Art Rock. Part 1 - Progressive Concepts

author: blu9999 date: 06/15/2006 category: music styles
rating: 9.7 / votes: 162 
This lesson will teach you how to compose and play art rock. You will learn progressive chords, scales, rhythm patterns, odd time signatures, and the music theory behind it all. The material covered in this lesson will be much eaiser to understand if you have a basic knowledge in music theory and a good, solid idea of how time signatures work. This will all be briefly covered in this lesson, but it would be much less confusing if you have prior knowledge.

Progressive Music

Progressive music goes beyond the limits of basic, everyday rock 'n' roll. It expands the horizons of what rock music really can be. It breaks some of the rules by fusing elements of rock, metal, jazz, blues, classical and more all into one style. This lesson will provide you with some basics, such as: chord shapes, scales, and some basic rhythm patterns for commonly used odd time signatures. Creativly applying these ideas to your music is your job.

Chords

01. Power Chords. Power Chords are primarily used in most rock music. Progressive rock is no different. But sometimes the basic power chord gets kind of boring. That's why many progressive rock bands uses power chord extensions and inversions to add more of a variety in progressions. Extentions are simply added scale tones applied to the chord. For example, an add6 power chord adds the 6th note of the scale to the chord. Most power chord extensions still use the root and the 5th, but also add something extra. An inverted power chord is when any note other than the root is in the bass. This is the C Major Scale (Ionian mode):
C   D   E   F   G   A   B   C   D   E   F   G   A   B   C
1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10  11  12  13  14  15
                       (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9)
The basic power chord has the root (1), 5th, and most times an 8th (octive). So a basic C power chord would be CGC. A Cadd9 power chord would be CGD, and a Cadd6 would be CEA. Open And Movable.
Basic power chords:
E|--------------------|------------3----6--|
B|--------------------|--3----6----3----6--|
G|------------2----5--|--2----5----0----3--|
D|--2----5----2----5--|--0----3------------|
A|--2----5----0----3--|--------------------|
E|--0----3------------|--------------------|

Basic power chords (inverted):
E|--------------------|
B|--------------------|
G|------------2----5--|
D|--2----5----2----5--|
A|--0----3----0----3--|
E|--0----3----0----3--|

Add6 power chords:
E|--------------------|------------0----1--|
B|--------------------|--0----1----3----4--|
G|------------0----1--|--2----3----0----1--|
D|--0----1----3----4--|--0----1------------|
A|--3----4----1----2--|--------------------|
E|--1----2------------|--------------------|

Add7 power chords:
E|--------------------|------------2----5--|
B|--------------------|--2----5----3----6--|
G|------------1----4--|--2----5----0----3--|
D|--1----4----2----5--|--0----3------------|
A|--2----5----0----3--|--------------------|
E|--0----3------------|--------------------|

AddB7 power chords:
[the B is a flat sign and indicates that the note is flatted.
So instead of B it would be Bb (B flat)].
E|--------------------|------------1----4--|
B|--------------------|--1----4----3----6--|
G|------------0----3--|--2----5----0----3--|
D|--0----3----2----5--|--0----3------------|
A|--2----5----0----3--|--------------------|
E|--0----3------------|--------------------|

Add9 power chords:
E|--------------------|--0--------1--|
B|--------------------|--3--------4--|
G|------------4----7--|--2--------3--|
D|--4----7----2----5--|--0--------1--|
A|--2----5----0----3--|--------------|
E|--0----3------------|--------------|
02. Non Power Chords. Progressive rock uses an array of chords that are not power chords. Here are some commonly used progressive chords. Of course, the chords below are just a few examples of a open and movable forms. There are many other ways to form the same chords on your guitar, but I'm not going to show all of them. 03. Triads.. Basic triads consist of the 1st, 3rd, and 5th degrees of a scale. The 3rd is what makes the chord major or minor depending on what kind of interval it uses. The 5th can be altered to make the chord augmented or diminished. A Perfect fifth is used in major an minor chords. A tritone (one semitone down from a perfect fifth) makes the chord diminished and by raising a perfect fifth up one semitone, you get an augmented chord.
Basic major triads (1, M3, P5):
E|-----------------1--|
B|------------1----3--|
G|-------1----2----3--|
D|--1----3----3-------|
A|--3----4------------|
E|--4-----------------|

Basic minor triads (1, M3, P5):
E|-----------------1--|
B|------------2----2--|
G|-------1----2----3--|
D|--1----2----4-------|
A|--2----4------------|
E|--4-----------------|

Basic augmented triads (1, M3, #5):
E|-----------------1--|
B|------------1----2--|
G|-------1----1----2--|
D|--1----2----2-------|
A|--2----3------------|
E|--3-----------------|

