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Bande
03-30-2005, 03:53 PM
Hi all!

Maybe a very stupid question but do you know what rhythmical tools does Dream Theater use? For example in the song The Dance Of Eternity, or maybe Metropolis Pt I. I read the article that Szulc wrote about the theory of rhythm, about phrase and accent displacement, polyrhythm and stuff and I seem to understand it, but yet can't recognise them from the song.

I guess who has ever listened to Dream Theater knows what I'm talking about. You know those rhythm changes that first seem to be weird and horrible, but for the third listen to the song it sort of becomes clear, and becomes really enjoyable.

Maybe they're only changing the time signatures? I dunno because I don't think the meter is changing 'cause that would be really weird, so I think they're changing the time signatures. Is this the solution to my mystery, or does Dream Theater use more complex rhythmical stuff?

Sorry if this was the bluntest question you ever read.

EricV
03-30-2005, 04:04 PM
The guys in DT are very skilled musicians, so they sure know about stuff like polyrhythms etc. Iīd say though that their main tool here are different time signatures. You mentioned "Metropolis Pt.1"... lemme check it out some of the time signatures really quick...

OK, the intro of the solo ( those arpeggiated add9 chords, shortly before the actual solo ) is: 6/8 - 7/8 - 6/8 - 7/8
This still continues throughout that harmony guitar-melody which is next ( maybe itīs guitar + keyboard, too ). That fast keyboard / guitar run goes over the same two time sigs. Then, when the arpeggiated chords come in again, itīs 6/8 all the way until after the short bass-solo
The wacky keyboard-guitar stuff that is next is over a 4/4 time signature, and indeed has some interesting rhythms, so right there you have an example of that... weird rhythms over a straight time signature
After a while, there is that repeating keyboard riff, followed by the guitar-melody. Those parts have a 6/8 sig.
After that they start to really go wild... I hear 9/8, 7/8, something like 19/16, 12/8, 5/8, and when the clean guitar comes in and LaBrie sings again, itīs 3/4
I recommend you get the TAB book or any accurate powertab of any of these songs... reading through the TAB / transcription while listening will make things even clearer and more obvious, and it can be quite an enlightening experience to suddenly understand what is going on there.
Hope this helps
Eric

Arpetude
03-30-2005, 04:06 PM
hey man, drummer here;)


dance of eternity is a maze of odd time..odd time is all about 'feel', 4 bars of 4/4 could be phrased the same as 4 bars of 3/4 and one bar of 4/4. it's all about feel really, its all in your head , they are no true bars in your head . it is how you 'percieve' time. mike portnoy is not counting all those divisions/meters in his head. when he recorded dance of eternity for his intructional dvd he was ****ting himself because he couldn't take the intensity:eek:

i use polyrythms mostly when it come to guitar solos . more for speed rather than complexity. e.g. if 6 notes to the beat is too fast and 5 is too slow i'd use a polyrythm to get in between that division.

dream theater is all odd-time mostly, check out this link for official mike portnoy drum licks + dance of eternity transcibed by the man himself.:eek:

http://www.hudsonmusic.com/transcriptions/transcripsPORTNOY.html

Mateo150
03-30-2005, 05:43 PM
It helps to count out off timing... for example, 15/8 is better thought of as 3 4's and one 3... and a lot of times its more like 3 4's and one 3.5 or 3.25 (on slower songs).... just count it out. I think the best odd time signiture to start off with is 7/4 or 15/8 (a watered down 7/4). If you can count those out, then most things aren't too far off base from that. a 6/8 is just two 3/4's and a 7/8 is a 3/4 + 4/4 so for a (6/8 + 7/8) passage - it can be easier to think of it as 13/8 = three 3/4's and one 4/4....etc..

When some bands I hear go to 15/8 timing, its buts a double time 4/4 for 3 measures and one 3/4, thats how I hear it, for me its easier to do it this way rather than count 7.5 over 4... Its also easier to feel. But I'm no drummer.

Arpetude
03-30-2005, 06:23 PM
yep thats right man.....basic math really!. 7/8 for me could be 3/4 + 3/4 + 1/4. although Mateo150's bars may be Phrased (really good word to use - means different ways to say the same thing e.g. ionian = major) in 3/4 + 4/4 , it could easily be my 3 bars of 3/4 + 3/4 + 1/4. you should do it by what feels the easiest depending on the situation. maybe you want to start the bar with a bass drum hit on every bar of the odd time passage. if so then PHRASE it that way. re-notate it so that it suits you.

for example that dance of eternity link i gave, you can totally change the sigs if you want, i know i see the bars in differently in measures 40 - 44 . it's in 5/8, 7/16, 2/4, 7/16, 3/8, 7/16. now that seems like a good way to look at it. the fiils get the wide LCD so therefore the metronome is clicking 16th. but i prefer to see measure 44 in 4/8 (or 2/4) and add the bass + crash in that bar and not carry it over to the next . and count 6/16 (or 3/8) in the next bar so i know the metronome click lands when i start EVERY FILL on the hands..

why is it that drummers can right literally essays on Mike Portnoy's odd-time madness:rolleyes:

DemonSorcerer
03-30-2005, 11:18 PM
yep thats right man.....basic math really!. 7/8 for me could be 3/4 + 3/4 + 1/4. although Mateo150's bars may be Phrased (really good word to use - means different ways to say the same thing e.g. ionian = major) in 3/4 + 4/4 , it could easily be my 3 bars of 3/4 + 3/4 + 1/4. you should do it by what feels the easiest depending on the situation. maybe you want to start the bar with a bass drum hit on every bar of the odd time passage. if so then PHRASE it that way. re-notate it so that it suits you.

