This guitar lesson is part of a 5-part series as part of TrueFire’s Next Top Guitar Instructor competition. Gregory Bolomey is one of the 10 finalists, and if you like what you see, be sure to vote for him and subscribe for more lessons!

In this lesson we will be looking at how to incorporate multiple meters or time signatures into our riffs and guitar parts. We will be using two chords in this example; C#m9 and Amaj9#11, all while taking advantage of an open string voicing unique to these chords. The chord progression we are strumming can be felt as 4/4 but when you start to play it, you’ll see that the accented chord hits land in such a way that your strum pattern is actually phrased in 3 and 5.

So when you count through the example, your counting will be 1 2 3 – 1 2 3 4 5. You are now playing a riff that moves back and forth between 3/4 and 5/4! Our 3+5 pairing will repeat three times and on the forth time we’ll actually stay in 3/4 for three measure which will help create a turnaround or an ending to our part. To help solidify this ending, we walk up an Emaj7 arpeggio which resolves very nicely to our starting chord.

Take notice of what the drums are doing. In the first half of the example, the drums are accenting the 3+5 feel which should help solidify the counting and feel to our ears. Then on the second half, the drums switch to a 4/4 groove which helps create a push in momentum; the song picks up a little. We can get away with these because 3/4 + 5/4 equals eight beats, which is just two measures of 4/4! Everything lines up and our groove is set!

Good luck in your counting adventures. As always, let me know what you come up with and I’ll see you next time.

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