How to Apply Meter
There is no “right way” to apply meter. However, since each meter has a different and distinct sound for the most part, certain meters will lend themselves better to a particular section of a composition. 6/8 will most often have a relaxing and swaying sound while 11/8 will most often be used to create a lot of tension in the song. Experiment with the different possibilities for your own compositions and see which meter will help you portray the emotion you are trying to best.
Now, when it comes to applying multiple types of meter, the meters could fall under two broad categories. One is simply using meter to create a dramatic effect while the other is used to create a greater amount of tension.
When using meter to create a dramatic effect, often times there will be a focus meter that is being used for the majority of the section, and then every once in a while a different meter is introduced for just a brief moment. For this example there are three measures of a 4/4 meter and on the fourth measure, it switches to 7/8. Listen how the tension is built just at the end of each progression.
When changing meters every measure, a good amount of tension will occur. For this example, there are four measures and each is a new time signature. The tension is built because it does not have a steady groove or rhythm to it. For this example, we will use 4/4, 3/4, 7/8, and 6/8 for our meters.
Guitar Lesson Navigation
For more info about Zack Uidl, visit zackuidl.com
© Zack Uidl 2009. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission.