Questions tagged [beats]

For questions about the underlying pulse of a musical piece. Do not use for questions about rhythm patterns and instead use the rhythm tag.

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39
votes
8answers
100k views

Is there a difference between 2/4 and 4/4

I cannot figure out the actual difference between these two beats. Isn't it sufficient to have only 2/4 (or 4/4 )?
30
votes
10answers
7k views

Why are measures (aka “bars”) important?

Just as an example, let's say we have 60 BPM. So every second there's a beat. Imagine nodding your head every second to this rhythm. Now isn't that enough information to make a song? If I have a ...
30
votes
9answers
13k views

Do musicians count the meter all the time?

When I started as a beginner on the piano I just timed the notes by feeling. That is, until my teacher played back a recording of me to show me just how messed up my timings were. Since then I've ...
21
votes
3answers
1k views

What is this beat and why is it so popular

In many concert etudes, along with several rock songs, there is an accented pattern that often serves as a link to a new section of the music. It also works as a great fill. It usually comes from the ...
17
votes
5answers
7k views

How to develop rhythmic sophistication in writing music?

Often times when I'm writing or producing some music on my computer I tend to follow the usual and annoying pattern "standard" beat pattern, like when you have a metronome that ticks and you start or ...
16
votes
7answers
4k views

Intended shift of meter in certain songs?

In pop music, there are some songs that pretend to have the beat accent at a certain time in the intro but with percussion coming in, the beat (apparently) shifts the meter such that you have the ...
12
votes
13answers
6k views

Is it hopeless in terms of becoming decent musicians, if they can't count beats?

My flesh-n-blood guitar teacher has tried to get me to count beats (verbally or at minimum in my mind), and I think that I've tried reasonably hard in doing so for few months now. However I've come to ...
12
votes
14answers
53k views

Trouble keeping time to a beat

I have a fair amount of skill (meaning technique and ease of learning a new piece) with both the piano and the guitar, and have had lessons with both for years. Unfortunately the teachers I've had ...
10
votes
4answers
11k views

How do you know if a song has triplets in 4/4 or if the tempo is 3/4?

How do you know if a song has triplets in 4/4 or if the tempo is 3/4 ? For example, consider this song : For the first line , I can count 1,2,3 ,1,2,3 ,1,2,3 ,1,2,...
10
votes
7answers
21k views

Why is the ''backbeat'' called the ''rock beat''?

The basic rock beat is 4/4, so you count 1-2-3-4. And to create the rock rhythm, you have to place the emphasis on the off-beats, which 2 and 4. So it goes like this: one, TWO, three, FOUR. At least ...
10
votes
1answer
700 views

Where did the term backbeat come from?

In most modern music in 4/4 beats 2 and 4 are where the snare hits are and are usually referred to as the backbeat. Normally in 4/4 the 2 and 4 beat would not be accented, but the snare hits do just ...
9
votes
8answers
8k views

What time signature has 3 out of 8 beats accented?

It's been a very long time since I've done musical theory but I know this rhythm is quite common, especially in dance and even some punk/metal. So, some songs have 4 beats to a bar but it has 2 ...
8
votes
2answers
16k views

What is “Upbeat Music”?

Okay, I have enough searching and now I'm just totally confused. Prologue I am not a professional musician and I don't know music terms and I can not read notesheets so bear with me. One day doing ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Origin of the Backbeat

Ok, so I've heard a lot on the origin of the backbeat. Some say it came from African voodoo and others say from the Middle East. Where did it actually come from? Also, people say it was expressly ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

Do you play the upbeat when beginning to play a series of notes, and then after?

Do you play an upbeat like this when beginning the song, and then also at the end?
7
votes
6answers
728 views

Why aren't songs with 11 beats 13 beats, common?

I wonder why haven't I heard songs that have 13 beats or 11 beats (or may be 17 beats or other complex number) per measure. Are there any songs like that and why don't people and music directors ...
7
votes
9answers
14k views

Does 4/8 Have a Faster Tempo Than 4/4 at 60 BPM?

