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Thread: Learning time signatures

  1. #1

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    Hey everyone! I was wondering if anyone could recommend good reading/media material for learning time signatures properly?

  2. #2

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    I don't have any good readings but my best word of advice is "subdivide"

    So for instance if you start with something easier like 5/8
    How many ways can you get to 5?
    2+3=5
    3+2=5

    then harder ones like
    1+4=5
    4+1=5
    etc.


    Lets take 2+3 as you count to 5 place the bass drum one count 1 for all. Then add the snare drum on the count. So in this case snare drum on beat 3.
    so it's counted
    (1 - 2)(1 - 2- 3)
    BD___SN

    Easier to explain when I teach personally lol But that's how I explain it. All about accents and subdividing.
    19pc Yamaha Maple Custom Vintage | 10pc PDP X7 Sparkle Orange | 9pc Ludwig Jr. wine red | 8pc Pork Pie ZebraWood | 6pc Sonor | 5pc Orbitone | 4pc Sonor Martini | 39 Snare drums and growing!

  3. #3

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    Find tunes you like in the time signatures you want to get comfortable with and play/practice along with them.
    Eventually you'll be so comfortable and used to the feel you won't require counting. Once you're playing the odd measures via pure feel rather than counting your creativity can open up and you'll find it very pleasant and rewarding.

    Spaz is right on the subdivision, especially on the higher count signatures like nine, eleven, fifteen and up.
    I find five and seven and somewhat nine easy to play by pure feel but with larger count measures I'll divide and conquer. Especially with the mega high fast counts like fifteens nineteens and twenty-sevens etc. that you can play with a halftime feel/count with a half beat at the end, or the next measure starts on the "upbeat" after the measure end.
    It's easier to do than to write about it...

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by JetfireStudios View Post
    Hey everyone! I was wondering if anyone could recommend good reading/media material for learning time signatures properly?
    My 2 cents

    Find material that is in odd meter and listen to as much as you can:

    Don Ellis Live at Filmore
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBDoyZ-9_ho
    Jethro Tull Living in the past
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsCyC1dZiN8
    Dave Brubeck Take 5
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmDDOFXSgAs

    If you can read ,check out this text:

    https://www.amazon.com/Funky-Thesaur...9068300&sr=1-5
    FibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibes FibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibes FibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibes FibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibes FibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibes FibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibes FibesFibesFibesFibesFibesFibes

  5. #5

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    A good start, if that is what you need might be this:

    1. Set your metronome to something slow, 40-60bpm
    2. Play 1-2 measures just on the quarters, but count them just as "1" Alternate
    3. Play 1-2 measures on 1/8ths, but count them "1 2" Play each set of two with one hand.
    4. Continue with 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 (bonus, you work some hand speed in here too)

    If you are really at the beginning, beating into your head counting this way should help. I found it easier to not alternate sticking. I usually do it this way: 12343434545434565656767654567678787678765.... or something like that, but the idea you change them up so you don't get too used to any time. Of course, at first i would easily sit on one number for a few minutes...

  6. #6

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    This is 1 of those times that I'm glad I taught myself. I didn't have to draw Einsteinian equations on a blackboard to figure out what to play.

    Listen to the music and play the damn song.

  7. #7

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    Counting to 8 is Einsteinian? Well, cowboy fan explains it all...

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    This is 1 of those times that I'm glad I taught myself. I didn't have to draw Einsteinian equations on a blackboard to figure out what to play.

    Listen to the music and play the damn song.
    Yes , I have never counted anything out ever. I couldn't tell you what time signature any song is. I just hear it and play it.

  9. #9

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    Depends if you are wanting to learn playing or reading.

    Most here will naturally jump to playing...............in that case all you need to know is the top number and how that number is supposed to feel.

    Reading and writing odd times is a different story.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgziegler View Post
    Counting to 8 is Einsteinian? Well, cowboy fan explains it all...

    Being a Cowboy fan explains what? As for the former, for some, counting to 2 is Einsteinian.

    Redirect your sarcasm elsewhere because in a battle of wits, you would only be 1/2 prepared.
    Last edited by rickthedrummer; 11-14-2016 at 01:37 PM. Reason: ===

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgziegler View Post
    Counting to 8 is Einsteinian? Well, cowboy fan explains it all...
    That cowboys game was amazing yesterday.. if they let romo play ever again they are just wrong. Whoever is filling in is just awesome

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    This is 1 of those times that I'm glad I taught myself. I didn't have to draw Einsteinian equations on a blackboard to figure out what to play.

    Listen to the music and play the damn song.
    There are different types of people in the world.. those that are less musically talented have to put alot more thought into it and work harder to learn things. Some people just can't sit down and play things without understanding them more than just sitting down

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by NPYYZ View Post
    Yes , I have never counted anything out ever. I couldn't tell you what time signature any song is. I just hear it and play it.
    I'm quoting myself here, as stated I don't count things out , to be honest I don't know how. I'm not good at math and frankly trying to learn it on paper gives me a headache. The main reason i stopped taking drum lessons after two months was because I had to do more and more reading and i was not into that at all. I'm lucky, I was given the ability to hear something and then very quickly learn to play it. When it comes to different time signatures what I find helpful is using a metronome. I set it to the time signature I want to learn, then I listen to it and I learn where "one" is and I then play along with it. Start out simple and create from there.

  14. #14

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    I'm a fan of learning the basics of time signatures, reading, etc. It rounds you out as a musician. Understanding reading fundamentals goes a long way in making you a better musician overall. It's not that hard. Like so many things, it's only hard until you learn it, then you look back and wonder why you avoided it for so long. Eat the peas folks, it's good for you!
    - Tom

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  15. #15

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    Not very basic, but pretty cool:
    Blue Rondo a la Turk
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9GgmGLPbWU

    It's in 9/8, but not in groups in 3, like this:
    121212123, 121212123, 121212123 etc.
    Technique doesn't mean **** if you can't blast beat and spin sticks - Steve Gadd

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