I've started to learn swing 8th rhythm and I think I understand the idea when it comes to pairs of 8th. But how to read the pairs of "dotted quarter + 8th".

I'm using the app to insert and play the rhythm and I noticed the following.

  1. Let's say we are in 4/4 and bar contains 8th + dotted quarter + 8th + dotted quarter The rhythm sounds the same when I change from "straight 8th" to "swing 8th" mode.

  2. But if I change the bar to dotted quarter + 8th + dotted quarter + 8th Now the rhythm sounds different when I change from "straight 8th" to "swing 8th" mode.

I expected rhythm to change in both bars (1 and 2). Why is the first case swing 8th = straight 8th, but in the second case the are not equal?

Any help will be appreciated, tnx.

EDIT: app is called Complete Rhythm Trainer (on Android).

  • 1
    This is possibly specific to the app you're using. What happens if, rather than 8th + dotted quarter, you use 8th + 8th-tied-to-quarter?
    – Aaron
    Mar 31, 2021 at 17:40
  • Swing can often be just a 'feel' thing, almost impossible to get computer playback to make it feel good from a score. Sometimes it's just written straight, with 'swing' written over the first bar.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 31, 2021 at 17:44
  • @Aaron Thanks, yes when I use 8th-tied-to-quarter instead of dotted quarter it changes.
    – cartoflur9
    Mar 31, 2021 at 17:48
  • Cool. I suggest editing your question to include the software you're using. That will help future searchers.
    – Aaron
    Mar 31, 2021 at 17:53
  • 2
    @cartoflur9 It might be helpful for future readers to know what software you are using, in case they are trying to find out the same issue. EDIT Ha, jinx.
    – Neal
    Mar 31, 2021 at 17:53

2 Answers 2


It theory, you should hear a "swing" in both cases, so this may be software-specific. Try changing the 8th + dotted quarter notation to 8th + 8th-tied-to-quarter. That might nudge your software into recognizing the intended swing rhythm.


The examples below show how the two rhythms you mention (top staff) should be played with swing (bottom staff), assuming the popular triplet realization of swing rhythm. enter image description here

If your software plays it differently, it's incorrect. If you want to play straight eight notes in a piece with swing feel, you should write it explicitly.

  • Yeah, I also expected that. Actually as @Aaron suggested this is the app issue. When I change dotted quarter to 8th-tied-to-quarter I work as displayed in the second line ^. Thanks anyway.
    – cartoflur9
    Mar 31, 2021 at 18:37
  • +1 Notating this way obviates any issues the software might have with swing rhythm. Harder for a human reader, though, IMO.
    – Aaron
    Mar 31, 2021 at 19:00
  • @Aaron Agreed. The top staff is for a human reader who is supposed to know whether they want to swing it and how. The bottom staff is for demonstration purposes only. Apr 1, 2021 at 1:12
  • 1
    Actually, your post makes that abundantly clear. user1079505's post: 1; Aaron's reading comprehension: 0.
    – Aaron
    Apr 1, 2021 at 1:18
  • 1
    Touché. Thou cuteth to the bone.
    – Aaron
    Apr 1, 2021 at 1:32

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