need help with learning and subdividing odd time signatures

b_ryceeeee

Junior Member
hey guys jumped over from the talkbass forum to ask this question, recently I watched a drumeo video with matt garstka playing and a someone had asked him a question about improving odd time signatures and the way he explained it just kinda opened me up to thinking about it in different totally different ways! are there any books that you guys would recommend for reading in different time sigs and beginner polyrhythms? I know listening is always the biggest part of it and most of the time I can pick it up but man that part just made me think about it a whole different way!

here is the link of the video it starts at 1:01:22

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbh7Up_Q4YU
 

Winegums

Silver Member
I like to break up odd time signatures like 7/8 into 3 + 4 since it's much easier to count that way. Prime numbered time signatures will always be hardest as they can't be subdivided into nice equal parts.

My best advice is to sit down and practice, it's like starting all over again with drums. It's awkward at first but soon you get used to playing the new time signature and it'll begin to feel natural just like 4/4.

It also helps to listen to music that has those time signatures in it. I assume you're learning them for metal, so a progressive band like August Burns Red (Leveler onwards) or Dream Theater would be good to study.
 

b_ryceeeee

Junior Member
I like to break up odd time signatures like 7/8 into 3 + 4 since it's much easier to count that way. Prime numbered time signatures will always be hardest as they can't be subdivided into nice equal parts.

My best advice is to sit down and practice, it's like starting all over again with drums. It's awkward at first but soon you get used to playing the new time signature and it'll begin to feel natural just like 4/4.

It also helps to listen to music that has those time signatures in it. I assume you're learning them for metal, so a progressive band like August Burns Red (Leveler onwards) or Dream Theater would be good to study.
yeah I actually listen to a lot of odd timing music and I usually am able to feel it out and have played in bands that have used odd time sigs. but lately I've been getting into more latin, jazz, middle eastern, progressive stuff and some of it is just above my pay grade lol. latest band I've been into is animals as leaders and matt garstka is an absolute savage! I actually have an amazing album by Louis di mieulle called defense mechanism and matt is playing on it. I was discussing one of the songs on that album called "soundfrieze" with Louis through email and he said every riff was based on the 9/8 grouping and he sent me to his blog to see the chart and it said 45/16!! then I started trippin cause I've never read from a chart with a time sig that had 16 as the pulse. I read charts with 2, 4, and 8 on the bottom of the time sig but never encountered the 16 on the bottom. I'm a bassist but I figured it would be cool to come here and ask about this.
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
Time sigs are a varied thing ,yes ,some are broken into 3's and 4's .but groupings of 2 is also very common.

The the Indian Raga method of counting (Ta Ka - 2 Beats Ta Ki Ta - 3 Beats)

See:

http://chandrakantha.com/articles/indian_music/bol_percussion.html

And there are even counts in a whole 7 :

From JC SuperStar

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKvI7KsSji4

Here's a cool one from Don Ellis a master of we can play odd time faster better and cooler that any body else:

Pussy Wiggle Stomp:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wI9caeoZ_kM
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
yeah I actually listen to a lot of odd timing music and I usually am able to feel it out and have played in bands that have used odd time sigs. but lately I've been getting into more latin, jazz, middle eastern, progressive stuff and some of it is just above my pay grade lol. latest band I've been into is animals as leaders and matt garstka is an absolute savage! I actually have an amazing album by Louis di mieulle called defense mechanism and matt is playing on it. I was discussing one of the songs on that album called "soundfrieze" with Louis through email and he said every riff was based on the 9/8 grouping and he sent me to his blog to see the chart and it said 45/16!! then I started trippin cause I've never read from a chart with a time sig that had 16 as the pulse. I read charts with 2, 4, and 8 on the bottom of the time sig but never encountered the 16 on the bottom. I'm a bassist but I figured it would be cool to come here and ask about this.
Well, he's not really doing the reader any favors by making a chart in 45/16, that's for sure. He's saving himself the trouble of having to rewrite the time signature change that happens every 4th bar, by grouping the 4 measures together into one large time signature. Kind of lazy, really. The piece isn't so hard to understand if you group it in a way that you would actually count it.

The song is better felt as 3 measures of 11/16 (3+3+2+3 or 6+5), followed by a measure of 12/16. When you have two or more time signatures going back and forth like this, it's typically called a compound time signature. You could also say that the piece is 3 measures of 11/8 and then 1 measure of 12/8, which wouldn't change the music, only the way the notes are beamed to each other on the written page.

(Btw, this odd-time business is nothing that Mahavishnu Orchestra and Frank Zappa haven't covered at length already.)
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
hey guys jumped over from the talkbass forum to ask this question, recently I watched a drumeo video with matt garstka playing and a someone had asked him a question about improving odd time signatures and the way he explained it just kinda opened me up to thinking about it in different totally different ways! are there any books that you guys would recommend for reading in different time sigs and beginner polyrhythms? I know listening is always the biggest part of it and most of the time I can pick it up but man that part just made me think about it a whole different way!

here is the link of the video it starts at 1:01:22

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbh7Up_Q4YU
My bible is A Funky Thesaurus for the Rock Drummer.

Excellent!

http://www.amazon.com/Funky-Thesaurus-Rock-Drummer-Afro-Cuban/dp/0739027085
 

b_ryceeeee

Junior Member
Well, he's not really doing the reader any favors by making a chart in 45/16, that's for sure. He's saving himself the trouble of having to rewrite the time signature change that happens every 4th bar, by grouping the 4 measures together into one large time signature. Kind of lazy, really. The piece isn't so hard to understand if you group it in a way that you would actually count it.

The song is better felt as 3 measures of 11/16 (3+3+2+3 or 6+5), followed by a measure of 12/16. When you have two or more time signatures going back and forth like this, it's typically called a compound time signature. You could also say that the piece is 3 measures of 11/8 and then 1 measure of 12/8, which wouldn't change the music, only the way the notes are beamed to each other on the written page.

(Btw, this odd-time business is nothing that Mahavishnu Orchestra and Frank Zappa haven't covered at length already.)
Thanks for the breakdown. And I love mahavishnu and Zappa
 

b_ryceeeee

Junior Member
I definitely already understood the first video! then I watched the metric modulation vid and I actually play with a bunch of drummers who play with the timing like that. I can pick up the feel of what there doing and usually either stay with the original or follow them or go between both feels! so I guess in a way I kind of know whats going on and not at the same time haha..but I want to be able to "know exactly" whats going on and be able to explain what is happening rather then me saying "idk what he did but im doing it too"
 

b_ryceeeee

Junior Member
what do you guys think of these three books, "rhythmic illusions" by gavin Harrison, "polyrhythms: the musicians guide" by peter magadini, and "rhythm & meter patterns" by Gary Chaffee... I am a bassist and am coming from that stand point!
 
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