down press up

27Aug08

Welcome to Down Press Up, a music educator’s resource and conversation piece. My name is Derek, and I’m a second-year band director in Texas. My goal here is to provide information about teaching band, as well as giving anecdotal commentary on my day to day in the band hall. Let’s get this started with an explanation of the title of this blog.

If you didn’t go to the same university I went to, then I suppose it’s possible you have no idea what “down press up” means. For now, we’ll keep things nice and anonymous, but if you are familiar with this concept, you might be able to guess where I’m from. If you do, I’d love to hear from you, as this concept seems to be an isolated one.

We use the “down press up” foot tap when dealing with beat subdivisions of three: slow 6/8 meters, fast 3/4 meters, and other similar time signatures provide great opportunities for this foot tap.

1. Tap your foot down, just like if you were tapping your foot normally.
2. Press down on your toe by lifting the heel off the ground. Even when sitting, this should look like you are on the ball of your foot.
3. Switch from the ball of your foot to your heel, and repeat.

This correspondes to the “1-lah-li, 2-lah-li” patterns of the Eastman counting system, or possibly the “trip-uh-let” counting subdivision of other counting systems. This foot tap is only effective up to tempos of about 112 to 120, where you want to switch back to “toe-heel” or “down-up” of the greater beat divisions (quarter, dotted quarter, etc.).

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One Response to “down press up”


  1. 1 So You Want To Teach? :: Entries :: A (Partial) Timeline of Music Education Blogging

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