Odd Time Signatures and How I Got Started Getting into it – Written by a Non-Drummer (Part 3)

(…Continued from Part 2)

4/4 and 6/8 can be “odd” too

Nothing is preventing you from taking what may seem generic 4/4 (or 8/8), and make it sound interesting as well. A bar of 8/8 could be seen as 3+3+2 (triplet feel with a missing beat at the end).

A 6/8 bar could be seen as 4/8 + 2/8 (a 4 on the floor feel but with 2 eighth note beats missing).

A 9/8 could be seen as 4/4 + 1/8 ( a regular 4/4 feel but with an extra eight note) – rather than a 3/8 treated all with that triplet feel.

Making 7/8 not sound so much of the overdone 7/8.

If you recall from the intro of Part 1, where we discussed odd time signature being more common than most people think – here is a super interesting interview with Marco Minnemann on joesatrianiuniverse.com (video) that I recently came across, where he talked about 7/8 being the most common odd meter used, and how he deliberately tried not writing something in 7s but ended up being just that. (There’s an equally excellent interview with Bryan Beller (video) on the site too for those so inclined [, although not so much on our specific topic of odd meters].)


While I have not mentioned poly-rthythm in this blog post, I will end this blog post with this song by King Crimson, where you’ll find all assortments of creativity how the bars are phrased (and constantly changing). “Indiscipline” played by The Crimson ProjeKCT. (Self Promo Disclaimer: I have been very privileged to have both of these drummers, Pat Mastelotto and Tobias Ralph drum on my 2nd and 3rd solo record, respectively).


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