The organization of sound in a temporal framework

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16
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How can I teach a student who seems to have no rhythm?

I've been teaching a highschool kid acoustic guitar lately and even though everything related to the left hand is progressing well, he is having major problems with his rhythm. To give you the full ...
16
votes
3answers
465 views

What is this beat and why is it so popular

In many concert etudes, along with several rock songs, there is an accented pattern that often serves as a link to a new section of the music. It also works as a great fill. It usually comes from the ...
15
votes
5answers
434 views

Teaching Bandmates to Count

I started out as a classically trained guitarist and spent my high school years playing bass in a (school) jazz ensemble, so I have some (limited) formal musical training. Playing rhythm in Jazz ...
15
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6answers
289 views

Varying rhythms on bass

I've gotten into something of a bad habit in which I either play things in a steady rhythm, in triplets, or galloping, but without much variation, and I feel like I'm stagnating. What are some good ...
15
votes
1answer
204 views

How to learn to play 'out of phase' with yourself?

There's a Piano piece by Steve Reich called piano phase, in which the same notes are played on 2 pianos (usually by different people), but over time, they shift out of phase with each other. Here's ...
13
votes
4answers
550 views

What exactly is the act of playing behind the beat?

I am a guitarist trying to improve my rhythmic feel and have been told to play a little more behind the beat. This is in a studio setting. How should I approach this to be more consistant in playing ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

When playing drums behind the beat, what instruments define the actual beat?

As a drummer, I'm trying to improve my micro-time to put more feeling in the grooves I play. For certain songs (ballads for example), you usually try to get a "laid-back" feeling by playing slightly ...
12
votes
7answers
1k views

How useful is a metronome for playing the piano?

I've been learning to play the piano for over a year and a half now, and have never used a metronome to date. My rythm and tempo are usually decent, at least after playing the piece properly a few ...
11
votes
8answers
6k views

What exercises can I do to improve my timing?

I recently made a recording consisting of overdubs in GarageBand. Playing it back, I was horrified to hear that while I felt as if I was in the groove while recording, I had actually been wildly ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

How to work out a strum pattern?

Annoyingly most guitar players seem to 'just play' a rhythm/strum pattern and it sounds like a song. What advice can the community here give someone who is trying to go beyond playing 4 downs to ...
11
votes
3answers
240 views

Is there a name for this sort of ambiguity with respect to the rhythm of a piece, and/or is this a recognized technique in composition?

If you listen to the first 40 seconds or so of Veridis Quo by Daft Punk, you'll probably feel like you have a pretty good idea of the beat of the song, each of the chords starting on the first beat of ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Performance practice of Viennese Waltz

Occasionally, when I listen to an orchestra playing a Strauss waltz or something similar, I hear something interesting in the background rhythm of 'boom chik chik' in that the first 'chik' happens ...
11
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3answers
415 views

Basic Punk Rhythm Guitar--Snare Feels Like Down Beat

I'm a pretty good guitarist, and I can play some tricky rhythms (weird time signatures, syncopation, some of the easier djent stuff) but I've always had trouble when my drummer starts to play anything ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Teaching rhythm to a beginner

I'm teaching viola to a beginner high school student. His progress with technique and reading are pretty good, but one thing he has trouble with is rhythm and tempo. He tends to want to work on ...
9
votes
5answers
418 views

Keeping rhythm when performing live without a drummer

I'm a member of a small band, and a common problem that arises when playing faster-paced music is keeping everyone in sync, rhythm wise. It goes without saying that one person falling out of time can ...
9
votes
4answers
360 views

What's this rhythm called?

I often hear this rhythm in accompaniments in contemporary music: |x---x---x---x---| Beat |--x--x--x--x--x-| Lead 1.:.2.:.3.:.4.:. That is, it's a 4:3 polyrhythm but with a single quarter note ...
8
votes
5answers
764 views

How to tell the time signature of a song by listening?

Every song has some kind of time signature even if different parts of the song have different time signatures there is always a time signature. When learning a song by ear and no score, knowing the ...
8
votes
6answers
307 views

English translation for “rubato”

Most italian musical indications and concepts are easy to translate in one or two words (largo, presto, crescendo, ...) but it is difficult to find even an approximation to rubato. Any suggestions?
7
votes
2answers
359 views

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? ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

What's the best method for learning how to play triplets over quavers?

