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48

Go for a walk. Count each step, in twos or fours. Tread heavier on the ones. One two One two One two One two One two three four One two three four They feel different, don't they? This is the difference. And yet there is an equivalence between them. Walk at the same tempo, but count to four twice as fast, so you're stepping on the One and the three. One ...


38

First, I think that it would be difficult to read a piece of music with no bar lines. The bar lines help to break longer streams of notes into regularized and easily digestible chunks. But it is also not true that a stream of 16 quarter notes should represent the same thing as four bars of four quarter notes. For example, typically in 4/4 time the One and ...


23

The other answers are all essentially correct, but I think a critical point is missing. There aren't just fully "strong" and fully "weak" beats; there are also beats of medium strength (and other varieties). 4/4 is most commonly emphasized like this: ONE two three four Note the half-accent on the third beat, different from what slim mentioned. If you'...


22

There are a couple of techniques here: If you are gradually ramping up the speed, then you would use an increase in tempo. This gives a growing sense of urgency, but can be very difficult to manage, as when you drop the beat you need to ensure the new tempo matches, or is a fraction of that fast tempo. This is almost certainly not what you are describing. ...


21

Technically speaking, you can't ever say for certain until you see the composer's original score (if there even is one); a piece could literally be written in an infinite number of time signatures. As such, we have to make these decisions based on a knowledge of prior practice and on what makes the most practical sense. So, let's look at this excerpt notated ...


21

The upbeat is where the song starts. Imagine starting the song "Happy birthday to you" without the upbeat; then you would start singing "birthday to you". When you reach the end you don't play the upbeat of the song. Imagine ending "Happy birthday to you" by singing "Happy". So the upbeat is part of the song, starting the song, and should be played at that ...


19

It's not hopeless, but may take more time than others would. A couple of ideas. While listening to music, start tapping, singing, nodding, whatever, and turn down the sound, initially so it's still just audible, for several seconds. Turn back up, see if you're still in time. Gradually leave the silence longer until you can manage several bars. I used to do ...


18

Counting is an absolutely necessary step when learning a new piece.It is the rhythmic framework of any piece. Without it, you may well be playing a different tune. 'All the right notes, but not in the right timing'. You ask 'do they count all the time?' Well there's no need once a piece is well known to the player. We sound out words as kids, but eventually ...


18

Please count 1-2-3-4,1-2-3-4, then at the same tempo (speed/ bpm) count 1-2-3-1-2-3. If you can't feel or tell the difference, then, you're right, there's no need for bars. If you can, then how will someone else know which is which?


17

Like everyone else, I would strongly suggest investing in a metronome to keep a consistent beat. In addition, practice counting along with what you are playing. When it comes down to it, though, being able to count a consistent quarter-note (for example) is only a part of the problem, and using a metronome set to the quarter-note will really only ensure ...


17

Several things. First and foremost -- I cannot stress this enough -- we express ourselves in the idioms of the music we listen to. If you want to start having more rhythmically interesting inspirations of your own, you need to be filling your ears with rhythmically interesting music. If you're not already doing this, start compiling collections of music ...


16

"Crotchet" is the British term for quarter note. A "Minim" is a half note and a "quaver" is an eighth note. 3/4 is a time signature. More specifically, it is simple, triple time. The top number in this time signature indicates that there are three beats in each measure. The bottom number (below the slash) means that one beat is defined as a quarter note, ...


14

One of my mantras as a teacher is to tell my students to play things "painfully slow." In other words, so slow it hurts. I would say you are practicing too fast. When playing an instrument, there are many, many things to consider all at the same time. In your case, you have rhythm, notes, strumming direction, etc. It takes time for the brain to process all ...


14

This is also called pickup note, pickup measure or anacrusis. You can read about it here: Wiki You can find them in a lot of songs, like Happy Birthday for example: Of course you don't have to use any pickup measures in your songs if they don't need one. However, if you use them, be sure to subtract the note duration of your pickup measure from the last ...