Basic diminished triads (1, M3, B5):
E|-----------------1--|
B|------------1----3--|
G|-------1----2----4--|
D|--1----3----4-------|
A|--3----5------------|
E|--5-----------------|
04. Major7 Chords. Major7 chords add the leading tone, or the 7th note in a scale to the chord:
7M chords (1, M2, P5, M7):
E|--0----0----1----3--|
B|--0----0----1----3--|
G|--1----0----2----3--|
D|--1----2----2----1--|
A|--2----3----3-------|
E|--0---------1-------|
05. Add9 Chords. Add9 chords are major or minor triads with an added 9th. The 5th is not always used. Personally, these are my favorites.
Add 9 major chords (1, M3, P5, M9):
E|--0----2----1----1--|
B|--2----5----1----3--|
G|--4----2----2----5--|
D|--2----0----5----3--|
A|--0---------3----1--|
E|------------1-------|

Add 9 minor chords (1, m3, P5, M9):
E||--0----0----1----1----||
B||--0----0----1----2----||
G||--0----5----1----5----||
D||--4----7----5----3----||
A||--2----0----3----1----||
E||--0---------1---------||
06. Add 11 Chords. Add11 Chords are major or minor chords with an added 11th (or 4th). The 5th is not always used.
Add 11 major chords (1, M3, P5, M11):
E|-------1----1----1--|
B|--1----1----1----3--|
G|--0----0----2----3--|
D|--0----2----3----1--|
A|--2----3----1----1--|
E|--3---------1-------|

Add 11 minor chords (1, m3, P5, M11):
E|-------1----1----1--|
B|--1----1----1----2--|
G|--0----0----1----3--|
D|--0----1----3----1--|
A|--1----3----1----1--|
E|--3---------1-------|
07. Suspended Chords. Suspended chords are neither major nor minor. Basically there are two types: sus2 and sus4. The formula for a sus2 chord is (1, M2, P5). It replaces the 3rd with a 2nd. The formula for a sus4 is (1, P4, P5). It replaces the 3rd with a perfect fourth. There is also the 7sus2 and 7sus4 chord. The 7sus2 chord has a dominant 7th, which is constructed (1, M2, P5, M7). The 7sus4 is constructed: (1, P4, P5, M7).
sus2 chords (1, M2, P5):
E|--0----0----2----1--|
B|--0----3----2----4--|
G|--2----2----4----3--|
D|--2----0----4----1--|
A|--0---------2-------|
E|--------------------|

sus4 chords (1, P4, P5):
E|--3----1----1----4--|
B|--3----1----1----4--|
G|--0----0----3----3--|
D|--0----3----3----1--|
A|--3----3------------|
E|--3-----------------|

7sus2 (1, M2, P5, M7):
E|--1------3----1------1--|
B|--3------1----4------1--|
G|--0------3----3------3--|
D|--0------0----1------1--|
A|--0------3----4------1--|
E|--3------------------1--|

7sus4 (1, P4, P5, M7):
E|--3----0---------1--|
B|--1----3---------4--|
G|--2----0----3----1--|
D|--0----2----1----3--|
A|-------0----3----1--|
E|------------1-------|

Progressive Scales

Progressive rock guitarists use a variety of scales in their soloing and song writing. Some are standard, some are exotic. The exotic scales will give a song a much different feel if used right. 01. Major And Minor Scales. The basic major and minor scales are popular in most music. To make them sound a little different, start and end the scale on a different note. This will put you into a different mode, giving you a different feel. This idea is popular among many progressive guitarists. I'm only going to put the major and minor scales here. There are many other places to learn the modes. midi sample (C Ionian + A Aeolian)
C major scale [Ionian mode] - (C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C)
E|---------------------------------7-8--|
B|----------------------------8-10------|
G|---------------------7-9-10-----------|
D|--------------7-9-10------------------|
A|-------7-8-10-------------------------|
E|--8-10--------------------------------|

A minor scale [Aeolian mode] - (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A)
E|------------------------------5--|
B|------------------------5-6-8----|
G|------------------4-5-7----------|
D|--------------5-7----------------|
A|--------5-7-8--------------------|
E|--5-7-8--------------------------|
The Harmonic Minor Scale. The harmonic minor scale is the minor scale with a sharped 7th, also known as a leading tone. The sharped 7th makes the scale have more of a "pulling effect" at the last note. The Phrygian mode starts on the 5th note of the scale. If you play the A harmonic minor scale starting on the 5th note (E), you will get the phrygian dominant scale, also sometimes refereed to as the Spanish scale. There are, of course, other modes of the harmonic minor scale which all give off a different effect. A lot of middle eastern music uses the harmonic minor scale, and that may be the first thing that comes to mind when hearing it. The harmonic minor can also be found in classical and Spanish music. Today, it can be found in all kinds of music, including progressive. midi sample (A Harmonic Minor + E Phrygian Dominant)
A harmonic minor scale (A, B, C, D, E, F, G#, A):
E|----------------------------4-5--|
B|------------------------5-6------|
G|------------------4-5-7----------|
D|--------------6-7----------------|
A|--------5-7-8--------------------|
E|--5-7-8--------------------------|

