Is it possible to have a bar with 2.5 beats?

Congrats on coming up with a killer riff.
If it sounds good it is good.
Analysis and notation is an after-the-music process.
You’ve had some great help and found solutions - of which even more are possible and there is no ‘correct’ notation style for some bars with a weird count.
You could do one bar of 16 / 8 and a bar of 13 / 8 which would work. Strange but possible. One bar of 18 / 8 then a bar of 11 / 8 (which fits the pattern / counting of the riffs two sections. There are more besides.
As soon as I read your topic and the responses I was put in mind of a post from several months back. I had to go trawling through my archives. It is about Silent Lucidity - Queensryche. It follows odd time signatures through the song and riff. Topic here:


:rofl: They sure are! I’m trying to cook up some riff wizardry but mostly getting burnt scones at the moment :mage: :unamused: :wink: :laughing:

Glad I’m not alone! :smile:

Thank you! :smiley:

Thanks Richard! :smiley: Work in progress but enjoying the process :slight_smile:

Wow! Yeah didn’t realise all these options are valid approaches. I am aware of odd time signatures of course, plenty of the music I listen to certainly embraces that approach, however for some reason I thought there would be one solution per instance, i.e. I didn’t realise it could be up for so much individual interpretation. So am I right to assume the"correct" option for me to choose (from the options that fit) is the one that meets my requirements from a complexity (or lack thereof) perspective and how it best fits with the drum/rhythm I prefer?

Adding drums was an eye opener for me in that it did seem a lot more complex for a drum noob like me on how to come up with something that works when it isn’t 4/4. I assume that’s why so many would go that path as it’s far more straightforward to stick with that timing as opposed to something unusual which would require a higher level of technical capability to pull off? Plus I guess listeners find it more difficult to grab on to those odd timings making the song potentially less approachable as a result (despite being more interesting perhaps)?

Would it be good advice to work on creating riffs over drum tracks in the timing you probably going to use, i.e. not just messing around on the guitar in isolation then trying to adapt it later?

Thanks for the link, really interesting thread, in fact the thing that surprised me the most about it was this:

:astonished: :exploding_head: :rofl:
And I note you weren’t alone on that either?! I’m flabbergasted! :face_with_spiral_eyes: :joy:


Yes, indeed. Speaking as someone who has, recently, had some drum lessons, just keeping the count in real time seems like a challenge to me.

Many of the drummers who are considered amongst the best in the world come from genres that frequently use odd, and changing, time signatures.

Absolutely and, as I said before, trying to make it sound musical can be tricky. Which is why I originally thought it might have been a mistake.

When it’s done well, I think the music tends to be much more interesting

I would say so. At the end of the day, how it’s notated is fairly irrelevant, so do whatever you need to do to make it work.

I was mainly trying to show some options to make it work within the context of proper notation and Guitar Pro because, to your original question, no you shouldn’t really notate 2.5 beats in a bar.

In general, yes, especially if you want to make life easier for yourself. As I said, I thought you may have made a mistake for this reason.

But there’s nothing at all wrong with what you came up with: it’s entirely musically valid and sounds great. So if it was an mistake, it was a happy one.

So if you want to make life easier for yourself, stick a 4/4 or 6/8, etc. beat on and use that to build from.

But if you want to be a bit more experimental, and perhaps create some more happy mistakes, then carry on doing what you have been doing.

After all, if it sounds good, it is good.




Thank you again, Keith, your insightful responses are, as always, incredibly helpful! :smiley::+1:
There’s some excellent guidelines amongst the information you have provided for me to use as a basis for dipping my toes into the riff writing process. Really appreciate it!! :metal: :sunglasses:

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