#1
I dont read music that much.

I just want to know how to play "in time".
I need to know how to apply time signatures to my music composition.
And I need to know how to practice this stuff well enough to know how to identify different music peices time signature by listening to it.

I am assuming knowing this would be useful when joining a band right? I think it would be necessary.

I play rock/metal/blues/etc.
#3
Check out the musictheory.net link in my sig and go through the lessons on rhythm (measures, time sigs, meters, etc).
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


MUSIC THEORY LINK
#4
Hey dude, good question. What I did was learn it very gradually over time, I'm not sure if there's any other way haha. I basically practise rhythm stuff the same as I practise melodic or harmonic ear training, with some online thing called Theta Ear Trainer I got with my program at school (Bachelor of Music). You would have to pay for that one and it's definately not worth it for just the rhythm excersises. I'm sure you could find some rhythmic ear training stuff for free online though. Another thing that you can do all the time is whenever you hear a song, try to figure out what time sig. it's in by counting a solid 1-and-2-and-3.....blahblahblah. That'll internalize the rhythm for you once you get the hang of it. You might also want to try to look up some basic rhythm theory. Hell wikipedia could even help out there hah. ANyway hope this helps. Good luck dude!
#7
Quote by Zanon
Listen to music that uses alot of time signature changes

Any songs in paticular come to mind?

Great advice in here by the way. Thank you.
#8
Quote by fupashredder
Any songs in paticular come to mind?

Great advice in here by the way. Thank you.


Cream - "What a Bringdown": Verse in 6/8, Chorus in 10/8

Rush - "Freewill": Intro, Pre-Chorus and Chorus in 4/4, Verse alternates between 6/4 and 7/4, Bridge in 5/4, Solo in 12/8.

Beatles - "All You Need Is Love": Verse has 2 bars of 7/4, 1 bar of 8/4, then one bar of 7/4, Chorus in 4/4.

Incubus - "Make Yourself": Verses alternate between 7/8 and 4/4.

Rush - "The Trees": First/Third Verse are 6/8, Second Verse is 4/4, Interlude/1st half of Solo is 10/8, second half of Solo is 3/4.

Really, any Rush song from the 70's has great time signature changes in it.
#9
Well, it depends on your taste. But given you have 'shredder' in your username, have a go on some:

Dream Theater (images and words, Awake, Octavarium)
Guthrie Govan (erotic cakes album)
Planet X (moonbabies album in particular)
Periphery (Periphery)
Alex Argento (ego)
Greg Howe (five, sound proof)
Porcupine Tree (in absentia, deadwing)
Steve Vai (passion & warfare, real illusions, fire garden)
Rush (moving pictures, permanent waves)

That is enough prog / fusion / shred / instrumental rock to keep anyone going!
#10
Based upon your parameters, the news isn't good. No one's going to tell you it can't be done, because it can. But, it's likely going to take you a long time. That's the answer...if you hammer away at it long enough, I suppose you'll get there.

"Play in time" by practicing to play in time, that can be metronome, or playing to a good drummers groove and finding your place.. If you have no musical basis for knowledge, then you'll need to just learn by repetition and intuition.

Immerse yourself in something as much as you can. It would be easier for you if you learned theory and had a context to understand other things from, but that's a choice you'd need to make.

Best,

Sean
#11
Quote by soviet_ska
Cream - "What a Bringdown": Verse in 6/8, Chorus in 10/8

Rush - "Freewill": Intro, Pre-Chorus and Chorus in 4/4, Verse alternates between 6/4 and 7/4, Bridge in 5/4, Solo in 12/8.

Beatles - "All You Need Is Love": Verse has 2 bars of 7/4, 1 bar of 8/4, then one bar of 7/4, Chorus in 4/4.

Incubus - "Make Yourself": Verses alternate between 7/8 and 4/4.

Rush - "The Trees": First/Third Verse are 6/8, Second Verse is 4/4, Interlude/1st half of Solo is 10/8, second half of Solo is 3/4.

Really, any Rush song from the 70's has great time signature changes in it.


what steps did you take in order to know the time signatures of these songs?
#12
Quote by fupashredder
what steps did you take in order to know the time signatures of these songs?


Oh, boy...that's the million dollar question, isn't it? I'll try to give you an explanation, but honestly, learning this takes a while.

My eureka moment with time signatures came when I figured out that a beat could be divided in two ways: two notes or three notes. A time signature with the beat divided into two notes is "simple time" and a three note division is "compound time." For example, think about 4/4. You've heard it a million times.

