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  1. #1

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    (The scratchy rhythm parts are where the vocal goes...)

    Like I say in the video, I want to record this song of mine in Reaper. (Frank--fep--is showing me the ropes with that, God bless him.) It's a simple song but I'm having a hard time finding a drum rhythm that feels just right to me.

    Any helpful suggestions would be very much appreciated.


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  3. #2

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    Sounds like 9/4 (or maybe 9/8?) time, so if you use a straight 4/4 rhythm the down beat on your drum machine or midi rhythm track won’t line up right. You either need to add an extra 1-beat measure after every measure (awkward) or just work in 9/4 time. I couldn’t quite tell from the video if you were maintaining a pattern throughout but for sure the first two measures were nine beats. In bluegrass I think that’s referred to as crooked time. Bill Monroe and other bluegrassers often added an extra beat in certain measures. If you aren’t following a strict nine beats per measure pattern through the whole tune, then you will need to add partial measures where you break the pattern (or adjust the beats per measure as needed throughout the tune to make things line up right).

  4. #3

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    9/8 tends to fall into several rhythm families.
    Celtic folk has lots where it is played as a set of 3 triplets. Listen to Fairport Convention playing the first section of Dirty Linen. Not suitable here, but useful to know.
    Second 9/8 has a feel of 4 beats then 5 giving a hint of hesitation/extension in the 5 beat part, where - based on the first 4 beats there could be an expectation of another 4.
    Third comes a 5+4 feel which is the little sister of the second.
    Finally comes a pure 9/8 where the melody/rhythm are totally anchored in 9/8.
    Yes use all these variations so maybe some ideas there. Also Soft Machine.
    To my ears what you are playing sounds like more like a 4+5 model - others may disagree. If this is your intention, maybe set the drumming to reflect this alternating effect?
    Hope this helps
    Ray

  5. #4

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    Based on the drum midi library I have, I'd have to do some slicing and merging to get a consistant groove. This has a shuffle or swing feel which you also have to consider.

    Maybe a 4/4 groove. 1 measure of 4/4, then slice into 3 + 2 to get the 5.

  6. #5

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    Try this:

    Box

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by lukmanohnz
    Sounds like 9/4 (or maybe 9/8?) time... I couldn’t quite tell from the video if you were maintaining a pattern throughout but for sure the first two measures were nine beats. In bluegrass I think that’s referred to as crooked time.
    It's something I never thought about. I tend to write songs when messing around on the guitar and the way I play it then is "just the way it is" for me. I like that riff but now that I've tried to play it with a metronome (where beat 1 has a different sound than 2, 3 and 4) I realize, "Hhm, that's not coming out right." And yet it's not so tricky rhythm to play.

    Come to think of it, years ago when I was writing songs and recording them on a 4-track (and had an Alesis SR 16 drum machine) I was often dissatisfied with the drum parts. I liked bluegrass music as a kid, and swing music, and New Orleans grooves, so it's possible my 'internal rhythm' (at least on some songs I write) is some odd meter that I don't realize because I'm not playing with an external rhythm and it just seems like a shuffle of sorts.

    I love the phrase "crooked time"

    You raise an important point: is that rhythm (-of the riff in the first measures) kept during the verse. I don't know.

    An Adam Neely video on playing in 9/8


    And here is a metronome playing 9/8 at 60 bpm.


  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    Try this:

    Box
    Thanks, Frank. I will.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    I love the phrase "crooked time"
    Clinch Mountain Backstep is a classic fiddle tune with a crooked measure in the B section. Trips up a lot of newbs in a jam.

    Probably more than anyone wants to know about it here.

  10. #9

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    Rhumba!

    Thought I'd try this to a rhumba beat. Found this one on YouTube. 120, which is a little slower than I normally play this tune but I got used to it. (I can find a rhumba beat elsewhere and change the tempo; that's not a worry.)


  11. #10

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    Maybe it needs to groove over a shuffle or a New Orleans rhythm?




  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    Maybe it needs to groove over a shuffle or a New Orleans rhythm?
    Great idea, Cosmic. I do love a lot of those rhythms. Funny how the second example you posted (at 120 bpm) seems slower than the first one (at 100).

