Forums > Beginner Poi Moves > The tempo/RPM of spinning, by PoiBoxII

Login/Join to Participate

_Clare_
_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast
Member Since: 22nd Oct 2002
Total posts: 5967
Posted:PoiBoxII/Andy emailed this text to me recently and asked me to post it up here - as his local internet cafes are not being cooperative! rolleyes

I think it's a really lovely way to consider spinning, and a great first step in identifying that 'holistic' or 'expressive' method of spinning.

Best wishes, and thanks Andy smile

hug

Clare x


Tempo... or the RotationsPerMinute (RPM) of Spinning

The speed of spinning is one of the fundamental factors, and normally among the first variables for expression while dancing (not forgetting that fast spinning is, in my opinion, still the Number One crowd-pleaser!).

Being aware of your spinning speed is important when trying to keep in rhythm with the music, or expressing ones moods - like funky, or melancholic.

Speed is deeply connected with our perception of moods.

When we see anything in movement we automatically connect an inner attribute to it. So, strong, 'aggressive', fast on one side; calm, 'relaxed', slow on the other.

Many people differentiate the tempo of spinning into fast, slow and normal... which is a useful first classification. But lets take a closer look at the numbers behind it.

What range does the speed of spinning have?

The speed of spinning can comprise up to 3 octaves.
For most poi, 50 RPM is already beyond the critical speed where the poi starts to
drop at the height of its circle.

200 RPM is more or less the maximum for high speed spinning - and a certain stiffness may occur wink

1:3 (60:180) is, in my opinion, the maximum speed range for relaxed and controllable spinning.

But, try it for yourself:
Spin one poi as slow as you can and see how many circles you can do with the other while the slow one does one full rotation.

What does that mean for spinning?!
(Nothing unless you are a freak - welcome to HOP tongue)

It came to my attention that some people have preferred ranges of spinning speed and it can be quite difficult for them to get out of those speed routines. This is easily understood, since unless one is using a metronome it is difficult to keep track of an exact RPM count.

But this makes it difficult to adapt their spinning to different paced music. Most of the time, people practice a specific move in one speed (in my experience, around 88) until they get it and move on to learning more intricate patterns. Thus, leaving the speed range behind, or only playing with it while dancing.

So, my recommendation is to consciously spin at different speeds in order to find out where you feel comfortable, and when you have to concentrate in order to keep pace.

I would not say that it is important to practice at different speeds, but it is sometimes useful to take a closer look wink tongue

A similarity exists between RPM and the BPM count (BeatsPerMinute) in music. Both have more or less the same range.

Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia about tempo:
"Before the metronome, words were the only way to describe the tempo of a composition. Yet after the metronome's invention, these words continued to be used, often additionally indicating the mood of the piece, thus blurring the traditional distinction between tempo and mood indicators."

And those "mood indicators" can be applied to spinning too smile

From fastest to slowest, the common tempo markings are:

Prestissimo - extremely fast (200 - 208 bpm)
Presto - very fast (168 - 200 bpm)
Allegro - fast and bright or "March Tempo" (120 - 168 bpm)
Moderato - moderately (90 - 115 bpm)
Andante - at a walking pace (76 - 108 bpm)
Adagio - slow and stately (literally, "at ease") (66 - 76 bpm)
Larghetto - rather broadly (60 - 66 bpm)
Largo - Very slow (60-40 bpm),

If you don't have a metronome at home you can go here: www.metronomeonline.com

Have a good day and all the best
Andy

PS: Btw, the range of the heartbeat is from 50 to 200...


Getting to the other side smile

Delete Topic

GeoffonTour04
enthusiast
Location: Oxford
Member Since: 30th Nov 2005
Total posts: 360
Posted:Good stuff, use of the word octaves is a little strange as it has nothing to do with timing but I'll let that go.

Some additional information, most dance/trance is around 140bpm, as 136bpm is the average heartbeat for an excited/agitated person.

Moves can almost always (transitions make it more difficult) be precisely matched to a tempo to the point where each circle is one beat in the music (or one circle for two beats, two for one or in fact almost any ratio of the two if you're accurate enough). This is easiest with same time moves like butterfly, and gets quite hard with 3 or 5 beat moves as music is usually done in twos and fours - almost all popular music is in 'common time' or 4/4 (four beats per bar each beat a quarter note or crotchet).

Three beats for example can either be done as triplets (3 beats for every two of the music) or by following the beats directly, but this takes 12 beats (the lowest common multiple of 3 & 4) to line up again, or 3 bars.

