When one comes up with a riff or phrase of music out of "context"(an inspired thing or whatever), how can one find the best meter to set the riff too... or the natural meter the riff is in? (Mainly for notation)
Obviously there are certain things one generally goes by such as harmonic changes, accents, etc and usually counting 1 & 2 & or 1 pul let 2 pul let, etc will find the correct meter(more or less).
But what happens when this isn't the case or it is difficult for other reasons? or one just doesn't have the gift to visualize it instantaneously or doesn't want to go with "trial and error".
Is there certain fundamental rules that pretty much 99.9% of all melodies/riffs/phrases have in relation to their "natural" meter?
We are generally told that agogic accents coincide with metrical accents, etc. But this "rule" only occurs about 50% of the time, say. (definitely not a "law", at least).
Of course, most melodies are easy. Assume this is hard(difficult syncopation that may allow multiple interpretations if one is "fuzzy" on how to proceed).
e.g., if there was a method to go about, it would be nice because it would at least have another way to help me figure this stuff out. I'm trying to avoid trial and error, as some complex melodies with multiple meter changes or heavily "syncopated" could be hard to resolve. Obviously I'm talking about stuff that probably isn't in 4/4 as that is generally the easiest to figure out.
Tempo also is an issue, because obviously one can notate the same melody at double or half the speed and it will still "fit" more or less.
I'm trying to find the best way to notate ideas I have and sometimes I create melodies in odd times or have weird syncopation that make me feel they are in a different meter than they are. I also sometimes find certain melodies easier to play along with a click that is double speed than what they would be notated at.
[I have a guess that when one learns to read sheet music well, most of these problems become moot as you can just "visualize" the melody and your mind figures out all the details... basically from lots of experience with many melodies. Is this sound logic?]
Here is an example file of a little idea I made up for an example(nothing special). I'm not sure what overall meter it is, I'm sure it's 4/4 as there is a steady pulse most of the time but there are a few dropped beats and added beats here and there. I feel the "temp" to be around 35 bpm but I'm sure its about 70 since I tend to feel things at "half" the speed they usually are.
Of course I could go through and count everything and figure out what stuff is off, but then I'll have some trouble if I've dropped half a beat somewhere, specially if I get the down beat "wrong".
This example is mainly directed at Johannes, as the example was created from scratch without any clue of what meter I am playing in. I mainly just see it as a "pulse train"(equal beats). I'm not thinking about meter or anything like that.