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Topic: Vocals, Rhythm, and Rests
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AuthorTopic:   Vocals, Rhythm, and Rests
gg
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4/25/2006
posted: 4/25/2006 at 1:37:18 AM ET
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How do Vocals correlate with Rhythm and Rests?

1. When you have a 4/4 beat, and guitar, bass and drums are playing, do the vocals (lyrical content included) follow that beat themselves? Does a lyric sung have to belong inside a bar, or two bars? Can it start and/or finish midway in a bar? When vocals rest, do they have to follow quarter-note beat measure in a 4/4? For instance, The Doors, Roadhouse Blues. The musical beat is something like duh duh-duh duh-duh, and when Morrison sings the lyrics it is discernible that they follow that sort of pattern, however, there are times when certain lyrics in that song go for longer than the actual bar length, so what rules must his singing follow to keep it in rhythm? Likewise, with The Doors, Peace Frog, the beat is like, duh duh-duh, duh-duh-duh-duh, and when Morrison sings his singing rhythm is upbeat and matches that pattern. Again, however, there are times when the lyrics are longer than the bar length. What rules does he have to follow?

In short....a) Firstly, do his lyrics have to be written (cut into pieces) to match the musical beat? b) When singing, is it a standard rule that all singing MUST follow the same beat pattern? Or can a lyric be sung/interpretted differently, either slower, faster, or sung in different pieces than the way the beat pattern is playing? c) With rests, does the singer have to start/finish alongside bars? Is a singer mentally tapping the beats so he/she always comes in at the same point or finishing at the end of a bar? Can a singer start a lyric at beat 1 of a bar, finish on beat 3 of the second bar, start the next lyric at beat 4 of the second bar, finish at beat 2 of the third bar, etc? Or is there a formulatic approach he must follow?

2. With multiple instruments playing simultaneously, what are the general rules for keeping themselves in beat? For instance...if a drum starts at the 3rd beat of bar 1, plays for a couple bars, then a bass kicks in and then later a rhythm guitar kicks in, do they have to keep check of what beats the other instruments are following or just their own? If the drums are tapping out 2 beats in a 4/4 bar, resting for 2, and the bass is playing 3 beats and resting for 1, and the guitar is playing 1 beat and resting 3, do they have to align themselves so that all instruments are aware what beat the other instruments are at, especially if from bar to bar each instrument plays and rests at different beats in a bar? The bass might play the first 2 beats, rest for 2, then play the 1st and 3rd beat, but rest for 2 and 4, then play 1 and 4 rest for 2 and 3, etc, so do the other instruments have to remember all this or do they just follow their own beat?

3. With rests....if the whole musical accompaniment stops playing at beat 4 of bar 3. And the music is to start up again, either one or multiple instruments, and its a standard 4/4 beat using 4 quarternotes, should the rest last for 4 beats before the music starts up again? For instance, all the instruments stop playing at beat 4 of bar 3, and theres to be a vocal line sung before the next musical bar begins, does the singing have to exist inside a 4 beat and the music has to wait for those 4 beats, or can a lyric be sung across a full bar of silence + another 2 beats, then the music kick in over the next 2 beats before continuing?

4. In a song, can a guitar play at 4/4 time, a drum at 4/8 time, and a bass at 2/16 time? As in, as long as all the pieces are following the same even number of 2 or 4, can they play at different time signatures? Further, can a guitar be written so it plays in 3/4 time, while drums play at 4/4 time, and a bass at 2/4 time?

5. How do sustains work in 4/4 beats? If a guitar rhythm's 4th beat is a sustain note, can it only last as long as a quarter-note, or can it sustain for longer? And if it can sustain for longer, does it have to last as long as 4 beats of the next bar before it can resume normal rhythm? Or can it sustain the 4th beat across that beat, then over 2 beats of the next 2 bars and then have to be silent for 2 beats before it can resume normal rhythm? Is this how instruments have to be played in keeping time with a time signature whenever they do things like sustains etc?

