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Bass in Odd Time Signatures

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Googly, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. Googly


    Sep 21, 2008
    Whats the best for way to learn how to play in different time signatures?

    I can play a few songs in Odd time sigs such as the intro to YYZ and Money, but i can't really jam in odd time sigs.

    What ways do you guys use to devolp a feel for them?
  2. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    When I was into odd time stuff, I always ended up breaking the beat into 2s, 3s and 4s.

    for example
    "Money" can be counted 1-2-3, 1-2-3-4; 1-2-3, 1-2-3-4;....

    "Take Five" can be counted 1-2-3,1-2; 1-2-3,1-2, etc...
  3. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    Set up an odd time sig on a drum machine or have a drummer play the measure over and over.
    Pretty soon it will sound "normal".
  4. Joel S.

    Joel S. Reserved for future witty use...

    Jul 9, 2008
    yea, what he said. It's easier to wrap your head around if you subdivide them into groups of 2, 3 and 4 beats.
  5. count how it sounds ahahah 7/8
    1,2,3,4,5,6,7 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
  6. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    It just takes time to get the sound in your ear and feel it. If you can set up the drum machine, make a recording of the beat and play it in the car. You just have to make it a part of your 'musical DNA'.
  7. i am not comfortable breaking 7 into 3+4 but rather its kinda easy for me to count 7. same ways i can normally get into a 10/8 15 or other odd time grooves as long as they feel a little natural to me. i dont know, all though its just me and how it works
  8. thetawaves


    Dec 29, 2006
    i came across this when i was trying to work out a few Tool numbers...Schism is in a 6.5/8 timing (among a gazilion others) and that takes some getting used to. For me it's just playing around until you find where you fit in with the rhythm, so a matter of time more than anything.

    Bass Chucks' reply +1 really :)
  9. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'm the same way. I don't like subdividing because it makes me put emphasis on each 1. So instead of 1-2-3-4-5-6-7, I play 1-2-3-1-2-3-4 or 1-2-3-4-1-2-3. But subdividing does work to help count odd times. As long as everyone makes it to the next bar on time, it's all good.
    Lanky Tunes likes this.
  10. Googly


    Sep 21, 2008
    How about making grooves/riffs that change every bar?
    Like Black Dog by Led Zep and Goliath by Mars Volta.

    Does anyone know of a free drum machine that does Odd times?
  11. Joel S.

    Joel S. Reserved for future witty use...

    Jul 9, 2008
    Black Dog doesn't change time signatures, it's just a weird riff that doesn't resolve how you would expect. I have the notation somewhere, and unless I've lost my mind, it's 4/4.
  12. j.a.e.r.i.p


    Apr 8, 2007
    Definitely subdivide, just practice, I used to not be able to play even in 3/4, and at the end of last year an ensemble i was in played all the things you are in 7/4, sightreading off of a 4/4 chart. and that didn't even feel very difficult.
  13. bassplayertom77


    Sep 24, 2008
    I took a gig playing in the orchestra pit for "Cats" at a local high school. Odd times everywhere. It eventually bacame natural to count in odd times.

    Point is, immerse yourself in it. Kind of like learning Spanish, best way is to move to Mexico.

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