Once you get past the basic 4/4 and 6/8 time signatures, everything that happens next gets esoteric pretty quickly. But learning how to count and play in these odd time signatures will make working in the previous time signatures seem trivial. And it will prepare you for the occasional change-up in the basic time signatures.
Here are some tunes you can practice counting with:
The above songs were selected because they keep the meter consistent for the entire song. Whereas there are a lot more songs with change-ups that alter the time signature (or meter) throughout the song.
I want to talk about one of those with a (now) simple change-up in an otherwise straight forward song.
My whole reason for doing this blog post is, selfishly, because I really like the 5/8 bar in the otherwise 6/8 song halfway through the chorus of Famous One! I’ve played with more bands than not that skip that little detail, and it’s because getting the feel of that measure is pretty hard without having the shorthand of knowing how to count.
Also, the band really needs to nail the 5/8 feel in the first measure break (right when they sing “Aaaalll the Earth”), so that the 6/8 measure in the break can reset everyone to find the entrance of the second half of the chorus. Bands that get sloppy, that can’t nail that down, end up transmitting a hesitancy to the congregation. At that point the producer is right to kill the 5/8 measure and play it all in 6/8.
But with it in there, man it adds that extra little freshness and urgency. To me, it just elevates that song to one of my all-time favorites.
Here are some other songs with meter changes:
Can anyone suggest any other favorites in odd or changing meters?