An odd time signature is a musical time signature that does not have a simple whole-number ratio between the number of beats in a measure and the note value that represents one beat. Examples of odd time signatures include 5/4, 7/8, or 11/4,These time signatures can create a complex and irregular rhythmic feel, and are often used in jazz and experimental music. Composers and musicians often use odd time signatures to create a sense of tension and dissonance, and to challenge the listener’s sense of expectation and familiarity. You can start with these odd time guitar plucking exercise.

Some song examples with Odd time signature:

  1. The Count Of Tuscany – Dream Theater : 15/8 and 9/4
  2. Last Goodbye – Circus Maximus : 7/8 & 9/8
  3. Plini – Selenium Forest : 7/4
  4. Frame by frame – King Crimson : 7/4
  5. I hung my head – Sting : 9/8

Example 1: 15/8 and 9/4 count:

“The Count of Tuscany” is a song by the American progressive metal band Dream Theater. It is the opening track on their ninth studio album, “Black Clouds & Silver Linings”. The song is known for its complex and dynamic structure, featuring multiple time signature changes and shifting musical themes. The song is also considered as one of the longest songs in Dream Theater’s catalog, clocking in at over 20 minutes in length. The particula part we learn from this song today is 15/8 and 9/4.

Listen the audio here:

15/8, 9/4 Count

Here is the tab:

Odd Time Signature

Example 2: 7/8 & 9/8 count

This part is from Song “The last goodbye” by Circus Maximus. One of my most favorite band of all time and this song is from my favorite Album Nine (2012). In this part they mostly used 7/8 but in 4th bar only they used 9/8 in a beautiful natural way. I prefer natural way that most progressive bands are miss in these days.

Listen the plucking here:

7/8, 9/8 Count

Here is the tab:

7/8 & 9/8 Count

Example 3: 7/4 count

“Selenium Forest” is a song by Australian instrumental progressive rock/metal musician Plini. The song is from his second studio album “Impressions” released in 2018. It features a complex and intricate guitar work, with a mix of melodic and technical playing. The song showcases Plini’s skill as a guitarist and composer, with a delicate and nuanced approach to both melody and rhythm and has been well received by critics and fans alike and is considered as one of Plini’s standout tracks, praised for its emotional depth and musical virtuosity. The song is also part of a number of playlists of instrumental progressive rock and metal.

This partiucalr part is one of the main theme that used in whole song and its on 7/4 Count.

Listen this particular part here:

7/4 Count

Here is the tab:

7/4 count

Example 4: Another 7/4

“Frame by Frame” is a song by the British progressive rock band King Crimson. It is the opening track on their fifth studio album, “Discipline”, released in 1981 and Most of this song is on 7/4 count and some parts are in 4/4.

Listen the song here:

7/4 Count

Here is the tab:

Odd Time Signature

Example 5: 9/8 Count

“I Hung My Head” is a song written and performed by Sting, and was released on his 1996 album “Mercury Falling”. The song was covered by Johnny Cash and released on his album “American III: Solitary Man” in 2000 which was critically acclaimed. The song was also featured in the movie “The Corruptor” and the TV series “The Sopranos” This is the intro from the song.

Listen the plucking here:

9/8 Count

Here is the tab:

Odd Time Signature

You can check more Progressive Guitar Lesson here.