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Subject: Re: jig rhythms & dancers
From: Joseph R Root <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Irish Traditional Music List <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 31 Oct 2002 16:24:11 -0600

text/plain (30 lines)

I had a little bit of experience playing treble jigs for dancers at a
music camp (My Darling Asleep played so slowly that the dance instructor
and I re-christened it My Catatonic Baby).  It was a not exactly a
pleasant experience but an important part of my growth as a musician,
what some folks in the states would refer to as "going to the woodshed".

There's nothing more difficult than playing slowly and yet keeping a
consistent tempo.  After a lot of frustration, I discovered a little
trick for helping my tempo; if I heard the clip-clops of the dancers
enough times I could run a mental recording of those dance steps
(especially the triplets) in my head, kind of like having you own
internal dance metronome going on when you're playing for them.


On Wed, 30 Oct 2002 19:04:03 +0100 fiddler <[log in to unmask]> writes:
> There is "playing slowly" and there is "playing *too* slowly". There
> cases where your points hold true, but it's also quite possible for
> dancers to demand a tempo at which the tune loses all its inherent
> and it becomes impossible for musicians to keep the pace without a
> metronome, or drum machine (yikes!), or some such. (I've personally
> suffered this before, and would rather not repeat the experience.)
> -Juergen

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