Observing Basic Stress In Time Signatures Can Lead To Better Musicality

In music notation, time signatures really do mean something. Time signatures present the notation in a way that is more visually clear and they convey how the music should be felt. In the process of learning the technical aspects of a piece, it is easy to overlook the feel of the piece. This is okay when you're first learning the pitches and rhythms on your instrument.

Eventually, musicality needs to be incorporated. I've discovered that the first step is observing the time signature and playing the piece with a stress on beat 1. Doing this will start the process of flow of the music. However, be careful with this guideline when approaching jazz music.

Each time signature has its own unique stress with beat one being the strongest stress in the measure.

          >      >
4/4     1  2  3  4  

          >
3/4     1  2  3

           >
2/4      1  2

           >          >
6/8      1  2  3  4  5  6

There are many other time signatures but incorporating the natural stresses in the music early on in the learning process helps to internalize musicality.


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