6. Is a quarter note rigidly interpretted as lasting a second long? Therefore, how long is a triplet of quarter-notes supposed to last for? Is there some sort of rigid time length value to each note? Is a full note 4 seconds in duration, is a half-note 2 seconds, a quarter note 1 second long, etc? I ask, because how does tempo affect this? For instance, a 4/4 beat of duh duh duh duh, 4 quarter notes, in 120 time sounds like each note is a second long, but if played at 240 tempo or more, it sounds like the note is half a second or less long. So, further to this, does the time signature itself correspond to the tempo of a song? If a 4/4 song is to be played much faster, is it simply a matter of re-configuring the song to be played in 4/16 time?

7. With lead guitar solos, or any solos for that matter, do they have to follow again the same 4/4 beat pattern if the song is in 4/4? Do solos always last for a certain length of bars, or can they end/start at any beat of any bar? Do the notes in solos follow the time signature of the song? If in 4/4 time, do the notes of a solo follow formations of triplets, quarternotes, etc, and do sustains and other guitar tricks also have to stay in beat?

Sorry for the length of this post, and for some stupid questions, but any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.

maintube
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Registered:
5/26/2004
posted: 4/25/2006 at 10:47:07 PM ET
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1. When you have a 4/4 beat, and guitar, bass and drums are playing, do the vocals (lyrical content included) follow that beat themselves? Does a lyric sung have to belong inside a bar, or two bars? Can it start and/or finish midway in a bar? When vocals rest, do they have to follow quarter-note beat measure in a 4/4? For instance, The Doors, Roadhouse Blues. The musical beat is something like duh duh-duh duh-duh, and when Morrison sings the lyrics it is discernible that they follow that sort of pattern, however, there are times when certain lyrics in that song go for longer than the actual bar length, so what rules must his singing follow to keep it in rhythm? Likewise, with The Doors, Peace Frog, the beat is like, duh duh-duh, duh-duh-duh-duh, and when Morrison sings his singing rhythm is upbeat and matches that pattern. Again, however, there are times when the lyrics are longer than the bar length. What rules does he have to follow?

In short....a) Firstly, do his lyrics have to be written (cut into pieces) to match the musical beat? b) When singing, is it a standard rule that all singing MUST follow the same beat pattern? Or can a lyric be sung/interpretted differently, either slower, faster, or sung in different pieces than the way the beat pattern is playing? c) With rests, does the singer have to start/finish alongside bars? Is a singer mentally tapping the beats so he/she always comes in at the same point or finishing at the end of a bar? Can a singer start a lyric at beat 1 of a bar, finish on beat 3 of the second bar, start the next lyric at beat 4 of the second bar, finish at beat 2 of the third bar, etc? Or is there a formulatic approach he must follow?
Vocal music (with the accompaning lyrics basically follow the restraints of the rules of music like any other instrument. Even when there is variations to the melodic line they still follow the measuric(?)(made that up)patterns.

maintube
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posted: 4/25/2006 at 10:50:41 PM ET
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2. With multiple instruments playing simultaneously, what are the general rules for keeping themselves in beat? For instance...if a drum starts at the 3rd beat of bar 1, plays for a couple bars, then a bass kicks in and then later a rhythm guitar kicks in, do they have to keep check of what beats the other instruments are following or just their own? If the drums are tapping out 2 beats in a 4/4 bar, resting for 2, and the bass is playing 3 beats and resting for 1, and the guitar is playing 1 beat and resting 3, do they have to align themselves so that all instruments are aware what beat the other instruments are at, especially if from bar to bar each instrument plays and rests at different beats in a bar? The bass might play the first 2 beats, rest for 2, then play the 1st and 3rd beat, but rest for 2 and 4, then play 1 and 4 rest for 2 and 3, etc, so do the other instruments have to remember all this or do they just follow their own beat?

