"My Wave" features lyrics written by frontman Chris Cornell and music co-written by Cornell and guitarist Kim Thayil. The tuning, as with many Soundgarden songs is unorthodox—E-E-B-B-B-B. The song regularly interchanges the keys of E minor and B Mixolydian. The song also features the use of a bass wah pedal by Ben Shepherd. "My Wave" as a musical piece is very typical of Soundgarden's style. Predominantly in 5/4, a particularly irregular time signature for rock music, the song changes, intersperses and juxtaposes time signatures freely. The effect created is both authoritatively erratic and characteristic of the band, even classically so. Guitarist Kim Thayil has said that Soundgarden usually did not consider the time signature of a song until after the band had written it, and said that the use of odd meters was "a total accident."