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Re: odd meters


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Posted by Dino Monoxelos on August 14, 2000 at 22:27:51:

In Reply to: odd meters posted by greg on August 14, 2000 at 12:03:16:

: Just started playing in a Finnish folk music group, and there are some odd meters
: involved, and I need a little help.

: When figuring these out, I am counting the smallest subdivision I can feel.
: So on one tune, I am feeling eigth notes and counting
: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8, and in anoither part of the tune
: I am feeling, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9. Which to me feels like
: 8/8 and 9/8 respectively.

: I know it is hard without hearing the tune, but is this even close to being a
: good way for dealign with odd meters? Also, is there a differecen between one
: measure of 8/8 and two measure of 4/4?

: Any good materials or tunes to listen to for coping with odd meters?


Hey Greg,

As JDP recommended, I do have a book out called Odd Meter Bassics pub.by Hal Leonard that gives you a pretty hands on approach to playing and figuring out odd meters for bass players. I know that sounds like a shameless plug but I think it'll help you. Until then, maybe I can shed some light for you. As far as counting the smallest possible subdivision, you are half way there. Instead of counting 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 though, try subdividing into groups such as 1-2-3 1-2-3 1-2 which would give you two dotted eighth notes followed by a quarter note. This of course is just one of several ways to subdivide a bar of 4/4 or 8/8. You can do the same thing with the 9/8 meter too. Try 1-2 1-2 1-2 1-2-3, in other words, three groups of two eighth notes followed by a group of three eighth notes. Again this is just one way of subdiving it. It really depends on where the accents are being placed in the melody and/or the rhythm of the song. Of course you don't want to be counting 1-2-3-4 etc the whole night either so what you want to try to do is to "internalize" these subdivisions just as you did when you were learning to play in 4/4. Think of it as this, when you are playing let's say a funk tune in 4/4, you don't necessarily count 1+2+3+4 because you know waht 4/4 is supposed to feel like, it's been internalized. Now all you have to do is internalize these odd meter subdivisions.
Listening recommendations are: Frank Zappa, Stravinsky, Mr. Bungle, Greek Music or any Eastern European ethnic music, Yanni (yes Yanni), The Outsidemen (Ralph Humphreys (d), Mike Miller (g), and the late Jim Lacefield (b) this was a band the played around LA when I was student there, these guys are what got me into odd meter stuff. You might still be able to find a copy of their cd at the Musicians Institute Players Supply Store. 800-255-PLAY ex.149, ask for Albie and tell him Dino told you to call him.
If and when you do get my book, email me and I'd be happy to help you out with it.

Until then,

Best of Luck


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