Swing Discussion Boards > 6 counts to 8-beat music (2 bars)?

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by MICKEY-JAZZ, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Here's another look...

    Since I improvise quite a bit now, which is another way of saying that I'm just going with what feels right and other than that have no idea where I'm going to end up, and there IS someone else out there...
    Your lead should take into account what the woman is doing. So, let's say you just did a bunch of whatever and you have no idea where you are in "the count". If you're doing West Coast, give the woman a chance to improvise something for however many counts. You can leave it up to her. Try to feel which foot her weight is on, and how much resistance she is giving to the suggestion that she step forward on her right foot. Sometimes you will hear something in the music that tells you / her it's time to move again.
    If you are dancing with someone who isn't used to improvising, she might look at you like, "Why aren't you leading". Explain it to her.

    6 count Sugar Push to 8 count. 1 possibility
    After the standard Sugar Push...
    Move the hand you are leading with to the left then to the right. Do not pull forward.
    At the end of the Sugar Push she should have her weight on her left foot, ready to step forward onto her right foot.
    When you move your hand to the left, she should shift her weight onto her right foot.
    When you move your hand to the right, she should shift her weight onto her left foot.
    Once she has her weight on her left foot, she is ready to step forward onto her right.
    Those simple weight changes could be embellished in any number of ways. It’s up to her.
    You’ve just used up 2 "counts".

    If you have a really good connection and the woman is an advanced dancer, you could lead her to turn her right shoulder back and complete a 360 turn on the next step, instead of just a weight shift. You will have to stay close, and keep a good connection to make this work, and she might freak out the first few times you try it. You may even be accused of making her feel stupid. Hopefully you can find someone else who wants to play.

    Dancing is supposed to be fun. Don’t get too hung up on counts.
  2. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    Thanks for the replies. Don't worry, I'm having a great time. One of the fun things I realized is that I don't know very much about music. Not that I look robotic like our buddy, Data, on Star Trek. Still, if you compared me against really great dancers and said you can only use these five moves, they would look way better.
  3. d nice

    d nice New Member

    You can actually learn all the improv stuff by simply listening and hearing the music. I generally suggest not trying to break things down too much. If you really pay attention to the music you will be able to anticipate that stuff in a much more organic way. You won't have to think about it, you'll just "feel it".

    I couldn't even begin to describe all the ways you can extend a six into an eight even in a sugar push, there are just so many, and the music you are douing it to should influence you greatly.

    My advice? Play with it... but remember your role. If you are a follower, no matter your dance, you need to be able to abondon your improvisation and resume the move your leader wants you to execute next. If you are a leader you can't just improvise and not give your follower something to do. You must both provide feedback and connectivity so your partner knows what is going on.
  4. dnquark

    dnquark New Member

    On the subject of an 8-ct sugar push:

    one simple way to do it is to extend the compression and shift the push from 4 onto 6. That is, instead of rock step, step-and-PUSH, triple step you do a rock step, triple step, step, PUSH, triple step.

    However, this requires good solid compression connection on 3&4 so that the follow doesn't rush the step.

    On the general subject of 6-count steps not fitting the music -- whenever I teach beginners, I make a point of introducing charleston early on. It is a simple step, fits in nicely in the context of ECS, and being an 8-count step fits the music better.

    The merits of starting beginners with 6-count steps are debatable. Unless a local scene has a strong ECS presence, people that stick with swing will graduate to lindy and dance only 8-count patterns for a while (until they mature enough to reintroduce 6-, 4-, etc- count steps into their lindy). The one thing 6-count patterns have going for them is they are more suitable for uptempo music (which is a good idea to play for beginners to keep the energy going).
  5. timbp

    timbp New Member

    Every time I browse the various dance forums I look for threads that might help with my lead. And so often I see coments like this.

    I think I lead reasonably well; women tell me I lead well.
    But I cannot work out how to extend the compresson in a push break. Women always (well, right now I can think of 2 who actually follow) recognise the move, and do their walk-walk-triple-anchor regardless of what variation I try to lead.
    I try to tell myself I need to improve my lead, but I keep returning to the heretical thought that maybe most women I dance with are not good followers.

