Educating about swing rhythms and schemes?

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#31 Post by CafeSavoy » Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:27 pm

That's it. Thanks Jesse.

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Re: Educating about swing rhythms and schemes?

#32 Post by djstarr » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:21 pm

CafeSavoy wrote:
mr. e wrote: Do you have any:
- recommendations for international teachers that are experts on that, whom we could ask to do a class when they are around
In addition to those recommended, you might also ask Solomon Douglas who is a musician, DJ, and dancer. I don't know how much he is in Europe, but you could try him. I've been to one of the Steven's musicality class with the Solomon Douglas Band and he made great contributions to the class.
I went to a musicality class at Swing Out Northwest in 2004 that Steven Mitchell did with one of the live bands at the camp. It was very good but geared to dancers who didn't know ANYTHING about music theory, which was probably 90% of the audience. What I remember most was hearing him talk about the difference between 12-bar blues and 32-bar form, going into some of the 32-bar form styles, explaining what the bridge is etc.

I also remember having to work at keeping my mouth shut just because the level was meant to be very basic and I would have gone into too much detail with any comments.

The class was very good because it focused on helping dancers connect with the music so they can dance more musically, rather than being just about music theory; I think any musicality class has to keep the theory toned down.

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#33 Post by Toon Town Dave » Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:56 am

+1 on the thanks for digging up that Yehoodi thread.

Jonathan, would you mind if I linked to those or included them on my web site at some point, with credit of course (unless you prefer otherwise)?

I have plans for a "music" section for at some point which would be resources to help my students find swing music to practice to and give potential students an idea of the kind of music we dance to. I have no idea when I'll get around to it but it's been on my to do list for a while.

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#34 Post by Campus Five » Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:38 am

TTD - sure, no problem. I can't remember, but I think there's some stuff on my blog somewhere about the same kind of stuff.

Funny, I got started doing musicality classes by doing one with Steven Mitchell. It was great. Talking about dancing to what is actually going on in the music - macro-musicality, if you will. Reflecting the dynamics, and reflecting the song form. We'd get to the bridge (we were playing honeysuckle rose), and he'd yell - "do something different." Plus we'd do hot trumpet solos on the A sections, and then quickly go to a really quiet basie-piano solo, and watch to see who was still dancing big during the quiet section to see who was actually paying attention to the dynamics.

I still cover that kind of stuff in my classes. It's amazing to see how fast people start to pickup on that aspect of actually listening to the music when you point it out to them.
"I don''t dig that two beat jive the New Orleans cats play.
My boys and I have four heavy beats to the bar and no cheating!
--Count Basie

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#35 Post by kitkat » Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:28 pm

Campus Five wrote:Unlike the normal "musicality" class, where people are taught steps and tricks to hit different breaks...
Ironically, Jonathan, only one of my musicality classes has included such material. So I'm like, "Dude--can't I have another one of those?" ;-)

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#36 Post by kitkat » Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:30 pm

Mr. E - here's one thing to know.
If you book a musicality class involving musicians--it's unlikely you'll have a thorough idea what the course material will end up being.

Unless you've already been involved in lots of these classes.

"Musicians who play for dancers - Dance teacher - Shake hands - Teach!" usually produces valuable classes, but don't count on any syllabus description you could write actually matching what will get taught at your event for a few years. :-) That takes time for feedback from the attendees to filter back to the dance teachers, the musicians, and you.

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#37 Post by mr. e » Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:18 am

+1 for the yehoodi thread.
Jonathan, when you come to Germany at some point, Munich in particular, I guess there might be some interest in a musicality class with musicians. Every now and then we slip in some basic musicality classes (e.g. covering 32-bar AABA form, Blues scheme, and some steps to hit certain breaks), but so far I don't think we've had some with live music. And I didn't see any classes yet going down into rhythm and feel like your 2-/4-/8-beat examples.
I'll also ask Stephen Soghoian (from SwingKats, VA based) do something like that for us when he is here next time.