#1
I don't understand the importance of Time Signature and how they make you play a piece differently. Why is 3/4 a triplet feel? Am I suppose to pause at the end of every bar or something? You can't make the triplet feel with 4/4? The Number on the bottom that decides the beat is like...whats the point? Why not use just use 4? Lengthy Wall of text explanation is appreciated.
Quote by Kyose
You sir are my God.

That game had the best synthesis system ever.


Quote by firebird103
I'm pretty sure you just won the thread. I can confirm everything you just said as well being a heavily qualified geek myself....

Congrats sir
#2
You're confusing the length of a bar with the length and grouping of notes within the bar.

Triplets are groups of 3 notes. Triplets can be played in any key signature.

The time signature 3/4 indicates that the length of one bar is 3 quarter notes long.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#3
Different time signatures are generally used to express different accents on the notes. 3/4 has them on each beat ONE TWO THREE. 4/4 has them on 1 and 3. ONE two THREE four. 6/8 has the strong beat on 1 and 4. ONE two three FOUR five six.
Time signatures are used to make a piece more organized by note value, express different patterns of note accents, and organize a piece based on those accents and durations. If you were playing in 7/4 but it was written in 4/4 it would be a total mess, for example, it wouldn't end with a complete measure or what seems like a strong beat, or a phrase might be starting in random spots in the measures. They also help with counting.

Basically time signatures are for organization, ease of reading, and expressing the strong beats.
Quote by DiminishedFifth
Who's going to stop you? The music police?
Last edited by FacetOfChaos at Sep 10, 2010,
#4
3/4

There are 3 quarter notes.

A quarter note is one beat.

One two three| One two three


*****
4/4

There are four quarter notes, a quarter note is a beat


One two three four| One two three four

Play a chord for 3 beats, then strum it again on one, and you are in 3/4 .

Let it sit for four and its 4/4
Don't tell me what can not be done

Don't tell me what can be done, either.



I love you all no matter what.
#5
What above posters said.. the number before the slash stands for how many of a 'certain' note are in a bar, and the number after the slash stands for what that 'certain' note is.

And why you'd actually use time signatures? Well, it's one of those things that you could cope with not using them, but you'd do yourself a huge disservice by ignoring it. Kinda like actually knowing the notes on the fretboard instead of thinking 'put my finger on the third fret of this string, and then on that fret on the other string', or knowing that something is called a distortion pedal rather than 'that thingy that makes your guitar sound fatter and gritty'.

Because 80% of what we call music theory is just basically communication.. some basic agreements about what we mean with certain words and concepts, so you can put your time and energy in actually writing and playing music rather then trying to explain simple concepts
#6
The main purpose of time signatures is to organize a series of rhythms (as in a song) into measures based on the pulse. Why would you want to do this? I'll give you an example (guitar pro file attached).

Try reading the first measure (ignoring the time signature). See if you can play that without losing your place. Now try the next 8 measures. See how much easier that is to follow along.

I realize this is an extreme example, but it displays my point.
Attachments:
untitled.gp5
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#7
Quote by FacetOfChaos
Different time signatures are generally used to express different accents on the notes. 3/4 has them on each beat ONE TWO THREE. 4/4 has them on 1 and 3. ONE two THREE four. 6/8 has the strong beat on 1 and 4. ONE two three FOUR five six.
Time signatures are used to make a piece more organized by note value, express different patterns of note accents, and organize a piece based on those accents and durations. If you were playing in 7/4 but it was written in 4/4 it would be a total mess, for example, it wouldn't end with a complete measure or what seems like a strong beat, or a phrase might be starting in random spots in the measures. They also help with counting.

Basically time signatures are for organization, ease of reading, and expressing the strong beats.


Is this Universal? Is it a "rule"? Where did you get this info? My theory book says triples are Strong-weak-weak and quadruples are Strong-weak-less strong-weak


Quote by food1010
The main purpose of time signatures is to organize a series of rhythms (as in a song) into measures based on the pulse. Why would you want to do this? I'll give you an example (guitar pro file attached).

Try reading the first measure (ignoring the time signature). See if you can play that without losing your place. Now try the next 8 measures. See how much easier that is to follow along.

I realize this is an extreme example, but it displays my point.



My theory book pretty much says the same thing. Let me quote-
"Beats tend to be grouped into patterns that are consistent throughout a passage; the pattern of beats is called a meter.....Incidentally, a group of four beats could often also be interpreted as two groups of two beats each and vice versa."

But really is music that uniform and consistent throughout? Does music really follow a single pattern throughout the whole song?

I really don't understand... People are able to figure out the top number of a time sig by listening to a piece but how do you know? The values used could be anything. If a 7/8 time sig could be used for a 4/4 how would you know what the top number is? It could be one or the other Its very confusing I'm sorry
Quote by Kyose
You sir are my God.

That game had the best synthesis system ever.


Quote by firebird103
I'm pretty sure you just won the thread. I can confirm everything you just said as well being a heavily qualified geek myself....

Congrats sir
#8
i was too lazy to read everything being talked abt here, so idk if ur using them right, but im going to assume you know how time signatures work at least as well as i do. their purpose is for telling you where the natural accent is, and if im correct, its always the 3rd beat, like how 4/4 is counted 1-2-3-4, 3 is where the accent is. 6/4, counted 1-2-3-4-5-6, the accents are 3 and 6. but then when you change the bottom #, there's the way i was originally taught (for the "ease of use") which is if the bottom number is 8, an 8th note gets the beat, 16, a 16th note, etc., but according to other threads here, the more proper way to count is different. i THINK an 8 on the bottom is actually a dotted 8th note, not sure, i know its a dotted note but idk if its 8th or 4th or whatever, i'd assume 8 cuz...well there's an 8 there. then when u learn to count these "properly" you'll figure out where all the natural accents are.

then in different grooves, feels, or styles, they put the accents in different places, i KIND OF know some funk and latin rhythms, i SUCK at them tho so i cant really explain them that well. its just something you have to learn. so, since im inexperienced in this subject, i cant explain much, but im kind of trying to give a few topics that some1 can explain for u further, there are some really smart people in this forum but sometimes tey have to be pointed in a specific direction before explaining things properly so thats kind of what im trying to do here, hope i helped a little bit?

edit: and by "4th" i meant a quarter note
Last edited by TMVATDI at Sep 11, 2010,
#9
Quote by Thepredster
I really don't understand... People are able to figure out the top number of a time sig by listening to a piece but how do you know? The values used could be anything. If a 7/8 time sig could be used for a 4/4 how would you know what the top number is? It could be one or the other Its very confusing I'm sorry
You should be able to tell which beat is the first beat of a measure. There will be an accent or a repeating rhythmic pattern or something to indicate it. As long as you start over counting whenever you hit this beat, you should get the right top number.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea