Anyone else not able to tap their foot while playing?

Anyone else not able to tap their foot while playing?

I find it really difficult to tap my foot while playing my fiddle. I’ll either keep playing and my foot will stop tapping or I’ll try my hardest to tap my foot but my bowing goes all weird because I can’t focus on both things! I’m hope I’m not the only one! Ha!

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Re: Anyone else not able to tap their foot while playing?

I have seen the question asked a few times recently. I am puzzled by it. You know, it’s not a requirement, in fact I think you’re better off playing without it.

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Re: Anyone else not able to tap their foot while playing?

I know it’s not a requirement, but don’t you think the music sounds a tad bit better while tapping to the beat? I was at a fleadh last week and all the groups seemed much more..hm, louder/energetic/lively when tapping their feet! I feel like I’m missing out :L

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Re: Anyone else not able to tap their foot while playing?

Find a drummer to play with then.

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Re: Anyone else not able to tap their foot while playing?

Like everything else, practice. Start slow. Speed up.

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Re: Anyone else not able to tap their foot while playing?

I’d like to be able to do it better.

Dick Hensold told me one reason why you might want to do it: your foot keeps a steady beat while the tune doesn’t - you can introduce momentary speedups and slowdowns while keeping the overall pace the same, placing the downbeat in the tune ahead of or behind the foot. He said he got that fom David Greenberg, and it was a Cape Breton idea. You don’t see it much in Scotland except from pipers. (Fred Morrison does enough of it for ten people).

Re: Anyone else not able to tap their foot while playing?

This is a common problem for organists.

Re: Anyone else not able to tap their foot while playing?

Tap when listening to other people playing. Hum or play the tune in your own head and tap along. Then pick up the fiddle and play and tap the foot. The more you think about it, the ‘harder’ it gets, so don’t think about it too much.

Re: Anyone else not able to tap their foot while playing?

Yes, tapping your foot is not a requirement. And if, for what ever reason, you find it hard, simply don’t do it then.

However, it’s good fun. And this fun will show in your playing. Just don’t think about it and one day, while you’re having fun playing, you’ll discover yourself doing it.

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Why want to tap your foot while playing ? I beleive it doesn’t had anything to the music… rather the contrary, unless it’s done in a really controlled way : like the quebecois who raise it to an art, or the french fiddlers from Corrèze… but most of the time I think it can kill the music, and even be dangerous sometimes : Phil Cunningham composed called Mairtin O’Connor’s flying clog, a remmeber of what can happen when you tap your foot with clogs…

Re: Anyone else not able to tap their foot while playing?

I can do both, yes!

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Re: Anyone else not able to tap their foot while playing?

it’s add, not had, and souvenir, not remmeber… that’s what happens when you tap your fingers on the keyboard trying to keep in rythm with the tune you’re listening to.
http://www.thesession.org/tunes/218

Re: Anyone else not able to tap their foot while playing?

"not a requirement" (prof and llig) may be correct but it is so common that I find it hard to dismiss the possiblity that music and the movement are not related in our heads. Why, for example, is it "good fun" ? Surely not just because lots of people do it (fashion, peer pressure etc).

I think getting better at it is helping me the way Jack C mentions. Maybe those who can do without it internalise the ryhthms some other way . Clever things go on in our heads, mirrors neurones and stuff.

Re: Anyone else not able to tap their foot while playing?

My fiddle teacher said that tapping help keeps rhythm.

Re: Anyone else not able to tap their foot while playing?

.Surely not just because lots of people do it (fashion, peer pressure etc).’

Surely people asking desperately they can play but can’t tap their feet ask it exactly for that reason?

I know several very fine and very steady fiddleplayers who do not tap their feet.

At times I notice, especially with groups playing, I find the loud tapping excessive and distracting.

I do it myself and to be honest I’d rather not, I’d settle for quietly though. But whatever way I don’t think one should learn it because it sounds ‘cool’ .

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Don’t know if anybodies ever noticed the punters at the bar, deep in conversation and feet tapping away. It’s a natural thing.

