#1
Ok, so, say you've got a song, and you're counting it. It sounds like it's in 3/4. You count one two three one two three ect. ect. However, how do you know that it's two bars of 3/4 and not one bar of 6/8? Basically, how do you tell the difference between a slow 6/8 and a fast 3/4?

So, here's your 6/8 beat:
1 & + 2 & + 1 & + 2 & +
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3


However, as you can see underneath, the 3 quavers of each 6/8 beat could also be three crotchet beats in a bar of 3/4. So my question is, how can you tell the difference between a fast 3/4 and a slow 6/8?
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Last edited by Skater901 at Jul 19, 2008,
#2
Depends on the tempo of the song I guess.
I don't think it really matters though it could be either.
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#3
In 3/4 the emphasis lies on 1 + 2 + 3 +
In 6/8 the emphasis lies on 1 2 3 4 5 6

at least I think that's how it goes.
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#5
^That makes sense. I'll try to work it out but sometimes it can be hard. For example I'm thinking Implements Of Destruction by Chimaira. That main riff after it goes heavy could be in 3/4 or 6/8, not sure.
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#6
My rule of thumb is this: if the riff consists of a run of 6 eighth notes, I'd say it's in 6/8. This gives the song a quick, pulsing feeling.

If however the structure is based around 3 quarter note beats (giving a slow, almost slothful feel), it's 3/4 .

Ultimately 6/8 just sounds 'choppier.'
#7
Quote by snipelfritz
In 3/4 the emphasis lies on 1 + 2 + 3 +
In 6/8 the emphasis lies on 1 2 3 4 5 6

at least I think that's how it goes.


I'm pretty sure that's correct.
#8
they're essentially the same thing. the only difference, as snipelfritz pointed out, is the emphasis on the beats, and you'd have to just listen and figure it out yourself.
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#9
What snipelfritz said. Also the tempo is irrelevant, the tempo would still be have to be the same for 3/4 and 6/8.

See attached file.

Edit: I don't think it is that important really, in the end you could just go with 3/4 or 6/8 and no one is really going to care. And if you have trouble trying to work it out, then it's not obviously one or the other.
Attachments:
68 34.zip
Last edited by Regression at Jul 19, 2008,
#10
i've wondered this too... same with 4/4 and 8/8 and 12/8 and 4/4
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#11
you should hear it by the drums, try tapping the tempo naturally and then you can tell from one another.
#12
6/8 is generally felt as two eighth-note triplets, giving you a ONE-and-a TWO-and-a feel. 3/4 is usually three quarter notes, which feels like ONE-and TWO-and THREE-and. The rhythm is pretty distinct, once you get it in your head.
#13
Quote by Euchrid_Eucrow
My rule of thumb is this: if the riff consists of a run of 6 eighth notes, I'd say it's in 6/8. This gives the song a quick, pulsing feeling.

If however the structure is based around 3 quarter note beats (giving a slow, almost slothful feel), it's 3/4 .

Ultimately 6/8 just sounds 'choppier.'

So what about that part in Beyond This Life by Dream Theater where they're singing "Our deeds have travelled far"? I mean that souds kinda choppy, but the tab book has it notated as 3/4.

Oh and Regression, I don't think you got what I meant. I've attached a GP file so you can see what I mean.
Attachments:
3468.zip
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#14
I'm sick to my stomach over some of what has been posted.


3/4 is simple time. It is counted 1 and 2 and 3 and. There are three beats/measure and the quarter note gets the beat.

6/8 is compound time. It feels the same as triplets in 2/4 and is used instead of writing triplets in 2/4; 6/8 is easier than that. 1 and a 2 and a. There are two beats/measure and the dotted quarter note gets the beat.
#15
3/4 typically feels "rigid" and 6/8 tends to "sway" a bit more. thats NOT a fact though. but it was said before that in 3/4 that the first beat is emphasized and in 6/8 the first and fourth beat are emphasized.
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#16
Quote by bangoodcharlote
I'm sick to my stomach over some of what has been posted.


3/4 is simple time. It is counted 1 and 2 and 3 and. There are three beats/measure and the quarter note gets the beat.

6/8 is compound time. It feels the same as triplets in 2/4 and is used instead of writing triplets in 2/4; 6/8 is easier than that. 1 and a 2 and a. There are two beats/measure and the dotted quarter note gets the beat.

Sue, check out the file I attached so you can get an idea of what I mean, mmk? I do know where the beat lies in 3/4 and 6/8. I'm not that much of a beginner.
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#17
Quote by P-Bass Pirate
they're essentially the same thing. the only difference, as snipelfritz pointed out, is the emphasis on the beats, and you'd have to just listen and figure it out yourself.


