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Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3520
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

Anything wrong with foot-tapping? 

So I was playing a gig yesterday with my percussionist, and he pointed out that my foot-tapping was audible several times. I have been working a lot with a metronome lately, so maybe that's why it was stronger than usual. When I asked him about it, he said that the rhythm should be internalized, and a musician shouldn't depend on tapping their feet or using their body to keep the time.

My reaction is that this is silly, since lots of great players tap their feet. I can understand that orchestra guys can't do it, or maybe session musicians, but the idea that a guitarist playing rhythmic music like flamenco, bossa, rumba, etc. shouldn't is foreign to me. And personally, I've felt that concentrating on keeping that foot steady helps check me from changing the rhythm to accommodate technical issues, which once in a while still happens for me!

What do you guys think?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 21 2018 23:16:39
 
kitarist

Posts: 535
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Anything wrong with foot-tapping? (in reply to Miguel de Maria

quote:

ORIGINAL: Miguel de Maria
[the percussionist] said that the rhythm should be internalized, and a musician shouldn't depend on tapping their feet or using their body to keep the time.


Interesting. Did you ask him why he doesn't follow his own advice?

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 21 2018 23:23:22
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2665
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Anything wrong with foot-tapping? (in reply to Miguel de Maria

That guy was totally right. I mean, you definitely don't want to play like this n00b:



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 21 2018 23:43:08
 
RobF

Posts: 233
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Anything wrong with foot-tapping? (in reply to Miguel de Maria

Sorry Miguel, but the bad news is it appears you may be in violation of municipal ordinance G-6503, Chapter 23, Article 1, Division 2, Section 23-12, which can be interpreted to indicate that there shall be “NO foot-tapping in Phoenix”.

The good news is you can request an exemption under Section 23-15 of the same chapter. In which case, if said exemption is granted, you may place a microphone at your foot for subsequent performances.

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 21 2018 23:57:38
 
JasonM

Posts: 895
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Anything wrong with foot-tapping? (in reply to Miguel de Maria

Tell your percussionist if he stayed in time it wouldn’t bother him so much
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 22 2018 0:49:39
 
RobF

Posts: 233
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Anything wrong with foot-tapping? (in reply to Miguel de Maria

When I was a kid one of my older cousins brought me to a double-bill concert at a local theatre which headlined Iron Butterfly and had a band called Gentle Giant as the opening act.

I don’t remember much about this concert except one thing that I still can visualize to this day. The lead guitarist for Gentle Giant tapped his foot with perfect metronome accuracy. Gentle Giant was one of the early progressive rock bands and their music was complex. When there were mood or tempo changes in the music he would visually stomp his foot in time, in essence conducting the band and keeping them on track. I remember feeling really impressed.

Iron Butterfly was OK, I just remember the drum solo which went on, well, for.......ever.

InnaGaddaDaVida, Baby...lol.

(In hindsight, I think it might have been the bass player that was tapping his feet. It was a long time ago....)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 22 2018 1:34:15

Piwin

Posts: 2174
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: Anything wrong with foot-tapping? (in reply to Miguel de Maria

I think your percussionist has had very little exposure to flamenco or none at all.
Tap away.

I think you should start humming along and see how he reacts. To learn from one of the best moaners and groaners:



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 22 2018 8:58:27
 
El Burdo

 

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Post has been moved to the Recycle Bin at Oct. 22 2018 10:29:17
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 22 2018 10:29:09
 
El Burdo

 

Posts: 442
Joined: Sep. 8 2011
 

RE: Anything wrong with foot-tapping? (in reply to Miguel de Maria

This happens in jazz. Occasionally a tutor has suggested that students internalise the beat and stop outward manifestations of beat following. I find it leads to a different and possibly more focussed way of listening. Major beboppers just stand there listening to the others solo with nary a foot flutter. But, I am probably more visceral a listener than a Bill Evans fan (though of course I'm one of those too). It depends on whether you see physical moves as a diversion from proper attentiveness or as an honest engagement with the rhythmic aspect of the piece. Of course don't allow it to distract the audience. Maybe Earth Wind and Fire would be better with the dancers standing around appreciating the song and occasionally nodding. I guess you don't tap your feet in rubato or ballads.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 22 2018 10:48:38
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11057
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Anything wrong with foot-tapping? (in reply to Miguel de Maria