It doesn’t need to be foot thrashing Baravan stylie, but a bit of tapping helps, I find.

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When I’m playing the feet I want to hear are those of dancers. The clogging of Quebecois fiddlers counts, the stomping off rhythm of some session musicians doesn’t.

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There’s a funny story "Ti-Jean and the Devil" about learning the Quebecois approach. It is on an early Jean Carrignon record.

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"Don’t know if anybodies ever noticed the punters at the bar, deep in conversation and feet tapping away."

I notice. That’s when I know I’m doing it right. When they stop tapping I’ve radox footspaed it.

Re: Anyone else not able to tap their foot while playing?

I don’t tap my foot and never did.

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I cannot not tap my foot now, earlier it wasnt the case. And it has become such a habit that I tap my foot while listening to every kind of music. Perhaps I try to sync with the rhythm unconsciously :P

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I can’t tap my foot when I’m playing, but I can manage to do it when I’m listening to someone else playing.

Re: Anyone else not able to tap their foot while playing?

Probably a missing brain connection somewhere.

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I used to listen to established musicians playing and tapping and wonder if I could achieve that, as it was clear that when your music had such good rhythm you would suddenly, unconsciously find yourself doing it (just as the punters at the bar do). It did happen-after about 10 years!- but if I play a new tune or one I find difficult, it does stop. I still cannot speed up/slow down my tap in order to have that effect on the tune I’m playing though- maybe another 10 years…- and incidentally tap my (left)heel only, rather than the toe.

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My son’s classical guitar teacher would not allow him to tap his feet under any circumstances. Orchestral musicians do not tap their feet, and you can’t tell me that the clown who stands in front of ‘em waving a stick whilst they’re following the score is doing it all for them in terms of rhythm and tempo. You don’t see them tapping because they have developed the ability to tap their feet inside their heads. One bloke I knew appeared to tap his feet in a manner completely unrelated to the music he was playing (well). :-D I’d say there were no rules. Not tapping is a good thing to be able to, er, do, though.

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I don’t think tapping is important, unless it’s so loud it’s an irritant to others. Having the rhythm in your head IS important.
I do know I tap, and I don’t always know I’m doing it.
Trying to learn, to teach yourself to tap, is perverse.

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Also, a younger musician told me that her teacher told her, "People come to here you play, not STOMP YOUR FEET!" So tapping is ok, but stomping is annoying.

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I’m going to go out on a limb and claim that not being able to tap your foot while playing is the symptom of a larger rhythm problem.

It may just be a muscular problem (I’m perfectly capable of dancing in rhythm and can imitate the dance step while playing, but can’t regularly tap my foot), but I also think it’s linked to the fact that I’m playing with too much restraint, too much focalisation on something, which is preventing the natural rhythm from coming out.

I would agree with everyone who says that tapping your foot is overrated and not desirable except in certain musical traditions. On the other hand, the *ability* to tap your foot is an important sign of something (I’m not sure what). I know I have rhythm problems and I know I have foot tapping problems - I suspect that once I fix my rhythm problem, my foot tapping problem will go away on its own.

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Re: Anyone else not able to tap their foot while playing?

"On the other hand, the *ability* to tap your foot is an important sign of something…" To my experience, that you have enough brain compacity to move your feet, fingers, arms, elbows, wrist, whatever else used, in several different ways and rhythms, and all in time too. I couldn’t tap my feet at first cause it took too much mental power away cause i needed to focus so much on my playing alone.

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I had been playing for a few years before I realized people were tapping, and I just never felt the urge. I have tried a few times and if felt like trying to learn a trick and I didn’t want to overload my poor little brain.

I have a friend who can’t seem to play without tapping a foot, but the tapping bears no discernible relationiship to the music. I can’t look at him when we play.

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I like tapping my foot(when i can.) It loosens me up and allows me to begin to move the wrest of my body. I hope one day to be so comfortable with the fiddle, that i can move and dance like Liz Carrol and not loose my place in the music :) I would move more, but i don’t have the capacity yet.