As with #1 all instruments follw the rules of music. If a musician can read music they know when to enter and stop playing. If a musician is playing by ear (without reading music) they still follow the rules of music, but is done instintively. Just because you don't know the rules of music doesn't mean they aren't being followed.

maintube
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5/26/2004
posted: 4/25/2006 at 10:55:21 PM ET
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3. With rests....if the whole musical accompaniment stops playing at beat 4 of bar 3. And the music is to start up again, either one or multiple instruments, and its a standard 4/4 beat using 4 quarternotes, should the rest last for 4 beats before the music starts up again? For instance, all the instruments stop playing at beat 4 of bar 3, and theres to be a vocal line sung before the next musical bar begins, does the singing have to exist inside a 4 beat and the music has to wait for those 4 beats, or can a lyric be sung across a full bar of silence + another 2 beats, then the music kick in over the next 2 beats before continuing?


Rests have the same rhythmic value as notes. Quarter note and quarter rest both get one count. All other rhymic values have the same relationship. Half note/half rest. Whole note/whole rest. Music can be written however you want it to be as long as the basic rules of music are applied. We are talking about traditional music here, not Avant Gard.

maintube
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posted: 4/25/2006 at 10:58:04 PM ET
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4. In a song, can a guitar play at 4/4 time, a drum at 4/8 time, and a bass at 2/16 time? As in, as long as all the pieces are following the same even number of 2 or 4, can they play at different time signatures? Further, can a guitar be written so it plays in 3/4 time, while drums play at 4/4 time, and a bass at 2/4 time?

In regard to the first part of your question, yes they could, but what would be the point?

To answer the second part. Basically no. The rhythmic pulse would be so confusing as to make the music nonsensical

maintube
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posted: 4/25/2006 at 11:00:51 PM ET
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5. How do sustains work in 4/4 beats? If a guitar rhythm's 4th beat is a sustain note, can it only last as long as a quarter-note, or can it sustain for longer? And if it can sustain for longer, does it have to last as long as 4 beats of the next bar before it can resume normal rhythm? Or can it sustain the 4th beat across that beat, then over 2 beats of the next 2 bars and then have to be silent for 2 beats before it can resume normal rhythm? Is this how instruments have to be played in keeping time with a time signature whenever they do things like sustains etc?

When you refer to "sustains" you are refering to longer notes like half, whole, or tied notes. Thier rythmic values are constants within the time-frame of the time signature. Longer notes can start or stop wherever you wish them to do so.

maintube
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5/26/2004
posted: 4/25/2006 at 11:04:25 PM ET
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6. Is a quarter note rigidly interpretted as lasting a second long? Therefore, how long is a triplet of quarter-notes supposed to last for? Is there some sort of rigid time length value to each note? Is a full note 4 seconds in duration, is a half-note 2 seconds, a quarter note 1 second long, etc? I ask, because how does tempo affect this? For instance, a 4/4 beat of duh duh duh duh, 4 quarter notes, in 120 time sounds like each note is a second long, but if played at 240 tempo or more, it sounds like the note is half a second or less long. So, further to this, does the time signature itself correspond to the tempo of a song? If a 4/4 song is to be played much faster, is it simply a matter of re-configuring the song to be played in 4/16 time?

The speed of the song (called the tempo) is merely a part of what makes the song what it is. Trying to assign strict timing (seconds) to rythmic values is making things more complicated for you. Think along the lines of tempo markings and just play. The rythmic values will take of themselves.

maintube
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posted: 4/25/2006 at 11:08:05 PM ET
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7. With lead guitar solos, or any solos for that matter, do they have to follow again the same 4/4 beat pattern if the song is in 4/4? Do solos always last for a certain length of bars, or can they end/start at any beat of any bar? Do the notes in solos follow the time signature of the song? If in 4/4 time, do the notes of a solo follow formations of triplets, quarternotes, etc, and do sustains and other guitar tricks also have to stay in beat?

Solos still follow the constraits of music rules, they just do them at thier own pace. They also are spontanious as opposed to written out, but still they follow the pulse of the music. You COULD, perhaps play a solo in 3/4 in a 4/4 song, but it would just sound strange or musical taste would make you play it to fit the 4/4 patterns.

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