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Shawn Brock

 

Posts: 271
Joined: Sep. 19 2011
From: Louisville KY

Bad experiences with dancers? 

Okay, so I went over to a start-up flamenco dance class, and the teacher didn't know how to count Alegrías... She wanted to dance it, but she couldn't count it.

What's a fellow to do?

She turns to me and says, "I think your missing a chord or something." I asked her if she wanted more chords, (I had just been playing E and B7 at this point), but I started putting a few more chord changes... Then she said that I was missing a beat. So I counted a compas of Alegría and she said it was right. Then when we started she said I was leaving out a beat again. This time I got her though. I was recording on my iPhone and I played it back and counted it to her. And she said "I studied in Spain and they count Alegría from 1." I said, that's how they count it in America as well, or that's how I count it at least... You just heard me count it right? I'll play the recording back and count it again so we can study and find out what the problem is... 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12... That sounds right to me she says...

So we started back up and sure enough she stopped and said we weren't together again. Keep in mind I was playing pretty simple here, but I offered to cut out my rasgueado on 1-2- and the rasgueado on 10. She said, "yeah lets try that." So we did and it was the same thing again... The 2nd compas she got off... Then she asked me to put in the rasgueados again. So I did and started tapping my foot heavily on all beats and counting out loud. I only did this a few times through, and then I quieted my counting and foot. Then she goes off again... Except for this time she asked me to count out loud and start on 12. At this point I had pretty much given up on it... LOL

I asked if I could use the metronome on my phone because I thought it may help us out. Well... It didn't...

Don't get me wrong here, I have no experience with dance accompaniment, and I hoped this would be something I could build on. I worked my ass off for a few months preparing for this class to start up. I spent a lot of time and some money on Jason and Jose's sites studying dance accompaniment to try to get my understanding as good as I could in advance. I even practiced like 5 hours today, (all of which was with a metronome). Unless I stomped and counted loudly she and I couldn't get together... I'm pretty disappointed.

A great flamenco I am not, but I have played music most of my life and never had any timing problems. When I came home I played once again with the "play along" Alegría tracks on both Jason and Jose's sites. No problem...

As I said this was a start up class, and she was trying to introduce herself and sign up students. She didn't know who would show up or how many would show up. Two people came in and one had some dance experience, and had no problems dancing with my playing. So I guess that I wasn't the one with the problem... I didn't stick around though to see how it all would end. I was there for an hour and only two showed up, so I guess it was probably a wash.

I'm sorry for bringing this up on here, but I needed to blow off some steam to someone who would understand. Don't get me wrong, I'm not angry, I'm upset. I want to learn and grow as a player, and we don't have any flamenco around here to speak of. For the last 6 months this lady has been talking about starting a class and how she studied in Spain and all of that. My hopes were high, and I thought this would be something great and I could learn and grow. Wrong again...

Why is it that so many people who suck say they studied in Spain? I feel like my flamenco playing sucks,, but at least I don't go around blowing hot air and acting like I studied in Spain when I didn't. I'll never understand people...

I hate to sound childish or something, but this was such a huge let down! I don't mind wasting a little time, but now that I know nothing is going to come of it I'm pretty disappointed... After all 6 months is a long time to build your expectations...

So tell me your sob story, or worse experience working with a dancer. Make me feel better guys!!! :)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 3:19:05
Guest

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to Shawn Brock

Damn...
might have paid to get together before the students showed up....
i am playing quite a few classes at present some solo some with other guitarists
one teacher made a point of working out llamadas, escobilla, letras and falseta,s etc well before classes began to save the students time...think any dance teacher of worth would take a similiar approach unless she/he knows the guitarist well... ..all working well for me and learning so much...one teacher goes the full experience by singing the letra's as well as playing cajon....great success :~)
sorry to hear...keep powering away...sounds like you've done more than your fair share of work...maybe hangout with the student who kept compass...
no sob stories from me yet...i seem to be the one who screws up at times...

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 3:53:56
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to Shawn Brock

there is one thing she DID learn something from going to Spain, which is to always blame the guitarrist
but let me get this straight for you too, as long as your playing is not several levels above "suck" (your own wording), you will not accompany people who also suck too.

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Фламенко
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 10:00:05
 
Yojimbo

Posts: 176
Joined: Feb. 7 2011
From: Toronto, Canada

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to Shawn Brock

Well, I think this person is to be commended for trying to start up something new - and instead of whining about it maybe the thing to do is to get together with her and work it out.

Or give up. That's easier.

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The universe is indeed expanding - to get away from this planet.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 11:58:36
 
KMMI77

Posts: 1821
Joined: Jul. 26 2009
From: The land down under

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to Shawn Brock

I think you should get together with her and try again. She obviously likes flamenco so that's a good start. Perhaps you could ask her if she has a video or audio recording from when she learnt the dance? Then you can sit down together and work out where the problem is.

