Stick Control - How to count the short rolls in 6/8

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Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
X, what does compound time mean?
I read that today:
A time signature is compound if the top number is greater than three and can be divided by three.
Correct-- the bottom number will be 8, and the top number is divisible by three, and the primary felt and counted pulse will be a dotted quarter note, which is three 8th notes long, and creating a three note subdivision. That's what 6/8 is, that's why it's counted in 2.

For those Stone exercises-- you'll play that triplet-feel rhythm for the whole measure on the open and closed 7 stroke roll exercises-- just play multiple bounce strokes on the closed rolls, and double strokes on the open.

On the 9 stroke rolls, you'll be fitting four notes in the space of beat 2-- in effect, if we were in 2/4, it would be like playing an 8th triplet on 1, and 16th notes on 2-- with the double strokes or multiple bounce strokes to make the roll.

For the single stroke rolls, play the same rhythm as the open rolls, but with alternating singles-- equivalent to a sixtuplet or eight 32nd notes if we were in 2/4. It's very simple and easy to make the equivalency with 2/4 when you count in 2, and completely ridiculous (especially the 9s) and impossible to do at the correct speed if you count in 6.

exactly...but the operative word there is felt...felt in 2...should, and can still be counted in 6...neither way is wrong..and I teach the concept of compound to the kids later on, but only after they understand that 6/8 means 6 beats per measure, and the 8th note gets the beat <-- that is the foundational definition of the time signature.

I feel like if my kids understand the subdivision first, then later on, they can figure out rhythms in that time sig - or any - that don't have the "common feel"...I don't like my kids to learn by feel first, depending on the material. They learn to have feel...feel that is generated by clear understanding of how pulse and subdivision relate to each other
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I've been following this thread. A lot of the posts, while technically correct, would be impractical in use. I've been playing and reading for a long time. You can slow down and count in 6 while learning a piece, because you have the time. Most of what I've played in 6/8 is faster. So, counting it in two, with a triplet feel, is how I approach this. There are exceptions. Try counting to six fast, bar after bar. Counting 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 and 6 and just does not flow off the tongue. Out of interest, I would like to see someone try counting in such a fashion in 9/8 or 12/8. When you come across a time signature that has 8 as the lower number, it's generally a faster piece.

I have always counted in 6 - because it is what I was taught, and made to practice as a kid. I can do it relatively fast now 40+ years later...it is my instinct...again because it is what I was first exposed to and practiced

I am not saying that feeling it in 2 is wrong - and I know I am in the minority who do this, but counting in 6 helps me when the rhythms end up being like this:

68 - Score.jpg

so it is very practical to use actually
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
exactly...but the operative word there is felt...felt in 2...

And conducted in 2. Many of us count it in 2. And or course the theory description of it is compound duple, not simple sextuple, which means theory considers it a 2 meter, too.

should, and can still be counted in 6...neither way is wrong..and I teach the concept of compound to the kids later on, but only after they understand that 6/8 means 6 beats per measure, and the 8th note gets the beat <-- that is the foundational definition of the time signature.

Compound duple is the foundational definition of the time signature, "6/8" was just their crappy solution for writing that in that fraction format.

It seems as if everyone is trying to make that flawed meter explanation work: "top number = beats per measure, bottom number gets the beat." It never made any sense, because as soon as we went to play in 6/8, the conductor beat it in 2.

I guess I would have to ask for your definition of beat. You're using it to refer to the main felt pulse in 2/4, but a subdivision in 6/8. If beat just means "whatever is the top number of the time signature", then we're in trouble, because we have no word for the main felt pulse, which is a seriously important thing to have a word for. I say beat.

I feel like if my kids understand the subdivision first, then later on, they can figure out rhythms in that time sig - or any - that don't have the "common feel"...I don't like my kids to learn by feel first, depending on the material. They learn to have feel...feel that is generated by clear understanding of how pulse and subdivision relate to each other

I don't understand what you're saying here. In time signature/meter terms feel is not a wishy washy idea, it's the single most important principle unifying an ensemble, the beat.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
And conducted in 2. Many of us count it in 2. And or course the theory description of it is compound duple, not simple sextuple, which means theory considers it a 2 meter, too.

Compound duple is the foundational definition of the time signature, "6/8" was just their crappy solution for writing that in that fraction format.

It seems as if everyone is trying to make that flawed meter explanation work: "top number = beats per measure, bottom number gets the beat." It never made any sense, because as soon as we went to play in 6/8, the conductor beat it in 2.

it makes perfect sense to me...but I didn't learn 6/8 in a band situation first...I learned it in drum lessons first, and was told how it would be interpreted "in 2" when I got to band...that there would be accents on beats 1 and 4 that would give it the feel of triplets in 2/4...or as dotted quarters.

