This excerpt is taken from the complete article that appears in the June 2016 issue, which is available here.
Progressive Drumming Essentials
Part 11: Making Four Sound Like More
I’ll never forget the first time I heard Meshuggah. I only had a single track at the time, and I was mesmerized by the amount of pocket that they were able to get from what I assumed was an odd time signature. For a couple of weeks, I was completely obsessed and decided to transcribe it. To my surprise, nearly the entire song could be written out using over-the-barline rhythms in 4/4.
“Stengah,” from Meshuggah’s album Nothing, showcases this odd phrasing technique perfectly. The opening guitar line takes up the space of eleven 8th notes and is repeated until it fills eight measures of 4/4. There are sixty-four 8th notes in eight bars of 4/4, so the 11/8 riff repeats five full times. Then the band fills the remaining 8ths with the a portion of the riff before cutting back to the top on beat 1 of the ninth bar.
For the complete lesson with transcriptions, check out the June 2016 issue, which is available here.