When playing 4/8 at 60 bpm will the rhythm or my foot tapping should be twice as fast compared to 4/4 at 60 bpm? If that's the case then does that mean bpm has been changed to 120? But I have read ...
7
votes
2answers
937 views

physiological responses to different rhythms

InspIred by Physiological basis for note durations?, I'm wondering about a more general question of how the body responds to different tempos and beat structures, and how musIic is designed to elicit ...
7
votes
3answers
6k views

Stress in music

I am currently reading up on songwriting and am confused by the idea of stress in music. I understand it will be necessary to match the lyrics word stress with the music beat stress but dont know how ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Music Theory behind build ups

So a very common technique to use in an Electronic Dance Music (EDM) song is to create a build up by increasing the speed of the beat until it stops and drops (then proceeding to melt the face of the ...
6
votes
2answers
215 views

Will straight crochets in 5/4 and straight quavers in 5/8 at same BPM sound the same?

If you write 5 1/4 notes in 5/4 at a tempo of q (quarter note)=120 and write 5 8th notes in 5/8 at e(eighth note)=120, one after another would they sound the same?
6
votes
1answer
201 views

What is the rhythm of this Herbie Hancock song, and why is it so weird?

I've always listened to a lot of jazz and heard some weird rhythms, but only this year did my high school offer music theory - and right now, we're learning about rhythm. All we've done so far is ...
5
votes
3answers
576 views

Words to describe this Dance Music texture/effect

So we always have like in dance music 4/4 and like 4 kicks in one bar with two claps or snares on every second beat going and let's say I add some bassline that plays totally different rhythm/pulse (...
5
votes
4answers
822 views

Conducting pattern - one spot, or multiples?

I've seen two ways of beating time, and I'm not sure if there's a clear better choice. One way is for the ictus to always be in the same spot in front of you, with a followthrough to prepare for the ...
5
votes
1answer
182 views

What beats does the horn typically play on in a 2/4 march?

Wikipedia states: French Horns tend to always carry the rhythmic backup of a march. For example, in cut-time marches, they are typically assigned upbeats (the + of 1 and 2) to provide the "pah" for ...
5
votes
1answer
176 views

Should you practice all basic drum patterns on both sides?

Should I practice all drum patterns on both sides or is it not necessary? For example - I started learning how to play ghost notes and all the youtube lessons that I've seen so far show how to play ...
5
votes
1answer
107 views

Is there a name for a beat/tempo that can be interpreted as being in two different times

I am not a musician, I don't read music and I don't actually play any instruments. However (and sorry if this sounds stupid) I'm a very good dancer and believe I have a good ear and feeling for tempo ...
5
votes
1answer
259 views

Move cue point to previous beat in Traktor

I have a cue point in Traktor that I set while the track was playing and I missed the beginning of the chorus by one beat. Is there a way to snap the cue point backward one beat without having to ...
4
votes
5answers
4k views

How to count a note which has 6 on above it?

It's on 2/4 meter. I know we all are much familiar with 3 on top of any note which is a triplet. Here I'm confuse today: What is 6? Please describe to me what the 6 is about and how to count those red ...
4
votes
2answers
631 views

Eighth note equals eighth note piano notation

I have a question about notation for you: What is meant by the two eighths that are set equal to each other you can see in the picture? This from Ravel's Rhapsodie Espagnole, IV. Feria, for piano ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

What does it mean when one says that rock and jazz have strong beats on the even numbered beats?

It is usually said that rock and jazz musics have the strong beats on the even numbered beats (2 and 4 on a typical 4/4) instead of the odd ones (1 and 3). However, chord changes and bass (whether ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

How to determine fast if song has constant tempo

I'm trying to remix a song (which I have yet to find) and add a basic drum track and some bass to it. I am basically looking for acoustic versions / covers of popular songs (with no drums), which I ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

What does strum direction have to do with beats?

