Bad Conducting Survival Guide

This simple guide will help you to understand the pitfalls and dangers of bad conducting.

This simple guide will help you to understand the pitfalls and dangers of bad conducting.

A bad conductor can be a potential nightmare for many classical musicians. This simple guide will help you to understand the pitfalls and dangers of bad conducting.

 

  1. Circle, circle action

The beat could be anywhere within the circle. Be aware of the speed of the movement, and then listen to your colleagues, and either follow them, or the concert master.

 

  1. Below the waist car bonnet waxing

The conductor may be asking for you to play softly, or their arms might be tired. You’re not going to be able to see the beat down there, so listen to your colleagues.

 

  1. Row, row, row, your boat

The conductor wants forward momentum in the music, but is just being unhelpful. Watch the imaginary oar. The beat occurs the moment that it pushes through the pretend water.

 

  1. Below the belt boxing

The conductor may be trying to encourage strong percussive rhythms or accents, but you won’t be able to see their arms down there. Listen to your colleagues.

 

  1. The “where’s the upbeat?” upwards lifty-arms

The conductor may be attempting to increase the tempo or energy of the music, but it’s not particularly clear. Listen to your colleagues.

 

  1. The “keep going, keep going” randomised gesture.

The conductor has lost concentration during a long passage. Their tempo might be decreasing or increasing, and they are flailing their arms around in the air.

Ignore

 

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