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Thread: Assistance on time-signature (esp. 3/4)

  1. #1
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    Assistance on time-signature (esp. 3/4)

    I have just started to broaden my horizon regarding time-signatures. Until lately, I have - conciously or not - focused on 4/4 rhythms. Tonight, however, I decided that I wanted to experiment with another time signature - any time-signature, really, that wasn't 4/4.

    I landed on 3/4, and tried to create a short demo piece based on the mentioned rhythm. I am not sure whether I succeeded, as I'm new to time-signatures. That said, I presume I got it right. 3/4 to me means each bar contains three 4th notes (quarter notes), and you count "1 2 3" as opposed to "1 2 3 4" in 4/4. If you count "1 2 3 4" in 3/4 you'll face trouble. The "4" will practically be the "1" of the next bar, that's my perspective.

    Here's a link a the demo piece I created. It's short, but you should be able to decide the rhythm. The application used for composing is called "ModPlug Tracker" and the samples are created by someone with the artistic name "Necro".

    To ensure that you get the file, right-click the link and choose "Save target as...":

    http://apple-joe.tripod.com/rhythm-demo.mp3

  2. #2
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    I'm having tha same ol' problems with file type on your link, but the way you describe 3/4 is correct.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by UKRuss
    I'm having tha same ol' problems with file type on your link, but the way you describe 3/4 is correct.
    Oh, I forgot about the File Attachment Manager again, give me 2 seconds.

    File is loading...

    I don't understand why the file will not work when providing a regular link. There must be some irregularities going on.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  4. #4
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    I have to say on a quick listen, it sounds more like 6/8 time to me.

    Six 8th notes to a bar.

    I may be wrong and am always willing to be corrected though...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by UKRuss
    I have to say on a quick listen, it sounds more like 6/8 time to me.

    Six 8th notes to a bar.

    I may be wrong and am always willing to be corrected though...
    Hm, so if I split each bar in two, it'll be 3/4?

  6. #6
    Jazzman Poparad's Avatar
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    Yeah, that is in 6/8 rather than 3/4. They do both have 6 eighth notes in each measure, but the distinction lies in where the accents fall and where the chords change.

    As far as 6/8 goes, that's a good one for that meter.


    The basic difference between 6/8 and 3/4 are where the pulse lies:


    Code:
    X____ X____ | X____ X____ |
    1 2 3 4 5 6 | 1 2 3 4 5 6 |
     
    X__ X__ X__ | X__ X__ X__ |
    1 + 2 + 3 + | 1 + 2 + 3 + |
    If you can feel the eighth notes (the +'s) with 3 main pules per measure, then it's 3/4, but if you feel it grouped in 3's (ONE two three) then it's 6/8. With 3/4, the beat is still divided into 2's.

    The distinction is very fine though, and you can borrow rhythms freely between the two meters for interest.


    As a general tendancy, rock and pop songs tend to be in 6/8 while jazz pieces in 3 tend to almost always be in 3/4. The reason jazz tends to be in 3/4 is because the eighth notes in jazz are swung, and therefore are a primary feature of the groove, so in 3/4 that swing feel is retained, but with one less beat per measure.


    Anyway, it basically comes down to the beat being divided into 2 for 3/4 or 3 for 6/8.
    Last edited by Poparad; 09-10-2005 at 11:08 PM.

  7. #7
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    Well... Kind of. Yes.

    You see where the bass drum kicks in with 3 8th notes following hen snare then the further 3 8th notes.

    Thats what makes it 6/8 for me. One bass kick and one snare per 6 8th notes equalling one bar.

    3/4 cold be denoted by starting each set of 3 with a bass kick followed by two snare raps for example.

    dum chit chit, dum chit chit, dum chit chit

    whereas you have now

    tsh tsh tsh tsh tsh tsh
    dum chit

    you see?

    esit. the chit in the second line should co-incide with the fourth "tsh" but i can tkeep it there...

  8. #8
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    LOL,

    Poparad explains slightly better than me with no dums, chits or thshs...

  9. #9
    Jazzman Poparad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UKRuss
    LOL,

    Poparad explains slightly better than me with no dums, chits or thshs...
    Heh... took me about 10 edits but I finally formatted that example right... .sheesh.

  10. #10
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    Ah yes, the coding looks spot on!

  11. #11
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    Great answers by both! The "dim chit chit" was good. I actually had the "dum chit chit" in mind first, but thought maybe it would be to stressed for the melody. However, THAT would be 3/4. I'll experiment.

    Thanks!

    EDIT: I found a site which listed several songs not-in-4/4. It said Manic Depression by Jimi Hendrix is in 3/4. I'm listening to it now, and I checked which feel that suited the song best. Definately the "1 + 2 + 3 + 1 + 2 + 3...", not "ONE two three FOUR five six". It sounds like the rhythm is grouped in two's, not three's. Hence it is 3/4, and that corresponds greatly with the sites' suggestions.

    I think I'm actually learning something about time signatures. It's about time.

    I have read several articles about the subject, and I have - at least thought myself - that I understood it. The problem is the fact that I haven't experimented in practice. Now I do, and now I seem to get it. Fantastic.
    Last edited by Apple-Joe; 09-11-2005 at 12:14 AM.

  12. #12
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    Sounds like you've cracked it to me Cool. Breakthrough's are what it's all about!

  13. #13
    Jazzman Poparad's Avatar
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    Manic Depression is a great example of 3/4. I should've thought of that one...

  14. #14
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    An interesting observation; the song mentioned both Bob Dylan's Mr. Bojangles and Leonard Cohen's Joan of Arc as 3/4 songs. I agree on Bob Dylan. Despite that counting "ONE two three FOUR five six" also works for this songs rhythm, the "one plus to plus three plus one plus two plus three..." seems to work better. You can feel the "plus", too. However, for Joan of Arc, I somehow thought "ONE two three FOUR five six" worked best? That would imply 6/8 - the site suggested 3/4 for? I definately couldn't make the "one plus two plus three..." approach fit the rhythm of the song.

    As I'm writing, Manic Depression by Jimi Hendrix plays again, and again, I see how this one is 3/4. It's got this distinct "one plus two plus three..." pulse (or; "du-ba du-ba du-ba... etc" as I'd describe it myself). Well, back to Joan of Arc. Is there anyone else who would say it sounds like 6/8, even though the mentioned site suggested 3/4? I'll have another listen soon, and I shall edit this post if I find out it sounds like 3/4 instead of 6/8.

    That aside - I'm awaiting comments on what I just wrote.

    EDIT: I'm listening to Buddy Guy - T-bone shuffle. At first I thought it was 4/4 - but could it be that 2/4 is more precise? I think counting "1-and-2-and-3-and-4-and...[starting over again]" works best. Comments?
    Last edited by Apple-Joe; 09-11-2005 at 05:18 PM.

  15. #15
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Any waltz tune is pure and simple 3/4 time. Can't think of any you would know. In country music; Waltz across Texas and Tennessee Waltz, are classic. A waltz tune gets the people on the dance floor every time.

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