Time Signatures

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by macalpine88, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. macalpine88

    macalpine88 SS.org Regular

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    i have just recently been trying to write stuff other than 4/4. i know a whole note gets 4 beats per measure and half gets 2 beats etc in 4/4. but do all the notes get counted the same in something other than 4/4. say 9/8 :confused: would notes have the same number of beats? :confused:
     
  2. Metal Ken

    Metal Ken Hates the Air Contributor

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    in 9/8, the 8th not gets the beat. But the easiest way to count that of is 3 8th notes per quarter note click on the metronome. Basically, think of 9/8 as 3/4 in triplets. generally, anything in X/8 has 3 8th notes per quarter note beat.
     
  3. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    yeah, given the formula A/B, B gets the beat, and there are A beats per measure. So, 7/4 means the quarter note gets the beat, and there are 7 of 'em to a measure. 7/8 is seven 8th notes per measure. 15/8 is 15 of 'em. Etc.

    It's usually a LOT easier to subdivide these when counting, though. Like, a fast 15/8 groove would involve counting one-two-three-four-five-six...-fourteen-fifteen-one... etc to stay on top of. It's MUCH easier to count, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8, etc. That's a pretty extreme example, maybe, but the traditional way of counting seven is 1-2-3-4-1-2-3, which is a little more excessable...

    You can count it in other ways, though- whatever fits your riff, really. You could count 15 as 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4-1-2-3; three groupings of four, then one of three. Or, you could do two groupings of 6 and one of three if that's how the downbeats fall- a buddy of mine wrote a riff in 19 that he counted out 1-1-2-3-1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-1-2, because that fit the melodic countour; one, three, seven, two.

    Sorry, late night at work- this might be a little disjointed. ;)

    -D
     
  4. God Of 7

    God Of 7 SS.org Regular

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    I taught piano for years (college major) and I found that you learned faster and more thoroughly when attacking odd time signatures one at a time.
    Focus on 5/4 and play examples until you are comfortable-really comfortable.You should be able to play your favorite 4/4 song melodies in 5/4 without much trouble. It'll sound wierd, but when you can do that- move to 7/4.
    You want to keep the quarter constant (like an anchor) as you navigate and only go to the eighth note meter after.

    Much easier to cop it IMHO. :D
     
  5. macalpine88

    macalpine88 SS.org Regular

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    thanks for the help :D i dont know why it is so hard. i have been trying to learn for about a year and now it is just starting ot make sense
     
  6. Metal Ken

    Metal Ken Hates the Air Contributor

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    The best thing to do is read as amny theory books as you can and ask as many questions as you can to people who know theory. After a while it all starts to make sense ;p
     
  7. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Listening to the stuff helps, too- if you don't own any, now's a GREAT time to buy some Tool... ;)

    -D
     
  8. macalpine88

    macalpine88 SS.org Regular

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    i listen to planet x alot to they have some wierd time signatures and i can count them but i just have trouble writing in them i dont know why though :(
     
  9. Metal Ken

    Metal Ken Hates the Air Contributor

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    Of if you wanna go to an extreme, Spiral Architect ;p
     
  10. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    been meaning to grab some of their stuff- care to recommend a starting point?

    tool still rocks. :) Maynard's a fuckin' genius :hbang:

    -D
     
  11. Metal Ken

    Metal Ken Hates the Air Contributor

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    They only have one album so far.. Get that one . ;p

    Songwise, check out Spinning or FountainHead.
     
  12. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    hmm. tricky. ;)

    No file sharing program, sorry... I miss audiogalaxy, i bought SO many albums because of that thing.
     
  13. Metal Ken

    Metal Ken Hates the Air Contributor

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    I got instant messanger, if you wanna do that or i could email them to ya.
     
  14. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    no home net access, and it wouldn't fly at work- sorry man.

    I checked out an amazon.com clip of "Spinning," I think- the first track. Didn't really care for the vocalist, and it's tough to get a feel for rhythmic complexity at whisper-quiet volumes...

    -D
     
  15. Metal Ken

    Metal Ken Hates the Air Contributor

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    just wait till you can hear it in its entirety. Its one of my all time fav. Prog albums after some Psychotic Waltz.
     
  16. Vince

    Vince Contributor

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    an easy way I like to break up odd time sigs is to break them down to their core parts. For example, when I'm playing 7/4 time, I try to think of it as a measure of 3, then a measure of 4...or a measure of 4, then a measure of 3. Either one of those (whichever fits the piece I'm playing) usually gets me through the part.

    I have two songs I've written where I delve in to odd times. One song is an industrial twinged song based in 5/4 time, and I oscillate (sp?) between 5/4 and 4/4, even putting 2 measures of 3/4 in there for fun.

    In another song, I begin the song in 4/4 time, the bridge halfway through is in 6/8, and then I finish the song with a 4 part guitar harmony in 11/8 time.

    11/8 time rules. It's a waltz with 2 big powerful hits every 4 measures (3/4, 3/4, 3/4, 2/4). Fun stuff!
     
  17. Metal Ken

    Metal Ken Hates the Air Contributor

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    Yeah, there's this badass spiral Architect riff in 11/16(Intro to "Fountainhead"). Its like, you gotta count 1-2-3-4-5--1-2-3-4-5-6. Its freaky as hell. You keep wanting to make it 12/16 (3/4) but thats what makes it so hard to play.
     
  18. Vince

    Vince Contributor

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    so, (5 and a half + 6)/ 4? That's not music, that's nearly calculus!

    Just put an f(n) = in front of it!



    Spiral Arichitect is a crazy band. Great stuff.
     
  19. Metal Ken

    Metal Ken Hates the Air Contributor

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    Its not 5.5, it was just me making it easier to read lol
    But its weird as hell
    After that, it goes into this part in 19/16 then back into the original riff, then into a 7/8 part thats awesome as hell.
     
  20. Vince

    Vince Contributor

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    Well I saw the two dashes and just assumed :agreed:


    Oh yeah, one more thing... :scream2:
     

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