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-   -   Odd-time songs that sound natural (http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=111737)

Jammin' Jamin 2112 11-13-2013 07:34 AM

Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Pink Floyd - Money:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpbbuaIA3Ds

Yes - Long Distance Runaround:

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

Rush - Jacob's Ladder:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d09-oSVY9iw

Tool - Lateralus:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDlC7oG_2W4

Unlike the examples above, I feel like some bands (*cough* Dream Theater *cough*) try to use odd-time signatures just for the sake of using them. The measures come out sounding unnaturally abbreviated or prolonged. It just sounds like forced prog jamming.

Hopefully that makes sense. Thoughts?

porter 11-13-2013 08:15 AM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jammin' Jamin 2112 (Post 1197726)
Unlike the examples above, I feel like some bands (*cough* Dream Theater *cough*) try to use odd-time signatures just for the sake of using them. The measures come out sounding unnaturally abbreviated or prolonged. It just sounds like forced prog jamming.

Perhaps that stiltedness is part of the experience they are trying convey? After listening to those sections a few times, I often find myself appreciating their complexity and perhaps even grooving to them (Sacrificed Sons is a good example of one that I believe sounds 'abbreviated', yet it has become one of my favorite DT songs).

poika 11-13-2013 08:16 AM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Almost any song by Soundgarden!
Matt Cameron is a beast when it comes to this, he just floats over these complex time arrangements, making it seem like the most natural thing.
It doesn't even sound like odd-time, it just sounds like music

Anon La Ply 11-13-2013 08:20 AM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Jethro Tull - Living in the Past 5/4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbiHf3fpkXo

The motif of Cream's White Room (5/4 again)

Choasmaster 11-13-2013 08:31 AM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by poika (Post 1197729)
Almost any song by Soundgarden!
Matt Cameron is a beast when it comes to this, he just floats over these complex time arrangements, making it seem like the most natural thing.
It doesn't even sound like odd-time, it just sounds like music

You can say that again brother

Lovetadraw 11-13-2013 03:01 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Limelight by Rush. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwXjnVICb3I

Muckster 11-13-2013 03:29 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
The Ocean - Led Zeppelin. Alternates between 4/4 and 7/8. Didn't realize until i sat down and counted it out.

WhoIsTony? 11-13-2013 03:29 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
surprised no one has mentioned Paul Desmonds masterpiece Take 5

and I Say A Little Prayer by Dionne Warwick written of course by Burt Bacharach

adam! 11-13-2013 04:03 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by poika (Post 1197729)
Almost any song by Soundgarden!
Matt Cameron is a beast when it comes to this, he just floats over these complex time arrangements, making it seem like the most natural thing.
It doesn't even sound like odd-time, it just sounds like music

Quote:

Originally Posted by Choasmaster (Post 1197732)
You can say that again brother

I concur. Matt Cameron is always the first guy to come to mind when discussing odd-time that feels straight. Spoonman, New Damage, Mailman, Face Pollution and many others come to mind.
Besides Lateralus, Danny Carey makes a lot of other Tool songs sound even. Take Flood, the Patient, Jimmy and many others songs with odd time thrown in. It's one thing to be able to play odd-time signatures, but it takes that extra level of "feel" to pull it off sounding more natural and not like odd time.
I think one aspect that helps odd-time music feel straight is writing around the guitar riffs, without being concerned where the end of the measure is. A lot of prog players seem to write with the time signature in mind, rather than writing for the sake of how the music comes out.

pinoydrummer 11-13-2013 04:11 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Seven Days by Sting is one of my fave odd times.

CCdrummer 11-13-2013 05:21 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by adam! (Post 1197793)
I concur. Matt Cameron is always the first guy to come to mind when discussing odd-time that feels straight. Spoonman, New Damage, Mailman, Face Pollution and many others come to mind.
Besides Lateralus, Danny Carey makes a lot of other Tool songs sound even. Take Flood, the Patient, Jimmy and many others songs with odd time thrown in. It's one thing to be able to play odd-time signatures, but it takes that extra level of "feel" to pull it off sounding more natural and not like odd time.
I think one aspect that helps odd-time music feel straight is writing around the guitar riffs, without being concerned where the end of the measure is. A lot of prog players seem to write with the time signature in mind, rather than writing for the sake of how the music comes out.

Totally agree with Matt Cameron. I think the reason it sounds so natural is because I believe I heard an interview with him where he says he was just playing what he thought would fit and had no idea what time signature it was until after the song was done.

Canyonero 11-13-2013 05:23 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
The Beatles, "All You Need Is Love"

Dre25 11-13-2013 05:26 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Everything Karnivool does is really smooth.

This for example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TKC3jW6fzk

JosephDAqui 11-13-2013 06:45 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
"Do not look down" by Meshuggah. Tomas is great at driving songs that have circular accents, purely at 4/4

Dre25 11-13-2013 07:20 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
I love that song but as you said it's in 4/4.

