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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So today I was thinking about time signatures and more specifically, popular songs that use odd time signatures. This is done by "sneaking" them past the listener, removing the uncomfortability or irregular feel of odd times. Some examples I thought of were:

"Solsbury Hill" Peter Gabriel (7/4)
"Money" Pink Floyd (7/4)
"Mission Impossible Theme" by Lalo Schifrin (5/4)
"Take 5" Dave Brubeck (5/4)

Basically, songs that are in an odd time but yet feel comfortable and groove well enough that you don't really notice it going by . Can you think of any others?
 

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Genesis - "Turn It On Again", with alternate bars of 6/4 and 7/4. It flows much better than you think it would. In general, I think 7/4 flows very well.

Also, Jimi Hendrix's "Manic Depression" in 3/4.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I could be wrong but aren't alot of tool songs in something other than 4/4?
Well yes, but I was more thinking of songs that the "average" listener would hear and never think twice about. Everyone can hum the mission impossible theme, but I doubt most people could hum a tool melody.
 

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I am Groot
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The chorus is a textbook example of compound time.
 

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Wanker (reprise)
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If you are going for reasonably mainstream:

Fairytale of New York - The Pogues - 6/8
Diamonds & Pearl - Prince - weak track but goes from 2/4 to 3/4 to 4/4 to 5/4 at different points
Shiver - Coldplay - 6/8 (no not a fan but immediately noticed the time sig being weird)
Paranoid Android - Radiohead (and just about anything they released post 'The Bends')
Seven Days - Sting - 5/4
Happiness is a Warm Gun - The Beatles 5/4

And basically anything by Rush, Yes and every other prog band under the sun. :lol:
 

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Argh
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One of the opening riffs in 'Times Like These' by Foo Fighters is in 7/4. It's a really cool riff too.
 

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RG 7 player of doom
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Even Limp Bizkit's take on the Mission Impossible Theme "Take a Look Around" has a 5/4 section in it. I don't really like most of their music, but I've always loved that song, but it just never occurred to me it had an odd time signature in it until this year (then again I hadn't heard the song in about 5 years though)

The Living End instrumental song "Closing In" has a 7/4 riff in it, and the band isn't really associated with doing that especially since they got poppier sounding over time.

Although Thrice have used odd time signatures many times, I'd say the least "obvious" sounding example of theirs is "Circles".
Can't remember all the stuff off the top of my head, but I know the outro from 2:46 onwards has two bars of 4/4 and then followed by a bar of 7/4.

"One Armed Scissor" by At the Drive In has a 3/4 riff.
While I suppose it's technically 4/4, but there's a rhythmic bit in "Invalid Litter Dept" (again, At the Drive In) that you could also say is a bar of of 3/4 followed by 5/4 because of the way it sounds.

Paramore uses 3/4 on "That's What You Get" and 6/8 on "Feeling Sorry"

Alternative rock band VersaEmerge :
5/4 on "Whisperer"
6/8 on "Fire (Aim Your Arrows High)
3/4 on "Up There"

Indie-Jazz/Rock band The Reign of Kindo has quite a bit of stuff outside 4/4 time.
 

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NSLALP
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Even the original Mission Impossible Theme has a 5/4 section in it.
:yesway:

What I like almost more than odd time signatures are "straight" time signatures (6/8, 4/4, 3/4, etc.) that have an odd feel to them. Can't think of an example off the top of my head, but it's accomplished through non-standard accent patterns. Think maybe Between the Buried and Me.

Also, the never-ending debate: Pink Floyd's Money. 7/4 or 7/8? :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
:yesway:

What I like almost more than odd time signatures are "straight" time signatures (6/8, 4/4, 3/4, etc.) that have an odd feel to them.

Also, the never-ending debate: Pink Floyd's Money. 7/4 or 7/8? :cool:
Kind of like Brubeck's "Blue Rondo ala Turk." It's in 6/8, but rather than grouping it 3+3+3, it's 2+2+2+3. Very cool
 

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"One Armed Scissor" by At the Drive In has a 3/4 riff.
While I suppose it's technically 4/4, but there's a rhythmic bit in "Invalid Litter Dept" (again, At the Drive In) that you could also say is a bar of of 3/4 followed by 5/4 because of the way it sounds.

Paramore uses 3/4 on "That's What You Get" and 6/8 on "Feeling Sorry"
3/4 on "Up There"

Indie-Jazz/Rock band The Reign of Kindo has quite a bit of stuff outside 4/4 time.
3/4 is not an odd time signature. It is actually the second most common time signature out there.

Normal every-day time signatures: 4/4, 3/4, 6/4, 2/4 (and variations of those such as 6/8 and 12/8).

Odd time signatures: 3/8, 5/8, 5/4, 7/4, 9/4, 11/8, 10/8, 31/16, and on and on (there are a lot)

I use a lot of odd time signatures in my music, but I oftentimes try to make them sound as odd as possible. :lol: Of course, I don't do mainstream music, though.
 

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RG 7 player of doom
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3/4 is not an odd time signature. It is actually the second most common time signature out there.

Normal every-day time signatures: 4/4, 3/4, 6/4, 2/4 (and variations of those such as 6/8 and 12/8).

Odd time signatures: 3/8, 5/8, 5/4, 7/4, 9/4, 11/8, 10/8, 31/16, and on and on (there are a lot)

I use a lot of odd time signatures in my music, but I oftentimes try to make them sound as odd as possible. :lol: Of course, I don't do mainstream music, though.
I understand the difference between compound, odd and simple time signatures, thankyou.
My point being is that 3/4 is definitely not as commonly used as 4/4 in rock music in general. You definitely barely hear 3/4 on that radio-ready rock stuff.
I could go through my iTunes list and probably find more examples of 5/4 and 7/4 than I could 3/4.
 

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I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that meshuggah are automatically disqualified :lol:

Still, 5 bars of 23/16 and 1 of 13/16 to make 128 16ths, which is 4/4 has to be worth a mention? (New millenium cyanide christ, main riff).
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
guys, I appreciate the examples, but not really what I was getting at :lol:

I was more talking about odd times that you don't even notice. I think "Solsbury Hill" is probably the best example I can think of.
 

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Time signatures in the classical study of western music fufill a completely different role than they do to most modern guitarists (specifically the ones that enjoy masturbating to the thought that they are some kind of time signature masters). Time Signatures in western music depend largely on the chordal movement within the piece, as well as accented beats and a variety of other (often contrapunctal) factors. Usually to the extent that there is only one correct time signature for a piece of music. Time signatures as most metal guitarists employ them are just what makes the most sense to you when you are tabbing it out in guitar pro :lol: There can be a number of "correct" answers, largely due to the fact that riffs don't have chordal movement like a classical piece does, and the way accented beats interact with the music is completely different.

I've always thought that trying to be clever with time signatures for the sake of being clever with time signatures is incredibly idiotic. Bela Bartok did this a lot, and a lot of people hate his music because of it. Especially in modern metal, since the application of time signatures is so far removed from the original classical usage.

Of course this is in response to the thread derailment. As for "sneaky" pieces, the OP already got all the obvious textbook examples. :lol:
 
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