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# Learning Time Signatures

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Beginner Topic: Theory Style: Any Style

Excerpt: Hello and welcome! In this tutorial we're going to take a very in-depth look at time signatures. This is a rather large tutorial, but don't let that overwhelm you. I'd encourage you to go through it slowly so you can digest all the information. First off, if you have no idea what time signatures are or how they work, please check out this lesson before goin...

Media Length: 2:01

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Beginner Topic: Theory Style: Any Style

Excerpt: With time signatures, we will always see 2 numbers in the form of a fraction. (Yes, music has math too!) So we'll see a number on top, and a number on the bottom. The top number represents how many of a certain note, and the bottom number represents what kind of a certain note. If you haven't already, be sure to check out this lesson to understand the very b...

Media Length: 0:52

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Beginner Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Rock

Excerpt: You'll notice in the example videos, I count the time signature out loud at the beginning. I strongly recommend you count out loud during these exercises if possible. If you can count out loud as you play, that will help develop your sense of rhythm immensely. In this example, we're going to be playing a few simple chords using eighth notes. Concentrate on ...

Media Length: 0:42

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Advanced Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Fusion

Excerpt: Here we have a more advanced example in a blues-rock-funk style. So we'll just call it a "Fusion" style. :) There's a lot going on within each bar, so learn it very slowly. And really listen for that 4/4 pulse. Since there's a lot happening with the instruments, it can be difficult to hear the 4/4 count, but it's definitely there. Don't start learning the a...

Media Length: 0:32

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Beginner Topic: Theory Style: Any Style

Excerpt: We now continue exploring the quarter note time signatures with 3/4. With the top number being "3" and the bottom number being "4", we can conclude that the 3/4 time signature represents three quarter notes in a measure. You can count the beats of a 3/4 time signature as follows: "One Two Three"

Media Length: 0:34

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Beginner Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Rock

Excerpt: This 3/4 example is pretty straightforward. Be sure to count "One Two Three" out loud while you play.

Media Length: 0:30

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Beginner Topic: Theory Style: Any Style

Excerpt: The last quarter note time signature we're going to look at is 5/4. With the top number being "5" and the bottom number being "4", we can conclude that the 5/4 time signature represents five quarter notes in a measure. You can count the beats of a 5/4 time signature as follows: "One Two Three Four Five"

Media Length: 0:38

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Beginner Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Rock

Excerpt: Since 5/4 has an extra quarter note beat, it's going to have a somewhat "extended" feel to it. In this particular example, we're going to be strumming some basic chords to the 5/4 time signature. For the first four beats, we're just going to strum quarter notes, then on the 5th beat, we're going to strum two eighth notes. Be sure to count out loud!

Media Length: 0:56

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Advanced Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Metal

Excerpt: In the second 5/4 example, we're going to play an intense metal riff. As always, make sure you practice counting along with the riff before you start to physically learn it.

Media Length: 0:35

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Beginner Topic: Theory Style: Any Style

Excerpt: We're now going to look at our first eighth note time signature, 6/8. With the top number being "6" and the bottom number being "8", we can conclude that the 6/8 time signature represents six eighth notes in a measure. You can count the beats of a 6/8 time signature as follows: "One Two Three Four Five Six" Or, you can also count it like this: "One and ...

Media Length: 0:46

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Beginner Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Rock

Excerpt: In this 6/8 example, we're going to use a few power chords along with the open G and B strings. Be sure to use alternate picking throughout.

Media Length: 0:39

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Beginner Topic: Theory Style: Any Style

Excerpt: We're now going to look at the 7/8 time signature. With the top number being "7" and the bottom number being "8", we can conclude that the 7/8 time signature represents seven eighth notes in a measure. You can count the beats of a 7/8 time signature as follows: "One Two Three Four Five Six Sev". Notice how I said "Sev" instead of "Seven"? Since the word "s...

Media Length: 0:51

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Beginner Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Rock

Excerpt: In the first 7/8 example, we're going to play a subtle yet dynamic palm-muted riff. As always, count along with the riff before learning it.

Media Length: 0:35

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Advanced Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Metal

Excerpt: This 7/8 example has a bit of a "celtic metal" feel to it. It's also quite a bit more advanced than the previous example. Be sure to get the count down first, then practice the riff very slowly.

Media Length: 0:26

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Beginner Topic: Theory Style: Any Style

Excerpt: The last eighth note time signature we're going to look at is 9/8. With the top number being "9" and the bottom number being "8", we can conclude that the 9/8 time signature represents nine eighth notes in a measure. You can count the beats of a 9/8 time signature as follows: "One Two Three Four Five Six Sev Eight Nine" Or, you can also count it like this...

Media Length: 0:49

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Intermediate Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Blues

Excerpt: Now, we're going to delve into a bit of blues as we explore the 9/8 time signature. This riff will consist primarily of eighth notes. As always, do your best to count along as you play.

Media Length: 0:40

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Advanced Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Metal

Excerpt: In this 9/8 example, we're going to utilize a lot of silence between quick bursts of notes. This will require some very tight rhythm playing, so make sure your mutes are executed cleanly. And as always, analyze and count along to the riff before you physically learn it.

Media Length: 0:30

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Beginner Topic: Theory Style: Any Style

Excerpt: We're now going to look at our first sixteenth note time signature, 15/16. With the top number being "15" and the bottom number being "16", we can conclude that the 15/16 time signature represents fifteen sixteenth notes in a measure. You can count the beats of a 15/16 time signature as follows: "One ee and uh Two ee and uh Three ee and uh Four ee and"

Media Length: 0:50

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Intermediate Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Rock

Excerpt: In this 15/16 example, we'll be using 16th notes exclusively as we play a few arpeggios. I'd recommend using alternate picking while you play this, and also starting on a downstroke with each measure. However, watch out for the last note in each measure. Since the last note in each measure is a downstroke, and the first note in each measure is also a downst...

