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 Post subject: BALBOA DJ for dummies
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:29 am 
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hey guys,

i've been DJ'ing lindy for a while now but just recently asked to fill in for a balboa social night. my first reaction was 'like what?'i'd assume i'd use the same wave bpm strategy like i normally do, but my question/s today is, do you have any tips? etc. i have quite a few 'pulsing' songs that i use for lindy which should be okay, but,

are they typically surefire bal songs that everyone(except me)should know, if the floor clears?
is it a sin to actually play lindy songs to break up the pace etc?
what bpm would be the lowest & the fastest?(my crowd will be a beginner/intermediate level)

i've been told that the social follows on from class, but most people leave immediately, hence the need for an awesome bal song to stop them

any ideas would be appreciated

cheers, gunther


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:53 am 
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Location: Perth, Australia
Hi Gunther

a) I like Teddy Powell's Jamaica Jam as a sure-fire Bal song. Also check out Stan Kenton's 40s stuff as a lot of his music has the right feel.
b) Depends what you call a "lindy" song. Play good swingin music and it's good for both ;)
c) I think 160bpm - 240bpm is a nice range, but either side of that is a good idea occasionally.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:40 am 
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trev wrote:
I like Teddy Powell's Jamaica Jam as a sure-fire Bal song.

Just listened to that one - wow, what a track :D, I'm sure you're right about that one. It's full of energy, and has a steady pulse which is good for balboa. It's on the fast side, at about 218 bpm.

Here are a few ideas; not sure-fire, but I think they would normally work (I think beginners often prefer a tempo below 180 bpm) -

Buckin' The Dice by Fats Waller (152 bpm)
Yacht Club Swing (Live) Fats Waller (164 bpm)
Four Or Five Times by Jimmie Noone (168 bpm)
Blue Minor by Chick Webb (the slower version at 172 bpm)
Undecided by Red Norvo (176 bpm)

Fiddle-Dee-Dee by Lionel Hampton (178 bpm)
Blue Minor by Mora's Modern Rhythmists (180 bpm)
8, 9 And 10 by Slim and Slam (180 bpm)
Honeysuckle Rose by Coleman Hawkins/Django Reinhardt (182 bpm)
Minor Swing by Django Reinhardt (188 bpm)

Let us know how it goes Gunther :)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:07 am 
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Location: Altadena, CA
are they typically surefire bal songs that everyone(except me)should know, if the floor clears?

Jamaica Jam

is it a sin to actually play lindy songs to break up the pace etc?

How would it break the pace?

what bpm would be the lowest & the fastest?(my crowd will be a beginner/intermediate level)

80 - 380

See also:
http://www.swingdjs.com/phpbb2/viewtopi ... ght=balboa

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:27 pm 
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Location: London
This list might be useful as well ...

http://people.cornell.edu/pages/kpl5/balboa-music.html


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:28 pm 
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Location: Canberra, Australia
I teach, dance and DJ balboa so here are some random thoughts:

Most original swing era swing music you can bal to.
You can dance bal to a wide range of tempos.
A sweet BPM range is probably around 180-220 bpm
Contrary to popular belief bal dancers don't like superfast tracks the whole time
Intermediate bal dancers will start to struggle around 220 bpm (but should also be challenged beyond that)
What I like is something with a sold 4 4 rhtyhm with the guitar backing that pulsing rhythm.

I play of a lot of Campus Five in bal class because it is a nice clean sound that people can hear the solid rhythm.
You can also go back to the original Benny Goodman sextet tracks with Charlie Christian on guitar that are great to bal to.

example slow track - Viper's Moan
medium track - All the Cat's Join In
faster track - Rigamarole

Topic has been discussed at bit on balboanation. See:

http://www.balboanation.com/republic/index.php?showtopic=1061

http://balboanation.com/republic/index.php?showtopic=783&hl=balboa+specific+tunes


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:51 pm 
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thank-you guys for the great tips.
trev that Jamaica Jam' was the bomb'
hayden those songs were a great collection
russell awesome & clear advice.

it went really well, i was actually quite surprised at myself(for a start,thought i'd run out of good pulsing tracks) & at the crowd. the crowd were actually quite experienced & were always dancing. so no complaints(thank goodness)

i had noticed though from my observation, that the crowd really liked a faster tempo from 180-210.my fastest was 229 with cleo brown's 'here comes cookie'. so i did under estimate the level of the crowd. my slowest was 168(thanks haydn, i started my set with it)with jimmie noone's 'four or five times'. the crowd loved fats waller though(i'm a big fan) & i found a gem.i hardly play any benny goodman but found this version rocked
Stompin' At the Savoy' on the album 'sugar foot stomp'.
the crowd also liked more clean modern sounds. i played a mixture of loose marbles, duke heigter, moras & the boilermakers.