I guess I would have to ask for your definition of beat. You're using it to refer to the main felt pulse in 2/4, but a subdivision in 6/8. If beat just means "whatever is the top number of the time signature", then we're in trouble, because we have no word for the main felt pulse, which is a seriously important thing to have a word for. I say beat.

to me:
beat - the main note value that the subdivision is organized against
feel - an interpretation of music that is influenced by many different things in the music
pulse - a main organizing feel that the overall song has that does not directly relate to the beat organization.

beats are "written organization"
pulse is felt organization
rhythms are mixtures of beats and subdivisions that happen underneath the pulse

so for me, in 6/8:

1,2,3,4,5,6 is the beat

the dotted quarter accent - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 is the felt pulse...

unless the felt pulse is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 <-- the quarter note value in 6/8


I don't understand what you're saying here. In time signature/meter terms feel is not a wishy washy idea, it's the single most important principle unifying an ensemble, the beat.

I agree...feel is not wishy-washy, but it always the same. 6/8 can be "felt" in 6, 3, or 2...I am trying to say that only teaching the dotted quarter possibility of 6/8 feel is limiting

and again, I am not arguing that anything is wrong. I definitely admit that I don't see this common/mainstream way...because in many instances, I don't encoutner rhythms in 6/8 that can be simply put in the dotted quarter interpretation...
 

Alain Rieder

Silver Member
Bear with. me, this is a bit long...

You're right, this is a bit long, although the matter is simple. Your detailed explanation makes it look so complicated.

No offense, Alain- technically, not true.

No offense from myself, but I disagree with most of what you said. And even if you were taught that way, it doesn't mean that it is theoretically right

But I do agree with what Todd Bishop said in his various posts on this thread, if you need to understand the matter a little better.

In fact, I learned 6/8 when I was 5 or 6 about 60 years ago at the conservatory. I was studying cello and attended music theory classes that we call "solfège" in French. We would never count as we would read the rhythms singing them while beating the measure. As far as 6/8 is concerned, we would beat in 2, the main reason for that being the fact that 6/8 is in two, I guess.

So if you ask me how I count 6/8, in fact I don't count it, I just play it! And I play it in two for sure.
As a child I was exposed to 5/4 and 6/4 with Bartok's music, but I always knew 6/8 was in 2.

How I see the ways of counting you explained, I don't think it will help your students get more musical.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
So many words and terminology I got lost and I have this book. I'm with @MrInsanePolack someone should.just make a video of the proper way and be done with it. The barrage of text is confounding and it's made me unsure of anything I'm doing. I'll perhaps wait for the dumb kid post with little words and lots of pictures or something. ?‍♂️
 
someone should.just make a video of the proper way
Well, it's not very clean (there are some hiccups in the single strokes) since I haven't practiced these exercises yet and I'm certainly not a pro but at least it's free. :D
I just realized that my hands are doing some weird things, so thanks for showing me what I should practice myself.. (y)
I hope that this helps to at least get the idea. The metronome is set to 80 bpm (dotted quarters) and I play all four exercises you posted in the first post - first singles, then doubles.
 
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Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
It makes complete sense to ocuont all the subdivisions when leaning something if you ave to. That's what we do with all rhythms and time sigantures ifit helps us understand and play. You add as many stepping stones to get to the final product as you need. Goes for anything. Instead of continually beating your head against the wall you create a progressive method.

Infact, to me, it's one of the issues I see with much basic training that students don't really learn to count and subdivide and divde all the parts to fully see the "matrix" because then they don't have a method to really understand and help themselves in the future when new challenges come. I see grownups who have played their whole life and know rhythms from the picture to how it sounds, but when something new shows up they have no method. The conductor sings and they try to remember, but there is not method to understand, which is sad because it's so simple to do. Many are completely stuck and brainwashed into believing that it's simply too difficult, which of course is not true. They've just made up their mind that it's difficult because noone showed them the way earlier in life and now they don't want to hear it.

In any case .

It will mostly be counted and conducted in two, but there are exceptions and certainly if there's a modulaton the conductor may do 3 or 6 in that last bar if it helps.
 

Old PIT Guy

Well-known member
Feeling (counting) 6/8 in two helps a helluva lot in situations where you're planting a backbeat on the '2' of your count -

 

Auspicious

Well-known member
@Swissward Flamtacles thanks for the video! It's great to see it from others (;

This is my revision from this morning. I am doing exercises C, A, B, C and separately D because I am unable to chain D with the others. My main problem currently, I don't know how to count exercise D.

In all honnesty I copied everything by ear, some answers on how to count some exercices are written in this thread (A) but not sure about exercise D, I need to reread everything.

RpnXyVL.jpg

 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
to me:
beat - the main note value that the subdivision is organized against
feel - an interpretation of music that is influenced by many different things in the music
pulse - a main organizing feel that the overall song has that does not directly relate to the beat organization.

beats are "written organization"
pulse is felt organization
rhythms are mixtures of beats and subdivisions that happen underneath the pulse

Gotta confess, I have not seen these definitions before. It's fine, not everybody agrees on everything, but I've never seen these definitions.

