The Most Common Time Signature Besides 4/4.

So you’re feeling a little adventurous are you? Everything you’ve learned until now has likely been in 4/4 time. While a majority of music is written this way, there are a ton of great songs and music written in other time signatures. 6/8 time is an important time signature to study. Many songs are written in this time signature so you will need to learn a few basic 6/8 grooves. Don’t let those numbers freak you out though. A time signature is simply a way to tell us how we should count the timing in the music. 4/4 simply means that we count four 1/4 notes in every bar (1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and).

6/8 simply means that there are 6 1/8th notes in each bar. Since each 1/8th note gets it own count, you will NOT be counting “and”. You will simply count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. In this lesson you will learn a basic vocabulary of ten 6/8 grooves. In 6/8 time, the 1/8th notes are grouped into 3’s. This helps you to see two halves of each bar. Confused yet? Soon enough you won’t be. I’ll explain this whole idea and we’ll practice the first groove together. Then it’s up to you to download the .PDF and learn all of the grooves.


Download the PDF: 6/8 Grooves #1

There are 10 groove patterns to learn and practice. Follow the steps I show you in this lesson and practice each one until you have mastered them all. Remember that playing music is so important. It’s how you apply the grooves you have learned. Start a playlist and search for 6/8 songs to add to it. I’ll start you off with a few classic ones below.

“Natural Woman” – Aretha Franklin

“House Of The Rising Sun” – The Animals

“Pray” – Sam Smith


  • PDF Groove #1: 6/8 time is a compound time signature which means the 1/8th notes are written in groups of 3. Notice that the Bass Drum is written as a dotted quarter note and followed by a dotted 1/4 rest. (The dot makes them equal to three 1/8th notes.)

  • Groove #1 written on the Hi-Hats starting with the Crash Cymbal for 4 bars, then written for 4-bars on the Ride Cymbal.

Sorry, no metronome!

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