Downbeat clapping

Discussion in 'Music' started by Cameron Yee, Jul 30, 2003.

  1. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    After watching the Alison Krauss DVD I was reminded of when my musician friend told me one should not clap on the downbeat but on the upbeat (the audience was clapping on the down as I've seen almost 99% of audiences do). I never got a concrete explanation but the impression was it's more musically sophisticated/knowledgeable to do so and I admit it FEELS more appropriate. Anybody have a more concrete explanation why this is better? And why it almost never seems to happen when a mass audience is involved?
     
  2. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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    when you say the downbeat, do you mean 2 and 4 or 1 and 3? I think you mean 2 and 4.
    I have been a musician for most of my life and the consensus is, clap on the 2 and 4 unless you're at a Lawrence Welk show [​IMG]
    On the other hand, I think if you are snapping your fingers (ala Bobby Darin) then snap on 1 and 3. It gives a hipper vibe [​IMG]
     
  3. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I meant downbeat as 1 and 3 and upbeat as 2 and 4.
     
  4. andrew markworthy

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    I think that where you clap varies according to the piece of music, but I agree, most audiences get it hopelessly wrong (am I right in thinking that Billy Joel in his early days used to discourage clapping along for just this reason?).

    Two simple facts about audiences at most concerts:

    (a) the bigger the venue, the higher the proportion of morons who are there for an evening out and a chance to have a good gossip with their friends (especially during the quiet numbers) rather than listen to the music.

    (b) the greater the number of morons, the greater the number of people with no musical sense.

    Hence, the greater the probability that they will clap in a dumbass rather than musical fashion.
     
  5. Jagan Seshadri

    Jagan Seshadri Supporting Actor

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    The bigger the venue, the more sound propagation delays adversely affect the clapping. Everyone can be clapping at the 'right' time, but this is a relative thing since the sound wave to which they are synchronizing is washing over the crowd and thus arriving to different people at different times. This results in staggered clapping, which again washes back toward the stage and sounds like a big mess.

    -JNS
     
  6. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    [​IMG] i like andrew's explanation better....
     
  7. Brian Dobbs

    Brian Dobbs Ambassador

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    always clap with the snare. clapping with the bass drum (when there are drums) gives me sinus infections.

    i'm a drummer and to me people look stupid when clapping with the downbeat.
     
  8. Mark Robillard

    Mark Robillard Auditioning

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    Thats funny! [​IMG]
     
  9. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I think clapping on the downbeat is also reminiscent of square dancing or a hoedown.
     
  10. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    The clapping is often initiated by the singer at rock concerts, who do so on the downbeat sometimes.

    So, it's not wrong. It actually does make sense, because in rock, the accent is on 2 & 4.
     
  11. andrew markworthy

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  12. Jeremy Stockwell

    Jeremy Stockwell Supporting Actor

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    Oh yeah!?

    This one time; at band camp . . . We had someone who was too stupid to play the viola, so we gave him two sticks and made him the drummer, but he couldn't keep time so we took one stick away and made him the conductor.

    [​IMG]

    JKS
     
  13. Tony_Woods

    Tony_Woods Stunt Coordinator

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    I enjoy clapping on the offbeat at rock concerts just to confuse people. [​IMG] (one AND(clap) two AND(clap) etc)
     
  14. Stefan A

    Stefan A Second Unit

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    I hate clapping during songs. The only clapping should be when the song is over.

    Clapping on 1 and 3 feels most natural to a casual music listener.

    Hey, what beats do you clap when you hear Jethro Tull do Living in the Past (in 5)? I think it would be funny to hear an audience try that. I would clap on 1 and 4 - if I had to. But I wouldn't
     
  15. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  16. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    What I love is when you're at a big concert and you look around and people are moving and grooving apparently to their own beat - neither the upbeat or the downbeat, but arhytmically (apparently).

    Here's a nice hint - move along with the bassist (if there is one). He's usually in rhythm. [​IMG]
     
  17. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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  18. Stefan A

    Stefan A Second Unit

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    Actually, now that I think of it, I would do 1, and of 2, 4, 5.
     
  19. Daniel J.S.

    Daniel J.S. Stunt Coordinator

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    Speaking as a musician, here's how you would clap 5/4 meter; it all depends on how the measure is subdivided. The two common subdivisions are 1,2,3,4,5 or 1,2,3,4,5. Basically you're clapping a lopsided two pattern. You would use the same method for 5/8, 5/16 or whatever.
     
  20. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    And that is why all my simple songs are in 4/4 [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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