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3-3-2 Rhythmic Patten

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3-3-2 Rhythmic Patten

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:38 pm
by bart_pl
I'm struggling with some problems and doubts regarding the rhythmic patterns while writing a song. I would be really grateful for your opinion on my thoughts and correcting me if it's needed.

While learning songwriting I've noticed two main (most popular) rhythmic patterns used in pop songs.

3-3-2 Pattern (1-2-3 1-2-3 1-2) ... l=Coldplay ... legendVEVO ... hlanFisher

Straight Pattern (1-2-3-4 1-2-3-4) ... l=Coldplay ... ecordsVEVO ... johnlennon

And here I got some questions:

I know that the frame is always the metrum (4/4), but I think there's the difference between melodies written with this 3-3-2 pattern and 1-2-3-4 pattern. As there are different accents (phrasing) that's why the lyrics would flow differently. For example when you played Clocks by Coldplay with this 1-2-3-4 it would be so slow and somekind lack of energy (dynamics). Am I wrong?

When I start writing (on guitar) I would always end with this 3-3-2 pattern. Do you know any way how to force yourself to maintain this different (straight) pattern?

Sometimes I get so confused that this pattern thing doesn't matter anything like it's only a way of accompaniment to the melody. Cause at first I feel like it was straight one and then I get like this 3-3-2 feeling.

While recording some of my ideas 3-3-2 pattern (playing on the piano)3-3-2 is always more interesting than this simple 1-2-3-4 accents. Do you know any way how to play in this straight feeling so it could be a bit more interesting and not boring although for example in this recording ... avigneVEVO the song is simply played 1-2-3-4 so maybe it is more about melodies?

I know all above may seem to be strange but it really bothers and confuses me!
Thx for your advance!

Re: 3-3-2 Rhythmic Patten

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 4:12 am
by Ben Asaro
Playing in odd time signatures can be really difficult, especially if there's a lot going on! You may be able to get away with playing in common time and using syncopation to change the pulse of the rhythm.

Re: 3-3-2 Rhythmic Patten

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 8:32 am
by ben howes
The OP is not talking about odd time signatures, it's about phrasing.
"Clocks" is in 4/4 and the piano plays constant 1/8 notes. The accents and phrasing is what creates the feel. This ostinato is integral to clocks

As a writer you can decide all of this for yourself. It sounds like you've got the clocks phrasing stuck in your head, so I'd suggest playing around inventing your own version in this style until you get sick of it! Then your mind will be free to try out other devices, melodic and rhythmic.

Re: 3-3-2 Rhythmic Patten

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:15 am
by ben howes
I meant to also point out that "clocks" uses one of the most common rhythmic devices in world music: the clave
It is applied completely straight, without swing, in contrast to much African music and it's myriad of derivatives.
So the fact it is stuck in your head is perfectly understandable!

Re: 3-3-2 Rhythmic Patten

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:31 am
by shufflebeat
Start with the words. Pen and paper, no expectations. Don't try to make it scan or work rhythmically, concentrate on rhymes, assuming you want rhymes.

I once wrote a 4 verse folkie thing which ended up in a kind of offset 3/4 dictated by the first line.

Phrasing 3-4-5

"Up with the sun, watching the world a-waken, the dew on the ground will soon give way to the heat of the sun..."

Once I'd taken that as my template it took some heavy crow-barring with careful lubrication but I got to the end of it. If I'd started out with a plan it would not have been that one but I was quite pleased with it.

Re: 3-3-2 Rhythmic Patten

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:06 am
by Hussein
As you're looking at Clave perhaps you'd like to check out this article on what is termed the American Clave. The author has put together a large number of audio examples to illustrate usage.