the foot tapping is definitely a no-no. Playing together in that sort of setting relies on all sorts of cues, and not just watching the conductor's beat. There is listening to each other of course, and in the case of wind/brass players, being aware of each other's breathing. Also there are subtle visual cues: watching the body movements of other players (shoulder movements are good) or watching the bows of string players.
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Chris Brimley

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Re: Foot tapping
« Reply #88 on: July 25, 2018, 07:46:45 PM »

Foot tapping performs a number of functions, it seems to me - it helps the lead or rhythm lead musician get into the 'groove', which in a dance band means tempo can be adjusted to follow the dancers, it allows other band members to see what that musician is trying to do and keep in the same time, it is the easiest way of keeping the lead musician to a constant tempo, it helps their fingers work in a strict tempo fashion, and it allows this musician to control things visually when others are speeding up or slowing down.  'Groove' is to me a very useful idea - if I'm not in it, I play the wrong notes, and I find that by concentrating on the overall 'feel' of a piece of music, it is a lot easier to play the right ones.  Pascal is clearly in a 'groove' in her video, but notice that she is basically tapping her foot, as well as moving with the feel of the piece she is playing.

Playing to a constant tempo is very difficult for anyone, as anyone who's tried recording with a click track will know.  Drummers are of course trained to do just that, which is why playing box with a good one is such a relaxing and enjoyable experience.  I'd have thought that if you're playing in an orchestra, the conductor is setting the rhythm for everyone, and obviously foot-tapping would potentially cut right across that tempo, so I can see why it's frowned upon.  Unfortunately baton movements can be pretty imprecise, compared with the 'attack' of a metronome or a foot.
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george garside

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Re: Foot tapping
« Reply #89 on: July 25, 2018, 08:44:49 PM »

quite!
g
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playandteach

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Re: Foot tapping
« Reply #90 on: July 25, 2018, 11:03:40 PM »


Playing to a constant tempo is very difficult for anyone, as anyone who's tried recording with a click track will know. 

 I'd have thought that if you're playing in an orchestra, the conductor is setting the rhythm for everyone,

 Unfortunately baton movements can be pretty imprecise, compared with the 'attack' of a metronome or a foot.
Point one is spot on. I've played on quite a lot of films, early ones (in my career) were done 'wild' - and the conductor's job was to make the hit points. Later ones, everything is organised to a complicated click track, including tempo changes. They do save time and money, but if there's time at the end of a week of film sessions, many of these are re-recorded to add some life.

2nd point about the conductor - with good orchestras no one needs to be kept in time. It's more about musical direction (which way the phrase is going, and where to release tension etc.) and balancing instruments.

3rd point - poor conductors try to make their beat precise, but that's like turning the light on and off - you only get glimpses of the intention. Good conductors are fluid and it is clear where the next beat will fall ages in advance.
It is also possible that great musicians are terrible at the mechanics of conducting (such as Ashkenazy) but orchestras so respect them that they look for the musical direction beyond the technique. He's an extreme example - partly he developed a poor technique because he's short, and orchestras in the early years of his conducting career kept saying they couldn't see the baton, so he learnt to conduct way too high for control. Great man, and very kind to my wife at a difficult time. A rare example of keeping the megalomania at bay.
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Re: Foot tapping
« Reply #91 on: July 26, 2018, 04:14:39 AM »

i'm sure speed is a big factor in the body movements if not check out this Hohner experts watching a guy playing a modified colombian Corona III and they're moving their heads in no time to the speedy tempo ;) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Bz7desJug0 (Speed to 3:40 if you don't wanna watch the whole 6min)
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george garside

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Re: Foot tapping
« Reply #92 on: July 26, 2018, 09:15:35 AM »

I think of hitting exactly the right tempo and rhythm as 'floatation speed''  - the point at which everything feels easier and relaxed ( irrespective of the tunes actual speed)
and  at which you make natural gentle bodily movements in time with the music without  making any attempt so to do. tdoesn't always happen but when it does it feels great!.  Even greater is a small group eg ceilidh band or morris band  manage to achieve it collectively and simultaneously.  It can include anything from a foot tapping reel or jig  to a gentle shoulder swaying slow air  . It can happen with non folky stuff such as jiving, quick steps,  song accompaniment etc etc. It dpoesn't always happen but when it does it feels effortless!


On the subgect of which bits of the body to move  I was once asked at a ceilidh when the caller didn't turn up to play something they could jive to.  After initial utter panic , never having played such stuff, I set off with a travesty of lone donegans putting on the style ( sweet sixteen)  I watched the floorfull of moving arses and adjusted the rhythm until I achieved maximum bum activity.  That was the only 'jive(ish) tune I could think of so I then went into ken john peel, road to the isles etc etc for most of the evening, just intersperced with a few smoochy waltzes and the hokey coky. There were very few sitting out and it was obviously the rhythm that did the trick rather than my rather odd choice of tunes,

george


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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Foot tapping
« Reply #93 on: July 27, 2018, 10:05:28 AM »

While we're on the subject of moving with the music, I love this. It is the ultimate in expressiveness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Qt-ohf6jUo
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playandteach

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Re: Foot tapping
« Reply #94 on: July 27, 2018, 01:49:30 PM »

For me - and this is not a dig at the playing - there is a little too much awareness of the camera for this to be as natural as Pascale. On another thread talking about why we might not listen all the way through, the disconnect between the seeming acoustics of the image (curtain etc) and the reverb on the audio is also unnatural.
I hope you understand that I'm not trying in any way to suggest that you are wrong to admire this clip.
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Anahata

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Re: Foot tapping
« Reply #95 on: July 27, 2018, 02:06:11 PM »

That video does nothing for me. The pained expression and head shaking are far too melodramatic, and if I listen without looking it actually sounds surprisingly mechanical and lifeless. And it's supposed to be a Schottische, but I feel no urge to dance.

Also I agree the reverb is too much on that recording, and though I do use some on mine, it's usually far less than that.
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Re: Foot tapping
« Reply #96 on: July 27, 2018, 02:10:53 PM »

Ah well, there's no accounting for taste. Guess mine's a bit different.
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Greg Smith
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Re: Foot tapping
« Reply #97 on: July 27, 2018, 02:12:23 PM »

PS - my above post in distinct contrast to Pascale Reubens' video posted earlier
- her body movements indicate to me that she knows and is almost doing the dance.
- compare her use of basses with Dominic's...
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Foot tapping
« Reply #98 on: July 27, 2018, 02:20:52 PM »

PS - my above post in distinct contrast to Pascale Reubens' video posted earlier
- her body movements indicate to me that she knows and is almost doing the dance.
- compare her use of basses with Dominic's...

I agree she's dancing in her chair but what she's playing and the way she's playing it, don't do a lot for me. Taste's vary.
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Greg Smith
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Re: Foot tapping
« Reply #99 on: July 27, 2018, 03:08:00 PM »

While we're on the subject of moving with the music, I love this. It is the ultimate in expressiveness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Qt-ohf6jUo


Hmm. Doesn't quite hit the spot for me, personally.
I've always wanted to see a film of Frederic Paris playing his classic tune - it would be great to see how much expression, feeling and danceability he would put in. I agree with Anahata - for me Pascale's playing just makes me want to get up and dance.

J
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