Questions tagged [rhythm]

Movement or procedure with uniform or patterned recurrence of a beat, accent, or the like.

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50
votes
10answers
23k views

Why can't drums produce melody?

A note is a vibration at a certain frequency. A drum produces a tone with a certain pitch much like a string percussed with a mallet. Why is a drum unfit for playing a melody while a string inside a ...
39
votes
11answers
48k views

How can I teach a student who seems to have no rhythm?

I've been teaching a highschool kid acoustic guitar lately and even though everything related to the left hand is progressing well, he is having major problems with his rhythm. To give you the full ...
36
votes
8answers
146k views

How to tell the time signature of a song by listening?

Every song has some kind of time signature; even if different parts of the song have different time signatures, there is always a time signature. When learning a song by ear and no score, knowing the ...
32
votes
8answers
11k views

When to use a dot or a tie in music notation?

Let's say I have the following piece in 4/4, Should it be notated as: or Are there any specific rules? From my previous experience, I believe the second one is the correct notation since it shows ...
31
votes
9answers
33k views

What exercises can I do to improve my timing?

I recently made a recording consisting of overdubs in GarageBand. Playing it back, I was horrified to hear that while I felt as if I was in the groove while recording, I had actually been wildly ...
28
votes
5answers
4k views

How do I know when the next note starts in sheet music?

I can't understand the note duration notation very well. In the image below, the highlighted A in the second measure seems to start half a beat between the first and the second beat. But shouldn't we ...
27
votes
3answers
15k views

When playing drums behind the beat, what instruments define the actual beat?

As a drummer, I'm trying to improve my micro-time to put more feeling in the grooves I play. For certain songs (ballads for example), you usually try to get a "laid-back" feeling by playing slightly ...
26
votes
2answers
4k views

Is there a name for this famous “memeish” rhythm?

I wonder if there’s a name for the famous rhythm heard many times around the web. I’d like to know its origins but I can’t google it without a name. I wrote it down but I can’t describe anyway ...
26
votes
9answers
8k views

When counting in, why do people often do it at two speeds? (1_2_1234)

Something simple that I've found curious: When people 'count in' a tune, to get all the players ready to start at the same time, I often hear them do it first at half-speed, then at full speed. e.g. ...
25
votes
17answers
10k views

How to help students remember Half vs. Whole rests

The symbols for the half rest and whole rest are pretty much the same and in the literature my students play we rarely encounter them. Is there a good, memorable way to describe which is which to ...
25
votes
1answer
4k views

Two voices for a solo singer written in a sheet music

I was reading the score for Mozart’s insertion aria for his own opera Idomeneo “Non Temer Amato Bene”, K. 490. In it, Idomeneo’s son Idamante (scored for soprano; trouser role) expresses his undying ...
23
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4answers
5k views

How is it that 12 eighth notes fit in a measure labeled as common time?

I am looking at Franz Liszt's Consolation S.172 No.3. I have checked out two different music scores of the same composition and they both have the same time signature (standard), however the base line ...
22
votes
6answers
13k views

Performance practice of Viennese Waltz

Occasionally, when I listen to an orchestra playing a Strauss waltz or something similar, I hear something interesting in the background rhythm of 'boom chik chik' in that the first 'chik' happens ...
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 ...
20
votes
6answers
545 views

Varying rhythms on bass

I've gotten into something of a bad habit in which I either play things in a steady rhythm, in triplets, or galloping, but without much variation, and I feel like I'm stagnating. What are some good ...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

How to learn to play 'out of phase' with yourself?

There's a Piano piece by Steve Reich called piano phase, in which the same notes are played on 2 pianos (usually by different people), but over time, they shift out of phase with each other. Here's ...
19
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7answers
1k views

Teaching Bandmates to Count

I started out as a classically trained guitarist and spent my high school years playing bass in a (school) jazz ensemble, so I have some (limited) formal musical training. Playing rhythm in Jazz ...
19
votes
5answers
21k views

What exactly is the act of playing behind the beat?

I am a guitarist trying to improve my rhythmic feel and have been told to play a little more behind the beat. This is in a studio setting. How should I approach this to be more consistant in playing ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

Basic Punk Rhythm Guitar--Snare Feels Like Down Beat

I'm a pretty good guitarist, and I can play some tricky rhythms (weird time signatures, syncopation, some of the easier djent stuff) but I've always had trouble when my drummer starts to play anything ...
18
votes
11answers
7k views

How useful is a metronome for playing the piano?

I've been learning to play the piano for over a year and a half now, and have never used a metronome to date. My rythm and tempo are usually decent, at least after playing the piece properly a few ...
18
votes
8answers
4k views

Can music be arrhythmic?

The question is in the subject. Can music be arrhythmic(metrically) by the meaning of classical music theory?
18
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5answers
9k 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is a consistent rhythm and tempo such a vitally important component of modern music?

When performing music solo on guitar (and singing) for an audience, I have noticed that the audience is very tolerant when I miss a chord or mess up a lick. Often they don't even notice. But if I ...
16
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4answers
3k views

Is there a name for a 3-3-2-2-2 rhythm?

I have a 12/8 rhythm that has beats on the x's below: 1 + + 2 + + 3 + + 4 + + x x x x x I vaguely remember hearing a name for this years ago. Is it some kind of clave? Is there a name for ...
16
votes
4answers
5k views

Who plays the chords during a live performance when lead guitarist is soloing?

