Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

I played fiddle in few sessions in canada. Often, I will do the typical french canadian foot clapping in sessions when tunes are appropriate or not too hard. I have never been told to stop. I do not always do it and when I do it, I make sure I am on time with the leader. I like foot clapping, you can do pretty amazing things with practice but it is not always appropriate especially when it is a tune that demands concentration. So often I will do it when I do not know the tune and can’t play along. Do you think I am disturbing others?

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

My husband has recently started "les pieds" when he feels like it at sessions He uses walking shoes made in Ireland for it as well since they have hard soles. As far as we can tell, musicians have reacted positively to it. Others in the session(s) have told him it adds to the flavor, and they sometimes get their feet going as well. I suppose it depends on who’s there and what they’re used to hearing, or how adaptable they wish to be.

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

Stomping your foot when you are not playing the tune on your instrument? What if everybody in the pub did that?

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

If they all were in time with each other, it would be pretty fun.

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

That’s a good point crazy_fingerz, but I never saw anybody else doing it in session! And we are not talking about trying to go through the floor. Foot clapping is delicate and you need finesse especially if you want to do some variation while playing another instrument.

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

Hmmm…maybe. Seems like one of those practices that is OK sometimes, but only if not that many people decide to actually do it. Like playing spoons. Actually, zero is about the right number of people to be playing spoons. But I digress.

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

(Carabus, I was replying to vonnieestes)

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

Carabus is correct in that the feet are not stomping per se, just giving a little syncopated beat to the tunes. You, crazy fingerz, probably don’t enjoy much Quebecois music if you object to the practice.

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

Correct, I can’t say that I listen to it.

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

Watch Martin Hayes in full flight for a masterclass on podorhythm.

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

apparently its the only way to keep time/beat for polskas, not that I

Posted by .

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

There’s nothing wrong with a subtle bit of spoons/bones/feet/bodhran playing.

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

Yeah, podorythm is a percussion instrument and like any instrument you can play it innapropriately (too loud, off beat, too fancy) but I think it is as good as other percussion instrument if played well, plus you can do it while playing something else. Very appropriate when playing for danser.

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

The standard contents of my flute case are:
1) the flute
2) cleaning rod and rag
3) small container of cork grease
4) usually damp piece of rolled kitchen paper to maintain humidity
5) piece of blu-tack wrapped in clingfilm
What is 5 for? So that I can, at short notice, stick a couple of coins onto the soles of my feet for extra podorhythm (spelling deliberate).
I only use it maybe once in a year, but I won at least one busking competition with it.

Posted by .

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

Holy sh*t, what happened to Joze? Somebody killed him in mid-post!


Ah, well. We must move on. Is it true that “La Bottine Souriante” — the Smiling Boot — refers to a happily tapping foot ?

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

Patrick Ourceau does something like this and it’s quite wonderful. I think if he was doing it while learning from all those great Clare fiddlers some of them would have said if they found it offensive.
I does seem like it would be pretty hard to do it well though.

Posted by .

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

Andy Cutting in French-Canadian is a master of the technique. Yeah.

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

I guess it takes some practice. My husband doesn’t do it while he’s playing. I usually only give in to the urge when I’m waiting out at a dance.

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

Patrick Ourceau does that wonderful alternating-foot tapping that sounds like a beating heart.

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

Yep, just doubles the basics.

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

There’s a guy who sessions with us who stamps his foot so hard he drowns out the bodhran players.

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

I like that heartbeat like rythm, and you can throw some quadruplets at the end of the musical sentence.

I don’t really know if La Bottine Souriante refers to a happily tapping foot but Michel Bordeleau one of the founding member is amazing. I saw him doing a solo, crazy. But I don’t know if he plays in sessions.

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

I do podorythm and it also annoys me when people want to go through the floor. The trick given by BTooter about coin on the tip of shoes is a good one (first time I hear of this, some special shoes have metal tips). Then you do not have to get the whole table shaking and beer spilling to make some distinctive noise. Zazziliss, maybe someone in your session should politely ask this guy not to destroy the floor. But this almost goes back to the issues raised in the simultaneous discussion about standard of session…

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

I’ve seen Michel Bordeleau play in sessions. Last time was at the Calixa-Lavallee festival we attended in September. Nicolas Pellerin really puts on a show when he uses his feet! Where do they get the energy?
But as far as loud and obnoxious foot stomping goes, we do not attend one local session partly for that reason. The session leader was too aggressive in stamping out the beat he wanted everyone to follow. And then he would end up at an unholy speed just for effect - no fun and not very musical. Most better musicians we knew ran out the door of that particular series…just too affected, to say the least.

