Can somebody help me on understanding time signaturess and maybe giving me links to different websites. me and my friend are forming a band and we need some help understanding how to do progressive time changes and crazy stuff like that. if u want to help, give us all the information u can.

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Well....... if you want to sound progressive and be labelled as progressive then you will want to use asymettrical time signatures - that is unusual time signatures that are not 4/4 or 3/4 - such as 5/4 or 7/4 most commonly - e.g. songs that are written completely in 5/4 (or 10/8) are Dissappear by Dream Theater or The Grudge By Tool. However, the riff or pattern that you write in 5 or 7 beats must be a very clear and recognizable series of notes - otherwise it will sound like a random bunch of notes with no attention towards any time signature in particular. Just start of trying to write a cool riff in 5/4. It may also be good to take various similar-sounding riffs and place them next to each other in different combinations and see how they sound. (If you've heard the beginning to Constant Motion by Dream Theater - it seems like John Petrucci may have experimented in this way). This may make for some very interesting riffs AND time sigantures and also alot of diversity in your riffs. I don't fully understand exactly the tips that you want, but ask me anything and I'll stay here on this thread to help you out.
A7XS oad
is the difference between 4/4 and other weird timings just that it gives the song a different feel or is there more.
Another tip - in your songs it is best to try and stick to standard (3/4 or 4/4) time signatures during SOLOS, a combination of normal and assymetrical time signatures during VOCAL SECTIONS (5/4 like Dissappear by Dream Theater, or 3 bars of 6/4 and one of 7/4 in the first verse of Paradise Lost by Symphony X), and use any crazy time signature for RHYTHM SECTIONS (Like the 4/4, 6/4, 13/16, and 15/16 in the beginning of Constant Motion by Dream Theater, or 11/16 like used in Alexander The Great by Iron Maiden, or 11/16 used just after the symphonic instrumentral section in The Divine Wings Of Tragedy by Symphony X (about 17 and a half minutes). If is often a good idea to take, say, a riff with 6 semi-quavers, and then repeat it every other time but omit the last (or another) note, giving you 11 notes which is an unusual time signature that may also work effectively in this way (like The divine Wings Of Tragedy). It May be a good idea to familiarise yourself with some of the songs and bands that I have used has effective examples for explaining stuff here.
A7XS oad
So you want me to explain different time signatures from the beginning ???
A7XS oad
Where did you hear about the idea of different time signatures ?? I thought you knw the basics simply because you knew what they were
A7XS oad
so one more question, in a certain piece of music, using lets say 5/4 timing, does that mean that after four measures, u will have 20 beats?
if you want something that sounds really cool and disorienting, try shifting time sigs (check out about any meshuggah song for an example).
'so one more question, in a certain piece of music, using lets say 5/4 timing, does that mean that after four measures, u will have 20 beats?'

Yeah thats all there is to it Well I say 'that's all' - it is pretty complicated stuff lol
A7XS oad
a7xsoad. Watch out, you triple posted which is against the rules. Theres an edit button.

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so i understand most of it but u said that u have make sure that u make it feel like odd timing. does that come into play when you could have either 5 measures of 4/4 or 4 measures of 5/4.
I think the best way to do this is to start at the very beginning.

There is a whole note.
For every whole note there are two half notes.
For every half note there are two quarter notes. So, for every whole note there are 4 quarter notes.
For every quarter note there are two eighth notes. For every half note there are 4 eighth notes. And for every whole note there are 8 eighth notes.
For every eighth note there are two sixteenth notes. For every quarter note there are 4 sixteenth notes. For every half note there are 8 sixteenth notes. And for every whole note there are 16 sixteenth notes.

Now, to get into the time signatures. They are in the form of fractions, with the most common ones being 4/4, 2/4, and 6/8, but they can be just about anything you can think of and play.

To make explaining this a little easier, let's think of that fractional time signature as a number multiplied by a fraction. So 4/4 would become 4 * 1/4. This means that there are 4 beats in each measure of that section of the song, and each beat takes up the equivalent of one quarter (1/4) note. To do something a bit harder, here's 9/8. Think of it as 9 * 1/8. This means that for each measure of that section of the song there are 9 beats, with each beat being the equivalent of one eighth (1/8) note. You could count this measure as (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9), but that would be kind of difficult. I would suggest either (1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4-5) or (1-2-3-4-5, 1-2-3-4). Of course in 9/8, you also have to deal with the changing values of different types of notes. Because a quarter note is the equivalent of two eighth notes, it would take two beats if you were playing in 9/8 time. Likewise, a half note would take 4 beats, and a whole note would take 8 beats. You could also write in more complex time, like 12/16 or something like that, but the only band I think I've ever heard do it is Meshuggah.

Once you understand these concepts, you should really spend some time 'being' those weird time signatures. It's kind of an arresting experience to go directly from playing in 4/4 all the time to playing in 11/8 or something equally as hard. You should also spend a good amount of time counting time changes. Go from 4/4 to 7/8. From 5/4 to 6/8. From 4/4 to 3/4. Try to think of any possible time change, so if you hear something weird in your head you can piece together and organize it in a way that you can communicate to other musicians.

Remember, don't write music in odd times just to do it; the time should fit the melody, not the other way around.
titopuente, 9/8 is compund triple time, there are three beats per bar. Each beat is the length of 3 eighth notes or a dotted quarter note. You count it 123 123 123.

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DO NOT think of time signatures as fractions!

There are three types of meter: Simple, compound, and hybrid.

Simple time consists of regular pulses of the note given as the denominator. There are three simple meters: Simple duple (2/x) Simple triple (3/x) and Simple quadruple (4/x). You probably know that simple duple contains two pulses, triple contains three, and quadruple contains four. This is true of compound and hybrid aswell.

Compound time consists of three-note pulses of the note given as the denominator. Compound duple (6/x) Compound triple (9/x) and Compound quadruple (12/x) are the three meters. So a piece in, for example, 9/8 would contain three equal pulses of a dotted quarter note each, right? Since there are three eighth notes per pulse. One would count 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3

Hybrid time consists of a combonation of compound and simple meters. This is what the guy helping you refered to as unusual. There are hybrid duple (5/x) hybrid triple (7/x) and hybrid quadruple (9/x, 10/x, 11/x) meters. So you see that hybrid duple is a mix of one compound time pulse with one simple time pulse of the same denominator. The same goes for all the other hybrid meters. 7/x is a combonation of one compound pulse and two simple pulses. 9/x is one compound and three simple pulses. 10/x; 2 compound, 2 simple, 11/x; 3 compound, 1 simple.

There is more to know if you plan on writing music notation. Strong and weak pulses, stemming... etc.
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