So many words and terminology I got lost and I have this book. I'm with @MrInsanePolack someone should.just make a video of the proper way and be done with it. The barrage of text is confounding and it's made me unsure of anything I'm doing. I'll perhaps wait for the dumb kid post with little words and lots of pictures or something. ?‍♂️

Or people can learn what words mean? We've got a lot of people here who are serious hobbyists, at least re: the amount of time spent talking about drum stuff. The wikipedia entry on meter is pretty good, and even uses drum grooves for the examples-- has anyone here taken the time to read it?

It's a simple subject, people are making it difficult by clinging to a flawed concept of it, and insisting on figuring it out by "explaining" it to others. I'm as mystified by it as you are.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
but not sure about exercise D, I need to reread everything.
If counting D as two pulse, then I would approach the second pulse as four 16th notes played with one hand (then fill in with your other hand). You should already know how to play four 16th notes with two hands. Obviously there's a tempo limitation, at which point if you get faster, you would turn the 8-stroke roll into a double stroke roll.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
@Swissward Flamtacles thanks for the video! It's great to see it from others (;

This is my revision from this morning. I am doing exercises C, A, B, C and separately D because I am unable to chain D with the others. My main problem currently, I don't know how to count exercise D.

In all honnesty I copied everything by ear, some answers on how to count some exercices are written in this thread (A) but not sure about exercise D, I need to reread everything.

RpnXyVL.jpg


you are getting the counting for sure!!
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Gotta confess, I have not seen these definitions before. It's fine, not everybody agrees on everything, but I've never seen these definitions.

well, they are variations and sort of observations that I have made over the years in trying to explain these exact questions to my students when they come up. They are DEFINITELY not dictionary definitions...

I give them the "classic" definitions that you have mentioned as well - so again, I am not saying that you are wrong, or that I even disagree with you - I am just trying to prepare my students to be able to deal with 6/8 (or 9/8 or 12/8) when it is not in the most common dotted quarter feel. <--doing this does not make it a "flawed concept" any more than just trying to lump all 6/8 situations into a measure of 2 is
 

Alain Rieder

Silver Member
What I'm referring to is simply the essence of 6/8.


and to add to this...a little bit of a visual reference. I am an admitted rhythmic notation Nazi - like some people are gramar Nazis...and I just don't like it when thw way rhythms are counted are mixed up. It can cause the same kind of confusion as baad grammar/punctuation. So, I am not tryign to come off as a jerk, but just explaining this the way I do to my students to help make it clear


View attachment 103009
 

Auspicious

Well-known member
If counting D as two pulse, then I would approach the second pulse as four 16th notes played with one hand (then fill in with your other hand). You should already know how to play four 16th notes with two hands. Obviously there's a tempo limitation, at which point if you get faster, you would turn the 8-stroke roll into a double stroke roll.

is it something like this?

1bhnatK.jpg
 

Alain Rieder

Silver Member
feel is not wishy-washy, but it always the same. 6/8 can be "felt" in 6, 3, or 2...I am trying to say that only teaching the dotted quarter possibility of 6/8 feel is limiting

No offense, but when you say that 6/8 can be felt in 3, what you mean is actually called 3/4.
Same number of eighth notes, but three beats per measure.
That's simple (the other one is compound ;-) !
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
We've got a lot of people here who are serious hobbyists, at least re: the amount of time spent talking about drum stuff.
I'm assuming this was aimed at me.


It's a simple subject, people are making it difficult by clinging to a flawed concept of it, and insisting on figuring it out by "explaining" it to others. I'm as mystified by it as you are.
That's the problem, there is no one exact way to count or understand time and rhythms. Everyone has their own way of comprehending it. Between yourself, @Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX , and @Alain Rieder there is a small teacher fight going on about how to count it, what complex time is, and other things not relevant to @Auspicious issue of how to play the exercise. Yet none of you are wrong, y'all are teaching it the way you understand it. <--multiple paths to victory

Teachers are supposed to teach, not argue with each other about whose way is correct. This is why I suggested a video.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
is it something like this?

1bhnatK.jpg
Yayesss!! :)

EDIT: I've never played or heard anyone play this particular exercise. That's not to say there's no musical application. Normally, when the two pulse is slow enough (eg a ballad) the 8-stroke roll would be played as a 12-stroke double-stroke roll.

I have on the other hand seen a pulse within moderate tempo swing jazz played with straight 16ths. I believe one of Steve Holmes videos has an example, but instead of four 16ths with the hands, he plays doubles between his left hand and his kick.
 
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toddbishop

Platinum Member
I'm assuming this was aimed at me.

Nope.

That's the problem, there is no one exact way to count or understand time and rhythms. Everyone has their own way of comprehending it. Between yourself, @Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX , and @Alain Rieder there is a small teacher fight going on about how to count it, what complex time is, and other things not relevant to @Auspicious issue of how to play the exercise. Yet none of you are wrong, y'all are teaching it the way you understand it. <--multiple paths to victory

Teachers are supposed to teach, not argue with each other about whose way is correct. This is why I suggested a video.

No fight, this is a conversation.

What I was doing was teaching-- or trying to answer a question-- but there was so much confusing information being offered, we had to sort out a few fundamentals for the words to have any meaning.
 
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