Okay, for all of my long-time students, you will have heard me talk about time signatures before. But today, I thought I would do something a little bit different. Today I am going to teach you some time signatures that you may be new to and will push you further in your learning! To see one of my previous lessons, revisit lesson 7.
“The time signature (also known as meter signature, metre signature, or measure signature) is a notational convention used in Western musical notation to specify how many beats (pulses) are to be contained in each bar and which note value is to be given one beat.” - Wikipedia.
I thought I would start with a simple explanation, open and accessible for everybody, before we move into more technical points.
The absolute most common time signature in western music is a 4/4 time signature. This indicates that we should be counting four crotchet beats as we play. Or simply “one, two, three, four”. I’m sure this is all stuff you can handle, I just thought I would start from the ground up.
Other common time signature you may come across may be 12/8 or 3/4. Again, always count ‘out loud’ the top number so that you know when to play each note within the rhythm. What’s different about these time signatures is mainly the bottom number 8. This equates to 4 crotchet beats but we have to count in quavers; as a quaver is worth half the beat of a crotchet.
A great online tutorial for this can be found here by the MusicTheoryGuy:
However, if you find that you come across a 3/2 time signature or 2/2- the key concepts are pretty much the same. The top number is the number you should count allowed; 3 and 2 respectively. Furthermore, you should notice the 2 at the bottom indicating we should count in minims; which equate to two crotchets each.
I hope this helps you progress further in your piano playing! Remember, as ever, if you enjoyed this lesson and/or have some questions for me, please leave comments and continue to send me your questions!