Rhythm & Time

3Here I will explain the typical Rhythm used in most music popular music genres the 3/4 time and the 4/4 time. These are called Time Signatures in formal speak. And they tell you how to arrange the melodies/chords rhythmically.

In simple terms the time signature describes how many beats are in a single Bar

  • 4/4 time signature tells you that there are 4 beats in one BAR. (Common Time)
  • 3/4 time signature has 3 beats in one BAR. (Waltz Time)

The first number gives us the main rhythmical structure. The second nr. tells you how many notes are in a Beat or rather how many note divisions one beat can have. This is always going to be a multiple of 4: 3/4, 6/8, 7/8, 5/4, 2/4. Note division is important if you want to use Musical Notation because it tells you how long(or short) the note should be.

If you are a beginner do not worry about note division(the second NR.) the main thing is to establish and understand the basic rhythm or simply how many beats are in a BAR.

The 4/4 (Four Four) Time Signature

The 3/4 (Three Four) Time Signature

To understand Time Signatures such as the 4/4 Time Signature above it’s helpful to compare it to the 3/4 time signature or as it is sometimes called Waltz Time.