I am trying to get better at notating songs, I am using Guitar Pro 5. I try to notate small part of songs or riffs to learn it and getter better with it, so that I can write and notate own pieces there. But I definitely have a problem with unevem rhythms. (I don't know if theres a special name for it) For example bluesy rhythms or as a concrete example this song I gave up on yesterday (

) This example sounds easy at first, but for me it turned out a bit tricky. I hope you understand what I mean with "odd/ uneven rhythms". I found myself wildly trying some punctuated notes and just guessed the right notes. (Rhythm is the problem, not the actual height of the tone) Do you have some tips for me how to approach that? Are there special approaches, techniques or best practices, or is it all just a matter of experience?

Thanks in advance

  • Link is dead, but no indication of what it was.
    – Aaron
    Nov 18, 2020 at 23:10

2 Answers 2


No need to bother too much with notating swing, it makes everything harder to write and to read. Just write once, above of the staff something like:

Swing [two quavers] = [a crotchet and quaver triplet]
Shuffle [two quavers] = [a dotted quaver and a semiquaver]

With nice images instead of the […], obviously.

  • So, in general you mean, most people just make a sketch of the melody in the notation and tell the musician to somehow spice it up with some shuffle/ swing/ groove/ whatever for the sake of simplicity in the notation? Hmm, of course I accept that answer if most musicians which notate their music do it that way, but it feels a bit unsatisfying =) Oct 23, 2015 at 14:51
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    I’ve rarely seen a jazz or blues sheet written otherwise but the most basic. It also allows musicians to play with a harder or softer shuffle if they want to. Now if your issue is with recognizing a shuffle instead of writing one, that’s another discussion altogether.
    – Édouard
    Oct 23, 2015 at 14:58
  • I would really like to have this discussion, I think it is an interesting topic =) But thanks for your answer =) Oct 23, 2015 at 15:05

Usually the way I see it notated is just text that says "Swing" or "Shuffle" and then the tune notated in straight eighths. For jazz tunes it's assumed that you're going to swing it.

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