View Full Version : rhythm

03-26-2006, 12:43 AM
i am having trouble understanding time and rhythm. i can understand the basics of a 3/4 baet when it uses the 3 quarter notes, SwwSww, or 4/4 Swsw etc, but when it comes to splitting the notes up, as in playing in 4/4, 3 quarter notes and 2 eighths for example, or somthing even more fragmented, i can't figure the time signatures. does anyone else strugle with this, or have any advice to deepen my understanding? thank you

03-26-2006, 08:19 AM
do you mean you have trouble figuring out a time signiture when it isn't just a note every beat, or are you confused about what happens when you know the time signiture at the begining but things get a little more complicated further into the piece? Because in 99% of music, if it starts with a simple rhythmic figure but then later divides the beat in whatever comlpex way the composer wants, the time signiture doesn't change.

I would suggest sitting down and writing out every possible combination of ways to split up a bar of 4/4. Start with just quarter notes and quarter rests, pretty simple and not too many combinations. Set a metronome at a comfortable speed, pick a chord and start looping it. You want to hear the bar as a whole rhythmic figure because it's just not possible to calculate every single beat all the time. Then add 8th notes and 8th rests and write out every combination. Put the metronome back on and start looping them. Then a ways down the road you can start thinking about 16th notes or triplets and at that point I'd suggest just writing out every way to break up a single beat and then put 4 different combinations together for a bar of 4/4 and loop that. This can get pretty complicated if you are new to this, so start with something VERY simple that you pretty much already have down because if you start getting in over your head sometimes it's hard to know if you're even making a mistake. Try doing this even for just a couple minutes a day while you warm up and pretty soon the rhythmic figures will start getting in your ears.

Hope that helps.

03-27-2006, 05:39 PM
yes, when there is more than one note for every beat, i have trouble figuring out the time.

03-28-2006, 03:41 PM
I have the same problem! It is really frustrating to say the least when I know how to sing and dance and can't get the rhythm down on the guitar. I can't count, play guitar and sing at same time. I have been playing the guitar for about two months and it's getting frustrating! UGGH! I wish the light bulb would turn on! I appreciate the help of this board and hopefully this will come.
Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. My guitar teacher has not been much help.

03-29-2006, 03:00 AM
try and get either the guitar, or the singing down cold so you don't have to think about it. I'd suggest the guitar if you're new to it and already know how to sing. Then adding the other will be easier because you are just trying to fit it over something that is already happening. Don't try and do everything at once. Take a little section, even just a bar, and do it till it's nailed and you don't have to think about it, then move on.