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Very Noob-ish but important question...

Music Theory
GuitarBoy666  
27 Jul 2008 01:50 | Quote
Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Canada
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Okay so I am gonna go back to basics and ask how time signatures and all this crap works.

My questions:
How exactly does 3/4 time work?

How do dotted notes work? I do know that the dot is worth half of the notes value (Half note + dot = 3 beats) but it just seems so confusing.

I feel that as a guitarist hoping to start up a band soon, I must go back and learn the basic noob stuff, since I haven't really learned it... I should have long ago though.

*Please explain to me in a way that I can understand, little by little, bit by bit, so I don't get confused. I am not the smartest kid around, so I tend to get confused by this stuff.

By the way, I promise to try hard to stop posting random useless crap that no one cares about. And I'm sorry about that.

Anyways, thanks very much in advance all of you =)
Doz  
27 Jul 2008 03:18 | Quote
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3/4 means 3 quarter notes to a bar (it's a crotched to us British people, but to keep it simple just remember it's a quarter note because four of them can fit into a 1 4/4 bar). So you can play 3 beats for every bar, basically.

Dotted notes extend the time of the note you play by a half of it's current value. So if you have a half note, adding a dot after it will make it three quarters (a half and a quarter). That's really all there is to it... you need to remember that this dot also takes up space in the bar. So in 3/4 you won't be able to have 3 crotchets if one of them is dotted.
telecrater  
27 Jul 2008 08:27 | Quote
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I'm pretty bad with this stuff but I think a 3/4 would be like a waltz. Try finding a waltz and give it a listen. when listening cout the beats... it like bummmm dat dat dummm dat dat.

Timing is important but I think if your really going back to basics just make sure you can keep good time play with a metronome so it's 2nd nature to you. the quickest way to get booted form a band is to keep loosing time.
GRX40  
27 Jul 2008 09:19 | Quote
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1.) As stated before, 3/4 time means you have 3 beats per measure (or bar) and in those bars a quarter note gets 1 beat.

So instead of counting "1,2,3,4", you just count "1,2,3".

2.)A dotted note adds half the note's value to it. A half note is two beats, so a dotted half is 2 + 1 (half of two) = 3 beats.

You can also dot quarter notes. So a dotted quarter is 1 + 1/2, so one and a half beats total. It's like a quarter note with an extra eighth note on the end.

3.) Don't worry about making threads like this! I would rather have questions about music than a bunch of random stuff. Even if they are beginner questions, it often helps to have them explained by someone.
foogered  
27 Jul 2008 10:23 | Quote
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One more little thing. In 4/4 the beats go Strong, Weak, Less Strong, Weak, whereas in 3/4 the beats go Strong, Weak, Weak. If you say the beats in your head you'll see what I mean, or listen to any song in 3/4 or 4/4. This stuff is important to know when writing a song, because the rhythm and "flow" of the song is all about how you work around the strong and weak beats.
blackholesun  
27 Jul 2008 10:27 | Quote
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Unless the music has a strong backbeat (eg. reggae), in which case the strong beats are two and four.
GuitarBoy666  
27 Jul 2008 13:12 | Quote
Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Canada
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Okay, I understand it a little bit more now,
What about in songs (especially in a lot of grunge and hard rock) where there are like really confusing drumlines?

How does the timing work then? That, I could never make sense of.
GRX40  
27 Jul 2008 14:05 | Quote
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It could be that they use weird time signatures. In school band the past year, we used 5/4 time, or 4/2 (where everything is worth half of it's value) or 9/8 where everything is twice as much.


I know that the band Soundgarden uses weird time signatures in some songs.
blackholesun  
27 Jul 2008 14:37 | Quote
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If there is a confusing drum line then the guitar and bass will probably follow it. The timing still works the same, although maybe instead of being 8 eighth notes there might be 3, 3 and then 2, so the strong beats would be on beats 1, 4 and 7, or another variation. Complicated rhythms at the end of the day aren't anything more than a load of eighth and sixteenth notes arranged in a way that .

Is there a particular song that you're stuck on?