    Then I read threads like this, in which the advice given depends (as far as I can tell) on the woman following, so presumably the person giving the advice is used to women following, not just doing the steps they are taught.

    for example, "solid compression connection on 3&4 so that the follow doesn't rush the step" -- am I wrong in thinking this assumes certain skills in the follower? Surely a follower can rush the step regardless of the lead, or am I simply betraying my inability to lead?
  6. chandra

    chandra New Member

    I can't imagine the sugar push extension in my head that dnquark explained, but, for sure there will be followers that rush through moves, finishing them without waiting for a lead.
    There is a huge amount of variation a leader can lead in a sugar push, variation I *hopefully* mostly follow, unless Im concentrating on some variation I want to do - in which case sometimes I miss leads *Smacks Head*. But a guy can lead me in closer, or push me out farther, sooner, not as far, etc. If you play with the motion within the regular timing, can you get the girls you dance with to do what you want? Can you get a girl to not step out as far on 4, or step alot farther out? Can you create more or less of a compression? Can you take her out in a circle on 4, 5 & 6? Those things might tell you if it was a lead problem or a follow problem!
  7. dnquark

    dnquark New Member

    ^^ Extending the sugar push requires skill on the part of both the lead and the follow. It's much harder to do than the usual 6-count sugar push, where you essentially pull her in, then push her away. Even if you do the 6-count version with really poor technique, it will more or less work, especially since it is a pretty standard step that the follow will know. Extending the sugar push requires a compression connection that is not too rigid. The follow should want to settle into the compression as opposed to defaulting to the 6-count move. What makes the whole thing difficult is that you don't have time for error, since the compression lasts only an extra two counts; it has to be correct from the beginning.
  8. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm New Member

    I went swing dancing for the first time yesterday... I too thought that the 6 count swing basic was weird while the 8 count lindy was much more natural. But while actually dancing, mixing 8 and 6 count moves felt somewhat natural.

    It could also have been the case of dancing with beginners who don't have the discipline to get that extra rock-step correctly in place to keep the 8 count rhythm well enough.. thus making the occasional 6 count moves feel natural (or rather, giving a sense of relief that one feels upon graceful recovery from a mistake). But still, I think I can see how 6 count moves have a legit place in swing..
  9. Dancelf

    Dancelf Member

    It happens. My answer, when it happens to me, is that it is still my fault, from two points of view: my lead was inadequate (I expect to be able to lead followers in patterns that break their expectations), and I attempted the lead with the wrong follower (five yards and loss of down for outdancing partner).

    The good leaders, in this situation, actually manage to create the lead that produces the result they wanted -- even with followers that don't know how to follow.

    Two pieces, that may be relevent:

    Primo: In 99% of all cases, maybe higher, you can distinguish a six count move from an eight count move from a still photograph of the followers feet on count four. Corrolary - if your lead doesn't put her foot into the correct position for the count of the pattern you are intending, you are going to be fighting with her instincts.

    Most six count patterns have the follower stepping away from the leader on count four (sugar push, side pass, tuck), most eight count patterns have the follower stepping toward the leader on count four (whip, basket whip, etc).

    One of the great practice exercises for this is to mix up six count cutoffs and their eight count cousin, which looks like a same side whip except that the follower is turning left, rather than right, to get into it (think under arm turn here).

    Segundo: Can you lead so that your partners can distinguish when you want them to triple step, and when you want them to walk? Followers will normally step a left side pass as "walk walk, triple step, anchor triple", but you should be able to lead the alternative "walk walk, walk walk, anchor double".
    It may be easier to learn this in closed dance position, then start applying it to open position.

    Those are, I think, the two main weapons you need to start leading six count patterns in eight counts (and eight count patterns in six counts, for that matter).
  10. uncle joe

