If you"re not acquainted with reading music you"re probably wondering what specifically a time signature is. What are those fractions even claimed to mean?

Don"t worry! We have actually the answers and also explain everything you must know around the music concept basics neighboring time signatures.

You are watching: What does the top number in a time signature mean

But first, let"s present today"s video clip host.

Vitali Tkachenka

Vitali Tkachenka is the manager of E-Learning and an Instructor because that the Atlanta academy of Music and Media.

Vitali is the author of "Modern scales Concepts," "Diatonic modes Concepts," "Killer Technique: Guitar", and "Technique Workout for the modern-day Guitarist."

Today he"s going come teach you just how easy it deserve to be to review time signatures.

Check the end the videos below, together with the supplemental highlight transcriptions so you can conquer time signatures.

Table the Contents:

The Top variety of a Time Signature


Unfortunately, some people may ignore the bottom number of the time signature after gathering how plenty of beats space in a measure.

This is a major mistake together the bottom number is incredibly important.

The bottom number gives you an idea of how to count the notation of a certain time signature.

Let"s say we have actually the number 2 at the bottom. That tells you the every click of your metronome will be same to a half note in that specific measure.

And appropriate now, we have two beats while signature that will be same to a single half note.

It"s crucial to understand that every keep in mind value identified by her time signature"s bottom number will always be counted as a number (rather 보다 an "and,") because it will constantly be played with a click of your metronome.

If you desire to compose quarter note in the measure, quarter notes will be counted together a part of a beat.

Therefore, in our existing 2/2 time signature (also well-known as reduced time), two quarter notes will certainly fit in the click the a metronome.

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What if the Bottom Number is 4?


Now let"s discuss an example where every win of our metronome will be same to an eighth note.

In this case, we"ll do our optimal number a six, which way we have six win (or six clicks of our metronome) every measure.

Our bottom number will be one eight, for this reason every click of our metronome will equal a single eighth note.

If there space notes longer than eighth note in this measure, favor quarter note or half notes, they will be counted as multiple clicks of our metronome. However, entirety notes will not fit in this time signature due to the fact that there"s no enough room for it.

To leveling our counting, we deserve to organize our eighth notes in groups of three. Visually the looks much much more symmetrical, and it simplifies the counting process.

Be sure to inspect out the video above to far better grasp just how it simplifies the counting process and why it is different than a triplet.

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What if the Bottom Number is 16?


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Vitali Tkachenka

Vitali Tkachenka is the director of E-Learning and an Instructor for Atlanta academy of Music and also Media. He is responsible for teaching scales, reading, music theory, and creating online music courses. Vitali is the author of ‘Modern scales Concepts’, ‘Diatonic modes Concepts’, ‘Killer Technique: Guitar’, and also ‘Technique Workout for the contemporary Guitarist’. He has played guitar on releases indigenous T.S. Band, Nota Bene, Da Cynosure, Marina Morozova, Snooze Band, Nancy Gerber, TY Steele Band, and Adam Nitti. He likewise has number of solo releases including ‘Fly Away’, ‘Sides’, and also ‘Sometime Tomorrow’. He is endorsed by One-Control, atomic Amplifiers, Dean Markley, Carvin Audio, WGS Speakers, Godin Guitars, Radial Engineering, Kiesel Guitars, Eastman Guitars, and Diago Pedalboards. The holds a Bachelor"s degree in Music indigenous A.M.Shirokov academy of modern Knowledge and a Certificate from Atlanta institute of Music and Media in Guitar. The is additionally an AVID certified operator in Pro devices for music production. As a aboriginal of Belarus, Vitali to be featured on a national radio transfer of The Renaissance the Guitar. After relocating to the United claims to research guitar in ~ rebab.net, Vitali draws from incentive from musicians such together Nite Driscoll, Randy Hoexter, Steve Rieck, bill Hart, plunder Schumann, Trey Wright, Carl Culpepper, David Poole, Corey Christiansen and also Jimmy Herring.