Do you play a musical instrument?

SwingingAlong

Well-Known Member
#21
Private lessons for piano, since I started at 7, but free lessons through the school system for viola. One I left school (I was making violas for a bit), private lessons for a few years. Everything else self taught. I found it took a while to understand that dance happens between the beats, and was often scolded for rushing - I was trying to land my foot smack on the beat rather than moving my body first:confused:
 

cornutt

Well-Known Member
#22
I found it took a while to understand that dance happens between the beats, and was often scolded for rushing - I was trying to land my foot smack on the beat rather than moving my body first:confused:
:D I had that problem too... I wanted to play my feet like I was playing a kick drum. Took me a while to figure out why that didn't work, and then I had to find where the beat lived in the dance if it wasn't in my feet.
 

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
#24
Hmm... maybe that's why I hate counting while dancing... because it doesn't sync the right way in my brain, thanks to all those years of music! I'm generally known as a very musical dancer, and people are always surprised when they find out that I don't count... which I never understood, because counting makes me the opposite of musical. Think mechanical dance robot... like those toy monkeys with the cymbals :D

(To clarify: I know my counts. I'll count a routine for the first week or so as I learn it, but after that it's danced by feel... at most, I'll sing a rhythm in my head at tricky spots. Asking me to count my routines aloud - which are full of syncopations and other tricky rhythms - while dancing full out is my version of hell. Counting basics to help in a group class, etc. is no problem.)
 

cornutt

Well-Known Member
#25
Hmm... maybe that's why I hate counting while dancing... because it doesn't sync the right way in my brain, thanks to all those years of music!
;) I do count, but I had to learn to separate that from the movement of my legs and feet. It wasn't easy, either. Oddly, one thing that helped was doing foxtrot, because it was one place where I felt like I could be loosey-goosey with the timing and not worry where my feet were landing relative to the count. I've gotten to where I do it fairly well in smooth. Sometimes I still struggle with it in rhythm.
 

SwingingAlong

Well-Known Member
#28
The other one that got me was how the word syncopation is used in dance - in that it seems to mean an evenly split beat, like "1 and", whereas for me, I was thinking syncopated as in "playing a note ever so slightly before, or after, a beat".... I still find it hard do a chasse as "1, 2 and 3" (kick drum style with a beginner) - I tend to play around and phrase it differently.
 

cornutt

Well-Known Member
#29
Yeah, that's like the difference between "swing" in dance and "swing" in music. These days, we dance swing to a lot of music that doesn't have musical swing.
 

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
#30
The other one that got me was how the word syncopation is used in dance - in that it seems to mean an evenly split beat, like "1 and", whereas for me, I was thinking syncopated as in "playing a note ever so slightly before, or after, a beat".... I still find it hard do a chasse as "1, 2 and 3" (kick drum style with a beginner) - I tend to play around and phrase it differently.
Not exactly in my case... taking the example of a new chunk of my waltz, we might count it 1&23&, but those "ands" really are syncopated... the first one is longer - more of a true half-beat, but the second is so late and quick that it's almost on the 1 of the next bar. I will admit that we only arrived at that timing after playing with the rhythm a bit... started off as 1&2&3, then moved to strict 1&23&, then became more syncopated as we played with the effect we could generate by delaying some things. And it also has a tendancy to change slightly depending on the song.

^This would also be an example of why trying to count while dancing makes my head explode.
 

SwingingAlong

Well-Known Member
#31
Not exactly in my case... taking the example of a new chunk of my waltz, we might count it 1&23&, but those "ands" really are syncopated... the first one is longer - more of a true half-beat, but the second is so late and quick that it's almost on the 1 of the next bar. I will admit that we only arrived at that timing after playing with the rhythm a bit... started off as 1&2&3, then moved to strict 1&23&, then became more syncopated as we played with the effect we could generate by delaying some things. And it also has a tendancy to change slightly depending on the song.