It sounds like she has put a lot of pressure on herself by deciding to teach before she is really ready. If there are no other good classes and teachers around, she may just be doing it to get something going. Let her know that you're learning as well and that you don't mind if she makes mistakes. Tell her that you are willing to learn with her. Allow her to feel comfortable. The last thing you want is the old, your out of compas, No your out of compas scenario.

If the Alegrias is a mess, You could pick a simple choreography from a video and learn it together. It takes time to get nice stuff together with a dancer.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 12:28:25
 
jshelton5040

Posts: 1500
Joined: Jan. 17 2005
 

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to Shawn Brock

I can't tell you how many "dancers" I've run into over the years who couldn't even clap meter.

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John Shelton - www.sheltonfarrettaguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 14:27:44
 
estebanana

Posts: 8550
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to Shawn Brock

The best way to learn to accompany is to sit next to a guitarist who already knows how to do it. Sit and sit and keep your mouth closed and ears open. Then you get the method, it will take many years to learn. Alegrias is usually the first palo that beginner dancers and beginner guitars can jam together on. Everything else is more difficult. In the beginning you don't even see why it's difficult.

Blaming a dancer for bad compas is counter productive. A good accompanist raises the level of the compas and learns to cover for a dancer who blows something. It's a process of covering for each other not an adversarial contest of who knows what. The guitars job is to field what ever gets thrown at them and make it look seamless between cante, baile and toque.

The guitar is the air traffic controller of the cuadro and if a plane crashes the guitar needs to go out on the runway and clean up the mess.

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https://www.stephenfaulkguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 14:43:15
 
Florian

Posts: 9240
Joined: Jul. 14 2003
From: Adelaide/Australia

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to KMMI77

quote:

I think you should get together with her and try again. She obviously likes flamenco so that's a good start.



exactly..

u like flamenco, she likes flamenco...u are the only 2 out there....makes sense...work together...you are as valuable to her as she is to you...so develop a mutual learning partnership

say ..."ok, lets practice our stuff together and make sure we are together and if not identify why and find a way to fix it"

u can say all this so its not like an accusation on her or you...

if there were other choices in your city id say go else where but ...theres only u 2...makes sense to me


So i dont understand is it a problem with the difference on how u and her count and understand the compas or she dosent dance in compas ? ask her to show u how she does it with her own solo compas or any other recorded audio she must normally use to practice with..

you will know soon enough if its a compas issue or a difference in counting


I dont wanna make any assumptions and u could be totally right....but did you consider ?

there is of course always the possibility that she did dance in spain and she is good and knows what shes doing and that practicing with the stuff u been practicing those few months or weeks to get prepared didn't prepare you for this particular step...i been accompanying dancers about 14 years...and at times...u still see a step that initially makes you scratch your head....and the step is right....just need to get the rithm into my head and understand what shes going for....(sometimes they try for something syncopated before they can actually do it...dont quite get there..if you dont know what they aiming for will get lost) ..sometimes its very syncopated or is not using accents we are so used to hearing to keep track of where we are


if u really want to do this and like it id suggest trying a few more things before giving up on the idea...then at least if it dosent change u can say u tried...it might just be a small difference between how u count it and understand it and how she does...might possibly get fixed in one practice...she might dance perfectly in compas according to her understanding of it...u can work with that

and i count the Alegrias starting on 12 and ending on 10 ...and the 11 is just an "and" between the end of the cycle and the start again

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Rest In Peace Ron, I will never ever forget you my friend.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 15:06:29
 
Shawn Brock

 

Posts: 271
Joined: Sep. 19 2011
From: Louisville KY

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to jshelton5040

quote:

ORIGINAL: jshelton5040

I can't tell you how many "dancers" I've run into over the years who couldn't even clap meter.


John,
You hit it. When doing palmas she kept slowing down. That's when I knew that it wasn't going to work out... As long as I stomped loudly and counted out loud she was okay. I can't do much for her though if she can't clap the palo...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 15:18:43
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3077
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to Shawn Brock

quote:

I can't do much for her though if she can't clap the palo...


Thats how I feel about most of the girls who pretend to be wild but when in bed they barely move at all...


