Little Green Men

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Filafizz
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Little Green Men

#1 Post by Filafizz » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:50 pm

I was observing Vai's Little green Men tune and noticed one (or more) thing. It seems to float between 8/16 and 4/4 measures, sometimes 2/4. That is one of the most difficult Steve's music, it is hard to keep the A9 chord (with open B and E strings, sometimes) on the cadence, in fact it is a challenge. Does anyone out there know what happens through its rhythm pattern?

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Re: Little Green Men

#2 Post by Zongadude » Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:24 pm

I don't know, each time I play it I just follow this pattern, without counting any measuring:

Na _ Na _ _ Na _ Na _ _ Na _ Na _ Na _ _ Na _ Na _ _ Na _ Na _ _ Na _ Na _ Na _ _ Na _ Na _ _ Na _ Na _ _ Na _ Na _ Na _ _ etc...
Basically it's just a repetition of the Na _ Na _ _ Na _ Na _ _ Na _ Na _ Na _ _ pattern.

So in my mind you just have to play 2 strokes + 2 strokes + 3 strokes and repeat it all the time. (I'm talking about the intro guitar, and the "choruses" pattern, which are the same. And it's also the pattern going on under the "speech" section of the song.)

Come to think of it, I would say this is 5/8 + 5/8 + 7/8, repeated on and on.

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Re: Little Green Men

#3 Post by Filafizz » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am

Ok, Thank you a lot.

I'll do that, maybe it is a good way of think about that.

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Re: Little Green Men

#4 Post by jobriathboy » Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:52 am

that's precisely the way i "figured out" the song... well, at least the bulk of it...

na-na--na-na--na-na-na--na-na--na-na--na-na-na--na-na--na-na--na-na-na...etcetera...

it's a repeating group of 3 beat "clusters" (using my crappy uneducated musical lingo here), but those groups are further broken into 2 beat "cluster pairs", so it changes where the emphasis is... things that were once on the beat are now on the and's and so forth...

(2 - 2) (3 - 2) (2 - 3) (2 - 2) (3 - 2) (2 - 3) (2 - 2) and so forth...

one day i might sit down and physically write it all out... my brain might explode, my eyes might start bleeding, but i think in the end it will all be worth it :D

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Re: Little Green Men

#5 Post by jobriathboy » Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:36 pm

after giving myself a pretty decent headache, i have determined that the time signatures for at least the intro portion of the song are 5/8, 6/8 & 6/8, repeated 3 times before the lyrics come in...

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Re: Little Green Men

#6 Post by phreelee » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:47 am

I just started working on this tonight and then found this page and, yes, I did find that 5/8, 6/8, 6/8 repeated seems to be not only the intro figure [x3] but a central, repeated part of the song.

Still working but this is one way to interpret the chorus [at least the first time]:

7/8, 4/8, 3/8, 5/8, 5/8, 6/8, 4/8

lyrics trail along like this, for starters:

7/8 - little green men, they,

4/8 - look so funny, fun...

3/8 - ...ny [etc]

This metric reading definitely works - try it - but I'm sure there are other ways to delineate it.
Last edited by phreelee on Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Little Green Men

#7 Post by phreelee » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:55 am

'we know ya come a long way, we hope that your ship is ok, we hope you're gonna stick around, maybe to say the day':

6/8, 7/8, 11/8

"you look-a real keen, even though you are green, with those big large heads, something off of the movie screen"

10/8, 7/8, 8/8

I'm sure there are better ways to express the meter changes but this at least adds up as a way to interpret it, I think.

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