7/8 time on schism

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Mutilation, Mar 8, 2002.

1. MutilationMember

Jan 10, 2002
hello all
I recently learned schism by tool hmm I cant get that little 7/8 time riff down..
Whats a good way to get that part down or anything in 7/8 time for that matter?
answers will be apreciated greatly.. thanks

Apr 13, 2001
berkeley, ca
which part would this be?

the chorus?

or is it the "bridge"...the part where he uses a whammy..?

3. JimK

Dec 12, 1999
Here's something to ponder-
4/4 = l1e&a2e&a3e&a4e&al = 16 1/16th notes, right?

Consider this-
7/8 = l1e&a2e&a3e&a4el = 14 1/16th notes

Basically, the last TWO 1/16th notes are "cut off"...

You can practice this by counting what's in BOLD & 'thinking/feeling' what's in italacized...
So,
l1e&a2e&a3e&a4el

In turn, that can also be counted as-
l1___2___3___&_l1___2___3___&_l etc
Essentially, you're counting to "3 and a half"(3.50) as opposed to counting to "7".
(Count to "2 and a half" for "5"; "4 and a half" for "9", etc).

Another thing to try/practice(related to the above example of counting to 3 1/2)-
Counting in 1/2 time(7/8) while playing in 7/4...

4. steve 1Guest

Feb 18, 2002
utica, ny
or you could just lay it down like this. in 7/8 time there are 7 beats in a measure(notice the top number), with the 8th note getting the beat(notice the bottom number). another example: 4/4 time. there are 4 beats in a measure (top number), and the quarter note gets the beat (bottom number). or also 3/4 time. there are 3 beats in a measure, with the quarter getting the beat. does that explain things a little bit better?

Apr 13, 2001
berkeley, ca
okay...

i still don't know which part he has trouble getting down.

in fact, i'm not even sure if it is the counting he has trouble with in the first place.

6. john turnerYou don't want to do that. Trust me.Staff Member

Mar 14, 2000
atlanta ga
a good thing to remember is that odd times like that are usually grouped in small counts - 1 2 1 2 1 2 3, where the one's get accents. (think the beginning of subdivisions, by rush, for that one) counting this way helps to mentally maintain the accents and keeps the numbers small.

oh, and jim, you're off by an 1/8th, aren't you? if you count 3 'and' like you're saying, i would think that would end up being 6/8. gotta have that 4 in there. it looks like you have the ampersand in the position of the 4 in your little diagram.

maybe i'm missing something.

7. AngusSupporting Member

Apr 16, 2000
Palo Alto, CA
I think it was just a typo, John. If you put a 4 in there, it's correct. The sentence was just unclear...I think he meant a half of a beat past the entirety of three, rather than counting to the and of three. Basically, counting to the e of 4, because it's only a half of a beat.

What specifically are you doing wrong in the riff?

8. JimK

Dec 12, 1999
Guys-
Sorry, I argued about that with a drummer I was lucky enough to play with(the guy was unbelievable with ODD times; he could swing 'em & groove 'em like no one I had/have ever played with).
Anyway-

It's l1e&a2e&a3e&a4el

That's the way I wanted to count it; again, COUNTING 1-2-3-4
"Feeling" the subdivisions l(1)e&(2)e&a(3)e&a(4)el

That's when my pal tried explaining the notion of counting in "1/2 time".
So, in "7", one would count to 3 and a half or "3 AND". Look at the LENGTH of the underscores in this example(longer line = longer amount of TIME):
l1___2___3___4_l = 1___2___3___AND_l
("AND" is used in lieu of "4" or "4e")

I would usually F-that up 'cause I'm used to saying/thinking AND as part of 1eANDa; that "AND" in the 1/2 time count is NOT the same as the 'usual' AND(1e&a).
Believe me, it's an on-going project for me to "think" in that sorta way...the above drummer has called me "...the person most engrained in 4/4 that he has ever met".

BTW, counting in 1/2 time in 4/4 is pretty easy...&, IMO, gets ya thinking in a different time line-
l1_______2_______l3_______4_______l
Essentially, you're only counting TWO beats per bar of 4.
Ever hear a drum part in "4"...BUT, the snare is falling on YOUR Beat 3? It's possible the drummer is counting the snare's part in 1/2 time(that would shift the snare's crack, seemingly, to Beat 3...provided you're counting in 'straight 4' time).

9. john turnerYou don't want to do that. Trust me.Staff Member

Mar 14, 2000
atlanta ga
oh, that explains it - that's a _drummer's_ explanation . that's why it's seemingly wrong and uses confusing terminology.

he suggested that you just use "and" as a place holder? i think he's using the "and" to imply the pickup of the next measure

"and 1...2...3...and 1"

some folks i guess need that to get the one right.

10. JimK

Dec 12, 1999
Are YOU having fun, yet?!
How would you(or anyone) count in "7"...in 1/2 time?
Edumacate me.

BTW, one of our songs in that band, penned by the drummer, was titled "Find 1"...
Listen to cats like Rashied Ali, Barry Altschul, Billy Kilson, Cornell Rochester, G. Calvin Wesley, Hamid Drake(who I'm listening to as we speak)...there's, seemingly, no bar line & finding "1" is an adventure(at least for the time challenged like moi).

