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Old 2012-05-31, 07:39
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Originally Posted by johnmansley
The way I've always understood it is that if you have a riff that lasts for 1.5 bars (6 beats in 4/4) then you have to tab a minimum of three bars for it to make sense in 4/4.

The alternative is to say that the riff is in 6/4, in which case you only need to tab one bar.

That's my simplistic understanding anyway.

This is how I understand it as well. Time signature really has more to do with how you want to divvy things up. Either way you cut things up into individual bars, the block of notes as a whole will always resolve to the same time signature. As long as you're dealing with standard rock bands, that block of notes will usually resolve to 4/4, 3/4, or 5/4.

Tempo is a bit more straightforward and is based on the speed the drums are carrying the music. 8th notes at 120 is usually going to make more sense than 16ths at 60 because 120bpm is an extraordinarily common tempo in music (notice, both GP and powertab start with 120bpm as the default tempo). 60bpm is used much less commonly and you'd probably notice it just by listening to the drums. Even then, you could still tab it as 120bpm if you wanted; you'd just have to halve each drum note if you also tabbed the drums.

Sorry I missed this earlier. I'm not a theory expert, anyway (I don't have a SINGLE scale memorized, for example), but I believe I understand tempo and time signatures pretty well.
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