cheers, & thank you once again for your help

gunther


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 6:02 pm 
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Location: London
Thanks for the report Gunther - it sounds as though it was a good evening 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 6:03 pm 
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Now I _really_ wish I could have been there and danced! That sounds like lovely stuff for _lindy_ as well as bal!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:04 am 
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cheers sam'

i love seeing couples start doing 1920's charleston breakaways in the middle of a Bal crowd. the Bal crowd looked on with puzzlement, 'what the ....are you guys doing?'

cool.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:43 am 
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A song that really gets me onto the floor for bal is
Minor Swing by Django Reinhardt

What makes me Bal on that tune is that it keeps a steady flow while having variations in the melody. I'd also say that it has some rhythm variations in the melody lead, but that makes them somewhat 'optional'.
On songs that do heavy breaks in the main rhythm, bal becomes harder (at least if people care about music). I guess I'd not bal to 'Watch the birdie', for example, not without throwing in lots of lindy material.
Of course you can do breaks in Bal (save me the flames), and obviously you can mix in Swing, Lindy, Charlestons, ... - but if it's a beginner/intermediate crowd, try to pick songs that have this "continuous flow" to them. Just my $.02


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:05 pm 
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Thanks so much for this thread! Our scene in Denver is getting more bal-centric each week. We are even starting a balboa dance! This will help our DJs immensely. Thanks again!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 10:28 pm 
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Location: Perth, Australia
This is the playlist of the first Bal set I'd DJed for a long time, at the recent Sydney Lindy Exchange. Thought I'd post it just for reference…

Name / Artist / Year / BPM / Album

O Sole Mio / Teddy Powell & His Orchestra / 1939 / 210 / Ridin' The Subways
Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho / Sidney Bechet / 1949 / 179 / Tin Roof Blues
Putting On The Ritz / The Cangelosi Cards / 2009 / 198 / Clinton Street Recordings
Rug Cutter's Swing / Glenn Miller & His Orchestra / 1940 / 165 / Glenn Miller: The Spirit Is Willing
Something Is Gonna Give Me Away / Coleman Hawkins acc. By The Ramblers / 2006 / 182 / The Essential Sides Remastered 1936-1939
Madhouse / Benny Goodman / ? / 218 / Benny Goodman
Jivin' With Jarvis / Lionel Hampton & His Orchestra / 1940 / 185 / The Complete Lionel Hampton Victor Sessions 1937-1941
Swingin' In The Promised Land / Edgar Hayes & Orchestra / 1938 / 221 / 1937-38
Rockin In Rhythm / Duke Ellington & His Orchestra / 1931 / 188 / An Anthology Of Big Band Swing (1930-1955) (Disc 1)
Honeysuckle Rose / Benny Goodman and His Orchestra / 1940 / 210 / Genius Of Electric Guitar (Disc 4)
You Took Advantage Of Me / Freddy Johnson / 1934 / 171 / Complete Jazz Series 1933 - 1939
The Vamp (Hokus Pocus) / Boots & His Buddies 1936 / 194 / Complete Jazz Series 1935 - 1937
Streamline Strut / Clyde McCoy & His Orchestra / 1936 / 261 / The Uncollected: Clyde McCoyAnd His Orchestra
Smiles / Coleman Hawkins acc. By The Ramblers / 1937 / 190 / The Essential Sides Remastered 1936-1939
Old Grand Dad / Fats Waller & His Rhythm / 1940 / 166 / If You Got To Ask, You Ain't Got It!
My Buddy / Lionel Hampton & His Orchestra / 1939 / 192 / The Complete Lionel Hampton Victor Sessions 1937-1941
Jamaica Jam / Teddy Powell & His Orchestra / 1939 / 219 / An Anthology Of Big Band Swing (1930-1955) (Disc 2)
Swingtime in the Rockies / Benny Goodman & His Orchestra / 1936 / 227 / Centennial Collection: Benny Goodman
Whoa Babe / Glen Gray & The Casa Loma Orchestra / 1937 / 194 / Boneyard Shuffle
Sugar Lump / Joe Liggins / 1945 / 198 / 1944-1946
Shoe Shine Boy / Jones-Smith, Inc. / 1936 / 262 / Classic Columbia, Okeh And Vocalion Lester Young

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:40 am 
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Location: Minneapolis, MN
My first time trying to DJ a balboa dance ("I get to play my favorite music and no one will complain about the tempo? Sure I'll do it--thanks!") I did have one big dud from the repertoire of lindy hits.

There were still some happy people out on the floor, but not many.

I can't remember quite which one it was, though, but I think it might've been "For Dancers Only."


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 Post subject: newcomer
PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:13 am 
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Location: grantham uk
old thread but very interesting, im pushing a new bal scene in rural lincs uk, and have started to play a fair bit for the few bal dancers we have(me and my missus included) current tunes that work over here; dallas blues woody herman, minor swing django(our fave,) aint that just like a woman, louis jordan, club swing fatswaller, all the cats join in, big beaver bob wills,
flash harry james........


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