What The F? 3/4 time
Master the basics of this easy time signature complete with rhythm and lead tab examples
1 4/4 time
4/4 is the most common time signature in music. The first ‘4’ tells you there are four beats in every bar of music; the second ‘4’ tells you each beat has a quarter-note rhythm. Unless the music you’re playing has lots of stop-start rhythms you should be able to count to four to stay in time. Remember, 4/4 still allows there to be more than four notes or strums – you might need to count ‘1 & 2 & 3 & 4&’ to include eighth notes for example.
2 3/4 time
If you understand 4/4 then 3/4 should be easy because music in this time signature simply has three quarter-note beats in each bar instead of four. Generally, the first beat of the bar is accented, so, if you’re counting ‘1 2 3’to stay in time, just make notes on the ‘1’ a bit louder. The notes shown here are the kind of notes you’ll see presented in traditional music notation.
3 lead lick
/4 is a simple time signature – with three pulses in each bar, count to three along with the music to get the timing down. A kick-snare-snare drumbeat outlines the 3/4 feel in Elliott Smith’s Waltz#2, with chord changes on beat 1 of each bar underpinning the groove. The verse in Freeme by Foo Fighters has a similar feel but with an emphasis on beat 3 from a ringing guitar chord. The Beatles’ Norwegianwood achieves its 3/4 feel with Mccartney and Harrison’s guitars accenting bass notes on beat 1 and striking other notes on beats 2 and 3.