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  #16  
Old 05-03-2013, 08:24 AM
Mellow_D Mellow_D is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHP View Post
3/4 time has 3 beats per measure, 6/8 has 2 beats per measure.
I think my understanding of "beat" is why I don't understand that distinction. I'm so used to hearing, "does the song have a good beat" ... but I suppose I really don't know the MUSICAL definition of "beat".

When I practice, strumming chords, most songs are 4/4 or 3/4 and I just tap my foot and say "One, Two, Three Four" or "One, Two, Three" for each, respectively. But that's all I know.
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  #17  
Old 05-03-2013, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mellow_D View Post
I think my understanding of "beat" is why I don't understand that distinction. I'm so used to hearing, "does the song have a good beat" ... but I suppose I really don't know the MUSICAL definition of "beat".

When I practice, strumming chords, most songs are 4/4 or 3/4 and I just tap my foot and say "One, Two, Three Four" or "One, Two, Three" for each, respectively. But that's all I know.
It is as others have stated. You could divide 6/8 into a three beat fast waltz time. That used to be done sometimes a long time ago, but is not the convention now.
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  #18  
Old 05-03-2013, 08:51 AM
stanron stanron is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mellow_D View Post
How is it different than 3/4 times being just "doubled"?

It sounds like 3/4 being played consecutively, like 3/4 followed by 3/4, if the way I put makes sense? (I'm still awkward in the literacy aspect, I apologize, the way I word things.)
The answer is in the numbers of the time signatures. 3/4 means three quarter notes, or quavers, per bar. 6/8 means six eighth notes, or semiquavers, per bar.

The point about time signatures is that they come from notation and is all about how the notes are written down but this can get overlooked by people who don't use notation.

6/8 can sound like fast 3/4 but in fact careful listening will reveal differences in emphasis.
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  #19  
Old 05-03-2013, 09:08 AM
HHP HHP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mellow_D View Post
I think my understanding of "beat" is why I don't understand that distinction. I'm so used to hearing, "does the song have a good beat" ... but I suppose I really don't know the MUSICAL definition of "beat".

When I practice, strumming chords, most songs are 4/4 or 3/4 and I just tap my foot and say "One, Two, Three Four" or "One, Two, Three" for each, respectively. But that's all I know.
In 6/8, you would tap your foot twice per measure. It would be One-da-da, TWO-da-da / One-da-da TWO-da-da.

Here's a typical 6/8 tune

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4Ou-pW5I7o
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  #20  
Old 05-03-2013, 10:08 AM
richard1 richard1 is offline
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Thanks for all the responses. I'm still somewhat confused though. I can kind of get the idea from the references to Norwegian Wood, and Five Years, but I still have difficulty distiguishing it from 3/4, which to me sounds very similar. I will watch the you tube vid as recommended by HHP and hopefully that will shed some light. I am at work right now though so will have to wait until I get home.
Again many thanks for all of your help.
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  #21  
Old 05-03-2013, 10:46 AM
DDORSCH DDORSCH is offline
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6/8 time is 6 beats to the measure, the eighth note gets one beat
3/4 time is 3 beats to the measure, the quarter note gets one beat

Last edited by DDORSCH; 05-03-2013 at 10:47 AM. Reason: typo
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  #22  
Old 05-03-2013, 10:58 AM
Mellow_D Mellow_D is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHP View Post
In 6/8, you would tap your foot twice per measure. It would be One-da-da, TWO-da-da / One-da-da TWO-da-da.
Now I"m trying to figure out how to do that when I'm doing the "ee-and-uh" part.

That is, if I'm tapping in 3/4 and as my foot goes up and down the first time, I'm saying "One-ee-and-uh". Then the second time my foot goes up and down I'm saying "Two-ee-and-uh". And finally the third time (beat?) my foot is going up and down I'm saying "Three-ee-and-uh."


Below Is My Edit:


That is, in 3/4, when strumming chords, I'm doing it one of three ways, like this ---->


Quote:

First Quarter Note/Beat
Foot Down And Up = One

Second Quarter Note/Beat
Foot Down And Up = Two

Third Quarter Note/Beat
Foot Down And Up = Three


OR SOMETIMES I DO THIS --->


First Quarter Note/Beat
Foot going down = One
Foot coming up = and


Second Quarter Note/Beat
Foot going down = Two
Foot coming up = and


Third Quarter Note/Beat
Foot going down = Three
Foot coming up = and



OR SOMETIMES I DO THIS --->


First Quarter Note/Beat
Foot going down = One - ee
Foot coming up = and - uh


Second Quarter Note/Beat
Foot going down = Two - ee
Foot coming up = and - uh


Third Quarter Note/Beat
Foot going down = Three - ee
Foot coming up = and - uh



(and all three examples above would be in ONE measure, right?)

-

How do I do the above in 6/8 time?



(I wish I had a video of a foot going up and down and someone saying these things -- "one/two/three" or "one - and -two - and - three - and" or "one/ee/and/uh, two/ee/and/uh/, three/ee/and/uh" -- to make it clear, to show the whole thing in motion, but doing this for 6/8 so as to see and hear the difference between it and 3/4.)


Last edited by Mellow_D; 05-03-2013 at 12:43 PM.
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  #23  
Old 05-03-2013, 11:07 AM
JanVigne JanVigne is offline
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"I'm still somewhat confused though. I can kind of get the idea from the references to Norwegian Wood, and Five Years, but I still have difficulty distiguishing it from 3/4, which to me sounds very similar."


