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Thread: Help with riff

  1. #1
    Registered User Wieler's Avatar
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    Help with riff

    Hi, my bassist and drummer keep fighting over this riff, and I just want them to resolve their issues... the bassist wrote it and hears it a certain way, and the drummer hears it a different way... (it's my song play it my way/I'm the drummer I'll play it this way)
    (btw this is on guitar)

    D ---------------7-------------6-------------8------8-6-6-5-
    A ----------6-5-----------6-5-----------6-5------------------
    D (0)-0-0-0--------0-0-0---------0-0-0---------0-0----------


    All the notes are of equal value, and that's played over and over again... is there any way someone could tell me what meter or whatever that is just from the tab? The note that is in parentheses is one that the bassist says we have to play in order to keep the rhythym (only played the first time around, I mostly ignore it, it's supposed to carry over from the nonexistant previous measure)... I don't know, I count it as "one two three for five six one two three four five six" but he says to count "one two three four one two three four"

    I play it the same no matter what, and I can "hear" it in different ways, but if someone could help me come up with the words to explain to both of them what's going on, that would be greatly appreciated, and then we can move on :P
    Last edited by Wieler; 10-17-2006 at 10:23 AM.

  2. #2
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wieler
    Hi, my bassist and drummer keep fighting over this riff, and I just want them to resolve their issues... the bassist wrote it and hears it a certain way, and the drummer hears it a different way... (it's my song play it my way/I'm the drummer I'll play it this way)
    (btw this is on guitar)

    D ------------7------------6-------------8-----8-6-6-5-
    A --------6-5----------6-5-----------6-5------------------
    D (0)-0-0-0--------0-0-0---------0-0-0--------0-0----------


    All the notes are of equal value, and that's played over and over again... is there any way someone could tell me what meter or whatever that is just from the tab? The note that is in parentheses is one that the bassist says we have to play in order to keep the rhythym (only played the first time around, I mostly ignore it, it's supposed to carry over from the nonexistant previous measure)... I don't know, I count it as "one two three for five six one two three four five six" but he says to count "one two three four one two three four"

    I play it the same no matter what, and I can "hear" it in different ways, but if someone could help me come up with the words to explain to both of them what's going on, that would be greatly appreciated, and then we can move on :P
    Ignoring the first note - and assuming your tab displayed correctly - you have 24 notes. The most obvious breakdown is 4 groups of 6, because of the repeated low D notes.
    If these are all 8th notes, then it makes four bars of 6/8 time:
    Code:
    
      D   -----------7-----------6-----------8-----8-6-6-5-
      A   -------6-5---------6-5---------6-5------------------
      D   -0-0-0-------0-0-0-------0-0-0-------0-0----------
          |___________|___________|___________|___________|
    Beats: 1 & a 2 & a 1 & a 2 & a 1 & a 2 & a 1 & a 2 & a 
    
    IOW, if these are 8th notes, you don't count "1-2-3-4-5-6", you count "1 and a 2 and a" etc.

    It could also be 4 bars of 3/4, but that seems less intuitive to me. The count and feel would be quite different:
    Code:
      D   -----------7-----------6-----------8-----8-6-6-5-
      A   -------6-5---------6-5---------6-5------------------
      D   -0-0-0-------0-0-0-------0-0-0-------0-0----------
          |___________|___________|___________|___________|
    Beats: 1 & 2 & 3 & 1 & 2 & 3 & 1 & 2 & 3 & 1 & 2 & 3 & 
    But it can also break down in 6 groups of 4 - or 3 groups of 8, making three 4/4 bars:
    Code:
      D   -----------7-----------6-----------8-----8-6-6-5-
      A   -------6-5---------6-5---------6-5------------------
      D   -0-0-0-------0-0-0-------0-0-0-------0-0----------
          |_______________|_______________|_______________|
    Beats: 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 
    Again, I'm assuming these are 8th notes, played too fast to be counted as 4/4 beats.
    Feeling it as 4/4 like this gives it a cool cross-rhythm, IMO - but a 3-bar cycle is a little odd.

    In short, I think you're right (assuming I've interpreted your tab right) - it seems simplest as 4 bars of 6/8 time.
    Your bassist is therefore wrong, you don't need that extra initial note (although it's fine as a pick-up note, not repeated next time).
    You don't say how the drummer hears it. Does he agree with you?

    But if the bassist wrote the riff, he HAS to be right - so maybe you've tabbed it wrong, added an extra note somewhere (or I've misread it).
    If you think this is the case, use the CODE tag (#) in the Advanced reply window, and Courier Font - that will display it proportionally, without the tab lines getting out of sync with each other.

    Of course, it's also possible the riff contains some irregular bars. But really make sure your bassist and you understand the total number of notes. Get him to play it over and over, counting as he goes. If he is really sure about the beat, then the drummer has to follow that - but treat his interpretation as an interesting alternative, worth trying, not as "wrong". It might sound good, it might not.
    The composer should be open to contributions, esp from a drummer on rhythmic ideas! But the composer should have the final word, IMO, unless he's happy for it to develop into a group composition.

    It could be quite possible for each of you to play it with a different feel, as long as you all end up on the same note when it repeats - could be some cool polyrhythms occurring in there.

  3. #3
    Registered User Wieler's Avatar
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    Ah, cool, thank you very much

    What I've done is recorded it on my recorder with backing drum tracks a few different ways (including those) and I'm going to bring it down and ask him which one sounds correct... and the tab is displayed correctly in the code windows, so you read it right... and I know that's the riff, I've played it a million times asking him if I have it right :P It's just that when the drums come in, he tells me it sounds like (for example) taking the enter sandman riff and cutting the second half off and putting it at the beginning... so, hopefully today we'll figure it out...

  4. #4
    Registered User Wieler's Avatar
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    Another idea I had, but I don't know if it's valid..

    The first four low D notes (including the ghost one) might ALL be ignored the first time around, and the downbeat could be falling on the

    D-----7-
    A-6-5---
    D-------

    In which case it wouldn't be the meter he'd be worried about, it'd just be the fact that the downbeats are falling in the right spot, right? I don't really know what I'm talking about here, just kinda throwing out half ideas

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