#1
Guys, 

Your expertise in this matter would be greatly appreciated. I am new to guitar and have given my self the task of working through the rock school grade 1 system.

I can play the attached piece but i'm struggling to understand the timings as I cant really understand time signatures. On the attached picture I have written on what I think is the correct timings of the song. 

Could you please have a look and offer your advice on this please. No doubt i'm completely wrong.

Many Thanks
Danny

Click below for Picture


#2
it's in 4/4, so a quarter note = 1 beat and there are 4 beats. this basically just means there are 4 pulses, with the first pulse accented

do count and clap exercises. clap when a note is played and count aloud. in measure 5, you would count "1 and 2 and 3 and 4-ti-te-ta" and clap on 2 and 3, 4-ti-te
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#3
Hail many thanks for your reply, so going by what you have said, the timings i have written would be correct? could you have a look at bar 15 and 16 as this is still 4/4 time but there's only 3 beats and no rest?

Cheers 
Dan
#4
I don't see how your problem has anything to do with time signatures. It has to do with understanding rhythmic values. You clearly understand that in 4/4 you count to four. But some of your subdivisions are off.

First of all, if you subdivide in 16ths, you should count "one-e-and-a, two-e-and-a", etc, not "one-and-a-e, two-and-a-e", etc. This is important because when you count 8th notes, you would count "one-and, two-and", etc. And since one 8th note takes the space of two 16th notes, you add the 16th subdivision between the beats and the off-beats (so one between the "one" and "and" and another between the "and" and "two"). So you get "one-e-and-a, two-e-and-a", etc. So this is your first mistake.

The second mistake is in the bar #9. Notice the dotted 8th note. This takes the space of one 8th note + one 16th note ("four-e-and"). You should play the last 16th of the bar on the "a" of "four". So you would read the rhythm as "four---a".

Also, notice how the bar #10 starts with a 16th rest, so you would play nothing on "one". The first note that you would play is on the "e" of one.

Bar #15... Even though the four 8th notes are under the same beam, they are still normal 8th notes. Four 8th notes = two quarter notes, which in 4/4 time signature means two beats. You would just count "one-and, two-and". Then there's a dotted quarter. This takes the space of a quarter note + an 8th note ("three-and, four"). So the last 8th note of the bar would be played on the "and" of "four".

If my explanation wasn't clear (and even if it was), watch this video:



At around 6 minutes he starts to talk about triplets, and at the moment that's really not important. First get a good grasp of the typical note values. But sure, if you now understand how to read basic rhythms, I would also suggest watching the triplet part.
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Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
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#5
MaggaraMarine Many Thanks, thought it was too easy, thanks for taking the time to wright that. I will give the video a watch. I wouldn't have thought grade 1 guitar was so difficult or maybe i'm even worse than i thought.
#6
I'm not sure that this is the right way to do it but I guess that you are trying to write 16 note form 1e+a 2e+a 3e+a 4e+a so you can tell the timing of the notes.

So the first four lines are OK. 

The first bar on line 5 is not right. The last two notes are 4 and a not 4 and +. The same applies to the first bar on line 6. The last 4 notes of the second bar on line 6 are 4e+a not 4+ae.

Line 8 first bar is 1 + 2 + 3 but the last note would be the + after 4, but 4 isn't there so you can write it as (4) +.
Second bar is 1+ 2+ 3

Line 9 first bar is same as line 8 first bar, second bar is correct 1 + 2 + because it is a 2/4 bar, not a 4/4 one.
Rest look OK.

Hope this helps, but when you have learned the note symbols a bit more you shouldn't have to do it.
#8
something i'll throw in there just as a tidbit for counting out loud, i always learned it as 1 ti te ta 2 ti te ta, or 1 te 2 te, etc.

it's a little bit easier phonetically because it's all labiodental phonemes rather than 1 e and a which goes everywhere from labial to the back of the soft palatal and kinda rounds out with guttural before making the shift back up to labiodental

strumbling over pronouncing fast rhythms can get frustrating until you reach a level of sightsinging where you're just hearing the notes in sync with the rhythms (which unfortunately will take a decent while with a polyphonic instrument like guitar)
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#10
Hail Wow... I'm willing to try anything, however I'm struggling to say that as I sound Japanese when i say Ti Te Ta or am pronouncing it incorrectly?
#11
Quote by HullWashOut
MaggaraMarine Many Thanks, thought it was too easy, thanks for taking the time to wright that. I will give the video a watch. I wouldn't have thought grade 1 guitar was so difficult or maybe i'm even worse than i thought.

It's not difficult when you understand how to read rhythms. It's "grade 1" because it's not difficult to play, at least when it comes to playing technique.

I would guess most people would just listen to the record and play the rhythms by ear and not care about how they look on the paper. And figuring them out by ear is totally fine, but I think being able to read rhythms is a useful skill and it will improve your understanding of rhythm.
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Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#12
You have to count 1 po - tay - ta , 2 po - tay - ta, etc, I thought everybody knew that.
#13
Quote by HullWashOut
Hail Wow... I'm willing to try anything, however I'm struggling to say that as I sound Japanese when i say Ti Te Ta or am pronouncing it incorrectly?


