What does 6/4 time "sound like"?

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nyjm
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What does 6/4 time "sound like"?

Post by nyjm » Tue May 01, 2012 4:08 pm

So, I had an epiphany in the shower this morning that one of my common strumming patterns is in 6/4 time. This solves all kinds of percussion-composition problems that I've run into before, since I was trying to jam songs into a 4/4 (or maybe 6/8) pattern, which mangled them terribly.

However, EZDrummer doesn't have a default 6/4 signature, only 3/4 and 4/4. Looping and/or combining two measures of 3/4 doesn't really seem to cut it. I don't want a waltz, I want some folk rock in 6/4 time.

So, to make a long story short (too late!), I'm appealing to the Song Fight! Musical Brain Trust: what are the conventions of rhythm in 6/4 time? Is it just back-beat? (1 2 3 4 5 6) or more on the 1 and 3? Or what?

If it helps to have context, I can supply a sample of the rhythm / hook that I'm trying to work with.
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Re: What does 6/4 time "sound like"?

Post by ken » Tue May 01, 2012 4:24 pm

You could have a lot of different patterns: 123 456, 12 34 56, 1234 56, 123 45 6, and then all the &s in between them.
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Re: What does 6/4 time "sound like"?

Post by roymond » Tue May 01, 2012 4:29 pm

Is it groundhogs' day? I thought we flushed this out a couple months ago.
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Re: What does 6/4 time "sound like"?

Post by frankie big face » Tue May 01, 2012 4:38 pm

The Police's Synchronicity I is a good example of 6/4 in simple meter (subdivision of the beat by 2), with the stress being the back beat you mentioned earlier (1 2 3 4 5 6). But there are many instances of 6/4 presented as compound meter (subdivision of the beat by 3) where the dotted half note gets the beat and you would conduct or tap your foot in 2 (groupings of 123 456). In this sense, it's the same as 6/8 but written in quarter notes for easier readability.

In pop music, I almost always think of 6/4 like the Police example I mentioned previously.
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Re: What does 6/4 time "sound like"?

Post by Lunkhead » Tue May 01, 2012 4:59 pm

Isn't that just a measure of 4/4 followed by a measure of 2/4? (runs away after pouring a little gas on the fire, mu hu ha ha ha haaaa)
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Re: What does 6/4 time "sound like"?

Post by roymond » Tue May 01, 2012 5:41 pm

Lunkhead wrote:Isn't that just a measure of 4/4 followed by a measure of 2/4? (runs away after pouring a little gas on the fire, mu hu ha ha ha haaaa)
Only in that yours adds up to 6, but there isn't a 4 + 2 feel in that song at all.
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Re: What does 6/4 time "sound like"?

Post by frankie big face » Tue May 01, 2012 5:54 pm

Lunkhead wrote:Isn't that just a measure of 4/4 followed by a measure of 2/4?
No.
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Re: What does 6/4 time "sound like"?

Post by Caravan Ray » Tue May 01, 2012 6:32 pm

frankie big face wrote:
Lunkhead wrote:Isn't that just a measure of 4/4 followed by a measure of 2/4?
No.
Why not?
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Re: What does 6/4 time "sound like"?

Post by frankie big face » Tue May 01, 2012 7:56 pm

Caravan Ray wrote:
frankie big face wrote:
Lunkhead wrote:Isn't that just a measure of 4/4 followed by a measure of 2/4?
No.
Why not?
What Roy said.

But to be slightly more elaborate, the first beat of a measure is supposed to have some stress. This is how you (theoretically) can tell the difference between 2/4 and 4/4. In the Police song I referenced, the phrasing of the vocals in the verse and especially the chorus implies groupings of six beats by putting emphasis on beat one.
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Re: What does 6/4 time "sound like"?

Post by BBABM » Tue May 01, 2012 10:06 pm

The 6 stands for the number of beats in a measure, the 4 stands for the ammount of beats a whole note gets. A quarter note will be one beat in 4/4 and 6/4 and 1578/4 time signatures... The difference is that the measure it constructed from more (or less) beats.
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Re: What does 6/4 time "sound like"?

Post by Caravan Ray » Tue May 01, 2012 11:50 pm

frankie big face wrote:
Caravan Ray wrote:
frankie big face wrote:
No.
Why not?
What Roy said.

But to be slightly more elaborate, the first beat of a measure is supposed to have some stress. This is how you (theoretically) can tell the difference between 2/4 and 4/4. In the Police song I referenced, the phrasing of the vocals in the verse and especially the chorus implies groupings of six beats by putting emphasis on beat one.
Thank you. I have never understood this stuff.

The Police song is a good example. I listened to it and think I can almost understand what you are talking about. Almost. I think.
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Re: What does 6/4 time "sound like"?

Post by Caravan Ray » Tue May 01, 2012 11:54 pm

BBABM wrote:The 6 stands for the number of beats in a measure, the 4 stands for the ammount of beats a whole note gets. A quarter note will be one beat in 4/4 and 6/4 and 1578/4 time signatures... The difference is that the measure it constructed from more (or less) beats.
Sorry BBAM - but that is the type of explanation that completely loses me. The example Frankie pointed to is better for the musically illiterate.
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Re: What does 6/4 time "sound like"?

Post by AJOwens » Wed May 02, 2012 9:52 am

Since this has come up again, does 6/4 sound like the opening and closing parts of my entry in the current fight (Seven Days)? I was definitely counting six.
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Re: What does 6/4 time "sound like"?

Post by roymond » Wed May 02, 2012 11:08 am

Caravan Ray wrote:The Police song is a good example. I listened to it and think I can almost understand what you are talking about. Almost. I think.
1-2-3-4-5-6-1-2-3-4-5-6-1-2-3-4-5-6-1-2-3-4-5-6-1-2-3-4-5-6-1-2-3-4-5-6-1-2-3-4-5-6-1-2-3-4-5-6...
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Re: What does 6/4 time "sound like"?

Post by Caravan Ray » Wed May 02, 2012 2:13 pm

Roymond...... I think the cat is siting on the number pad again.
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Re: What does 6/4 time "sound like"?

Post by supremeedible » Thu May 03, 2012 3:14 am

AJOwens wrote:Since this has come up again, does 6/4 sound like the opening and closing parts of my entry in the current fight (Seven Days)? I was definitely counting six.
That sounds (to me) like a good example of a 4/4 2/4 feel -- you were counting in sixes, but emphasizing the first and fifth beats.
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Re: What does 6/4 time "sound like"?

Post by Rabid Garfunkel » Fri May 04, 2012 11:36 am

ONE two three FOUR five SIX, IMO, with a little ONE two THREE four FIVE six for the chorus or bridge change-up.
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Re: What does 6/4 time "sound like"?

Post by nyjm » Mon May 07, 2012 9:41 am

Rabid Garfunkel wrote:ONE two three FOUR five SIX.
Actually, I'm this is pretty close what I'm strumming. How weird.
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Re: What does 6/4 time "sound like"?

Post by fluffy » Thu May 10, 2012 11:30 pm

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