General Dance Discussion > Finding "one" question

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by ticolora, May 8, 2017.

  1. ticolora

    ticolora Member

    This song has been driving me crazy.

    At 1:49 a new phrase begins, but by 1:52 it feels like it's off by one. It is as if there is a 5-beat bar somewhere in between.

    Just for the reference, here are the lyrcis of the verse in question:

    Que la alegría y la picardía
    No se confundan en tu cantar
    Con todo aquello que nada aporte
    A nuestra música popular.

    Up to this [musical] phrase pulse and "one" are very obvious. But in this phrase, everything seems to be off. Trombones, piano, congas - I think they all are on two if there is no count shift.

    What feels right to me is (starting on phrase at 1:49) count 1 2 3 4 1 1 2 3 4 (extra "1"), but that's probably not right.

    So that in first line:
    Que la alegría y la picardía

    ría of alegría and día of picardía are on 1. Then it feels right. If I just keep counting 1-4 (or 1-8), then the whole verse seems off.

    What's happening there? @vit?
  2. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    The song is "Timba".and what you perceive to be "off ", in Timba, is a gear change . Great song and Vid !
    j_alexandra likes this.
  3. Partner Dancer

    Partner Dancer Well-Known Member

    If you count rigorously through that section, you'd note that
    there is no "beat change." The count flows through the 12345678
    continuously without any pause.

    Salsa is a challenge for many dancers because the music often
    has lots of instruments that come in and out, with some sections
    having harmonics that are different from the base beat, confusing
    the dancer. The key is to learn how to count religiously, such that
    even if the base beat disappears for a while, one can still lock on
    to the phrase virtually. One often sees dancers (sometimes
    instructors) who drift in and out of the 1 phrasing, usually because
    they have not acquired this skill.

    There are many songs (of all sorts of dance genres) that _do_ have
    pauses which can throw dancers off who are not familiar with those
    songs or their style. With enough exposure, one often can develop
    an instinct for when pauses may happen (even if never having heard
    that specific song before), from the general rhythm ongoing; oftentimes
    a pause will happen just after a quick speed-up or volume/energy
    increase (contrast). The key to all this for a dancer is knowing how to
    _always_ dance in dynamic balance such that when the music changes
    (either beat or texture), one can accommodate with movement
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
    Larinda McRaven likes this.
  4. ticolora

    ticolora Member

    I agree with everything you are saying "Music has structure, it ain't random." etc. I just don't understand what throws me off in this case.

    When I count rigorously 1-8. Firstly, the next phrase starts right on 1 (which is why I don't think there are any extra beats that I stipulate).
    However, If I continue 1-8 count, then this whole phrase feels like playing on 2 (I can't find sheet notes for this piece, that might clarify things).

    Here is what I did:
    1) play video starting at 1:49, find "1".
    2) play video starting at 1:40, find "1" and continue the same 8-count through the verse in question.

    "1" in 1) and "1" in 2) don't match. I do understand that frequently "1" is ambiguous and you have to wait for the following phrase change to find the correct 1.

    But in this case, as I hear it, "1" is pretty obvious (there are multiple places where there is very obvious accent by piano, horn section, lyrics).

    @Partner Dancer please try that. Start the video at 1:49 and find "1" and see if you come out on "1" at 2:12.5
  5. vit

    vit Active Member

    These things are common in a number of salsa or timba songs. As others said, there are no extra beats at that position, just that vocal, instead around 1 or 1&, starts the sentence around 2&, and trumpets also play a little different. Musicians primarily want to make an interesting song and not necessarily easy to dance on, so not everything is evenly aligned or "by the book". You can find a lot of that in jazz and other non-pop musical genres

    Concentrate on following the base rhythm first (with both steps and body movement). Vocals, pianos, trumpets etc usually have much more rhythmical "freedom". You can, however, also follow them with your body movement or even steps like some dancers doing rumba in the video when dancing solo, but it's hard to do it within partnerwork. So what we usually do is - do the partnerwork in parts where rhythm is relatively "even" and split for shines in more complex parts
    ticolora likes this.
  6. Partner Dancer

    Partner Dancer Well-Known Member

    Obviously, you are being thrown off, because the results should
    match, regardless of where you start.

    This is where you mistake what makes the "base beat." It's
    the percussion instrument you should be tracking with your ears.
    You need to "filter out" the miscellaneous instruments, for the
    purpose of learning to count. Prior to 1:50, a metallic percussion
    instrument (not sure of name, since I'm no musician) forms the
    base, but a wooden percussion instrument (maracas and/or
    one of those wood block struck by stick thing) takes over
    after that.

    Advanced (or indigenous) dancers can/will often use the miscellaneous
    instruments (horns, etc.) to play, but their minds have been trained/
    programmed to easily recover the base beat at will (and consequently
    get back to dancing on phrase).

    When you've learned to count decently, you may realize that
    part of your "brain" gets devoted to "holding" the base rhythm
    while other parts get to enjoy the varying instrumentation/
    vocals forming the entire composition. You may also come to
    be able to hold the base rhythm consciously and subconsciously,
    being able to bring the rhythm to consciousness at will (if one
    loses track of where one is, possibly because of patterns being
    too fancy, some hiccup by the partner, being bumped by the
    neighbor, etc.).