1 tee tay tah

which it really doesn't matter what you say as long as it's comfortable, you can distinguish them, and you can pronounce them quickly
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#16
jerrykramskoy
well, yes, we normally do, but it's a deliberately funny way of saying it which would fit better for counting rhythm.
They can also be taters.

#17
Quote by MaggaraMarine

First of all, if you subdivide in 16ths, you should count "one-e-and-a, two-e-and-a", etc, not "one-and-a-e, two-and-a-e", etc. This is important because when you count 8th notes, you would count "one-and, two-and", etc. 


Those are all man-made standards. As long as you can follow the rhythms, there's no need to restrict yourself to one way of counting them. 
#18
Quote by HullWashOut
Hail Wow... I'm willing to try anything, however I'm struggling to say that as I sound Japanese when i say Ti Te Ta or am pronouncing it incorrectly?

You can pronounce them any way you want - the idea is simply to divide the beat into 4 equal subdivisions.  The "te" should have more emphasis than the other two.  
However, the disadvantage with this is that apparent even-ness of the 3 16ths.  I suggest it's better to get used to 8ths (quavers) as "1-and-2-and..." etc first, and then imagine what other syllables could sit between the beat and the "and", and between the "and" and the next beat.

If you can play the piece in question - and get the timing right (playing along with the original to check?) - then counting the beats ought to be easy; and therefore working out how the notation is showing the beats and subdivisions.  
It's really not necessary to verbalise the 16ths at all, IMO.  Count the beats, maybe count (verbalise) the "and"s, and the 16ths should take care of themselves.  
For example the difference in sound between the last beats of bar 8 and bar 9 is obvious when you hear it - and ought to be easy to feel and to play correctly.  Do you need to verbalise the beat divisions?  Does that help play it right?

The mistakes you've made on p.1 are understandable, from confusions in how you're "supposed" to verbalise 16ths (forgetting the "and" is always the 8th between the beats).  
The mistakes in bars 15-17 are more fundamental, as you've just forgotten how to count 4!  There doesn't need to be a note on every beat - you can count 1-2-3-4 through the first 4 bars too. (as you have, correctly, through bars 22-24.)
The beats (the pulse) are there all the time, whether notes are played or not.  So bars 15 and 17 are "1 & 2 & 3 (& 4) &" - the "(and 4)" being implied, not played.  Bar 16 is just "1 & 2 & 3 (& 4 & )".  You have bar 18 right, because it's only 2 beats.

Most importantly, none of this is necessary knowledge for grade 1 guitar!  It's all just a way of helping you feel a 4/4 rhythm.  If it's not doing that - in fact it seems to be getting in the way of something you can actually do perfectly well (play in time) - then forget it!
Last edited by jonriley64 at Jul 21, 2017,
#19
Quote by triface
Those are all man-made standards. As long as you can follow the rhythms, there's no need to restrict yourself to one way of counting them. 
This is true, but at the same time I do think a system that distinguishes or accentuates the eighth notes is useful over one that just gives you a set of random sounds for the sixteenths, so 1-e-and-a or whatever probably makes understanding the rhythm a bit more intuitive. It just makes it that much easier to figure out where you are in the bar if you know the note falls on an "and", being an eighth or a nondescript vowel, being a sixteenth.
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#20
Quote by triface
Those are all man-made standards. As long as you can follow the rhythms, there's no need to restrict yourself to one way of counting them. 

While you're not wrong, I fail to see how counting "1-and-e-a" would be more ideal than counting "1-e-and-a" which puts more emphasis on the rhythmically strong elements in western music, as keenblade stated.
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#21
Quote by triface
Those are all man-made standards. As long as you can follow the rhythms, there's no need to restrict yourself to one way of counting them. 

Sure, but I mentioned it because TS's subdivisions were all over the place. It makes sense to use one system because that makes communication easier. If TS decides to use the same syllables as most people, but uses them in a different way, that's going to cause communication issues. If he watches any lesson, people will use those syllables in the "conventional" way, so learning them in that way makes sense. I mean, it's kind of the same as using the note names in a different way than everybody else. Again, that's a man-made standard, but not using that standard is going to make communication really difficult, and I'm going to correct them.

Also, as people have already pointed out when you subdivide in 8th notes, you use the syllables "one and two and", etc. So "and" is the second 8th note of the bar. But if in addition to that, when subdividing in 16th notes, you use "one and e a", then "and" refers to two different subdivisions of the beat - it may be the second 16th note or the second 8th note (i.e., the third 16th note) and this makes little sense. Sure, use whatever method you want, but make sure it makes logical sense. And because TS's "system" was simply a misunderstanding of the conventional system, of course I'm going to correct him. It's the same as if somebody used "do re mi", etc. to refer to notes, but used them in the wrong order, for example "do, mi, fa, re, ti, la, so" (when they actually meant "do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti"). It's not their "own system", it's just a misunderstanding of the conventional system. There's a pretty clear difference between using your own method that makes logical sense, and using a conventional method incorrectly.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jul 21, 2017,
#22
Guys, your input is amazing, a couple of you have said about playing the music without reading the sheet music for grade 1. I can  play with the backing track but because I'm unsure extactly of where the beat is, I'm paranoid I'm going to strum on a 'and' rather than a 'e' let's say. It's sounds good to me but I'm a beginner so it would do If you don't know extactly what to listen for. 

Your comments have shed a great deal of light on this for me, so thank you very much.