Chrome Music Lab vs Irregular Time Signatures

*3 minute read

Following a conversation over on Twitter with @Teacherglitter (give her a follow if you already don’t!) about irregular time signatures, I thought about how you could utilise Google’s Chrome Music Lab to help teach and perform them.

Those of you who have followed my recent blogs will know I’m a massive fan of Google’s Chrome Music Lab. As it turns out, it’s PERFECT for working with irregular time signatures.

First, head to Music Lab:

and then open Song Maker.

Once you’re in song maker, head straight to the settings. Here, you can change you number of bars to 1, beats per bar to 7, and split beats into 1 as well.

It should look something like this (I screenshot the images from my phone, so a tablet or Chromebook may look a little different):

You can then use the drum dots at the bottom to create your 7/4 time rhythm. In this example, mine goes “123, 12, 12”. You can see the bass drum is the main stressed beat, with the snare sound filling in the other beats.

I cranked the tempo a little, just to help the rhythm flow a little bit, but you should get the idea. Changing the tempo is great, because you can create a little backing drum pattern for your class to clap and play along with, and make it faster or slower to suit.

Once the rhythm is in place, you can play around by adding some notes in to create a nice little ostinato for your performance.

And that’s it! Chrome Music Lab helps brilliantly with this! Once you’re confident with this, you could go back to your settings and add more bars, or split the beats up into more parts and really go to town with some rhythmic and melodic ideas.

I hope you find this useful – comments, as always, are welcomed!


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