DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM   

Go Back   DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM > General Discussion

General Discussion General discussion forum for all drum related topics. Use this forum to exchange ideas and information with your fellow drummers.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 10-12-2017, 07:42 AM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 154
Default Eighth note notation (beaming)

Hi,

I have a question regarding drum notation of eigth notes and more general music notation of eighth notes and if they are different.

I learnt music notation at school many years ago but picked up guitar at that time and got extremely lazy and basically used guitar tabs and my ear. Maybe lazy is the wrong word but my ear was already good so I never bothered.

I love reading and writing drum notation now and I really feel it compliments my ear in learning things in a different way.

When I re-learnt reading / writing music for drums I guess whatever webpage I was reading told me to always group notes with beams so that you can see the main beats of the bar. So, since then (for a bar of 4/4) I have beamed two eighth notes together, 4 sixteenth notes together and 8 32nd notes together. Basically to always end up with 4 main groups and notes and therefore 4 main beats. I think this makes things easier.

lately I have realised some drum notation would have an eigth note groove in 4/4 written as two groups of eighth notes, each group with four notes. It kind of throws me when looking at it at first as I imagine it as only two quarter notes, when of course on closer inspection, it is four.

Is there a reason for beaming eigth notes in this manner? I guess there is no right and wrong way of doing it but it still interests me why so its sometimes written this way. Does it differ between drum notation and more classical (pitched-instrument) music notation?

Cheers,

Andy
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-12-2017, 08:07 AM
Bo Eder's Avatar
Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 12,284
Default Re: Eighth note notation (beaming)

Not sure if there's really a reasoning for beaming, but it could possibly be a way of calling it a phrase that goes over two beats in a bar of 4/4. When I see 8th notes grouped in twos, I visually see a pulse of 1 2 3 4 (all equal). If I saw them grouped as four, my mind thinks, ONE + (two) + THREE + (four)....

That's just a thought, I suppose.

If you wanna be a really cool music writer, you should write everything out in cut time (2/2). A lot of the older show music is written that way, and to me I interpreted that as really indicating a two-beat feeling to the music. So the conductor could just conduct in 2, but you're reading a 4/4 bar that's spread over two bars. It makes the music clearer I think, because you're not seeing all these double beams where you would have sixteenth notes.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-12-2017, 09:09 AM
toddbishop toddbishop is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 3,793
Default Re: Eighth note notation (beaming)

To me it suggests a 2/2 or cut time feel. There's probably a rule about it, which a good copyist could clarify for you.
__________________
Visit Cruise Ship Drummer! - a drumming blog | 2017 CSD! Book of the Blog now available
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-12-2017, 02:09 PM
Merlin5's Avatar
Merlin5 Merlin5 is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: London UK
Posts: 677
Default Re: Eighth note notation (beaming)

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndeeT View Post

lately I have realised some drum notation would have an eigth note groove in 4/4 written as two groups of eighth notes, each group with four notes. It kind of throws me when looking at it at first as I imagine it as only two quarter notes, when of course on closer inspection, it is four.

Is there a reason for beaming eigth notes in this manner? I guess there is no right and wrong way of doing it but it still interests me why so its sometimes written this way. Does it differ between drum notation and more classical (pitched-instrument) music notation?

There's three reasons.

It's quicker to write a single horizontal beam that groups four 1/8 notes together. I generally write this way when transcribing or when making my own drum part for a song I need to learn.

It's often just a personal choice by arrangers/copyists. Some prefer to write four pairs of 1/8th notes with 4 horizontal beams, some prefer to write two groups of four 1/8th notes with two individual longer beams. If you did reading gigs for instance, you might well encounter the same song written either way by different copyists/arrangers.

The most important reason is that although groupings of four are easier to write and look at, when the rhythms are to be broken up then pairs of 1/8th notes are needed instead.

I've written some simple examples of hi-hat rhythms broken up where some 1/4 notes are wanted. First two examples just show two ways to write the same groove using all 1/8th notes on hi-hat

Second two examples show combinations of 1/8th pairs, grouping of four 1/8ths, and some 1/4 notes on hi-hat.


__________________
No drums no life, know drums know life...
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-12-2017, 02:20 PM
Alain Rieder's Avatar
Alain Rieder Alain Rieder is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Posts: 522
Default Re: Eighth note notation (beaming)

Based on what I learned since I was a child, I would beam eighth notes by two in 4/4, and by four in 2/2.

I use Sibelius, and with the default settings of the application, eighth notes are beamed by four.
The setting can be changed, but it always annoys me to have to change it while writing, because it seems it cannot be changed by default for new projects. Sometimes it even reverts to four eighth-note groupings while I'm working, although I've changed the setting already.

I also use Logic, not for printing, but eighth notes also default to four note groupings.

For a long time, I thought I would ask pro engravers on the Sibelius forum if there is a basic rule that I'm not aware of, but I would prefer the applications to beam eighth notes by two, by default.



.

Last edited by Alain Rieder; 10-12-2017 at 03:37 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-12-2017, 11:23 PM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 154
Default Re: Eighth note notation (beaming)

Cool, thanks everyone for your answers and special thanks to Merlin5 for taking the time to write out those examples.

Its good to be aware that both ways are prevalent. And its also nice to know that it really comes down to personal preferance of the person writing (even if there may be some long-forgotten rule about this!)

The two grouping method is funny as it definitely is easier to write, but not neccessarily easier to read! But maybe some of the prevalence is down to music notation software (as Alain mentioned above) defaulting to the two group method. Again as Alain mentioned, it would be nice to know their reasons behind this.

Cheers,

Andy
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-13-2017, 06:14 AM
Morrisman's Avatar
Morrisman Morrisman is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: South Australia
Posts: 1,367
Default Re: Eighth note notation (beaming)

The general rule is to beam in twos. The exception is that you can write a larger group starting on a down beat - ie. starting on beat 1 or 3. The same applies to writing rests - you can have a half bar rest for the first or second half of a bar, but not across the middle.

Similarly - In 3/4 time the eighths are usually in pairs, but you can group a whole bar of six, because the group starts on the down beat.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-13-2017, 07:41 AM
jeffwj's Avatar
jeffwj jeffwj is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 2,096
Default Re: Eighth note notation (beaming)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alain Rieder View Post
I use Sibelius, and with the default settings of the application, eighth notes are beamed by four.
The setting can be changed, but it always annoys me to have to change it while writing, because it seems it cannot be changed by default for new projects. Sometimes it even reverts to four eighth-note groupings while I'm working, although I've changed the setting already.

I also use Logic, not for printing, but eighth notes also default to four note groupings.

For a long time, I thought I would ask pro engravers on the Sibelius forum if there is a basic rule that I'm not aware of, but I would prefer the applications to beam eighth notes by two, by default.

.
That is the default on my version of Finale as well. If I want to beam 8th notes in groups of two, I need to go to Document Options and change the beaming.

Jeff
__________________
Johnson Drum Instruction - Drum Lessons in Richmond, VA
Author of "The Level System"
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-13-2017, 03:00 PM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 154
Default Re: Eighth note notation (beaming)

Thanks Morrisman - I was clearly asleep in music lessons when we did that. It's cool to know the proper rule though, ta!
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT +2. The time now is 11:58 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Bernhard Castiglioni's DRUMMERWORLD.com