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How to Conduct in 4/4 Time

Many conductors use a baton.
Blue Jean Images/Photodisc/Getty Images

Conducting is the art of leading a group of musicians in a musical performance. One of the main responsibilities of a conductor is to demonstrate the meter or rhythm of the song. The 4/4 meter is one of the most commonly used rhythmic patterns in music. There are four beats within each measure of a song that is marked with 4/4 time. As a conductor, you can easily demonstrate each of these beats so that your group can coordinate their musical efforts.

Grasp the base of your conductor's baton. The baton should rest between your thumb and index finger. Hold the baton securely enough to prevent it from falling, but don't squeeze it; maintain a relaxed grasp. If you don't have a baton or prefer not to use one, simply hold your right hand out with your fingers together and your thumb to the side in a relaxed, yet firm manner. Position your hand or your baton at chest level.

Move your hand or baton upward, toward the center of your body to indicate that the first beat is about to occur.

Move straight down in front of the center of your body to indicate the first beat of the measure.

Move your hand or baton across your body to the left for the second beat. You should bounce your hand upward slightly as you end the first beat and enter into the second beat.

Move the baton or your hand across your body to the right on the third beat of the measure.

Move upward and toward the center of your body for the fourth and final beat of the measure. Repeat this four-beat pattern as often as dictated throughout the song.

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