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How to count this.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by FenderB, Jul 21, 2019.


  1. FenderB

    FenderB

    Mar 28, 2016
    Findlay, Ohio
    How do you count when an eighth note is the first note in a measure? In my example there is a quarter note right after it that I am counting a "2", so is it counted as the "and" of one? If so why isn't there a eighth note rest in front of it which would delay the start of that measure by an eighth? That doesn't appear to happen. I'm counting it as " &-2 &-3 e &-4 &".
    Thanks,
    Jack
     

    Attached Files:

    zon6c-f likes this.
  2. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    That 1/8 note is on one, the 1/4 That follows is on the & of one and lasts through the & of two

    1 & & 3e& 4 &
     
    Leo Smith, MonetBass, FenderB and 4 others like this.
  3. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    Exactly. Here's another way to visualize it:

    upload_2019-7-21_22-24-44.
     
  4. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Isn't that bad writing though? Because you don't see where the beat falls. I'd write that as two eight notes, the second 8th tied to the first 8th of beat 2, etc.
     
    HolmeBass likes this.
  5. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    Nope. Across the middle of the bar in 4/4 (i.e., on the upbeat of 2), you'd want to show the beat, but a quarter note on the upbeat of 1 in 4/4 is extremely common.
     
  6. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    I think either way is acceptable although if it were written as you suggest we probably wouldn't be having this conversation :D
     
    FenderB, Dabndug and JC Nelson like this.
  7. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Right? I mean, it's one thing if you're working on this, another if you're sight reading. I'd much prefer seeing where each beat falls, even if that's not where you attack the note. I mean, it's kinda the same thing if you're writing and you have to hyphenate a word because it crosses from one line of print to the other. You don't break up syllables...
     
  8. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    The spacing of the notes is key to readability. See the revised image below and notice how evenly the beats are spaced, and that the notes fall properly on the beats and subdivisions.
    upload_2019-7-22_0-58-7.
    With a bit of experience, this example is extremely easy to read, as written.

    I guess you could write it like the image below, but it's more cluttered, more work to write, and IMHO not any easier for an experienced player to read.
    upload_2019-7-22_1-5-59.
     
  9. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    I think what was suggested is that 1& are beamed and 2& are beamed with a tie from the & of 1 to 2.

    I agree it wasn't hard to read as written but if you're not experienced I can see why beaming all the 1/8 notes and using a tie might be easier to interpret.

    If there is a reason to notate as shown originally it may be that it's less cluttered.
     
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  10. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    That's incorrectly beamed, 1 and the & of one should be beamed, as should the next two 8th notes. That denotes both where the beats fall AND the syncopation.
     
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  11. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    I recently played a production of Saturday Night Fever. The opening number of the show has this figure repeated for a number of measures:

    upload_2019-7-21_22-50-8.

    To Ed's point about proper beaming, the beaming in the above example is correct, but I find it more difficult to read than using a quarter note on the upbeats of 1 and 3. I had to rewrite the chart to incorporate a number of cuts and accommodate page turns, and when I did, I rewrote that figure at measure 81 like this, which I and my subs found easier to read:

    upload_2019-7-21_22-51-6.

    As I said previously, it's very, very common to use a quarter note on the upbeat of one in 4/4, and my rewrite is the way I'm accustomed to seeing that figure. Here's an example from Sammy Nestico (this is the lead alto part of the Sammy Nestico tune "Basie Straight Ahead," and happens to be the first example I came across, but I'm sure I could find many others without a huge effort):

    upload_2019-7-21_22-46-44.
     
  12. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    You say tomato; you find the second example easier to read, I find the first one to be so. It gets particularly hairy when these syncopations aren't clearly delineated later in the bar. At least for me...
     
  13. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    The 8th, quarter note, 8th pattern is very common. It takes up 2 quarter note so as long as it starts on Beats 1 or 3 it’s easy to read. Twice as fast, you’ll often see 16th, 8th, 16th which takes up 1 quarter note. Experienced readers don’t need to see every beat, as long as major pulses are visible (as beat 3 is clearly visible in the OP’s example).
     
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  14. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Nope; good writing, standard operating procedure.

    If you play genres like Bossa Nova you will see rhythms like this all the time:

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    But at the same time, easier to see where the beat/time is located in the measure MPI...
     
  16. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    That's a little different 'shroo, Beats 1 and 3 are quite clear, so I can see that the 8th is the & of 2. Imagine if the G and C in the last two beats were reversed, an 8th on 3 and a dotted quarter starting on the & of 3. I guarantee you that's going to stop a rehearsal right there.
     
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  17. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    It looks like a typical horn line in an Eastern Polka Band, except the time signature would be 2/4.
     
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  18. jefkritz

    jefkritz

    Oct 20, 2007
    iowa city, IA
    If this bothers you, how about
    "1 & (2) & 3e& 4 &"
    Where (2) means 'don't say 2, but think it!'
     
  19. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    I hear what you are saying. I just feel that, if dotted quarter + eighth is "allowed" then its inverse, eighth + dotted quarter, should also be "allowed."

    I found the OP's example to be easy enough to read.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
    Whousedtoplay and Dominic DeCosa like this.
  20. Sounds like a great reason to me! Op’s (less cluttered) original post is the way I’d prefer to see it when sight reading.
     
    smeet and Reedt2000 like this.

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