They should sound similar but not identical. Just as , "Bob gave me 50% of his drink", and, "Bob gave me 1/2 of his drink" should have similar ideas. The difference is in which value of note is being counted (quarter vs eighth). This variance allows the player some flexibility to alter where they will place the emphasis within the measure. 3/4 time obviously counts each quarter note as one beat while 6/8 counts eighth notes. The effect is not to dissimilar to 2/2 time or "cut time"; http://piano.about.com/od/musicalter...GL_cuttime.htm Because you are counting a different value for each note the manner in which you would play the song would vary slightly. Exactly how you play the song given the time signature would be somewhat up to you as long as you keep the correct time. How the song will sound will depend on where you place the emphasis with 3/4 time almost always suggesting a waltz tempo with the emphasis on the 1; 1-2-3/1-2-3/1-2-3. If you played that time signature with the emphasis on a different beat, you would have a different song. Try it.
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  #24  
Old 05-03-2013, 11:15 AM
stanron stanron is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDORSCH View Post
6/8 time is 6 beats to the measure, the eighth note gets one beat
3/4 time is 3 beats to the measure, the quarter note gets one beat
The first part of the above is incorrect. 6/8 has two beats. There are two types of beat or rhythm. The first is called 'Simple Time' and beats are divided into two, the second is called 'Compound Time' and the beats are divided into three. Other examples of compound time as well as 6/8 are 3/8, 9/8 and 12/8.

3/8 has one beat, 9/8 has three beats and 12/8 has 4 beats. In compound time beats are notated as dotted quarter notes, as separate eighth notes they are written as triplets without a number 3 above.

As for tapping your foot I go for down on the first part of the triplet and up on the third or, if it's very fast, down on the first beat (or triplet) and up on the second.

Last edited by stanron; 05-03-2013 at 11:23 AM.
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  #25  
Old 05-03-2013, 11:36 AM
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There is some terminology mix up here between beats versus counting beats (how they are grouped for accenting). 6/8 for example has six beats per measure but is counted as two groups of three.
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  #26  
Old 05-03-2013, 11:44 AM
ombudsman ombudsman is offline
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The way I describe the difference is that in 3/4 a single 3 bar measure is the complete rhythmic cycle for the piece. They are grouped together in the song of course, but each one is a complete unit.

In 6/8 you've got to hear all 6 beats to hear the complete rhythmic unit. Hearing only the first 3 beats doesn't give you all the information, because the second 3 beats are different somehow than the first three - which is why it's 6/8 not 3/4.

Let's say "ding" represents a cymbal hit or just a mental placeholder for a non emphasized beat; we're talking about the difference between "kick ding ding snare ding ding" (6/8) and "kick ding ding kick ding ding" (2 bars of 3/4). And every other part of the song is going to reflect the basic structural grouping in units of 6 rather than 3, although that is harder to explain or demonstrate concisely.

The difference between the two halves of the 6 beat cycle doesn't have to be that specific common one I just described, but there does have to be a difference .

If they were identical in every other way aside from the way they are counted/notated, there would be no need for 6/8 at all really. And that is the part of the explanation that is sometimes missing; it's not just a notation or counting difference.

It is sometimes described as being about "emphasis" or "accent" but I've always found those to be ambiguous. I can emphase rhythmically in all kinds of ways without breaking the basic rhythmic structure of a piece and so that's a difficult distinction to get across.
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  #27  
Old 05-03-2013, 12:53 PM
HHP HHP is offline
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Just wait till you play an Irish jig that calls for you to initiate a fast triplet or roll starting within one 3 note sequence and finishing in the second in a measure. Unless your foot is as fast as a jackhammer, you'll need to have a feel for the rhythm. Like this....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2roku8fdF4
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  #28  
Old 05-03-2013, 01:03 PM
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ljguitar ljguitar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard1 View Post
Thanks for all the responses. I'm still somewhat confused though. I can kind of get the idea from the references to Norwegian Wood, and Five Years, but I still have difficulty distiguishing it from 3/4, which to me sounds very similar. I will watch the you tube vid as recommended by HHP and hopefully that will shed some light. I am at work right now though so will have to wait until I get home.
Again many thanks for all of your help.
Hi Richard...

I think I understand your remaining question/confusion. The main difference between 3/4 and 6/8 is the subdivisions.

2/4, 3/4 and 4/4 are subdivided into 2s (or 4s)
6/8, 9/8 and 12/8 are subdivided into 3s

In practical application the real contrast would be between 2/4 and 6/8 time...not 6/8 & 3/4.

2/4 time is 2 beats to a measure subdivided in even numbers (2s, 4s, 8s)
  • One-& Two-& One-& Two-& or One-ee-and-a Two-ee-&-a One-ee-and-a Two-ee-&-a
6/8 time is counted/felt as 2 beats per measure subdivided into triplets
  • One-&-a Two-&-a One-&-a Two-&-a

There is an equivalent in 3/4 time.
It is 9/8 time - and consists of 3 beats to the measure subdivided into triplets.
  • One-&-a Two-&-a Three-&-a One-&-a Two-&-a Three-&-a
And there is 12/8 time which is 4 beats to the measure subdivided into triplets.
  • One-&-a Two-&-a Three-&-a four-&-a

Hope this helps...

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  #29  
Old 05-03-2013, 03:11 PM
islander53 islander53 is offline
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An example of 3/4 time would be singing or playing notes this way:

do re mi | do re mi | do re mi | do re mi



An example of 6/8 time would be singing or playing notes this way:

do re mi fa mi re | do re mi fa mi re
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  #30  
Old 05-03-2013, 04:49 PM
HHP HHP is offline
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The only thing missing now is to illustrate the count in Egyptian hieroglyphics .
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