How you can tell if they are 8th, 16th, or 32nd notes?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by ThePaste, Jul 21, 2001.

  1. ThePaste

    ThePaste Guest

    Dec 23, 2000
    West Virginia USA
    Hey, if you are playing a song, do you just tap your foot to the tempo, and if you hit 4 notes in between taps, they are all 16th notes, or is there a fixed tempo that all the notes go under?
  2. MJB

    MJB Guest

    Mar 17, 2000
    This is why you should learn to read music.
  3. liran

    liran Guest

    Dec 18, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
  4. merlin

    merlin Guest

    8th notes, fast
    16th notes, faster
    32nd notes damn fast.



  5. ThePaste

    ThePaste Guest

    Dec 23, 2000
    West Virginia USA
    Yep, I AM learning to read music, that's why I asked the question :rolleyes:. Ok maybe I should elaborate, when you play a song, do you find the 16th, 8th or whatever note from a set tempo, or do you tap your foot to the music and use that as a quarter note?
  6. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    i'm not sure i understand your question, but i'll answer nonetheless. ;)
    as bassist, i think you should always use you body to reflect "the groove". tap with your foot, "use" your head... what you like.

    now the way you tap your foot, etc. depends on the time signature. if you're in 4/4 and tap 4 times during one bar you are most likely using quarter notes (unless you tap really strange) on beats 1-4.
    now if you play 1 note from one tap to the other, starting on the 1 and ending on the 2 you have played one quarter note. if you play two notes, starting while your foot is down on the 2 and another one while your foot is in the air, ending on the 3, you have player two 8ths, on the 2 and the 2+.

    but if you're in a different time, say 7/8 or 13/16 (i've had that) you'll perhaps tap differently.
    if during a 7/8 you are tapping 7 times, and play two notes starting on the 1 and ending on the 2 then you have player two 16ths.

    but if you are in 4/4 again, playing two notes between 1 and 2, those are 8ths. (see above)
    if you play two notes between 1 and 1+ then those are 16ths.

    well i hope this makes at least a little bit of sense.
  7. Lovebown

    Lovebown Guest

    Jan 6, 2001
    Yeah I believe chris is pretty much right here.

    Now, the way to tell what notes are being played you must determine the time signature PULSE.
    For example, in some fast bebop jazz the time is usually 4/4 and the bass usualy plays quarter notes in a real fast fashion - just because they sound fast don't mean they have a high note value.

    What my piano teacher once told me is that before you analyze the seperate notes in a song you must determine the PULSE. I suppose you could set a metronome if you like or just tap it with your feet.

  8. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...that's a baaadddd tune!

    I guess the stuff I'm a-figuring out ain't all that difficult; granted, there will always be some rhythms I flub, on the whole, though, it's pretty cut & dried:
    Find "1", & determine what a bar is...tap out the bass figure. Listening to where/how the chords change & how the melody is phrased may help; too, the drums yield major clues.
    ...& the "funny syncopated 1/16ths" are prevalent in a lotta of what I play; it's just not the same if written as 1/8th notes. ;)
  9. You might find it easier to forget about double, whole, half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth, thirtysecond, and sixtyfourth notes, and try to think in terms of breve, semi-breve, minim, crotchet, quaver, semi-quaver, demi-semi-quaver and hemi-demi-semi-quaver...

    er, um, or not...


    - Wil
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Not necessarily - if you look at some orchestral scores, you can see pieces in slow tempos (tempi?) that have hemi-demi-semi-quavers that aren't all that fast - well not unplayable anyway.

    So you have a slow underlying pulse, but then interjections from woodwind for example, that are compratively fast, but not the fastest thing you would ever play.