i did a search but don't see anything concerning this. i got in a rut playing for too long with familiar material and away from sight reading.  
i recently joined a big band and it's a challenge playing charts on the fly. (ferguson mostly so far)    
i know ideally it's better to not tap your feet at all and keep it in your head, but with fast synocation that's hard to do although i'm working on it.  
i'm wondering how people prefer tapping their feet.
in 4/4 time i tend to hit each quarter note, although you obviously can just hit the first and third.
in 3/4 i still hit each beat unless the melodic rhythm is not too busy with synocation.
i'm just trying to get a reality check with myself and dealing with complex ryhthms and time signatures and my feet. i think it helps reading the synocations tapping on quarter notes with myself.
i guess until the material gets ingrained i'll be dealing with this problem. working with the book by robert starer 'rhythmic training' helps some.
any advice on this learning curve besides sight read something new everyday?
There are 16 comments, leave a comment.
how do you like this book? i've been working out of bellson modern reading in 4/4. my rhythmic reading got so much better that the aural theory teacher decided to incorporate it into his lessons. but anyway, how do you like this book? i'm looking for something that will allow me to practice sight reading everyday, but not have incredibly hard examples.

cheers,
nate
i like the starer book and would recommend it. not sure if it's still in print as i got it a way back. i remember my teacher used to also have me conduct the different time signatures while tapping the rhythms out.  
is this too ridiculus or personal a question tapping the foot?
i don't have a problem with foot tapping, in fact i hope you use some part of your body to help keep time.

jazz is music from the blood and soul and if you don't have a rhythmic connection with your body, how are you going to make people want to get up and move to your music?

the way to get time down is to work out with a metronome. i've posted plenty of messages about using a metronome as a tool to help make your time rock solid that you can search for by clicking on the "site search" link near the top of the page.
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i think it's vital to be able to keep a steady the beat with the foot, without following any syncopations you may be playing on the keys. some people can do this naturally, others have to work at it.  

in fast tunes, i would recommend tapping on 1 and 3 only, rather than every beat. it's much more relaxed and you can tell immediately if you drop a beat, as everything will suddenly be on the 'wrong foot'.

when playing/learning lines notated in complex rhythms, i sometimes find it helpful to tap 'one' with my left foot, 'three' with my right. if you can keep this going it's very hard to get lost that way, and it relates the music to the act of walking, a natural human rhythm. obviously this only applies to material in 4/4 time...

tim
dr jazz i find that when i tap on 1 & 3 on fast tempos i feel the music more in a different sort of feel and it becomes harder to lock into the beat. in my head it starts to sound like one of those acid jazz feels where there's a walking bass line with a big technoish 'thud' on the 1 & 3. i find it much harder to lock into this than as if i'm feeling every beat (if you know what i mean).  

do you think if i just practice more with tapping on 1 & 3 it will eventually sort itself out?
at
do you practice your foot tapping with a metronome?  just kidding,
i don't have a problem with it.  saw michael mcdonald in concert many years ago, and noticed him doing it.

i regret paying attention to a classical teacher that i once had that told me not to tap, i simply could not do it like that (and of course, stopped taking lessons when i should have taken them).  luckily, albetan showed me to keeping the rhythm in my body. i personally feel the downbeat on the legs /feet, but i also "mark" the upbeats with the head (like lifting me up), it just comes naturally, if i do not do it like that whatever i play sounds terribly ugly. my band says that i put latin in everything, to me it is just what i have inside, coming out! hope it helps. carlos.
i know tapping all 4 beats is very helpful for sight reading syncopations.
dr. jazz was explaining that fast tapping in 4 can cause tension and be tiring. i'll report that it can also sometimes cause a stiffness in the improvised lines because of the tension going on in the body from all that agitated tapping. it almost feels like a milkshake machine in your leg.
i'm talking about 250+ tempos.
correction, i'm talking about 210+ tempos
i agree at fast tempos tapping all 4 beats can get tiring.  
i think maybe a compremise at times when the music isn't so busy is to hit 1 and 3 and when coming to a synchopated area go back to every beat. the reason for my post is with big band there seems to be tutti sections that can really stick out if everyones not as tight as possible. i heard the army jazz band out of dc play and they were so tight i thought maybe they reherse everyday. really blows you away a band that tight playing good arrangements.
i guess also i'm not used to some of the those rhythms now. syncopation can be pretty humbling. especially if your changing chords quickly.
hmm, thought i responded to this again.

i heard ray brown say that when he was with count basie he and everyone else in the band would tap on 1 and 3 and on super fast tunes only on 1.  

tapping all beats can cause you to be unrelaxed at fast tempos, it's nearly impossible to tap those tempos and play with any amount of touch.

eventually you want to feel the time in your body and then if you tap, it's because you want to and not because you have to.

for fast tempos i feel the first beat of the measure as a pulse. easy to keep things loose that way.
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
thanks for the all the advice. granted when one reherses a number it gets easier. i was concerned if there was an easier way to go about it on first sight readings. ongoing thing for sure.
i recently recieved the advice that being able to keep time with your foot means that you've internalized the beat enough to start putting it into your fingers.
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