Would now be a good time as well to talk about complex time signatures? Basically there's duple time (2/4), triple time (3/4) and quadruple time (4/4 - which is what most music is written in, it's pretty much THE standard). In 4/4, there are 4 quarter notes in a bar, or 8 eighth notes, or 16 16th notes, etc. Bit of simple maths now, 4 x 1/4 = 1, as does 8 x 1/8 and 16 x 1/16.

Complex time signatures don't fit into the usual duple or triple time, but they still use the same note lengths (quarter, half, eighth, etc). When you add all the lengths of the notes up, they don't equal 1, for example 7/8... 7 x 1/8 = 0.875, and 5/4... 5 x 1/4 = 1.25.

That is only just scratching the surface, there are loads more different complex time signatures. The way I view them is as a bar of 4/4, with a little bit tacked on to the end of it, or a little bit taken off the end of it so it jumps back to beat one a little bit quicker, and while they can be quite hard to get your head around if you've never come across them before, they do add an extra little something to your songs. For example, the intro and verse of Them Bones by Alice In Chains is in 7/8, and it makes the song a lot more unsettling than if it was in 4/4.
blackholesun  
27 Jul 2008 14:38 | Quote
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Wahey, someone said it before me! :)
Calvin  
27 Jul 2008 15:33 | Quote
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The majority of hard rock and grunge songs are written in 4/4 time, so I'm kind of assuming he's primarily having a problem distinguishing the main rhythm(that defines the time signature) from different fills that drummers use to make songs more diverse.
GuitarBoy666  
27 Jul 2008 16:40 | Quote
Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Canada
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Okay I think I get the 3,3, 2 thing.. 3+3+2=8. Easy. That seems to make sense to me.

As you al know, Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden is in the Rock Band game, and you also know that on expert you have to hit all the notes in the song. And when I play the song (on expert) it' like, you hit a note, then wait a bit, then hit a few in a row, then wait, etc. That's what confused me and I thought "how the hell does that work?" That is part of what made me start this thread... Also, when on Guitar Pro trying to get the note duration so the bars are correct, it confused me (along with the dotted notes)

I understand your 2nd paragraph, bhs, probably just because it is a bunch of math in it lol but it makes sense.

Your fourth paragraph, however, is what confuses me... It's not how you explained it, don't worry, what it is, is that I don't have the slightes clue how those sigs actually work.

(*Turns on Them Bones by Alice In Chains*) The timing on the drums just sound normal to me ( 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and a 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and a....) You know, it doesn't sound that confusing I guess. I don't know,

I feel like with this advanced stuff (theory stuff like time and scales and sus2 sus4 etc.) I am just hopeless. I remember my thread I made about the sus2 sus4 and I still remember how that works.

To Calvin,
I kinda understand SOME of the fills that drummers use (like when they go into the next verse or a chorus, prechorus, etc.) but not all of them. The ones that are in the middle of a verse or something, like if the drums are following a certain beat, then it goes like, with the pedal then like a really quick roll where you hit the drum 3 times, then I don't really get how they go back to the verse and it sounds perfect.

Sorry for the long post with nothing but me complaining :P
blackholesun  
27 Jul 2008 17:13 | Quote
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Black Hole Sun... hmm I don't think I know that song...!

The thing is, the drums in Them Bones don't do that, they go do this, or at least something similar.




I've included the count at the bottom as well. If you have Guitar Pro then I would download the tab for Them Bones and slow it right down, and count along with the song, keeping an eye on when the next bar starts.

If you want a more obvious example of an unusual time signature, then check out the main riff of Master Of Puppets (the one that starts 52 seconds in). It is a bar of 4/4 followed by a bar of 13/16. It's not a great example, because the odd time signature only lasts for a bar before the riff repeats, but you can hear how it sounds like the bar has been cut short.

Don't worry about posting all these questions, it's what the forums are for after all!

GuitarBoy666  
27 Jul 2008 18:18 | Quote
Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Canada
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Oh I'm sure you don't ;P That's why it's your username. Baha.

Anyways,
I dl'ed the guitar pro tab off of UG, and I muted everything except for the drums.

Here is a screenshot of the GP thing I took... I hilghted the intro part of the drums:



So, how exactly does that stuff work there?
is there like, a kick pedal or something going on there?

