Odd time signature songs for beginners

Leftie117

Junior Member
I need suggestions for finding slow tempo, odd time signature songs for beginners. This can include 3/4, 5/4 (if that's a common thing) and *sigh* I suppose 7/8. I would prefer songs that don't switch between signatures. Thanks!
 

BradGunnerSGT

Silver Member
I need suggestions for finding slow tempo, odd time signature songs for beginners. This can include 3/4, 5/4 (if that's a common thing) and *sigh* I suppose 7/8. I would prefer songs that don't switch between signatures. Thanks!
"Money" by Pink Floyd is a good one to start with. It's in 7/4, has a clear bass line to follow/hum along to, and it has a good cue at the end of each measure (there is a crash on 7 and 1 during most of the first part of the song). The only time signature change is that it goes into 4/4 during the solo and back to 7 afterward. They also telegraph the time signature changes well in advance.
 
Try "Money" by Pink Floyd. It is an easy tempo so you won't get lost in the speed of it and it is a very smooth song to transition to. Plus, it has a killer groove too :)
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
Jethro Tull Living in the Past is a nice singable in 5/4.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbiHf3fpkXo

Everything's Alright from Jesus Christ Superstar in 5/4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkje4FiH9Qc

Allman Brothers Whipping Post in 11/8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCtdKWWfZG8

Bill Bruford the Drum also Waltzes 3/4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgCuynAi0ac

Just for the hell of it:

Don Ellis Big Band Bulgarian Bulge 33/16

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

Have fun with that!
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
In addition to the suggestions above, you could also employ some instructional materials such as Tommy Igoe's Groove Essentials Vol. 2, which has a whole section on odd time grooves.

Moreover, learning 7/8 is simple. Take any straightforward 8th note rock groove in 4 and simply chop the last note off the end. Start with the Money Beat and work your way to more complex stuff.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
'Fifteen Step' by Radiohead is a good one, in 5/4. 'Money' by Pink Floyd has probably been mentioned - 7/4 with changes to 4/4. Good fun.
 

Croc

Senior Member
Granted it is a bit obscure, but the aptly named "Lucky Seven" by Chris Squire from his album Fish Out of Water finds Bill Bruford laying down a nice, easy pattern in seven that's fun to play along with and good practice.
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
yeah ... swinging in 5/4 is exactly what you want to do with a beginner

:)
The first two pieces I learned in 5/4 were Take 5 and Everything's Alright.

Both use the same dotted 8th and 16th note shuffle cymbal pattern with snare on the two of the first grouping of three and 1 on the second grouping of 2.

Pretty much a natural feel because of the easy melodies associated the songs.

I learned to hum them first and the rest just came along easy.
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
I'm just pokin at ya my man

but most beginners I deal with have enough trouble swinging in 4/4

people are just exposed enough to that type music today unfortunately
I hear you.
I threw out my "fun" post with the Bulgarian Bulge.
I remember hearing it first on the New Don Ellis Big Band goes Underground.

33 effing 16?
Plus ,have you ever tried to hum it?

Oh yeah,frigging Colaiuta had to play along with it to show me he could back in Jr high:)
 
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phillips99

Member
5 is the new 4 by the Odd Meters - Fun groove in 5

Anagram - Young the Giant - in 7 (kick and snare over two bars)

The Comedians by Elvis Costello - sweet little groove in 5, (chorus in 6)

From Eden - Hozier - laid back 5

Get Closer - Linda Rondstat - sneaky 7

Kid Gloves by Rush - yes you can play a Neil Peart groove - it's a very straight forward beat in 5 (just in verse)

Old House - Nik Kershaw - Don't be fooled about a song about a house. That's Simon Phillips on drums. Groove in 5.

Seven Days - Sting - in 5 (not 7!) beautiful side stick from Vinnie Colaiuta. Lots of videos to play along with.



Odd Time Signature (Mostly) Playable Drummer Songs Spotify Playlist has more.
 
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Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Yeah. Take Five isn't really an issue. If they like the tune you can stay on quarters.

I'll use anything in 5 or 7 they can relate to musically. The Sting stuff works fine, so does the Groove Essentials tunes and many young school bands play the Mission Impossible Theme these days.

It isn't really necessary to complicate things. Just keep the pulse, BD on 1 and snare in the right spot. Learn simple fills as in any other style before you start messing with and complicating the groove to much.
 
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