11. PacmanLayin' Down TimeStaff MemberGold Supporting Member

Apr 1, 2000
Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
Dave Weckl has a great way of explaining this (and I think that's what Jim's trying to do). Think of beats 1 and 2 in simple time (two eight notes for each beat) and beat three in compound time (3 eight notes each). Now, when you play in simple time, the eight note is the "and", but when you play compound time, you've got "one and ah" for each beat unless you divide the 3 notes equally (borrowed meter).

It's almost impossible to explain in type (though I'm on the edge of calling John to explain it to him - in hopes that he can figure a way to..... But when you get it, you can swing the crap out of odd times.....

12. john turnerYou don't want to do that. Trust me.Staff Member

Mar 14, 2000
atlanta ga
well, i don't count that way. i always count in denominators (pulse notes), and i subdivide the measure into accent counts. regardless of what i'm playing, that's what i'll focus on.

1 2 1 2 1 2 3 or 1 2 1 2 3 4 5 or whatever, based on where the sub-measure accent fall. that's just the way that my drummer and i do odd time, by the numbers.

i can respect the concepts behind using the "and" in place of the "4" to imply the upbeat pickup. for instance, we do a lot of stuff where we will have a 7/8 measure followed by two 4/4 measures and then ended by a 9/8 measure - shoot, we've got that going on in the mp3 in my sig. that kind of half time counting works out great for this, in that we've got basically a 4 beat going on through the whole part, with a borrowed 8th to give an upbeat feel, that we give back at the end of the phrase.

i guess my problem with it is the confusing terminology. that's just me, though - whatever works, ultimately is right, i guess.

i've heard a bunch of complex ways of explaining odd time before, but i've never understood what was wrong with simple counting. maybe these ways contribute to another kind of feel - i've been aware of the natural tendancy to sound very 1/8th note-y counting 8's, for instance, with 7/8. just something to be on the lookout for, i guess.

13. john turnerYou don't want to do that. Trust me.Staff Member

Mar 14, 2000
atlanta ga
well, that's what i've been saying - subdivide the count of 8's, giving every 8th note a "1". i'm just counting in pulse notes, instead of subdivisions of sub-pulse notes (1/8ths as opposed to 1/4s).

e.g. instead of 1-and-2-and-3-and-a, i'm saying 1 2 1 2 1 2 3

each "1" is denoting an accent, which helps keep the part grooving properly, and the other numbers are place holders. using a 1/4 count would make things difficult if the accent happens to fall on an even 1/8th.

for instance, count the part in the mp3 in my sig starting at 10:16. the section is nominally in 13/8, but really it's 5/8, alternating with 4/4 (8/8 really). try to count 1/4's here and it's hard, but count the 8s and it subdivides nicely, and the part was relatively easy (nevermind the 2nd one that i smudged a bit when i recorded it )

14. john turnerYou don't want to do that. Trust me.Staff Member

Mar 14, 2000
atlanta ga
duh. that's supposed to read "giving every _accented_ 8th note a "1" ". sorry.

15. JimK

Dec 12, 1999
Packer-
Thanks, I believe that Weckl concept is what I was attempting to get across...what can I say.
The goal, as you mentioned, is to SWING those thangs, too!

Personally, I get into trouble when counting 1-2-3-4-5-6-sev or 1-2-3-1-2-1-2 etc.
Then again, ODD stuff is & will always be one of my bug-a-boos.
What has helped me is this-
You guys know the Clave exercise of tapping out the PULSE(on Beats 1 & 3)with one hand while tapping out the CLAVE with the other hand?
Anyway, I have sat around tapping that out so much over the past 10 years or so...I have gotten pretty comfortable with deleting the last 1/4 note of the 2nd bar(gives a "7" figure) or adding a 1/4 note to the 1st bar(gives a "5" figure).
Getting that 'sound' in my head allows me to not rely on counting(1-2-3-4-5-6-sev)...& that's a good thing!

16. Intrepid

Oct 15, 2001
Somebody I think said it best, just think fo the beat in terms of 8th notes and make sure you play 7 8th notes in a measure.

17. john turnerYou don't want to do that. Trust me.Staff Member

Mar 14, 2000
atlanta ga
anyone else here lovin' the "masters of the obvious" answers that we're getting in this thread too?

18. Howard K

Feb 14, 2002
UK
OK, that's a head f**k reading all that lot!

1_and_err_2_and_umm_errr?!

The guitarist & drummer in my band always try to put things into 7/8 - (mostly for the sake of it being 'clever' if you ask me)... and I always have difficulty getting my head round it at first - mainly because their riffs all sound the bloody same - which makes it harder.

The only way I ever manage it is by counting 1_2_3_1_2_3_4 ...as already said.

I'll gong try out schism when I get home... see how far I get?!

Mar 12, 2002
Notts UK
I don't think I count at all - A weird swaying motion seems to help keep me in time when unusual time-signatures are around...

(Got to love Sting for these - '7 Days':
sway-and-err-sway-and-err-sway-and-sway-and)

20. Sofa King

Aug 20, 2000
Rowlett, TX
I have to count like John does: 1212123
7/8 isn't too bad... what sucks is when the oboes in your (school) band suck and they try to read 2 1/2 / 4 and 4 1/2 / 4 time
(It's actually really not that diffucult of a concept to grasp IMO, but the oboes in my old middle school band were better than the ones in this band)