groupings of 8th and 16th notes
within it.
Exam ple 1
we'll start off
by looking at 8th notes and
quarter notes in 4/4: eight and
four notes per bar respectively.
For the remainder of the
example we'll shift to 7/8, which
means there will be seven 8th
notes per measure rather than
eight. Since this adds up to
three and a half quarter notes,
I recommend that you feel the
beat in the way the notes are
grouped. For example, in bar
three the 8ths are grouped
3, 2, 2 so the feel (shown in
the following bar) would be a
dotted quarter followed by two
quarters. Also, for the same
reason, remember to switch
your metronome to 8th notes
rather than quarters.
Exam ple 2
we'll look at
a measure of 4/4 with its 16th
notes grouped 3, 3, 3, 3, 4.
We covered this and several
other 4/4 16th-note patterns in
previous issues. For any pattern
like this we can chop off two 16ths to make the pattern fit into a measure of 7/8. This one can be fairly
tricky to play, so bring the tempo down as low as you need to get it right.
Let's start adding some melody in
Exam ple 3
by using a C major 7 arpeggio. First we'll go up and
down the arpeggio in 4/4, then we'll remove the last 8th note of each measure to make the pattern
work in 7/8.
Exam ple 4
works through the other two 7/8 note grouping ideas presented in
Exam ple 1
but this time uses an A minor 7 arpeggio.
Have fun and experiment with your bandmates with odd meters. Try it with a piece of music in 4/4
that you consider somewhat bland, and see how much life you can add to it by simply dropping one 8th
note per measure.
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