Thursday, September 17, 2009

Didjeridu Teaches NINE

Just when you thought you've heard it all, here comes the didjeridu in NINE. Thats right, Randy Graves wants to show you how to rock it out in many odd meters, including 9/8 - on his "Your 'Somewhat ODD' Didjeridu Companion" instructional CD. Really its not all just for that big hollow stick, it can be translated on any instrument. Here's how he teaches NINE, (for educational purposes only).

Its kind of hypnotizing. Hang out for a little while and see where it takes you.

in the ninth dimension,
BetZe13 Tune in


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Happy 9/16

or is it? Still after two years I have not found a song solely in 9/16. Yah, maybe there will be some bars of 9/16 here and there in some tunes but never the whole thing. The only thing I have is this crusty counterpoint MIDI style example I composed way back in the day....

but would like something a bit more... exciting.. revealing... interesting...
Can anyone think of any? Maybe I need to look in the Persian and Classical categories.. or I'll just have to write some more.

-BetZe13 Tune in


Monday, September 14, 2009

Blue Rondo is in NINE

a la Turk that is... and yes the one by the Dave Bruebeck Quartet, blues Turkish style... yup, that's what I'm talkin' about. This is a genuine 'complicated' 9/8 - I'm starting to like this number.

Are you diggin' like me?

da da da da, da da da da dada,
-BetZe13 Tune in


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sting in NINE

Sting and his Police State was one of my first musical fascinations. The infatuations (the music and Stewart) started in sixth grade and has since matured to a deep appreciation of his authentic approach to music. In his solo work he is daring in his meter use as a form of exploration and curiosity, not really one of technicality. The following are some of examples of Sting in NINE:

'I Hung My Head' from Mercury Falling - Sounds like a tale from a past life.
'Big Lie, Small World' from Brand New Day

From what I've experienced of his music so far it that he tends to stay in one meter throughout and not really engage in multimeter use. A Sting Schizm would be certainly appealing to my metric obsessiveness but by sticking only to one or two meters in a song the rhythm has a chance to get under your toes and perhaps by the end of the song your feet will really be feeling it. So let Sting show you that NINE deserves your attention and sooner or later you will forget who four is.

Stung in NINE,
BetZe13 Tune in


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hank Levy Teaches NINE

'The Time Revolution' by Hank Levy is an instructional manual in odd meters that was inspired by his love of exotic rhythms and desire to instigate and spread the Time Revolution. This book is 71pp in length and a bit difficult to find. The majority of the book concentrates on getting 5s and 7s under your skin and singing in your sleep and upon graduation of that you can do any meter. He works on the theory that its all 2s and 3s and this is what he has to say about NINE.
What you couldn't read the type? Here's the important stuff: under 'Other Extended Meters' this is what it said about NINE. "9/4 is very much like 5 or 7, with a few extra beats. It can be subdivided into four units - 3+2+2+2, 2+3+2+2, 2+2+3+2 or 2+2+2+3 - or it can be divided into three units of 3. It is exciting to set up a pattern of four uneven units and, within the piece, use a measure or two or 3+3+3 and then return to the first pattern. Interplay between patterns can produce rhythmic tension and interest when done with taste and discretion. A pattern should be set as the standard for a piece, allowing it to settle before deviating. As exotic meters are not normal, it is important that audience and musician alike get the feel of the rhythmic pattern involved."

A real feel for this NINE business is starting to sink in and am growing particular to the permutation 2+2+3+2. Not sure if I totally agree that its all 2 & 3, with that theory one can get stuck in a certain patterns and divisions, but its a good place to start.

BetZe13 Tune in


Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Rhythm Book Teaches NINE

Here's an excerpt on NINE from Don Ellis's "New Rhythm Book" found in Chapter 6 "An Approach to Odd Time Signatures for Keyboard and Guitar Players' by Milcho Leviev. Its not the basic basics of NINE, but gets into interesting concepts.

