The Strange Brew podcast on Lennon’s musical influences circa Double Fantasy sent me down some rabbit holes: Touch and Go, and time signatures. This was never one of my Cars favorites, but I’m totally fascinated by it now.
The song’s verses feature the use of polymeter. The bass and drums are playing in a time signature of 54, while the vocals, keyboards, and guitar are playing in 44.
Bastards! While my rather limited rhythm lobe tried to tap out the beats, my remaining auditory cortex projected the contemporaneous Spirits in the Material World, which only confused me more. Apparently that tune is 44 but so ska and misleading that you’ll fool yourself trying to count it out.
Available musicians please fix my brain and/or comment.
6 Replies to “Polymeter?”
Yes, the Police one is straight 4/4, but Stuart Copeland’s heavy on syncopated beats. Just follow the kick drum. If that doesn’t work, follow the keyboard chords; they follow a strict syncopated 4/4 upbeat in the verses.
The other biggie I always think of is Pink Floyd’s “Money.” The whole song is 7/4 until the bridge, which is 4/4. It hits like a sledgehammer!
And perhaps Renfield can explain what the fuck is happening here? Verses alternate between 7/4 and 4/4, I guess?
Yes, that’s 7/4 with some off-beats emphasized, then 4/4. Some tricky pauses as well.
Thanks for beatslplaining to me. Looks like monkeystador will be attending Purdie Remedial Groove & Fill Camp.
The first time any of this struck me was when I was trying to learn “All You Need Is Love” and grasping the time signature switch suddenly solved all my problems.
The light bulb came on. It has perhaps grown somewhat dimmer over time.
Similarly, I remember trying to learn “Revolution” in my shitty college cover band. The guitarist just couldn’t get the intro.