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Old 09-11-2007, 04:03 PM
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Josha Josha is offline
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Understanding Time Signatures and sounds

Hello ,
first.. i want to say I do not play drums, but I make beats and I'm trying to get a better understanding to how things are arranged so I know what goes best when I'm making the drum section of the beat.

I'm having problems understanding time signatures. I know there are more than 3 but the 3 I am concerned about are:

4/4, 3/4, and, 6/8.
On a producing forum a forum member said,
"4/4: kick - hat - snare - hat - kick - hat - snare - hat
6/8: kick - hat - hat - snare - hat - hat - kick - hat - hat - snare - hat - hat
3/4: kick - hat/snare - snare - kick - hat/snare - snare (waltz rythm)"

I'm going to arrange my questions in numbers so it would be easier to answer.
1. Is this how it is for all 4/4,6/8,3/4 music? or does it change up?
2. In music there are a ton of different kicks/snares/hats/etc.. how do I recognize these? I don't want my music to sound off because I put a snare where a hat is suppose to be.
thanks for reading
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Old 09-11-2007, 11:33 PM
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shazaam shazaam is offline
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Re: Understanding Time Signatures and sounds

Most drummers/bands use 4/4 time, so usually you can count along really perty easy . Then there'll be groups that fell liek throwin in rand time sigs. Best thing Ic an say is find the pulse of somethin and count with it. Usually you can count 6/8 in 3's(1,2,3). Least in the band music at school we're usually able to, just makes stuff easier sometimes. Jazz is one typa music that lieks to use different sigs decently often. Metal too, but not as much till' you start listening to near anything with derek roddy on drums :P
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Old 09-13-2007, 06:10 PM
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Harry Harry is offline
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Re: Understanding Time Signatures and sounds

Hi Josha,

You say you don't play drums, but you make beats, does that mean that you are writing/composing some form of music?

Time signatures on sheet music for drummers are no different than those for other instruments, hence they can play (one hopes) together.
The only thing that differs is that there is no melody indicated, (unless you play classical and have to work with tuned timpanis) but there are symbols for all the components of a drum set that indicate when to hit those and with what force, with sub refinements such as tie-overs, and indications of the technique to be played , like rolls.

There are some excellent books available about that topic, one is "Different Drummers", but there are many, many others that are very good.
If you are not into sheet music, i think Shazaam suggestions are excellent especially the suggestion to get the PULSE, which for me is such a good reference because it does not address rythem from the "metronomical" point of view, but the combination of the timing, the feel, the drive, the swing (if any) etc.

Cheers, Harry
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Old 09-15-2007, 11:17 AM
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rt55 rt55 is offline
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Re: Understanding Time Signatures and sounds

Hello Josha -
I'm trying to get a handle on just what it is that you are doing, and where you want to go with it. You say that you don't play the drums, you "make beats". On what? For what? It sounds like you want to do what a drummer does without being a drummer, or having the skills and knowledge that a drummer needs to have in order to create the "beats" that you are asking about. In other words, at this point, you don't know enough to know how much you don't know . I would suggest that you spend some time hanging out with a real drummer, studying what he or she does. Ask him/her about whatever you don't understand. Pick up a few basic drum books with information about how to read music and rhythms. No matter what you want to do in life, if you want to be good at it, you have to do some homework. Learning to read and write drum music will enable you to be creative whenever and wherever your muse speaks to you. Then, just maybe, you might get interested enough in what it is that we do that you might want to actually try your hand at it...your real hand with a real stick in it...and discover just how much fun this real drumming thing can be.

Good luck.
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