#1
I have a question about time signature.

Sometimes it seems like a beat can be in 4/4 but when you break it up into small bits, the same songs that are both in 4/4 can be different.

Let me give you an example. I chose the beatles because its easy and everyone knows their songs.
On the song maxwell silver hammer (off abbey road)

The song seems in 4/4 but for each beat there are 3 counts.

1 2 3 4
123 123 123 123

This creates a 'swing' like effect.

Compare this to to the song help by the beatles it is in traditional 4/4 and broken into smaller beats its

1 2 3 4
12 34 12 34

My question is are they both considered 4/4 but one just has more swing? Or is there some kind of different name for the first one?
#2
Well the first pattern with the 3 counts per beat do remind me of triplets. Ever seen the symbol for swing feel playing? That is build up with an eighth and a sixteenth played ass a triplet.

So I think it indeed comes down to swing feel.

Peace
#3
Any time signature that can be broken down into 3's is called compound time.

It's really down to choice, that song could be 4 quaver triplets in one bar, or be 12/8, so 12 quavers to a bar

If that makes sense?
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#5
The first example you gave was just playing triplets on the down beat, meaning playing the 1 on the 1,2,3,4 rapidly in thirds as opposed to a single strum. It's technically 12/4 time becuase, with the triplets you're playing, it creates 12 tones in the 4 bar span. The second is subdividing the beat in half, then using a double and creating a 1-2 type swing on each pair of 2 beats of all four. You can really subdivide pretty much any signature, just depends on what sound you're going for. Example - you can do a 3/4 waltz

1 23, 1 23, 1 23, 1 23
or you can do it straight 3/4

1 2 3, 1 2 3, 1 2 3, 1 2 3

Like said before, it all depends on the groove you want.
Last edited by strat0blaster at Feb 29, 2008,
#6
Hmm. These signatures dont sound right. It sounds more correct if I put it in 3/4 at 410bpm when the normal (larger) beats sound more like 4/4 125bpm

Maybe I'm just confused.
#8
Is the Snare drum on beats 2 & 4?
If so you're looking at 4/4

If not, (and to what i can see from that) it's 12/8


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#9
Quote by Trip272
Hmm. These signatures dont sound right. It sounds more correct if I put it in 3/4 at 410bpm when the normal (larger) beats sound more like 4/4 125bpm

Maybe I'm just confused.


I was gonna say, usually counting in 3's means you are in 3/4 time. I havn't been able to listen to the songs though so I'm just speculating.
#10
Snare and drum beats are on 4/4 but if you were to hit the high hat on 8th beats it would sound way wrong. How ever if you hit the high hat in 3/4 it would sound correct for example hitting either the snare or kick on 1 in
123123123123

Here is an example http://www.seeqpod.com/search/?plid=891339b75a
#14
123 snare 23 is 3/4 isn't it? Like all the 50's songs used to be in. (With C - Am - F - G sorta thing)

but ok I will read up on compound meters
#15
3/4 isnt compound time, its simple, you would use it for a waltz type melody, for example "the blue Danube", by stressing the first beat and lifting on the second and third. Else you could use it for anything.
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