Song in 7/4 timing

I just listened to this song done in 7/4 and to me the snare just sounds like its in the wrong place throughout the whole song. Does anyone else feel something is off in this song with the drums?


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There are some pretty well known songs in 7/4… Floyd’s Money, Peter Gabriel’s Solsbury Hill come immediately to mind. Here’s a site that lists a bunch of tunes in 7 time:


how cool is that that someone made a list. Very interesting. Thanks a bunch.

I’m no expert but when I listen to odd meter songs I can usually break it down into like say a measure of 4/4 + 3/4 or whatever it is. Of course sometimes the rhythm is unclear, to me at least, like in some jazz or progressive stuff.

I listened to this some and to my ear it is just kind of muddled. I can’t tell if everybody is just on their own rhythmically or if the lack of clarity is obscuring the pulse, but I can’t tap my foot to it. Either way this thing needs help!

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??? I don’t see any problem with the pulse. To me its very clear.

Listen to his hi hat and the beginnings of his vocal phrases. (Then the pulse is clearly marked on the ride picks in later parts). Specifically listen for quadruplets in the vocal, and the kick is always on 1. I count this one as a strait 7, and if I had to subdivide I’d count 1 2, 1 2, 1 2 3 at 102 bpm. Should be 102. Thats what I tapped on my cellphone.

I tried to tap a pen on a note pad when I first listened to this song and I could not keep the beat on the pad. There is something about the snare timing that just feels off or too soon.

Then don’t rely on the snare. There’s a million other things keeping time there…tap with the delayed guitar. Again, 102 bpm.

I just don’t think there should be that work involved to listen to a song. I can’t think of any songs I have listened to that came to me as confusing and hard to feel the beat. I put it solely on the musicians to do the work. :wink:

Haaaaa! Love it

hoho! You ain’t seen nothing yet. You thought that was confusing? Take a listen to this shit:

Schoenberg became a world famous composer and had many students. Here’s what one of them wrote:

BTW…don’t waste too much time trying to figure shit out. I attended a Schoenberg concerto performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. I’ve never seen more people walk out in the middle of a performance. It was hilarious to see people be like WHAT??? I paid fucking $100 to hear THIS???

Eye yi yi yi. That is some piece there. I kind of liked it in a odd kind of way. I don’t know if can listen to the full 20 minutes though.

No no no! That wasn’t the point…there would be 20 minutes of your life gone that you would never get back.

I think the only reason Schoenberg bothered using a time signature was so that any musician that attempted to perform it would have a frame of reference for the relative speed of the notes. If someone had asked him “dude…have you ever heard of ‘groove’?” I have no idea how he would have answered that question lol.

Ha ha, yeah it’s a real toe-tapper all right! But that’s cool, thank you for the explanation, with your help I could probably sift my way through this if I was motivated. I can read and transcribe but not well by any means so if I really liked a piece I could probably find my way given enough time. But I mean do you really like this piece, and the mix?

Now Schoenberg and Webern are composers I do like, even though I couldn’t ever transcribe their stuff; but at least the parts are clear and defined and musical, to my ears at least. I’ll even wade through some Ferneyhough now and then, ain’t nobody transcribing him.

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That’s the key point, as much as Schoenberg sounds choppy, it’s still clear and understandable. The song I posted feels more like a Jackson Pollock.

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Another classic tune that is in 7 time (7/16 in this case) is the Pretenders’ epic Tattooed Love Boys. I love rocking out to this song but I still cannot count it properly, despite knowing it inside and out for almost forty years now…

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I can count some 7’s in there but according to this chart at least it’s not consistently in 7 which makes it even more difficult to count.

Thanks for the 7 list you posted above CW, that’s great! As musicians time sigs are important and we should be able to recognize them but at some point transcriptions, like so many things, become subjective.

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Nothing sounds off about it to me. Sounds like a pretty standard 7/4 beat to me.