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Thread: Trouble notating rhythm guitar with mutes

  1. #1
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    Trouble notating rhythm guitar with mutes

    Hi. I'm transcribing a small piece of rhythm guitar into regular notation, and although I know what the subdivisions are, I can't seem to find any answers on how to properly notate it. It's a reggae-style electric guitar rhythm, with very staccato strums, not ones that ring out into the next 8th note so it's muted strum in beat 1, 16th note length, followed by a non-muted 16th note length strum on beat 2 etc etc.

    I'm confused as to how it should look...Should I be beaming and how? Or is it (as I think) a 16th note followed by a 16th rest, written separately and so on?

    Hope I'm making sense. If you've heard that kind of guitar, you'll know what I mean.

    Thanks for any help. I'm going a bit nuts trying to work it out and Google hasn't given me what I'm looking for.

  2. #2
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scubapig View Post
    Hi. I'm transcribing a small piece of rhythm guitar into regular notation, and although I know what the subdivisions are, I can't seem to find any answers on how to properly notate it. It's a reggae-style electric guitar rhythm, with very staccato strums, not ones that ring out into the next 8th note so it's muted strum in beat 1, 16th note length, followed by a non-muted 16th note length strum on beat 2 etc etc.

    I'm confused as to how it should look...Should I be beaming and how? Or is it (as I think) a 16th note followed by a 16th rest, written separately and so on?

    Hope I'm making sense. If you've heard that kind of guitar, you'll know what I mean.

    Thanks for any help. I'm going a bit nuts trying to work it out and Google hasn't given me what I'm looking for.
    A reggae rhythm wouldn't normally be written as 16ths. If you're thinking of 8th notes as beats - don't! Beats should be quarter notes.
    If you mean a 16th note on the beat followed by a 16th and 8th note rest before the next (quarter note) beat, that's OK. But then write it as 8th notes followed by 8th note rests. This is simpler both to write and read than a 16th and two different rests on each beat. (In fact I suspect the rhythm you're after would be an 8th note rest first - on the beat - and then the chord on the 8th note between the beats.)
    You can always add a staccato mark to indicate the note should be shorter than an 8th (it won't matter if it's not an exact 16th): a small dot under the notehead, if the stem is up, or above the notehead if the stem is down.

    Anyway, the notes are not beamed. There are occasions where notes such as 16ths might be beamed across a rest in the middle, but generally this is only with complicated syncopations - eg a beat with 4 16th notes, the 3rd of which is a rest. Beaming the 3 notes makes the beat clear.

    If you want to post an example of a song with the rhythm you're thinking of, that would help clarify the issue. (Reggae rhythms can vary a little.)

  3. #3
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    Im not a pro here, but thought i could offer some insight. Since reggae is sort of a feel, it may be one of those things where they put P P = e, i dont know how to write it in here, but its like a symbol they put on sheet music that means the eighth notes are "swung"

    perhaps there is something similar for reggae?

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    it may be one of those things where they put P P = e, i dont know how to write it in here, but its like a symbol they put on sheet music that means the eighth notes are "swung"
    Last edited by Crossroads; 09-03-2012 at 07:57 AM.

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