Up­beats

Guitar Techniques - - Lesson: Rockschool -

When we di­vide a bar of 4/4 into eight equal notes, these notes can ei­ther be called quavers or eighth notes. An easy way to think about this is to sim­ply count aloud as fol­lows ‘1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and’. We nat­u­rally feel the ‘num­bers’ as strong beats and the ’ands’ as weaker beats. In rock and pop mu­sic, the stress is usu­ally on the stronger ‘down­beats’, but other styles such as reg­gae or tra­di­tional African mu­sic, the ‘up­beats’ are em­pha­sised more which of­ten gives the mu­sic a cheer­ful, lighter, more op­ti­mistic char­ac­ter.

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