I should mention Virgil Donati's new album - In this life.

eclipseownzu 11-13-2013 07:53 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Danny Carey is another master at making odd time sigs feel right. Lateralus (as mentioned), Schism, The Pot all groove like a 4/4 song but are in odd or even compound time signatures.

the new Protest The Hero has some great songs in odd time and the drummer flows through them like he's not even trying.

JosephDAqui 11-13-2013 08:02 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dre25 (Post 1197845)
I love that song but as you said it's in 4/4.

I should mention Virgil Donati's new album - In this life.

Exactly. I mentioned it because the average listener would think the guitars (and Jens percussive vocal delivery) are playing odd time. It's a common misconception that the band has talked about in interviews.

Brian 11-13-2013 08:27 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
mahavishnu orchestra "birds of fire"

Tommy_D 11-13-2013 08:58 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jammin' Jamin 2112 (Post 1197726)
I feel like some bands (*cough* Dream Theater *cough*) try to use odd-time signatures just for the sake of using them. The measures come out sounding unnaturally abbreviated or prolonged. It just sounds like forced prog jamming.

There are definitely parts of Dream Theater's music that sound jilted and don't blend well at all. However at the same time they can blend differing time signatures and change keys totally seamlessly.

One song that comes to mind where they do all of this in a matter of minutes is Breaking all Illusions from their ADToE album. The whole beginning is a mess of different time signatures all crammed together in a pattern that repeats itself (paying homage to the song "Learning to Live" off of I&W) and then it gets in to the first verse at 1:35 where they go 7/8 to 6/8 to 5/8 to 7/8 and repeat this pattern seamlessly over and over again until they get to the bridge (if you can call it that...). So Dream Theater obviously does things for reason. If they wanted the time signatures to blend they would write the song to do that. When they don't, they write the song so the time signatures smash in to each other.

A great example of odd time signatures that all blend together so well would be Gavin Harrison's "19 Days." It goes 7/8, 7/8, 5/8 and repeats for the whole song. If you aren't counting you will get lost in the timing. Also, you don't have to count to enjoy the song. You can just listen to its awesomeness and pay no attention to the timing.

19 Days:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qn-wtb7GY4E

poika 11-13-2013 09:08 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by CCdrummer (Post 1197814)
Totally agree with Matt Cameron. I think the reason it sounds so natural is because I believe I heard an interview with him where he says he was just playing what he thought would fit and had no idea what time signature it was until after the song was done.

I read that one too.

With odd time signatures I often find it a lot easier playing along to the guitar riff in my head, instead of actually counting. Of course you need to know the guitar riff well in order to do so. Learning the songs on guitar beforehand can be helpful on getting the whole thing together.

On some occasions, I find that counting bars takes you away from getting inside the actual music.

Sjogras 11-13-2013 10:49 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dre25 (Post 1197845)
I love that song but as you said it's in 4/4.

I should mention Virgil Donati's new album - In this life.

Do not look down has a 17/16 bass/guitar groove though, over the 4/4. But it sounds really good.

Quote:

Originally Posted by eclipseownzu (Post 1197853)
Danny Carey is another master at making odd time sigs feel right. Lateralus (as mentioned), Schism, The Pot all groove like a 4/4 song but are in odd or even compound time signatures.

The pot is mostly in 4/4 though, except for a few parts in 6/8. :) But Schism is really a perfect example for this thread, I think of the verse groove as 5/8+7/8 and the rest of the song has time signature changes all over the place but it all flows so nicely.

WhoIsTony? 11-13-2013 11:03 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by poika (Post 1197879)

On some occasions, I find that counting bars takes you away from getting inside the actual music.


could not possibly agree more

Jeremy Bender 11-13-2013 11:38 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Peter Gabriel's Solsbury Hill http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fF8wU4Nl9Y

JohnW 11-14-2013 12:05 AM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Listen to the hippies!

The Grateful Dead's "Estimated Prophet" from Terrapin Station is in 7/8:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRlzIFmXqw0

Or depending on how you count it, it could be 7/4. When I first really listened to it, I found it easier to first count over it to 14 (8+6) and then break it into natural subdivisions with pick-up notes.


The Dead's "Playing in the Band" is in 10/8:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BR5OnOJxaNY

The Beatles' "All You Need is Love". *If I counted it right*: The main verse ("Nothing you can do that can't be done..." has 2 bars of 7/4, 1 bar of 8/4 followed by 1 bar of 7/4. You could count it as a 29 beat cycle. Then the next ("All you need") is in 4/4 for 6 bars and 1 bar of 6/4 (30 beat cycle) before repeating the whole chorus:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-pFAFsTFTI

Again, these are songs that I used to listen to without ever considering that they were in odd time. The rhythm seemed to follow natural phrasing and melody rather than deliberately marking the first note of each subdivision.

(My apologies to Jeremy Bender as I had the browser open and posted just after him)

Choasmaster 11-14-2013 06:48 AM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tommy_D (Post 1197875)
A great example of odd time signatures that all blend together so well would be Gavin Harrison's "19 Days." It goes 7/8, 7/8, 5/8 and repeats for the whole song. If you aren't counting you will get lost in the timing. Also, you don't have to count to enjoy the song. You can just listen to its awesomeness and pay no attention to the timing.