Split time makes it more difficult to keep track of because you'll usually be spinning double time (8th notes or quavers) compared to the metronome/drums which means 3 or 5 beat moves will take a long time to line up again, although this isn't quite so important with spinning as you rarely hold the same move for very long, and it doesn't feel 'wrong' if you don't start a bar with the start of a weave.

It can however be useful to practice a few things that you know last a certain number of beats/bars so that if you know there's a large change coming in the music you can get ready for it and do an appropriate trick (eg orbitals work really well with fast filter sweeps). I made a post on timing in spinning a while ago which explains in more detail how split time etc works with the music.

Also, a good way to roughly gauge tempos is to find out the exact tempo of a few songs you know very well, and play them back in your head over the song you're trying to work out. They will either seem slightly slow or fast, from there just guess, the guesses will get more accurate with time (esp. if you practice with a metronome).


Delete

FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:umm Ts, who is this AndyGuy anyways that he can't post it here on HoP himself? wink



Most spinners are glued to the bpm's of the music playing.



Let me put it this way: There is an entire universe of possibilities and beauty beyond this. Change of timing, slow motion to fast forward (example Banyan and MK) are creating an incredible tension.



So I completely side Andy: Try various speeds, go from as slow to as fast as possible and play to other music than trance.



[edit] besides I reckon it's not just a beginner topic

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1202895911)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

Delete

_Clare_
_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast
Member Since: 22nd Oct 2002
Total posts: 5967
Posted:smile

As I said, he doesn't seem to be able to post threads from the internet cafes where he is. I'm sure he would have done it himself, if he could. wink


smile


Getting to the other side smile

Delete

FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:ubblol last time I met him, he was busy reading a book "How to turn yourself into a legend"... wink

If he can send it to you by mail, there is no reason he can't post it here - I would like to find such a good and kind secrecary like you for myself... hug2


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

Delete

aston
aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2007
Total posts: 4061
Posted:Nice stuff....

Need to think about this one.

Thanks!


'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

Delete

Analemma
Analemma

enthusiast
Location: West LA
Member Since: 22nd May 2003
Total posts: 384
Posted:hug Thank you Melady wave
@ Tom - somehow I cannot start new threads ... i tried it ubbloco
And imo more people listen when a beautiful woman talks - law of nature peace

Greetings and enjoy the Master s Drum Beat next week


grouphug


To learn - read. To know - write. To master - teach . . .

Delete

Richee
HOP librarian
Location: Prague
Member Since: 15th Jan 2002
Total posts: 1841
Posted:Scoiattolo roscco!



wink



---------------------------------



Nx?,



:R


POI THEO(R)IST

Delete

alphalight
alphalight

member
Location: south germany
Member Since: 20th Jan 2005
Total posts: 103
Posted:next level would be find ur inner rythm and then transfer it to ur poi

im dreaming of a total moon eclypse with the invisible man

ubbidea


peace and light

Delete

FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Thanks Andy, I'm a bit too far to the right to see the full thing shrug Can't start threads? confused Contact admin.

Arashi incorporated the Poi speed/ rhythm/ beat concept in his workshops (if I remember correctly). Saying that as there are various musical elements in each song, one can choose which element to highlight.

I think it's important to choose your own style and either play on beat or find your completely own space within the music you perform to.

Speed variations add a highly thrilling touch to the performance.

I find myself to be a "slave to the rhythm" most of the times... kind of limiting.

Thanks for dropping by and shedding the light hug


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

Delete

Analemma
Analemma

enthusiast
Location: West LA
Member Since: 22nd May 2003
Total posts: 384
Posted:A point that imo didnt really come across is the devision of RPM into certain ranges that have their distinct qualities, like it is described in music already.
One might argue that there are infinite different speeds one can spin and they all have their characteristic, which is true, nonetheless there are certain "trends" that can be differentiated.
Much like with the spectrum of light. There are endless colours within - but for our mind and perception we seem to recognise general "trends" or colours. On the one hand we can percieve narrow bands where a colour is percieved as kind of "pure" and on the other hand there are areas where it is "in between" changing from one colour to the next.
Similar effects are imho hidden within BPM and RPM. Only more subtle and difficult to recognise since we are not trained to differentiate them. And everyone for sure has a different perception of what is pure and there is no absolute. Which doesnt mean that a trend of clarity doesnt exist. And finding gems on ones path is always a lifting experience smile Enough ramblin
If I dont make sense, dont mind . . . its not important. Cu on the dark side of the moon hug


Non-Https Image Link


To learn - read. To know - write. To master - teach . . .

Delete

AlienJon
AlienJon

enthusiast
Location: Everywhere
Member Since: 7th Mar 2002
Total posts: 290
Posted: Written by: GeoffonTour04


Good stuff, use of the word octaves is a little strange as it has nothing to do with timing but I'll let that go.



