Play better rhythm - 5/8 and 5/4 time signatures

For many guitarists, any time signature other than 4/4 can prove a nightmare to play and 'feel'.

Here, we're looking at the irregular time signatures of 5/8 and 5/4. Although both can be subdivided into rhythmic groupings of 2+3 or 3+2, the drums can help as quarter notes (5/4 time) or eighth notes (5/8).

A bar of 5/4 lasts for five beats and seems like a 'stretched' version of 4/4 with the snare often on beats 2, 4 and 5. For 5/8, a bar only lasts for two and a half beats (five eighth notes) often with one snare hit occurring either on the third eighth note (marking the second grouping of three in a 2+3 grouping) or the fourth eighth note (marking the second grouping of two in the grouping 3+2). The two examples in this tutorial show the difference between the two.

Click 'see all pictures' in the picture box for full-sized tab.

Audio: Full track (5/4 and 5/8 time signatures)

Audio: 5/4 playalong

Audio: 5/8 playalong