Hot answers tagged

15

What you seek, my friend, is "the groove". As you're discovering, there's more to it than the mechanical (or even mathematical) approach of playing certain notes with a triplet rhythm. While your approach is technically correct, I'm guessing it lacks the feeling you're looking for. That's what's known as "groove" or being "in the pocket" or (especially ...


10

There are many things that could be going wrong, but in my experience, not swinging (or having a bad swing feel) is usually a result of small technique-related issues. In particular, it can include: (a) not playing the different pieces in unison, (b) playing the triplet rhythms unevenly, and (c) playing certain pieces too loud. All of these things can be ...


8

I tend to think of swing as the 12/8 version of 4/4. So two lots of 6/8 is pretty close, watching the 'second bar' of 6/8 for emphasis, or lack of. Having said that, there's swing and hard swing, where the rhythm is closer, but not too near, to dotted quaver/semi. Someone did actually time and work out the proportions of various jazzers, and there is a ...


7

"In time" indicates that the tempo should be fairly strict, as opposed to the intro marked "freely", which indicates that you have freedom to push and pull as you feel. It's often the case that a "free" intro will be slower than the main part of the song, but not always. Sometimes, for example, the intro will consist of a series of block chords which are ...


7

I honestly don't think you will find many people trying to give an earnest, precise, definition of "forward momentum" in music. It's quite a general and subjective term - a bit like saying that something is 'upbeat', or 'laid back', or 'soulful'. Nevertheless, perhaps we can have a look at some references to forward momentum in a variety of sources, and ...


6

I don't entirely agree with the other answers I see here. From my experience, as well as looking at quantization values offered in DAWs, a swing feel can be varied, sometimes based on genre but other times based on the style of the players and/or composer. The concept of swinging is that the note value that is swung, in your example the 1/8 note, is pushed ...


5

ggcg's comment is correct. practice. Specifically practice sight reading. Sight reading is just learning to recognize patterns you've seen before. The only way to do this is see them a lot. Maybe ask the musical director for some parts to take home each week (pieces you aren't already playing) and read them at home. Don't read them two days in a row. ...


5

Assuming these are informal jams, you just don't have the authority to fire incompetents. I think the only possibility is to endure the fact that the material will not be played correctly. But do at least point out what "swing" means when they try to "correct" those who are playing it correctly. Is it tactless to teach someone the truth?


5

Much easier with a drummer, especially a good one.Think 12/8 time, as in basic 4 in a bar, but each beat is split into triplet quavers. Play on the first and third of some - not all - of the triplets, making the first legato and the third more staccato. Saying the old English nursery rhyme helps : "Humpty Dumpty ", to give a swing feel. Sometimes play a ...


5

From a quick google search and scanning an article, it seems to be a reference to the expectation of "what's next". In music, momentum is created every time you do something that makes the listener think that something else is about to happen. Here is the article: http://www.secretsofsongwriting.com/2013/10/30/5-ways-to-create-momentum-in-a-song/


5

Swing feel is not triplets! It's approximately a triplet but unless you're Elvin Jones, if you play it in strict triplets then it sounds almost as bad as playing it square (as eighths). Paul Berliner in "Thinking in Jazz" writes: Within the realm of beat subdivision, myriad nuances of phrasing in between an even eighth-note subdivision feel, a dotted-...


5

I would use a duplet for this. If it we notated the groove in 12/8, this would be the standard notation: X:1 L:1/8 M:12/8 K:C %%score T1 V:T1 clef=treble % 1 [V:T1] C2 D E2 F (2GA B2 (c | c4) ...which is actually nothing else but X:1 L:1/8 M:12/8 K:C %%score T1 V:T1 clef=treble % 1 [V:T1] C2 D E2 F G3/2A3/2 B2 (c | c4) By extension, I ...


4

Honestly you should bring in some tennis balls and make a game out of it. I've taught this with eurhythmics before. Basically have people walk to a beat and start bouncing the ball on the 8th note, and then after they do that comfortably have them do the same, only swing it. You can work with whatever rhythms you need in this way and it feels kind of silly ...


4

If you're playing straight and switch to playing swing, the 'and's move but the strong beats don't. It might be that the players who are trying to play swung are pushing the strong beats around too, which would be disconcerting to the other players. I'd suggest an exercise where everyone plays the same line (a fragment of a scale for instance) first ...


