Author Topic: Dividing the Pulse into Three  (Read 501 times)

millions

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Dividing the Pulse into Three
« on: March 09, 2016, 03:35:26 PM »
 




4/4 is 4 beats a measure (top number), with quarter note (bottom number) as the note division.

 The key word here is "beats." 120 beats per minute could expressed by any note division (the number on bottom): 1(whole note), 2 (half note),4 (quarter note),8 (eighth note),16 (sixteenth note), 32 (thirty-second note), 64 (sixty-fourth note).

 Notice: note values (divisions) go by 2's: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32.

 How many "beats" is the top number. 4/4 has 4 beats, 4/8 has four beats, 4/16 has four beats, 4/32 has four beats, etc.
 3/4 has three beats, 3/8 has three beats, 3/16 has three beats, etc.

 The trick is, if you want to divide a "pulse beat" into three. This is common in most blues & r&b songs.

 The note values go by 2's, so if you want a "3" note, you must use a dot: dotted quarter equals 1-1/2 quarter notes (or three eighth notes), dotted eighth note equals 1-1/2 eighth notes (or three sixteenth notes), etc.

 We cannot put this "3" into the bottom number of a time signature. There is no "3/3" or "4/3."

 We have to write it this way: 6/8 or 12/8.
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 6/8 means "six beats in a measure, eighth note gets one beat." 123/456, 123/456, 123/456, 123/456, etc.

 Notice how there are 2 "main pulses" not able to be written into our signature system: on 1 and 4. Each main pulse is divided into three: 123/456, with two main pulses in each measure. This is usually the bass pulse, and bass drum pulse.
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 12/8 means "12 beats in a measure, eighth note gets one beat." 123/456/789/10 11 12.

 Notice how there are 4 "main pulses" not able to be written into our time signature system: on 1, 4, 7, and10. Each main pulse is divided into three: 123/456/789/10 11 12, with four main pulses per measure. This is the 'walking bass' heard in blues: 1,4,7,10. 1-2-3-4. Boom boom boom boom.
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