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Rock Songs with Non Standard Time Signatures

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Daz39 said:

That's the skill of bands like Rush and Dream Theater - to play what sounds like 'just a good song' and yet it's complex if you really listen to it.

Disappear - Dream Theater

Tiberius - Smashing Pumpkins

So true!

As an aside, we may have slipped a little into prog territory 😂 

 

Edited by fragility

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Posted (edited)

Money - Pink Floyd - (7/4 I think but changes to 4/4 later on).

Manic Depression - Hendrix (9/4 maybe??)

Edited by Japhet
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13 hours ago, atsampson said:

The Grateful Dead have a load of songs with odd time signatures, e.g. "Playing In The Band" (10/4?) and "Estimated Prophet" (7/4).

Yep, Playing in the band is in 10/4, Estimated is always counted in as 7/4 but one of our drummers (who really does know what he's talking about) says we should be counting it in 14/8. Either way, it's not the easiest one to play on the bass - the emphasis keeps changing.

And then there's the eleven. In 11/8, obviously. The structure is mostly three 3s and a 2, which is quite straightforward., 

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48 minutes ago, Japhet said:

Money - Pink Floyd - (7/4 I think but changes to 4/4 later on).

The story I heard. . . . . .  the 4/4 section in Money was put in because Dave Gilmour couldn't solo in 7/4.

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Primus - Eleven (11/8) is a cool one. Andpretty much any Tool, Them Crooked Vultures have several too. 

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3 hours ago, Japhet said:

Money - Pink Floyd - (7/4 I think but changes to 4/4 later on).

Manic Depression - Hendrix (9/4 maybe??)

Manic depression is 3/4.

ThIs the daddy of time signatures.

 

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On 09/07/2020 at 01:30, chris_b said:

If you can work out what time signatures are being played in this number you're doing better than me. . . . . .

If - Fibonacci's Number

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18jk2oRkyPc

 

Never knew that was there, the most difficult band to Google. I have the first 2 albums. I suspect they used quite a few of Fibonacci's numbers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibonacci_number

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On 09/07/2020 at 16:19, fragility said:

As an aside, we may have slipped a little into prog territory 😂 

😀
That said, a question like this will bring them out.

Who knows, maybe a better question would have been: "Name some music with odd time signatures and long, multi-part songs that draw on many musical styles, with lyrics about fairies and gnomes or Tolkien, and preferably played by a band whose keyboard player wears a long goldy-silvery cape. NB NO PROG!" 😁

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On 09/07/2020 at 10:25, Nail Soup said:

Here's one from an unlikley candidate.......

OK, it's not the whole or even main part of song, but Rockaway Beach by the Ramones has the instrumental riff (comes after the choruses) in 5/4 time over a 4/4 drum beat.

Caused a fair bit of discussion when my covers band first did it.

thanks for that, I never realised (I doubt whether the Ramones did either), I just count 11234 four times, always thought it was a bit odd but it all comes right because it equals 20 beats or 5 bars of 4/4, it also caused a fair degree of discussion in our band as well, we had to play the record to the guitarist several times till he reluctantly agreed I was right 😁

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Posted (edited)
On 09/07/2020 at 07:38, Maude said:

Here's another System Of A Down song that's in many different signatures, and in all honesty it keeps changing so quickly I don't know what the hell is going on.

They use odd timings quite a lot and is possible due to their Armenian heritage, I don't know but I can imagine traditional Armenian music using odd timings. 

Spoonman by Soundgarden is 7/4 in the verses. 

And of there's Led Zeps Kashmir, polyrhythm with 4/4 drums but most of the rest in 3/4,but the drums are boring as hell so maybe go with Blackdog instead, 3/4, 4/4 and 5/4. 

 

Strictly speaking Kashmir is an example of a Hemiola where the drums are in 4/4 and other instrumentation is in 3/4 which creates a weird odd time feel as the instrumental cycles of three line up with the drums every 4 bars. Hope this makes sense.