19 Days:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qn-wtb7GY4E

I understand that all that mumbo is technically impressive and awesome, but i don't see how anyone can get off to that... Style. I guess.

Not knocking anybodies music, just throwing my opinion into the wild lol.

porter 11-14-2013 11:35 AM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dre25 (Post 1197818)
Everything Karnivool does is really smooth.

This for example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TKC3jW6fzk

Oh, absolutely. "Nachash" is in 15/8, "A M War" is in 17/8, and even way back on Themata they were doing stuff like Scarabs which, while not sounding entirely natural, still showed a very potent knowledge of time signature... 'generation' I guess.

Tommy_D 11-14-2013 03:35 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Choasmaster (Post 1197986)
I understand that all that mumbo is technically impressive and awesome, but i don't see how anyone can get off to that... Style. I guess.

Not knocking anybodies music, just throwing my opinion into the wild lol.

Well, that particular piece of music was made to be solo'ed over. I have never seen Gavin Harrison perform the same drumming any time I have seen him. Its not really the type of music I listen to, its just a song with odd timing that flows well. I find the drumming to be very impressive, and how he (Gavin) can solo right over the timing, or solo within the timing, etc. Its just a very impressive piece of drumming, to me.

No troubles expressing your opinion. That's what a forum is for.

Croc 11-14-2013 03:59 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Just saw Gavin perform this during a Zildjian clinic last month: awesome! And as Tommy D noted, Gavin goes out of his way to mix things up each time he plays this song or for that matter anything else according to him. He does this to keep it fresh to him and to those listening.

While watching him play, I pay zero attention to all the time changes even though being a drummer I am very aware of them. It is simply a joy to see a consummate professional attack such a piece with totally confident, consistent strokes while conveying the feel and nuance of the piece. Great stuff!

bigiainw 11-14-2013 04:20 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Turn it on again by Genesis- 13/8 I believe.

Its hilarious watching people trying to dance to it, it sounds so like 4/4, but with the odd time, the on beat becomes the off beat and then changes backl throughout the song.

Torkerz 11-14-2013 04:38 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Croc (Post 1198052)
Just saw Gavin perform this during a Zildjian clinic last month: awesome! And as Tommy D noted, Gavin goes out of his way to mix things up each time he plays this song or for that matter anything else according to him. He does this to keep it fresh to him and to those listening.

To be honest, playing a song note for note is really taking the 'creativity' out of music in my opinion. I am sure Gavin can remember every note he plays, but he probably mixes it up because of the particular way he wants to play something, or it's played differently every time, not because he'd be going out of his way as such. It's like going to a live show and complaining it doesn't sound like 'the record'. Good points though - Gavin's a top bloke

Croc 11-14-2013 04:44 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Torkerz (Post 1198068)
To be honest, playing a song note for note is really taking the 'creativity' out of music in my opinion. I am sure Gavin can remember every note he plays, but he probably mixes it up because of the particular way he wants to play something, or it's played differently every time, not because he'd be going out of his way as such. It's like going to a live show and complaining it doesn't sound like 'the record'. Good points though - Gavin's a top bloke

Gavin told us that he does not want folks to anticipate what he will do and when performing if he sees someone "air drumming" the fill he / she expects him to play, he'll mix it up and throw in something different!

MJD 11-14-2013 05:06 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Superboy and the Invisible Girl from Next to Normal(music by Tom Kitt). 11/4 signature and this is from a mostly rock show (though there is a waltz and an old fashioned showtune in there as well)

Sjogras 11-14-2013 05:33 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by porter (Post 1198010)
Oh, absolutely. "Nachash" is in 15/8, "A M War" is in 17/8, and even way back on Themata they were doing stuff like Scarabs which, while not sounding entirely natural, still showed a very potent knowledge of time signature... 'generation' I guess.

Totally agreeing with you on Karnivool, especially "Goliath" comes to mind, I haven't bothered counting out that song, but it's a bunch of 6/8 and 7/8 bars that are mixed together so fluently. And despite not knowing what the total time signature is, I really love playing the song since it feels so natural.

Otto 11-14-2013 08:59 PM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Porcupine Tree - Sound Of Muzak (can you say dance-able 7/4?)

Vessels - Ornafives (beautiful transitions)

Dave Brubeck - Take 5 (a real smooth take on 5/4)



In the end its the listener that assigns the subjective quality of 'smoothness'....more as a limit of familiarity with the time in question than a question of the song writing...

The songs above and others I have heard mentioned here are great examples of '4/4 or 3/4 like' sounding applications of 'odd timing'.

Have a gander at Gavin Harrison's "Rhythmic Illusions" Instruction Set(book and dvd I believe)...great exploration of the concept.

JerryOnDrums 11-16-2013 05:01 AM

Re: Odd-time songs that sound natural
 
Chris Potter's entire album, "Traveling Mercies". There is some SUPERB Bill Stewart effortless-odd-time playing going on throughout. Highly recommended.


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