This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.

I Want You!

Join Symphony X and discover tons of other great Metal forums, sign up today!

Polyrhythms Revisited

Discussion in 'Symphony X (Unofficial)' started by Pharaoh, Sep 21, 2004.

  1. Pharaoh

    Pharaoh Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2002
    Messages:
    884
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    LITITZ, PA
    Earlier in the year, there was a thread questioning SymX and polyrhythms. (I can't find it)...Anyway, I asked Jason, and he was kind to reply. Here it is for anyone who may be interested.......(thanks, Jason)

    Hey Stu,
    Pharoah is really just one rhythm being played over the quarter note bass drum pattern. We do play lots of polyrhythmic stuff, mostly between instruments. A few songs that have them: the instrumental section of Lesson(Sym X),a section in Divine Wings(Divine), a few spots on the CD V, and a cool one on the song The Odyssey. To find them listen for overlapping patterns on keys or guitar while the bass/drums are playing different time sig's under it.
    Also, the nature of the odd meter stuff creates polyrhythms on the set i.e. when I play 4/4 on top and play odd patterns with the feet, etc.
    Thanks for the email,
    All the best,
    Jason
     
  2. MorphineChild205

    MorphineChild205 Lt. Horatio Caine

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Messages:
    788
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Chicago
    So according to Jason's description, the main riff of "Wicked" is a polyrhythm, right? He's in 4/4, but Romeo and Lepond are in 13/8...
     
  3. OfSinsAndShred

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2003
    Messages:
    2,957
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA, USA
    GAH! Polyrhythms make me shudder now. I have a musicianship test once a week where I have to read two seperate rhythms and tap one with the left and one with the right hand. Fuck polyrhythm!

    Although I must say listening to SX has helped me quite a bit rhythmically. I'd be dying right now if I hadn't learned odd times from their music. :headbang:
     
  4. PRauhala

    PRauhala yeah.. Miles

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    370
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Finland, Vimpeli
    I know in accolade 1 in the end there comes 5 or 6 instruments in different time signatures (i didnt know that my brother just told me). so that really is polyrhytm. in fusion i think particulary in old fusion there is much polyrhytms. im not sure is planet x using that so much.. i think in some places.
     
  5. SyXified

    SyXified Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Messages:
    445
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I never noticed that it was a polyrhythm in Wicked because it is such a steady beat but now that you meantion it, that is really cool. The most notable polyrhythm I think is the verse to In the Dragons Den with the drums in 4/4 and the guitar riff in 3/4. The one coming out of the solos in Fallen where the guitar is in 5/4 and the drums in 4/4 is fantastic too. I love Symphony X's use of polyrhythms, they are so good for creating tension and an offbalance feel. Makes the chorus so much more conclusive as the tension of things not lining up is triumphantly ended and rhythmic harmony. Polyrhythms are not so hard when you start thinking about them in terms of common denominators. If you play 3/4 over 4/4 your common link is 12 beats so 4 measures of 3/4 will end the exact same time as 3 measure of 4/4 because each results in 12 beats. Now, doing them on one instrument at the same time, therein lies the tricky part. Usually drummers have pretty good limb independence, but for us guitarists, a mental grasp of the timings does not necessarily imply the physical ability to keep them both straight. Practice, practice, practice.
     
  6. Pharaoh

    Pharaoh Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2002
    Messages:
    884
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    LITITZ, PA
    Here is my opinion, for what it's worth. I think a lot of people who hear bands like SymX, Planet X, Andromeda, that is..the highly technical production bands, have an immediate problem with the music because they don't get the time sigs, rhythms, etc. If people aren't familiar with what the players/ writers are doing, and how the songs "work" with these elements, it intimidates and confuses them, so they dismiss it and don't give it a chance to absorb.
    It's like an immediate [​IMG]

    It takes awhile to really get your head in tune with it, but after you do, it's awesome, and you really become aware of the talent that goes into creating it.
    I think most people just don't want to have to "think" about the music they listen to, they're force fed so much trash by TV and radio. Prog metal fans want to turn a lot of people onto to this great music, but it's not gonna happen, because we're a select few who truly understand what's going on within the structure of the songs. Now I'm starting to sound like a prog snob, so I'm outa here. Just felt like sharing some thoughts.
    :headbang:
     
  7. Liquid Shadow

    Liquid Shadow Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16

    Virgil does a lot of polyrhythms against what the rest of the band is playing. Take The Noble Savage for example. His bass and snare hits are following the 5/4 riff that the guitar plays when it first gets heavy, and his hi-hat is playing a steady 4/4 line that falls on 1, 3, 5 for one measure and then 2 and 4 on the next, lining up again after every two measures.