Re: Anyone else not able to tap their foot while playing?

Well, I’m able to tap when listening to others, it’s just the minute I start playing it’s as if my body half becomes paralyzed! I also don’t mean noisy stomping around the place, just being able to tap my heel or ‘show some enjoyment’ by at least moving a leg, but I jjust remain still. I see that most are split on this whole foot tapping that it’s not even important, so maybe I’ll get it when I’m more experienced at playing and not so focused on my fiddle!

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Re: Anyone else not able to tap their foot while playing?

I once saw an orchestral conductor start stamping (not tapping) his foot very loudly and obviously as he was desperately trying to rein in a solo pianist in a Chopin concerto who was rapidly parting company with the orchestra. Miraculously, everyone managed to come together for the last few bars but God alone knows what was happening between the start and the finish.

Re: Anyone else not able to tap their foot while playing?

I can’t not tap my foot.

Re: Anyone else not able to tap their foot while playing?

I can do it easily with flute, but it’s a lot harder on fiddle. Too hard
to bother with - not fun.. I love how it sounds w/ Martin Hayes though.

Re: Anyone else not able to tap their foot while playing?

I don’t think it’s something you need to aspire too, just something that happens when you are not working so hard at the instrument and can enjoy yourself. I don’t tap yet but I knees-bend and dance a bit if standing, and I think of this as the first sign. Either that or I’m going slightly mad.

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If I try to stop tapping my foot, I have to hook it around the leg of the chair. But then my knees start to wiggle in and out, like a little kid needing to go to the bathroom.
I saw a Scot accordionist once in a kilt that did the same thing, and as his knees went out, his kilt came open, and you could see his (pardon my bluntness) private bits swaying in time to the music like a metronome. Someone finally took pity on him, and called out, "Hey Fergus, do you know your willie’s hanging out?" He replied, "No, but if you hum a few bars, I’ll give it a go!"

Re: Anyone else not able to tap their foot while playing?

when I first took up the GHB, I had had already been playing Irish tunes on the whistle for a good while, and tapping my feet. in Highland pipe band competitions only the Pipe-Major is allowed to tap a foot. I had to learn how Not to tap my feet. i found it to be an excellent lesson in how to internalise the rythm

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The old ones are the best, Al.

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;-)

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All that foot tapping is DREADFUL.

That is the only reason the bodhran made a comeback after 800 years.

To put a stop to it.

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To think that the late Jimmy Shand once failed an audition for the BBC because he tapped his foot to his playing. Nowadays it’s not tapping, it’s pounding, and usually done with two feet ‘to boot’. I can pound with the best of them, lightly tap the foot or keep it still and tap with my brain. It comes from many years trying to practice and having consideration for the people living in the flat underneath..Nowadays when I listen to a group of youngtsters (and it’s mostly youngsters) playing, I sometimes can’t hear the music for the pounding.

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I actually don’t know whether I do it or not.
But I do have a tendency to tap while driving and listening to something rhythmic…

Re: Anyone else not able to tap their foot while playing?

Well I’ll comment for what it’s worth: After I have learned the tune, any tune, I will practice it before a private get-together repeating many times (at least ten) and then continue until I reach the point where I feel the urge to tap my foot. At this point when I start tapping my foot, I am either in rhythm with the tune or I am not. My conclusion from my own experience is that I don’t "have" the tune until I can swing along tapping my foot. Oh I don’t need to make an audible sound tapping. I can stay inside my shoe.On stage for a performance, I have to concentrate so I don’t tap my foot and disturb others.

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I play with a number of people who don’t tap their feet,it doesn’t take away from it.But if you tap out of time and it’s audible,then it makes it worse,and if you have bad timing it doesn’t matter,you’ll probably tap out of time anyway,it’s more important to have your mental time clock sorted,and if your feet move,no worries.I also know a few great players who tap completely out of time to what they’re playing but the music is fine,inbuilt habits from being told to do it as a child