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7/8 question

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Microbass, May 11, 2003.


  1. hi guys, ive got another new book here, and the timing changes between 4/4 and 7/8.

    Ive never done anything oustide of 3/4 or 4/4, so I need some help - how can I count in time for the 7/8 bars?

    heres an example (sorry its in TAB)

    (C) q q 1 tri-plet
    D -0-2--3-3-5-------

    q = quarter
    1 tripplet = triplet :p

    please help. I don't see my teache runtil tomorrow, and i was hoping to make a start on this piece.

    thanks!
     
  2. Brooks

    Brooks

    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    I usually count it as 1-2-3-4-1-2-3, but depends where the emphasis in the beat is. 7/8 is used a lot in east Mediterannean and Arabic music, but each area places the accents in a different place.
     
  3. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    YOu can count it in a bunch of different ways:

    1-2-1-2-1-2-3

    or

    1-2-1-2-3-1-2

    or

    1-2-3-1-2-1-2


    There are other ways, if you search the archives I explained a way that DAve Weckl thinks about it that really helps get a handle on odd times....
     
  4. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    I've always found it helpful to relate a new rhythmic figure to something I've heard. For 7/8 I had two:

    Rush's "Natural Science" from "Permanent Waves", there is a section titled "Hyperspace" that is a perfect example of the 1212123 count that Blinky refers to. A very obvious 7/8.

    Also, sticking to my Rush theme - On "Moving Pictures" during the guitar solo in "Red Barchetta", they play the verse chord progression in 7/8, but it is in 4/4 during the verses, they just drop an 1/8th note. A very subtle 7/8.

    Rush are a cornucopia of odd time examples...

    :D
     
  5. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    we play in a lot of odd times, and what always works best for me is to count the beat note (quarter notes, eighths, etc) (meaning don't count quarters in a measure of 5/8 for instance). and subdivide the measure into multiple groups of 2's and 3's, where the "1" of each subdivision is an accent.

    speaking of subdivisions, there's a lot of good, easy to count 7 going on in that song :D.
     
  6. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    You might find it useful to think of it as 4/4, but just one 8th note shorter. It's common, particularly in Jazz, (in 4/4, or regular time signatures in general) for rhythmic hits to anticipate the first beat of the bar by an 8th note. It's like the first beat of the bar comes an 8th note early. 7/8 is like that, but the anticipated hit, actually *is* beat 1 of the next bar.

    I recall finding that helpful in getting my head around 7/8.
     
  7. thanks guys , this has helped!

    :smug:
     
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I'm surprised nobody's mentioned Pink Floyd's "Money" yet! ;)
     
  9. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    The metric pulse of "Money" would lead me to believe it's in 7/4.

    Splitting hairs maybe, but there is a difference.
     
  10. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    I'm not sure I understand the original example: two quarters and three triplets (are those quarter or eighth triplets? either way, doesn't matter) doesn't make 7/8. Two quarters and three eigths would be 7/8.
     
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I was watching a documentary on the BBC about the making of "Dark Side of the Moon" last week and they were talking to both Roger Waters and Dave Gilmour and Gilmour specifically said that it was 7/8 - they played Roger's original demo of the riff on acoustic guitar and Dave said how they changed the part for his solo to 4/4 as he couldn't solo in 7/8! ;)
     
  12. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification

    If you take the solo as 4/4, the song is in 7/4 (I really don't care what Waters and Gilmore said) - the quarter note remains constant between the two meters. If it were in 7/8, the main riff would be twice as fast, or the solo would be in 4/8.
     
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well if the composer and the musicians who played it, say it's 7/8, who are we to argue?
     
  14. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I don't know the song, but what Pac said makes sense.
     
  15. ConU

    ConU

    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    Does'nt necesssarily mean they know what they're talking about,that's unquestionably 7/4 for the reasons Pacman stated.
     
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I do agree and it makes sense to me - I've always thought of it as 7/4 , which was why it struck me, when Dave Gilmour said this - he seems like a good musician?

    Did anybody else (in the UK) see this programme - it was on BBC2 after Jool's Holland's 'Later', which had Michael McDonald on it - he played the last song and then there was this programme about the making of "Dark Side.." - very interesting.

    The only thing I can think though, is that there may have been different versions and it changed when they 'constructed' it in the studio over a long period of time? So - he mentioned that the 4/4 part was not originally in the song as written by Waters?
     
  17. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    "Money" is unquestionably in 7/4, not 7/8 - the feel is a constant repeating 7 counts between strong beats, and there are no "long" and "short" beats as there are in 7/8.

    I'd say that Gilmour and Waters mis-spoke.
     
  18. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Damn. Missed that. Michael McDonald would've been worth suffering Jules Holland's inane drivel for.
     
  19. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Don't you know who I think I am? :D:cool:
     
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I suppose what I am asking is - can you imagine a version in 7/8, if it didn't have the change in the middle and if it was just played on acoustic guitar? They did mention that Alan Parsons had a big musical input into a lot of Dark Side - I wondered if he had maybe 'tidied it up' in the studio?