time sig help

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Bayou_Brawler, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
    are there any online recources to help with time sigs?

    something that plays examples would be cool.

    :bassist: :confused: :bassist:
  2. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    You want to know what each time signature *sounds* like?

    4/4, 2/2, and 2/4 can sound very much alike - each is chosen pretty much to make it easier to write the sheet music. But a 2/4 is generally thought of as a "two-beat swing", where the bass plays only the downbeats - think bluegrass or polka.

    3/4 is, well, a waltz. Pick a waltz, that's what it sounds like - although there are many ways to play waltzes. "Waltz Across Texas", "Take it to the Limit", "All Blue".

    6/8 - "House of the Rising Sun" by the Animals, "Bring it on Home to Me" by Sam Cooke, to name just two. Often counted in 2, where each beat is a dotted quarter.

    5/4, 7/8, etc. are generally subdivided, e.g., "Take Five" is counted as "1-2-3 1-2".

    What else do you need to know?
  3. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Too much hip thrust
    You can always start listening to Dream Theater and other prog type of bands.

    Metallica "And Justice For All" uses a lot of non- 4/4 time signatures (for example, Blackened has a lot of 6/4 stuff).

    To start composing in odd times, you can try a regular pattern that you are comfortable with and add/subtract half beats or full beats to it to feel how it changes up things. If you do that, I hope you have an open minded drummer!
  4. bill_banwell


    Oct 19, 2002
    Definately check out Dream Theater for time signatures, some amazing examples, also some Niacin stuff play around with some interesting time sigs.
  5. HaVIC5


    Aug 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NYC
    I actually wouldn't check out Dream Theater for help in beginning to understand time signatures - their stuff is typically oddly subdivided and disjointed.
  6. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    What exactly are you looking to learn bayou brawler? Time sigs are just counting. The feel is in how you subdivide it.
  7. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Three songs which title alludes to their time signature: "Eleven" from Primus' "Sailing The Seas Of Cheese" (11/8), "Thirteen" from Frank Zappa's "You Can't Do That On Stage Vol. 6" (13/8) and "five-five-FIVE" from Zappa's "Shut Up'n Play Yer Guitar" which has a pattern of two 5/8 measures followed by a 5/4 measure (hence the caps). IMO, that pattern can also be measured as a single 20/8 measure, but the subdivision is very clear in the song. Los Lobotomys' "Party In Simon's Pants" also has a weird 17/8 time signature, not to mention lots of Rush tunes.
  8. WillBuckingham


    Mar 30, 2005
    You forgot to mention the band that is named after a time signature: "A Perfect Circle" was the medievel nomenclature for 9/8 (three divisions of three, symbolizing the trinity, ergo "perfect").
  9. All_¥our_Bass


    Dec 26, 2004
    if you mention A Perfect Cirlce it is almost required to mention Tool who also do odd time-sig stuff.
  10. WillBuckingham


    Mar 30, 2005
    I don't recall "A Perfect Circle" doing very much "odd-time sig stuff" just a lot of heavy 3-feel rhythms, hence the name.

    I was just pointing that out for fun in response to the post about songs with reference to time signatures in the name of the song.
  11. Go listen to a song called "Judging By The Size Of Carnie". It goes from 4/8 to 5/8 to 6/8 to 7/8 to 8/8 then to 9/8. Girls love weird time sigs.............

  12. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    That's not all that weird since they're all divisible by /8, consistent pulse throughout and you're just counting in groupings.

    The really weird(i.e. difficult to feel, hard to quantify) signatures are the ones that bounce around what you're dividing your notes by, when the pulse shifts around. I can't say girls like that stuff as much though. I did a piece in 9/8(18/16) against 8.5/8(17/16) for a girl's 18th b-day and got nothing in return! hahaha.