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PD: challenging rhythms03 Jul 2003 13:12
There was a discussion recently at Queenzone that started off as an insult against Led Zeppelin and continued as an interesting discussion on rhythmical challenges in Zeppelin and Queen songs. Some goid points to consider have been done. Briefly the major points:

Mmx defended Led Zeppelin saying they were beyond Queen in terms of using odd time signatures and songforms.

While being not with the insulting poster I listed three Zeppelin songs: The Ocean, Four Sticks, and Crunge that have section(s) in odd time, and pointed out that this list is not much longer than Queen's (Innuendo, and Bohemian Rhapsody).
I also linked form analysis of Zeppelin's "IV" and Queen albums, suggesting that Queen were not inferior to Zeppelin in terms of songforms. For some extent quite the opposite.

Bohardy expressed his doubts about BoRhap intro being in 9/8, and I replied with my counter arguments.

I linked the list of Queen's rhythmical anomalies and suggested Zeppelin's list is shorter, but also asked posters to try to prove the opposite by bringing up even more and even challenging Zeppelin rhythms. I also mentioned polyrhythms used in two Queen songs that I'm not sure that is used in any Zeppelin song.

After Stairway To Heaven, Black Dog and Kashmir being mentioned as examples of disorienting interesting rhythms Bohrady brought up three Zeppelin songs:

Friends: this song has 3+3+3+3+3+3+4 pattern in 4/4 context.

Misty Montain Hop: This song starts with a riff that for first deceptively sounds to start on downbeat, but it starts on the eight before the downbeat (see also "You Really Got Me" and "Enter Sandman")

Black Montain Side: this song starts with 3+3+2 beat, but later has a section with irregular beats: "3+3+... mixed with 4+4+..." sort of stuff. Bohardy thought this is more challenging than anything Queen wrote.

I disagreed with the last point saying that some Queen rhythms I find more challenging, and the rhythms of "Black Montain Side" would probably require less effort for me to learn than the intro of "You And I" and "Sleeping On The Sidewalk".

Bohardy pointed out that once you have learned the rhythm of the mentioned Queen intros (which was not difficult for him) they lose their challenging quality.

I thought it's possible, but for me it's still lot more challenging than "Black Montain Side" seems to be. The latter is definitely more irregualar, but IMO less challenging to learn. Similar anomalies to those in BMS can be found in "In Only Seven Days" just shorter, and not repeated.

mmx pointed out that the anomalous passage in "Brighton Rock" does not sound special. I replied that that's a major point about Queen: they usually applied rhythmical tricks not to sound special, but to sound catchy. I also pointed out that I find some of Queen's subtle rhytmical tricks no less genial than the majority of the odd timed stuff in progressive rock.

While some good points were done in many points we could not convince eachother. I hope one day we will have the detailed list of Zeppelin anomalies, and we'll be able to make a more fair comparison.

A note on "Sidewalk". It starts with a 1-2-3 count-in that is in tempo with the start of the song if you continue counting 1-2-3-4 beats. The problem for me is the intervening guitar solo intro that is easy to play separately, but it's extremely hard to play with shuffle 4/4 meter in mind. Separately listened that intro does not sound like being in 4/4 with shuffle beat. Bohardy suggested that this intro can be learned to hear in 4/4 time with shuffle beat.

1.PD 03 Jul 2003 17:09
I require your interaction to test the challenging quality of some Queen rhythms. Lately I getting thinking that my weak sense of rhythm makes me into thinking some Queen rhythms being rhythmically more challenging than they really are.
Bohardy and MMX wrote in posts that the rhythms that I consider to be challenging are not very challenging for them or not challenging at all. (Note MMX is a drummer in a progresive rock band.) Mmx is (probably) able to whistle the Save Me verses hitting along the 4/4 beats with no trouble at all. Bohardy is able to hear the "Sidewalk" intro with 4/4 meter in mind, and also able to feel the beat of "You And I".

And now my request for you:
please do a little test for me, and reply here the result regardless of the failed/succesful attempts. I really need to know how much "average" people can be rhythmically disoriented by some Queen rhythms.


1a. Save Me: Listen to the verse, and try to count along the 4/4 beats (1,2,3,4,1,2,...). Managed or failed? (first attempt, second attempt)

1b. Save Me. Try to sing/whistle/hum the verse without the record playing along, and toe-tap the 4/4 beats along. Managed or failed. (first attempt second attempt)

2 You And I. Listen to the intro once. For the second listen to try to count along the 4/4 beats. The very first note marks the downbeat ("1"). Managed or failed. (first attempt, after a couple of attempts).

3a Sleeping On The Sidewalk: it starts with a count-in 1-2-3 that is followed by guitar solo. While listening to the song try to continue that count-in: 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4... along the solo-intro. If you do it right, the Verse will start on beat "1". Managed or failed? (for first attempt / for third attempt)

3b Try to play that intro on piano or guitar ("slow down mode" is enabled) and toe-tapping along the 4/4 beats. If you don't play any instrument you can hum/whistle the tune instead. Managed or failed? (for first attempt, after repeated attempts)

4: Bicycle Race - fanfare-like guitar harmonies at the end of the first bridge (starting on the word "Go!". It's in 3/4. Try to count along the beats. Managed or failed? (for first attempt, for second attempt)

Please test yourself and respond as many of you as possible! I'm interested in test results both full of succesful and failed attempts.
2.PD 04 Jul 2003 08:30
No reply yet :( I hope I will get some.

"Sleeping On The Sidewalk" revisited: Bohardy sequenced a MIDI that helps you to hear the swung 4/4 beat behind the intro solo. It's mainly the solo's tune superimposed onto the ending phrase of the Chorus.

Here you can "download" it in uuencoded form. You have to save it as textfile (cut and paste) with .uue extension, then uudecode it (that takes a click on the uue file). Don't panic if crc-error occurs.

begin 644 sidewalk - midi.mid
M351H9`````8````!`'A-5')K```"%0#_`PAU;G1I=&QE9`#_`B-#;W!Y< FEG
M:'0@J2`R,#`S(&)Y(%-T879R;W,@0F]H87)D>0#_`0]3=&%V< F]S($)O:&%R
sum -r/size 25037/555
3.LHG 17 Jul 2003 21:59
Well, I tried them all and managed them all first time.
1a) very easy
1b) quite easy
2) quite easy
3a) very easy
3b) okay
4) very easy. I think it would be more accurate to describe the time signature as 6/8, however. In fact, even more accurate is 9/8 for the two measures.
4.Bohardy 20 Jul 2003 17:57
1a) Easy every time.
1b) Easy every time.
2. Have to admit that I couldn't get this one in 3 attempts. Easy to play with the beat in mind, but hard to hear it that way on the CD.
3a) Easy every time.
3b) Easy every time.
4. Easy every time. A harder part to keep time for or to get right without listening to the CD, IMO, is at the end of the guitar solos/race just before you go back into the verse, where you have the F#aug chord.
5.PD 20 Jul 2003 23:29
thank you for the answers.

1a - sometimes I fail.
1b - usually I fail for first.
2 - always fail, until one day I learn it.
3 - I failed for a long while, until I learned it (thanks to Bohardy's midi)
3b - this one still needs some more practicing
4 - when I first found this section, it took me severl attempts. Nowadays I can do it most of the time.
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