Counting Rhythms

The more I tap on Wind of Change, which is in 4/4, the more it seems like there’s a bar of only 2/4…just at the beginning before the second whistled instrumental part…

How is it possible if the song is clearly in 4/4?!

I’m sure I’m tapping correctly!

:sob::sob::sob: I’m getting crazy…

Can we have a 2/4 bar in a 4/4 song?

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Yes. The time signature can change. It’s one way of making things a bit more interesting and less predictable to the listener. I just had a quick look at the sheet music for wind of change and you are not crazy :crazy_face:


You’re not going crazy there is 1 bar of 2/4 that repeats a few time throughout the song.

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Arghhh :triumph::rage::face_with_symbols_over_mouth: how to waste my guitar time…getting crazy and not trusting my ear! And too proud to check a musicsheet…:zipper_mouth_face::zipper_mouth_face::zipper_mouth_face: why am I so childish!?

Thanks James, you’re very kind…at least I’m not crazy :sweat_smile:

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Thank you…I need to develop the skill of confidence and trust my ears!


I think Father and son by Cat Steven’s changes to 2/4 a couple of times. So you are very sane and on the button Silvia.

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Yep, changing time signatures within the same piece of music is probably more common than you would expect, especially in jazz and progressive rock.

Thanks for the empathy Stefan…now I think I should be super aware of where the beats are as I tapped for more than half an hour :see_no_evil::hear_no_evil::speak_no_evil: …let’s see the glass as half full :joy:

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Silvia, the glass is way more than half full…you:

  • realized your ear was telling something different from your preconceptions
  • only “wasted” 30 minutes before coming here to confirm that your ear is correct, and you can trust it


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I recommend you watch this video. Ben is brilliant, and this is more fun than a lot of other videos on the subject. Of course you can use varied rhythms in a song. Like when a line is too long. Or longer than the others.


Thank you! …that is true! There’s something to be happy with :blush:

Thanks! I’ll check it out :blush:

That’s a good link, but pretty advanced for beginner/intermediate students. It’s only at the end of the video that I thought he clearly explained how to say 1/4 note rhythms (Ta Ta Ta Ta) and 1/8 note rhythms ( Ta ka Ta ka Ta ka Ta ka).

But I was really fascinated by the way he clapped! Seemed way more flowing and musical than the way I’ve been doing it. And why does he sometimes clap with the back of his hand? Is that part of the technique, or just being expressive?

I’ve experimented with rhythmic solfages over the years, because I always struggled with the western counting approach - counting seemed to hurt my rhythm more often than help it.

But I never found anything online or in books that taught rhythmic solfage from the ground up for western music. Any suggestions?

You know, now that you mention it, I realize I always save good lessons, even if they’re way above my head. I usually know if the way the stuff is explained will work for me. I just revisit every now and then. Ben is definitely clapping musically, the syllables help it sound so musical. I admire his freedom with music, and he’s written some beautiful stuff, but I have been having an issue with his new animations. They scare me. If I wanted to learn rhythmic solfage I’d start by asking Ben for a lesson. Counting also makes me seasick.

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This piqued my interest, so I checked out some more of his videos. Very weird, creative stuff - kind of a Tim and Eric Awsome Show aesthetic. Particularly liked the How Not to Hate your voice video, and will probably try some of those exercises.

But why scary?

I know it’s odd. The duck lips and claymation style remind me of Gumby, that old animation figure who always scared me when I was little. Love Grommit and company but generally feel no good vibe from claymation. Glad you explored what Ben has to offer. He’s a good guy, and won some Steve Vai competition like eight years ago. Very talented player.

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Would Grommit & company include Shaun the Sheep? I’m not a particular fan of claymation either but Shaun is my favorite! The way he fools the farmer… :rofl: