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16

Normally, we're told that 5/4 is really 3/4 + 2/4 or 2/4 + 3/4. Well, I have to ask "told by who?" It is not the case that 5/4 has to be interpreted as either 3/4 + 2/4 or 2/4 + 3/4. It is perfectly valid to use groups of 5 crotchet beats as the overall rhythmic template of a piece of music, without having to have the same sub-groupings in different ...


15

Using only your ears, it's impossible to determine the exact time signature the composer would have used when writing the score. This is because there are many ways to write the same thing, all of which sound the same when played. For example, a piece written in 3/4 time can easily be re-written in 3/8 time by halving all the note values and playing it half ...


12

Playing ahead of the beat means hitting the notes for the beat a liiiiittle bit early. Playing behind means a liiiittle late. Only by a couple microseconds, just to make the groove groovier. Usually drummers and bass players do this to make you feel sort of a "longing". It's playing with time to evoke a particular feeling. Musicians play with time in ...


12

Several things. First and foremost -- I cannot stress this enough -- we express ourselves in the idioms of the music we listen to. If you want to start having more rhythmically interesting inspirations of your own, you need to be filling your ears with rhythmically interesting music. If you're not already doing this, start compiling collections of music ...


7

That is called a Habanera rhythm (also known as Cuban contradanza). It is a traditionally Cuban/Afro-Latin rhythm. It is closely related to the Tresillo rhythm and the Hemiola. It is the duple pulse correlative of the triple pulse Vertical Hemiola. The Wikipedia articles go into good detail explaining these rhythms further, so I won't needlessly quote ...


7

Start by finding the beat. Tap your finger for every beat, like a human metronome. Resist any urge to tap uneven rhythms; just the underlying constant pulse. Once you've got that, listen for the start of bars. There are various indicators that a bar is starting; an emphasis, a chord change, etc. Now count. "One" for the first beat, then counting upward, ...


7

I wouldn't consider 3/4 to be "non standard". My advice would be to find recordings of pieces in 3/4 and count along to them. The "oom-pah-pah" pattern is a very common way to arrange a 3/4 backing. I suppose the most direct example is "Oom-pah-pah" from the soundtrack to the musical "Oliver!" - so listen to that first. In the chorus, they actually sing ...


7

When I studied music composition, one of our basic exercises was to compose rhythms without melody. This forces you to develop rhythms that are interesting in their own right. You can then develop the rhythms into melodies, or you can perform them on percussion or by scat singing. Or you can simply use it as an exercise to train your rhythmic composition ...


6

Yes. Is there a difference between 2/4 and 4/4 explains this using 2/4 and 4/4. However, this is a little different because it is compound meter. 12/8 has four beats divided into three equal parts. It would be counted like this: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 The primary accent is on the first beat, the secondary accent is on the seventh, and there are two ...


6

The general consensus is that the larger the note value, the easier it is to read at faster tempos. This is why many composers use cut-time (2/2) for quick tempos. The more beams / notes there are, the more people get freaked out. If the piece feels like it is slowing by half, it is considered to be called "half-time" (used in jazz, much like ...


6

The good news is that there is nothing magic about this; basically keep working at it and it will come. However its easy to get "stuck" and feel that you cannot make progress. Here are some suggestions to get through this: Break the bar in half. Play the last half first, then the first half. This will get you over the endless repetition of the first few ...


6

My music teacher used to tell us to imagine you are sitting on top of a ball. This is right on the beat. Every note is right on the stroke of the beat. To play ahead of the beat, you play a bit early and it should feel like you are leaning forward on the ball. If you lean too far, you fall off the beat. To play behind the beat, play a bit late and it ...


6

What make's Reich's piece difficult, is how he specifies the phasing. For example, there are portions of the score where you need to be exactly 1/16th note out of phase with yourself. Self-phasing is something I have practiced for quite some time, and indeed, it does take a while to learn. However, such practice / skill allows you great freedom through ...


6

Sounds like you are trying to intellectually and analytically "understand" music. In my opinion, this can be done to some extent. Just like you can intellectually understand language and grammar, and use that understanding to write poems, novels and short stories. However useful it might be, it isn't really necessary to write great stories. What makes a ...


