Question about "swing" rhythms

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Question about "swing" rhythms

Postby Mr. Mom » Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:00 pm

OK. See if this question makes sense.

I'm trying to read a swing chart. 4/4 time. Swing (jazz) feel. The walking bass line has quarter notes. Got that. It has 8th notes that are connected. Got that feel.

BUT, it also has a dotted 8th note followed by a 16th note, connected by that little "flag", for a single beat. I always thought that, in a swing tune, that dotted 8th note followed by a 16th note was "implied" when you see two 8th notes connected.

IOW, are the two 8th notes together and the dotted 8th/16th notes together played the same way?

See #1. That's the piece/line I'm talking about.

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Re: Question about "swing" rhythms

Postby Freddels » Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:10 pm

Yes, it's usually implied but we don't know what the person that wrote this out was thinking.
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Re: Question about "swing" rhythms

Postby Mr. Mom » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:22 pm

Freddels wrote:Yes, it's usually implied but we don't know what the person that wrote this out was thinking.



Good point.

I got to thinking about it: I'm assuming a swing feel. But you think he might want a straight feel??
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Re: Question about "swing" rhythms

Postby GonzoBass » Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:01 am

I hope I am understanding the question correctly here, but-

Mr. Mom wrote:...are the two 8th notes together and the dotted 8th/16th notes together played the same way?

When I play the dotted 8th with the 16th
the 16th is felt (to me) as a staccato, or very quick precursor, to the next note
because you are holding the dotted 8th.

Similar to a very "Jamerson-esque" rake.

Where the two 8th notes are played at their strict value.

There is no indication that the piece is played with a swing feel
but with the 16th note being used
I would imply a bubbly, Rocco/Jaco feel throughout
and have my neck working to that.

Set your metronome to double time and play the piece again to see what I mean.

Let me know if this helps.
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Re: Question about "swing" rhythms

Postby Mr. Mom » Sat Jan 23, 2010 7:02 am

Thanks Gonzo!

I'll try it with a straight feel.

Shoot, I'll just have it down both ways. Won't take long to do that.
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Re: Question about "swing" rhythms

Postby groovyw53 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:22 am

I was recently guessing about this too, since I have this Aebersold book with full transcriptions of Tyrone Wheeler's lines and there are quite some 16th's in swing rhythms. They are just a bit "behind the beat" and usually have more of a rhythmic function (often open strings btw).
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Re: Question about "swing" rhythms

Postby 4strung61 » Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:57 pm

I know this is a older post. Gonzo pretty much covered it. In jazz swing it is common to have dotted 8th's to 16th's in Jazz walking lines. The old schoolers called it a (chick a boom). Studying under a old school Orchestrator, Arranger who worked with Ray Brown and Carol kaye he taught me to write and play dotted 8th's to 16th's in Jazz walking.
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Re: Question about "swing" rhythms

Postby caribconsult » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:14 am

If you don't play the dotted eight note, but play all the eight notes equally, you'll probably be fighting the drummer. Drummers will generally play the dotted feel on their ride cymbal and if you don't follow that pattern you'll be conflicting and the feel will probably not get off the ground,if you know what I mean here.
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