Run – Foo Fighters

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"Run" is the lead single from the Foo Fighters upcoming album, Concrete and Gold, due to be released in September 2017. The song features some simple-yet-effective hemiola patterns, a metric modulation and a complete feel change, all within the first sixty seconds.

Metric modulation:

The song begins in a slow 6/8 meter with a clean guitar arpeggiating in eighth notes. When the pre-chorus kicks in (0:28), the bass drum begins playing four times per bar in a 2:3 hemiola. In the notation below, this is written as four dotted-eighth notes (in 6/8 meter).

 

As these dotted-eighth-notes become the new pulse, a metric modulation is used to change the tempo to the rate of the dotted eighths (doubling the original tempo). The time signature changes at that point from compound meter (sub-beats grouped in 3s) to simple meter (sub-beats grouped in pairs).


Choruses:

After 8 measures of the bass drum outlining the new faster tempo, the hemiola appears again; this time the toms outline six evenly spaced quarter-note-triplets over the four-on-the-floor pulse. The following two measures conclude the first chorus.

 

 

 

A similar-but-different rhythm is used to conclude the second and third choruses, based on sixteenth notes grouped: 3, 3, 2. Notice how this rhythm has a jagged sound compared with the previous example (see and hear below).

 

 

Foo Fighters use the hemiola and other rhythmic devices to create an interesting rhythmic backing for their latest single, Run.

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Steve Ley