Bear Dance

A traditional Flemish tune used by Blowzabella to accompany a doofy dance reminiscent of the Hokey-Pokey. The dance ends with everyone bouncing their butts on the floor. Inexplicably recorded by New Age musicians as a sensitive, thoughtful piece.

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6 Responses to “Bear Dance”

  1. 1 John November 14, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    Hi Cathy,

    How do you typically treat a figure similar to the 3rd beat in measure 4? Do you roll from one string to another using whatever picking finger or do you pluck the second note with your left hand? It seems easier (though not for me as loud – yet) to pluck at speed.

    By the way, is this type of question more pedantic than your intended purpose of this blog?


  2. 2 Cathy November 16, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    John, thanks for your question. I think it’s a perfectly appropriate question for the blog and helps me learn what I’m doing. To play an open string that’s downhill of the string I just frailed, I usually pluck the open string with my left hand (aka an alternate string pull-off).

    I rarely do a roll with the frailing finger in a gonzo dance tune because it can interrupt the rhythm. And when you’re going fast, it can be hard to do a roll like that and then immediately frail on the down beat. However, those rolls can work really nicely in slower, more lilting tunes, especially if you’re playing strings 2 and 1 followed immediately by the 5th string (I think that’s a “Galax lick”).


  3. 3 John November 16, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    Makes sense. I’m not quite fluid yet with my plucking finger though I know it will come. You appear to have a fairly solid technical grasp of the instrument. May I ask how long you’ve been playing?

  4. 4 Cathy November 16, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    It’s hard to say how long I’ve been playing. I started playing in 1978 or so. I stopped about a year later and picked up the banjo only occasionally for the next 20-something years, during which I was a musician on other instruments. Then in 2001 or so I started playing banjo socially, and I’ve been playing more seriously for the last three years.

  5. 5 David Prat November 22, 2008 at 8:56 am

    Hi Cathy ,
    I’m From Barcelona,spain, my wife family is from the North of spain,Asturias, and the Bear dance is a traditional tune over there, it’s called La Danza del Oso.

  6. 6 Cathy November 24, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Hi David,

    That’s cool to hear. The Bear Dance is the kind of sturdy tune that shows up in several cultures.

    I was in Barcelona a few years ago and went over to Berga for La Patum. It was amazing!


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