E Phrygian Dominant Mode (E, F, G#, A, B, C, D, E):
E|--------------------------------------------12--|
B|-----------------------------------12-13-15-----|
G|-----------------------------13-14--------------|
D|--------------------12-14-15--------------------|
A|--------11-12-14-15-----------------------------|
E|--12-13-----------------------------------------|
The Melodic Minor Scale. The melodic minor scale, sometimes called the jazz minor scale, is the minor scale with a sharped 6th and 7th. If you want, you can also think of it as the major scale with a flatted 3rd. It can, if used right, give a jazzy feel to a solo. In formal composition, some composers will ascend with the melodic minor and descend with the natural minor. The mode of interest in this scale is the Lydian B7 mode. It is the Lydian mode with a flatted 7th. midi sample (A Meodic Minor + A Meodic to A Natural + F Lydian B7)
A melodic minor scale (A, B, C, D, E, F#, G#, A):
E|----------------------------4-5--|
B|------------------------5-7------|
G|------------------4-5-7----------|
D|------------4-6-7----------------|
A|--------5-7----------------------|
E|--5-7-8--------------------------|

A melodic minor to a natural minor:
E|----------------------------4-5------------------------------|
B|------------------------5-7-----8-6-5------------------------|
G|------------------4-5-7---------------7-5-4------------------|
D|------------4-6-7---------------------------7-5--------------|
A|--------5-7-------------------------------------8-7-5--------|
E|--5-7-8-----------------------------------------------8-7-5--|

F Lydian B7 mode (F, G, A, B, C, D, Eb, F):
E|--------------------------------------------13--|
B|--------------------------------12-13-15-16-----|
G|--------------------------12-14-----------------|
D|-----------------12-13-15-----------------------|
A|--------12-14-15--------------------------------|
E|--13-15-----------------------------------------|
Symmetrical Scales. Symmetrical scales follow a repeating pattern and have a rather untraditional sound to them. Whole tone scales are 6 note scales that only use major seconds, or whole steps (2 half steps). The leading whole tone scale isn't symmetrical, but still takes the same basic form of the whole tone scale, up until the 7th note which is added as the leading tone. This gives it a pulling, more conclusive sound. There are also the half-whole and whole-half scales that are frequently used along with the whole tone scale. The half-whole uses one half step, one whole step, one half step, one whole step, etc. The Whole-half is the same idea, but backwards. Since these scales are neither minor, nor major, they have no modes and will make the song sound neutral and rather untraditional. They can easily be used over chords that are unresolved or neutral (such as sus chords), or diminished. I think they make good fills, but there are endless possibilities of how they can be used. midi sample (Symmetrical Scales)
C whole tone scale (C, D, E, F#, G#, A#, C):
E|-----------------------4-6--|
B|-------------------5-7------|
G|---------------5-7----------|
D|-----------6-8--------------|
A|-------7-9------------------|
E|--8-10----------------------|

C leading whole tone scale (C, D, E, F#, G#, A#, B, C):
E|-------------------------4-6-7-8--|
B|---------------------5-7----------|
G|-----------------5-7--------------|
D|-----------6-8-9------------------|
A|-------7-9------------------------|
E|--8-10----------------------------|

C half-whole scale (C, C#, D#, E, F#, G, A, A#, C):
E|------------------------------------6-8--|
B|-----------------------------7-8-10------|
G|-----------------------6-8-9-------------|
D|----------------7-8-10-------------------|
A|---------7-9-10--------------------------|
E|--8-9-11---------------------------------|

C whole-half scale (C, D#, F, F#, G#, A, B, C):
E|--------------------------------------7-8--|
B|-------------------------------7-9-10------|
G|------------------------7-8-10-------------|
D|-----------------7-9-10--------------------|
A|----------8-9-11---------------------------|
E|--8-10-11----------------------------------|

Rhythms In Tablature

4/4 is most likely the most common time signature in music. It means that there are four beats in a measure and each quarter note gets one beat. Some examples: midi sample (4/4 Rhythms)
Duration Legend
---------------
  W   - whole
  H   - half
  Q   - quarter
  E   - 8th
  S   - 16th
|-n-| - n-tuplets

