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What is the difference in these two bars?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by hdracer, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    I am not sure if this question should be here or under Technique. Mod's move if you think it should go there.

    I am trying to figure out what the sound difference is between these two bars. The 1/4 note,1/8 rest,1/4 note,1/8 rest, & 1/4 note,1/8 rest,1/8 note,1/4 rest. It is confusing me and I not sure if it really makes a difference.


    Sorry about the bad scan.
  2. Rockman


    Mar 2, 2006
    Its most likely someone just being lazy with notation. Rhythmically they are identical. The only difference is that in the first bar the & of 2 would be longer than the & of 2 in bar 2. But I seriously doubt thats what is happening here seeing as they are identical other wise.
  3. The 8th note quarter rest will give the entire line a slight variety to the syncopated feel. You could use those two bars as the basis for an entire song.
  4. The only difference I can see is that the note starting on the and of 2 in the first measure lasts twice as long as the note starting on the and of 2 in the second measure. Where to play the beggining of each note is the same in both measures.
    Joe Porter
  5. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    It does, that is pretty much the chorus and for the verse the G jumps up a octave. I guess I need to work the groove more.
  6. Here's a MIDI file where you can hear the difference:
  7. mccartneyman


    Dec 22, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Managing Editor, Bass Guitars Editor, MusicGearReview.com
    The second quarter note in measure 1 should be held one full beat. The first eighth note in measure 2 is held half as long as the second quarter in measure 1, so the two measures aren't identical. Both of the second Gs fall on the upbeat, so it's not really syncopation.
  8. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    Ok, I think I understand. This is where technique comes in. What would be a good way to play it? Mute the string or (not sure what it is called) lift my fretting finger?
  9. David1234


    Jun 1, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Endorsing Artist: SWR Amplifiers
    Yup. Lift the fretting finger.

    Say you use this bar in some kind of pop or roc, music where there's a snare hit on beat 3. If your bass note lasts only right up til the snare hit (as in the 2nd bar), the listener hears the energy shift from bass to mid/treble and it's a powerful effect (not noticeable necessarily, but a 'tighter' sound). If you wait longer like in the 1st bar, it can obscure the snare.

    Where a note finishes *can* be as important as where it starts.
  10. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    They are NOT the same. C'mon, playing bass is as much about the silences as it is about the notes (see my quote from T.R. Kelly below). In the first bar the second G is held for a whole beat. In the second bar it's only held for half the beat, and there's a rest (SILENCE) for half a beat.

  11. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    Agreed. Those two measures are different in the same way that a bar containing a half note and a half rest is different from a bar containing a whole note. You have to play the silence as well as play the notes.

    As an aside, I would much rather see the second quarter note in bar 1 written as an eighth note tied to an eighth note, so that it is easier to see where the beat falls.
  12. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    You nailed it! I found a copy of the song and loaded in my BT-1,slowed it down and sure enough the snare hits right there. I worked on it for awhile last night and lifting my finger actually makes it easier to play. I use my index finger for the G and my ring finger for the F.

    Thanks for the MIDI warnergt that helped too.

    Now I just have to get it up to speed. Back to the woodshed. :bassist:
  13. onlyclave


    Oct 28, 2005
    I disagree. With no articulation markings these would sound the same. The first bar is just crappy notation and hard to read. You can make your argument that the midi file sounds different, but there's a good reason drum machines haven't taken over the world.
  14. K'Ching


    Sep 25, 2006
    There is really no way to argue that they are the same unless your bass has absolutely no sustain. The fact that the note is shorter in the second bar makes a noticable difference and gives it a more syncopated feel in than the first bar. And as mentioned it probably has something to do with what the drums are doing.
  15. somegeezer


    Oct 1, 2009
    Little differences in length like that can actually make a big difference in the groove. warnergt's midi example shows it perfectly.
  16. I have to agree- those two bars are different. And these kinds of subtle differences are where the great groove players of history butter their bread. These kinds of subtle differences are where the art comes into it.

    To OmnitzGarima: the second bar seems to have exactly 4 beats in it to me...
  17. 251


    Oct 6, 2006
    Metro Boston MA
    You can bet it mattered to the composer. Sing them using Ta for 1/4 notes & Ti for 1/8th notes, silent singing for rests.

    Not my idea. This comes from Josquin des Pres' "First Bass". consider buying a copy;
  18. ugly_bassplayer

    ugly_bassplayer Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    Gotta love the typical general instruction thread fail.
  19. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA

    If they sound the same, then you're not playing what's written. In the second measure the second G is only held for half a beat instead of a whole beat. That means the rest afterwards begins a half beat earlier than in the first measure.

  20. onlyclave


    Oct 28, 2005
    You need more experience with reading between the lines. The first 2 notes are going to be detache, two eighths on beat 4 are connected.

    Daaah Daaah Do Da (bar 1) vs Daaah Dah Do Da is the literal interpretation if you were a computer playing it back, but I would hope that you don't read and play that literally.

    The confusion could be cleared up with better articulation markings. In the example given bar 1 is simply more difficult to read on the fly than bar 2. Ultimately both would sound the same way unless the markings indicated a different articulation. The difference between a quarter note and an eighth note in this example is so that the bar has the correct rhythmic value. There is no additional space implied, only phrasing.

    edit: If the arranger really wanted the second note to be sustained it would have been better written as a dotted quarter to show that the subphrasing belonged to the eighth notes in beat 4 instead of the first 2 notes connected and the last 2 notes connected. In this example when the notes start are more important than when they are released.

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