How To Approach Music With Rapidly Changing, Odd Time Signatures?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by HG1180, Jul 17, 2020.

  1. I am currently attempting to learn 43% Burnt By Dillinger Escape Plan
    which has time signatures in it such as 8/8, 12/8, 4/8, etc..
    I have a few years of semi formal music training but I havent exactly encountered something as odd as this before, so I would like to ask for the help of someone who is much more experienced in this sort of thing than me.

    Here is a set of tabs that I found, Im not sure if the actual tab is accurate but the time signatures are
    43% Burnt Tab by The Dillinger Escape Plan - Track 3 - Slap Bass 2 | Songsterr Tabs with Rhythm

    Thank You!
  2. I think the trick to counting is not counting, if that makes sense. It's more about feeling it instead of counting it for me. I guess I think of it as assembling bars and sections like lego bricks in my head. More of a string of notes. In my band, we write without thinking about the time signature. Sometimes we have to map out rhythms on a white board for syncopation purposes. I realize that this probably doesn't help much and I apologize. I'd say it just takes practice. Use the tabs as reference for playing along with the recording.

    Here's an example of some of the stuff that we bang together.

    On a side note, we actually played with DEP once. Their set was nonstop crazy!
    TolerancEJ and HG1180 like this.
  3. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Lucky you: So long as all those denominators are at a uniform tempo, all you really need to think about are the subdivisions...and not (necessarily) the barlines.
    iow, a piece that is barred 8/8, 12/8, 4/8 quite possibly could be subdivided as 2+2+2+2+3+3+3+3+2+2
    Here's that same subdivision scheme with barlines inserted: 2+2+2+2+|3+3+3+3+|2+2|
    ...but those barlines aren't necessarily telling you anything about how to play the piece; the subdivisions are.

    Now, if there's a metric modulation going on...e.g., if the 12/8 is a compound meter with dotted quarters = quarters from the previous 8/8 bar ...all bets are off and yer screwed. :)

    Eventually, yes.
  4. The tempo fluctuates quite frequently in the song and by a margin of about 30ish BPM i would say. I suppose if i practice it long enough i’ll eventually get it but by god... it is one hell of a song to learn.
    RumbleBot likes this.
  5. Yeah. I lot of it is running it until it's muscle memory. Takes a lot of patience.
    Seashore likes this.
  6. Seashore


    Jun 2, 2019
    Break it into phrases and take it a step at a time. I find that really careful counting helps me understand weird polymeters more quickly and get to the "just feel it" stage faster.
    RumbleBot likes this.
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