#1
Hi. I've got few questions regarding time signature, note values and practicing with metronome. I know these are very basic terms but I'm confused about them and I need to clarify the concepts regarding them.

1. In 4/4 time signature, the numerator represents how many beats are there in a measure and the denominator shows the note type that is being played for each beat. Every 4 clicks of metronome creates one bar.

But how to understand if the time signature for a song is 4/4, or when the guitarist plays solo with the band/backing track how does the player know for sure he is playing in time?

2. In rhythm or lead playing there is a term called triplet/16th note triplet, I don't clearly understand this concept. I know from whole note to thirty-second note, note value is divided in two, in triplet it is done in three. Does it mean playing three notes/six notes in every beat?

3. I'm slowly getting used to playing with metronome (still not very comfortable), but whenever I start playing with backing track I get carried away by the actual guitar parts that I'm supposed to play and I don't think anymore about playing evenly once the backing track is there, instead I just feel the vibe of the actual solo and try to emulate that as close as possible. If it continues to go like this, will I ever be able to play in time?

Update: I'm sorry for using the word 'emulate'. What I actually meant is I try to get the feel/theme of the solo and try to play it as same as the original track; but this nature of mine to get the feel/theme/vibe of the solo (I only know a handful amount of solos which mostly have melodic stuffs) while playing with backing track makes my task difficult to be careful about the timing.
Last edited by Luminance at Mar 26, 2015,
#2
1. You can tell if a song is in 4/4 because of the accents of the notes.
For instance, a 4/4 would usually accent ONE-two-THREE-four. with the one and three being the 'on-beat'.
On the other hand, something in 6/8 would go ONE-two-three-FOUR-five-six, like in Jeff Buckley's rendition of Hallelujah.
You can tell you're playing in time just by listening to the other instruments playing. If you're out of time then it's not going to sound right unless it's a deliberate syncopation.

2. A triplet is essentially 3 notes in the space of two. For Example:
One 8th note = half a 1/4 note length
Two 8th Notes= One 1/4 note length
but
One 8th triplet note = a third of a 1/4 note length
Two 8th triplet notes = Two-thirds of a 1/4 note length
Three 8th triplet notes = One quarter note length

3. If I understand you correctly, you're trying to say you're trying to emulate the lead part but worried you're not playing in time? If that's what you're worried about, then the solution is to discipline yourself. Your purpose is to try and learn the piece accurately, not noodle around with it...that's for after you've learnt it! So just concentrate on playing it slowly with a metronome if you can't play at full speed cleanly, and if you start noodling, stop, and save it for when you're practising your improv.
#3
Quote by Luminance


3. I'm slowly getting used to playing with metronome (still not very comfortable), but whenever I start playing with backing track I get carried away by the actual guitar parts that I'm supposed to play and I don't think anymore about playing evenly once the backing track is there, instead I just feel the vibe of the actual solo and try to emulate that as close as possible. If it continues to go like this, will I ever be able to play in time?



Meh you're just thinking about it too much IMHO. It's a good thing that you're trying to emulate the other guitar parts because it sounds to me like you're using your ears. Other than that just feel the rhythm of the backing track you are playing with. Don't think too hard about it because if you do that's when your timing usually gets screwed up.

Over time of constant practicing of your rhythm skills you'll get a better feel for the beat. If anything I think the hardest thing to develop is good rhythm skills. That's what really divides the amateur from the pros. A good example for this is Jimmy page he might not be the most technical and he's really sloppy, but his rhythm skills is what makes him a really good musician.


Just listen to how dynamic his rhythmic skills are when he's soloing. He leaves a lot of space, and he knows when to fill that space. All that takes is a really good feel for the music which is "rhythm". This is how I feel when people tend to state that someone plays with a lot of "feeling" because they've got the groove...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsmY0tFJEIE


^^^^ Video of Jimmy page playing live . The one thing I love about Mr. Page is how syncopated or "off beat" he is. He's not a stiff guitarist is what I'd like to call him he's loose, but at the same time tight with his playing.
Last edited by Black_devils at Mar 26, 2015,
#4
Quote by Luminance

Update: I'm sorry for using the word 'emulate'. What I actually meant is I try to get the feel/theme of the solo and try to play it as same as the original track; but this nature of mine to get the feel/theme/vibe of the solo (I only know a handful amount of solos which mostly have melodic stuffs) while playing with backing track makes my task difficult to be careful about the timing.



