Time Transformation What I’m Practicing This Week

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“Time Transformation” is a concept that has always fascinated me in music and so I am always looking for ways to tackle it. (And once I get an idea into my head, I don’t let go.)

My new CD entitled “Art of the Blues” features 12 keys of the blues where I superimpose three eighth notes of time over the regular time. This would resolve every 3 measures as seen below:

I’ve been pursuing this concept for a few years now and I’m using my compositions to help me master it. By getting this into my playing it will allow me to improv and compose on multiple time levels which really sounds great –when you can do it.
The composition below is a variation on Giant Steps using Time Transformation.

You will notice the melody is moving rhythmically in groups of three eighth notes. This allows the melody to be accompanied in two rhythmic levels fairly easily. Below is how the regular time translates into the three eighth note level.

It’s a little tricky moving between the two levels because the three eighth notes cycle doesn’t start in the first measure; it starts in the second measure, so you’ll notice that the three eighth notes page starts on the second measure of the piece. To make this work at the three eighth note level you have to read the 1st measure of the regular time as three beats then jump to the three eighths page and continue from there. If you want to give this a try you can use the metronome file below which first plays the regular time page giving you one click per beat and then plays the piece in three eighth notes of time as seen on the 2nd page.  Also when coming back from the three eighth note level chart you have to jump to the 2nd measure of the regular time chart.


There is a bunch of other stuff going on in this chart. A quick summary would be I’m using “027” chords for the melody. “027” would be a whole step and a fifth. In order to keep this sound consistent you’ll notice some rather unorthodox chord symbols. I also solo with “027” which will be a subject for another post.

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