    Freakin Virgil. :lol:
     
  8. v01c354nd51gn5

    v01c354nd51gn5 Awakenings

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Messages:
    621
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    DE:-\
    yeah that part in accolade 1 is nuts ... 12/8 chimes, 7/16 synth pad thing, 5/4 violin thing, 5/4 harpish/guitarish/pianoish thing, 6/4 guitar thing, 2/4 drums, 13/4 bass(??) ... sum'm like that. yeah, ... i'd say thats a polyrhythm.
     
  9. jaimek

    jaimek incorrigible

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Messages:
    2,168
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Apex, NC
    Polyrhythms. *snicker, snicker*

    Please tell me there's someone else around who was on the ytsejam 8-9 years ago who remembers THAT thread... it was one of the more famous ones...
     
  10. PRauhala

    PRauhala yeah.. Miles

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    370
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Finland, Vimpeli
     
  11. Granskog

    Granskog Kalle

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Uppsala, Sweden
    if you like polyrythems you should definetely check out meshuggah. most of their songs are played in standard 4/4. however the guitars and bass drums usually does some REALLY f*cked up rythm. (like 23/16, as in New Millenium Cyanide Christ)

    well on-topic wise, i wonder what the original question to jason rullo was. because to me its really obvious when someone is playing a polyrythem.
     
  12. karelrulez

    karelrulez Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Messages:
    805
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Netherlands
    New Millenium Cyanide Christ \m/
     
  13. Pharaoh

    Pharaoh Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2002
    Messages:
    884
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    LITITZ, PA
    Sorry, I should have included this. Here is my original question....I asked him because I was curious to see what he would say, as the original thread had a lot of indecision about examples within SymX songs.

    Hi Jason. There was a question asked on the Forum if the opening of the song Pharaoh incorporates a polyrhythm. I don't think it is, but now I'm not sure. Is it or is it not? Are there any examples of your recorded work which you have used true polyrhythms? Symphony X songs are so intricately structured, it's hard for me to really find the best examples.
    Thanks. Stu
     
  14. MorphineChild205

    MorphineChild205 Lt. Horatio Caine

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Messages:
    788
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Chicago
    What the hell are these guys smoking?
     
  15. v01c354nd51gn5

    v01c354nd51gn5 Awakenings

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Messages:
    621
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    DE:-\
    meshuggah ... meh ... i like one of the riffs on Chaosphere, i think its at the end of track 2. but thats about it. when i listen to music, i like to know what the hell's going on...(not saying they arent talented and such)
     
  16. PRauhala

    PRauhala yeah.. Miles

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    370
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Finland, Vimpeli
     
  17. Granskog

    Granskog Kalle

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Uppsala, Sweden
     
  18. PRauhala

    PRauhala yeah.. Miles

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    370
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Finland, Vimpeli
    I havent listen that so much yet but its sounds pretty nice
     
  19. karelrulez

    karelrulez Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Messages:
    805
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Netherlands
    "I" is my favorite Meshuggah track. In fact one of the few that I like. The first 2 minutes are ridiculous though.
     
  20. cryptakeys

    cryptakeys Symphony X Fan

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2004
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Virginia
    I think you are precisely right! First off, there is nothing wrong with being a prog snob! :) But if you listen to the radio these days (other than XM, maybe) you don't HAVE to think about anything that you hear because it's all so similar...same guitar pcik patterns in one of the same several key signatures (Emin, Dmin, Amin) with the same standard 1,4,5 chord progressions, in a 60-80 4/4 time signature. We get to hear the standard arrangement of verse, chorus, verse,chorus, guitar solo, repeat chorus...I think I'd probably listen to NPR constantly if I had to depend on the radio for music.
    There is so much great music out there that is so technical that most people would never consider giving it a chance because it isn't something they can tap their feet to and it requires too much thought (Spiral Architect, Cynic, etc.) It DOES take an incredible amount of talent to produce this type of material and also an incredible amount of talent to listen and understand and - above all - enjoy and appreciate.
    I think my favorite kinds of music, though, incorporate all of the technical elements with intellectual lyrics that also run in a counterpoint to the flow of the music or use unexpected lyrical placements and chord progressions and structures (Symphony X!) .
    There's my two cents!!!
     

Share This Page