Oh, flamenco dancing.... right, sorry about the off topic
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 15:28:35
 
Don Dionisio

 

Posts: 360
Joined: Feb. 16 2011
From: Durham, NC

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to Shawn Brock

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 15:38:47
 
Florian

Posts: 9240
Joined: Jul. 14 2003
From: Adelaide/Australia

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to Don Dionisio

quote:

I can't do much for her though if she can't clap the palo...



of course you can...u can continue to stomp your feet and count out loud until she does it for herself...or not and wait for the next dancer to open a school i mean if she was more experienced you would have liked for her to help you...but now if its worked out the other way u dont wanna help her ?...u can help her...even helping others with they compas can help you improve yours...and you will actually have someone to do flamenco with ...so it helps both....levels go up

realistically how do you think the first schools in most cities outside Spain got started and what do you think the level was, when noone else had done it before..it was a slow start and a learning experience...done because of peoples love and appreciation for flamenco rather than anything else... and to find other people to share it with...that's the start of any scene...however good and happening it might be now

Sorry buddy i know u were probably looking for some understanding and solidarity from us lol, and its fine u can have it..... but theres a bigger picture here...theres more experienced guitarists in other places of the world or US that would give anything for your situation ...you are lucky IMO if its what u want dont give up on it so soon

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Rest In Peace Ron, I will never ever forget you my friend.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 15:57:08
 
puscifer

 

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun. 27 2012
 

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to Shawn Brock

Sounds to me like a lot of whining. Perhaps you can post a video of YOU playing Alegrias so we can see wether you have compas or not.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 16:08:05
 
Shawn Brock

 

Posts: 271
Joined: Sep. 19 2011
From: Louisville KY

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to XXX

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deniz

there is one thing she DID learn something from going to Spain, which is to always blame the guitarrist
but let me get this straight for you too, as long as your playing is not several levels above "suck" (your own wording), you will not accompany people who also suck too.


Okay, Perhaps I have been to humble? I can keep time, pull off any tempo that can be danced, change chords in the appropriate places, play some good fast-in-time rasgueados, and get paid to play, yes, even get paid here and there to play flamenco. So that's several levels above sucking I guess... I'll remember to choose my words a little more carefully in the future when describing my playing on here from now on.

All points are well taken, and yes I am whining a bit and I'll admit that. The problem is that I had built this up in my mind and practiced hard just to find out that it all was going to crash and burn. We're talking a lot of hours here... Though in the end all that practice time helped me no matter the outcome of this class and I'm thankful to have that to show.

I would have loved getting together privately with her and working stuff out, but she should have thought about that during the last 6 months when she was emailing and calling me and telling me how great she was... I thought it to be odd that she didn't want to get together before hand, but what do I know. I asked her what she wanted to dance and told her I would be ready. I informed her that I didn't have a wealth of experience with dancers, but that I would learn what ever she wanted me to, and I would keep time and not hold her back. At first I questioned my playing and kept wondering where I was going wrong. Then when she could dance with a loud count and stomp, I realized that I wasn't the one who wasn't prepared... The 2nd student coming in and burning the footwork up with my accompaniment confirmed that I wasn't the problem.

I would be more than glad to work with her and I'm sure it would make both of us better. Its a little hard to work with someone though if they don't see that they aren't as good as they think they are. We all know that this stuff aint easy, but she seems to think that its easier than it is.

I commend her for wanting to start something up no matter her experience, but don't try to take peoples money if you aren't better than they are. As I have said, one of the two students showed her up badly. I got an email from her this morning and we'll be getting together, so all was not lost...

@ Stephen, I get what your saying about the guitar being the air traffic controller, but I'm no where near an experienced enough accompanist to be able to keep a dancer in compas if she/ he don't have the palo and rhythm in in his or her mind and feet. That would take several years for sure to get to that level, and many nights doing it over and over. That won't ever be an option in this town...

I guess my problem is that I have played music for 21 years now mostly on a professional level, and got used to working with people who can keep time. We all have worked with lots of people who will sway the tempo... Anyone will move tempo somewhat unless your always playing every note with a metronome, but if she don't know the palo I can't hold her up. I'm just not that good of a flamenco guitarist... Maybe some of you have magic hands and the powers of experience that will automatically make a dancer be in compas no matter how she moves the tempo or no matter how many beats she leaves out. If that's the case then I congratulate you, because I don't have that skill and probably never will... Furthermore, until you have many years of experience accompanying people, always accompanying one person who can't keep time will have a negative affect on your playing and I guarantee that. At this stage of my experience, (or lack there of) in flamenco, I won't knowingly do anything that will f**k up my playing. I also won't do anything if it isn't fun, just because I don't have to. Life's to short and music is to great to make either be bad...

Come on people, we are talking about a "teacher" who has a iPhone but no DR. Compas, (and had never heard of it), who said she has never owned a metronome, but wants to take peoples money for lessons. I think that tells the story better than I ever could about her timing and commitment to flamenco... I'm sure plenty of you can come back and tell me 100 ways I am wrong though, and you may be right about all 100 of them...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 16:20:44
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to Florian

Flo, to illustrate the point i made this drawing for you. I found out that if you plot the "time you have to spend" against the "experience of the dancer", the function follows a cot (cotangent) shape! If the experience tends to zero, the time equals +infinity, and -infinity if the dancer is very experienced (but i have to check that section one more time :D). This shows pretty drastically that you should avoid the pain in the ass section by all means!!!



Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

Attachment (1)

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Фламенко
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 16:22:22
 
Florian

Posts: 9240
Joined: Jul. 14 2003
From: Adelaide/Australia

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to XXX

lol Deniz

man it is what it is...they do have their uses ...and of course its not always like that, i got to accompany amazing inspiring dancers who had a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the compas and dynamics and worked as hard as a guitarist or harder at it etc......

I initially got to learn to accompany thanks to a compared to today's standards of dancing and teaching not so perfect dancer, her compas and dynamics were not anything spectacular... but she allowed me to sit in in her classes and thought me what she could..and i did learn some things...so that was useful for me.


the dancers i work with regularly this days, we work together...help each other and discuss and fix any problems, no blaming, no pointing fingers just get the job done......i dont see myself above or see anyone bellow or the other way around...we just try to fix whatever problems we have in rehearsals


when u eliminate wasted energy, stress and time lost on arguing and trying to figure out who's right, who's wrong, who went out of compas...who's better, ..u get more time to just fix the problem areas.....


Once someone has been singled out...made to feel uncomfortable, insecure and is on the edge or stressed...nothing is getting fixed, nothing is getting inspiring.. defense mechanism goes up...wall goes up...forget about it...might as well pack up and go home to avoid serious arguments



u also have to be lucky enough to work in a group where everyone has a sense of humor, dosent take themselves soo seriously (like they could never possibly be wrong) and there are no superstars*...i dont do well with them, i dont do well with being talked down to or with them telling me what and how to play from the start to the end...like i am a cd player and i got no say or my own taste...that's robbing me of my ! joy of playing and expression...i will try to compromise and do what i can to make it good for them but if its all one way ...from the start to the end, i have problems with it...i didn't pick up the guitar to express only your ideas

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Rest In Peace Ron, I will never ever forget you my friend.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 16:29:55
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3077
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to XXX

So, for it to be "eazy peazy", the dancer has to have lots of experience and you shouldn't even play the guitar? Well, it makes some sense...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 16:30:02
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to Sr. Martins

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rui Martins

So, for it to be "eazy peazy", the dancer has to have lots of experience and you shouldn't even play the guitar? Well, it makes some sense...


yeah something like that watch Sara Baras DVDs. The guitarrists there hardly play anything... one picado every 5 minutes, thats it (but they are "on the point" actually)

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Фламенко
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 16:31:33
 
Kalo

 

Posts: 400
Joined: Jan. 25 2011
 

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to Shawn Brock

quote:

All points are well taken, and yes I am whining a bit and I'll admit that. The problem is that I had built this up in my mind and practiced hard just to find out that it all was going to crash and burn. We're talking a lot of hours here... Though in the end all that practice time helped me no matter the outcome of this class and I'm thankful to have that to show.


Hi Shawn,

This is just my "two cent" I think the "bad experience" that you encountered with the dancer happens more than you know...It's just part of the game!

It even happens in other styles of music. I played rock, blues for years!

I would always run into guys who thought they were so great and even built themselves up to be more than what they were..Only to find out, after hauling my big amp and equipment that none of them could play.

Talk about let down not to mention the fustration of having to haul my equipment.

It happens and ya just move on!

You state that you "The problem is that I had built this up in my mind and practiced hard just to find out that it all was going to crash and burn"

Your mind had created an illusions of what you thought was going to be a perfect situation. Again, this happens to us all, but, what we think is going to be perfect or a great jam sometimes never is.

If you love flamenco keep on playing and honing your compas chops. Maybe the next dancer you encounter things will work out better.

Or, as some have suggested get back with this dancer help her out and maybe you both can learn from the experience.

Maybe if you lower your expectation of what dancers or guitarists tell you over the phone and just go out to the jam, might be a better option!

This way you won't be dissapointed if things don't quite work out.

Keep up the jam

Kalo
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 17:01:47
 
Shawn Brock

 

Posts: 271
Joined: Sep. 19 2011
From: Louisville KY

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to Florian

Thanks Florian and others for such levelheaded advice and encouragement. I agree with your words 100 percent. The best thing to do would be to try again, if she's still interested. Because this was her first class she didn't know what the level would be of her two students and the experience of one of them was surprising to all of us. The other student had never had any lessons, but she probably won't be coming back. When we were leaving she was talking to the student who had some experience and she said, "I would like to get some lessons from you." The experienced "student" saw that she was on a higher level than the "teacher" so that will leave the "teacher" without any students for a while I guess.

