Rhythm or not [Archive] - TradTalk Forums

: Rhythm or not

Glynn Sluder
11-07-2008, 05:02 PM
Out past 35 yards I use some kind of POA (point of aim), 45, 50, 55, it is somewhere right on the paper or very close, the others it is on the butt or ground, my rest or shelf on the bull.

I find myself falling into a rhythm when I shoot, first the draw sequence, then the aiming sequence where POA has the arrow point slowly floating on and past the "spot" like scope crosshairs. Meanwhile in my head is the dum, dum, dum, dum, now. I could even change that to, "I, will, shoot, it, now." Occasionally I will LOCK in on the spot and lose the rhythm making myself hold untill the point and my brain saying "release" happens at the same time.

That comes off as a forced shot and I think I do better when I let the cadence flow and shoot a more uniform timing. Ever notice at the range how everyone on the line seems to finish in the same order?

Do you have a rhythm or do you hold untill the stars all fall in line? How about you stringwalkers, you have the same sight picture every shot, don't you?

11-07-2008, 08:54 PM
A good queston, not often enough addressed. For short range hunting, movers, flyers and general sport archery especially with instinctive aiming, I find rhythm valuable. Certainly Howard Hill strongly stressed it for his style of shooting, and I agree.

For field and other target archery I see it differently. Here it is important to complete all 'of the things necessary to shoot well' (a Hemingway line if I recall it rightly) including allowing the aim to settle. Only then do you take the final steps including the pull-through to release and follow-through. Those final steps seem to me to work to a rhythm, but if the preceding are handled that way, the shot may go off before the aim has settled. If it does, the subconcious may make a final adjustment and pull the aim over so you make a good hit anyway. In the dynamic kind of shooting I first mentioned that is what the subconscious gets trained to do. Even on long range targets it can sometimes save your shot, but that is not what we want to depend on.

Further, if the steps, especially the aim settling, take too long, I tend to overdraw a bit and shoot high. So then it is better if I let down and begin again. But managing to let down with a 50 pound bow is a rare event. When I see a longbowman doing it I give him a standing ovation! So overall I see a rhythm to the shot which, though variable in some steps, should not be exceeded. - lbg

11-08-2008, 05:34 AM
I tend to shoot way too fast and am constantly trying to slow myself down. I snap shot for many years instinctively, and shot with a buddy who could rip off 4 shots faster than most guys shoot one and I was always trying to shoot rapidly to keep up :)
I still play a lot with tuning and with the chrono in the kitchen without serious aiming and tend to have a faster rhythm doing that. I'm trying to slow myself down there, too.
When I shoot the field range gapstinktive, I tend to shoot the shorter targets with a little faster rhythm, and take a more time when the point becomes useful on the longer ones. Some days I'll be out shooting very well (for me), and even though my hold is brief and the sight picture isn't particularly precise, the arrows will find the paper because I'm aiming thru the shot and following thru well. "In the zone". After I "trick" a couple in, I'll try to make myself slow down and "stop" the point, or at least slow it down more. Sometimes I get better, sometimes I lose it completely because I'm getting in my own way :)
So I think rhythm is important, but that a more deliberate slower rhythm would be better for me, and that there is a point where you should let down like lbg says. I don't do it often, but congratulate myself when I do. I tend to shoot 4 arrows at a time rather than staying in the present on each one, and don't rest enough between shots.
When I string walk, I still have trouble arriving with the point below the bull, and am working on arriving at the "front anchor" at about the same time I reach the rear anchor, which gives me more time to let my bow arm movement decrease before I come the rest of the way thru the shot.
I'm not sure what the "real" string walkers do, but most of the guys seemed to get off their shots in a consistent rhythm (some faster than others) on the Modern Traditional video. However, I saw Mark hold on a short shot for a LONG time - at least 6 seconds, maybe 10 - not sure if he was aiming that hard, froze off target and stubbornly held until he worked it in, or was just messing with us, ha ha.
I helped my instinctive shooting a lot by working on the blank bale, and watching my bow arm to let the movement slow down and steady up before releasing.
I can't really stop the point in the bull and don't think anyone really can, so I think it's important not to let the arrival of the point on the aiming spot to trigger the shot (having battled target panic off and on for many years). With the string walking I'm doing a lot of work in the kitchen trying to let the point float across a tiny dot a couple times before executing the shot.

Glynn Sluder
11-09-2008, 05:14 PM
It is amazing how much useful and thoughtful info followed in those two posts. I have read them about twenty times thinking I would address the points made, but don't know where to start, every time I read them my mind goes of on a different aspect therein and what I do the same or not and how will I use it in practice...dang.

My closer shots are "sight picture instinctive":) so I tend to hold on these longer, taking in everything and yet focusing on the bull intensely. I wish I had a better way to check a gap for them and pick up a few points per butt. Going to work on that.

11-10-2008, 08:17 AM
I have recently been trying to work on a more disciplined form of shooting.
Maintain good form, try to let down when the shot doesn't "feel right", maintaining back tension and a stff but not rigid bow arm.

When I can do this, I get good, reproducable results, but it is exhausting. I find I need to take a break every 30 to 40 shots. The brain is turning to mush, probably due to "recreational" activities from my misspent youth! :D