     W                  
E||-------------------||
B||-------------------||
G||-------------------||
D||-------------------||
A||-------------------||
E||--3----------------||
     1    2    3    4
A whole note (W) takes up the whole measure. It is sustained for four beats.
     H        H          
E||--------------------||
B||--------------------||
G||--------------------||
D||--------------------||
A||--------------------||
E||--3--------3--------||
     1    2   3    4
A half note (H) takes up half the measure and are sustained for two beats.
     Q    Q    Q    Q      
E||----------------------||
B||----------------------||
G||----------------------||
D||----------------------||
A||----------------------||
E||--3----3----3----3----||
     1    2    3    4
A quarter note (Q) takes up a quarter of the measure are are sustained for one beat.
     E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E    
E||--------------------------||
B||--------------------------||
G||--------------------------||
D||--------------------------||
A||--------------------------||
E||--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--||
     1  &  2  &  3  &  4  &
An eighth note (E) takes up an eighth of the measure and is sustained for a half a beat. They can be played in between a beat (called an offbeat) and are represented with &'s. Two of them can be played within one beat.
     S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S   
E||----------------------------------||
B||----------------------------------||
G||----------------------------------||
D||----------------------------------||
A||----------------------------------||
E||--3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-||
     1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a
A sixteenth note (S) takes up a sixteenth of a measure. They are represented with e's, &'s, and a's (ah)'s. Four of them can be played within one beat.
     |--3--|  |--3--|  |--3--|  |--3--|    
     E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E    
E||--------------------------------------||
B||--------------------------------------||
G||--------------------------------------||
D||--------------------------------------||
A||--------------------------------------||
E||--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--||
     1  la le 2  la le 3  la le 4 la le
A triplet (indicated by the |--3--|) means there are 3 notes within each beat. The offbeats are represented with la's and le's (spoken as lee). Odd Time Signatures. Although 4/4 is the most common time signature in most rock music, it can get a little old. Composing music in an odd time signature gives your music more originality and complexity, which is what progressive music is all about. It's not easy to jump right into composing using an odd time signature at first. It takes practice. Odd time signatures are called "odd" because they use numbers (on the top) that are not divisible by two, such as 5/4, 7/4, 3/4, etc. 3/4 Time Signature. 3/4 means there are 3 beats per measure and each quarter note gets one beat.
     H.              H        Q       Q    Q    Q       E  E  E  E  E  E   
E||---------------|----------------|-----------------|--------------------|
B||---------------|----------------|-----------------|--------------------|
G||---------------|----------------|-----------------|--------------------|
D||---------------|----------------|-----------------|--------------------|
A||---------------|----------------|-----------------|--------------------|
E||--3------------|--3--------3----|--3----3----3----|--3--3--3--3--3--3--|
     1    2    3     1    2   3       1    2    3       1  &  2  &  3  &

                             |--3--|  |--3--|  |--3--|    
  S S S S S S S S S S S S    E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E    
--------------------------|-----------------------------||
--------------------------|-----------------------------||
--------------------------|-----------------------------||
--------------------------|-----------------------------||
--------------------------|-----------------------------||
--3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-|--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--||
  1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a    1  la le 2  la le 3  la le
Above are examples of completed measures. The (H.) means a dotted half note, which adds a quarter note to the length of the half note. 3/4 Rhythms In Progressive Music. midi sample (3/4 Rhythms) In the below example, full chords are played on the first beat in quarter notes and appeggeated with eighth notes on the second and third beats.
     Emadd9                Emadd9                Em                
     Q      E  E  E  E     Q      E  E  E  E     Q    E  E  E  E   
E||--0------0-----------|--2------2-----------|--0----0-----------|
B||--0---------0--------|--0---------0--------|--0-------0--------|
G||--0------------0-----|--0------------0-----|--0----------0-----|
D||--4---------------4--|--2---------------2--|--2-------------2--|
A||--2------------------|--2------------------|--2----------------|
E||--0------------------|--0------------------|--0----------------|
     1 (&)  2  &  3  &     1 (&)  2  &  3  &     1(&) 2  &  3  &

  Am9                 Em             
  Q    E  E  E  E     H.             
--3----3-----------|--0------------||
--1-------1--------|--0------------||
--4----------4-----|--0------------||
--2-------------2--|--2------------||
--0----------------|--2------------||
-------------------|--0------------||
  1(&) 2  &  3  &     1   2   3
Below is a triplet pattern, when the arpeggio is changed every first beat.
     |--3--|  |--3--|  |--3--|     |--3--|  |--3--|  |--3--|   
     E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E     E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E   
E||-----------------------------|-----------------------------|
B||-----------------------------|-----------------------------|
G||--------0--------0--------0--|--------0--------0--------0--|
D||-----9--------9--------9-----|-----9--------9--------9-----|
A||--7--------7--------7--------|--9--------9--------9--------|
E||-----------------------------|-----------------------------|
     1  la le 2  la le 3  la le    1  la le 2  la le 3  la le

  |--3--|  |--3--|  |--3--|     |--3--|  |--3--|  |--3--|    
  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E     E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E    
-----------------------------|-----------------------------||
-----------------------------|-----------------------------||
--------0--------0--------0--|--------0--------0--------0--||
-----9--------9--------9-----|-----7--------7--------7-----||
--7--------7--------7--------|--5--------5--------5--------||
-----------------------------|-----------------------------||
  1  la le 2  la le 3  la le    1  la le 2  la le 3  la le
The last 3/4 example uses a pattern of eighth notes and sixteenth notes. The "e" is left out of the rhythm, possibly giving a "galloping" effect.
     E  S  S  E  S  S  E  S  S     E  S  S  E  S  S  E  S  S    
E||-----------------------------|-----------------------------||
B||-----------------------------|-----------------------------||
G||-----------------------------|-----------------------------||
D||-----------------------------|-----------------------------||
A||--5--------4--------5--------|--2--------1--------2--------||
E||--3--0--0--3--0--0--3--0--0--|--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--||
     1  &  a  2  &  a  3  &  a     1  &  a  2  &  a  3  &  a
5/4 Time Signatures. 5/4 means there a 5 beats in a measure and each quarter note gets one beat. You can think of it as 4/4 plus one quarter note, or 3/4 and 2/4. Another way is to count quarter notes as: 1, 2, 3 - 1, 2 or 1, 2 - 1, 2, 3. Here are a few examples of completed measures.
     W                Q       Q    Q    Q    Q    Q     
E||------------------------|---------------------------|
B||------------------------|---------------------------|
G||------------------------|---------------------------|
D||------------------------|---------------------------|
A||------------------------|---------------------------|
E||--3----------------3----|--3----3----3----3----3----|
     1   2    3   4   5       1    2    3    4    5