Just makes you want to super impose in NINE? Well I might help slightly if I had the accompanying vinyl (soon, I say soon universe), or if we started from the beginning of the book, or if was easier to read. So here's what it says:
"The time signature of 9 could be a regular one (3+3+3) or subdivided irregularly in 4 different ways: 2+2+2+3,3+2+2+2,2+3+2+2,2+2+3+2. Lets examine this pattern: Example 73.
This is the rhythm section's open vamp for the solos. The rock bass line was derived from a more simple pattern at the beginning of the chart which shows the subdivision of the meter clearly: Example 74
Notice example 73, what the drummer's cymbal is doing. It is playing even quarters with are on the heavy beats in the first bar and on the off beats in the second bar. If we cancel the bar between the two measures they will become one measure of 9/4. Remember this, because when we later begin to analyze 'Strawberry Soup', a composition in which the measure of 9 is exploited in almost every possible way, we will see the basic concept is just the opposite. It is written in 9/4 and is subdivided in two bars of 9/8.
You might say all these things have nothing to do with your playing the piano or guitar, but that is not true. We have to be aware of everything the other players are doing especially the bassist and drummer.
'Relaxing Todora' was written in 9/8 instead of 9/4, because the bass pattern and some of the horn figures would look very unclear on paper otherwise, and because the main feeling is one of rock. We know that in the rock idioms we think in eighths and even sixteenths, rather than in quarters. A parallel between a regular 4/4 rock and this kind of 9/8 would make the matter clearer: Example 75
For soloing on this pattern, we should definitely think in sixteenths in order to get the driving feeling. A staring point could be one of the horn patterns: Example 76
'Strawberry Soup' is one of the richest (musically and technically) compositions of Don's creativity and on the Band's bag, as well. As it was said before, here we have 9/4 subdivided in two 9/8 bars: Example 77
The 9/4 bar could be treated as having 9 even quarters or 3+3+3 over 4. The two 9/8 bars obviously are of the kind 3+2+2+2 over 8. Feeling the two measures together (9/4 and the same time the two 9/8s) is the basic task for soloing in this piece (if we have and open vamp D-7). The challenge becomes much greater if we want to solo on the basic 10 bar blues type structure of the piece. For that purpose we need the following scheme: Example 78
If you are strong-willed enough to first understand and then to practice and feel comfortable in a structure like that, you won't have any problems playing in the 'oddest' of meters!"

Get it now? I'm starting to nineit. More lessons to come.

Schemin' NINE,
BetZe13 Tune in


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

9-9-09 The New Nine - Wicked Cool Song of the Year

Leave it up to Don Ellis to write the 'Wickedest Coolest Song of the Year'... Well actually it was recorded in 1966 but this is the year and this is the day of the New Nine... 9-9-09.

Here are some details from the 'Live at Monterey' liner notes: "This 2223 subdivision of 9 is common to many countries (among them Turkey, Greece and India). Harmonically it is based both on Indian Raga and the Blues. At one time or another, the following subdivisions of 9 are heard: 2223, 2232, 2322, 3222, 333, and 222222222 (over 2 bars). At the very end a 333 and 122122233 (over two bars) subdivision of the basic 2223 is heard."

So have a listen to some samples from this 11:27 min song:

Holymenoly this song sure smokes and in every combo of NINE... Now I am really getting the feel for NINE and I think I am diggin' it. The organ lead, the trumpet and clapping solo and the overall poly rhythms in NINE are especially cool. Congratulations New NINE you are the 'Wickedest Coolest Song of the Year' (by me, haha).

Newly NINE,
BetZe13 Tune in


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Happy 9/8 with King Diamond!

What better way to celebrate this day, than with King Diamond. Who what where why? Well, I'm sorry but I am still in love with King Diamond - I can't help it. Don't care if his falsetto spells cheese whiz or is considered an 80s has been (has been where is my question) or if he barely breaks his formulaic licks & song structures. He is still alive in my top ten even if I can't hear the bass and its all 2s and 4s or triplet 2s and 4s. But, on the rare occasion, when he stretches out of his metric safety - its a day to celebrate! Yup, I'm pretty much alone on this one, but I just can't help it... Gimmemore KD!!

The Eye of the Witch throws you off and hypnotizes at the same time, just like the 9/8 + 8/8 pattern does.

I think I am going to be King Diamond again for Halloween.

BetZe13 Tune in


Monday, September 7, 2009

Tool in NINE

Okay, so I am still obsessing about NINE which, hasn't really hit my core... yet... but we have the rest of the month don't we?
(We meaning NINE and I.)

