Music composed in 3/4 time signature can be found across many genres and genres, most commonly in waltzes but also heard in other forms of ballroom music.
Tempo of a song can significantly impact its effect, so it’s essential to keep in mind that beat count is only part of its rhythmic equation.
The Who’s “My Generation”
The Who’s classic song “My Generation” was composed in 3/4 time signature – a type of waltz rhythm typically employed to add traditionality to songs. Additionally to its 4/4 beat, this tune includes quarter notes and dotted eighth notes for added rhythmic complexity that creates both upbeat and slow rhythmic elements for added character.
Seal’s iconic ballroom-influenced hit, “Kiss from a Rose,” also employs the 3/4 rhythm. While technically not in triple meter, its unique combination of jazzy piano solo and rich arrangement featuring vocals, harmonica, acoustic accordion, mandolin bass drum gives this song its characteristic waltz feel.
While most western music time signatures such as 3/4 and 4/4 may seem to be standard time signatures, there are in fact numerous other meters out there – from less common meters such as 2/4 (if you’ve ever experienced polka) to less familiar ones like 5/4, 7/8, and 9/8.
No matter which meter is employed, accentuation of individual beats within any measure will ultimately dictate whether a song feels fast or slow. For instance, songs written in 4/4 may emphasize beats 1 and 3, while 5/4 may place emphasis on beats 2 and 3. Ultimately however, quarter-note count will decide its overall feeling.
In the 1970s, many songs ventured outside the norm of conventional 4/4 time signature. Black Sabbath’s “Behind the Wall of Sleep” for instance starts off as 4/4 before transitioning into 6/8 time signature; similarly seen with The Rolling Stones’ “Still Crazy After All These Years.”
No matter its changes, tempo of a song still determines its atmosphere and appeal. A slower tempo creates more energy; faster pace creates space and tranquility – two key ingredients of great music that create its appeal.
Billie Eilish’s “When the Party’s Over”
The waltz is one of the oldest dances ever, dating back more than 500 years. Though no longer as widely practiced as once was, its triple meter rhythm can still be felt across many styles of music – particularly folk dance music written in 3/4 time signature. Billie Eilish’s song written in 3/4 time features an easily learned tune while its percussion beat is ideal for hearing 3/4 timing. Practice counting beats and synching your strumming pattern with kick and snare drum to master this folk dance music’s 3/4 time signature!
Folk dance music 3/4 song “Oh My Darling Clementine” is an ideal starting place for beginner musicians. This simple tune offers easy counting and swing-style strumming pattern; plus it helps develop chord transition skills by moving between D minor and Am7 chord shapes in C#minor key. In fact, this tune even appears on hit television show Game of Thrones! Keeping track is effortless due to interaction between snare drum and kick drum!
If you’re searching for more contemporary examples of songs in 3/4, look no further than Seal’s chart-topping “Kiss from a Rose.” His only #1 hit features a ballroom style classic with Scottish folksy elements and waltz rhythm reminiscent of waltzing dance music – not forgetting its melancholic lyrics about heartbreak and parting ways with love.
Dreams” by Allman Brothers Band is another modern example of music written in 3/4 time signature that exudes jazzy energy due to both the time signature and Duane Allman’s extraordinary slide guitar work. While time signature dictates how songs feel, speed of tempo also has great bearing on perception; faster tempos may create more energy while slower ones create space and melancholy in equal measure.
Are you curious to learn how to play folk dance music 3/4 songs on guitar? Check out our tutorial! You’ll find step-by-step instructions on how to form basic chords and fingering diagrams, plus tips for playing different rhythms.
The Rolling Stones’ “Stay With Me”
The Rolling Stones’ 2014 hit “Stay With Me” features an old-world charm thanks to its 3/4 time signature and distinctive guitar tuning – with all strings tuned to D except the sixth string which is tuned to B – making the song difficult for beginners, yet providing an excellent way to learn this complex time signature.
The Waltz is an iconic ballroom dance, but you’ll also find its folk-influenced rhythm across various genres of music – pop, rock, country and metal among them! Its triple meter creates a gentle yet romantic ambience – learn its lyrics and chord progressions to elicit emotions in your audience!
“Stay With Me” by the Rolling Stones was originally written for piano; however, its arrangements make it accessible for beginning guitarists to learn. With only three chords (Em, Cadd9 and G), its strumming pattern features slow down strums. Plus, its lyrics tell the tale of lost love – making this an excellent song to perform for someone you fancy!
Folk dance music with a 3/4 time signature can be found across genres, from country to ska, blues, and jazz. It is most commonly associated with polkas and galops as well as Latin genres like bolero and merengue; but can also be heard in slower blues (including shuffle), doo-wop, and some types of rock music.
Seal’s unforgettable hit “Kiss from a Rose” showcases the versatility of the waltz time signature by employing it in its romantic lyrics and ballroom feel. If you want a taste of this timeless style, take a look at this tutorial on playing this timeless tune on an acoustic guitar.
Although 4/4 time signature is the go-to choice in music, experimenting with other time signatures to create new rhythms is always worth your while. For instance, The Dave Brubeck Quartet’s 1959 track “Take Five” by counting along you can easily follow its 5/4 rhythm. While both time signatures have the same number of beats per bar but differ in how those beats are distributed between bars.
The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand”
“I Want to Hold Your Hand,” by The Beatles, was one of the earliest songs to utilize 3/4 time signature and is still considered one of rock music’s classic rock tracks. Nearly every beat in this tune contains triple meters for an immersive listening experience that draws listeners in further. Additionally, its chords use A-flat major scale chords commonly associated with sadness or loss – yet still remains joyful and hopeful making this tune perfect for dancing to.
Magical Mystery Tour by The Beatles from 1969 features several songs with 3/4 time signature, which were all among their greatest hits from their heyday. Many regard this album as one of their finest efforts ever and consider it one of their classic works to this day.
On their new album, The Beatles experimented with new sounds and musical styles. Their songs encompass folk, pop, rock and roll styles as well as various time signatures; one song written during their LSD adventures uses triple meters!
Although most of these songs are performed in 3/4 time signature, there are a few that feature different time signatures such as 6/8 and 4/4. No matter what time signature a piece of music falls under (tempo), its speed of performance (its tempo) has a direct impact on its emotional effect; speeding it up will give more energy while slowing it down will produce a soothing atmosphere.
The Beatles began recording Magical Mystery Tour at EMI Studios in London in April. They recorded early versions of “Paperback Writer,” along with several rejected songs that would later make up its track list, including early recordings of “Paperback Writer,” “Rain,” and “Hey Jude”. Rain had originally been written and performed as an Tamla Records single by Detroit girl quartet The Donays under Tamla Records contract writer Janie Bradford before its recording by The Beatles became their first US hit song during Beatlemania reaching No 35 on Billboard chart!