  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E     S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S   
--------------------------------|------------------------------------------||
--------------------------------|------------------------------------------||
--------------------------------|------------------------------------------||
--------------------------------|------------------------------------------||
--------------------------------|------------------------------------------||
--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--|--3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-||
  1  &  2  &  3  &  4  &  5  &     1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a 5 e & a
5/4 Rhythms In Progressive Music. midi sample (5/4 Rhythms) Below is a whole note for 4 beats and a quarter note for the last.
     Dm               D7sus2/5-   
     W                Q           
E||--1----------------0---------||
B||--3----------------1---------||
G||--2----------------1---------||
D||--0----------------0---------||
A||-----------------------------||
E||-----------------------------||
     1   2   3    4   5
Below is an example of Dream Theater's "Beyond This Life" intro. It uses eighth notes. You can break this song up as 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2, 1-2.
     E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E     E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E   
E||--------------------------------|--------------------------------|
B||--------------------------------|--------------------------------|
G||--------------------------------|--------------------------------|
D||--6--6--6--9--9--9--5--5--4--4--|--6--6--6--9--9--9--5--5--4--4--|
A||--6--6--6--9--9--9--5--5--4--4--|--6--6--6--9--9--9--5--5--4--4--|
E||--4--4--4--7--7--7--3--3--2--2--|--4--4--4--7--7--7--3--3--2--2--|
     1  &  2  &  3  &  4  &  5  &     1  &  2  &  3  &  4  &  5  &  

  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E      E   E   E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E    
--------------------------------|-----------------------------------||
--------------------------------|-----------------------------------||
--------------------------------|-----------------------------------||
--6--6--6--9--9--9--5--5--4--4--|--10--10--10--9--9--9--8--8--7--7--||
--6--6--6--9--9--9--5--5--4--4--|--10--10--10--9--9--9--8--8--7--7--||
--4--4--4--7--7--7--3--3--2--2--|---8---8---8--7--7--7--6--6--5--5--||
  1  &  2  &  3  &  4  &  5  &      1   &   2  &  3  &  4  &  5  & 
Here is another example using eighth notes. In this example, the last note could resolve back to the root.
      E   E   E   E   E   E   E   E   E   E   
E||------------------------------------------|
B||------------------------------------------|
G||------------------------------------------|
D||------------------10--12--10--------------|
A||--------------12--------------12----------|
E||--10--12--13----------------------13--12--|
     1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   5   &

  E   E   E   E  E   E  E   E   E   E   
---------------------------------------|
---------------------------------------|
---------------------------------------|
-----------------8--10--8--------------|
-------------10------------10----------|
--8--10--11--------------------11--10--|
  1  &   2   &   3  &   4  &   5   &

   E   E   E   E   E   E  E   E   E  E      W                 Q      
-------------------------------------8--|--10----------------------||
---------------------------------10-----|--------------------------||
--------------------------9--10---------|--------------------------||
------------------10--12----------------|--------------------------||
--------------12------------------------|--------------------------||
--10--12--13----------------------------|--------------------------||
  1   &   2   &   3   &   4  &   5   &     1    2    3   4     5
The last example, using the whole tone scale, has quarter notes and sixteenth notes in it.
     A#7                              
     Q    S S S S Q    S S S S Q      
E||---------------------------------||
B||---------------------------------||
G||---------------------------------||
D||--6----6-4-----6----6-4-----7----||
A||--5--------7-5-5--------7-5-5----||
E||--6------------6------------6----||
     1    2 e & a 3   4  e & a 5
7/4 Time Signatures. 7/4 means there are 7 beats in a measure and each quarter note gets one beat. You can think of 7/4 as 3/4 + 4/4 or 2/4 + 2/4 + 3/4. Here are some completed measures:
     W                H.              Q    Q    Q    Q    Q    Q    Q     
E||--------------------------------|-------------------------------------|
B||--------------------------------|-------------------------------------|
G||--------------------------------|-------------------------------------|
D||--------------------------------|-------------------------------------|
A||--------------------------------|-------------------------------------|
E||--3----------------3------------|--3----3----3----3----3----3----3----|
     1     2    3     4   5  6  7     1    2    3    4    5    6    7

  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E   
--------------------------------------------|
--------------------------------------------|
--------------------------------------------|
--------------------------------------------|
--------------------------------------------|
--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--|
  1  &  2  &  3  &  4  &  5  &  6  &  7  &