Media Length: 0:44

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Beginner Topic: Theory Style: Any Style

Excerpt: The last sixteenth note time signature we'll be looking at is 19/16. With the top number being "19" and the bottom number being "16", we can conclude that the 19/16 time signature represents nineteen sixteenth notes in a measure. You can count the beats of a 19/16 time signature as follows: "One ee and uh Two ee and uh Three ee and uh Four ee and uh One Tw...

Media Length: 0:50

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Intermediate Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Rock

Excerpt: With the first 19/16 example, we're going to play a short bar chord riff. You'll primarily be playing 8th notes as you strum. However, at the end of each measure we'll be strumming three 16th notes.

Media Length: 0:33

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Advanced Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Rock

Excerpt: In the last 19/16 time signature, we're going to use a good amount of legato. Practice the legato sections slowly at first and make sure the notes are equal in volume.

Media Length: 0:36

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Intermediate Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Rock

Excerpt: This is our first example where we'll be using more than one kind of time signature. In this particular exercise, we're going to use 6/8, 5/8, and 4/4. Now that we're mixing time signatures, it's especially important that you count the time signatures along with the video before you actually learn the riff. Remember, this tutorial is all about identifying th...

Media Length: 0:46

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Advanced Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Rock

Excerpt: We're now going to be mixing the following time signatures: 7/8, 4/4, 15/16, and 19/16. This passage has a bit of a Joe Satriani vibe to it. The most difficult parts you'll face with this are the 15/16 and the 19/16 sections. The transition from one measure to the next is what's tricky. You'll notice that the last note in each measure ends on a downstroke, ...

Media Length: 1:00

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Beginner Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Rock

Excerpt: I strongly recommend you count out loud during these exercises if possible. If you can count out loud as you play, that will help develop your sense of rhythm immensely. In this example, we're going to be playing a few simple chords using eighth notes. Concentrate on feeling that solid 4/4 pulse as you count and play.

Media Length: 0:41

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Advanced Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Fusion

Excerpt: Here we have a more advanced example in a blues-rock-funk style. So we'll just call it a "Fusion" style. :) There's a lot going on within each bar, so learn it very slowly. And really listen for that 4/4 pulse. Since there's a lot happening with the instruments, it can be difficult to hear the 4/4 count, but it's definitely there. The last thing I'll bring...

Media Length: 0:31

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Beginner Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Rock

Excerpt: This 3/4 example is pretty straightforward. Be sure to count "One Two Three" out loud while you play.

Media Length: 0:28

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Beginner Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Rock

Excerpt: Since 5/4 has an extra quarter note beat, it's going to have a somewhat "extended" feel to it. In this particular example, we're going to be strumming some basic chords to the 5/4 time signature. For the first four beats, we're just going to strum quarter notes, then on the 5th beat, we're going to strum two eighth notes. Be sure to count out loud!

Media Length: 0:54

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Advanced Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Metal

Excerpt: In the second 5/4 example, we're going to play an intense metal riff. As always, make sure you practice counting along with the riff before you start to physically learn it.

Media Length: 0:35

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Beginner Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Rock

Excerpt: In this 6/8 example, we're going to use a few power chords along with the open G and B strings. Be sure to use alternate picking throughout.

Media Length: 0:39

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Beginner Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Rock

Excerpt: In the first 7/8 example, we're going to play a subtle yet dynamic palm-muted riff. As always, count along with the riff before learning it.

Media Length: 0:34

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Advanced Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Metal

Excerpt: This 7/8 example has a bit of a "celtic metal" feel to it. It's also quite a bit more advanced than the previous example. Be sure to get the count down first, then practice the riff very slowly.

Media Length: 0:26

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Intermediate Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Blues

Excerpt: Now, we're going to delve into a bit of blues as we explore the 9/8 time signature. This riff will consist primarily of eighth notes. As always, do your best to count along as you play.

Media Length: 0:39

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Advanced Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Metal

Excerpt: In this 9/8 example, we're going to utilize a lot of silence between quick bursts of notes. This will require some very tight rhythm playing, so make sure your mutes are executed cleanly.

Media Length: 0:30

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Intermediate Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Rock

Excerpt: In this 15/16 example, we'll be using 16th notes exclusively as we play a few arpeggios. I'd recommend using alternate picking while you play this, and also starting on a downstroke with each measure. However, watch out for the last note in each measure. Since the last note in each measure is a downstroke, and the first note in each measure is also a downst...

Media Length: 0:44

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Intermediate Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Rock

Excerpt: With the first 19/16 example, we're going to play a short bar chord riff. You'll primarily be playing 8th notes as you strum. However, at the end of each measure we'll be strumming three 16th notes.

Media Length: 0:33

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Advanced Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Rock

Excerpt: In the last 19/16 time signature, we're going to use a good amount of legato. Practice the legato sections slowly at first and make sure the notes are equal in volume.

Media Length: 0:36

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Beginner Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Rock

Excerpt: This is our first example where we'll be using more than one kind of time signature. In this particular exercise, we're going to use 6/8, 5/8, and 4/4.

Media Length: 0:46

• Instructor: Sean Conklin Level: Advanced Topic: Cool Riffs Style: Rock

Excerpt: We're now going to be mixing the following time signatures: 7/8, 4/4, 15/16, and 19/16. This passage has a bit of a Joe Satriani vibe to it. The most difficult parts you'll face with this are the 15/16 and the 19/16 sections. The transition from one measure to the next is what's tricky. You'll notice that the last note in each measure ends on a downstroke, ...

Media Length: 1:00