Here's a short sample from Tool (for educational purposes only) to demonstrate how they felt NINE on 10,000 days.

I don't know... its a cool riff and all, but I am just having a hard time resonating with this number. Hum, maybe I should investigate some numerology or something to find out why I repel this number, or it repels me.

neuf, neuve, neun, nope,

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Icarus the Owl - The Spotless Mind CD Review

Who is Icarus and why is he an owl? I know not, but one thing I can tell you is this is intelligence that wants to rock. And they sure do to with aggressive creativity and unbiased meter usage. To me they sound like a pop/punk version of the Meshuggah Escape Plan or even closer to Damiera. They are from Portland OR and have recently released their debut "The Spotless Mind". Joey Rubenstein (singer/guitarist) sent me the metric thesis and it goes like this:

Icarus the Owl - The Spotless Mind
Running From Lacuna - Intro:4 measures(6/4), Verse:8(6/4), Chorus:8(13/8), Post- Chorus:4(4/4), Technical Bridge:8(23/16), Verse:8(6/4), Chorus:8(13/8), Ending:32(4/4)

The Extortionist - Intro: 4(4/4), Chorus 16(4/4), Verse: 8(9/8), Chorus: 16(4/4), Verse: 8(9/8), Bridge: 2[ 3(5/4) +1(6/4)], Main Riff: 2(4/4), Chorus: 16(4/4), End: Alternates between 8/4 and 7/4 until the end.

Disposable Company Makes A Lonely Man - Intro/Verse: 6(10/4 + 12/4), Pre-Chorus: 8(7/4), Chorus: 8(19/8), Post- Chorus: 5(6/4+7/4), Verse: 4(10/4+ 12/4), Chorus: 8(19/8), Bridge: 9(9/4), Transition 4(4/4), Chorus: 8(19/8), Chorus: 8(19/8)

La Charliere -Intro/Verse: 2[2(5/4)+1(9/4)]+6/4, Pre-Chorus: 8(4/4), Chorus: 8(4/4), Verse: 32(4/4), Transition 2(4/4), Chorus: 24(4/4), End: 8(13/8)

Esophagus - Intro/Verse: 8(11/4), Pre-Chorus: 2(13/4), Chorus: 4(13/4), Verse: 3[ 3(5/4) + 1(9/4)] + 5(5/4), Transition: 2(6/4), Chorus: 4(13/4), End: 12(6/4)

The Man Who Cried Wolf - Intro/Verse: 2(15/16) + 2(8/4) + 2(15/16) + 4(8/4), Chorus: 8(5/4), Verse: 12(12/8), Chorus: 8(5/4), Bridge: 12(13/8), Second Bridge: 12(9/8), Chorus: 8(5/4), End: 16(6/4)

Tragedy Of The Commons - Chorus: 8(19/8), Verse: 2[3(13/8) + 1(30/8)], Chorus: 8(19/8), Verse: 2[3(13/8) + 1(30/8)], Bridge: 8(27/16), Chorus: 8(19/8), Transition: 4(9/4), Chorus: 8(19/8)

Game Of Jenga -all in 4/4 besides a bridge which is in 6/4!

Invertebrate - all in 4/4!

Igloo - Intro: 12(9/8), Verse: 12(7/4), Chorus: 3(12/4+16/4), Verse: 8(7/4), Bridge: 8(9/8), Bridge 2: 8(9/8), Transition: 2(6/4), Chorus: 3(12/4+16/4), End: 16(4/4) + 8(7/4)

Yellow Bricks - Intro: 8(9/8), Chorus: 7(15/8) + 1(16/8), Verse: 4(15/4), Pre-Chorus: 4(8/4), Chorus: 7(15/8) + 1(16/8), Bridge: 4(31/32), Pre-Chorus: 4(8/4), Chorus: 7(15/8) + 1(16/8)

It's A Good Thing You're Loyal -Intro/Verse: 12(9/4), Pre-Chorus: 4(9/4), pre-chorus Bridge: 16(5/8), Chorus: 2[4(6/4)+1(5/4)], Transition: 1(6/4), Verse: 8(9/4), Pre-Chorus: 7(9/4) + 1(11/4), Chorus: 2[4(6/4)+1(5/4)], Bridge: 19(3/4), Bridge Polyrhythm: Lead guitar: 12(3/4) Rhythm section: 9(4/4), Chorus: 2[4(6/4)+1(5/4)], End: 4(6/4)