6

Do the math. Practice by tapping your hands on your legs. Start with 3 against 2. Move on to 4 against 3. You do this one by breaking it up into 12, so: | | | | . . . . . . . . . . . . | | | So, count the periods, tap the top bars with one hand, and the bottom bars with the other. Now, how do you do, say, 5 against 3? ...


6

I think triplets are always 2/3 of the duration of the 3 notes regardless of the meter indicated by the time signature. So a triplet of quarter notes will take up the space of a half note (or two quarter notes). A triplet of eighth notes will take up the space of a quarter note (or two eighth notes). ...and so on. I pulled up some useful links in ...


6

Lee is right, but there is a simpler way to think of triplets. Typically we break notes up into sets of 2 (or duples). For example, two half notes make a whole note, two quarter notes make a half notes, two eighth notes make a quarter note etc. All a triplet is is putting 3 notes where 2 normally go. So 3 eighth note triplets will always equal a quarter ...


5

From my experience, the feel is the most difficult thing to get familiar with in music. It takes years and years of playing and listening the kind of music (it might not be so many years on some kind of musics). Since you want to learn, you might want to start with some more simple percussive rhythms. At first, it won't be the result you want right now, but ...


5

Artists can do whatever they like with rhythm, and genre assignments are pretty subjective. With that said, I think you're confusing sub-beats or notes with primary beats. Beats are all of equal length, so you can't say that "three weak beats" take the same time as "a heavy beat". You can split up any beat into multiple notes if you wish, but you're ...


5

Definitely don't throw in the towel. Everyone is different. Some amazing musicians have no grasp of theory at all, but over time they learn what sounds work and what sounds don't. For most of the music I play, theory is unnecessary - but it helps once you have some physical capability. So I could, for example, play basic rock chords in a 4/4 rhythm and it ...


5

I use a book called the Guitarist's Way to teach pupils classical guitar; so every pupil gets to play this tune, which is just in crotchets, within the first few months of lessons. Here it is: It's only short, so might not be suitable for whatever you need it for. I'm not sure what the original piece by Thomas Tallis is that it comes from, but that might ...


5

The question has already been answered correctly by Lee and Dom, but I would like to add some pictures as clarification... I don't have an example right now from an actual piece, though I'm quite sure I've seen something similar. Anyway, it's not hard to come up with your own examples, so here's one which shouldn't even sound that odd: This should at ...


5

As with many questions on this site, the meat of the answer is, practice. What seems difficult now, will seem much easier after practice. However, there are some things you can do: You may need to explicitly count while learning a piece, but once you know the piece's rhythms, you shouldn't need to. So forget about dynamics until you know how the piece ...


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

Sorry about the delay. First thing, Samba is basically 4/4 or 2/4, I really can't remember any song with odd time signature. If you do, please let me know! I like listening to odd time signatures. The thing is, while being very "simple", Samba is also very complicated. As you noticed, you have a lot of different types of it. I'm not a Samba expert, but I ...


4

As always in music, it's very subjective. There is no one rule that applies to all and everything. This is particularly true for jazz, it is very free. 1. On triplet feeling Swing feeling does not necessarily place the eighths exactly on where exact triplets would. Exact triplets make a song sound kind of stiff and not very "swingy" (again, subjective). It ...


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

You can establish a theme that you come back to again and again, and then use as a jumping off point for further improvisation. The theme doesn’t have to be long or complicated, and it’s probably better if it’s not. Think of the theme as a chorus, and think of your improvisational stretches as verse. As long and wild as your improvisational stretches may be, ...


3

I would start by listening to a few different Brazilian Samba pieces and just try and count them. After a while, you should have an idea what kind of time signature they follow. From there I would notate what beats are accented. From that you should be able to understand the feel and make a drum track that has a similar feel. It may not be the exact same, ...


3

While, as said by the previous answers, such meters can normally be sudivided into little chunks, it is in my experience not a good idea to let this influence strumming patterns etc. to directly: this is prone to give exactly the experience that many people associate, dislikingly, with odd meters – a "jumpy" sound, as if something is just missing or ...



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