    Professor Longhair's "Rock'n'Roll Gumbo" album was a big influence on me in my late teens / early '20s. I hadn't yet lived in New Orleans, though I had visited a couple times. Always love the second-line groove, though it was never something I set out to play myself. But I always responded to it.

  13. #12
    Hey, Mark. The greens you establish the beginning is 4/4. I would tend to hear the whole thing as being in four.

    Sounds like you're adding a beat, to try to accommodate the rhythm part you want, to try to squeeze it in. it doesn't really convey as a deliberate 5/4 4 to me. You said "When I play it with the metronome". Can you play it with a metronome in four and omit the rhythm part? Record it separately? I think it might add some clarity to what you're hearing.

    The rhythm fills in between phrases are implying beats 3-4, but you already used beat three with the lead riff. If the whole thing is replayed to a click and it's lining up with the metronome, honestly, it might sound good to simply cut and splice where the lead riff always starts on one, with the rhythm overlapping on beat 3.

    Interspersing rhythmic kicks like this can be complicated when it's syncopated. You have to be able to keep your concept of 1. You can certainly use other meters but those are mostly a choice, rather than something happens to you. Otherwise, you end up feeling that something is off, like you're describing.

    Just my 2c.

  14. #13

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    A nice NPR feature on New Orleans drummer Shannon Powell

    New Orleans Rhythm, Straight From The Source : A Blog Supreme : NPR

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher
    Hey, Mark. The greens you establish the beginning is 4/4. I would tend to hear the whole thing as being in four.

    Sounds like you're adding a beat, to try to accommodate the rhythm part you want, to try to squeeze it in. it doesn't really convey as a deliberate 5/4 4 to me. You said "When I play it with the metronome". Can you play it with a metronome in four and omit the rhythm part? Record it separately? I think it might add some clarity to what you're hearing.

    The rhythm fills in between phrases are implying beats 3-4, but you already used beat three with the lead riff. If the whole thing is replayed to a click and it's lining up with the metronome, honestly, it might sound good to simply cut and splice where the lead riff always starts on one, with the rhythm overlapping on beat 3.

    Interspersing rhythmic kicks like this can be complicated when it's syncopated. You have to be able to keep your concept of 1. You can certainly use other meters but those are mostly a choice, rather than something happens to you. Otherwise, you end up feeling that something is off, like you're describing.

    Just my 2c.
    Good post, Matt. Thanks.
    Yes, it's not 5/4 or 9/4 or anything like that. (Trying those things produced a hard no.)
    As for playing it with a metronome, there are two ways I do. First, the same click for every beat. (No problem.) Second, a different click on beat 1. That's when I see that 1 falls in different places. That in itself is not necessarily a bad thing: it's a two-measure riff played twice and it comes back out on the 1 for the start of the verse. I think I like playing this over a rhumba beat because it has a flowing effect.

    Like most songs I come up with, I don't think about beats when I play it. I just play it. (I don't think about measures either. I had no idea how many measures this song had.) Trying to find drum parts afterward has often left me frustrated and dissatisfied. Not that I'm playing weird time signatures. (I really don't think I ever do that.)

    I'll record the guitar to a click and worry about a drum part afterward.

    This (below) is my favorite rhythm record ever. I listen to it every time I go for a walk.
    It's a rhumba. The bass part is Root (two beats) then 3rd and 5th for one beat each. Or: Long, short-short.
    But I don't want to just play it that way. (Actually, I don't play THIS song at all on my guitar---I've never figured out a way to do it that makes me smile.) I use it that way when I play T-Bone Walker's "Mean Old World.")

    I like to play off of that rhythm, which is constant but neither oppressive or boring. To me, it floats.



    Here's my version of a rhumba swing comp. The changes are "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea." (This was done for the "One Chorus of Rhythm" thread but it fits here in this context because I'm playing to a clear, steady rhythm on a swing tune but not 4 to the bar or the Charleston---the only 'jazz' beats I know. ;o) I like this groove.