Are you a tapper?

Do you tap your foot with the beat whilst playing?

  • Total voters


Active Member
Some band players have bad habits. This is a fact.

Several of the bad habits I've got out of on instruction from all my conductors and the people who taught me how to play in the first place are:

1) Using the base of the finger on the valve instead of the tips
2) Puffing my cheeks out
3) Blowing through the instrument when emptying water

But one I sometimes go back to is tapping my feet. Sometimes I have to make a concious effort to NOT tap my feet.

But I notice a hell of a lot of players don't leave this bad habit behind... Is it such a bad habit?

What do YOU think? What do you do?


Active Member
I'm not sure it's a bad habit as long as you are tapping the same speed as the MD.

One of my pet hates howevr is the audible blowing of air throuigh the instrument before playing, but even worse when blowing water out particularly in quiet sections.


Some really good points there Fishta. I was lucky to have pretty good tuition as a youngster and those sort of habits were soon nipped in the bud.
One of the bad habits I had in my early days was not sitting up properly and blowing towards the floor. My teacher at the time would say to me ' Tha's not playing to t'worms lad' which I remember to this day! But like you say thse sort of habits can get on your nerves a bit!


Active Member
This is it, you see... I had it drummed into me that this was a bad habit, like playing from the throat instead of the lungs, cutting notes short crossing your legs (funnily enough bands used to do that to look smart many moons ago), all manner of things that you start off with when you're a beginner.

I really try NOT to tap my feet, but sometimes you can look round the band and all you can see is feet tapping away... or in the case of a player I once knew, he had his legs crossed under his chair and they kind of bounced to the beat....

Is it still drummed into learners these days? Does it bother you at all?
I hate people who tap their feet cause it shakes my stand an my music. It's so annoying!!

But as a youngster, and i still do now sometimes, i tend to slouch and press to hard on my top lip especially on the high notes. I wasn't really told about it until i had lessons with Lynda Nicholson about 5years ago. she broguht it my attention and nags every lesson, suppose it'll pay off in the long run...


Staff member
Don't think I'm a tapper. Maybe I waggle my foot sometimes..
Could be worse.. could be a stomper

Where's the nearest céilí ?


Well-Known Member
For me, foot-tapping is a cardinal sin among players. Why? Because it is encouraging the tapper to rely on their own beat rather than the conductor's - counting in the privacy of your own head is much more flexible and can take constant feedback from the conductor (i.e. from every movement that they make, ideally). I have seen players ruining tricky passages by trusting their wayward feet rather than counting properly! It is also noteworthy that tappers generally stop it when the music moves into a more complex metre - 7/8 say. Surely, if one doesn't need it for 'difficult' time signatures, one doesn't need it for easy ones?

The most irritating tapping I ever saw was perpetrated by the Principal Cornet of the 'International Rotary Brass Band 1996' (who were of approximately 2nd section standard, by the way), sat opposite from me on a stage where the audience's heads were at our foot height. All the way through he maintained a steady 'thump, thump' with the front of his big black right boot almost in the faces of the front row! When it was in the air the front end of his boot was more than six inches off the stage - amazing...


Mrs Fruity

It always amazes me (and I'm in the CERTAINLY NOT!!! category) how people can tap at a different speed and still manage to play at the right tempo and in the right place - perhaps they're pianists - that's another thing - how do they do it? - two hands and different rhythms all at once? - cor!!! filled with admiration!!! Or even mor COR!! - organists - feet too!!!
Bravo I say to all you organny types.


Not with the band. Only if on my own trying to work out a difficult rythmn, and rarely even then.

Its really distracting if you trying to conduct.

Whats really worst though is listening to a band playing on a wooden floor with a tapper on board.

thud...thud..thud... and often not in time with the music.

Naomi McFadyen

New Member
you either think...
'never 'tap' too loud; it's SO off putting'
'STAMP as you mean to go on! RRAAAA!!!!!!'

(counting in head is always quieter... so thats what i do)



:idea: Surely everyone is (or has been), guilty of 'tapping' at some point in their musical career. Personally i prefer to sway like a drunken fool... oh hang on... that's just cos i am... hic...



Active Member
I was sitting next to a tapper tonight in rehearsal and it was doing my head in! It's so off-putting! but I know a very good player who is also a foot tapper.


Active Member
I'm not a tapper and find it highly annoying!! Especially if the tapper's not tapping in time!!

But don't even get me started on "bobbers"!!!!! :evil: :evil: :evil:
A bit of movement to portraysome emotion maybe..... but sometimes i as i look over towards the conductor from the bass section i can't help butg think "Where did all these damn chickens get their instruments??!"
Even if you don't actually hear the 'Tap', if you catch it out of the corner of your eye it can be really off-putting. I'm firmly in the non-tappers camp.


I'm not a serial tapper, but I must admit that last night at a rehearsal I played the solo cornet part of Gaelforce for the first time and when the end section starts i had to tap to make sure I didn't get too carried away and get too excited!!

Talking of bad habits, people playing directly into their music is a common one. I find this alters the tone in a bad way, so I always move my music to the side and play into space! Its probably all in my mind, but I always think it sounds better like that! :D


Staff member
I do that one too Elin..
usually generates odd angles when sitting on the tail end of the back row though.

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