Five Fine Odd Time Basslines

By Ed Sadler Bass Lessons Comments Off on Five Fine Odd Time Basslines

Thought I would finally add a bass lesson on here since I do teach bass as well as guitar and vocals.

For this lesson I have dug up “Five Fine Odd Time Basslines”
that propel some of the more popular tunes ever recorded.

Odd time or compound time as it is also called basically means the top number of a time signature will be an odd number. This means that you can either count to the number on the top of the signature or compound it, break it up and count it that way.


7/4 time could be counted as 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 or 1-2-3-1-2-3-4 or 1-2-3-4-1-2-3 among many other ways. As long as there are 7 quarter notes worth of music (the quarters being represented by 4, the bottom number of the signature) present, the time can be compounded any way you like. There are more radical ways of counting this signature to where you show each accent such as 1-2-1-2-1-2-3 or 1-2-3-1-2-1-2.

Each specific odd time riff will have its own schema when it comes to how to count it. You can also subdivide by adding “and” or + in between the notes eg. 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+

For each tune I perform it at speed then I show you the right then left hand techniques used to perform the line then I show you how I count it.

Here are the tunes and their time signatures:

Tom Sawyer – 7/4 time
Schism – 6/4 time but really 5/4 and 7/4 married together
My Wave – 5/4 time
Money – 7/4 time
The Ocean – 15/8 time but really a bar of 4/4 married to a bar of 7/8

Here is the tab for the tunes:

Click to enlarge the tab.

Five Fine Odd Time Basslines Tab

Five Fine Odd Time Basslines

And here is the video part of the lesson:

Have fun!

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