I know that working with this "teacher" will make me better in some way, hell it already has, but I wish that she hadn't bragged about her experience and talent so much. I also wished that she would have not tried to take these peoples money so quickly. I went in there being humble and saying things like, "Your the boss here and don't be afraid to call the shots, because I just want to do what you want me to do. I appreciate you having me as a part of your program and I value being able to learn from a person who's studied at the level that you have. You don't know how excited I have been about this class starting!" Turns out that she didn't have the experience that was advertised. This was obvious by many things other than the problems with the palo.

As for some of the comments by others, I don't think they require a response. If you had taken the time to read my posts you would see that your just talking out of your ass. Nothing about flamenco is easy, and I'm not as great as you guys who can carry a dancer that don't know a palo. I can take the time to try to get it worked out with her, but if she's not open to that I won't force it.

I fear that this discussion (be it worthwhile or not) will just be turned into a bunch of BS by lurkers who don't have anything to offer but a bunch of dribble and useless comments provided by the endless amount of time they have on hand.

I do thank those of you who have contributed something. Flo is right, and I'll go with his sensible approach and call her up today. On that note the subject is pretty much closed for me. I had hoped that this thread would lead to people sharing their experiences with dancers, good, bad or funny, but that's not the direction it is taking for the most part.

I'll leave it alone before I make a comment like I did last year when I said that, "no one here is beyond greatness." That taught me that a lot of members aren't as humble as I try to be, and that both egos and reasons to insult/ argue are precious parts of this forum. I'm out now, think I'll go work on some new lessons on Jason's site and try to become as great as I can be...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 17:29:24
 
Florian

Posts: 9240
Joined: Jul. 14 2003
From: Adelaide/Australia

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to Shawn Brock

quote:

but I wish that she hadn't bragged about her experience and talent so much



haha that ain't bragging, its pretty mild compared to what it could be...wait a while ...you'l see some braging, i am sure u will encounter worst and more of it....i got an average guitarist in Australia who recons Duquende and Tommy Emmanuel and Paco De Lucias luthier said hes a "phenomenal player"..and has this printed on his website, says hes sponsored by this string company who when someone checked have never heard of him


World famous dancers who have danced the biggest theaters in Madrid and the World but are now choosing to dance in Adelaide/Australia

Flamenco singers who before became singers were bull fighters, goalkeepers for Real Madrid and composed one of the Gipsy Kings songs... are best friends with Paco de Lucia and Pepe cause they grew up together...and with all this activity he also found time to own a nightclub and loved 10000 women

bulls*hit in flamenco is an everyday occurrence my friend lol only thing u can do is lough at it and take it all with a pinch of salt


my fav ...u see this on posters sometimes "DIRECT FROM SPAIN!!" .......via Salvador, Sydney, Lebanon, Victor harbor, Melbourne, Singapore, Kazakhstan, Qeensland... it is direct from Spain!!! ...just took 11 years to get here,

dosent really matter what u say as long as the word SPAIN is written somewhere..

my next will be ..."come to this show, sitting through it will be aSPAINfull as possible "

_____________________________

Rest In Peace Ron, I will never ever forget you my friend.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 17:34:52
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3400
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to Shawn Brock

you never know what to expect when you meet up with someone for the first time....

this story sounds so familiar, i don't think it sounds like whining, it's a tricky situation to find yourself in.

"studied in spain" can mean anything - some people sign up for classes with known name teachers, way above their actual level, flail around at the back of the class, never really get it, and then proudly boast on their website they studied with so-and-so.

you have a choice, you can either just give up on this class, or you can try to subtly try to give her lessons in time-keeping and compas. Probably won't do you any harm to try to teach what you know.

You could also try one of those stamp boards there was a thread about, or to get some one else along to give palmas.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 17:37:28
 
jshelton5040

Posts: 1500
Joined: Jan. 17 2005
 

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to estebanana

quote:

ORIGINAL: estebanana

Blaming a dancer for bad compas is counter productive. A good accompanist raises the level of the compas and learns to cover for a dancer who blows something. It's a process of covering for each other not an adversarial contest of who knows what. The guitars job is to field what ever gets thrown at them and make it look seamless between cante, baile and toque.


Sorry Stephen but I can't agree with you on this statement. Good compas is the minimum one should expect from someone who claims to be a bailaora let alone a teacher. When I first started working with dancers I played that game of dropping a beat now and then because the dancer couldn't keep compas. Then one day I decided to hell with it I don't have to do this. If it's not in compas it's not flamenco so I'd rather just play solo. Fortunately Susan never had any trouble with compas or palmas.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 18:17:43
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13512
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to Shawn Brock

Sorry you had a bad experience shawn. This is sort of typical though. Understanding the level of the dancer before hand is important...it shouldn't be a surprise when people talk of who they studied with, but it doesn't reveal level. A proper bio of who they WORKED with is more revealing...but if you yourself are amature or novice than I guess this doesn't help.

