Re: Terminology -- Dance Style vs. Dance Rhythms ? Posted by nloftofan1 12/8/2013 7:58:00 AM
The following was written by a band leader who also dances:
Here are the rules that in spite of my best efforts MOST of our local bands seem to use for dance gigs:
1. Tempo doesn't matter. The dancers will deal with all tempos somehow.
2. Since tempo doesn't matter, NEVER use a metronome to set time in a dance tune. Using a crutch like that will just make you look bad. ALWAYS set the tempo from the seat of your pants. Anything else will damage your ego.
3. The drummer should always play dance tunes using the style of drumming he's most comfortable with. For example a nice 4/4 swing beat really works well with all "latin" numbers.
4. It works even better if you play in a jazz style with all tops and no bass drum at all. Let the dancers listen to the hihat to get the beat.
5. Remember that there are only two kinds of music: The stuff the band always plays and "latin". Any "latin" tune will do. A couple of generic "latin" numbers for the evening ought to keep the dancers happy! Bossa Nova is always a good choice.
6. Always end the dance with some super fast rousing swing tune. That will end the evening with a nice bang (and make sure you never get hired for a boring dance gig again).
7. Even better find a cheap hall and start holding "dances" yourself. Don't worry. Any cement floor covered with sticky "old people wax" will do. Hell, the "premiere" "dance club" in our town regularly holds "dances" out on their blacktop and don't even bother to sweep the stones off. (the wood floors out there are for people to stand around on with their drinks). The best thing about holding your own dance is you can tell all the damn hoofers who $%&*@! about your music to piss off.
8. And Oh yeah, never forget: Tempo doesn't matter.