Baseline

#1
Hey Everyone,
When dancing to WCS.. many times I can't hear the baseline. There are some songs where the baseline is pretty dominant and yet others when it is so faint either you can barely make it out or you just can't hear it. Many times and especially in competition.. I worry that I won't be able to lead Ann (AnnieMarie) well enough because I can't hear the baseline. Many times she's had to help me a little to hear it or identify it. I'd rather carry the dance myself so she doesn't have to worry about it.. you know.. just dance and enjoy.. but how can you really enjoy a dance when you can only hear it and really get into it "sometimes".. isn't the idea to be able to hear it, feel it and dance it without thinking about it and worrying about it? We've spent considerable time working on this issue.

Recently we attended a workshop done by Robert Royston at the Michigan Classic held in Detroit at the RenCen. It was called "Dance to the Music". well, we came away with some awesome information that really helped and he said there was a video that covered everything and then some.. I really wanted it.. but alas.. due to other complications (namely that he produces the video and sends it from his home and he is unreachable to even purchase the video) I find myself frustrated in the fact that I am unable to obtain it.

Since that time.. I've been trying to figure out another way to understand, listen and dance.

Now, since we're both out for a few weeks anyway.. we don't have to worry much.. but it is in the back of my mind for the return. I spoke to our instructor who advised us to ease into it for a few days before we really smoke the hardwood and get back to our normal insanity of practicing and speed.

Any advice on this? Anyone else have the same or similar problem?

Thanks,
Ron (WOI)
 
#2
Lacking information here. It doesn't sound like you're new to WCS, or to the sorts of music used for it, which suggests that instead off the off-the-cuff advice you get from a message board, you may want to work with some people who actually specialize in something related to the problem, like hearing doctors, musically savvy WCS pros, blues music teachers... Still... any examples of pieces you have trouble with? Do they fall into any particular genres?

FWIW, I still have trouble picking out the right rhythm in some salsa pieces, although I've been dancing it for years. In my case I think of it being a combination of limited exposure to the genre, not particularly liking salsa music as music which makes me reluctant to listen to it outside of dance contexts, and of the rhythm being on instruments other than those I'm used to listening to in jazz and blues music.
 
#3
Lacking information here. It doesn't sound like you're new to WCS, or to the sorts of music used for it,
That's correct.. I'm not. No offence but I kinda hinted in my message that I've been dancing WCS for a while with this problem. What kind of info are you lacking that I can possibly provide?

which suggests that instead off the off-the-cuff advice you get from a message board, you may want to work with some people who actually specialize in something related to the problem, like hearing doctors, musically savvy WCS pros, blues music teachers... Still... any examples of pieces you have trouble with? Do they fall into any particular genres?
Well.. I know I have problems with certain areas of sound.. but just about everyone does to some degree. As far as consulting pros.. yes, I already have which is why I mentioned taking the workshop and consulting our instructor. Actually.. the more prominant pieces I have trouble with are live bands.. outside of that.. certain pieces as they relate to music itself.. there is a tune from LeAnn Rimes I think where the only thing I can hear is the sound of her voice on the emphasis of the major.. I spoken to many about this. I came close to getting my information.. I've been told that by training it can be overcome.. even my instructor has to many times play the music over a few times for me to feel it or hear it or so that he can point it out.

I've been told others have been able to get past this and go on to do extremely well which is why I'm asking if others have and how hard it was for them to get there.

FWIW, I still have trouble picking out the right rhythm in some salsa pieces, although I've been dancing it for years. In my case I think of it being a combination of limited exposure to the genre, not particularly liking salsa music as music which makes me reluctant to listen to it outside of dance contexts, and of the rhythm being on instruments other than those I'm used to listening to in jazz and blues music.
Hmm.. well that's where it differs.. I like the pieces and genres that we listen to... but to clarify it has been some ballroom type music, some blues type music and some C&W type music. It just depends on the song rather than the genre since any tune (I have found in my travels) can have the identical problem regardless of the genre because of how it is performed. So, my feeling on that is that it doesn't necessarily have to be related to any genre in particular for this problem to exist. I don't believe it applies to the genre.. but rather each individual song. If you disagree.. I would certainly like to know why.
 
#4
I don't know that I disagree or not, because I still don't really understand the specific nature of the problem from what you describe. I'm not sure it's even possible to understand it without hearing the songs that cause you trouble. As you say, most everyone has difficult understanding some music at some times. And some music is just harder to hear and understand than other music. So it's not clear you're any worse off than the rest of us :) - you might just be worrying more about it.

Then again, hearing music is an enormously complicated process involving body, brain, and mind, and there might conceivably be real physical or cognitive issues worth exploring with a professional.
 
#5
I don't know that I disagree or not, because I still don't really understand the specific nature of the problem from what you describe. I'm not sure it's even possible to understand it without hearing the songs that cause you trouble. As you say, most everyone has difficult understanding some music at some times. And some music is just harder to hear and understand than other music. So it's not clear you're any worse off than the rest of us - you might just be worrying more about it.
The specific nature of the problem is simple. And you are right.. it is no different than many others who may suffer from the same problem or form.. I was simply asking if anyone else had this type of problem and if they got past it and what they had to do to get past it. Learning to dance and hear the baseline so you could keep even tempo and rhythm and timing to do the dance. Yes, I've been told I worry about it much too much.. unsure that can be avoided.. I worry about what I'm supposed to do and how to overcome it.

Then again, hearing music is an enormously complicated process involving body, brain, and mind, and there might conceivably be real physical or cognitive issues worth exploring with a professional.
Yes, hearing music is complicated.. learning how to hear the baseline rather than the accent is hard.. learning how to dance and keep timing and rhythm, learning how to hear the break when know when it is coming based on where you are in the count if you've never heard the song. I do deal with professionals.. I only wanted to know if anyone else has this same issue and how they dealt with it.
 
#6
Well, many folks deal with it by listening to the kind of music that causes trouble. A lot. Immerse yourself. Pop a tape in on your drive to work. If live music is a particular problem, hang out in the blues clubs or wherever those bands are playing. Etc.
 

Vince A

Active Member
#7
WOI,

I used to have this problem . . . when I was dancing to a specific count - a WCS count . . . I was not dancing to the music. For instance . . . WCS basic pattern is 1,2, 3&4, 5&6, yet the music may go 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,81,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 . . you get the idea.

If you can learn to dance to the music count, then 1,2 3&4, 5&6 will still be within that 8 count music measure.

Thus, after dancing to patterns for a very long time, I began to "hear" the music . . . which, if I'm not mistaken, is what you seek????

Ron, can you hear the count 1 in every phrase of music??? This is where you need to be. Can Ann help you find this count?

Maybe, since you have some down time, this could be the time to talk with Albert. Maybe he can help here . . .

It's a matter of music, and if you have no music abilities, it may take some time to figure this out on your own.

You medntioned breaks . . . once you learn to hear the count 1, you can listen to the song for a few phrases to learn where the breaks are - if it has breaks. Most breaks will happen at the same count in many songs, yet this is not a hard fast rule. Some do not!
 

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