I've written this riff and cannot for the life of me figure out how to notate the rhythm. I need to know the subdivisions to set up DAW and write drum track for it.

Here's the riff, played twice: https://soundcloud.com/oleksii-donoha/rhythm/s-F7G5EhEwVdW

I've notated the first part in 6/4, it looks something like this: https://i.imgur.com/3MrEaIW.png

But I'm completely lost at the second part. I'm sheet music illiterate :(


This is a plain simple 4/4 rhythm with "3-on-4" patterns (sorry, I don't know if that's the correct name in English):


Consider that you can also write it like this, which could probably better follow the "feeling" of the riff, but from the point of view of reading it would only make it unnecessarily confusing to a trained musician:

riff different view

Your confusion might have its origin on the position of the patterns, for which one could also try to think it as a 12/16+1/4, but I sincerely doubt one would think it in that way, even if all instruments are going to follow that rhythm.

  • This is it, thanks. – Oleksii Donoha Feb 14 at 20:44
  • Same rhythmically as mine but a different take on the time. It does work in 4/4 I just felt that strong 12/8 like pulse setting it up, plus your beat 4 sounds like a downbeat to me so I went with that. +1. – John Belzaguy Feb 14 at 21:03

This will get closed because transcription questions are off topic here but I had to give it a shot because it’s so interesting. This is what I hear:

enter image description here

The overall feel starts like 12/8 but then breaks into groups of 2 and 3 in the two 10/8 bars. The subdivisions are above in parentheses. Tricky but very cool the way the subdivisions are reversed in bars 2 & 3.

Sorry about the green line in bar 1, it’s the cursor, not some mysterious new notation :)

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