What is the correct time signature for 3 and a half beats?

Here's the whole riff itself if it can be of any use

First measure - (4/4)

E|------------------------------------|
B|------------------------------------|
G|---------------------------------0-|
D|----------7-------5--------7------|
A|-----10------9-------10----------|
E|-0---------------------------------|

Second measure - (?) It's three and a half beats.. Straight 8th notes

E|------------------------------|
B|------------------------------|
G|-----------------0-----------|
D|----5-------2---------------|
A|-7------5----------------2--|
E|----------------------3------|

"We programmed in death...A thousand needles lie here to inject their lies."
7/8

that is really uncommon though, you usually see it as a 3/8 grouping combined with 4/8
are you sure you got that right?
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Last edited by justinb904 at Sep 22, 2009,
7/8 .. seven eighth notes.
Well, I'm definately no timing expert.. xD I know my way around a lot of it but not when it gets too complicated..

That's just the riff I just came out with.. I imagine you could maybe make it one whole timing maybe as opposed to doing 1 measure of 4/4, 1 measure 7/8, and repeat...

But I'm not really clear on that..
"We programmed in death...A thousand needles lie here to inject their lies."
hold that last note for a quarter note and it would all even out time wise
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Quote by justinb904
7/8

that is really uncommon though, you usually see it as a 3/8 grouping combined with 4/8
are you sure you got that right?

It's not wrong at all though. Just looks like 2/3/2.

And yeah, it's 7/8. Seven eight notes, just like the first is 4/4, four quarter notes.

Quote by justinb904
hold that last note for a quarter note and it would all even out time wise

Why? If he likes it how it is there's no rule saying it has to be in 4/4 or stay consistent in time signature from measure to measure.
Quote by justinb904
hold that last note for a quarter note and it would all even out time wise

Yeah, I know it would. But 1- I like learning new stuff. 7/8 is a timing I've never put in a song before. And 2- I like writing riffs that make my drummer wanna kill himself. And 3- With the 7/8 signature the feel is very spacious and keeps me intrigued in the riff without it being an intricate overkill.

Thanks for everyone's help however.

Also, outta curiousity for future reference... 5/8 = 2 and a half beats? Or am I wrong there?
"We programmed in death...A thousand needles lie here to inject their lies."
Last edited by Killswitch666 at Sep 22, 2009,
you could change the tempo and put it in 16ths instead of 8ths and use 15/16 as a time sig... I think. I don't really know theory i just muck around on gp.
One last question.. Is there any other way to say 10/4? Cause that seems kinda ridiculous to me xD

EDIT: Nevermind I'm an idiot... It's just 5/4... -_-; I counted it in 8ths again instead of Quarters...
"We programmed in death...A thousand needles lie here to inject their lies."
Last edited by Killswitch666 at Sep 22, 2009,
You asked about 3 1/2 beats and the time signature. There is no way to write 3 1/2 over 4 so we change it to 7/8.

Above a person asked about changing it to 15/16 and is that ok. No, it's not. You would use 15/16 when it is 3 3/4 beats. Multiply 4 to both and get 15/16. Need to make them round numbers.

Above you asked about 10/4, but then you corrected it and said 5/4. The way you know to go back to beat 1 is when it completes a phrase, then we restart at beat 1. It IS possible to have 10/4 if a phrase completes after 10 beats.
TS- I like the riff, but is there a reason you are playing it the way you have it written. all the same notes are available in second position. Just curious. I've played it a few different ways and there is no difference in sound.
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Quote by zoomy74
TS- I like the riff, but is there a reason you are playing it the way you have it written. all the same notes are available in second position. Just curious. I've played it a few different ways and there is no difference in sound.

There is a pretty big difference in sound when you're changing strings and positions on the fretboard.

Reasons TS might want to play it the way he wrote it:

1. Tone of the strings at certain places on the neck
2. Personal preference
3. Easier leading into/out of another song section
4. Etc.
Quote by timeconsumer09
There is a pretty big difference in sound when you're changing strings and positions on the fretboard.

Reasons TS might want to play it the way he wrote it:

1. Tone of the strings at certain places on the neck
2. Personal preference
3. Easier leading into/out of another song section
4. Etc.

I understand what you are saying, was asking his reason. What I meant by no diff in sound was that playing the open string g and the g at the 10th fret of the a string is the same note. Playing it the way he has it written is a little more difficult than other ways to get the exact same notes. Its can also be played in one position, which would eliminate the possibility of string sliding noise.
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Ibanez SA Series
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