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Don’t forget 3/4 time!

Songs are not always on a 4/4 beat. That’s what I’ve found out. I had religiously stuck to the 4/4 time signature setting in Logic Pro, until one day I decided to write a waltz and – tarnation! – it didn’t work. Waltzes are actually quite tricky to write, especially if you want to write one to which you can do a Ballroom Waltz (with all those *hold* moments and long glides).

After struggling for weeks, the solution to this song, which is optimistically called Bounce, came from watching Carlos Santana’s Masterclass:

“Carlos also encourages players and composers to remember time signatures other than the standard 4/4. For instance, many classic works have been written in 3/4, and Carlos demonstrates ‘My Favourite Things’ and ‘Afro Blue’ as two such examples.”

CARLOS SANTANA TEACHES THE ART AND SOUL OF GUITAR – MASTERCLASS NOTES (P. 66)

My Favourite Things from The Sound of Music! Who’d have guessed that Carlos Santana also likes My Favourite Things – which is…umm…one of my favourite things! Though I did not know it is in 3/4 time.

I thought about what he had said and demonstrated with so much skill and soul, and ditched the waltz idea. In stead, I combined a 3/4 beat with a 4/4 swing beat.

Bounce

After that, the sound engineer took it over and made the song sound as if it were born to be bouncy!

It’s a simple melody at 100 bpm and if you want you can hum along with it. Perhaps that is its charm. Every time I hear it, it makes me feel like getting up and jiving around the room. I have often asked myself whether it needs more than an intro, verse, chorus and outro. Every time the answer was, nope. Just leave it alone.


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