  S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S   
----------------------------------------------------------||
----------------------------------------------------------||
----------------------------------------------------------||
----------------------------------------------------------||
----------------------------------------------------------||
--3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-||
  1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a 5 e & a 6 e & a 7 e & a
7/4 Rhythms In Progressive Music. midi sample (7/4 Rhythms) One of the most popular examples of 7/4 is Pink Floyd's Money.
     Q    E  E  E  E  Q    Q    E  E  Q      
E||----------------------------------------||
B||----------------------------------------||
G||-------4--------------------------------||
D||----------4-----------------------------||
A||--2----------2---------------2-----5----||
E||-------------------2----5---------------||
     1    2  +  3  +  4    5    6  +  7
The next example uses quarter notes and eighth notes, a common mixture when using 7/4.
     Q    E  E  Q    Q    Q    E  E  Q     
E||---------------------------------------|
B||---------------------------------------|
G||---------------------------------------|
D||-------6--4-----------------4--6--7----|
A||--4----------4----6----7---------------|
E||---------------------------------------|
     1    2  +  3    4    5    6  +  7

  E  E  E  E  Q    Q    Q    Q    Q      
---------------------------------------||
---------------------------------------||
---------------------------------------||
--6--4--------4------------------------||
--------7--6-------6--------------4----||
------------------------7----7---------||
  1  +  2  +  3    4    5    6    7
Another example using quarter and eighth notes.
     Q    E  E  Q    E  E  Q    E  E  Q      
E||----------------------------------------||
B||----------------------------------------||
G||----------------------------------------||
D||--3----3-----5----5-----8----8-----6----||
A||--3-------3--4-------4--6-------6--6----||
E||--1----------3----------4----------4----||
     1   2   +  3    4  +  5    6  +  7
7/8 Time Signatures. In 7/8, the eighth note gets one beat. It's 4/4 without one eight note. 7/8 has 7 eight notes per measure. A good way to make up eighth note rhythms is counting 1, 2 - 1, 2 - 1, 2, 3 or 1, 2 - 1, 2, 3 - 1, 2 or 1, 2, 3 - 1, 2 - 1, 2. Here are some completed measures. Don't forget the counting is based on eighth notes.
     H        Q    E     Q    Q    Q    E     E  E  E  E  E  E  E   
E||-------------------|--------------------|-----------------------|
B||-------------------|--------------------|-----------------------|
G||-------------------|--------------------|-----------------------|
D||-------------------|--------------------|-----------------------|
A||-------------------|--------------------|-----------------------|
E||--3--------3----3--|--3----3----3----3--|--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--|
     1 2 3 4  5  6 7     1  2 3  4 5  6 7     1  2  3  4  5  6  7

  S S S S S S S S S S S S S S   
------------------------------||
------------------------------||
------------------------------||
------------------------------||
------------------------------||
--3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-||
  1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 +
7/8 Rhythms In Progressive Music. midi sample (7/8 Rhythms) This example uses each pattern of counting eighth notes.
     1  2  1  2  1  2  3    1   2  1  2  3  1  2    1  2  3  1   2  1  2
     E  E  E  E  E  E  E     E  E  E  E  E  E  E     E  E  E  E  E  E  E    
E||-----------------------|-----------------------|-----------------------||
B||-----------------------|-----------------------|-----------------------||
G||-----------------------|-----------------------|-----------------------||
D||-----5-----5--------5--|-----5--------5-----5--|--------5-----5-----5--||
A||-----------------5-----|-----------5-----------|-----5-----------------||
E||--3-----3-----3--------|--3-----3--------3-----|--3--------3-----3-----||
     1  2  3  4  5  6  7     1  2  3  4  5  6  7     1  2  3  4  5  6  7
The next example is a very common rhythm pattern for 7/8 in progressive rock.
     H.           E     H.           E     H.           E     H.           E    
E||------------------|------------------|------------------|------------------||
B||------------------|------------------|------------------|------------------||
G||------------------|---------------4--|--3------------6--|--8---------------||
D||--2------------6--|--4------------4--|--1------------6--|--6---------------||
A||--2------------6--|--2------------2--|--1------------4--|--6---------------||
E||--0------------4--|--2---------------|------------------|------------------||
     1 2 3 4 5 6  7     1 2 3 4 5 6  7     1 2 3 4 5 6  7     1 2 3 4 5 6  7
This next example uses the 1, 2 - 1, 2 - 1, 2, 3 pattern in sixteenth notes.
      S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  
E||--------------------------------------------|
B||--------------------------------13-12-------|
G||--------11-12-------12-11-------------12-11-|
D||--10-12-------10-12-------10-12-------------|
A||--------------------------------------------|
E||--------------------------------------------|
      1 +  2  +  3  +  4  +  5  +  6  +  7  +

  S  S  S  S S  S  S  S S  S  S  S  S S  
----------------------------------------|
-----------------------------10---------|
----------11---------12---------12-11-9-|
--9-10-12----9-10-12----9-10------------|
----------------------------------------|
----------------------------------------|
  1 +  2  +  3 +  4  +  5 +  6  +  7  +

