New Song: Schism for Guitar, Bass, and Singing

Posted on September 5, 2019

Ok, let’s learn this modern progressive metal classic! This song features huge riffs and stunning vocal harmonies, as well as more time-signature changes than you can shake a stick at. Here’s a handy tip for dealing with all the strange rhythms: try counting in small groups of 2 and 3. For example, “5/8” has 5 quick beats in a bar, but you can count 1-2, 1-2-3 (2 beats + 3 beats = 5 beats). Same idea with “7/8”: 1-2, 1-2, 1-2-3 (2 + 2 + 3 = 7). Often you’ll find yourself getting a feel for the small groups of beats, without having to keep counting each bar.

“Schism”, made famous by Tool, is now available in Yousician for Guitar, Bass, and Singing.

Schism for Guitar
by: James Neilson, Music Education Designer for Guitar

In the basic riff exercise (level 4) you’ll play a simplified version of the main bass and guitar riffs. Watch out for the tricky timing – make sure you listen carefully to the song in practice mode, getting a feel for the rhythmic patterns. At first, you don’t even want to play along – just get a feel by listening first.

In the full rhythm exercise (level 10) you’ll play the full guitar part, in drop D tuning. Watch out for the fast hammer-on triplet riffs, and pay careful attention to try to get each note out clearly. For the right feel, try to play as dynamically as you can, with a strong contrast between quiet palm-muted sections, and huge riffs where the strings ring out strongly.

Schism for Bass
by: James Neilson, Music Education Designer for Guitar

The main bassline exercise (level 7) is like the full recorded bass, just without the fast triplets and special playing techniques. It’s in drop-D tuning, so you’ll need to tune your E string down to D. Then, the main challenge will be getting the timing – it’s tricky, and the rhythms keep on changing, so you’ll need to focus!

The full bassline exercise (level 11) includes the full recorded bassline. With drop D-tuning and a range of special playing techniques including double stops, slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs, it will take some time to master even for an advanced bassist. The changes between sections are particularly challenging (both technically and rhythmically), so it might be a good idea to practice them slower, first. The notes with ‘slide-outs’ in the middle section are originally played with a whammy pedal, which makes them sound an octave higher than written.

Schism for Singing
by: Arttu Juntunen, Music Education Designer for Singing

Tool are famous for how rhythmically rich their songs are. This song in no exception, so at first it might be challenging to sing in the right rhythm. My tip is not to even think about it too much! Just make a loop of a phrase in practice mode and try to speak the rhythm. Though the time signatures vary a lot, the vocal melodies have a nice natural rhythm.

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