Sorry, kiddo...you're wrong over there...

7/8 is a completely DIFFERENT time signature and it's not the result of 3/4 + 3/4 + 1/4 ---- this is 7/4 and it's not the same as 7/8...you could be right if that was 3/8 + 3/8 + 1/8...check your music theory and also your math, kiddo.

David

Arpetude
03-31-2005, 09:02 AM
lol thanks DemonSorcerer,hay this is basic math man...i just typed it in wrong, i am sure everyone on this board who is older than 13 knows that 3/8 + 3/8 + 1/8 = 7/8 and that 3/4 + 3/4 + 1/4 = 7/4..i wouldn't say this has anything to do with theory ...more like....basic math...i have you know i got my standard grade in math:)

DemonSorcerer
03-31-2005, 05:05 PM
..i wouldn't say this has anything to do with theory ...more like....basic math...i have you know i got my standard grade in math:)

SOOOOOOOORRY again, kiddo...looks like you're missing something here...Music Theory convers the harmonic field...say, Harmony, Music Structure, Melody, etc...and then there's the Rythmic field...Rythmic structure, Time Signatures, basic rytthms and Ployrithms...etc...i'll say it again...CHECK YOUR THEORY BOOK.

David

Arpetude
03-31-2005, 05:37 PM
well, i play dance of eternity on the drums which is considered quite a hard song to play for drummers, so my theory may be off a little bit but i get by and count the bars how i feel and play it. as i have said before i feel there is no ONE right answer, it is all about how you percieve time. and how the bars are phrased - it is entirely up to you.

care to point out my mistakes.

Arpetude
03-31-2005, 05:40 PM
oh yeah, and how could i be wrong. i basically quoted you and said you were right.:confused:

then you say what i have said(which was quoting you) is wrong.

somethings up here:eek: . i have come to the conclusion that i have gone insane due to over-practicing.

Mateo150
03-31-2005, 06:48 PM
Well Arp, the issue Dave has is probably more with the Q's and P's rather than your said ability to play the thing. I mean, you said you were going to teach drums, so you ought to really know the details of time signitures and such. I'm no expert, but because I transcribe a lot, I'm fairly familiar with the notations and what they say about the music. What I was saying is that most of the times when playing odd time signitures, It can be done as combinations a 3/4 and 4/4 in terms of counting while you play. Some people don't need to ever count out stuff (very rare), but I do. A 7/4 may sometimes be as simple as a double time 3/4 + 4/4 or something of that nature. I don't think of rhythm as math, thats sounds kind of odd to me. Just pragmatics is all...

Arpetude
03-31-2005, 06:56 PM
i do know the details i just put 4 instead of 8 in the first paragraph in post number 5. everything else is fine. i recomend learning a bunch of dream theater songs on the drums. write out how you would count the division and try to phrase the bars in different ways....and try and have 'fun' (eek!) with odd time.

Bande
04-02-2005, 03:52 PM
Well

Thanks for your help guys, this really made me curious about looking more into rhythm theory. Anyway besides of szulc's article about the topic, is there any more that I could learn rhythm theory from (I mean here on IBRM)? Really interesting stuff going round.

Mateo150
04-02-2005, 06:33 PM
I was fairly vauge before... Heres an example of what I'm talking about, you can kind of ignore that drum beat metronome.

That drummer beat there is dumb, if you want you can go change the metronome click counts per measure as you write in the time sig.... this should give you a general idea... but 7/8 really isn't 3/8+3/8+1/8... its actually a very different feel. But turn off the metronome and just count with it, it works, the most practical way to figure out rhythms is to count, IMO.

I don't suggest "learning a bunch of dreamtheater songs on drums"... unless you really want. Thats like saying, If you want to figure out some Coltrane lines, learn to play Coltrane songs on the alto sax... foolish.

Arpetude
04-02-2005, 07:08 PM
well mateo150, thak was ok but it did not really explain anything IMO,

have you ever heard of the concept of time manipulation to percive time in music better, so a pattern can be found in your brain alot quiker, and therfore get shred licks down FASTER...no?. well by putting some patterns in odd time we can begin to see patterns in our brain faster. i remember looking at a PG killer lick. it seemed impossible i put it in 3/4 with 16th note triplets and i could see the pattern immediately.

i have included powertab of my idea. ok this my seem simple. but really think about it. dont just shrug it off. this helped me imensly in my development as a guitarist.

Mateo150 that is the worst advice i have heard,
learning a bunch of dream theater songs on the drums would turn you into a GOD of odd time. do you know you dream theater are?....do you know who mike portnoy is?....he won like hundreds of awards he is the top progressive rock drummer in the world. he was voted number 1 drummer for modern drummer for years in a row...want to understand odd time..REALLY....then yes learning dream theater songs will do that. and count out how you will. phrase it differently to your needs.

saying that learning the drums to dream theater will not teach you anything aout odd time is like saying learning guitar in the style of yngwie malmsteen will not teach you anything about neo-classical shred.

Mateo150
04-03-2005, 09:58 PM
Well, I got a little curious, I guess I should let sleeping dogs lie...

Maybe what you say works for you, sure doesn't for me... maybe you could explain "time manipulation"

How would you "time manipulate" these... I mean the phrasing crosses over bars and such, and IMO thats what makes the phrases interesting, well, thats what makes them phrases and not patterns entering on the first beat.


- the 15/8 example in terms out counting for me is .... 1234,1234,123,1234... etc...

P.S. - I never said that learning drums wouldn't teach anything about odd times. No need to try to put words into my mouth.