Thursday, September 01, 2011

Another way of counting odd meters

Here's something new to me- though for all I know it's a common thing- for stupid dogmatic reasons I for years stayed pretty willfully ignorant about the finer points of playing in odd meters. Probably this method is best for faster */4 meters and moderate */8 meters.

Anyway: Ed Uribe explains one way samba in 7/4 (yes, that's a real thing) is counted:
Note that beat 4 does not get an &, which implies a 2+2+3 grouping. I suppose for 3+2+2 you could count it: "1-&-2 3-& 4-&"

It's a little strange at first, but maybe at least as good as the other options- if they weren't a little bit odd I guess they would call them "happy" meters, or something. I think once you get used to slurring the 4 into the 1 you're not going to make the mistake of playing a 4 &.

This idea could be a life-saver in five, one of the most annoying meters to count and play:

For that matter, you could try doing it in three:  
 Since most people don't have a problem counting 3/4, I don't know what is gained by that, except that the half note + quarter note interpretation is built into it. Maybe it's something to fool around with. Maybe I need more coffee. 


D. Duthie said...

I've found the best way to count in 7 is to represent each beat with a syllable, like this: "one-two-three-four-five-six-sev-en. Make sure you count out loud as you play. Your fellow musicians will thank you.

Anon said...

Right now is when I wish Blogger had a "like" button. Well said, D. Duthie.

Todd Bishop said...

Or a slow-clap button...

Anon said...