Just so you know how your posts read, you show a humility and humblness, but in fact SAYING that so often in itself is boastful. It's important being able to keep time well of course, but later you learn you have to interact more than function as a machine. That means you also have to learn what the dancer is giving to YOU interms of tempo info. You are right it takes time to develop but remember although you feel confident when working in different genres, flamenco is a totally DIFFFERNT genre. You have to respect that too. I wasn't there and want to simply believe you that the dancer dragged and couldn't feel where you were at...but at the same time I dont know WHAT you played exactly...could simply be your way to strum gave a misleading counter beat info that made her not lock in to you as it was not the SOUND she is used to. It's not like a cut and paste job when everyone is metronomic....most dancers go off of an internal clock and the guitarist follows, not vice versa. So many times I have seen good players with good time loose their place with even high level dancers and get defensive. Its often as simply as ONE accented note or step or movement or strum that is the problem causer. Without more info of your specific situation, it sounds like blind leading the blind, and you BOTH have to let go of your preconceptions and figure it out together as florian said.

Ricardo

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 18:34:03
 
Florian

Posts: 9240
Joined: Jul. 14 2003
From: Adelaide/Australia

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

Flo is right, and I'll go with his sensible approach



that's right you scumbags

1 - 0 to Flo

jk.

Shawn as Ricardo says, you are humble, i think you are very humble and have your feet placed firmly on the ground, are not arrogant or unreasonable, i understand u were dissapointed especially practicing so much for it and expecting so much from it (that's human)......sometimes words used can accidentally give a different impression or paint a different picture to the one u had intended....that's all everyone had to go on, your words

now i know the way u intended its more innocent than that... but your posts can be read either way.....depending on who's reading it and how much they know about you...

If people didn't know me any better they would think i was some sex obsessed maniac that watches midget and grannies porn all day.....cause i might have mentioned that i do ..AS A JOKE! but....

look back at your post it can also be read that you think that it was a huge waste of your time and shes bellow you and shes gonna bring you down and not worth your effort or your time etc....now i am sure you can understand how that would read to someone who dosent know u or what you are like..or simply chooses to go on just your words alone rather than giving you the benefit of the doubt...

so dont judge the negative posts too harshly just like they might look back at what you said and rethink what they said...its a simple misunderstanding of intention... dont let it keep you away or from posting... as you post more and people get to learn more about you... your sense of humor the way u communicate etc...

u dont have to of course but the forum is a pretty cool place full of cool people and a lot of good information...noone got up this morning wanting to offend you a simple misunderstanding....You arrogant bastard jk! lol sorry it seemed like the best place for a joke

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Rest In Peace Ron, I will never ever forget you my friend.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 19:30:52
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to Shawn Brock

sorry that this thread did not turn out as you hoped. but its really a common sensation and nothing to be upset about. my 2c is whether you work with her or not, wont change much. if she is motivated to practice with you, and you can get along nicely, i would do it. if shes just looking for someone to play in her classes while teaching stuff she is not really capable of doing so well... i wouldnt contribute to that.

quote:

most dancers go off of an internal clock and the guitarist follows, not vice versa.


i know what you mean and i would gladly accept them having their internal clock. but when she cant even do palmas to a palo then this means they have no internal clock.

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Фламенко
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 20:53:23
 
estebanana

Posts: 8550
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

.but at the same time I dont know WHAT you played exactly...could simply be your way to strum gave a misleading counter beat info that made her not lock in to you as it was not the SOUND she is used to.


That is what I was thinking. The old 7-8-9-10 preamble lead in on guitar with both people counting gets you both to the 12 at the same time. A bit pedestrian, but when you are learning each other probably being conservative and slow gets both on the same page faster. The kind of nuts and bolts technique you learn when you first sit in with an expert accompanist in beginner classes for a couple months.

And if the dancer has obviously trumped them selves up, just meet them at their level and go slow. Just practice as fast as the slowest person can go. The other one will have to be patient. If you are the guitarist and you are better lucky you, if not the dancer may just decide to smoke and really truly dis you.

Dancers can dis you with breaks on 4's 5's 6's 7s 8s 9s ---anywhere they want these days, you might never see them coming, and you totally missed and they will laugh at your ass because you missed the whole thing. Break ? You did a break two compases ago? ?

A part of learning and doing flamenco is keeping it together when you lose your balls in a roomful of women. And you will lose your balls a few times every year no matter how good you are.