4

The only way I am aware of improving (or practicing) swing feel is to play with a metronome but set it so the click is on the 2 and 4. Emily Remler goes through it in her tutorial videos. I have no idea how this would translate to a group jam though!


4

In the interests of learning how to play effectively all over the fretboard, you should probably learn to play without using any of the open strings. That way you will be able to play those same swing riffs in any key simply by changing your hand position up and down the neck. If you use the open strings you will just learn to play them using open strings. ...


4

The excellent answer by jdjazz covers swing drum technique in depth. If the problem is more one of feel, see this jazz lesson video by Aimee Nolte, “How to Freaking Swing”: Rather than focusing on triplet rhythms, Nolte emphasizes the anticipatory nature of swung rhythms. The meat of the lesson starts at 4:37, where she ...


4

Tempo is an absolute, measurable value. 'Forward momentum' is a subjective description of a rather nebulous concept. In one way, all music has forward momentum - it exists on a time-scale that certainly can't go backwards! We could describe a Death March as having an inevitable, un-stoppable forward momentum. A Swing rhythm moves forward, but so does a ...


4

Swing is not just about the length of the two notes, but also where the emphasis is placed. In swing, the 2nd 8th note (or eighth note following the quarter if thinking in 12/8) is stronger, with more emphasis. I think "doo-BA." The "doo" is longer, but the "BA" is accented. The accent on the 2nd note is part of what creates the syncopated feel in jazz. If ...


4

Write it out normally, and at the top say 'swing' and/or crotchet=2 tied triplet quavers and a single quaver. But in dots!


3

I'm not quite clear what you're after, but all these notations are used and understood. (Though they don't all mean the same thing!) Swing is not triplets. If you don't believe me, listen to 'Blueberry Hill'. If you really want triplets, write them, or use 12/8 meter.


3

It really ought to mention (or even make a big point of) using/not using open strings here. There is little point in playing open strings, for several reasons. The sound of an open string played in the middle of a phrase can sound different from the fretted notes, and often detracts from the fluidity. Using open strings confines the playing to that one key, ...


3

Write the second half of the second bar as four eighth notes with a tie between the second and third eighth note. Can you see now how to play that rhythm in swing time?


3

In addition to technique, the drummer (and everyone) also needs to recognize that swing is relative. If you've got a blazingly fast piece, the eighth notes are going to sound more straight. And the same goes for the opposite: if you've got a slower piece, the swing is going to be more pronounced and bouncy. A drummer may be producing a poor swing feel ...


3

A simple and a very effective way to learn how to swing on any instrument is to master the shuffle/swing rhythm. The idea is instead of playing eighth notes straight as you normally would play them in a long short pattern (play the first eighth note as two tied eight note triplets and play the last eighth note as an eighth note triplet). I would start out ...


2

If the song is swing or jazz, then most likely yes. Some sheet music will have a marking at the beginning of the song, which will read "Swing Feel" or "eighths (quavers) should be played as triplets" (Like in your example).But most sheet music won't have these markings, it is implied though, since most swing and jazz music are played using this swing feel. ...


2

I've honestly never had to explain swing other than, "Hear that? That's swing. DO THAT." You could try by starting with your 16th note vocalization: 1 e + a | 2 e + a | 3 e + a | 4 e + a Now get rid of all e's. Then push the "a" closer to the down beat, further away from the +. 1 x + a|2 x + a|3 x + a|4 x + a That's a rough outline of what swinged ...


2

Sounds a bit vague - and probably is left like that, so the player(s) can make choices. 'Slowly and freely, straight 8s' is pretty clear, and hints that the rest will be faster - how much, is up to the player. If it's straight or swung, the count will still be the same - 1 2 3 4, it's only the sub-divisions within the bars that change. However, here, it says ...


2

Here's a way to think about it that might help you understand this concept intuitively. Imagine a piece in which each phrase dovetails into the next. In a piece like this (such as for example a courante in a Bach cello suite), it wouldn't sound good to have a relaxed feeling of arrival at the end of each phrase. You have to keep the music driving forward ...


2

Normally, at the beginning of the piece where the tempo marking is, there is a note that says to play it in a swing style, or a marking to show that the eighth notes are meant to be uneven. In the absence of these, the "blues" in the title would be a clue. However, in my opinion, a lack of the swing markings at the beginning of the song are a deficiency in ...


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