As I’ve written before, clarity in your writing is just as important as what you write. If I can’t read it easily, I’m not going to ever perform it well. So however advanced your music is, you need to notate it as clearly as possible.
Today’s lesson: Show Beat Three.
Since so much music is in 4/4 time, recognize that the strong beats are 1 & 3 and show them on the page.
Even though there are more bits of information, this:
is far easier to read than this:
This is a mistake I see in every young arranger the first time they write syncopated music (and in more than a few published a cappella arrangements). And invariably it causes choirs to trip. The more trips you have when you’re reading, the less likely it is that the performance will be memorable. If it’s not a memorable performance, it will be harder to get your music read in the future.
Always show beat three.