12

1 2 3, 1 2 3, 1 2 is Calypso rhythm. Although it appears it often has a 4/4 or 8/8 time signature, I have seen it 3+3+2/8. Even with a more regular time signature, you may find it notated with two dotted-crotchets (which shouldn't cross over the secondary beat on to the third crotchet) and a dotted bar-line before the fourth crotchet.


12

One bar tends to be the smallest time after which there is some repetition in multiple voices. This is quite a bit of an oversimplification, but it is often observable, in approximate form, in many very different genres. Examples: Baroque X:1 C:Johann Sebastian Bach T:Orchestral Suite #3, 3: Gavotte L:1/8 M:C| K:D %%score T1 T2 A B V:T1 clef=...


11

In 4/4, if the shortest note is an 8th, your basic counting matrix is: one-and-two-and-three-and-four-and In this example the notes come on: ONE-(and)-TWO-AND-(three)-AND-(four)-AND An alternative is the Kodály Method where whole beat notes are 'Ta', half beat notes are 'Ti'. (Two beats are Ta-a, 4 beats are Ta-a-a-a etc.) Once you internalise the length ...


10

It is sometimes referred to as a dotted rhythm because the first four notes are all dotted eighth notes. I think it is popular because it's a very easy way to disrupt the normal pulse. Basically, what you are doing is overlaying a pulse that is different from the regular pulse. It works very well as a fill between sections for this same reason. If it ...


10

As you beginner, I strongly suggest you keep doing that. What I did when I first begun, was to count everything with my foot. After a while, I didn't really need to count every single thing with the foot, because I could hear/feel it in me. So, no, I don't think pro musicians count every little thing, but they can if you ask them to. Is counting the ...


9

2/4 is isomorphic to cut time, and as the article excerpt states, they idiomatic french horn rhythm would occur on both of the upbeats in the measure. In other words, the second and fourth eighth notes of a 2/4 bar.


9

I think the progression of 2&4 accents in Western (American) popular music probably starts with Swing, Jazz, Big Band where the drummers emphasized these beats and played 2 & 4 with the High Hat. Next I think this moved over to the snare drum in very early Rock n' Roll and Blues. Once it was on the snare drum, virtually all styles of American ...


9

When I studied music composition, one of our basic exercises was to compose rhythms without melody. This forces you to develop rhythms that are interesting in their own right. You can then develop the rhythms into melodies, or you can perform them on percussion or by scat singing. Or you can simply use it as an exercise to train your rhythmic composition ...


9

Mark Butler has written a scholarly book on Electronic Dance Music called Unlocking the Groove. In it, he proposes calling these moments "turning the beat around", and abbreviated it TBA. As in, "After an introduction that implies a straight 4/4 pattern, a TBA reveals that it has been syncopated all along." Personally, I think it's an unfortunate term, but ...


9

I'd put it in 6/8, due to the triplets feel, but the phrasing kind of repeats every two bars, thus two lots of 3/8, making 6/8. Why /8? Well, it's fairly quick, so I'd write it as quavers instead of crotchets. There is a recent question on that subject - quavers to play give the feeling that they are quicker - I know it depends on the tempo mark, but ...


9

To offer a different perspective from the other excellent answers here, I'll draw an analogy between a piece of music and a piece of prose. Barlines are separators, just like paragraphs and chapters. You can write a perfectly fine essay in one massive paragraph, without losing any semantics conveyed by the individual words within. The existence of ...


8

If a computer plays them, they are the same. However, it may influence how a human player interprets it, even if they don't know anything about what it meant historically, because all those extra beams will make the score look thicker, less spacious, and the notes seem to be more connected. A good player should be able to find a working interpretation ...


8

This is much like: when you drive a car, do you think about the steering all the time? When you learn to drive, you will be consciously thinking about your steering. Similarly, an experienced driver on an unfamiliar road will be consciously thinking about it. An experienced driver on a familiar road will probably not be consciously considering their ...


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