Now I am older foot tap gets tiring to maintain. Of course for learning new phrases it’s essential. Once you are playing well a lot of material one shouldn’t have to rely on it but do it deliberately as part of the overall sound and expression. I feel it transmits well to audience or other musicians on stage especially if music is syncopated. I reserve it now a days for special sections of music

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 22 2018 11:23:28
 
Paul Magnussen

Posts: 1540
Joined: Nov. 8 2010
From: London (living in the Bay Area)

RE: Anything wrong with foot-tapping? (in reply to RobF

quote:

Iron Butterfly was OK, I just remember the drum solo which went on, well, for.......ever.


Ginger Baker has a lot to answer for
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 22 2018 19:47:58
 
Brendan

Posts: 163
Joined: Oct. 30 2010
 

RE: Anything wrong with foot-tapping? (in reply to Miguel de Maria

Are other percussionists available?

To speak seriously, you should be in control of all the sounds you make, but why should these not include foot taps?

One of the best pieces of advice I ever had was to tap my foot on 1 and 3 in tangos instead of on every beat (because that was making my playing frenetic). This was better advice that not tapping at all. It forced me to feel the compás.

If you’re playing a lot of syncopated stuff, it can be helpful if some part of your body is playing the on-beats, even if silently. That’s why dancers sometimes play the on-beats with their teeth, when they dance contratiempo.

So it’s a really complicated and subtle matter, beyond the understanding of a drummer.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 22 2018 23:42:13
 
El Burdo

 

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Joined: Sep. 8 2011
 

RE: Anything wrong with foot-tapping? (in reply to Miguel de Maria

That's interesting Brendan. In swing based jazz, the emphasis is always on 2 and 4 as it helps propulsion, groove etc. 1 and 3 tend to introduce stops and a jerkiness. This is a great video that shows Harry Connick Jnr. playing one bar of 5:4 to switch the clapping from the unknowing audience from their usual 1 and 3 to 2 and 4. The drummer actually celebrates by cheering at about 45s.

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 23 2018 10:18:36

Piwin

Posts: 2174
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: Anything wrong with foot-tapping? (in reply to El Burdo

Genius!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 23 2018 10:46:05
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 2589
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
From: UK

RE: Anything wrong with foot-tapping? (in reply to Miguel de Maria

quote:

he said that the rhythm should be internalized, and a musician shouldn't depend on tapping their feet or using their body to keep the time.


tell him it's flamenco, and foot tapping is compulsory, show him this vid Henry posted last week!



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 23 2018 12:37:46
 
Mark2

Posts: 1466
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: Anything wrong with foot-tapping? (in reply to Miguel de Maria

Fire him and tap louder! Then the percussionist can internalize why he is out of a gig. Ricardo nailed it-it shouldn't be necessary but sometimes it's desirable, for both the audience and also the overall sound.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 23 2018 16:03:15
 
JasonM

Posts: 895
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Anything wrong with foot-tapping? (in reply to El Burdo

I remember someone posted that video years ago in a thread about Tangos
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 23 2018 17:05:43
 
Brendan

Posts: 163
Joined: Oct. 30 2010
 

RE: Anything wrong with foot-tapping? (in reply to El Burdo

Yes that is one of the differences between flamenco and swing-based jazz. Tangos flamencos can swing a little, as a passing effect, I think. This had some discussion somewhere on the foro. IIRC the outcome of learned discussion among experts was that, while flamenco can bear plenty of syncopated playfulness and triplet-y shifts, you never want full-on swing as jazz understands it.

Tapping on 1 and 3 in tangos makes sense because tangos closes on 3 (or perhaps more accurately, 7), and you want your foot to land on the close-beat. But to make it work, you have to play the foot-uplift on 2 and 4 as consciously as the taps on 1 and 3. So in a way, your foot is still playing four to the bar.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 23 2018 18:43:21

Piwin

Posts: 2174
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: Anything wrong with foot-tapping? (in reply to Mark2

quote:

Then the percussionist can internalize why he is out of a gig




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"When I'm dead, I'm going to forget everything – and I advise you to do the same."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 24 2018 12:41:54
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