Is there a set way to play this tempo? Or is there a whole load of theory I need to learn in order to play it properly?

I'm attempting to try and play this arrangement of "Jump up superstar" by Cateen on piano.

Link to score : https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yqFHwpsxQJ7s_rARvetl-941hA-IVB27/view

I consider myself a somewhat beginner-intermediate (Only got 3 years of experience) so forgive me if I seem clueless :')

  • 1
    I wonder if you mean swing "rhythm"? "Tempo" refers to the speed of the song; "rhythm" refers to the lengths of the different notes.
    – Aaron
    Oct 1, 2020 at 2:05
  • Yes, tempo has only a little to do with it. Rhythm is a better term. Although often, the speed (tempo) of a swung piece will affect the amount of swing. There have been many questions about this already. Suggest you trawl through them and their answers.
    – Tim
    Oct 1, 2020 at 7:10

2 Answers 2


Swing is a rhythmic feel, not a tempo. And there's not much theory in it. You just play pairs of 8th notes not evenly but with the first one longer than the second. Not 'ta-ta ta-ta ta-ta-ta' but '-doo-bie doo-bie doobie'. Not trotting, skipping.

You've heard it a thousand times. Don't try to count it mechanically. A demonstration should do it.


The tempo is given, 195–200 quarter notes per minute. "Swing" does not refer to the tempo but means to swing the eight notes, i.e. play first eight note in a beat longer and the second one shorter. Given presence of triplet rhythms in the piece, this means the most common realization to play rhythm written in the first measure below as the second measure:

X: 1
K: C major treble
M: C
L: 1/4
G G  G/2G/2  G/2G/2 ||  G G (3:3:2GG/2 (3:3:2GG/2 ||

There was another similar question just today: Swing rhythm vs straight rhythm

  • 2
    I wish ABC could work. . . Oct 1, 2020 at 3:53
  • (Is this how you reply to answers haha?) Thank you for the answer! :)) So if I'm correct, a quarter note has the beat of a triplet; and for eight notes, the first note is 2 beats of a triplet? Also sorry to ask for more, but could you clarify what the numbers mean? I'm guessing they're something to do with one measure in the piece, but I'm not too sure.
    – Frooty
    Oct 1, 2020 at 4:29
  • @user1079505 If you clear your browser cache and then refresh the page, does your ABC display correctly? (I've done some testing with your code, and so far, it seems like a variation on this bug report.
    – Aaron
    Oct 1, 2020 at 7:26
  • @Frooty yes, I changed the example to make it more clear. Oct 1, 2020 at 13:51
  • @Aaron thanks. Yes, but it's also annoying that you can't see the result until you post (unless you use sandbox that I can never find), and that the syntax seems not to be 100% compatible with official ABCjs (which makes examples tested in their sandbox not work) Oct 1, 2020 at 13:53

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