Movement or procedure with uniform or patterned recurrence of a beat, accent, or the like.

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Understanding the rhythmic structure of a song

I have played drums for a few months. Currently, I play for myself. I do exercises from stick control, but I also want to 'play along' to songs. Given a song A, how do I start playing along? By ear? ...
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4answers
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When is it proper (if ever) to extend time signatures (8/4 vs 4/4)?

When listening to most contemporary music, in my experience, time signatures tend to be in "common time", or 4/4. But sometimes it feels like the phrase or measure extends beyond the four quarter ...
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1answer
452 views

Duration of a quarter note with a 3 written beside it (on a synth display)?

I'm currently reading the manual to my old synthesizer (Roland MC-505) and for setting the quantization level amongst other settings it displays the note duration on the LCD using the symbols for the ...
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2answers
434 views

Notating 6 (or more) triplets with a single beam?

Does the bar labelled "One six note phrase" conform to notation standards? All the examples of triplets that I've seen before have always had the beams break every three notes, similar to the ...
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6answers
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Strumming, picking patterns for unusual time signatures

If the time signature is 8/8 or 4/4 and let's say we have 8 eighth notes in a bar the picking should just be down up down up down up, etc. But what happens if we have 7/8? Particularly in the next ...
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5answers
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What's the correct notation for a full bar note or rest in non-common time?

Obviously for 3 and 4/4 you use the respective semebreve or dotted minim, but what about 7/8, 9/8 and 15/16? I heard the convention is to just use a semibreve, but that doesn't make sense to me ...
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1answer
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What kind of acoustic guitars are good for rhythm playing?

I have a Takamine EG260C guitar. It is fundamentally a steel string acoustic optimized for fingerstyle playing (as I gather from Takamine's official site). The strings that I have put on is D'Addario ...
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3answers
540 views

How do you compose tuplets against straight notes?

I would like to know how to compose tuplets of odd numbers against even numbers on the piano (ie. 3 against 2). How would you go around composing something like this? I have been composing for some ...
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How does “triplet feel” for eighth notes affect non-eighth notes?

I'm a software developer creating a MIDI player that can play with "triplet feel" -- that is, when it sees two eighth notes, it plays them as if they were a triplet of quarter note + eighth note. This ...
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2answers
241 views

When transcribing a song and the speed doubles or halves, is it best to change the tempo and note values to reflect that or keep them the same?

This is something I've struggled with for awhile now, and applies to both transcription and composition. So, let's say we have a song at 160 BPM. The main subdivision is eighth notes, and the beat ...
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2answers
380 views

What's so off about the intro to Prokofiev's Dance of the Knights?

Now this question is by no means an attack on any conductor or orchestra, nor Prokofiev himself, but why does it seem that it's hard for everyone to get right into time with one another with this ...
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4answers
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Historical origins of 8-count bars in dance vs 4-count bars in music

I'm a dancer, and one of my dancer friends recently posed a question which I thought musicians might be able to answer. In our particular style of dance (west coast swing) and in many others that ...
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1answer
82 views

Origin of the Backbeat

Ok, so I've heard a lot on the origin of the backbeat. Some say it came from African voodoo and others say from the Middle East. Where did it actually come from? Also, people say it was expressly ...
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16answers
10k views

Why can some people play music well who don't “know music”?

I have seen people who can play instruments well, but can't: Read sheet music. Do not know anything about music theory. Do not know the structures or rhythms of sound, acoustics, or the such. I ...
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4answers
4k views

Rhythm guitar techniques for a great Blues/Blues Rock player

Firstly, let me say that I've been playing guitar for a couple of years now. I know a few scales (Major, Minor, Blues, Harmonic Minor) and the basic chords with it's different shapes. I've also ...
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4answers
878 views

Limb independence for non-drummers

I'm a beginning cellist, and one of the things I struggle with is limb independence. The simple act of trying to keep a steady beat with my foot while playing subdivided beats (i.e. 8th notes) with ...
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5answers
603 views

How should I notate repeated dotted eighth notes?