They're quite different. 6/8 is a compound meter and has two beats per bar, with each beat being a dotted quarter note. 3/4 is simple time and consists of three beats per bar, with each beat being a quarter note.
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#18
So you mean you don't know if it is a slow 6/8 compass or two fast 3/4 compasses?

Look for the accents. If for instance you say it is in 6/8, yet every beat is a strong one (instead of strong/weak as it is supposed to be), then you are looking at two 3/4.
And the opposite, if you say it is 3/4, but you find that the first beat of one of them is weak, you find yourself in a 6/8 compass..

Look for the accents, the strong beat should tell the time signature away....
#19
Quote by gonzaw
So you mean you don't know if it is a slow 6/8 compass or two fast 3/4 compasses?

Look for the accents. If for instance you say it is in 6/8, yet every beat is a strong one (instead of strong/weak as it is supposed to be), then you are looking at two 3/4.
And the opposite, if you say it is 3/4, but you find that the first beat of one of them is weak, you find yourself in a 6/8 compass..

Look for the accents, the strong beat should tell the time signature away....

Thank you, you've understood exactly what I mean. Well, I'll keep that in mind and do my best to work them out in future.

That term compass is an interesting one... what does it mean?
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#20
Quote by C.C. Deville
i've wondered this too... same with 4/4 and 8/8 and 12/8 and 4/4


It looks like 4/4 with 4 quarter notes, but in 8/8 the larger beats should fall on two dotted quarters and a quarter. So it's played the same, just written differently.

12/8 can be counted like 4/4. But one measure of 12/8 would be played like 4 groups of 8th note triplets.

Or something like that.
Last edited by astro0930 at Jul 20, 2008,
#21
Quote by Skater901
Thank you, you've understood exactly what I mean. Well, I'll keep that in mind and do my best to work them out in future.

That term compass is an interesting one... what does it mean?


Compass=measure..

I say "compàs" in spanish, so I am used to say compass (I don't know if it correct or not though, although it is for flamenco)
#22
Quote by astro0930
It looks like 4/4 with 4 quarter notes, but in 8/8 the larger beats should fall on two dotted quarters and a quarter. So it's played the same, just written differently.

12/8 can be counted like 4/4. But one measure of 12/8 would be played like 4 groups of 8th note triplets.

Or something like that.

thts where i get lost is when im asked to tell the time signature from listening to a song, ill say 4/4 and it'll be in 8/8. X(
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#23
Quote by C.C. Deville
thts where i get lost is when im asked to tell the time signature from listening to a song, ill say 4/4 and it'll be in 8/8. X(
What have you seen written in 8/8?
#24
Quote by gonzaw
Compass=measure..

I say "compàs" in spanish, so I am used to say compass (I don't know if it correct or not though, although it is for flamenco)

Ahh, that makes sense. Cool.

Quote by bangoodcharlotte
What have you seen written in 8/8?

Yes, I'd be interested to know that too.
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#25
Quote by Skater901
Yes, I'd be interested to know that too.
All I can think of that would be written in 8/8 would be the 3 3 2 rhythm, BA ba ba BA ba ba BA ba. It would be like 9/8 with the fast note cut out, much the same way ABB's "Whipping Post" uses 11/8.
#26
What have you seen written in 8/8?


It would be more common to notate a song as 8/8 than 4/4 when the piece is in an extremely slow tempo.
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#27
Quote by Archeo Avis
It would be more common to notate a song as 8/8 than 4/4 when the piece is in an extremely slow tempo.
Fair enough, but that is just so you can write E=70 rather than the ridiculous Q=35. The feel is exactly the same.
#28
when counting the pulse in 3/4 clap three times a bar .
when counting the pulse in 6/8 clap two times a bar . (not 6 )
#29
would anyone say that Clocks by Coldplay is in 8/8? That's how I would see it, because it doesn't seem to be regular 4/4
#30
Quote by Declan87
would anyone say that Clocks by Coldplay is in 8/8? That's how I would see it, because it doesn't seem to be regular 4/4
I recall that following the 3 3 2 pattern on the piano, but the drumming will tell the story. Is is standard 4/4 drumming, or does it follow the 3 3 2 pattern?
#31
if I remember correctly, the drumming plays a 3, 3, 2 pattern at least at some point in the song. My question is, would it be acceptable to write it as 8/8? In theory, it seems right but I've never come across such a time signature.
#32
The idea of writing music is to make it easy for someone to read what you've written. If I say 8/8, I would think the feel is the same as 4/4 rather than 3 3 2.

I would write it in 4/4.