Somebody who teaches guitar told me that 1234 means down down down down, and 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and means down up down up. But why? What do these numbers represent?
4
votes
1answer
221 views

What is the difference between 2/4 and 4/4 when it comes the accented beats?

What is the difference between 2/4 and 4/4 when it comes the accented beats? I have been taught that 2/4 is popular in faster music like polka. I also see some hymns written in both 4/4 and 2/4. 4/4 ...
4
votes
2answers
299 views

Is it appropriate to use BPM to measure the tempo of a song?

First, does tempo tell us how fast a song is? Second, is BPM the right way to measure the tempo of a song? There are some songs like Illahi-Yeh jawaani hai deewani where the tempo is around 120 BPM ...
3
votes
4answers
263 views

Finger Picking Chords - Beats per bar

When one is playing a 4/4 tune "finger picking style" (Thumb base note, Index 3 string, Middle 2nd string and ring finger 1st string) (Not coincidentally 4 "actions/picks") My question is: Would a ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

Proper way to count beats

In attempt to improve my crappy sense of rhythm, I've been reviewing how to count beats. However, I've been having some trouble, since rhythm divisions don't seem to translate "mathematically" into ...
3
votes
3answers
485 views

Strong & weak beats in 4/4 time signature

Why are there such things as strong and weak beats? And how can we use them or consider them while composing a new music piece?
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Electronic music beats: Sample or Synthesis?

When creating electronic beats, I have a hard time deciding if I should really use a synthesizer to sequence my whole rhythm section. Sometimes I end up using samples or recording something close to ...
3
votes
3answers
149 views

Keeping count in a solo trill

I am working towards my clarinet Grade 8 and have a few occasions where I have to play an unaccompanied long trill (we're talking a bar or 2). I have always struggled to count trills, however all the ...
3
votes
2answers
445 views

Beat/Pulse Grouping

When talking about odd time signatures, people always talk about dividing the time signature into beat groupings, and those beat groupings are most prominently 2 and 3 (for example: 5/4 being 2+3 or 3+...
3
votes
3answers
202 views

Is it necessary to include the anacrusis?

I am putting the Psalms to the music of popular hymns using a software called MuseScore. I noticed that many hymns start with an anacrusis and then divide the measure at the end of the line,so that ...
3
votes
2answers
92 views

Techniques to facilitate the process of marking which words are stressed/accented by beat

I'd like to provide context first: I'm currently pursuing a thesis project that uses a stylistic approach to rap music. I want to be able to prove that dividing rap bars by the (usually) four beats ...
3
votes
1answer
6k views

How does this technique (Beat Tap?) work?

I'm trying to play this song. The part with the thumb slapping on the strings is quite difficult for me... He seems to perfectly hit just one string at a time (while beating the lower strings). ...
2
votes
3answers
440 views

Can a tuplet apply to a fraction of a beat?

Instead of dividing a beat, or an entire sequence of beats, could it be that it alters the duration of (say) one and a half beats?
2
votes
4answers
6k views

Difference between tempo and bpm

Is there a difference between tempo and bpm (beats per minute ) ? Or is one just more precise than the other?
2
votes
3answers
44k views

In simple terms, how would you describe Rhythm and Melody

What I understand is that, we take a set of notes and put them in a sequence. This gives us melody which is the music. But just notes playing monotonically is not an expression of anything, it is ...
2
votes
6answers
11k views

What's the difference between pulse and beat?

Is there a difference between pulse and beat ,I've done my research, and some resources says they're the same, others says they're not,so which assumption is more acceptable? -From what I've learned, ...
2
votes
2answers
155 views

DAW tempo vs score tempo signature

I am working on a baroque string piece (Rondeau from Abdelazer) as a way to learn to program strings and in general get better at orchestrating and using the software. One thing puzzles me quite a bit....
2
votes
1answer
350 views

What is a rational rhythm?

Tuplets can transform a rhythm into an irrational (or irregular) rhythm, but how do we precisely define a rational rhythm in the first place?