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13

As you say, "only" for emphasis - but emphasis is hugely important. People like music to have a pulse. A musician would play these two lines differently, and someone with a musical background would be able to tell the meter just by listening: There is a lot of subtlety to phrasing, but in blunt terms: They would play the first note of each bar slightly ...


12

Counting is an absolutely necessary step when learning a new piece.It is the rhythmic framework of any piece. Without it, you may well be playing a different tune. 'All the right notes, but not in the right timing'. You ask 'do they count all the time?' Well there's no need once a piece is well known to the player. We sound out words as kids, but eventually ...


8

As you beginner, I strongly suggest you keep doing that. What I did when I first begun, was to count everything with my foot. After a while, I didn't really need to count every single thing with the foot, because I could hear/feel it in me. So, no, I don't think pro musicians count every little thing, but they can if you ask them to. Is counting the ...


8

I used to have the same problem as you do, so here's what really solved it for me. I used a funk guitar method: Funk Guitar: The Essential Guide. Start with a very comfortable tempo (~70/80bpm max), block the string, and play sixteenth notes (hence, 4 notes per beat). Tap every beat with your foot, and count the time out loud (that's very important). Do ...


6

Apart from the great answers talking about phrasing and emphasis, another purely technical consideration is synchronization. If you don't have bars, it's very difficult to get everyone in an ensemble to rehearse a specific passage or phrase together. You could add rehearsal letters to a free-time score, sure, but it's very easy to say "ok, let's try it ...


6

This is much like: when you drive a car, do you think about the steering all the time? When you learn to drive, you will be consciously thinking about your steering. Similarly, an experienced driver on an unfamiliar road will be consciously thinking about it. An experienced driver on a familiar road will probably not be consciously considering their ...


5

Basically, I'd say this isn't a rule. Or maybe it's a misphrasing of a rule. You generally see the last bar shortened to match the pickup bar when there's a repeat that goes right back to the start of the pickup bar, in order to preserve overall bar lengths as consistent within the section. This then implies that the subsequent section also has a pickup ...


5

Hopefully these examples of 5/4:4/4 polymeter and 5:4 polyrhythm clears it up. Polymeter Here is a simple example of 5/4 over 4/4 polymeter notated in 4/4 time. Notice how voice A's meter is five beats (the accents illustrates the starts), while voice B's meter is four beats, and they are sort of modulating over each other. After 20 beats their accented ...


5

The problem with 6/4 is that it implies a metric grouping in the bass and drums of 3+3 or 6 on its own. I notice that you are defining your tempo as q.=160 when you do this, however. That part is actually correct, and you should make your metric decision based on how you hear the tempo. The 160 bpm that you are hearing are occurring four to the bar. You can ...


4

The tuner in Logic is designed for tuning instruments, so it takes a moving average. The properties you need for monitoring your singing - a fast response, and accuracy when you're quickly changing pitch, simply weren't design goals for that tool. For the same reasons, a typical tuner from a music shop, probably won't achieve what you want. A basic guitar ...


4

Most music naturally falls into rhythms. It's what makes music work in most cases. If one is trying to dance to it, it needs to be in rhythm.All the time signature (meter?) is there for is to tell the player/reader what to expect, without having to check out any further. 4/4 is so common, it's often stated with a 'C': when I write out music,in 4/4, I don't ...


4

Let's forget about bar lines and look at some stuff where we're just marking stressed notes with accent marks. In everything that follows, the quarter note has the beat. "Amazing Grace" goes like this: Notice that a stressed note comes every third beat; the only exceptions are when there's a long note at the end of a phrase, and even then they're ...


4

Let's take a simple music sheet: As you can see, the time signature is given, and it's 4/4. That means every measure has 4 beats of quarters. I assume you know about the duration of the notes. Every measure/bar in the music sheet is defined by the vertical lines you can see in the image above. Between every two vertical lines, you must have notes whose ...


4

Mark Butler has written a scholarly book on Electronic Dance Music called Unlocking the Groove. In it, he proposes calling these moments "turning the beat around", and abbreviated it TBA. As in, "After an introduction that implies a straight 4/4 pattern, a TBA reveals that it has been syncopated all along." Personally, I think it's an unfortunate term, but ...


4

If you have trouble with counting meter, you might want to try a rhythm solfege method like Takadimi or the Kodaly Method. I played with an Indian tabla player for a couple of years and found tabla rhthym solfege to be superior to the Western "1-e-and-a" counting for me in performance, possibly because I block on numbers (can't remember phone numbers) but ...


