#1
I love using all those complex time signatures. While the songs that I have made sound good on PowerTab, I have a feeling like I am using the time signatures a tad wrong.

For example, I made a riff that is 6/4. Couldn't I switch it to 3/4 and still be fine? Why would you want to sometimes use 6 as the top and sometimes use 3 as the top?

Also, why would anyone have a 6/8 time signature when 6/4 seems to do the trick?
#2
I presume you mean 6/8 and 3/4:

6/8 counted in eighth notes is 1 + a 2 + a so it is two beats of 3 eighth notes
3/4 counted in eighth notes is 1 + 2 + 3 + so it is three beats of 2 eighth notes

I can't really explain the difference between 6/8 and 6/4, but it's to do with how many beats there are per chord in a progression I think.

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Last edited by metallicafan616 at Jun 23, 2010,
#3
6/8 and 6/4 are effectively the same thing, but in 6/4 you're counting quarters and in 6/8 you're counting eigths. So at the same tempo (in quarters) 6/8 is twice as fast as 6/4.

The way I look at it (quite possibly not the "right" way, but it seems to make sense and agree with others) is that one should seek the smallest possible number of beats over which a "loop" in the music happens (the time for which one chord lasts, or something like that). For example, you could write 3/4 (3 quarters per bar) as 6/4 (6 quarters per bar) and you'd end up with vitally the same thing, but all your bars would be twice as long.

You could also write 3/4 as 3/8 and halve the tempo for an equivalent. The second number is the note which carries the beat.

Hope I've not cocked up/ massively misunderstood here. I've only just got up, and I haven't done anything much with theory for ages. Degrees to avoid failing and the like.
#4
Quote by metallicafan616
I presume you mean 6/8 and 3/4:


Bad guess. :X

The bottom two "paragraphs" are separate questions.

Quote by MopMaster

Hope I've not cocked up/ massively misunderstood here. I've only just got up, and I haven't done anything much with theory for ages. Degrees to avoid failing and the like.


I understood you pretty well. Now I have a new problem. Why would you want to switch between lets say 6/4 and 6/8.
Last edited by MousseMoose at Jun 23, 2010,
#5


I understood you pretty well. Now I have a new problem. Why would you want to switch between lets say 6/4 and 6/8.


You can switch to easily achieve a double time/half time feel (depending what way you go).

Or take the introduction to the Rush song YYZ.
The first playing bars are in 5/4. It then has a bar of rest in 5/8, before switching back to 5/4.

(It switches more in the song, but thats just an example of how they use the double time to get a shorter rest in the song )
#6
Quote by MousseMoose
Why would you want to switch between lets say 6/4 and 6/8.
Depends on what's carrying the beat. If the beat is on quarter notes, and cycles over 6 beats, it's 6/4. If the beat's on eighth notes and cycles over 6, it's 6/8.

Quote by metallicafan616
6/8 counted in eighth notes is 1 + a 2 + a so it is two beats of 3 eighth notes
3/4 counted in eighth notes is 1 + 2 + 3 + so it is three beats of 2 eighth notes
Ah, of course... In this case, the 2nd paragraph of my previous post is off. Each value of the first number defines a "conventional" beat (6 is 1 + a 2 + a, 3 is 1 + 2 + 3 +) which is usually used for that time.

As above, the 2nd number still just affects which type of note (quarters, eighths, etc) we're counting on. There also exist compound times, which are more or less several of simple (conventional) times stuck together into one larger time. Hence my failing.

An example: A bar of 6/8 could be counted as a bar of 2/8 with a bar of 2/4 after that.

In the example I gave above of 6/4 being equivalent to 3/4, the 6/4'd be a compound time of 2 3/4's. Hardly the conventional way of looking at things, but it works for me- I prefer to learn the definitions and derive from them as compared to having to learn many arbitrarily defined facts.
#7
Yup, as has been said, it's to do with how you count it.

3/4 is three crotchets (or quarter notes), and 6/4 is six crotchets per bar.

It makes a difference when you have 3/4 (counted as: ONE two three, ONE two three) and 6/8 (counted as ONE two three FOUR five six).

6/4 would be like 6/8 but half the speed- you have to remember that time sig.s were developed before metronomes so you had to have a way of showing the speed and feel of a peice. You couldn't just say "half time feel" or "50bpm", you had to change the time sig.
#8
It's best to pick the time signature that better suits your phrase. This help keep down the number of slurred across measure bars.

6/4 and 3/4 and be used for each other based on the phrase again. 6/8 and 3/4 could be used for each other but the tempo would change based on eighth notes or quarter notes being used.
#9
When it comes down to it you can write your music a heap of different ways but you go with the way that's easiest to read and make sense of. You could write your song in 1/4 if you really wanted to but imagine trying to read that?
#10
Quote by Drummerrrrr?
When it comes down to it you can write your music a heap of different ways but you go with the way that's easiest to read and make sense of. You could write your song in 1/4 if you really wanted to but imagine trying to read that?


I have to dissagree.


1/4 would be counted: one - one - one - one

whereas, say 4/4 would be: ONE two THREE four

which is totally different...
#11
Differences in seemingly similar time signatures have to do with which beats are accented.

6/4: ONE and TWO and THREE and FOUR and FIVE and SIX and
6/8: ONE two three FOUR five six

Likewise:

7/4: ONE and TWO and THREE and FOUR and FIVE and SIX and
7/8: ONE two THREE four FIVE six SEVEN
or ONE two THREE four FIVE six seven
or ONE two three FOUR five six seven
or any other irregular combinations you can think of.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#14
Quote by chainsawguitar
I have to dissagree.


1/4 would be counted: one - one - one - one

whereas, say 4/4 would be: ONE two THREE four

which is totally different...

But thats just for countings sake, they both equate to the same thing.
#15
Quote by Drummerrrrr?
But thats just for countings sake, they both equate to the same thing.


no, they don't. in 4/4, the first beat (of four) is emphasized. in 1/4, ALL beats (e.g. all crotchets/quarter notes) are emphasized.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#17
Quote by AeolianWolf
no, they don't. in 4/4, the first beat (of four) is emphasized. in 1/4, ALL beats (e.g. all crotchets/quarter notes) are emphasized.

But doesn't it come down to the way the notes are written e.g actually putting an accent above 1 and 3, otherwise you might only want 2 and 4 accented/emphasized?
#18
Quote by Drummerrrrr?
But doesn't it come down to the way the notes are written e.g actually putting an accent above 1 and 3, otherwise you might only want 2 and 4 accented/emphasized?

No. It comes down to the way the phrases are accented. I'm not going to be writing something in 1/4 just cause it looks nice; I would write it in 1/4 if every beat of my phrase was accented.

Remember, once a meter is established, there is an underlying pulse/accents (in 4/4, 1 is accented more than 3, but both are accented more than 2 and 4). Whether or not you hear it.

Accenting the "off-beats" is called syncopation. It's done... often.