Not Understanding Beats And Bars

How This Stops Self Taught Musicians From Improving

This post is aimed at self taught musicians who write their own songs. Over the years I have noticed a trend within the 'self taught musician' category that I want to quickly talk about. What I have noticed is that a lot of self taught musicians have completely skipped learning the theory in beats, bars, time signatures, meter and tempo. I believe knowing the basics in how beats fit into bars within time signatures is more important than solely being able to perform melodies and chords.

How Do You Quantify The Music?

If you are one of these self taught musicians who does not know the basic theory in how beats and bars work within music then the absence of such lessons will prevent you, at some point in your life, from becoming a better singer, instrumentalist or even songwriter.

For example, if you play guitar and write songs and do not know or understand how many bars a verse has in one of your songs then how do you know that you are not performing it differently each time you play the song?

Do you find sometimes you perform the song consistently well and other times sometimes not? Do you wonder why that is? My guess is that sometimes it's a fluke that you played the song with the correct rhythmical backbone... that is beats, bars and meter, and sometimes you haven't. 

Music Is Not All About Playing Melodies And Chords

An easy way to understand beats and bars is to go get a couple of hours tuition from a professional music teacher. Once you understand the basics of beats and bars then it's easy to practise in your own time as for all you need to do is listen to music and count. I cannot stress enough how important this is. To become a better musician I urge those musicians that haven't yet understood this crucial area of music theory to stop, take a step back and learn the first few lessons in of music theory that is rhythm.

Take the next big step in your musicianship as it will count... bar none.