Also, I just thought of something:
7/8, 3/4, etc. Would that mean that you play 3 beats (or 7) then one of them is a "rest" ? Just a thought, I kinda figured it would make a bit of sense.

I know that'sn what it's for, and from now on I shall only use it for what it's for.
No more random crap. And I apologize for that because I know that it was childish immature and stupid. So from now on, I will only be here to help others (if I can) and to be halped. (:


EDIT: Okay so the image really sux, it's hard to make out. Hopefully you can get the general idea of it.
blackholesun  
27 Jul 2008 19:20 | Quote
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Yeah, that's the same version that I have. It's quite hard to read though because the cymbals and the snare use the same line of notation, so in my version above I replaced the cymbals with the hi-hat. If you click on the percussion button (the one to the right of the thing that says 100%) then you can see which drum each number refers to. In my version above, the bottom line is the kick, middle line is the snare and top line is the hi-hat/cymbals.

GuitarBoy666 says:
Also, I just thought of something:
7/8, 3/4, etc. Would that mean that you play 3 beats (or 7) then one of them is a "rest" ? Just a thought, I kinda figured it would make a bit of sense.


Nope, in 7/8, you play 7 beats, and then go back to the first beat, so it's 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 etc, or 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 1 + 2 + 3 + 4. It keeps repeating, missing out the 8th beat each time and jumping straight back to the first beat

3/4 is a waltz, so it goes ONE two three ONE two three etc. Once again, there is no rest or pause when you get to the 4th beat, because it misses it out, and skips back to the first beat.

Did you listen to that Master Of Puppets thing? You could download the GP tab for that as well and check it out! My version of it is called master_of_puppets_ver3.gp3, and the riff starts in bar 24.

blackholesun  
27 Jul 2008 19:38 | Quote
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Sorry if you're getting confused by the rest at the end of each bar on my drum tab I made. On a drum tab in Guitar Pro, a 16th note followed by a 16th note rest sounds exactly the same as an 8th note.




Here's a better version, I've included the "tab notation" as well, so you can see which drum is which. I've also included two ways of counting it. They are both equivalent, so use the one you prefer.

And whilst we are looking at drums here, don't forget that the guitar has to fit in with the drums, so it's also going to be in 7/8.
GuitarBoy666  
27 Jul 2008 19:49 | Quote
Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Canada
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Holy hell , bhs, I think I understand now!

When you say "1 + 2 + 3 + 4 1 + 2 + 3 + 4" that made me understand a hell of a lot more for some reason.

Basically, I could play something like this and call it 7/8 timing? This is just an example, by the way.




1 + 2 + 3 + 4 1 + 2 + 3 + 4
|-----------------------------
|-----------------------------
|-7-7-7-7-5-5-5-7-7-7-7-5-5-5-
|-7-7-7-7-5-5-3-7-7-7-7-5-5-5-
|-5-5-5-5-3-3-3-5-5-5-5-3-3-3-
|-----------------------------



As you said, all it's doing is jumping back to the first beat, quicker than it would in 4/4. It feels like it toally makes sense right now.

And yes I did. I listened to your version. So all it is, is you're playing 13 sixteenth notes.. correct?


EDIT: Forgot to insert TAB.
And also, I would prefer counting is 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 .... Just seems less confusing.
blackholesun  
27 Jul 2008 19:57 | Quote
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Yay! He's got it! You got the counts slightly out of alignment but I know what you mean. And that's right about Master Of Puppets, but I would like to point out that I didn't make that tab, I meant it's the one I downloaded ages ago!

Here's something else for you to check out - the main riff to Vicarious by Tool




GuitarBoy666  
27 Jul 2008 20:08 | Quote
Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Canada
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Yes! I feel smarter now :P :D
And I think I might have messed the counts up when I re-did the [ .tab] [./tab] stuff.

Oh well you said "My Version" so I thought you meant ownership aha. Oh well either way, it works out.

