Explaining Timing


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JDizzle787
01-29-2011, 03:22 PM
My band seems to have some issues understanding timing- not necessarily staying on beat, but writing things that are of normal lengths for measures. This mostly applies to our earlier stuff, but it's still a little bit of an issue. An example is in one of our more "accessible" songs, where we play the first verse riff for 10 measures (4 times we do a variation as an intro, the rest with vocals) and the second verse the same thing but 8 times (2 times with variation, and the rest with vocals).

I understand there's no rules on this, but am I wrong for wanting some consistency/some of it to make some sense to people listening?

vIsIbleNoIsE
01-29-2011, 03:34 PM
there's no wrong or right, it's just preference. i think you have to consider this on a case by case basis.

Myshadow46_2
01-29-2011, 05:47 PM
I can understand why you may want to put some more 'accessible' structure into a track, but in the end you need to ask yourself; does it sound good?

AlanHB
01-29-2011, 06:04 PM
It's not uncommon to have verses of varying lengths in songs. Once there are lyrics down it will be easier for you to hear/feel when you have to move to the chorus.

JDizzle787
01-30-2011, 03:34 PM
It's not uncommon to have verses of varying lengths in songs. Once there are lyrics down it will be easier for you to hear/feel when you have to move to the chorus.


True, but we've almost exclusively written the music before the lyrics/vocal melody. The problem is some members get too used to the lengths and don't see it as an arbitrary thing. My point is I just don't get the idea of writing 6 or 10 bars of a verse when it's in common time... This kind of song is our most "accessible", so there's no reason we can keep it at lengths that are divisible by 4.

Just might be me though. Just looking to see if I have a point or if I'm crazy. :shrug:

Windwaker
01-30-2011, 05:23 PM
When you write the part, does it feel natural to do it for as long as you do, or does it feel forced? Try to make everything flow as naturally as possible, by figuring out what length of time works best for each section. Where does the SONG want to switch to the next section?

JDizzle787
01-30-2011, 11:58 PM
When you write the part, does it feel natural to do it for as long as you do, or does it feel forced? Try to make everything flow as naturally as possible, by figuring out what length of time works best for each section. Where does the SONG want to switch to the next section?

Sometimes it feels forced, sometimes it's fine. I can get used to something sounding off or a little different than normal, and we've been playing this stuff for a long time.

I know where we could change it where it would feel more natural to me/ make more sense to people listening to it (or so I think), but part of it is also dealing with the band's perspective. Some get it, others have a more abstract/ less musically developed view on it and don't put everything under a microscope, so making changes make less sense to them.

I won't keep suggesting the change for now, and eventually it'll be up on our myspace, so maybe we'll see if my points of view are valid later.

cheapr2keepr
02-07-2011, 07:29 AM
I prefer more of a sense of order and consistent timing.

There's a reason why most popular and commercially viable music has pretty standard and almost predicatable timing - the typical human brain has come to expect it, and embraces it as enjoyable.

If your plan is to play commercially viable music to be enjoyed by a broad audience, then keep it somewhat evenly timed.

If your into indie/prog/art stuff and don't care that only 2 people in the local coffee shop dig your work, then go nuts and makes some crazy stuff that nobody has ever had the balls or insanity to create.

Bizarre and unique don't necessarily translate into good or likeable. It's the classic choice between a paid artist and a starving artist.

The Deftones do some oddly timed stuff, but it still has a consistency and order to it (if that makes any sense).

AlanHB
02-07-2011, 07:34 AM
True, but we've almost exclusively written the music before the lyrics/vocal melody. The problem is some members get too used to the lengths and don't see it as an arbitrary thing. My point is I just don't get the idea of writing 6 or 10 bars of a verse when it's in common time... This kind of song is our most "accessible", so there's no reason we can keep it at lengths that are divisible by 4.

Just might be me though. Just looking to see if I have a point or if I'm crazy. :shrug:

Err, finish the song, write lyrics and stuff.

JDizzle787
02-11-2011, 12:45 AM
I prefer more of a sense of order and consistent timing.

There's a reason why most popular and commercially viable music has pretty standard and almost predicatable timing - the typical human brain has come to expect it, and embraces it as enjoyable.

If your plan is to play commercially viable music to be enjoyed by a broad audience, then keep it somewhat evenly timed.

If your into indie/prog/art stuff and don't care that only 2 people in the local coffee shop dig your work, then go nuts and makes some crazy stuff that nobody has ever had the balls or insanity to create.

Bizarre and unique don't necessarily translate into good or likeable. It's the classic choice between a paid artist and a starving artist.

The Deftones do some oddly timed stuff, but it still has a consistency and order to it (if that makes any sense).

This is more or less exactly what I meant and have been saying to them/ thinking.

I guess my point is I'd rather be doing it out of intention rather than ignorance, and not make something weird just because some of us are nubs at understanding this. Don't get me wrong, in the two years we've been a band most of these guys didn't even know how to write a song to start with, and now have made huge strides. But I'm still trying to lead them and It's not always easy to do it, even with the drummer on my side...

Oh well, they're learning, and it's not like it's that weird. Hopefully we'll get to a point soon where we get over this hump. (Our rhythm guitarist still can't keep time by himself, thank god for drummers :P)