# Divided dotted half in 6/8

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by tornadobass, Apr 19, 2005.

Nov 20, 2000
Iowa City, Iowa
Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond &amp; SuperSensitive strings
I'm getting back into reading after a long time and can't figure this out (and can't find it online).

If I'm in 6/8 time and see a dotted half note with two slashes on its tail, how many notes do I play? Four, six or some other number?

How about a dotted quarter with one slash on the tail?

2. ### Ed Fuqua

Dec 13, 1999
NYC
Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
?
A dotted half note = 3quarter notes=6 eighth notes. What do you mean by "slashes"? Are you talking about tails? On a half note? This doesn't make any sense to me, as a rhythmic denotation. Are you sure it's not some sort of attack marking?

Tails on a "quarter" note, it sounds like you're looking at a dotted eighth note...

Can you post an image of what you're looking at?

3. ### EFischer1Guest

Mar 17, 2002
New York, New York
Each "slash" on the stem of the note denotes that the next division should be played.

For example - a dotted half note in 6/8 with one "slash" would require you to play 6 8th notes.

2 "slashes" on a dotted half note in 6/8 would require you to play 12 16th notes.

4. ### Basschair..............Supporting Member

Feb 5, 2004
Stockton, Ca

Tremelo...measured or unmeasured you'll have to decide...my guess is that you've got a full measure (two 6/8 beats) of 1/16 notes...so, 6+6. As for the dotted quarter with one slash...that's odd: three 1/8 notes? That's measured...unmeasured, just agitate fast. I'd go with measured...

To others: if I'm wrong, be nice!

5. ### David Kaczorowski

dotted half w/ 2 slashes = 6 8ths
dotted quarter w/ 1 slash = 3 8ths

6. ### Ed Fuqua

Dec 13, 1999
NYC
Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
Must be a legit thang, most jazz guys would just write six 8th notes....

Nov 20, 2000
Iowa City, Iowa
Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond &amp; SuperSensitive strings
David K...I think you answer matches up to my fuzzy recollection...I don't know why I thought of four rather than six notes. Must have been thinking about 4/4 time and ended up with 4 against 6, which was weird.

Ed...I'm from the blues world, so this legit stuff is confusing at times. The reason in this case is that the 6/8 goes so fast that writing out all the beats would be pointless...easier to just think divide than to read the beats, I guess.

8. ### KSB - Ken SmithBannedCommercial User

Mar 1, 2002
Perkasie, PA USA
Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
When I see one slash, I play eighths.. two slashes I play 16s.. This saves the Copyist alot of Ink!!

I think 3 slashes and we are doing Tremolo....Depending on the tempo it may not matter. If fast enough, 2 slashes might gets you sawing away at full speed...lol

9. ### David Kaczorowski

But Ken, wouldn't that only be the case if it was a quarter note with the slashes?

for eg. a half note with 1 slash would be played as 2 quarters, 2 slashes 8ths, 3 slashes 16ths. But one slash through a quarter is played as 8ths, 2 slashes 16ths, 3 slashes 32nds.

Each slash cuts the metric value in half.

10. ### EFischer1Guest

Mar 17, 2002
New York, New York
Ken is right on. You only play tremelo if there are three slashes. A lot of people don't look closely enough and play tremelo when there are only two. It annoys the heck out of me hearing someone in the section playing tremelo when it is supposed to be measured.

11. ### TheGrayBassGuy

Dec 10, 2004
Chicago, IL
Uhh, that's not the way I've learned it. I do what Ken does. One slash, eighth notes, 2 slashes sixteenths, 3 tremolo.

For instance, in Marriage of Figaro, in several sections, the music is noted with half notes with one slash. I have never heard anyone playing these as quarter notes.

12. ### KSB - Ken SmithBannedCommercial User

Mar 1, 2002
Perkasie, PA USA
Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
This is a form of Slang writing to save ink as I said eariler. I did Figaro last year and it was as TheGrayBassGuy says. If you play in an Orchestra, you will learn things that you will never see in Jazz or Pop music.

One day i saw a funny looking sign over the note and asked the Viola player in front of me, "I've never seen that sign before, What is it?". She replied, "you lift and snap the string back into the Fingerboard".

Now, I was the guy in 1980 that authored the Article in Guitar Player magazine "Slap and Pop" with the first know "written notation". Shortly after, Tony Oppenheim's Book came out called "Slap It". He helped me a bit with my article and notation and I did a few 'Mods' on some of his excercises in his Book in exchange. Now I learn this stuff was written at least 50 years earlier for String Instruments.. Ah Duh !!

There are so many things to learn in Orchestra writing as well as understanding it in several languages. Don't you just love when the Conductor yells out "osto stunnotto bravamentl obligatto aldenti" .....And you look up and address him for the section and say, "sure Maestro, 'Got it' ". Sounds more like a busy Italian kitchen on Saturday night in 'Little Italy' !!..LOl

13. ### mje

Aug 1, 2002
Southeast Michigan
I'm used to this notation, having started as a drummer before I became a musician.

Nov 20, 2000
Iowa City, Iowa
Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond &amp; SuperSensitive strings
I went back to the music and the CD last night. At the speed this music is going, if I divided a 2-slash dotted half (in 6/8) into more than eighth notes, I'd be at tremolo speed.

In any case, it matched the recording better than turning the dotted half into dotted eighths. Now I'm working out how to do this with a D, Bb and A above the octave on the G string. Again, new terroritory.

Thanks for the help!

Mar 15, 2001