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Dec 3, 2020 - 2:22:43 PM
14 posts since 12/8/2011

Is there a standard or for-dummies approach to changing from one time signature to another in the context of a medley? For example, if I'm an intermediate learner using intermediate-level tabs and I want to run 2-3 Christmas songs together to amuse the kids but one of them is in there a methodical way to approach that? Something like "start with the 3:4 tune, then make the final bum-ditty the first bum-ditty of a 4:4 measure for the next tune, and never go in reverse"?

Are there any methods/rules, or is it necessarily from-scratch in any case?

Anyone happen to have a pointer to a video of someone doing this with beginner or intermediate arrangements (where I could more easily hear what's happening under-the-hood or visualize the tab)?

I started trying to read up on metric modulation myself but it's quite a rabbit hole. I did stumble over a guideline for Irish folk medleys (something like start with a jig, then a reel, then a hornpipe being the standard approach). I can almost hear in my head what I'm trying to accomplish but not quite....but I've not a lot of time to reinvent a wheel someone's already made.

Thanks in advance!

Dec 4, 2020 - 11:12 AM



9553 posts since 10/5/2006

Are you maybe over-thinking this?

If you are playing solo and want to vary the time signature (and/or tempo and/or key and/or picking style) through a medley you can do that however you want. It can provide a nice change in mood. If you don't feel confident that you can snap to triple meter on the first beat of a transition from a quadruple meter tune you could simply add say a bar of filler beats between the tunes and use that extra bar to accustom yourself to the change before heading into the melody.

The basic requirement is to be totally comfortable playing in those different meters before you start flipping between them in a medley. When you're totally comfortable playing in both 4/4 and 3/4 time (and 6/8 if you're going to include a jig) switching between them should be straightforward. It's just a natural feel thing.

Edited by - m06 on 12/04/2020 11:28:59

Dec 5, 2020 - 4:21:22 AM

4911 posts since 5/14/2007

If all the tunes are in the same key and scale (major or minor), an easy way to change the rhythm is on a chord change leading to the new song/new time signature. Assumning key of G in 4/4, G (2-3-4) D7 (2-3-4) G (2-3, 1-2-3).

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