Time Signature/Syncopation challenge

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  • @calumcarlyle Feb 12

    So have a watch of this video about Videotape by Radiohead. See if you can write something with some sort of hidden time or tempo in it perhaps using syncopation.

    And the tag for this is #time - should be interesting?

    PS - thanks all! forgot the link, here it is: https://youtu.be/p_IHotHxIl8

  • @adforperu  Feb 12

    You've not linked it, but I know the one! As a Radiohead obsessive, I listened to the old live version of Videotape and it was very clear where the beat was (from the arrangement) so this wasn't so mind blowing for me, though still interesting. I'd love to do something like this, but I think by the time I got my head around it, it'd be April 😁

  • @ustaknow Feb 12

    @calumcarlyle -- there's not video link, however, I think I get your meaning. So, I'll just respond, as-is:

    All of my recent music is experimentation with *really *off timing, timed uber-dubs. All my tracks are simple first-pass one-takes, dry, and very simply "sung" or played back/with myself. I've always said, and "tawt" 😀 there is always, *always more than one melody in any song, -- the rhythmic sub melody that supports the "lead" melody, so to speak, the idomatic syncopated in front of or behind the beat spoken word influence on the Lyric.

    For me, it goes beyond any "harmony".

    One interesting study I had, years ago, was of ethnic hand drums, where each individual drum takes one beat and then the next it's own, -- and the "Village" drum circle in the recording is beyond reproducing, quite rich, texturous, and extremely interesting as with an Orchestra playing a Symphony with many sections.

    Actually on my one Cello track, in my first four here this FAWM, -- that's 5 Cellos 😀 The Cajon, is several, doing as I describe above, the Harp is at least 2 and of different keys.

    You got some really great thread topics to engage, -- so glad to see them posted! There's not enough time to do it all! 😀

    -- Post the Radiohead link, and I'll have a look if not to long, involved.

  • @calumcarlyle Feb 12

    Goshdarn it! Sorry i never posted the link, here it is and i will retroshove it into the OP as well.


    To be clear, i'm not talking about odd time or tempo here, but normal tempo, being used unconventionally, or that's how i see it. You may judge what this is differently, i guess.

  • @ustaknow Feb 12

    @calumcarlyle -- great minds think alike, -- I knew what you meant and what I mean too. 7/8, 5/4, 6/4 is a whole nutha subjeckt. However, yes, some may choose to engage that. FAWM, it's the gift that just keeps on giving and when you least expect it.

    I'll have a look at that video since have the time now.

  • @ustaknow Feb 12

    @calumcarlyle I only got through half, but get the message.

    Yeah, what you meant.

    So, for e.g. within my current experimentations, all FAWM2020 tracks, -- I am actually, after decades of NOT using a click, using one -- and why my stuff may have a different sound to some who know it. Well, another reason is, I am always leaving room for what else I hear in my head. AND - I have a very hard time playing with a click, esp., once I've laid a track since I will hear them separately in my head and be challenged to blend and play a third sync'd timing, beat. But, and as a "drummer" they can get complicated, so to speak.

    This is why, and not kidding, I easily hear tracks of others and am able to fully eliminate an overdub, or add one in (in my head, real-time). When would I ever get to explain, "I hear it this way... " an mean it literally.

    I'll guess this was his challenge they explain well, in the first 4-5 mins of that video, -- good one!

    Also, all my tracks now are only Headphone mixed. I just really don't care anymore 😀 And, when I listen on other media, -- sometimes it's wretched, sometimes I get why it's "OK" there as well, -- it's all a compromise. And, I'm not trying to do anything with my work anyway, -- as I try to always inject. (Music is not my only art form, outlet and always took that skew, -- having burned a Pile of Oil Paintings some time ago and almost burned down my Barn, prior to moving..., ahhh, appalache days gone by 😀 )

    Anyway, this is a great "Timing" lesson for anyone, well, the first 4-5 mins were anyway. The one guy says, -- everyone just ended the video 😀 hahhh! Unintentional on my part, I'll go back later!

  • @adforperu  Feb 12

    @calumcarlyle it's basically tricking the listener into where the 1 of the beat is (I think it's called the 'up beat'?) - Radiohead do it on the track Little by Little to more devastating effect, in that I can never bloody found it, and the songs not good enough for me to try anyway 😝

    In fact, I'd be interested to hear other examples of this is anyone has any? Songs that perhaps add percussion later and make you realise you've sort of heard it wrong up to that point.

  • @izaakalexander  Feb 13

    The Eagles open 'Take It Easy' with the same & of beat 4 and I have fond memories of trying to get my high school garage band to figure it out so we could cover that intro.

    Great challenge, @calumcarlyle ... I hope to give it a go.

  • @fuzzy  Feb 13

    @adforperu, I'm not sure if this is what you are talking about, but Jaki Liebzeit of CAN does a weird little percussion trick at the beginning of "Uphill".

  • @fulanin Feb 13

    Last year I did a track with this exact same concept using Radiohead as inspiration (Video Tape and Everything In Its Right Place).
    In the beginning it sounds like I'm playing in a quarter note pulse, but when the drums come in you realize that it was actually a dotted quarter note pulse.
    If you want to check it out:

  • @adforperu  Feb 13

    @fuzzy I love Jaki Liebzeit, one of my favourite drummers! It's only really the vocal that helps the listener anchor that track really. Bah, now I just want to listen to loads of Can...

  • @adforperu  Feb 13

    @fuzzy I love Jaki Liebzeit, one of my favourite drummers! It's only really the vocal that helps the listener anchor that track really. Bah, now I just want to listen to loads of Can...

    that's cool @fulanin ! Love that synth sound too

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