How to find the beats on Salsa?

#41
I know someone who might know. I'll ask him on Friday.
I used this test page with different browsers.......

http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=tn_15507&sliceId=2
Thanks a lot for this, devane! IE (which I seldom use) didn't display anything, which that page suggests means that it was pre version 5. I updated IE and confirm that this broke it too. So I'm at the very least going to have to recompile with a more modern flash compiler. Unfortunately, that involves finding the source files more than a year, and two OS re-installs, since I last saw them!
 
#42
OK, my explanations comes from Dr Robert Greenberg "fundamentals of music" "Howard Goodall :how music works" numerous books and my Piano teacher. Proper music theory education and ear-training in piano classes tends to come late or never. Mostly because it's hard work and scares away people. But I like theory, much to the confusion of my teacher.
I'm not that interested in learning to play latin music though yet.I like melancholy music.
My current pieces are
youtube.com/watch?v=q1Ux0KxPO_g
which everybody knows
and
youtube.com/watch?v=iu5USR73COs
find me some sad salsa pieces


It is very helpful too to address the misconceptions in case people start filling in the gaps. This is not usual to assume this. Considering when someone asks you to listen to the 8 beats and start counting you would assume there are 8 audible things to listen to. Listening to the much discussed clave, well you can hear it so this is the same thing? No.

But rhythm in melody (without percussion) is implied. You're creating a sense of rhythm through other means. I will have another listen to Dr greenberg's lectures to give you a more complete list but accentuation works through phrashing, syncopation, distance between notes (lone or repeating note creating a pulse) other voices: This could be a left hand accompaniment (lowest notes)to the right handed melody on the piano either a chord lasting a bar or a pattern.


In the example above distance creates a pulse.

Audio Version
youtube.com/watch?v=RX3XUSQO98c
This is not a strict metronical piece but very easy the follow. The 1,2,3 feeling is very obvious.
This is 3/4 (Waltz time). The time signature may be different but the point of implied accent couldn't be clearer. In fact it is necessary to look for these elements across genres to be clear of what is going on. The elements of music don't care what the genre is.

Other voices too could mean other instruments like percussion.

But don't think about it too hard. As opm1s6 this is purely something that happens subconsciously as a listener. In fact if you can walk you can keep time because the brain uses the same mechanism to co-ordinate movement as keeping time in a musical sense. There is even implied accent in walking or running. Believe it or not but once a song starts an untrained listener can perceive elements such as time signature, tempo and tonal centre (key) even though they may not be aware of such concepts in a tangible form. Even Greenberg asserts "if a waltz comes on and people starting dancing to it did they need to know what 3/4 meant. Of course not, they just felt the accent".




Like Sweavo said they are equallly spaced out.

Louder? No. Since accentuation is implied, it is an illusion.
Another quote from Greenberg "Strong does not mean louder".
Accentuation is an illusion.

For example In "how music works" you get to listen to a clock ticking. Your brain will automatically group the ticks in 2s,3's or 4's . You will start hearing a tick tock even though in reality
the sound is the same. This is what happens in implied accentuation.

Youtube links.......the documentary "how music works" though this is not complete. The example is in there somewhere. Part 1 is not part1! It is missing some parts. I found my copy on a blog.
youtube.com/watch?v=79pYghO4hZY
part 2 starts with Cuba
youtube.com/watch?v=eUQe1TO8Gzo
part 3
youtube.com/watch?v=qb0rbf5kxww


The Stronger/louder confusion.
You may find of heard of this
dolmetsch.com/musictheory4.htm

4 beat bar "Strong, Weak, Medium, Weak". So you 8 beats would be this
"Strong, Weak, Medium, Weak,Strong, Weak, Medium, Weak"
don't take this too literal...
because if this where true playing even one bar of music would too difficult and strange!.

Example below


When you play piano normally it is "legato". Legato means bound with no space between the notes. If the rest (slinece) creates a space, fair enough, you start again. But legato also means bound equally in volume until an instruction to change the dynamic to something else. So you can't change the volume 4 times for every bar. In the 2nd bar of the example there are 2 notes ( F&G which look like there stuck together). To play these notes for half the duration it would be strong and then the other half weak. And the notes cross over the bar lines. Only a computer could do this. Phrasing though especially repeating or slighty altered patterns become anticipated and create accents.
The Audio example (of the notes above) is first played normally and then with the literal Strong,weak,medium,weak concept.This was done by computer. It's sounds terrible.
zshare.net/audio/20207863353af105/

In summary accent in melody is implied, an illusion.

Your "1" or your "1 & 5" is all that is requires to dance on time. The accent becomes a constant pulse. You don't need to follow all the other beats . But having said that it is essential to learn about the native percussion patterns to appreciate to genre. They tell you where you are in the music too. Even listen to R&B/Hip Hop. They use hand-claps or snares on3 and the use of samples takes seconds to absorb and start on1. Your strong and medium beats are very easy to locate. You're using both implicit and explicit means at the same time which is ideally what should happen.....dancing with the melody on1 with the percussion being where you expect it to be.

I hope it's not to confusing. Even I have questions at the moment about certains aspects of music where the answer is not clear and universally agreeded upon. I passed the Grade 1 ear exam on my first Piano lesson though ;)
I really appreciate the time you spent writing this post.

I watched the videos of "How music works 2" 3 times.

I got admit it was really educational for me.

There were couple things that I like to point out.

I did not feel any beats on the clock. I just felt: 1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,/ LOL (I tried hard). I did not feel 1 and 2. However, I did understand the 1,2, when the lady was running.

