Hey, how can I do this?

Cheers!
R.I.P Jon Lord, Rory Gallagher and Jimi!
its easy. u know how 4/4 is counted right? 1-2-3-4? when u change the top #, u change the amount of #s u count. so 5/4 is counted 1-2-3-4-5, 3/4 is counted 1-2-3, 6/4 is 1-2-3-4-5-6, etc. the bottom # gets a lil tricky if ur not already good at counting 4/4. if you count 4/4 with 8th notes instead of just quarter notes (which is the same as 8/8), it is 1-&-2-&-3-&-4-&. if u change the bottom # to 8, the top # means the amount of 8th notes. so 3/8 as 3 8th notes and is counted 1-&-2, then back to 1. 7/8 is 1-&-2-&-3-&-4, then back to 1. the difference between 7/8 and 4/4 (or 8/8) is that the "&" after the "4" is eliminated, it just goes right back to 1 instead. u can use the same method to change to 16th notes, triplets, whatever.
but if u arent the drummer, the best thing to do would be write a song without worying bt the timing, dont let anything limit ur creativity, then when the drummer writes their part, they can figure out the timing of what u wrote, becuz experienced drummers are typically experts at this.
Quote by TMVATDI
its easy. u know how 4/4 is counted right? 1-2-3-4? when u change the top #, u change the amount of #s u count. so 5/4 is counted 1-2-3-4-5, 3/4 is counted 1-2-3, 6/4 is 1-2-3-4-5-6, etc. the bottom # gets a lil tricky if ur not already good at counting 4/4. if you count 4/4 with 8th notes instead of just quarter notes (which is the same as 8/8), it is 1-&-2-&-3-&-4-&. if u change the bottom # to 8, the top # means the amount of 8th notes. so 3/8 as 3 8th notes and is counted 1-&-2, then back to 1. 7/8 is 1-&-2-&-3-&-4, then back to 1. the difference between 7/8 and 4/4 (or 8/8) is that the "&" after the "4" is eliminated, it just goes right back to 1 instead. u can use the same method to change to 16th notes, triplets, whatever.
but if u arent the drummer, the best thing to do would be write a song without worying bt the timing, dont let anything limit ur creativity, then when the drummer writes their part, they can figure out the timing of what u wrote, becuz experienced drummers are typically experts at this.

Sorry but this is incorrect. Classically 8/8 is counted "One two three Four five six Seven eight" or simply 3-3-2 beats. This is the main difference between 4/4 and 8/8. Likewise, 3/8 would be counted "One two three", 7/8 would be counted "One two three Four five six Seven" and 9/8 would be counted "One two three Four five six Seven eight nine".
Quote by Sóknardalr
Sorry but this is incorrect. Classically 8/8 is counted "One two three Four five six Seven eight" or simply 3-3-2 beats. This is the main difference between 4/4 and 8/8. Likewise, 3/8 would be counted "One two three", 7/8 would be counted "One two three Four five six Seven" and 9/8 would be counted "One two three Four five six Seven eight nine".

To go a little further, in any of the x/8 sigs the dotted quarter gets the beat; not the 8th note. So 6/8 is actually counted "1 & a 2 & a". But we count the way ^ did because it's easier to do while playing. But you need to know the first sentence that I wrote.

And for the record, if the time sig is x/16 that means the dotted 8th gets the beat. Not the 16th.
Ok, thanks guys! Helped lots!
R.I.P Jon Lord, Rory Gallagher and Jimi!
Quote by DiminishedFifth
To go a little further, in any of the x/8 sigs the dotted quarter gets the beat; not the 8th note. So 6/8 is actually counted "1 & a 2 & a". But we count the way ^ did because it's easier to do while playing. But you need to know the first sentence that I wrote.

And for the record, if the time sig is x/16 that means the dotted 8th gets the beat. Not the 16th.

what!? then why would they put an 8 on the bottom if it isn't 8th notes? i have like 3 books that teach otherwise.
if you write 7/8 in notation, you'll see it written as 7 8th notes, when you count it, u can say "1234567" or "1&2&3&4" or "1etripabullshitlet," as long as the person counting gets the point.
this is how i was taught by my drum teacher, Glen Sabado, and by 3 books: "progressive rock guitar" by Glenn Riley, "progressive rock bass" by Christopher Maloney, and a book that i dont have with me right now and i forgot the title but it is a drum book that specializes in odd time signatures. in fact, it teaches absolutely nothing but odd time signatures. so r u telling me all of this is wrong? becuz that would mean every song ive written in the last 3 months is really in some other timing im unaware of...
Quote by TMVATDI
what!? then why would they put an 8 on the bottom if it isn't 8th notes? i have like 3 books that teach otherwise.
if you write 7/8 in notation, you'll see it written as 7 8th notes, when you count it, u can say "1234567" or "1&2&3&4" or "1etripabullshitlet," as long as the person counting gets the point.
this is how i was taught by my drum teacher, Glen Sabado, and by 3 books: "progressive rock guitar" by Glenn Riley, "progressive rock bass" by Christopher Maloney, and a book that i dont have with me right now and i forgot the title but it is a drum book that specializes in odd time signatures. in fact, it teaches absolutely nothing but odd time signatures. so r u telling me all of this is wrong? becuz that would mean every song ive written in the last 3 months is really in some other timing im unaware of...

you make the amateur mistake of thinking time signatures work like fractions. they don't. 4/4 =/= 8/8. they're completely separate time signatures. you can have 8 eighth notes in a measure and be in 4/4 -- this is actually so common there's actually a name for it. "straight eighths".