Are you talking about playing with the record trying to copy the solo note for note? Or are you talking about playing the solo you're working on with a backing track. I'm assuming that you're talking about the 2nd option.


Honestly you won't be able to fully do that unless you can transcribe the rhythms of the solo or it's not going to sound identical. You can try to slow down the record, and figure out the rhythmic note durations for the solo bar for bar, and once you accomplish that; then you can find the original backing track and play the solo with the original track.
Last edited by Black_devils at Mar 26, 2015,
#5
@AeonOptic: So basically three 8th note triplet covers the length of a single quarter note. If so then counting might be a bit difficult for it, I need to find a way for that.

Yes I'm worried that I'm not playing in time when I use backing track for a solo. Apparently there has been a slight misunderstanding about how I practice the solo that I learn, so please see the update of my thread starting post; I made a foolish mistake in appropriate word selection.

I'm still not able to improvise so I can't just noodle with a backing track; so I only try to play the original solo as accurately as possible, but I'm concerned that I don't follow proper time signature while playing with backing track.

@Black_devils: I'm talking about copying the solo but playing with the track that doesn't have the lead guitar part.
Last edited by Luminance at Mar 26, 2015,
#6
@Luminance Read my previous post above ^^^. On the other hand you might really need to start working on your understanding of rhythm, and your rhythm guitar skills to really understand what's going on in the solos..


EDIT- I just saw that you edited your post yeah mate. If you want to be able to do that then you're definitely going to have to slow down the record, and transcribe the note duration being played in the solo Bar for bar in order to achieve that goal. Or it's not really going to sound like the real solo. BTW the only way to actually get into improvising is to start now. It definitely sounds like a good idea to me.
Last edited by Black_devils at Mar 26, 2015,
#7
@Black_devils: Thanks for the advice. Lead players use different note value/duration to spice up the solo which is absolutely amazing as this adds up musical value to the solo. I'm a beginner in lead soloing but for some reason I find it difficult to play the phrases exactly as the way they were played in the original track. I remember now, you commented in my last thread where I posted a cover of a solo and you said that I play out of time a lot.
#8
Quote by Luminance
@Black_devils: Thanks for the advice. Lead players use different note value/duration to spice up the solo which is absolutely amazing as this adds up musical value to the solo. I'm a beginner in lead soloing but for some reason I find it difficult to play the phrases exactly as the way they were played in the original track. I remember now, you commented in my last thread where I posted a cover of a solo and you said that I play out of time a lot.



Definitely your rhythm guitar chops pretty much apply to your lead chops. So the better of a rhythm guitarist you become the better of a lead guitarist you're going to be. Rhythm is the most important thing in music if it has notes, but no rhythm it's not music..
#9
Playing bass lines helped me tremendously with my rhythm. It really requires one to listen to the drummer much more closely and will give you a better sense of timing with practice.
#10
@jlowe22: Pardon my ignorance but I don't know what does playing bass lines mean. Can you please explain?

And one thing about listening to the drums just reminded me, I've read somewhere that being able to follow the drums while playing with a real drummer/drum machine/backing track allows one to play in time and they help to create good rhythm sense too. But a drums kit creates different sound than just metronome click, so how do I follow the beats that are being produced?

I don't have any knowledge about different types of sounds that drums kits produce, so a little bit of explanation will be helpful if you can.
Last edited by Luminance at Mar 27, 2015,
#11
Quote by Luminance
@jlowe22: Pardon my ignorance but I don't know what does playing bass lines mean. Can you please explain?

And one thing about listening to the drums just reminded me, I've read somewhere that being able to follow the drums while playing with a real drummer/drum machine/backing track allows one to play in time and they help to create good rhythm sense too. But a drums kit creates different sound than just metronome click, so how do I follow the beats that are being produced?

I don't have any knowledge about different types of sounds that drums kits produce, so a little bit of explanation will be helpful if you can.


When I said bass lines I was mainly referring to the parts a bass guitarist would play.
#12
Alright then, thanks everyone for the help. Although I didn't have all of my questions answered but I got to know at least few things that I didn't know before.