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-   -   What is 6/8 and why does it exist? (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=528724)

Paddy1951 11-20-2018 06:25 AM

Here are a few other Pop/Rock songs in 6/8 that may help you.

Lights- Journey
We Are The Champions- Queen
How Can Yon Mend a Broken Heart - Bee Gees

Dazed and Confused- Led Zeppelin
Norwegian Wood- The Beatles
Deja Vu (beginning) CSN

TBman 11-20-2018 08:23 AM

Thanks again for the great information everyone!

Trevor B. 11-20-2018 11:08 AM

In the illustration below focus on mm.2 & 4 and make sure to use the same tempo for the 1/8th notes in both measures. You'll see it's where the strong pulses (upward arrows above the notes) occur that differentiates the time signatures.


[IMG]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1467/...0c428aa6e3.jpgScreen Shot 2016-02-11 at 1.59.06 PM by Trevor Burt, on Flickr[/IMG]

Johnny K 11-20-2018 04:03 PM

Listen to Tin Pan Alley, but listen to Chris Layton instead of SRV. Perfect real world song to follow 6/8

(I had no idea either until I started playing drums)

1neeto 11-20-2018 08:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JonPR (Post 5895357)
Well, it can sometimes sound like a pair of 3/4 bars, and it would be a subtle difference in that case. For two 3/4 bars to be better written as 6/8, there would need to be a clear difference between the downbeats of alternate bars.

Another argument for making pairs of 3/4 bars into single 6/8 bars - in addition to that subtle rhythmic emphasis - would be the harmonic rhythm (rate of chord change). If the chords change every two 3/4 bars (as well as a weaker downbeat on the second of each pair) then 6/8 makes a lot of sense. (In some case, 6/4 would be better, but that's rare.) Harmonic rhythm is often a good way to decide between 6/8 and 12/8.

A single bar of 6/8 can be made to sound like a single bar of 3/4 - and vice versa - by means of cross-rhythm, but normally a piece will be clearly in one or the other for the most part.



Harmonic rhythm is how I tell them apart or decide if what I came up with is in 3/4 or 6/8. I set the metronome to 6/8 when I recorded this. It felt more natural since it doesn’t have the waltzy feel of a 3/4. Don’t listen to the whole thing, it still needs a whole lot of work. [emoji15] https://soundcloud.com/1neeto/never-done

JonPR 11-21-2018 04:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1neeto (Post 5896136)
Harmonic rhythm is how I tell them apart or decide if what I came up with is in 3/4 or 6/8. I set the metronome to 6/8 when I recorded this. It felt more natural since it doesn’t have the waltzy feel of a 3/4.

Well, there are several things which make that very clearly 6/8.
1. It's a six-note pattern of notes all the same length, repeated;
2. The 6 notes break into three triplets, 3 ascending from the lowest, 3 descending from the highest, so the first and 4th notes sound like the main marker points;
3. The first note of each pattern is accented, and changes pitch, implying chord changes every 6 notes (harmonic rhythm);
4. Counting each note as a separate beat makes it feel way too fast (so it's not 6/4 or two bars of 3/4);

Thing #3 is what argues against it being 12/8.
Thing #2 is what suggests 6/8 and not 3/4 - but that wouldn't mean you couldn't establish (say) a bass or drum over it which would turn each 6/8 into 3/4 (three pairs of 8ths instead of two triplets).

JonPR 11-21-2018 04:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paddy1951 (Post 5895403)
Here are a few other Pop/Rock songs in 6/8 that may help you.

Lights- Journey
We Are The Champions- Queen
How Can Yon Mend a Broken Heart - Bee Gees

Dazed and Confused- Led Zeppelin
Norwegian Wood- The Beatles
Deja Vu (beginning) CSN

Norwegian Wood is debatable.
I agree with you it's 6/8, but there's actually not a lot of differentiation between the two sets of triplets, and it could easily be written as pairs of 3/4 bars. There are also cross-rhythms within each set of 3, which are common in 3/4 time.

I just googled sheet music for it, and the first four I looked at included two in 12/8, one in 6/8 and one in 3/4!

Anyway, here's a few more in 6/8 (with reasonable confidence!) should anyone want more:

Animals - House of the Rising Sun
Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah
Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin
Elvis Presley - I Can't Help Falling in Love With You
Coldplay - Shiver
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Metallica - Tuesday's Gone

For 12/8, there's:
Michael Jackson - The Way You Make Me Feel
Stevie Wonder - Master Blaster

A debatable one is REM's Everybody Hurts, where the guitar patterns suggest 6/8, but the harmonic rhythm suggests 12/8 (sheet music in both can be found).
I've seen both Hallelujah and Nights in White Satin written in 12/8 occasionally, but their harmonic rhythm strongly suggests 6/8, and the majority of publications have them in 6/8.

IOW, there are often quite valid disagreements about 6/8 and 12/8, depending (apparently) on how different transcribers like to count the beats (in 2 or in 4). It's subjective, therefore, not objective.
In jazz, "Afro-Cuban 6/8" often consists of a clave rhythm over two bars, so that riffs sound like one bar of 12/8. In such cases, 6/8 just makes it easier to read and feel.