I've always struggled to play pieces where one part is in quavers (or any multiple thereof) and another is in triplets (or any odd number). I'm going to have to finally conquer it, as I am attempting ...
7
votes
3answers
293 views

What is and what is not syncopation

I'll often hear tunes in which the first note is upbeat and the second is downbeat. When is it sycopation and when is it not? For one of many examples, take "Amazing Grace." The "A-" is a weak beat ...
7
votes
2answers
114 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
328 views

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 ...
6
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
364 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
297 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
186 views

Samba percussion for songwriters

I'm a song-writer (a guitar player) and I need to write drum parts for myself. I discovered how cool the brazilian samba carnival percussion is (not the watered down European jazz-samba), but haven't ...
6
votes
4answers
267 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). ...
6
votes
3answers
389 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Rhythm/Drum exercises without drums

I am a 24 year old computer engineering student who just have started playing drums. I spend on avarage 1 hour on bus to school and 40-60 min on exercise like running, biking, etc every day. My point ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

How does the Risset Rhythm work?

Many people know about the Shepard-Risset Tone/Glissando, which is a tone that starts low and seems to continue ascending(or descending) when you listen to it, even though it actually is playing the ...
5
votes
5answers
354 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
449 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
277 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
167 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 ...
5
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3answers
230 views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
153 views

Decoupling voice from the beat [duplicate]

When playing and instrument and singing, I find it quite hard to separate the rhythm in the vocal line from that in whatever instrument I'm playing (guitar, drums). Is there a good way to approach ...
4
votes
2answers
492 views

I have a song in my head, I know how it sounds, but I can't get it to translate well to DAW

I've had a full-fleshed out song in my head for days, but I can't figure out how to get it started. I THINK I have the tempo correct, but when I play it out, it doesn't line up with the measures, and ...
4
votes
2answers
184 views

Who plays the chords during a live performance when lead guitarist is soloing? for example Stairway to heaven

I recently watched the live performance of 'Stairway to Heaven' by 'Led Zeppelin'. I had a question while watching that song but it even applies to other songs. See during the section of the song ...
4
votes
4answers
158 views

Putting guitar and song together

So, I'm still working on this. I started singing with my playing using hey ya as my first song. (In fact that was the first song I ever played) Ironically I always lose it at the verse that goes ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Common drum rhythm index

I'm looking for an index of common rhythms. This video shows basically what I had in mind, only it is for the bass. I'm pretty sure there has to be names and a list somewhere for the common rhythms ...
4
votes
4answers
472 views

How the time signature affects how to play a melody

I was playing on my clarinet the song Memory from the musical, Cats. It is written in 12/8 time. Although I know what that means -- the equivilent of 12 eight notes in a bar, I don't understand how ...
4
votes
2answers
184 views

Is that a hemiola or what?

I found myself listening to Mumford and Sons' Babel, and my friend and I couldn't quite agree on how to describe the rhythm. I won that battle since my way led to groups of four figures, whereas his ...
4
votes
3answers
84 views

Counting a Waltz

I just started my first semester of beginning piano. I seem to have trouble counting in 3/4 time. I know it will come with practice, but does anyone have any tips for practicing non-standard time?
4
votes
2answers
787 views

How to determine time signature of drum tab?

Recently I started playing drums on the side just to relax, so nothing serious. I picked up this song because the drums seemed reasonably complex so that they would present a fair challenge for the ...
4
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1answer
70 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: ...
4
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2answers
350 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, ...
4
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1answer
273 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 ...
3
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7answers
730 views

I am bored with a metronome, should I get a drum machine?

I'm a big fun of using a metronome while practicing, but after a while it just gets boring to hear all this solid ticking. When you play scales and stuff like that, it's ok, but when you are playing a ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is it so hard to count beats and play at the same time?

I am just beginning to learn to play the piano on my own. I seem to have much difficulties keeping the beats and play the notes at the same time. For example, I have been practicing on this same ...