My Grey Shun -Intro: 16(13/16), Verse: 7(13/16) + 1(15/16), Pre-Chorus: 2[2(8/8)+2(9/8)], Chorus: 2(4/4)+1(10/4)+4(4/4), Main Riff: 8(13/16), Verse: 7(13/16)+1(15/16), Pre-Chorus: 2[2(8/8)+2(9/8)], Chorus: 2(4/4)+1(10/4)+4(4/4), Bridge: 8(7/4), Main Riff: 3(13/16)+1(15/16), Chorus: 2[2(4/4)+1(10/4)]

Three Week Break - Intro: 7(7/4)+1(12/4), Verse:8(7/4), Pre-Chorus: 8(9/4), Chorus: 8(6/4), Bridge: 8(5/4), Transition: 1(5/4), Pre-Chorus: 8(9/4), Chorus: 8(6/4), End: 6/4 Until The End!

Choruses in 13/8 & 19/8, bridges in 31/32 & 27/16, verses in 11/4 & 7/4 and whole songs in 4/4, well what do I say about this but... how cool is this?

These guys can play and are gifted musicians. They play for the song and do not come across as trying to be technical but just following their true rhythm. I especially admire the singer, Joey Rubenstein's ability to sing in these meters. It fits, it works and is the song, not something that the singer is trying to work in, which can happen all too often. Also he is the guitarist with a two hand tapping melodic approach that fits/is the song too, this I would like to see live. Mark Haines, the drummer could teach most of the drummers I know a thing or two. As my sister says, maybe he came out of the womb suckling time changes. Yeah, I think he fits in this category. The bassist, Mike Black rocks too. His playing is flawless and deep but I feel like its held back a bit. Maybe its my bias but it would be nice to hear some leads from him.

By the looks of their MySpace page they have lots of fans and I think that they are on to something. And maybe they are proving that the whole population may not be so metrically phobic, a novel thought.

I look forward to hearing these musicians future creations whatever incarnation they choose to be in. Check them out, maybe they will inspire you to write a verse or two in 19/16 or 31/32.

Awakening your inner music geek,
BetZe13 Tune in


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Nine Inch Nails

Okay so I am on this NINE theme this month and usually my adoration is stuck on 13 or sometimes 11 and even 10 - but quite frankly I just have not been interested in NINE. Well this month I am going to open my meterical mind and really feel what this number is about. Besides some of the metric NINES I've touched upon this month so far, one of the first things to come to mind is Nine Inch Nails, aka NIN. I've heard rumors that 'The Downward Spiral' has some oddness so I finally decided to find out for myself.

NIN - Downward Spiral

Who knew all this time a 13/4 was right in front of me? Also, its obvious they are not really obsessed with the number NINE metrically, but it does make for a descriptive name.

-BetZe13 Tune in


Friday, September 4, 2009

Happy 9/4

This is one of my favorite examples of 9/4:
Aurora's Aura, by Lindsey Boullt off of his 'Composition' Album,
which consists of 7/4, 9/4, 5/16 & 9/16.

Have a listen to a sample of the 9/4 section.
Pretty cool eh?
-BetZe13 Tune in


Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Bad Plus in NINE

Well keeping with the nine theme, here are some samples of 9/8. I just love what these guys do with NINE.

Bad Plus off of their 'Prog' Album

Lovin NINE,
-BetZe13 Tune in


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Banjo in NINE - Rampi Rampi

Check out another one of Cathy Moore's banjo instructional videos: This one is in 9 and helps get the 2223 feel under your skin no matter what you play or what you listen to.

You can visit her at:

Bumdidy Foreva,
BetZe13 Tune in


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Welcome September the Month of Nine

According to Gregorian this is the ninth month of the year. I don't fully agree with this calendar system, its garaged our minds in a way, but more on this later. Nonetheless, lets us delve deep into this number this month and the many ways it can be expressed in various forms of music - and what not a better way than some Bulgarian Folk.

This music has been provided by the generous educational site

Check them out for more Macedonian Folk Music and Dances.

-BetZe13 Tune in