   S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S   
--------------------------------------------||
--------------------------------------------||
--------11-12-------12-14-------14----11----||
--12-14-------12-14-------12-14----14----10-||
--------------------------------------------||
--------------------------------------------||
  1   +  2 +  3  +  4  +  5  +  6  +  7  +
5/8 Time Signatures. 5/8 means there are 5 beats in a measure and each eighth note (not quarter note) gets one beat. 5/8 is like 4/4 minus three eighth notes. There are many ways to count the eighth notes, on of the most popular is 1, 2 - 1, 2, 3. Here are some completed measures (don't forget, the counting is based on eighth notes).
     H        E     Q    Q    E     E  E  E  E  E     S S S S S S S S S S   
E||--------------|---------------|-----------------|----------------------||
B||--------------|---------------|-----------------|----------------------||
G||--------------|---------------|-----------------|----------------------||
D||--------------|---------------|-----------------|----------------------||
A||--------------|---------------|-----------------|----------------------||
E||--3--------3--|--3----3----3--|--3--3--3--3--3--|--3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-||
     1 2 3 4  5     1 2  3 4  5     1  2  3  4  5     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 +
5/8 Rhythms In Progressive Music. midi sample (5/8 Rhythms) This example uses a pattern of a quarter note (1, 2) and three eighth notes (3, 4, 5).
     Q    E  E  E     Q    E  E  E     Q    E  E  E     Q    E  E  E    
E||-------------0--|----------0--2--|-------0--4--5--|--0----2--4--5--||
B||-------0--3-----|--0----1--------|--3-------------|----------------||
G||--2-------------|----------------|----------------|----------------||
D||----------------|----------------|----------------|----------------||
A||----------------|----------------|----------------|----------------||
E||----------------|----------------|----------------|----------------||
    1  2  3  4  5    1  2  3  4  5     1 2  3  4  5
The next example emphisizes the 5/8 time signature by playing a 5 chord on the first beat in the measure.
     E  E  E  E  E     E  E  E  E  E     E  E  E  E  E     E  E  E  E  E   
E||-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
B||-----------------|-----3-----------|-----1-----------|-----------------|
G||--7--8--7--------|--5-----5--3-----|--3-----3--1-----|--0--1--0--------|
D||--5--------8--6--|--3-----------6--|--1-----------3--|--0--------3--1--|
A||-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
E||-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
     1  2  3  4  5     1  2  3  4  5     1  2  3  4  5     1  2  3  4  5

  H        E    
--------------||
--------------||
--------------||
--0-----------||
--------------||
--------------||
  1  2  3  4 5
The last example uses eighth notes and sixteenth notes.
     E  E  E  S S E     S S E  E  E  E    
E||------------------|------------------||
B||------------------|------------------||
G||---------------2--|------------------||
D||-----------3-5----|--5-3-------------||
A||-----2--5---------|------5--2--------||
E||--3---------------|------------5--3--||
     1  2  3  4 + 5     1 + 2  3  4  5
11/8 Time Signatures. 11/8 is 11 notes per measure and eighth notes get one beat. 11/8 is 4/4 plus three eighth notes. There are many ways to count the eighth notes in 11/8, one of the most popular is 1, 2, 3, 4 - 1, 2, 3, 4 - 1, 2, 3. You can also use 1, 2, 3 - 1, 2, 3 - 1, 2, 3 - 1, 2. These are my favorite way to count 11/8, but in order to make the music sound as original as possible you should make up your own ways of counting the eighth notes. It doesn't take much math to find numbers that, when added, give you 11. So the possibilities are endless. Here are some completed measures:
     W                Q.        W                Q    E   
E||--------------------------|---------------------------|
B||--------------------------|---------------------------|
G||--------------------------|---------------------------|
D||--------------------------|---------------------------|
A||--------------------------|---------------------------|
E||--3----------------3------|--3----------------3----3--|
     1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  9 10 11   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  9 10 11

  W                E  E  E     Q    Q    Q    Q    Q    E   
----------------------------|------------------------------|
----------------------------|------------------------------|
----------------------------|------------------------------|
----------------------------|------------------------------|
----------------------------|------------------------------|
--3----------------3--3--3--|--3----3----3----3----3----3--|
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  9  10 11    1 2  3 4  5 6  7 8  9 10 11

  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E   
-----------------------------------|
-----------------------------------|
-----------------------------------|
-----------------------------------|
-----------------------------------|
--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--3--|
  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 11