1neeto 11-21-2018 05:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JonPR (Post 5896348)
Well, there are several things which make that very clearly 6/8.
1. It's a six-note pattern of notes all the same length, repeated;
2. The 6 notes break into three triplets, 3 ascending from the lowest, 3 descending from the highest, so the first and 4th notes sound like the main marker points;
3. The first note of each pattern is accented, and changes pitch, implying chord changes every 6 notes (harmonic rhythm);
4. Counting each note as a separate beat makes it feel way too fast (so it's not 6/4 or two bars of 3/4);

Thing #3 is what argues against it being 12/8.
Thing #2 is what suggests 6/8 and not 3/4 - but that wouldn't mean you couldn't establish (say) a bass or drum over it which would turn each 6/8 into 3/4 (three pairs of 8ths instead of two triplets).



Thanks man you made me understand my own stuff even better. I gotta finish that thing, in fact I’m changing a lot of things...that’s why I named it “never done”. [emoji23]

Here’s one song that has baffled me for years because it is notated in 6/8, but the accent every third note says 3/4 all the way.

https://youtu.be/EoqXDPbivFs

JonPR 11-21-2018 06:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1neeto (Post 5896362)
Thanks man you made me understand my own stuff even better. I gotta finish that thing, in fact I’m changing a lot of things...that’s why I named it “never done”. [emoji23]

Here’s one song that has baffled me for years because it is notated in 6/8, but the accent every third note says 3/4 all the way.

https://youtu.be/EoqXDPbivFs

Sounds like 6/8 to me. The bass (and bass drum) is marking the two beats in each bar, while the sidestick is applying a 3/4 cross rhythm.

Check this, for how many cross-rhythms can be applied within a basic 6/8 beat (marked by the foot tap) - mostly pairs of 6/8 forming 12/8 patterns:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2yDN-nN2k0
A lot of African music (naturally) uses various polyrhythms within (what we would count as) a 12/8 groove, and the simpler ones have become part of Cuban music, and from there into jazz and some pop (such as the Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson tracks mentioned).

archerscreek 11-30-2018 12:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Johnny K (Post 5895909)
Listen to Tin Pan Alley, but listen to Chris Layton instead of SRV. Perfect real world song to follow 6/8

(I had no idea either until I started playing drums)

It's always a good day when I come across some SRV. Thanks for the post. Haha.

Frankly, I always thought Chris Layton was an underrated drummer. SRV was an extremely improvisational player and Layton was able to adjust to that style of live playing on the fly. He and Tommy Shannon allowed SRV to be SRV. I was able to see the two of them in Austin with Doyle Bramhall II about ten years ago. Great live musicians.

T1mothy 12-24-2018 06:07 AM


Play from 33:00
My intonation and rhythm teacher sent me this goldberg variation Bach composed to accompany Goldberg during his sleepless nights. It came to me pretty naturally why it is 6/8 and not 3/4. Try to rely on your intuition too. Those ear things we grow on our heads are powerful tools!

Martie 12-30-2018 03:59 PM

It might be worth getting a metronome/app and setting it so the accent lands in groups of three (ONE, two, three, ONE...or ONE, two, three, four, five, six, ONE...etc.) and then playing along, just to wire your brain for the different feel of groups of three and six etc.

Johnny K 12-31-2018 09:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by archerscreek (Post 5904964)
It's always a good day when I come across some SRV. Thanks for the post. Haha.

Frankly, I always thought Chris Layton was an underrated drummer. SRV was an extremely improvisational player and Layton was able to adjust to that style of live playing on the fly. He and Tommy Shannon allowed SRV to be SRV. I was able to see the two of them in Austin with Doyle Bramhall II about ten years ago. Great live musicians.

Speaking of Doyle Brammal, The Arc Angels one off with Double Trouble backing him and Charlie Sexton is a desert island disc for me. Spanish Moon (not to be confused with the song by Little Feat) is fantastic song. Get's my blood flowing whenever I hear it.

Where Chris shines aside from being the GOAT shuffle drummer, is his interpretations of Mitch Mitchell. SRV's Hendrix covers would sound like c^*p if Chris Layton couldn't lay it down like Mitch.

Cypress Knee 01-02-2019 03:38 PM

Irish jigs in 6/8, yeah. For all you flatpickers playing country and or bluegrass in 3/4 time with the Down up down up down up Down up down up down up, strum well,
go find a fast Irish jig in 6/8 and use the Down up Down Down up Down pattern and see what happens to your right hand!

Try to play along with the Swallowtail Jig - Em and D - with DUD DUD in 6/8ths.



CK
PS- clicking on the info button will take you to her sheet music arrangement.

beninma 01-04-2019 10:09 AM

Sleepwalk by Santo & Johnny was the song my teacher used to introduce me to 6/8.

It is a lot easier to feel the difference in accents in person than it is to try and explain it or understand it from a book or the internet.

That waltz feel thing with 3/4.. I think everyone understands that. 6/8 is not that.

Once you get it you can feel it listening to songs and can tell when they're 6/8 vs 3/4. If a song comes on in the background that is 6/8 on the radio or something it will catch my attention at this point.

Norwegian Wood was mentioned.. I agree that one is not real obvious with the feel/accents. I want to hear it as 3/4 when I listen to it.

The other instruments in a mix can make it really obvious. Drummer only accenting 4.. toms on 1-2-3 then snare on 4 then toms on 5-6 and maybe the bass player is accenting 1. That can really telegraph it.


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