    @Partner Dancer please try that. Start the video at 1:49 and find "1" and see if you come out on "1" at 2:12.5[/QUOTE]

    No problem for me at all. The base beat for this song is actually
    quite simple and consistent, even though different instruments
    may take over holding it, and the base beat volume may go
    louder or quieter.
    RiseNFall likes this.
  7. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    The beat doesn´t change, but the phrase does.
  8. Partner Dancer

    Partner Dancer Well-Known Member

    At 5:00 in the video, you could see the drummer striking
    the "cow bells?" to create the metallic percussion.
  9. ticolora

    ticolora Member

    @Partner Dance, If you hear it - you are probably right. I still can't hear it.

    The maracas (I think that's what those are) S S S SS rhythm, and again double shake falls on "1" which doesn't feel right.

    Furthermore, the congas tumbao beat (you can hear it better around 1:12, but you might need a better quality track). I hear distinct RO on 1/5 there, which is also unusual.

    I feel like every instrument is fighting me on count there. I can stay on beat, but I have to choose to sorta dance on 2. Timba is known for (and defined by) this gear switching. Is this the place where I switch to salsa on2 and switch back on1 right after?
  10. ticolora

    ticolora Member

    I would be relieved if this is the case where a musician just decided to spice things up and shift the whole phrase off the measure. If that's the case - that's fine, I just wanted to make sure I'm not missing something (like a chromosome ;)
    I also felt that it is not a hard switch to 2, but rather a really delayed 1 (as you said, play it more like on 1& than on 1 or 2).

    Thank you @vit. I feel a little better.
  11. Partner Dancer

    Partner Dancer Well-Known Member

    123&4567&8 or 1234&5678& are possible base rhythms. You
    need to count (in your head and mouth) the _full_ base beats...

    All decent dancers would have had to go through this phase,
    especially for Salsa, except perhaps the kids who grew up with
    it, whose brains are still elastic enough to absorb the music
    by osmosis.

    There are probably very few "Salsa" songs that would
    be "naturally" good for Salsa1 to/from Salsa2 switching. The base
    beat usually carries throughout the entire song. I'm sure some
    music are naturally more accommodating for Salsa1 and others
    for Salsa2 (but most probably good for either). Dancing (by
    breaking) on 1 or 2 is just a choice of how to interpret the
    music/song with movement.

    Again, the key to counting is to count religiously. When one
    is listening to music on the radio, on Youtube, at some restaurant,
    etc., just _count_. Eventually, the brain will adapt. One possible
    tool you can use is a metronome set to the right tempo. There
    might be some smart phone app that can dynamically act as
    a metronome, that would identify the base beat (visually) of
    what is playing (although I suspect many software may have
    problems with Salsa).
    raindance likes this.
  12. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    No problem for me at all. The base beat for this song is actually
    quite simple and consistent, even though different instruments
    may take over holding it, and the base beat volume may go
    louder or quieter.[/QUOTE]

    I have a request for you; could you please restructure your "paragraphing" ?, so as one word is not carried forward.
  13. Partner Dancer

    Partner Dancer Well-Known Member

    I can't edit posts (not moderator), but there was a missing "quote"
    near the end of the post of interest, and it should have been...

    No problem for me at all. The base beat for this song is actually
    quite simple and consistent, even though different instruments
    may take over holding it, and the base beat volume may go
    louder or quieter.
  14. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    You apparently do not understand my request.. i.e. ;
    You should NOT "paragraph " the last word of your sentences, on a separate line.

    For above.

    " No problem for me at all . The base beats for this song is actually quite simple and consistent, even though different instruments may take over holding it, and the base beat volume may go louder or quieter " .

    The "eye " for reading "English ", has been trained to follow sentence construction, from a very early age ,and the "flow " makes reading same, much easier.
  15. Partner Dancer

    Partner Dancer Well-Known Member

    Sorry, but I must be dense. Could you show what you mean by
    re-typing/re-formatting the sentences in the way you consider
    correct? The first part, "no problem for me at all" is not a full
    sentence but just a sentence fragment. And of course I should
    have typed "are" instead of "is" and "them" instead of "it" since
    the subject is "beats."
  16. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    I re- posted your sentence, in the manner that is the normally accepted way of creating a sentence , ( And, it's NOT my way ) .You just posted the same error above.. The 3rd line should follow "by"..
  17. Partner Dancer

    Partner Dancer Well-Known Member

    Now I understand your comment. It's not an issue of grammar, but just one of formatting related to how Web browsers and text editors work. Some tools/utilities do line wrapping nicely while others do not, which affects either or both of the authoring and reading ends, sometimes even working with the same utlility.

    At times I use a smart phone to write, and some data entry utilities don't do line wrapping nicely, so I end up manually inserting line breaks. This sometimes happens in some phones, where the screen is smaller than the reading/writing pane (so one needs to pan). The line break manifests in some browsers as split lines, but others as split paragraphs. The authoring experience from (different) browsers on PCs/computers is a different animal as well.

    Also, at times I edit text by cutting/pasting into some external editor that doesn't line wrap nicely, so again manually inserting line breaks is needed.

    The format directives with this forum utility are also quite limiting (no "break" directive, for example), which sometimes necessitate manual tricks.

    Anyway, I'll try not doing the manual line breaks and see how it goes.


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