7/8 in notation isn't necessarily 7 eighth notes, and the eighth note does not get the beat -- with the exception of the third beat of the measure (the one landing on the seventh eighth note), the dotted quarter note gets the beat. so for measures of 7/8, unless otherwise specified, the beat is dotted quarter-dotted quarter-eighth.

diminished fifth and sóknardalr have it right.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
Quote by TMVATDI
what!? then why would they put an 8 on the bottom if it isn't 8th notes? i have like 3 books that teach otherwise.
if you write 7/8 in notation, you'll see it written as 7 8th notes, when you count it, u can say "1234567" or "1&2&3&4" or "1etripabullshitlet," as long as the person counting gets the point.
this is how i was taught by my drum teacher, Glen Sabado, and by 3 books: "progressive rock guitar" by Glenn Riley, "progressive rock bass" by Christopher Maloney, and a book that i dont have with me right now and i forgot the title but it is a drum book that specializes in odd time signatures. in fact, it teaches absolutely nothing but odd time signatures. so r u telling me all of this is wrong? becuz that would mean every song ive written in the last 3 months is really in some other timing im unaware of...

I will go so far as to say those books ARE wrong if they didn't teach you that when an 8 is on the bottom the dotted quarter gets the beat.

Now, having said that, even I count it (as did every music director I've ever had) as "1 2 3 4 5 6" but I know that's wrong. I do it for ease of use, and that's what those books, as well as your drum instructor, are teaching you: ease of use. Which, honestly, unless you're analyzing is all that matters really (in analysis it would be wrong to say "The IV is on the 5th beat" if it fell on the & of 2).

As for your songs they're still in whatever time sig you have them in. You're the composer, you're not wrong in writing your own music. You're just using syncopation.
Quote by AeolianWolf
you make the amateur mistake of thinking time signatures work like fractions. they don't. 4/4 =/= 8/8. they're completely separate time signatures. you can have 8 eighth notes in a measure and be in 4/4 -- this is actually so common there's actually a name for it. "straight eighths".

7/8 in notation isn't necessarily 7 eighth notes, and the eighth note does not get the beat -- with the exception of the third beat of the measure (the one landing on the seventh eighth note), the dotted quarter note gets the beat. so for measures of 7/8, unless otherwise specified, the beat is dotted quarter-dotted quarter-eighth.

diminished fifth and sóknardalr have it right.

ugh, what's the point of that, why didn't the theorist who first explained time signatures to people just make it simple...

so if an 8 on the bottom means a dotted quarter note, does a 16 mean a dotted 8th note, and a 32 a dotted 16th? and i've used 3s and 6s on the bottom before (representing triplets), so what would those actually mean?
Quote by TMVATDI
ugh, what's the point of that, why didn't the theorist who first explained time signatures to people just make it simple...

so if an 8 on the bottom means a dotted quarter note, does a 16 mean a dotted 8th note, and a 32 a dotted 16th? and i've used 3s and 6s on the bottom before (representing triplets), so what would those actually mean?

3rd and 6th notes don't exist, so you can't use them to indicate beat type in a time signature. Triplets have nothing to do with the time signature. A set of three triplet notes is the same as two notes of the same type. Three eight note triplets are the same as two eight notes. Three half note triplets are the same as two half notes, etc.

Look, most importantly these are just guidelines. These are just the definitions of them. If you want to compose in a time signature that is in 4/4 time with a dropped eight note and yet don't want to change the rhythmic emphasis at all then no one is stopping you. If you want to compose in a time signature that is in 4/4 time yet with a dropped sixteenth note for that "4/4 with a cut-off effect" without changing the emphasis then no one is stopping you. It's just incorrect to teach time signatures this way because 1/1, 2/2, 4/4, 8/8, 16/16 and 32/32 are most definitely not the same thing. Does that make sense to you at all? If the bpm is say 80 then all of the measures last equally long. The only difference is the emphasis of the beats, which ones are accentuated.
Quote by Sóknardalr
3rd and 6th notes don't exist, so you can't use them to indicate beat type in a time signature. Triplets have nothing to do with the time signature. A set of three triplet notes is the same as two notes of the same type. Three eight note triplets are the same as two eight notes. Three half note triplets are the same as two half notes, etc.

They do exist. They exist as irrational time sigs. For example, 5/3 is a time signature. What it means is that there are 5 beats per measure, with each beat being a 1/3 of the current beat. Likewise, 8/6 would be 8 beats with each beat being a 1/6 of the current beat. This goes for any non-exponent of 2 number on the bottom.

Quote by TMVATDI
ugh, what's the point of that, why didn't the theorist who first explained time signatures to people just make it simple...

They did. The reason they did it is because of the accents. In 6/8 there are two (naturally) accented pulses (in red): 1 is a 2 is a. Where in 3/4 there is only 1... the first beat. Keep in mind, a rhythm that goes: Q E Q E is A LOT different than a rhythm that goes Q E E Q. The accents are in different places. Play them if you don't believe me.

so if an 8 on the bottom means a dotted quarter note, does a 16 mean a dotted 8th note, and a 32 a dotted 16th?

If an 8 is on the bottom that means a dotted quarter gets the beat. You're correct for the others.

Having said that, that does NOT mean you can't subdivide and tap the individual 8th notes. That's what I do, that's what all my instructors do (unless it's a particularly fast piece), that's what the drummers I know do (including percussionists and drum majors).
Last edited by DiminishedFifth at Jul 16, 2010,
diminished fifth and sóknardalr have it right.