    uncle joe New Member

    There is a complete explamnation on how the 'Six Count Lindy/EC W/Lindy works. It's in the Archives under Black Sheep.
    I'll give you a synopsis of the technique:
    All Basic steps in Swing are executed to Six Quarter Beats = one & half bars of music. However there are eight steps in that Basic Swing step sometimes counted, "Triple- Triple- Rock Step".
    By using a Six Count in counting in the following manner, '1 &2, 3 &4, 5-6' , stepping on all ciphers including the '&' counts, you are able to take eight steps within the six quarter beats. Another way of counting those eight steps to Six Quarter Notes is to Count, " Slow, Quick Quick, Slow, Quick Quick, Slow Slow'. There are many advantages in using the Six count Lindy; By accenting the &2, &4 -6. the even numbered counts, you will be in a syncopation mode which gives you a rhythmic charge you do not get when you accent the down beats, 1 - 3 - 5. .
    Uncle Joe
  11. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Hm-m-m-m-m-m-m . . . Black Sheep, eh? Oh no-o-o-o-o-o . . . . don't open that door!
  12. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Vince, and all:
    The posts by Black Sheep, and some of the resulting exchanges, are classics, with an extremely high entertainment value.
    Lots of times more heat than light was generated, but those posts sure give a glimpse into the experience and thinking of one man who danced in the 1950s era rock n roll films.
    Hey, I didn't bring this up.
  13. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z . . . sorry Steve, not intended for you! You had to be here!
  14. timbp

    timbp New Member

    I can mostly do this in Ceroc (my first/main dance) but not yet in WCS (which I think means I need to improve my WCS lead).

    That makes sense. On the other hand, I lean towards the view that I am leading my partner's centre -- she can do what she likes with her feet, as long as she lets me do what I like with her body. :D

    I don't think I can. I'll have to experiment with the few followers I trust to follow my lead, not what they think I'm doing (and I'll have to warn them first, otherwise they'll do all sorts of syncopations, and I'll never know what I've led).
  15. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I thought about Hollis Taylor when this thread was active, and threw her "Unsquare Dances" cd into my briefcase, where it ended up buried under other stuff. I just took it out, and went to her web site.
    I happened across her in the 80s when she played at a local tavern across the river from downtown Portland, then again in Vancouver several years later.
    If you are ready to break out of the 4/4 3/4 mold most of our music is written in, or just want to see that there are other possiblilites, you could do worse than start here. http://www.hollistaylor.com/tay_media-atcl.html
  16. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Actually there is tons of music that is written with the Blues format that has a non3/4 4/4 time signature... but Dave Brubek is going to be my measuring stick for those who play with time signatures.

    Take Five is a materful album.
  17. Dancelf

    Dancelf Member

    Got a link to a list? I like to have these songs on hand when discussing musicality.

    I've bookmarked the wikipedia entry
    but it doesn't classify the music by genre.
  18. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Wow, great list . . . thanks for that.

    Brubeck's "Take 5" (5/4) . . . yea, may be masterful, but is so distracting . . . however, I think I've worn out the CD.

    I like the ones that change somewhere in the song . . .

    Some Pink Floyd songs change from 7/8 (1-2, 1-2, 1-2, 1-2-3, 1-2, 1-2, 1-2, 1-2-3 . . .

    Blondie, "Heart of Glass," is 4/4, but has a 7/4 break

    Stranglers do a song that adds an extra beat in every other measure - thus a 13/8 sig

    Flecktones have weird signatures . . .

    Beatles "All You Need Is Love" is 7/4

    Mission Impossible theme is written in 5/4, but U2 did it in 4/4

    I have this stuff written down from somewhere. I wrote it down a longtime ago. Need to see if I can find where I got it from . . . add to your lists . . .
  19. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Here's a bit of trivia...
    Lalo Schifrin wrote the Mission Impossible theme for the TV series.
    Schifrin came to Portland to do a concert of Argentine Tango music. I thought, "What the heck does the guy who wrote the Mission Impossible theme somg know about Argentine Tango?" Well, Schifrin grew up in Argentina, that's what.
    (So, what the heck does Steve know about?)
    Schifrin saved the Mission Impossible theme for the encore.

    d nice wrote "there is tons of music that is written with the Blues format that has a non3/4 4/4 time signature". Anything us normal people would recognize as Blues, rather than jazz with a blues format but it's all so gussied up that maybe it's more jazz than blues?
  20. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    I guess it's a matter of whether you are listening to music for that pleasure or listeng and hearing the music for dance purposes.

    Some say that all songs can be danced to . . . h-m-m-m-m-m-m-m . . .???

    I once got the song "Bolero" for a WCS J&J. I can only imagine what the dumbstruck look on my face was like . . .

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