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Time Signature help needed...

28 Sep 04 - 01:11 AM (#1282834)
Subject: Time Signature help needed...
From: GUEST,Barbra

Can someone explain the easy way (if there is such a thing) to learn how to count in time when dealing with time signatures (2/4, 3/4, 4/4, etc.) It can't be as hard as I'm making it. I have never been good at math and I think this is where the hangup comes from. Finally learning how to count in time will help with learning the guitar (self-teaching myself for now.)

Thanks in advance :)

28 Sep 04 - 01:44 AM (#1282845)
Subject: RE: Time Signature help needed...
From: The Fooles Troupe

If you are having that much difficulty, you should get a metronome.

the basic problem that you have to learn to overcome is to set up a regular unvarying beat - Da Da Da Da Da... etc the pace of which is at the frequency of the 'unit' - the bottom part of the 'fraction' - the 4 in your examples - these are called 'crotchets' and the pace of these is so many beats per minute - in classical music called the MM = XX [which is the MM number] - MM = Malziel's Metronome - code at the top of the page.

The top number of the 'fraction' then tells you how many of these beats there are in a bar, the first one of which is always accented.

Metronomes (old mechanical ones) had a bell which could be set ot sound on the first beat of each 'group' - modern electronic ones have pulsing lights and/or beats.

ALWAYS keep the beat steady - certain styles of music 'bend' or 'swing' the beat, but if you never learn to play to a steady beat at first, you will severely limit your musical capabilities.


28 Sep 04 - 02:01 AM (#1282850)
Subject: RE: Time Signature help needed...
From: Ebbie

Or are you asking, Barbra, how to signify the beat? Either by tapping your foot, or slapping your hand on your knee in time or by the type of stroke on your guitar?

The reason I ask is that I remember whem I was under the impression that I would have to count to 64, for instance, in a 64 bar (measure) tune. And of course, it's not so. One continually starts over, as in 1 23, 1 23, 1 23, for a waltz or an air (3/4 time; or   1 2, 1 2, 1 2, 1 2 for 2/4 time or 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4 for 4/4.

It is often given as boom chick chick, boom chick chick, boom chick chick for 3/4 or boom chick, boom chick, boom chick for 2/4 and I suppose, boom boom boom boom for 4/4 though I haven't heard that said. This is a strike the root note, and strum across the other strings kind of beat for boom chick, for instance.

I suspect you are way beyond this but just in case- ! Sometimes it's the simplest things that make it hard to get started. Good luck. You'll never regret learning to play.

28 Sep 04 - 02:03 AM (#1282852)
Subject: RE: Time Signature help needed...
From: GUEST,Sarah

When you learn classical music there are set ways of using hand signals to beat different times. Up and down is 2/4, a triangle shape is 3/4, 4/4 is a short downward stroke, then a short left and back and then diagonally up to meet the top of your original (hard to describe. A kind of four but without the lower bit.

If you beat these timings and say the timing it is supposed to be in your heard it helps.


28 Sep 04 - 05:56 AM (#1282972)
Subject: RE: Time Signature help needed...
From: GUEST,Joe Hill

If you're playing folk music a good way is to start with double jigs
You can count to 6, but do it to the beat of 'Liverpool, Everton -
Liverpool, Everton - Liverpool, Everton ...'
Take care if you come across slip jigs which are in 9. That would
be Liverpool Everton Everton, Liverpool Everton Everton.
Listen to tunes before playing and it will start to make sense.

28 Sep 04 - 11:29 AM (#1283215)
Subject: RE: Time Signature help needed...
From: M.Ted

Find someone who teaches the kind of music you are trying to learn how to play and start taking lessons--there is nothing that anyone can tell you in a post that will help you straighten this out,(and most of this stuff will just confuse you more) for the simple reason that, even if someone explains it, you will have no idea whether what you are doing is right or not--

I said it in another thread--but I'll say it again--when you are self-taught, your teacher doesn't know any more than you do---

28 Sep 04 - 06:06 PM (#1283520)
Subject: RE: Time Signature help needed...
From: Gypsy

Weeeeellllll, and some of us in the north woods don't have the option of schools.....they don't exist. Millers book, Music theory for the complete idiot, will help a great deal. When classes were finally available in my area, that was the textbook, and it is pretty clear. Highly recommend it.