I am transcribing the Spin-Dig Galaxy Theme from Super Mario Galaxy 2. At 0:21, there is a rhythm that I think is four dotted eighth notes and then two regular eighth notes. Should I notate that as ...
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6answers
861 views

What are the various ways of vocalizing rhythmic figures?

I know of the standard western technique where the beats (quarter notes) are numbered and eighths are vocalized as 'and' and sixteenths are vocalized as 'ee' and 'uh' (One-ee-and-uh Two-ee-and-uh). ...
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2answers
900 views

How to determine the strumming pattern for a song

My son was trying to devise a strumming pattern for a song but gave up. How would someone go about developing a strumming pattern for song like Chiquitita by ABBA on an acoustic guitar?
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5answers
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How can I develop mastery of polyrhythms in playing guitar?

(I am asking this question because someone just posted a question which misused the term "polyrhythm", and subsequently, on realizing the mistake, edited the question to reflect their real question -- ...
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4answers
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How do I make funk rhythm guitar sound fuller and nicer?

Christmas is coming and I'm the rhythm guitarist for our school production of 'The Wiz'. I'm not amazing but I consider myself quite good at guitar but I can't get funk. It just baffles me! I am a ...
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2answers
687 views

Tips for using complex time signatures in a “catchy” pop song?

I'm looking to write some music in the vein of a band I discovered recently called Icarus The Owl, who use some pretty wacky time signatures (anything from 21/16 into weirder territories) but always ...
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2answers
587 views

physiological responses to different rhythms

InspIred by Physiological basis for note durations?, I'm wondering about a more general question of how the body responds to different tempos and beat structures, and how musIic is designed to elicit ...
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3answers
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Drummer: Follow Bassist, Guitarist, or Lead

I spent the first 10 years of my drumming life identifying the flashiest elements of songs I played, and charting my performance around those accents. What this meant is that I found myself following ...
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2answers
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How to find the downbeat in a measure in a dance rhythm

I dance standard ballroom dances like the waltz, jive, and rumba. Except for the waltz, I have difficulty finding the downbeat of each new measure. Is there some system to find when each new measure ...
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3answers
506 views

Note duration in Hindemith's “Elementary Training For Musicians”

On the recommendation of a friend (and Nadia Boulanger), I am working through Hindemith's "Elementary Training For Musicians", with an eye to using a small selection of its exercises for some of my ...
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2answers
169 views

Does this rhythm (dotted 8-16 8 8, hot po-ta-to) have a name?

It is used in some earlier songs of Antònia Font: If you slow it down it becomes a Phil Spector drumbeat. In which other ways can it be precisely described? ...
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192 views

How to tackle this tricky rhythm?

I play in a local brass quintet, and we were sent some new music by a local composer. When we played it through, my part contained this rhythmic pattern which stopped me dead. I realised that when I ...
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3answers
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Must one be born with a sense of rhythm to learn to play a drum set with both feet and both hands?

I am a semi pro musician (only because folks are generous enough to pay me to perform on occasion - not because of great talent) and can play guitar well enough to accompany my singing and play a ...
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2answers
370 views

Rhythms notes for didgeridoo

I'm learning to play didgeridoo and have a question - How can I write the rhythms on paper? It's overtone musician instrument and I don't know how can I apply musical notation or something other. I ...
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1answer
217 views

How does one analyze tricky time shifts?

It can be hard to analyze time changes if one isn't used to odd rhythms. If we take a section of the track Divine Moments of Truth by Shpongle as an example, since it's changing timing several times ...
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1answer
437 views

Learning Bossa Nova Guitar

It's been awhile since I have played guitar but I'm trying to get back into it. I really like bossa nova music and want to learn how to play it. I have some beginner sheet music that I am learning ...
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7answers
768 views

How do you count many bars of silence (rests)?

Playing in a jazz band there are often 5,6 or 8 bars of silence. This is no problem as I can count them on my fingers. But how do I count larger rests, for example 52, 112 or even longer rests, as in ...
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6answers
827 views

How can I retain a tempo so as to keep in time when playing with a group?