I did not feel the beats at beginning of the video, when somebody was playing a violin instrument and they added some drums to demostrate that it had a beat. However, i did notice the violing was following a cycle.

I also felt when the two instruments were kind chasing each other because one was one beat behind.


I've been listening more salsas and the these information is being really helpull.

I think I can find the one on any salsa that I listen right now. What I'm still strugling is to find the others. As I said before, I'm dividing the cycle in 8 spaces.

This part is hard to explain but I noticed when the music gets faster or slower is kind like if he cycle is shorter or longer and i still find "the one" on those circunstances. I guess that should be good news. In other words I pretty much have an idea all the time where I'm at on the cycle even though I can't count or feel the beats.

What I notice too is that certain instrument that was making a sound on 1, later on on the song it dissapears and when it comes back the sound now is done on 5. Could it be that I simply got lost? I have repeated couple times on the songs that I noticed the change and I still get the same result.

by the way, I'm also finding "the 1" even though when is implied.

Anyway, this weekend I'm planing to watch videos of people dancing salsa with music dancing "on 1" and see if my counting matches their dancing.

That should tell me if I'm finding "the 1" correctly.

thanks Guys.
 
#43
I did not feel any beats on the clock. I just felt: 1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,/ LOL (I tried hard). I did not feel 1 and 2.
LOL. maybe you could sell yourself to science. I bet some psychologist would love to do a project on that!


What I notice too is that certain instrument that was making a sound on 1, later on on the song it dissapears and when it comes back the sound now is done on 5. Could it be that I simply got lost?
It could be that you got lost, or it's perfectly possible that you are dead right. Although salsa dancers count to 8, the music doesn't always go in 8s; sometimes 4 beats are added or skipped for effect. Usually this will happen on the quieter, jazzy parts of a song. Since you get the same result on multiple listenings, I reckon you've probably got it right.
 
#44
I really appreciate the time you spent writing this post.


I've been listening more salsas and the these information is being really helpull.

I think I can find the one on any salsa that I listen right now. What I'm still strugling is to find the others. As I said before, I'm dividing the cycle in 8 spaces.

This part is hard to explain but I noticed when the music gets faster or slower is kind like if he cycle is shorter or longer and i still find "the one" on those circunstances. I guess that should be good news. In other words I pretty much have an idea all the time where I'm at on the cycle even though I can't count or feel the beats.

Anyway, this weekend I'm planing to watch videos of people dancing salsa with music dancing "on 1" and see if my counting matches their dancing.

That should tell me if I'm finding "the 1" correctly.

thanks Guys.

Wow this thread is a gem.


I would suggest to moderators to make this one and a couple of other threads regarding timing/find the beats in to a sticky.

Granrey: I skim through the thread and right now have to run. Let me say something in short - you at least have a head start of listening to the salsa music for many years. I can completely relate to your challenges in finding the beats . I have had the same problem and continue having so (you can say my ability to hear the music in a salsa composition is below average). Sometimes I wonder if I am musically dyslexic if there is a such thing :) Theoretically I do know how to find beats in salsa music, one of my problem is I am extremely indiscipline (in trying to put it into practice). So if along with the hearing as an exercise you also start practicing with your feet, you will get there twice or thrice as fast. The various exercises suggested in the merengue-salsa.uk link somewhere above are very good. Don't skip them, try to do those exercises for 15-20 minutes everyday for a few weeks (or more as needed). You will see a drastic improvement in your ability to step on the beat (without consciously counting).

Don't try to match your counting by watching people dance unless you know for the fact their timing is good. A lot of even good dancers during the dancing tend to drift off by as much as a beat or two and then come back. Many are off by plus or minus half a beat during the entire dance.
 
#47

Wow this thread is a gem.


I would suggest to moderators to make this one and a couple of other threads regarding timing/find the beats in to a sticky.

Granrey: I skim through the thread and right now have to run. Let me say something in short - you at least have a head start of listening to the salsa music for many years. I can completely relate to your challenges in finding the beats . I have had the same problem and continue having so (you can say my ability to hear the music in a salsa composition is below average). Sometimes I wonder if I am musically dyslexic if there is a such thing :) Theoretically I do know how to find beats in salsa music, one of my problem is I am extremely indiscipline (in trying to put it into practice). So if along with the hearing as an exercise you also start practicing with your feet, you will get there twice or thrice as fast. The various exercises suggested in the merengue-salsa.uk link somewhere above are very good. Don't skip them, try to do those exercises for 15-20 minutes everyday for a few weeks (or more as needed). You will see a drastic improvement in your ability to step on the beat (without consciously counting).

Don't try to match your counting by watching people dance unless you know for the fact their timing is good. A lot of even good dancers during the dancing tend to drift off by as much as a beat or two and then come back. Many are off by plus or minus half a beat during the entire dance.
I went to the salsa merengue site and for sure there is a big improvement.

I can find not only beat 1, I cand find others too.

I will continue the routines they explain. Now, the salsamerlizer makes sense.

thanks,
 
#48
try this

jai and candys timing CD is pretty good. It goes over both a 3/2 and 2/3 clave...helps you identify the total 1-8, 1 and 5, 2 and 6 for all different styles.
 
#50
I decided to bring this back from the grave for the Lol and in case someone has the same problem lol.

all these people did helped me to find the bit in 2008 and I've been dancing a lot of salsa. it's almost 9 years lol
 
#52
I decided to bring this back from the grave for the Lol and in case someone has the same problem lol.

all these people did helped me to find the bit in 2008 and I've been dancing a lot of salsa. it's almost 9 years lol
Geez, we did unleash a bit of monster, didn't we :p
 

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