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METER SHIFTING

   

In this lesson we will look at meter shifting. Meter shifting is very similar to a metric modulation, but at the same time, almost the exact opposite! It's all basically the same stuff, it largely just depends on how it has been written out. With a metric modulation you imply a second time signature over the top of the original but never actually change time signature. With meter shifting, often the main phrase doesn't actually change (certainly not change speed), but how you're reading or phrasing it can be in a 2nd time signature or meter, hence the name meter shifting.

Let's use a pattern in 7..

If we wanted to put these notes into a 16th note feel, we could imply that by playing a 16th samba groove on the bass drum. That would then look like this..

Notice that the pattern lands with the first of the 2 flams, on beat 4 of the 2nd bar - straight after 7 full beats. And how many notes are in the phrase? 7! That's no coincidence.

Now, here comes the meter shift! If we then start playing a similar bass drum pattern based off the same 16th note counting, but play a repetitive pattern of 3, we get this..

BUT! To the listeners ears, it would now sound like the phrase has shifted entirely into 12/8 or at least 4/4 using triplets. The reason being the "pull" of the repetitive bass drum part is so strong..

Once again notice that the pattern resolves back to a downbeat after 7 beats! No coincidence given the original pattern is 7 notes.

At the end of the day it doesn't really matter what you call it, however you write out the above example it's going to sound the same.

 

 

LESSON MENU or MORE LESSONS IN THIS SERIES

Linear Beats 1 Layered Beats 1 Expanding Rhythms - Swung
Linear Beats 2 Layered Beats 2 Expanding Rhythms - Straight
Swinging A Linear Beat Metric Modulations Meter Shifting Using 7's
Artificial Rhythms - Time Inside Time Parallel Time Signatures Awesome Independence Exercise