  S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S   
----------------------------------------------||
----------------------------------------------||
----------------------------------------------||
----------------------------------------------||
----------------------------------------------||
--3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-||
  1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10+ 11+
11/8 Rhythms In Progressive Music. midi sample (11/8 Rhythms) This example uses a whole note and a dotted quarter note.
     Fm               Gm7       Am               Bm6      
     W                Q.        W                Q.       
E||--1----------------1------|--0----------------2------||
B||--1----------------3------|--1----------------3------||
G||--1----------------3------|--2-----------------------||
D||--3----------------0------|--2----------------6------||
A||--3-----------------------|--0----------------2------||
E||--1----------------3------|--------------------------||
     1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  9 10 11   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  9 10 11
This rather dark sounding progression uses quarter notes, eighth notes, and a dotted quarter note at the end.
     Q    Q    E  E  E  E  Q    E     E  E  E  E  Q    E  E  Q.       
E||--------------------------------|--------------------------------||
B||--------------------------------|--------------------------------||
G||--------------------------------|-----------6--5----4--7---------||
D||--6----5----9--8--7--6--2----4--|--6--7--9--6--4----3--6--7------||
A||--6----5----9--8--7--6--2----4--|--6--7--9--4--3----2--5--6------||
E||--4----3----7--6--5--4--0----2--|--4--5--7----------------5------||
     1 2  3 4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11    1  2  3  4  5 6  7  8  9 10 11
The next example is a melody using the 1, 2, 3, 4 - 1, 2, 3, 4 - 1, 2, 3 pattern.
     E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E     E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E  E    
E||-----------------------------------|-----------------------------------||
B||-----------------------------------|-----------------------------------||
G||-----------------------------------|-----------------------------------||
D||-----------------------------------|--------------------------8--7-----||
A||-----------6-----------6--8--6-----|-----------6-----------6--------9--||
E||--6--8--9-----5--6--8-----------8--|--6--8--9-----5--6--8--------------||
This very complex rhythm is made up of eighth notes, dotted eighth notes, and sixteenth notes. Unless you are very good with dictating rhythm, I strongly suggest you use the midi or guitar pro file to listen to this.
     E.  E  S E.  E  S E.  E  S E  E    
E||-----------------------------------||
B||-----------------------------------||
G||-----------------------------------||
D||--7---5--5-5---5--5-7---5--5-2--2--||
A||--7---5--5-7---5--5-7---5--5-2--2--||
E||--5---5--5-7---5--5-5---5--5-0--0--||

Practicing Odd Time Signatures

It takes a lot of practice to be able to fluently compose music in an odd time signature. A good way to practice is to take some songs you have written and add or subtract notes from them. If you're playing a chord progression, maybe add a quick arpeggio to the measure. If you're playing the same chord for 4 beats, why not take a beat out and put it in 3/4? This gives your music variety. Grouping For Odd Time Signatures. A simple way to compose in an odd time signature is to group quarter notes. For example, 5/4 has 5 quarter notes in a measure and 2 + 3 = 5. So, you can group the quarter notes by 2 and 3. Here is an example in 5/4:
     Q    Q    Q    Q    Q      
E||---------------------------||
B||---------------------------||
G||---------------------------||
D||----------------------5----||
A||-------5---------5---------||
E||--3---------3--------------||
     1,   2-   1,   2,   3
See how they are grouped? 1, 2 - 1, 2, 3. It can also be grouped as 1, 2, 3 - 1, 2. In fact, it can be grouped as anything as long as it is equal to 5 (in 5/4).
     Q    Q    Q    Q    Q      
E||---------------------------||
B||---------------------------||
G||---------------------------||
D||------------5--------------||
A||-------5--------------5----||
E||--3--------------3---------||
     1,   2,   3-   1,   2
It can get complicated when you add eighth notes because they would be equal .5. I prefer not to get that complicated, but if it works for you, use it. Here are some grouping ideas commonly used (they can all be reversed or put into different order):
5/4
---------------
1, 2 - 1, 2, 3
---------------
1, 2, 3 - 1, 2
---------------
1, 2 - 1, 2 - 1
---------------


6/4
------------------
1, 2, 3 - 1, 2, 3
------------------
1, 2 - 1, 2 - 1, 2
------------------
1, 2 - 1, 2, 3 - 1
------------------
1, 2, 3, 4 - 1, 2
------------------


7/4
---------------------
1, 2 - 1, 2 - 1, 2, 3
---------------------
1, 2, 3, 4 - 1, 2, 3
---------------------


(the eight notes are counted instead of the quarter notes)


5/8
---------------
1, 2 - 1, 2, 3
---------------
1, 2, 3 - 1, 2
---------------
1, 2 - 1, 2 - 1
---------------


7/8
---------------------
1, 2 - 1, 2 - 1, 2, 3
---------------------
1, 2, 3, 4 - 1, 2, 3
---------------------


11/8
------------------------------------
1, 2, 3 - 1, 2, 3 - 1, 2, 3 - 1, 2
------------------------------------
1, 2 - 1, 2 - 1, 2 - 1, 2 - 1, 2 - 1
------------------------------------
1, 2, 3, 4 - 1, 2, 3, 4 - 1, 2, 3
Every time you practice your guitar, try playing in an odd time signature by counting and grouping the notes. That way, you can get two things done at once. Another good idea is to make up beats in odd time signatures in your head while you are away from your guitar. This will get your mind used to hearing odd time signatures, and hopefully give you some original ideas. I hope you learned a lot from this lesson. If you found some of the material confusing, you ming want to consider taking a music theory class or getting help from a professional. Remember, there is no good substitute for a good teacher.

Files


The next part will be about:
- Changing time signatures (metric modulation)
- Chord progressions
- Changing the key of the song (harmonic modulation)
- Using untraditional scales
- Soloing in odd time signatures
Good luck, and keep creating original progressive music.
More blu9999 lessons:
+ Art Rock. Part 2 - Harmonic Concepts Music Styles 09/05/2006
+ Harmonic Tuning For Bass Guitar Bass Lessons 04/12/2005
+ Bass Guitar Tuning Bass Lessons 12/16/2004
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