Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 30

Thread: My 12/8 problem

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    15
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default My 12/8 problem

    I have a drum loop I want to compose around with 12 beats in its cycle, and I thought "OK 4/4 is a no-go, oh 12/8 seems like a logical time signature to use." Problem is, whereas with say 7/8, I can simply think ONE-2-3-4-5-6-7, ONE-2-3-4-5-6-7, there doesn't seem to be a simple memory trick with 12/8. Is it a case of counting to 12 with the emphasis on 1, or are more numbers emphasised? And if so, which ones? My drum loop has kicks on its first, second and eighth beats and snares on the rest of the odd numbers, so that might help for all I know. I'm sure a few people will have figured out the loop is The Stone Roses' Fools Gold, haha.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Ford Nation
    Posts
    5,780
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Sounds like it's more of 6/8 rather than 12/8, with the kick skipped on first beat of the 2nd bar. The brain would naturally reduce it to a simpler pattern, rather than remember the placement within 12 beats in this case. If you add a melody phrase than repeats or changes on every 12 beats, then that's different.
    Last edited by Phil loves classical; Apr-10-2020 at 21:32.
    "But I fear tomorrow I'll be crying..." Peter Sinfield

  3. #3
    Senior Member Torkelburger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    839
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulterior Motif View Post
    I have a drum loop I want to compose around with 12 beats in its cycle, and I thought "OK 4/4 is a no-go, oh 12/8 seems like a logical time signature to use." Problem is, whereas with say 7/8, I can simply think ONE-2-3-4-5-6-7, ONE-2-3-4-5-6-7, there doesn't seem to be a simple memory trick with 12/8. Is it a case of counting to 12 with the emphasis on 1, or are more numbers emphasised? And if so, which ones? My drum loop has kicks on its first, second and eighth beats and snares on the rest of the odd numbers, so that might help for all I know. I'm sure a few people will have figured out the loop is The Stone Roses' Fools Gold, haha.
    You can think of 12/8 as 4/4 with three triplets on every beat. ONE two three, FOUR five six, SEVEN eight nine, TEN eleven twelve.

    And 7/8 is usually not counted as just straight seven beats, but divided as either 3+4 (ONE two three, FOUR five six seven) or 4+3 (ONE two three four FIVE six seven), but you can divide it up any way you like, like 2+2+3 for example, the point is is that it is subdivided, not straight through.

  4. Likes millionrainbows, pianozach liked this post
  5. #4
    Senior Member Vasks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    3,974
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    25

    Default

    another way is to keep track of each of 4 groups of 3 eighth notes by counting:

    One-2-3, Two-2-3, Three-2-3, Four-2-3
    Last edited by Vasks; Apr-10-2020 at 22:03.
    "Music in any generation is not what the public thinks of it but what the musicians make of it"....Virgil Thomson

  6. #5
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    15,963
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    139

    Default

    Torkelburger (a fellow Texan) is right. In most blues & jazz, when it says "shuffle feel," they write it in 4/4, but it's really a 4-beat with each beat divided into 3. The bass player will play on 1-2-3-4, and the soloist plays in "12".
    The early Chuck Berry recordings have Fred Below & Willie Dixon playing a "4/4 shuffle" with each beat divided into 3, while Chuck Berry plays "straight eights" over it. Thus was born rock & roll.

    If you had to notate it accurately, I guess the rhythm section could be written in 12/8, and Chuck Berry's "straight eight" rhythm over it would be eighth note duplets, in brackets with a "2" over it.

    From Wik:
    In compound meter, even-numbered duplets can indicate that a note value is changed in relation to the dotted version of the next higher note value. Thus, two duplet eighth notes (most often used in 6/8 meter) take the time normally totaled by three eighth notes, equal to a dotted quarter note.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Apr-10-2020 at 22:12.

  7. Likes Torkelburger liked this post
  8. #6
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    15,963
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    139

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vasks View Post
    another way is to keep track of each of 4 groups of 3 eighth notes by counting:

    One-2-3, Two-2-3, Three-2-3, Four-2-3
    Or, you could count it as One, Four, Seven, Ten, in German, and see how that goes over on the bandstand.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Apr-10-2020 at 22:11.

  9. Likes Kjetil Heggelund liked this post
  10. #7
    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Ford Nation
    Posts
    5,780
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I think it depends on the melody in the end, but notation-wise it seems 6/8 is the best of both worlds to me

    TEST-1.jpgTEST-1.jpg
    "But I fear tomorrow I'll be crying..." Peter Sinfield

  11. #8
    Senior Member mbhaub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    2,557
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    When I'm counting 12/8 it's: 1-and-uh 2-and-uh 3-and-uh 4-and-uh.

  12. Likes pianozach liked this post
  13. #9
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    15,963
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    139

    Default

    This "12/8" problem reveals the shortcoming of our time signature system: we have no way of indicating a 3-division (compound) rhythm in our denominator, since all our note vales go by twos: whole note, half note, quarter note, eighth note, sixteenth note, and so on, always in multiples of two. To indicate a "3" value, we have to use dots, and dots can't be put into time signatures.

  14. #10
    Senior Member Vasks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    3,974
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    25

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    To indicate a "3" value, we have to use dots, and dots can't be put into time signatures.
    Well I have seen time signatures that would be for "12/8" like "4/dotted quarter note"
    "Music in any generation is not what the public thinks of it but what the musicians make of it"....Virgil Thomson

  15. Likes mikeh375 liked this post
  16. #11
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    1,980
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vasks View Post
    another way is to keep track of each of 4 groups of 3 eighth notes by counting:

    One-2-3, Two-2-3, Three-2-3, Four-2-3
    One-and-a, Two-and-a, Three-and-a, Four-and-a

  17. #12
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    1,980
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    This "12/8" problem reveals the shortcoming of our time signature system: we have no way of indicating a 3-division (compound) rhythm in our denominator, since all our note vales go by twos: whole note, half note, quarter note, eighth note, sixteenth note, and so on, always in multiples of two. To indicate a "3" value, we have to use dots, and dots can't be put into time signatures.
    I think you can, but you'd have to use an unusual bottom half of a time signature, I guess, like this: If you want four counts per measure, but you want a 12/8 feel, you could have one count for every dotted quarter note:

    4/3

    Anyway . . .

    Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 8.51.22 AM.png

  18. #13
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    15,963
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    139

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vasks View Post
    Well I have seen time signatures that would be for "12/8" like "4/dotted quarter note"
    Yeah? Like Charles Ives, or some other kooky composer?

  19. #14
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    15,963
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    139

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post
    I think you can, but you'd have to use an unusual bottom half of a time signature, I guess, like this: If you want four counts per measure, but you want a 12/8 feel, you could have one count for every dotted quarter note:

    4/3

    Anyway . . .

    Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 8.51.22 AM.png
    Oh, yeah, like
    4 beats to a measure, a 1/3 note gets one beat? Let's see how well that goes over in a real-life situation, with EdwardBast on first violin glaring at you. Woodduck on keyboards.

    Let's face the facts: our time signature system was made for marching: On-two-three-four, coming soon to a third-world country near you.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Apr-18-2020 at 18:46.

  20. Likes pianozach liked this post
  21. #15
    Senior Member Vasks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    3,974
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    25

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    Yeah? Like Charles Ives, or some other kooky composer?
    Yeah, Carl Orff and Paul Hindemith. Real kooks!!
    Last edited by Vasks; Apr-18-2020 at 19:09.
    "Music in any generation is not what the public thinks of it but what the musicians make of it"....Virgil Thomson

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •