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#1
I've always found songs with time signatures such as 5/4 or 7/4 more interesting to listen to, as they aren't used too often and sound very different compared to 4/4 etc.

I was just wondering could any of you tell me some other great songs with odd time signatures? These are a few examples that I know:

Pink Floyd - Money 7/4 time
Alice In Chains - Them Bones 7/8 time
The Dave Brubeck Quartet - Take Five 5/4 time
Tool - Vicarious 5/4 time
Tool - The Grudge 5/4 time
Pantera - I'm Broken 7/16 time during the verse
Tool - Jambi Majority of the song follows the rhythm of one bare of 2/4 followed by one bar of 5/8
System Of A Down - Question! 5/8 time

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#2
Jethro Tull's Living in the Past is in 5/4.
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#3
Alot of Blues is in 12/8, if that counts.

I like Incubus's Make Yourself, which alternates from 7/8 to 4/4 in each bar of the verse.

Also, John Frusciante's The Past Recedes, is in 7/8.
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#6
Pretty much anything by Dream Theatre, like The Dance of Eternity which has about 15 different time signatures in it!
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#7
I think in a some Rush songs each member plays in a totally different time signature. But I could be wrong on that.
#8
Dave Brubeck - Blue Rondo a la Turk
- Take Five
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#9
Money by Pink Floyd 7/5 count. i dunno if you would consider it wierd, but i've never played another song in that time sig
#12
speaking of system of a down, Soil has parts that are in 7/8.

diary of a madman has a part in 9/8 and has another part in 7/4


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#13
Quote by xero1123
Money by Pink Floyd 7/5 count. i dunno if you would consider it wierd, but i've never played another song in that time sig


It's in either 7/4 or 7/8 depending on who you talk to (I think David Gilmour said in an interview once that it was 7/8).

Here is a list from wikipedia, searchable by time signature: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_works_in_unusual_time_signatures
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#14
Steve Vai's "Freak Show Excess" is in 7/8, thats what he told me in the vids.
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#15
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Tom Waits uses odd time signatures.

Look into him.



Oh nice! I didn't even think about him. Do you really love power chords? I don't believe it.

Frank Zappa has a lot of nuts stuff. A lot.

Try Captain Beefheart. The Trout Mask Replica album has some very crazy music. Beyond time signatures
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#16
Celestial Terrestial Commuters - Mahavishnu Orchestra

is in 19/16 and 18/16.
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#17
Radiohead-Everything in it's right place - 10/4
Radiohead-Morning Bell - 5/4
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#18
And by all means check out Yes - odd time signatures all over the place.
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#19
Quote by psychodelia
Here is a list from wikipedia, searchable by time signature: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_works_in_unusual_time_signatures


That's a great link! Thanks for posting.

Everything I was going to add is probably in that Wikipedia list already... but...

Whipping Post - Allman Bros - intro/riff
Spoon Man - SoundGarden - intro/riff
Sanitarium - Metallica - verse/riff
Mouth for War - Pantera - verse/riff
All You Need is Love - Beatles - verse
#20
look no further than Radiohead. In particular, Sail to The Moon. The time sig changes nearly every bar. It's mental
#22
Quote by psychodelia
It's in either 7/4 or 7/8 depending on who you talk to (I think David Gilmour said in an interview once that it was 7/8).

But how is that so? You can clearly hear triplets, so I've always assumed that it was 7/4, and not 7/8. Because I doubt those are sextuplets... oh well, I've just always called it 7/4. Guess it doesn't really make that much of a difference.
Quite a bit of Rush songs have some odd time sigs. YYZ is in something like 5/4, I think. Not sure what you'd call the time signature at the beginning of Cygnus X1, when all the members come in... 13/4? I don't know, it's not 4/4, that's for sure.
A couple Led Zeppelin tunes come to mind as well. The Crunge is in 9/8, for one. I can't remember what Jones said the sig for Black Dog was. Bonham plays a straight 4/4 beat over it, but the actual bass/guitar part is something like 7/8 or possibly something even weirder. I can't remember, but it's strange.
What's The Pyramid Song by Radiohead? I can't remember if Yorke said it was actually in a 4/4 time or if it wasn't. Something like... a couple measures are in regular, and then they go into a swing rhythm. Ahh, I don't know, but that's an awesome song. Two other excellent Radiohead examples were already mentioned. There are probably more from Radiohead, but I can't seem to think of any at the moment.
Wow, this is a fun topic! There's actually a term applied to bands that use odd time signatures more often. It's called "Math rock". I didn't know about it until I heard of it from someone else. Here's the Wikipedia page explaining it. Weird stuff.
#24
Quote by SethMegadefan
But how is that so? You can clearly hear triplets, so I've always assumed that it was 7/4, and not 7/8. Because I doubt those are sextuplets... oh well, I've just always called it 7/4. Guess it doesn't really make that much of a difference.


I agree with you, the only reason I mentioned it is because Gilmour says 7/8 on a documentary. (I've been trying to find a transcript with his reasoning, but I've been unable to so far.)
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#25
I've always counted it in 7/4.

Was also going to mention Salisbury Hill by Peter Gabriel (7/4) and My Wave by Soundgarden (5/4), but they're in that great big linked list.

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#26
I never realized that Radiohead used a lot of strange time signatures. But I did know that their song Paranoid Android has a section in 7/8 time. You can hear it at around 2.09.

EDIT: and btw, I've also also considered money in 7/4 rather than 7/8, even though Waters said so himself it was 7/8. It can just be written easier in 7/4. Here's a few more that I know (all in 7, but anyway...):

Departure - Trivium Intro in 7/4
Ticks and Leeches - Tool Intro in 7/4
Times Like These - Foo Fighters Again, intro in 7/4
Dyer's Eve - Metallica And once again, intro in 7/4

If you want to hear a brilliant example of 5/4 time, I strongly recommend you listen to Take Five by The Dave Brubeck Quartet.

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Last edited by Morgy at Sep 1, 2006,
#27
Quote by Morgy
I never realized that Radiohead used a lot of strange time signatures. But I did know that their song Paranoid Android has a section in 7/8 time. You can hear it at around 2.09.

Yep, without even listening to it I know which part you're talking about. Right when the one tritone riff repeats. Right before the "Ambition makes you look pretty ugly" line, no? Yeah, I've noticed that before too. Nice call on that one... I didn't even think of it.
And I thought I remember reading something that Waters or somebody said that "Money" was, in fact, in 7/4, now that I think about it. Argh, where did I read that? I distinctly remember whoever it was stating that it was 7/4. It was a while ago, though, so I can't remember what I was reading at the time... cripes, now this is going to be bothering me all day...
#28
Quote by SethMegadefan
Right before the "Ambition makes you look pretty ugly" line, no? Yeah, I've noticed that before too. Nice call on that one... I didn't even think of it.


Yep, that's exactly where it is and thanks!

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#29
Listen to Tool's Schism:

As transcribed by Adam Perlmutter, the song starts in 5/4 for one measure followed by 21 measures of 6/4 (or 5/4 and 7/4 alternating), up to the first interlude, which is a bar of 3/8, three bars of 13/8, and a bar of 10/8. (This can be also intrepreted as four 13/8 bars, but played with a 3/8 upbeat.) The next verse is eight bars all in 6/4 followed by another interlude that fits the same pattern as the first. This brings us to the "The poetry that comes..." section, which is four bars of 6/4 followed by one bar of 11/8. Another eight-bar verse in 6/4 follows, with an interlude containing the same as before, except this time the final 10/8 bar is replaced with an 11/8 bar setting up the middle section, which is four bars of 7/4 before settling into a pattern of alternating 12/8 and 15/8, one bar each, twelve times, containing the "Cold silence..." lyrics. At this point, at the end of the word "compassion", there are three bars of 4/4 (which nearly sounds foreign at this point), a bar of 2/4, and four bars of 4/4 setting up the "Between supposed lovers" section, which is two bars of 9/8 followed by a bar of 10/8, that pattern again, a single bar of 9/8 followed by a 13/8 bar. This leads to an alternating set of 9/8 and 5/8, appearing four times before a bar of 9/8 and a bar of 6/8. The ending "I know the pieces fit" lyrics bring back the 6/4 meter for eight bars, followed by eight bars of 4/4 to end the song.
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#30
Quote by Ace88
Listen to Tool's Schism:

As transcribed by Adam Perlmutter, the song starts in 5/4 for one measure followed by 21 measures of 6/4 (or 5/4 and 7/4 alternating), up to the first interlude, which is a bar of 3/8, three bars of 13/8, and a bar of 10/8. (This can be also intrepreted as four 13/8 bars, but played with a 3/8 upbeat.) The next verse is eight bars all in 6/4 followed by another interlude that fits the same pattern as the first. This brings us to the "The poetry that comes..." section, which is four bars of 6/4 followed by one bar of 11/8. Another eight-bar verse in 6/4 follows, with an interlude containing the same as before, except this time the final 10/8 bar is replaced with an 11/8 bar setting up the middle section, which is four bars of 7/4 before settling into a pattern of alternating 12/8 and 15/8, one bar each, twelve times, containing the "Cold silence..." lyrics. At this point, at the end of the word "compassion", there are three bars of 4/4 (which nearly sounds foreign at this point), a bar of 2/4, and four bars of 4/4 setting up the "Between supposed lovers" section, which is two bars of 9/8 followed by a bar of 10/8, that pattern again, a single bar of 9/8 followed by a 13/8 bar. This leads to an alternating set of 9/8 and 5/8, appearing four times before a bar of 9/8 and a bar of 6/8. The ending "I know the pieces fit" lyrics bring back the 6/4 meter for eight bars, followed by eight bars of 4/4 to end the song.

I take it that doesn't make its way into their live setlists too often, eh?
#31
math rock is like Meshuggah.
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#32
I take it that doesn't make its way into their live setlists too often, eh?


They've done it a few times, but it's rare. It'd be a real treat to see it live. Schism is probably the most ****ed up song i can think of.
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#33
Quote by SethMegadefan
I take it that doesn't make its way into their live setlists too often, eh?


its not actually that difficult to play at all...broken down like that it seems dead complicated, but if you actually just "feel" the groove of the song as you play it as opposed to trying to count it, its is not too hard at all...


edit: ^and i was under the impression that it was a pretty common occurance in their sets...
#34
Since you mention System of a Down, "Vicinity of Obscenity" has a couple 7/4 parts in it.

"Zee Devel" by Incubus is in 9/8.

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#35
Almost anything by the Dillinger Escape Plan.
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#36
Quote by quinny1089
its not actually that difficult to play at all...broken down like that it seems dead complicated, but if you actually just "feel" the groove of the song as you play it as opposed to trying to count it, its is not too hard at all...

Eh... I don't know about that. That'd be pretty tough to remember, measure for measure. I wouldn't be able to handle the pressure to play that live. Especially to get every single band member to also know it perfectly, and get it in perfect synchronization. I don't personally know the song, so I can't really judge, but some songs in regular time signatures are tough to remember exactly, you know?
#38
System of a Down also has the odd 8/2 time signature in DDevil.

Checkout any Mudvayne song off LD50. Never stays in 4/4 and always changes at least 7 times during each song, cept Dig
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#39
54 here we go by Dispatch is in 5/4.
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