Salsa > How do I hit the hits and breaks?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by ticolora, Apr 15, 2017.

  1. ticolora

    ticolora Member

    I would like to improve my ability to hit hits and breaks. I am looking for suggestions for the drills to do.

    The way I do it now, is I got a list of salsa music they play at my club, then find a hit/break, put it on a 10 seconds loop and just listen for single snippet for an hour or so.

    Am I approaching this right? Is this cheating?
     
  2. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    There's no such thing as cheating in dancing. Dance comps are another matter... :p

    Seriously, at the level you are at right now, the only way you're going to hit a break is to know the song. I think my approach would be to find out what the club is playing (maybe they will give you a playlist), find copies of those songs, and listen to them until you have the song structure memorized for some of them. Don't listen to one piece in a cue loop; listen to the whole song, because you need to absorb how the different parts of the song, and the different instruments, relate to each other. After you've been dancing for a while, and you get to know the usual conventions of the music better, you'll be able to hear when a song you don't know is going to hit a break. But probably not yet.
     
    twnkltoz likes this.
  3. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    I have to disagree.. Pretty much all salsa ( NOT Timba) has a format, as do most songs. He needs to identify the Coro and the end of the 16 and 32 bar phrases. They are quite distinctive .
    There are more complex musical changes, but, this would be a good starting point
     
    Mr 4 styles and Bailamosdance like this.
  4. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Somehow, it reminds me of a vicious cycle: you started salsa proclaiming you didn't want to go deeper into the music. But now actually you are at the same cross road, again. What about having a private with a conguero?
     
  5. ticolora

    ticolora Member

  6. ticolora

    ticolora Member

    Yeah, that idea did cross my mind. Now, question for you is - if I have 4 hours to spend, money aside, should I spend those on dance practice, or to learn congas?
     
  7. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Learning to play a musical instrument, will NOT make you a better dancer. Find a knowledgeable teacher .
     
  8. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    You want to accelerate your progess in dancing, but you cannot. The unconcious parts of your brain are the limiting parts of the chain. So in the end I find learning congas is a brilliant alternative to spend the time. But it will not accelerate your dancing, but in the end you will be the better dancer!
     
  9. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    Music theory classes will extend to all forms of music. No congas needed That way if you want to learn west coast , waltz , foxtrot etc you can apply the principles
     
  10. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    I halfway disagree... learning an instrument forces you to learn and understand a lot of things about time and tempo that a lot of dancers, in my experience, don't get. However, I agree that the motor and mental skills aren't directly transferable, and can cause you problems if you try to apply them to dance too literally.
     
  11. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    I've told this story before in relationship to " musicians ". I have taught, in the past, 2 world class musicians, one played in a symphony Orch. the other, a very well known drummer. Both had problems with timing .

    As I am sure you know, the musical construction of salsa in particular , is extremely complex, and just listening to music, really does not explain what is going on in the story it is telling.

    The poster did not mention "timing " problems, but IDing the break points .
    There are songs ( in some styles ) that do not " advertise ", that breaks are imminent , and there in lies the problem for many.
     
  12. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Think we once had a thread on this topic. To expand from music to dance seems to be more difficult than the other way round...
     
  13. ticolora

    ticolora Member

    When I see other dancers hitting a break in music, it appears as if they anticipated the break and improvised the move. The only way I could have executed it is the way I do now - transcribe music, learn words, and instruments, come up with a move (5 syncopated steps with right spin), practice it for an hour, try it at the club and fail, practice it for 2 more hours.

    Here is the break I'm talking about(La Maxima 79 - La Gripe)
    @ 1:03

    Am I approaching it correctly at all? or is this cheating?
    Is there a point at which you can do a non-trivial shine to a break in a song you don't know?
     
  14. snapdancer

    snapdancer Well-Known Member

    These other dancers you see probably have a full-time connection between the partners which allows the leader to insert a break at almost any point, followed by a little improvisation and then resumption of the dance. This requires that both partners have good technique.

    My recommendation for you is that in the current stage of your dancing you should focus more on development of your technique. Leave the fancier stuff for later on when you'll have the necessary technique to support it.
     
    raindance likes this.
  15. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    It's not techn. but, an understanding of how music is phrased .
    Techn. is the application of specific body and foot usage in a prescribed manner, that will enable one to negotiate "motion " to it's best advantage , for a subscribed circumstance .


    Music, is the "tool " , to which we adapt those principles .
     
  16. snapdancer

    snapdancer Well-Known Member

    Understanding the music phrasing will be of no value if the technique is absent. Without the necessary connection, the lead/follow won't happen.

    Unless of course they're doing a choreographed routine (barf). But then lead/follow is not needed/minimally needed for a choreographed routine.
     

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