Songs that change Time Signature

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0:00 Intro.
0:20 Golden Brown by The Stranglers.
0:41 Faust Arp by Radiohead.
0:53 Hey Ya! by OutKast.
1:33 Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush.
2:23 Blackbird by The Beatles.
3:00 4 Sticks by Led Zeppelin.
3:43 Thomann.
4:27 Mountains by Biffy Clyro.
5:17 Bastard by Ben Folds.
6:15 One by Metallica.
7:00 Turn It On Once Again by Genesis.
8:47 Happiness is a Warm Weapon by The Beatles.
11:41 Clap by David Bennett.

Songs that change

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  1. as someone who really enjoys listening to and creating tracks with this exact concept im very happy you made a video on this kind of thing, chaotic time signatures are awesome!

  2. Don’t know if they ever cracked the top 10 but Tool’s Schism is a hit that is very metrically erratic.

    And of course there is Outshined with it’s 7/4 verses and 4/4 chorus

    Rush Limelight is a hit that is all over the place.

  3. Wow, I never realized Happiness is a Warm Gun was all over the place with its time signatures. I was the same with the 7/8 sections of Paranoid Android by Radiohead until it was pointed out to me.

  4. You really are putting out great content this year, I recommend you to everyone I talk to about music!

    1. @David Bennett Piano I agree David! You are putting up some great stuff. I watch and study all of your videos and I’ve learned some interesting things.

  5. Funny that for Turn It On Again, Mike Rutherford played a slow guitar riff at first. Phil told him to speed it up and said ‘Do you realize it’s in 13/8’ on which Mile replied ‘What do you mean it’s in 13/8, it’s in 4/4’ but it was in 13.

    1. I’ve read a lot of bands are that way. Even for myself; I’ve noticed when I get ideas that just pop into my head they often don’t follow along a specific meter or key or anything.

  6. Pretty much anything by Dream Theater, but especially The Dance of Eternity.

  7. Scenes from a Memory by Dream Theater changes time signatures all over the place (esp. in the instrumental outro of Home), as does First Circle by Pat Metheny

  8. 9:52 As a song I’ve analyzed deeply, I have to say that this part while technically being mixed meter, is also a really great and accessible example of polymeter. The harmonic section (bass, guitar, keys) switch to 3/4, but Ringo’s drums continue in 4/4 (maybe due to him not knowing exactly what is happening there) so you end up with 3 bars of 4/4 drums over 4 bars of 3/4 harmony. The drums written on 3/4 sheet would look like this | K _ S | _ K _ | S _ K | _ S _ |, which is quite different than they would be if Ringo were internalizing the 3/4 time.

    1. I think ringo knew, they just liked the wonky 4/4 over 3/4 feel. He plays in 3/4 earlier in the song.

  9. Delving deep into prog rock would make this several hours long. Love me some crazy time signatures. ⏲️ 🤪❤🎶

  10. I can think of: Piledriver Waltz, by Arctic Monkeys (verses in 6/4, chorus in 9/8); Animals, by Muse (5/4 throughout the song, 3 bars of 5/4 followed by one of 6/4 in the solo); Saviour, by George Ezra (classic 4/4 with occasional 2/4 bars); Forgiveness, by Rina Sawayama (mostly 6/8, bridge in 4/4), and I’m pretty sure Video Games, by Lana del Rey, is either in 6/4 with some 4/4 bars, or 4/4 with some 2/4 bars (the chorus I know for sure is in 4/4)

  11. One of my favorite examples of mixed meter in when Blondie switches to 7/4 in the chorus of Heart of Glass. Yes, 7/4 in a disco song. 🙂

  12. My favourite example of mixed meter is “Freewill” by Rush. Two bars of 4/4 to start, then 6/4, 7/4, 6/4, 4/4, etc.

  13. One of my favourite songs that switches time signatures is Cloak of Elvenkind by Marcy Playground. It transitions very smoothly between its 4/4 verse and 3/4 chorus. Highly recommend checking it out

  14. Story 2 by Clipping is a rap song that changes from 3/4 to 4/4 to 5/4, 6/4, 7/4, 8/4 then does the same with eighth notes while sounding perfectly logical. It’s amazing.

  15. “Yellow Christian” by It Bites switches between 7/4 and 4/4 – the 7/4 sections also have an off-beat loping rhythm that catches the listener off guard

  16. This is pretty common in the Prog world. As a drummer, the “Turn it on Again” is a great example. You have to really concentrate when playing this one.

  17. I love how “Whipping Post” by the Allman Brothers switches between 11/8 and 12/8 to heighten and release tension.

  18. Another song by Kate Bush that changes meter is “Night of the Swallow” from “Dreaming” – the song is mainly in 4/4 but then she sings two bars of 3/4 the line “I wont let you do it” followed by one bar of 5/4 with the line “I won’t let you go through with it” and then returning back to 4/4 and then in the middle of the song there comes a section in 6/8.

  19. The Beatles were selective when it came to learning music theory. They knew music theory, to a point, but they never learned it in a strict way. They didn’t have any concept of a right or wrong way to do things, they would just mix and match anything they could learn from any genre or school of thought they could get their hands on. McCartney probably knew he wasn’t keeping to 4/4 time for the whole song, but he probably couldn’t tell you what the time signatures were or where the changes were. He was keeping time by feel, not by counting. He just expiramented and played it the way it sounded right.

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