Odd-Time Hack for Better Beats
In this lesson you'll learn how to use odd time signatures, but without them sounding odd. But first… Tea!
Hello revolutionary music makers, we are Kate and Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony), and welcome to Hack Music Theory, the fast, easy and fun way to make music! If you’re new to theory, or if you just want a refresher, then read our free book "12 Music Theory Hacks to Learn Scales & Chords". It’ll give you a super solid music theory foundation in just 30 minutes. The free download is below. Enjoy!
Odd time signatures are one of the best ways to make your beats stand out! And one of the easiest to use is 7|8, which you get by shortening 4|4 by an 1/8 note.
But, as you can hear (click play above to listen), the problem most producers have when using odd time is that it sounds wrong. That’s because it’s usually made by shortening or lengthening the end of a 4|4 bar, so it either sounds too short (like 7|8) or too long (like 5|4).
The trick is to make your odd-time beat not sound odd. And you do that by disguising it as 4|4, cos that’s what everyone will subconsciously compare it to. So here’s the hack: Hide that bit you shorten or lengthen in the middle of your bar! That way by the end of the bar, where your loop repeats, it actually sounds normal.
Hope you found this hack helpful, and if you did, then check out our DRUMS page for more!
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