How am I supposed to count this?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Frank77, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Ok, so recently I discovered this really cool band named Butcher Brown, and one of the bands I play in wants to learn this tune. I figured the notes to the bass line in a matter of minutes, but the timing is very tricky to me.

    I figure there's got to be a time signature change for one bar somewhere in the "A" section, but I can't seem to put my finger on it. Can anyone help me figure this out?


    Spin Doctor and Groove Master like this.
  2. foal30


    Dec 3, 2007
    New Zealand

    Do you have a link to the music?
  3. Hi,

    I've included a YouTube link, doesn't it work?
  4. In the comments...3 bars of 4 and a bar of 5.
    JimK likes this.
  5. Does that mean 3 bars of 4/4 followed by one bar of 5/4? I don't hear it, though...Do you? It seems longer than that to me.
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Checking these guys out on Amazon Prime...pretty cool stuff. Google them and...

    They're outta Richmond, VA?!?!
    I am officially out-of-the-loop.
    Frank77 likes this.
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    You're talking about the section that starts around 54 seconds in? If so, yes...3 bars of 4/4 + 1 bar of 5/4.
  8. No, I'm talking about the "main" riff, the one that starts around 8 seconds in. For some reason I have a hard time feeling the length of the pause.
  9. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    That section that runs from about 0:08 to 0:25 feels like eight bars of 4/4 to me. There is a bit of a hang at the end of bar 8, but it counts as 4/4 to me. I could be wrong, but it's just a loose feel to a 4/4 rhythm.
    Spin Doctor, LBS-bass and Frank77 like this.
  10. You're probably right: Counting in fours I always land back on the "1" at the beginning of each 2-bar sequence of that riff. What the drums are doing is probably what's messing with my head!
  11. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    Ha! While I'm not certain on the proper time signature (I do think that 4/4 is correct), but if it were me trying to work it out, when I listen I hear the one and then five up beats followed by four counts of free time, almost half time.


    one and and and and and

    one... two... three... four...

    one and and and and and

    one... two... three... four...

    Some times they seem to really be cutting that last "four" short though, at least as far as my brain is processing it.

    :laugh: I'm sorry that's probably useless!
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
    Frank77 likes this.
  12. I was able to get it down, finally! Oddly enough the "B" part (3 bars of 4/4 + 1 bar of 5/4) is no problem at all to me (I guess the drums get back in sync with what everybody else is doing at that point of the tune, so it feels more natural), it's the "A" part (which is 4/4) that was the issue for me. If I tap my foot and ignore what the kick drum is doing, I get it right. I'll play it some more during the weekend and I probably won't have to think about it anymore...but yeah, that drum pattern (which sounds super cool) really made things difficult for me.
    JimK and Kro like this.
  13. I went to see them at the jazz festival here in Montréal last week and they absolutely killed it! I bought their albums the next day. There's a clear Herbie Hancock (from the "Headhunters" period) influence and even some occasionnal Zappa weirdness in some of their tunes. They also have an afrobeat album they did as a tribute to Fela Kuti. If you get a chance to catch one of their shows, I highly recommend it!

    Groove Master and JimK like this.
  14. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I agree & would only add that the drums on that section are playing everything but 'the time'. ;)
    I have played with guys like that...hard & a challenge (since most of my adult life was in R&B-type bands (1 & 3/2 & 4)...ya gotta count, no mater what!
    Frank77 likes this.
  15. Groove Master

    Groove Master Commercial User

    Apr 22, 2011
    Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101
    Ok for the 4/4 but to me it sounds like a 9/8 at the end the phrase.

    But hey real good discovery here ;-)
    Frank77 likes this.
  16. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
    JimK and Frank77 like this.
  17. Yeah, I got it now. The drums were throwing me off, but it's also what makes this tune so cool.
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