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That Swing Thang: swing feel strumming

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No, not swing style, swing rhythms. When people hear the word swing, they think of Count Basie, Benny Goodman, and 1930's swing jazz. But swinging rhythms, while used in jazz, are also used in rock, blues, country, etc. Once you know what you are looking for, you will hear swing rhythms everywhere.

Listen to the difference between the 2 examples below. You have heard both of these sounds whether you know the theory behind it or not.

Straight 8th note strum

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Swing 8th note strum

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Swing 8th notes are lopsided. The strum that is on the down beat is a little longer than the strum that is on the up beat (the &). Kind of a long......short..long......short..thing.

Keep in mind that the music is not written like this. This is only a visual representation of the sound.

 

Swing rhythms are written exactly the same as "straight" rhythms, they are just interpreted a little differently.

 

When to swing and when not to swing



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