Boo ****gin hoo

And if you are patient with a slower student often times a good professional dance teacher will notice and give you a little accomp lesson off to the side to reward you while the class practices some step. I learned as much about the guitar from dancers as guitarists. Jason's wife Yaelisa taught me tons of stuff about guitar playing, by showing me with her feet and being patient about me following her. I also like to show my dancer friends how to play guitar at parties. They remember that too and help you later.


One with the dancer be.
Yoda

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 21:00:56
 
Mark2

Posts: 1733
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to Shawn Brock

You say you can accompany any tempo, but unless you've accompanied people who can go at speeds the pros go, how do you know?
If you had to rehearse to prepare for a dance class, then you are in danger of being seriously humbled by a good dancer, and even though the dancer you got together with may not be that, they are out there. Everyone who has played for dancers for any amount of time has had bad expereinces, and good ones, and great ones.

Dr. Compas???? I love dr compas, and I have nothing but respect for Jason's abilities, but it would be foolish to judge someone based on if they have an i phone app. There are incredible dancers in Spain who have never heard of dr compas, and probably many others who don't care about i phone apps.

I was also one of those people who played guitar professionaly , many years full time, before learning flamenco. I managed to study with a good guitarist and learned many of his solos and did many gigs before really learning how to play for dance. It's a different thing, and your knowledge of other styles of playing will be of limited use should you decide to pursue it. Even if you can play solos in every palo in compas doesn't mean you can accompany them decently. A dancer has the leeway to change the tempo..........

Remember you are there to support them, and if you can't do that, you can't really help them much, and conversely, if a dancer can't dance in compas, then nothing you play will make it so. But, if you know the steps, of which you will learn to recognize many after a time, you'll know when someone is dragging and be able to adjust. That's not an option if they aren't in the ballpark. I don't know if you should pursue working with this particular dancer, as it could be frustrating working with someone who thinks they know but doesn't. But it's worthwhile to pursue playing for dance in my opinion, because your flamenco playing will grow for sure.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shawn Brock



Okay, Perhaps I have been to humble? I can keep time, pull off any tempo that can be danced, change chords in the appropriate places, play some good fast-in-time rasgueados, and get paid to play, yes, even get paid here and there to play flamenco. So that's several levels above sucking I guess... I'll remember to choose my words a little more carefully in the future when describing my playing on here from now on.

All points are well taken, and yes I am whining a bit and I'll admit that. The problem is that I had built this up in my mind and practiced hard just to find out that it all was going to crash and burn. We're talking a lot of hours here... Though in the end all that practice time helped me no matter the outcome of this class and I'm thankful to have that to show.

I would have loved getting together privately with her and working stuff out, but she should have thought about that during the last 6 months when she was emailing and calling me and telling me how great she was... I thought it to be odd that she didn't want to get together before hand, but what do I know. I asked her what she wanted to dance and told her I would be ready. I informed her that I didn't have a wealth of experience with dancers, but that I would learn what ever she wanted me to, and I would keep time and not hold her back. At first I questioned my playing and kept wondering where I was going wrong. Then when she could dance with a loud count and stomp, I realized that I wasn't the one who wasn't prepared... The 2nd student coming in and burning the footwork up with my accompaniment confirmed that I wasn't the problem.

I would be more than glad to work with her and I'm sure it would make both of us better. Its a little hard to work with someone though if they don't see that they aren't as good as they think they are. We all know that this stuff aint easy, but she seems to think that its easier than it is.

I commend her for wanting to start something up no matter her experience, but don't try to take peoples money if you aren't better than they are. As I have said, one of the two students showed her up badly. I got an email from her this morning and we'll be getting together, so all was not lost...

@ Stephen, I get what your saying about the guitar being the air traffic controller, but I'm no where near an experienced enough accompanist to be able to keep a dancer in compas if she/ he don't have the palo and rhythm in in his or her mind and feet. That would take several years for sure to get to that level, and many nights doing it over and over. That won't ever be an option in this town...

I guess my problem is that I have played music for 21 years now mostly on a professional level, and got used to working with people who can keep time. We all have worked with lots of people who will sway the tempo... Anyone will move tempo somewhat unless your always playing every note with a metronome, but if she don't know the palo I can't hold her up. I'm just not that good of a flamenco guitarist... Maybe some of you have magic hands and the powers of experience that will automatically make a dancer be in compas no matter how she moves the tempo or no matter how many beats she leaves out. If that's the case then I congratulate you, because I don't have that skill and probably never will... Furthermore, until you have many years of experience accompanying people, always accompanying one person who can't keep time will have a negative affect on your playing and I guarantee that. At this stage of my experience, (or lack there of) in flamenco, I won't knowingly do anything that will f**k up my playing. I also won't do anything if it isn't fun, just because I don't have to. Life's to short and music is to great to make either be bad...

