Metric Modulation Explained
Written by Adam Zalewski on Janurary 18th, 2021
For this blog post I want to explain metric modulation. Metric modulation is shifting the beat from one note value to another. So let's say you're playing straight quarter notes and then those quarter notes become quarter note triplets. This will usually end up changing the time signature of the song and giving the song a TOTALLY different feel.

In this one of my youtube videos I am playing the mashup of High King of Heaven and Jesus we Love you by Bethel Worship. Technically what happens in the song is what I would consider a "soft metric modulation". More accurately it's just a meter change. The song is going from 3/4 to 6/8 time and luckily we have the same amount of eighth notes in both time signatures. So it's not as drastic of a change of your typical metric modulation, but hey we're playing in church here! We don't want to throw off the congregation's singing do we? 

To metrically modulate in this song all it takes is changing how the groupings of the eighth notes are played. In 3/4 time we have three groups of two eighth notes and in 6/8 we have two groups of three eighth notes. This is the primary difference between these two time signatures. Many get that difference confused. A song in 3/4 has a totally different feel than a song in 6/8.

If this all sounds like greek to you, you might get a better understanding if you just watch
my youtube video and hear the time change / metric modulation happening in real time. Also, if you're at all unclear about the difference between the two time signatures this video may set you straight.

Watch the video here.


Adam Zalewski

Adam Zalewski is a certified music teacher and a multi-instrumentalist. His main passion is teaching people how to play drums and join the worship team at their church.
If you are interested in either learning drums from the complete beginning or if you are ready to take your current drumming to highest level possible for God then click here
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