Recently I have started to notice as I have progressed more at guitar, that my timing is somewhat poor compared to my level of playing. For the majority of my playing I have used backing tracks and so ...
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5answers
881 views

Keeping a drummer in time with my keyboard

I'm a keyboard player in a party band, and I'd love to be able to use the kind of loop-delay sounds so common on modern processed recordings to fill out the sound. However, I face the immediate ...
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4answers
852 views

I am a beginner piano player, have no idea how to emphasize a downbeat

But how do I put an emphasis on a beat? Do I play it louder? Do I play it longer?
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3answers
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Awful timing when recording multiple tracks

A few days ago I started recording a song (not mine, it is going to be a cover version) and when I first recorded a guitar intro (just four bars of fingerpicked chords) I was horrified by my timing. ...
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2answers
286 views

Practice advice: Struggling with alternating left hand and off beat right hand melody

It comes up a lot but it is a massive weakness for me, and I wonder if I am just lacking aptitude, or if I'm practicing wrong. My problem is when I have an alternating bass with the left hand, e.g. ...
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3answers
373 views

What do uncommon time signatures consist of?

Take a X/4, it means "the measure will contain X notes, the value of which are 1/4" I understand this concept for X/Y signatures, with Y being a power of 2. But what does that mean for the others ? ...
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3answers
268 views

How should 3 notes joined with 1 beam line drawn on 5-staff-line?

Straight to the question, if I have this following numerical scores notation : 4/4, Do=C How to draw it into staff musical notation (If you have better way to say this musical notation type, ...
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1answer
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What does the 3 above the staff represent?

From the below image, What does the 3 above the three quarter notes represent? I attempted to look it up here but I did not find anything similar to it. I am assuming it makes the 3 notes shorter, ...
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3answers
542 views

Flamenco Guitar: Soleares, 12-beat accent question

I'm just starting to get into flamenco guitar, and I have a question about the proper placement of accents. I have a teacher and we have started with Soleares, and he says the accent goes on 3, 6, ...
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2answers
292 views

How can I improve my sense of time?

I'm a semi-professional drummer, and feel that lately my sense of time is slipping. Specifically, I tend to count in songs a bit too fast and/or the tempo rushes a bit over the course of the song. I ...
5
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2answers
245 views

Need help leaning to feel and play the upbeat centric soul/gospel/funk groove

I'm a pianist for a contemporary church also. I've been playing for my church for 30 years but I'm trying to improve my playing. My problem is that I really don't know that much about music theory ...
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1answer
59 views

What's the Italian musical term for “in minuet steps”?

I am writing down some choir music in which, beginning at a certain point, the bass starts to sing continuous eighths in a particular manner: the first eighth is tied to the second one, but the second ...
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2answers
213 views

Is this rhythm called a salsa or samba or something else?

Is there a name for this little beat? main: .--.|--.-|--.-|-.-- accompaniment: .-.-|.-.-|.-.-|.-.- (a dot is a hit and a dash is a rest) Sorry for the makeshift notation and lack of ...
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3answers
122 views

What are the real time values of jazz swing eighths in performance?

Straight eighth notes are halves of a quarter note. Swing eighths are often notated as or as But if you actually play as notated this sounds clunky. What are the real time values of swing ...
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1answer
216 views

Word for part of a beat

I'm writing an article describing the musical tradition of a particular culture, but I'm at a loss for general terms for durations shorter than a beat. Simple prolation (such as 2/4 or 3/4) divides a ...
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1answer
417 views

Breakdown of Ray Charles' “swinganova” style?

In the liner notes to Ray Charles' collected country and western recordings, there is a section on how the popularity of bossa nova beats led him to come up with the more soul-accented version in his ...
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1answer
594 views

What are these aspects of song structure called?

In songs, we often have very similar melodies and rhythm patterns being repeated over and over again. The following is an approximate melody of one stanza of Willy O' Winsbury as performed by ...