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This is getting me really confused. This bar is 4/4

Look at the picture above, shouldn't "0" be beat 4? instead it gets to beat 4 at the red arrow.

Why is that?

3 Answers 3


1st four 'notes' are quavers - 1/8 notes, so beats 1 and 2 are correct. Next comes another quaver, on beat 3. The next 'note' is worth one beat - so that takes the & of beat 3, played on an open D string. That carries on ringing as beat 4 gets counted. The last 'note' is on the & of 4.

Put another way, there are 'and's written in. Write in the missing 'and' to make sense of it. I.e. beat 4 is where the red arrow points.

Slight problem with tab is either you get no timingss, or they're written out something like real music - but they are confusing. Maybe each bar could contain 16 hyphens, and the numbers for frets written in the appropriate places?


Based on the spacing between the notes, I'd say it's correct: The red arrow is the 4th beat.

This is also indicated with the signs below the tab, the "_|" sign is both times on the "and" note.

  • But, why though? "0" is a quarter note, so it should be 1 beat. Doesn't that mean it should reach beat 4 when it hits "0"?
    – user65342
    Feb 17, 2020 at 12:46
  • @user65342 Yes, the open D is a quarter note and receives a full beat's worth of duration, but it does not start "on the beat". It is played on the 'and' of 3, so it must continue until the 'and' of 4. Beats 3 and 4 are a syncopated pattern of 8th 4th 8th. You might here this pronounced as "syn-co-pa".
    – ibonyun
    Feb 17, 2020 at 18:41

The dyad at the 3 is an 8th note, not a quarter note. This means that the quarter note straight afterwards with the 0 is at Beat 3.5, not Beat 4. (This is supported by the 8th note immediately after that quarter note, which fills out the rest of that measure.) Thus, getting to Beat 4 at the red arrow is correct.


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