Swing Discussion Boards > Hustle count

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by Peaches, Jul 22, 2006.

  1. Dancelf

    Dancelf Member

    In the swing world, it is common to refer to the odd counts of a 4/4 measure as the down beats, and the even counts as the upbeats. I won't try to defend that usage as correct without first checking with my musical guru, but I do run into it a lot.

    As for the other, and assuming my previous analysis is at all relevant, the names don't matter: so long as your feet are moving in a continuous loop of Walk ball Change Walk, it absolutely doesn't matter if you say to yourself "1 &2 3" or "3 &1 2" or "2 &3 1". The counts are still falling on the attack of the beat, so they are all going to be on time.

    What matters, though not enough to worry over, is that the flourishes match with the music, which means arranging that the part of the pattern where the flourish happens hits an odd count in the music.
  2. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    In beginning music theory classes, 2/4 rhythm is described as alternating strong and weak beats -- strong-weak, strong-weak -- so that the down-beat would be stronger than the up-beat (I'm pretty sure, except I'm less conversant in using the terms down-beat and up-beat).
    2/4: 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2
    (italics indicating "strong")

    4/4 takes that a bit further as the first strong is stronger than the second strong:
    4/4: 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
    (bold indicating "even stronger")

    So when you hear a pair of beats, you should be able to hear that one is stronger than the other.

    And for completeness, 3/4 rhythm is strong-weak-weak:
    3/4: 1 2 3 4 5 6
    (in waltz, the count must come in pairs in order to bring you back to the correct foot free)

    In terms of being able to dance with each other, it doesn't make any difference. Same as with ECS with some (Lindy school) starting with the rock-step and others (ballroomies, mainly) starting with the triples and ending with the rock-step.

    But in terms of dancing to the music, that is where it makes a difference. Some are more sensitive to this than others.

    Along those same lines, the question came up as we were leaving the Fair, which is if so many dances are based on 4/4, why is it that some songs are better for certain dances and not for others? Such that some songs just scream out "Night club 2 step" while others scream out "Country Two Step" and others scream out "Let's Lindy!!"? Again, it's a matter of musicality. Though the details of why this is would require a musician to explain.
  3. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Just added that to my list of quotes. Along with the bumper sticker:
    "Line Dancing: what happens when cousins breed."

  4. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    Well that would be my problem. Coming from a music background, numbers are downbeats, &'s are upbeats.

    I guess for me having the 3 beats rotating through the 4 beat music, it doesn't seem to matter what dance count I'm on, since I'm just counting to keep my feet moving in time, the musicality just happens on top of it. But I'm also not leading, maybe it would make more difference to me if I was having to think more?
  5. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Some helpful tidbits:
    4/4 time - 4 quarter notes to a measure of music

    a Count - The count just before the beat

    and Count - The count just before the a count

    Count - Includes the & and a before the beats

    Beat - 1 quarter note of 4/4 time

    Downbeat - The 1st beat of a unit –1st & 3rd beat of a 4/4 measure

    Pattern Count - The number of beats of music in a specific pattern

    Phrase - Several sets of 8 that form a complete section of music
    Rhythms - Single, Double, Triple, Blank & Delayed Single are Primary
    All Rhythms in 4/4 time are confined to 2 beats of music

    Single Rhythm - One step only on the Downbeat

    Syncopated Rhythm - A Rhythm that steps on the & or that counts in 2

    Sycopation - Rearranging the weight changes, stepping on the & or a counts

    Time Placement - Where the Dancer places his/her steps in a Rhythm
    count “&a1-&a2

    Timing - Ability of a dancer to transfer to CPB on the beat of the music

    Unit - Smallest increment of Dance. 2 beats of music in 4/4 time

    Upbeat - In 4/4 time = 2nd beat in a Unit –2nd & 4th beat of a measure

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