I recently watched the live performance of 'Stairway to Heaven' by 'Led Zeppelin'. I had a question while watching that song but it even applies to other songs. See during the section of the song ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a name for this sort of ambiguity with respect to the rhythm of a piece, and/or is this a recognized technique in composition?

If you listen to the first 40 seconds or so of Veridis Quo by Daft Punk, you'll probably feel like you have a pretty good idea of the beat of the song, each of the chords starting on the first beat of ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I develop an interesting or challenging 8-Beat rock rhythm?

The band I play with generally wants a simple 8-beat rhythm but I can find it a bit boring to play! So I'm looking for suggestions/tips/sheet music/video on how to develop a standard 8-beat drum ...
15
votes
9answers
8k views

I am bored with a metronome, should I get a drum machine?

I'm a big fun of using a metronome while practicing, but after a while it just gets boring to hear all this solid ticking. When you play scales and stuff like that, it's ok, but when you are playing a ...
15
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5answers
6k views

What's the best method for learning how to play triplets over quavers?

I've always struggled to play pieces where one part is in quavers (or any multiple thereof) and another is in triplets (or any odd number). I'm going to have to finally conquer it, as I am attempting ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

Teaching rhythm to a beginner

I'm teaching viola to a beginner high school student. His progress with technique and reading are pretty good, but one thing he has trouble with is rhythm and tempo. He tends to want to work on ...
15
votes
7answers
12k views

Rhythm/Drum exercises without drums

I am a 24 year old computer engineering student who just have started playing drums. I spend on avarage 1 hour on bus to school and 40-60 min on exercise like running, biking, etc every day. My point ...
15
votes
9answers
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 ...
15
votes
4answers
6k views

How does “triplet feel” for eighth notes affect non-eighth notes?

I'm a software developer creating a MIDI player that can play with "triplet feel" -- that is, when it sees two eighth notes, it plays them as if they were a triplet of quarter note + eighth note. This ...
15
votes
4answers
11k views

Music Theory for a Beginning Drummer

I've been learning Drums for the past few months (lifelong dream, and I should have my very own kit in 36 hours or so! \o/) and my teacher has been teaching me how to sight-read. I'm doing quite well (...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

How are very long tuplets in Romantic music played in practice?

In Romantic music, especially for piano, one can often find oversized tuplets like this one: (the excerpt comes from the very beginning of the 3rd movement of Grieg's piano concerto) Are you really ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

Effective way to notate triplets

I was directed by America Luke to this forum site. I hope this is the correct place. I have a score with a lot of triplets. It's awkward to write always \times 2/3 {c16 d e} \times 2/3 {d e f}. ...
14
votes
5answers
6k views

What is the rhythmic notation for 5/8 the duration of a whole note?

Assume that the whole note time equals 8. Then a note which time equals 3 will be written as 1/4 note and dot. How you write down a note that time is equal 5/8 of a whole note?
14
votes
1answer
554 views

Four dotted sixteenths in a triplet

The following excerpt is from a piece called Brincado by the Brazilian composer Alberto Nepomuceno from the collection 5 Little Pieces for the Left Hand (imslp) How should I count this?
14
votes
3answers
325 views

Just how specific is the term “hemiola”?

In Name and structure of staggering beat in Ramones' “Merry Christmas,” the rhythm in the second measure of the following example is described as a hemiola: But to me, these are just triplets and not ...
13
votes
13answers
7k 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 ...
13
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3answers
11k views

Whole bar rest in 6/8 time? [duplicate]

Can one expect to find a semibreve rest in 6/8 compound time?
13
votes
4answers
19k views

Counting while Playing

The most important aspect of maintaining your rhythm is counting. And I can usually understand and/or count the rhythm when I take a look at the score. However, the problem begins when I start playing....
13
votes
3answers
32k views

What exactly does a 3 mean over a quarter note and an 8th note?

There is an eighth note followed by a quarter note, and above them is a little overarching bracket with a little 3 in it. I know this has something to do with the timing, but I have no idea what. ...
13
votes
9answers
3k views

Opposite of a Fermata?

I'm notating a musical chant and there is a part where there is a shortened syllable. I don't think changing the time signature and/or shortening the actual rhythmic value of the note makes sense. ...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

Keeping rhythm when performing live without a drummer

I'm a member of a small band, and a common problem that arises when playing faster-paced music is keeping everyone in sync, rhythm wise. It goes without saying that one person falling out of time can ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

Why are eighth notes seemingly so important in bass guitar?

In an effort to push through a plateau in my playing, I've started really digging into method books and even getting lessons (I'm mostly self-taught). Quite a few books, and my instructor have all ...
12
votes
10answers
3k views

Is it necessary to practice staying in time while improvising?

I've beatboxed for about 10 years and never thought about staying in time while improvising, and it sounds great. I can just make a beat and it sounds great without having any clue if what i just ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

What does this rhythm notation after the tempo mean?

After the tempo there are eighth notes that are equal to a quarter note and an eighth note with a '3' on top. What does that mean?
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Notation of note duration

Is it correct that the first note here is a 64th while the others are 32th? Or is the first note just an 8th? This mixing of writing 'wavy' notes with beams confuses me. It's from Franz Liszt's 'La ...
12
votes
8answers
11k 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 ...

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