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

So is there a website one can visit to learn the basics of becoming an effective podorhythmist? Seriously. I enjoy tapping at times, especially when playing solo whistle. But I’d have no idea where to start with multifoot multirhythms, such as the Clare heartbeat or more complex Quebecois style.

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

more like very tired, I have been at a folk festival since the 27th.

Posted by .

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

I have no good sugestion of website on this now!

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

My best advice would be workshops!

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

I once started to follow the foot tapping of a very good banjo player and the whole thing fell to bits every time, when I chipped him about it he said to take no notice of his feet as he was counting something banjotech with them. Scary, Trust the bodhran player and no-one else! Except in Quebec.

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

I remember many years ago talking with Vin Garbutt, a singer and whistle player from the North East of England, who taps his feet a fair bit whilst playing.

He described it as "The Foot Tapping Army on the March!"

Personally, when I’m playing my foot is on the move; sometimes when there is a real buzz in the music I’ll use both feet and sometimes syncopate.

It’s up to the individual really isn’t it? As long as you have the rhythm, the time, you’re right there!

Brian x

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

I got threatened to be spooned in a session once - quite frightning since the guy was a fatty

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

I know one fiddler who bangs his feet that much that you can’t keep a music stand or a wine glass on stage - they eventually fall off the edge of the stage.

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

Quebequois foot tapping (I was shown by someone who does it a pattern for reels, which is kind of a boom-digga, boom-digga kind of rhythm, heel on one foot, and toe/heel on the other) fits in very well with lots of ITM. Of course, one could argue that it drags the music "across the pond" and makes it sound more Canadian than Irish.
I think it sounds great, and it would be welcomed at our local session, but then again, each session is different, so it always pays to ask first before introducing something new into the mix—just for the sake of politeness.
It is a lot more delicate than the heavy-footed stomp you hear in a lot of Cape Breton music, which I think is more to keep the dancers in time with the music than it is to add any beauty to the tunes.

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

We had a guy who came to a couple of sessions, who brought a board and his tap shoes and did something really similar to the fiddler in No Cause For Alarm’s "better video" … it sounded good to my ears.

I wouldn’t want to be in a session where *everyone* is doing that, but with just one guy it was pretty cool.

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

Here are two ways to do the basic "tap, tappa" rhythm:

FIRST WAY

Right foot does the tap, tap. You can do heel-toe if you want. It helps to rock the foot slightly forward and back, so that, say, the toe plays the first tap with the foot slightly forward and the heel does the second tap with the foot slightly back.

The "pa" in the tap, tappa is done by the left foot.

You can also reverse feet.

Because the left foot somes in at an odd place, it can help to learn it with the left foot on the strong beat, then shift. It would work like this:

Assume 4 beats.

Beat 1: left foot

Beat 2: Right foot forward

Beat 3: Right foot back

Beat 4: silent

SECOND WAY

You can also have the left foot do the first "tap" and have the right foot do "tappa" with a heel-toe motion.

There are numverous variations and elaborations.

By the way, the "smiling" part of the smiling boot (bottine souriante) refers to a boot that is worn out so that the sole has separated from the boot at the front and is hanging down, giving the impression of an open, smiling mouth.

Winslow

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

Thanks, that’s great, Winslow, the kind of description I was asking about. I’ll give it a try! But I wonder if it applies if you have two left feet like me. 🙂

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

If you’re left footed, like my husband, do it the opposite. Not that he has two left feet, he’s a great dancer. But see which foot does the real work on your beat before you try the routine. It’s the same as being right or left handed.

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

In the way of Cape Breton, if you can do it one side, do it on the other, then you’ll really know what you’re doing…

Connecting the dots, here’s more discussion on the topic taken up a year later ~

How to do Quebecois foot tapping?Podorythmie?
# Posted on January 19th 2008 by madabouttrad
https://thesession.org/discussions/16438

Re: Foot clapping (podorythm) in sessions!

Is Podorythmie used with jigs? How do you do it for a jib.

Great explanation Winslow - first of many that could actually understand.

Posted by .