And please, explain how that works. That looks crazy o.O
blackholesun  
28 Jul 2008 05:50 | Quote
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It's actually quite easy to play, best thing to do is listen to it to get an idea of how it sounds. I'll tab it out on here as well. 16th notes are often counted out as 1 e + a etc



1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a 5 e + a
E -------------------------------------------|
B -------------------------------------------|
G -------------------------------------------|
D -------------------------------------------|
A --------------------------------------15---|
D 0-----0-12--0-------0---10--0---15h17------|


I had to make the spacing of the counts in the 5th beat slightly wider to fit in the higher fret numbers, but they are at the same speed as the other counts.
GuitarBoy666  
28 Jul 2008 12:06 | Quote
Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Canada
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Well that's not hard to play, but it's to get the timing, I think.

But I looked at both of the tabs... I see what you mean, it's easier to look at it with the e + a, I find.

And the e + a is there, I'm guessing, because 1 e + a, having 4 sixteenth notes played is one beat. I get it :D
aterrell  
8 Sep 2008 14:45 | Quote
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I could be wrong, but it seems like if a song was in 4/4 time, the drums would repeat it's pattern every 4 beats. Of course the drumming changes throughout the song, like verses and choruses and whatnot, but whatever pattern it has for that particular part, it should be completed according to the time signature. Or maybe I'm an idiot, lol.
JazzMaverick  
9 Sep 2008 13:58 | Quote
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to explain what I think no one else mentioned (sorry if you did)

3/4 = 3 stands for the amount of beats that can be be held in a bar (which was mentioned)... the 4 however, stands for crotchet (quarter note)

So 3/4 essentially means 3 crotchets in a bar.

6/8 = 6, amount of beats in a bar... 8, means quaver (eighth note).

So 6/8 means 6 quavers in a bar.

And so on.

Do you know anything about Simple or Compound time GB?
league  
9 Sep 2008 17:52 | Quote
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so the /8 means eighth notes are being used while /4 means quarter notes are being used?
Kodi666  
9 Sep 2008 19:09 | Quote
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Tbh, I don't know like ANYTHING about time sigs.

I don't even know how to tell what time sig my own songs are in ;| All I know is whether or not they sound decent.

BodomBeachTerror  
9 Sep 2008 20:40 | Quote
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lol same with me kodi
RelaxedDude  
9 Sep 2008 22:54 | Quote
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It has been said previously, but the way that I finally learned it, and correct me if Im wrong, but

3/4 means that there are 3 forth (quarter) notes in a measure

6/8 means that there are 6 eighth notes in a measure, and whatnot

then when you get into 12 time, triplets are more involved
Kodi666  
10 Sep 2008 05:01 | Quote
Joined: 07 Sep 2008
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I know that part, RelaxedDude, like the 3/4 6/8 etc.

What I *don't* get is how it fits together, and sounds good. Know what I mean?

Another thing I don't get:

I do play Rock Band, i'm not an addict but I play it.
The main reason I do is for the drums. It actually helped me develope my sense of rhythm, etc.
But I don't understand it when there is a note, but it isn't on a beat, it's like just before it.

Let's say we have "1 & a 2 & a 3 & a 4 & a" And I will see a note being hit in between a number, &, or a. .... How does this work? How does it sound good?

I think I just keep getting myself more lost.
JazzMaverick  
10 Sep 2008 13:10 | Quote
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Basically beats can be played within the beats we usually play. The "a" you're referring to GB is a 16th note most likely. The picture should explain that. It's also possible to get notes within that, which would then mean that those notes are a 32nd note and then a 64th note. This also explains notation. Those little music notes Crotchets and quavers and semi-quavers.

This is what explains it.




if that doesn't help...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Note_value

Note that Longa no longer exists in modern day music. I also think it stopped being used before classical... but i'm not certain.
Kodi666  
10 Sep 2008 13:35 | Quote
Joined: 07 Sep 2008
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So basically I can Have a song in 4/4 timing, and then if I wanted to add something to it I could have the drummer hit a 16th note in between some of the beats?

How does that last note thinger work? The half and quarter tied together?

That's just worth three beats is it?
JazzMaverick  
10 Sep 2008 14:54 | Quote
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If you're not going to read notation, you don't need to remember that last tie. It won't matter to you when you create music.

But yeah, you can have a 16th even if it's 4/4.


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