Come on people, we are talking about a "teacher" who has a iPhone but no DR. Compas, (and had never heard of it), who said she has never owned a metronome, but wants to take peoples money for lessons. I think that tells the story better than I ever could about her timing and commitment to flamenco... I'm sure plenty of you can come back and tell me 100 ways I am wrong though, and you may be right about all 100 of them...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 22:42:18
 
HolyEvil

Posts: 1240
Joined: Nov. 6 2008
From: Sydney, Australia

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo
but at the same time I dont know WHAT you played exactly...could simply be your way to strum gave a misleading counter beat info that made her not lock in to you as it was not the SOUND she is used to. It's not like a cut and paste job when everyone is metronomic....most dancers go off of an internal clock and the guitarist follows, not vice versa. So many times I have seen good players with good time loose their place with even high level dancers and get defensive. Its often as simply as ONE accented note or step or movement or strum that is the problem causer. Without more info of your specific situation, it sounds like blind leading the blind, and you BOTH have to let go of your preconceptions and figure it out together as florian said.


I found this to be true. Here in Sydney, this awesome dancer allowed me to sit in her class to learn how to accompany, when I was playing an escobilla, there was a place where I played ONE note descending instead of ascending (which was what she was use to hearing) and she told me that descending note is telling her that she needs to do something else. Strange to me at first but she told me it's cuz she is used to hearing it in a way and is dancing to that way.
Maybe work things out with the dancer? and improve together?

I'm really lucky that I have a great and friendly dancer (who's pretty hot too) who is so much more experienced in flamenco giving me guidance. And the dance class is helping me to keep a more steady tempo compared to where I was before. Hope it'll happen for you too.

cheers
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2012 23:11:04
 
Shawn Brock

 

Posts: 271
Joined: Sep. 19 2011
From: Louisville KY

RE: Bad experiences with dancers? (in reply to Shawn Brock

Okay, so I missed a post or two. Thanks again Flo, I just saw your post about following a dancer, but not wanting someone to tell you what to play from start to finish, (I'm paraphrasing here). That's kind of what happened over there. She would call a chord a beat and so on. Its hard to take direction from someone if they don't know the difference in a beat or a chord... As I have said, I told her she was the boss and I wanted to play what was best for her, but at least be able to tell me something...

After getting some emails from her students today, its obvious that things took a turn for the worse for her reputation. The student with dance experience said that she couldn't dance to the tracks she brought either. I missed all of that because I had already packed up and headed for home. She just wasn't ready to teach a class I think. In the end her nerves got the best of her I think. Its such a shame because if she would have chosen to get together beforehand, we could have probably worked out any problems. I had asked her if she wanted to do that, but she said not to worry about it... She wanted me to show up at the studio 30 minutes in advance. Well that's what I did, but she didn't show up until 5 minutes before the class started... Actions like that bother me, and yes, I do feel that her doing things like that was taking advantage and not being considerate of other peoples time to some extent...

@ Mark, I'm not putting her down just because she don't have DR. Compas, but don't you feel like someone who is supposed to be a "pro dancer" should have owned a metronome of some kind at some point in life? That just seems pretty basic to me, but again, what do I know about dancers... Cante and solo is more my bag anyhow, but I want to learn, grow and understand all I can about dancing... Hell I was even going to take some private lessons from her to help me understand more. The world wouldn't ever want to see me dance... Trust me. LOL

Thanks Ricardo, I know that you are one of the folks on here who has lots of experience with dancers. At some point when things settle down for me I need to get some lessons from you with this stuff and all other aspects of flamenco. You can take me at my word on this one though, her timing wasn't just glitchy, it would swing by 10/ 15 beats on Palmas. If I stomped though she could keep time, but her accents would fall wrong at times. Even when she was counting out loud. A person with your experience probably could have pulled it off with ease, but I know that I couldn't, and I got tired of rehearsing in public. That just didn't seem like the way to go about things. I don't put all the blame on her, because all my life most music I played had strict timing. When its just a dancer and guitarist, strict timing isn't always the case. Its part of my past that I'll have to overcome if I want to play for dance I guess. I'm used to the idea of everyone gets the tempo and sticks with it, and if one guy gets off time he has to jump back into place. It seems that with dance, it don't matter if a dancer gets off time, we are supposed to follow them... In most other forms of music the person who knocks time is the one responsible for jumping back in, and that's a hard thing for me to get over. Of course I don't have this problem or opinion of worrying about strict timing when playing some Palos solo, and I understand the movements of timing for some cante... Still I feel like she didn't quite live up to the responsibility she set for herself. But what are ya gonna do? Just keep on playing and riding it out...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 28 2012 4:52:42
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