^This would also be an example of why trying to count while dancing makes my head explode.
Agree totally. However, as a beginner, it made my head confused, as I was trying to land exactly on the beat on 1, and then doing my own interpretation of syncopated on the part beats. Must have been hard for my teacher back then.:eek:
Not so bad now that I understand how it can all work together:) I love watching great dancers play with the timing, especially in Tango....
 

dancelvr

Well-Known Member
#32
Played piano in high school (private lessons and eventually accompanying the freshman choir in school) and sang from 6th to 12th grade. Haven't done either since.
 
#33
A bit of guitar but I had no special talent. It was dancing that taught me to follow the beat.

I did very little drumming when my friend and I got the bright idea to change roles. I guess I did learn I could manage a simple 4/4 beat then.
 
#34
Viola in elementary school (I still play it but mostly to fiddle. Was not a fan of playing too much orchestral music.)
Synthesizer and Drum machines (Here is an example of a production from almost a decade ago in my now locked-out Soundcloud account [thanks Soundcloud!] )
Played chromatic percussion in high school band and took choir.
 
#35
I started out as a music major in college. I played oboe, English horn, flute and piano. Interesting that there are fellow oboists here! I think that it has helped with dancing as I can easily identify the time signature of the music playing., what dance would be appropriate for the music and when the first beat of a measure occurs. I find it hard to follow a leader who isn't moving with the music.
 

cornutt

Well-Known Member
#37
Haven't posted a photo of this beast here in a good while. It's grown a bit...

Moduar 2 Small.jpg

I just built this new case. It's about 90% done, but there are still a few bits to be finished. The power cables on some of the modules won't reach a power distribution panel, so I need to make some longer ones. That lower angled part has a clearance issue that is preventing me from hard-mounting those modules; I need to do a bit more carpentry on that lower mounting rail. But it's almost there, and it's going to be a lot better than the motley cluster of small cases that I had.

Here is what the back looks like. Eventually this is going to be covered with perf board, with a few extra holes for ventilation.

Moduar Back Jan 2018 Small.jpg
 
#38
Haven't posted a photo of this beast here in a good while. It's grown a bit...

View attachment 3601

I just built this new case. It's about 90% done, but there are still a few bits to be finished. The power cables on some of the modules won't reach a power distribution panel, so I need to make some longer ones. That lower angled part has a clearance issue that is preventing me from hard-mounting those modules; I need to do a bit more carpentry on that lower mounting rail. But it's almost there, and it's going to be a lot better than the motley cluster of small cases that I had.

Here is what the back looks like. Eventually this is going to be covered with perf board, with a few extra holes for ventilation.

View attachment 3602
Can you explain a little bit about what this is this someone who doesn’t understand to well. Just guessing, I would come at some sort of a mixing board, or something where you plug in several instruments together. It’s hard to imagine how you would use all of those knobs and plug-ins.
 

cornutt

Well-Known Member
#40
Can you explain a little bit about what this is this someone who doesn’t understand to well. Just guessing, I would come at some sort of a mixing board, or something where you plug in several instruments together. It’s hard to imagine how you would use all of those knobs and plug-ins.
Well, a "conventional" synthesizer with a keyboard contains several different circuits that perform different functions. A common arrangement is to have a "voltage controlled oscillator", or VCO (or a digital equivalent), which produces a waveform at a certain frequency in response to a key being pressed. This signal is then routed to a "voltage controlled filter" (VCF) which modifies the signal and helps produce the desired timbre, and the output of that is routed to a "voltage controlled amplifier" (VCA), which creates the dynamics of the played note. The VCA is controlled by an "envelope generator", which one sets to produce the desired dynamics. There is usually also a "low frequency oscillator", which can be routed to the other components as a modifier; for example, when routed to the VCO it produces vibrato. All of this things are connected together internally in an order determined by the designer.

With a modular synthesizer, all of the pre-configured connections are broken. Nothing is connected to anything else by anything other than patch cords plugged into the jacks in the front. So you can route signals any way you want to. For instance, I can route a VCO to the VCA as a control to cause amplitude modulation, which produces a variety of bell-like and science-fiction timbres. There's a huge variety of modules available that perform different functions, including a lot of unconventional ones that you don't find in other synths -- a "universal event generator", a "quadrature oscillator", etc. I can buy the modules that I want to put together the functionality that I want.
 

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