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Monthly Lesson – Counting – 6/8 (Compound Meter)

I have added alot of Irish Music to the blog this month (THANK YOU DR SISSONS!) and this will require you to understand how to play in 6/8 (time) meter signature. I have put some COUNTING EXERCISES on this blog – but I see that not many of you are looking at them – SOOO please search for COUNTING and you can find alot of exercises.

SOOOO Let’s start by addressing a topic that is NEVER taught! It is how to count in 6/8 – 9/8 or 12/8 time (meter) signature and how to PLAY the basses!

MUSIC THEORY 101 – counts within a song – are either SIMPLE METER or COMPOUND METER.

Meter or metre is the rhythmic structure of music. (Time Signature or Meter Signature – both terms mean the same) If the beat is divisible by two (quarter note divided into 2 eighth notes) – the meter is simple, if divisible by three (think triplet) – the meter is compound (dotted quarter notes divided into 3 eighth notes). Read this link – it will show the proper way to count or SAY THE BEAT!

Link – Counting Syllables-Eastman

Simple Meter – 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 or 2/8, 3/8, 4/8, etc.

Compound Meter – 6/8, 9/8, 12/8, etc. – Compound meter is divided into three parts – could theoretically be transcribed into musically equivalent simple meter using triplets. The beat is on the dotted Quarter Note (divided into 3 Eighth Notes)

In 6/8 – you will count 2 Beats or Counts (NOT 6!)- and the sub-beats are in 3rds. You will count 6 eighth notes as 1 – la – li – 2 – la – li. Please print these counting exercises and write in the counts.

NOW – if you have to Sub-divide these 3rds – it goes back to the Simple meter – they are divisible by 2. When you have sub-divisions of these counts – you will use “ta” for that sub-division. SOOOOO – 1 la li 2 la li  – in 16th notes is 1 ta la ta li ta 2 ta la ta li ta Please print these counting exercises and write in the counts.

NOW – with this new COUNTING KNOWLEDGE – please try this arrangement of Can’t Help – written into the CORRECT METER – Level 3 Link – Can’t Help Falling In Love 12:8 Key of F Now go try the new Irish Jigs that are often in 6/8 time, with Irish slip jigs in 9/8 time.