Big Mistakes

Is this correct time?


Play the music and clap your hands.

Do you naturally clap your hands in-line with the beam?


Therefore the time signature is wrong.

You clap your hands in multiples of three.

In compound time you could transcribe the melody to 12 – 8 where the weight is on each beat.

In simple time you could transcribe the melody to 3 – 4 where the weight is on each barline.

By the end of this book you will know when to use each time signature.

Is this correct?


Play the music.

Do you clap your hands to the beat?


Do you feel the natural accent on the barline?


To be correct, shift each beat two to the left.

Now just supposing you don’t believe me.

A good composer never hears a melody in isolation. Every melody has an inherent pulse (reinforced with say rhythm section). Sometimes you need to hear pulse and melody together for the natural accent to ring clear.

Keep reading through this book. At the end of the book, return to this page. It will be easier to understand then.

How to avoid these mistakes

Clap your hands to the music. Where you clap your hands is where you must write your beat. Align what you write with where you clap.

Align your melody’s natural accent with the barline. Your melody will have a natural accent every 2, 3 or 4 claps.

Choose your time signature wisely.

Keep reading this book.

Know there is still so much to learn.