I beg to differ. wink "octave" indeed has at least something to do with "timing". Think past a strict music theory interpretation of "timing" and "octave". Andy is emphasizing RPMs with poi after all. As far as the realm of the auditory is concerned, however, the periodicity and rate of a repeating pattern of beats can be expressed as cycles per second, no? Below a certain frequency (don't know it off the top of my head) we discern beats, above a certain frequency and we perceive a tone. So in some sense isn't FrequencyX*2^n an octave of FrequencyX even if one sounds like beats, and one sounds like a tone? All you need to do to experience this 1st hand is play around with a delay effect. with a quick enough frequency the echoes become a "cone filter" and you get a pervasive overtone (ie sounds like nitrous, or that sh!z in the middle of the average Dieselboy set).

In pointing out the shift in perception when we cross a certain frequency threshold, hopefully I've illuminated an important aspect of what I think Andy is really getting at:
as we cross different thresholds of poi rpm we perceive different qualities. For instance, spin the slowest flower you can. The onlooker perceives consecutive circles, traveling in a compound circle manner. Now spin it as fast as you can. The onlooker perceives the trail as a spirograph pattern (an epitrochoid in this case).

-Alien Jon


+Alien Jon

Delete

Durbs
Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 5688
Posted:But "octave" derives specifically from 8, either a series of eights, a difference of 8, or an eighth of a thing - so unless the "3 octaves" of timing specifically mean you can only spin within a range of 24 specific BPMs it's still the wrong word wink
Given Andy's range is 50-200 rpm i.e. a difference of 150 - it's got nothing to do with octaves.
But then as English isn't his first langugage, I wouldn't bother getting too bogged down in this wink

I personally view the range of spinning speeds as discreet rather than modular (wrong word, i know) - I don't think there's a certain range of speeds which could be seen as "atmospheric", "angry", "intense", "crap", "fluffy" etc - I think it's more of a gradiant, and even this comes down to the viewer and a lot could be altered by the spinners attitude.

On the whole though, top post - and yes kids, play with speeds more biggrin


Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude

Delete

Durbs
Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 5688
Posted:Side point: So if you're doing continual 4:1 polyrhythmic spinning, would you end up with a half-relaxed/half-excited audiance member? wink

Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude

Delete

AlienJon
AlienJon

enthusiast
Location: Everywhere
Member Since: 7th Mar 2002
Total posts: 290
Posted: Written by: Durbs


Side point: So if you're doing continual 4:1 polyrhythmic spinning, would you end up with a half-relaxed/half-excited audiance member? wink


Probly just someone going WTF mate?!

...and yes I agree on the octave thing as far as an accurate definition. However, the term has been used more loosely in mystic and new age~ish talk to refer to periodicity in levels of perception of reality, which is kinda in line with what Andy is saying. rolleyes


+Alien Jon

Delete

Durbs
Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 5688
Posted:Puh - bloody hippies...
They'll be trying to re-define "dance" next wink


Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude

Delete

AlienJon
AlienJon

enthusiast
Location: Everywhere
Member Since: 7th Mar 2002
Total posts: 290
Posted: Written by: Durbs


Puh - bloody hippies...
They'll be trying to re-define "dance" next wink



I thought bloody ravers already did that with liquid... all that standing in one place rolling ones hands about... ubbrollsmile


+Alien Jon

Delete

GeoffonTour04
enthusiast
Location: Oxford
Member Since: 30th Nov 2005
Total posts: 360
Posted: Written by: AlienJon


 Written by: GeoffonTour04


Good stuff, use of the word octaves is a little strange as it has nothing to do with timing but I'll let that go.



I beg to differ. wink "octave" indeed has at least something to do with "timing". Think past a strict music theory interpretation of "timing" and "octave". Andy is emphasizing RPMs with poi after all. As far as the realm of the auditory is concerned, however, the periodicity and rate of a repeating pattern of beats can be expressed as cycles per second, no? Below a certain frequency (don't know it off the top of my head) we discern beats, above a certain frequency and we perceive a tone. So in some sense isn't FrequencyX*2^n an octave of FrequencyX even if one sounds like beats, and one sounds like a tone? All you need to do to experience this 1st hand is play around with a delay effect. with a quick enough frequency the echoes become a "cone filter" and you get a pervasive overtone (ie sounds like nitrous, or that sh!z in the middle of the average Dieselboy set).

In pointing out the shift in perception when we cross a certain frequency threshold, hopefully I've illuminated an important aspect of what I think Andy is really getting at:
as we cross different thresholds of poi rpm we perceive different qualities. For instance, spin the slowest flower you can. The onlooker perceives consecutive circles, traveling in a compound circle manner. Now spin it as fast as you can. The onlooker perceives the trail as a spirograph pattern (an epitrochoid in this case).

