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doesn't add up

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by lexington125, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. I'm trying to work out a bass part and I'm jotting down the parts in standard notation as I figure them out.

    This two bar phrase sounds fine when I play it, but the notes just don't add up. Its a two bar phrase so it should have 8 beats or 16 'half-beats". But as you can see in the attached image, the part I wrote down adds up to 7 beats, or 14 eight notes. I'm two eight notes short and I can't figure out how to lengthen all of the notes evenly to keep the same feel, while adding up to two full bars. (there are no rests, so I can't take the easy way out and just throw a quarter note rest in there somewhere)

    Can anyone explain to me how to get this musical phrase to equal two full measures (in 4/4 time)


    Attached Files:

  2. dderatz

    dderatz Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2010
    8th dotted 4r 3x;2 16ths 3-8th (or a grace note and 4 - 8ths). Adds up to 2 measures.
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  4. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
  5. JellinWellen


    Oct 18, 2012
    Houston Tx
    Is it possibly a cut time section?
  6. two fingers

    two fingers You tahkin 'uh me? Yeah, you. You tahkin 'uh me? Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yeah it's impossible to even venture a guess without hearing the passage. There are literally dozens of combinations just changing one or two things in that phrase that would make it add up (mathematically) to two measures.
  7. If it feels right it could be 7/8 time. Please post the bass and drum part.
  8. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    Look, the last thing you should do when asking a question about something you can't figure out is to box it into a pre-conceived framework that may or may not be correct. Give us the facts. It may be in 4/4 and it may not be, but to answer the question you actually asked, we need to put it in 4/4. We're here to help, so feed us the information we need to help you.
  9. The reason I submitted the image as a screen shot from excel is because I'm not at home and have only an old pc available. THere will be no audio files, etc. until Monday, and I really hope to have this figured out before then. The song is in Eb and it is definitely 4/4 time. There is just a single two bar phrase that I can play fine, I just can't get my very limited notation skills to add up to 8 full beats.

    Again, I have the part worked out fine, I'm just having trouble writing it down correctly. On either side of this two bar phrase, the bass part is just straight 8th notes on the root note. The drums play the same part over both sections. There is nothing complicated going on, I'm just a novice at notating parts and I am having trouble getting the math to add up; thats all.

    IN an effort to aswer FM's questions..... it is definetly in 4/4; the drums are playing straight all the way through, the bass part on either side of this two bar measure is straight eight notes on the root. I just don't have much experience at making the beats add up correctly.
  10. two fingers

    two fingers You tahkin 'uh me? Yeah, you. You tahkin 'uh me? Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    That's fine. And we're here to help. But without hearing it (or at least knowing what song you're talking about) how in the world are we supposed to guess what the passage sounds like? And without hearing it ourselves, how are we supposed to guess at what notes make up those two measures? Anything we offer you at this point would be just that..... a guess.
  11. punkjazzben

    punkjazzben Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2008
    Could you play around with the notation, and add a single line along the bottom to show the 'pulse'? Play the line, and tap your foot. Add a 1, 2, 3, or 4 under any note that falls on the beat (forget off-the-beat notes if you're not using precise notation software). If you're sure it's two bars, it should be easy enough to find where the '1' falls for both bars at least. That might get us a bit closer.

    Purely speculatively, the first note could be an anacrusis. The following crotchets could actually be dotted-crotchets. That would mean that every note after the first quaver fits into two bars. But that's just a wild guess and probably doesn't sound like what you're playing.
  12. Sorry if I mis-stated the original question. It was really just a math question. My limited notation skills couldn't figure out how to spread two eighth notes worth of time over a two bar phrase.

    The solution was simple and obvious. The eighth note pickup was not part of the two bar phrase, it was the last eight note of the prior measure. Making this chance allowed me to simple change the 3 quarter notes to dotted quarter notes. (see attached; early version on top, corrected version below)

    Thanks to all you tried to help.

    Attached Files:

  13. punkjazzben

    punkjazzben Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2008
    Points go to me for nearly guessing it right! :bag:

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