3

This is a common phenomenon, based on the fact that - unless there are any other cues - we usually perceive the first note/chord/accent we hear as the '1' of the bar. There are of course a lot of cues (accentuation, melody, etc.) which might tell us otherwise, but is easy to fool the listener. I've encountered many songs/riffs where upon first hearing them I ...


3

There are several different kinds of stress in music. Meter (lyrical) is the stress added by accents (real or implied) in the lyric. It's important to remember that meter, as it was used in writing, actually gave rhythmic form to both poetry and prose. In the case of music, the lyric may not always be delivered in a way which stresses its own meter. In one ...


3

It is to make up for starting early in an anacrusis (pick up) measures because without making up for it at the end, you technically have one measure in a different time signature. Think of it this way, when you start a song with an anacrusis lasting one beat in 4/4 you would start the song with counting 1 - 2 - 3 and star playing on 4. The song did not ...


3

1) The time signature is 4/4. 2) The tempo seems to be 160. 3) I would say that in my opinion the notes are sixteenth triplets.


3

Writing a piece in 3/8 rather than 3/4 gives the impression that it's played faster. It's snake-oil. With a proper tempo sign there should be no confusion. There are versions out there in 3/8. 3/4 and 6/4.The difference , as noted, is that the note values are shorter in 3/8,making it slightly more difficult to read, maybe, as semiquavers are on the menu.It ...


3

The basic understanding of syncopation is when a note starts off-beat, and hanging over to the next off-beat. It is most common to say it is syncopated when it is a pattern that breaks with the basic beat, and not so much when it is just emphasize on the weak beat. It is often used as effect to create a rhythmic tension that leads forward to and resolves in ...


2

Amazing Grace is definitely not syncopated. Syncopation generally refers to rhythms emphasizing the beats that are expected to be the weak beats (for example 2 & 4 in 4/4). Or emphasizing notes off the beat entirely (for example emphasizing the + of each beat in 4/4 such as one AND two AND three AND four AND). There are many forms and types of ...


2

On a technical level you are right; note that the MIDI format has no meter but simply states "this note so loud so long" (the last one indirectly by a follow-up note-off event). The note representation is still clumsy in total however and so needs additional information in the form of text ("funeral march"), articulations, accents and so on. To reduce the ...


2

In a way I envy you. I don't know whether it's due to my nature, training, or just the music I listen to, but I feel meters very strongly. As a result I find it really difficult to handle pieces which occasionally throw in a short bar. But, to train yourself to be more beat-centric: Practice with a drum machine. Choose patterns with an emphasised downbeat ...


2

This is a problem that is experienced by most people starting to learn an instrument. Part of the problem is caused by not having the kind of technique where you don't have to think about the fingering patterns. Usually people who have a lot of problems with counting are trying to play pieces of music that are too hard for them. By this I mean that ...


2

Polymeter : different voices/instruments that play different meters that desynchronize themselfs (a 9/8 piano part against a 4/4 drum part, or 7/8 on a 3/4 Polyrythms : different subdivisions that fit in the same bar. The classic Christmas tune "Carol of the bells" is an example of 2 against 3. Traditional cuban rumba, and lots of west African drum rhythms ...


2

My recommendation is to find some method books that use polyrhythms (2-against-3, 3-against-4, 3-against-5 are some of the simpler ones but percussionists seem to pride themselves on the most ridiculously unintuitive large prime number ratios) and practice those religiously. Also try listening to and playing a lot of music in odd meters like 5/4 (Mission ...


2

You never said whether you play with others, e.g. in a band. Sounds like you play to backing tracks.There's a great danger in mainly playing solos verbatim.You have found this when a mental block occurs.Most musos who mainly play known songs have this problem - something like one-trick ponies.Play much much more improvisations - pent. maj or min. will do, as ...


2

When you say, "if I'm given a song", I assume you do NOT mean that you have sheet music. Is someone humming? Are you hearing a song on the radio? You can usually find the measures and the time signature by listening carefully for the 1-beats. The 1-beats are the beginnings of musical phrases within the structure of a song. For example, if you're ...


2

Agreed. Counting is necessary until you have internalised the time. Improvising in 7 is fine as long as you've spent enough time getting used to this number of beats. It would be difficult in the extreme to improvise well and be counting at the same time.



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