How do I count this rhythm I'm playing?

Music: Practice & Theory Asked on December 12, 2020

This is how I strum for the Beatles I Feel Fine

How would you count this rhythm?
Is it swung a bit?
I’m trying to learn to count to get a better grasp on rhythm.

3 Answers

This is a typical 2/4 time rhythm: the 8/16 are grouped 212111 but you can hear as well the 332 rhythm. If you can play it you actually don't need to count it.

But you want analyze it ... so first do this exercise:

counting the 8th notes 1 _ 2 _ 3 _ 4 _ => Da _ Da _ Da _ Da _ etc.

the 8th notes you count: one two three four (or singing Da)

the 16th notes between you count and or just a (also Ba)

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 1 and, 2 and, 3 and, 4 and => DaBa,DaBa,DaBa,DaBa

(mind the 8th notes are Da, while the 16th notes between are counted and (a) or Ba

now you practice the up-beat of the 3 quavers or the syncopation of beat 2 +

a) syncopation:

1 a two a, 3 a, 4 a = 1 _ 2 and 3 _ 4 _ => Da _ Da Ba, Da _ Da _ (Da = 1)

Da_,2_,3,Ba,Da Ba D,Dam-,-Ba,DaBa

so let's practice the 3 quavers the up-beat: and 4 and one 1 (singing BaDaBa

1 _,2 _,3 Ba Da Ba => one, two, three and four and

now let's combine the two exercices:

one and two and three and four and => Da_DaBa,DaBa,DaBa


Originally I wrote my answer in 4/4, now I've looked the sheet music up: It's actually notated alla breve that means all note values should be doubled. No problem for anybody ;)

Answered by Albrecht Hügli on December 12, 2020

When trying to count in music, it's worth slowing it all down. On guitar, life's a bit easier, particularly with rhythms. Here, you are strumming basically down, up, then down again, then up again, etc. Let's face it, in order to do the next downstrum, it needs the hand to come up again!

A lot of rhythms start with a downstrum on beat 1. You do it here. That puts the hand going down on each beat, thus up between the beats.

So, your hand is going D U D U D U D U in each bar. You don't need (or have ) to play the strings on every move, and you don't.

Beat 1 has a D(down) on the bottom string. Miss them on the & of 1, (U), then DU on beat 2, missing D on 3, and playing all on & 4 &. So the count is 1(&)2&(3)&4&.

Having said all that, there's hardly any rhythm guitar audible on the original track, mostly the riff runs through. And whilst it's straight 8 rather than swung, Ringo puts some off beat cymbals in, making it sound 'different'.

Answered by Tim on December 12, 2020

It's a fairly brisk 4/4, and the rhythm is


(Q for quarter notes, E for eight notes). So I'd count One-TwoAnd-andFourAnd. I don't hear any swing in the way you play it.

Answered by Richard Metzler on December 12, 2020

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