Edited by MNY

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On 09/07/2020 at 15:50, Japhet said:

Money - Pink Floyd - (7/4 I think but changes to 4/4 later on).

Manic Depression - Hendrix (9/4 maybe??)

Manic depression is just 3/4, it has a waltz feel.

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41 minutes ago, MNY said:

Manic depression is just 3/4, it has a waltz feel.

So it is! You'd think I'd be able to count to 3 by now.

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On 09/07/2020 at 09:00, NancyJohnson said:

Undoubtedly there's going to be a plethora of stuff posted here.

If you want musical madness combining odd time signatures juxtapositioned with ever odder key changes and dischords, look no further than Shudder To Think.  Despite my description, it's all amazingly coherent.  I turned @hiram.k.hackenbacker about a week ago, loads more previously.  I'd suggest listening to Pony Express Record (where they really hit their stride) and then navigate backwards (Get Your Goat).  I mentioned to Brains that he ought to listen once and then go again.

This has recently surfaced...unedited live footage from MTVs 120 Minutes show.

 

It's always nice to see some StT love - how they weren't huge I'll never understand - x-french tee shirt is a masterpiece (anthemic sing along ending over a single chord? Mad genius).

I could list songs and bands all day long that you've most likely never heard of, but based on your original ideas I think you're looking for things more ensconced in the bosom of popularity.

Building on Mountains - a lot of the newer Biffy stuff still uses odd time sigs - Different people (main riff is a 15/8 feel), Spanish Radio (5/4), Bubbles (ends in 7/4) and a lot of the older stuff (Glitter and Trauma, now the action, jaggy snake etc...)

Deftones sneak a few in every now and then - Poltergeist (Very fun 7/4 bass riff), DIamond eyes (11/8 feel chorus), Leathers (11/4 feel verses)

Radiohead of course -  2 + 2 =5 (in 7/8 not 5, oddly), 15 step (again 5/4, not 15...)

Obligatory plug for my favourite band Oceansize, especially tempting bait to a drummer - maybe a bit on the proggy side for some people but very musical and melodic -

 

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This is useful for me because I am planning next term's teaching and want to start Theory with my 1st year class. I am looking for stuff that is not run of the mill 4/4.

But I am going to need some help. I cannot see Love Rears it's Ugly Head or Hysteria in anything but 4/4. Am I missing something?

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9 minutes ago, owen said:

...Am I missing something?

You're not wrong at all; they're straight 4/4. There's plenty of choice in the preceding posts, though, without resorting to those pieces, Shirley..?

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2 minutes ago, Dad3353 said:

You're not wrong at all; they're straight 4/4. There's plenty of choice in the preceding posts, though, without resorting to those pieces, Shirley..?

Don't worry, I have lots already but it is always fun to get new options to make them count.

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Not super rock but could pass if you squint

 

Also not rock but a lovely opening which tricks you into "it is 4/4 o'clock" before it becomes clear that he is splitting a 7/4 perfectly in half.

 

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Posted (edited)

Sorry for the slight digression. Again this isn’t a rock tune but it is interesting in the sense of the ‘time feel’. I don’t know if anyone is familiar with an Algerian drummer called Karim Ziad?  He played with Zawinul and is very highly rated. Being from Algeria he has a completely different type of feel. Most of the musicians on the attached track are of different ethnic origins and I find it fascinating to listen to their approach to time. Please let me know what you think the time sig is. The bass playing is pretty fantastic on this ,as is everything else I might add. 
 

For those who are interested the bass player is Michel Alibo, one of THE most incredible players I have ever come across. He plays in a French fusion band called Sixun.
 

 

Edited by MNY

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Poppy rock from XTC.
I don't have speakers ATM, but seem to remember this is one of their 5/4 tracks.
They also had a 6/8 or something in one track, cleverly written so it sounded odd, but my brain can't remember the exact song. May come up with it later.
 

 

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Posted (edited)

Mari Boine's Eallin - 4/4 tune sung / played over a 5/4 drum pattern.

 

Edited by Earbrass
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