--Quick refresher: The bottom number refers to the type of note that defines the time signature. The type of note refers to quarter, eighth, half, sixteenth, whatever. So, since the denominator is 4, the note type is quarter (1/4). If the bottom number is 8, the defining note would be an eighth (1/8). The top number counts how many of these notes are in a measure. So 6/8 is made up of sixth eighth notes, whereas 5/4 is made of five quarter notes.

Back to the lesson. We're thinking about 4/4. Four quarter notes make up a measure in this time signature. Listen to the drums in any simple rock song. The standard beat is: Bass! Snare! Bass! Snare! The drummer is outlining the time signature: Bass on the 1st and 3rd quarter note, snare on 2nd and 4th. For any band with a drummer, the easiest way to hear the time signature is by listening to the drummer. So, let's listen to "Blitzkrieg Bop" by the Ramones. Here's that drum pattern: Bass! Snare! Bass! Snare! All the way through.

OK, so we know this is a four beat pattern. But, there are several time signatures
with four beats in them. How do we decide? Remember simple and compound time? Let's listen for further subdivisions of the beat. The guitar is playing two powerchords for each drum hit. So, my guess would be simple time. Four beats in simple time is your typical 4/4 time signature. What if it wasn't simple time? What if we heard three notes per beat?

Let's listen to "In The Flesh?" by Pink Floyd. When the drums kick in, you'll hear the same pattern: Bass! Snare! Bass! Snare! albeit much slower than the Ramones' song. But, wait! You can hear the cymbal being played three times in between each drum hit. Since this is rule rather than the exception in this particular song, we can conclude this is a 4 beat compound time. The time signature? 12/8. Wait a second, I thought there were four beats, not 12! There are three notes per beat in this song, so our beat would likely be a dotted quarter (comprised of three eighth notes.) However, this cannot be expressed in a simple 1/x fraction, so our time signatures denominator would look screwy. To make the time signature in a rational form, we have to break it down further into eighth notes. 3 eighth notes equals a beat...3 eighth notes x 4 beats = 12 eighth notes, i.e. 12/8.

I hope this is making some sense; this is a very dense topic to get into, but once you start hearing it, you'll be well on your way to understanding any time signature.

So, as you can guess, 3/4 is one beat short of 4/4. By the same token, 9/8 is one beat (or three eighth notes!) short of 12/8. 3/4 and 9/8 are both three beat measures, with 3/4 being simple time and 9/8 being compound time. So on and so on, you can figure out how 5/4, 6/4 and 7/4 are structured as well as 6/8.

So, some examples:
4/4 - almost anything, really. Let's go with "You Really Got Me" - The Kinks/Van Halen
3/4 - there aren't many rock songs in 3/4... "The Millionaire's Waltz" - Queen
-> Right at the beginning, there are no drums, but you can hear three beats played on the piano. Alternatively, listen to any waltz ever.
12/8 - "Dazed and Confused" - Led Zeppelin
9/8 - "Manic Depression" - Jimi Hendrix

Songs with simple time changes:
"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" - The Beatles: 3/4 for the verses, 4/4 in the chorus. Again, no drums on the 3/4 part, give it a listen, see if you can spot it.
"White Room" - Cream: The slow intro part (and the subsequent interludes) are in 5/4, with the rest of the song in 4/4. The 5/4 may be difficult to pick out since the drummer is playing more of a fill pattern rather than a steady beat. Listen to the first two verses/choruses and count along with the beat. When the quiet interlude comes around again, keep tapping at the same pace: you should hear five beats before the repeat.
"Carry On Wayward Son" - Kansas: most of the song is in 4/4. When the main riff comes in (you know the one), you should be hearing 4/4. The breakdown that follows immediately afterwards changes to 12/8. Notice it gets a little bit of that "shuffle" sound. If you've ever heard the term "Triplet Feel" applied to a shuffling song, this is a prime example.

We talked about simple and compound time, what happens if not every beat is the same length? That's called "odd time". This is more complex stuff; you'll hear it all the time in progressive rock. I won't go into odd time at the moment, make sure you figure out the easier time signatures first. Then you can start learning how to count and play 7/8, 10/8, 11/8, etc.

Again, hope this was helpful. It's not easy! Stick with it!
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
Last edited by soviet_ska at Jun 5, 2011,