-Alien Jon



Octave already has a perfectly good meaning, as durbs pointed out, and while it's inappropriate use is forgiveable in the orgininal post (I don't believe there is one word to describe what he means by octave) it shouldn't really be encouraged as stuff like that gets very confusing.

The generally accepted term is tempo marks/markings and a more comprehensive list (and much more info on timing and all kinds of music theory) can be found here


Delete

AlienJon
AlienJon

enthusiast
Location: Everywhere
Member Since: 7th Mar 2002
Total posts: 290
Posted:I agree that we shouldn't promote the adoption of "octave" as some sort of poi terminology. What I'm getting at is that the word "octave" is used in certain segments of society (newage hippie types) to mean something different from the strict definition. What said segment of society is getting at with their improper use of the word still may have merit in terms of its relation to poi. This type of thing happens throughout history with many words and is a valid part of culture and language.

Lets forget using the word "octave"! tongue

At Spherecamp West in Austin, TX Noel-Ski relayed his interpretation of a conversation he had with Andy on this subject. He mentioned 60, 120, and 240 though if memory serves. So, I think my mind was already prepped for the word "octave" since an octave is 2 times the frequency of the root (the wavelength is half of the root).

Anyway, thanks for the music theory link GeoffonTour04! I hope to have interesting conversations with Andy at Firedrums on this and other subjects.

-Alien Jon


+Alien Jon

Delete

Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:I too, feel the word octave is mesused in this context. We don't need it to discuss spinning speed. Other than that, the OP was a damn good one.

In my experience, not enough people pay attention to playing with speed, to accelerating and decelerating their poi and instead become more of a slave to the beat...so to speak.

A few years ago, BansheeCat addressed the whole idea of interpreting elements of music....other than the beat, and I've taken that concept to heart and don't really pay attention to the beat anymore. Usually, i get tortured with repetitive, soulless electronic dance music at out weekly indoor spin jams, which I can deal with. Even is the music is thumping a gazillion bbm, I can still pick out elements that I want to use, when I want to slow down.

But, yes, there are times when I just want to get out there and "give'er" at a high bpm, but it's usually more of a workout session with way less variety in my "moves" than anything else. In short, creativity dies so speed can live.

The real problems come with spinning to live drummers. In my experience the drummers who are sensitive to the needs and wants of a spinner are few and far between. Most drummers ( IMO ) play too fast, and given the lack of other elements to latch on to, I find myself expending a lot of effort trying to ignore the music in favour of what I, as a spinner feel like doing.

Very rarely, do I feel like spinning at 100+ bbm...but then I am an old fart ( relative to most spinners )


Delete

aston
aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2007
Total posts: 4061
Posted:Hmmm.... The drum circle here at uni is pretty ok to spin to. Do not have experience with others, to be fair, but I like this group.

Even if most of them are hippies.


'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

Delete

Mireneye
enthusiast

Member Since: 10th Oct 2005
Total posts: 276
Posted:I'm somewhere between Andante and Allegro, moving between them, or trying, depending on the music of course.

Something worth thinking about is that your spinning can be double the speed or half the speed of the BPM and it will still match if you do it well. You will find it really hard to do at first but after some practicing you'll notice how effective it is.

I've been practicing changing the speed in relation to each other. Going from really slow to really quick in a very short time, and it has proven to be very effective as well.


Delete

GeoffonTour04
enthusiast
Location: Oxford
Member Since: 30th Nov 2005
Total posts: 360
Posted:I've been thinking more about this & using a lot of dotted crotchet rhythms on one hand with the other on beat. Could be expressed as 1.5 beats for every normal or a 2:3 ratio, sounds awesome in music & looks quite good with poi. Also useful when double time is just too fast.

Delete

Analemma
Analemma

enthusiast
Location: West LA
Member Since: 22nd May 2003
Total posts: 384
Posted:"So if you're doing continual 4:1 polyrhythmic spinning, would you end up with a half-relaxed/half-excited audiance member?"

Probably!?! For sure the performer is gonna end up with one relaxed and one excited arm hug


To learn - read. To know - write. To master - teach . . .

Delete

Mireneye
enthusiast

Member Since: 10th Oct 2005
Total posts: 276
Posted:That's why I love polyrhythms.

Delete

callygull
newbie

Member Since: 23rd Aug 2007
Total posts: 3
Posted:So what would be good music to train to (tempo wise) and how I do figure out my rpm?
Cally
Indiana Personal Injury Attorney


Delete