Swing Discussion Boards > It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swung ... Rhythm

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by pygmalion, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    As promised, here's a thread to consolidate the many side conversations we've had in the past few weeks about swing music, specifically the underlying rhythms that make swing music recognizable. Is it swing? Is it blues? Is it rock? Is it jazz?How do you know? That's what this thread is all about.

    To start, I'm going to go back and pull some of the very informative posts from the past few weeks. So here goes.

     
  2. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Awesome post from siggav:



    Glen Miller's in the Mood starts with a run of swung eigths, it's what gives the music the lilt and the swing. The whole song is swung and has that swung rythm but it's nice that it starts solo with the swung 8ths so they're easier to hear




    If you can imagine all those 8th notes played "straight" i.e. not swung the song would feel really flat.

    My current jam song, Carsie Blanton's Baby can Dance,




    She sings her 8ths swung but it's harder to pick out I guess if you're not looking for it.
    Anyway in that song at around 2:08 time you get a solo where you should be able to really clearly hear the swung 8ths again.

    Then a counter example, this verison of Elvis Presley - Hound dog does not swing. You can hear how the 8th notes in the guitar are not swung




    Then for fun, this is one of my favourite lindy dancing clips at the moment. Don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!




    This is from a jack and jill competition, i.e. they entered as individuals and then got randomly paired up and have to dance to a song where they have no idea in advance exactly what song will play. The playfulness of their connection and musicality is just brilliant and that sort of lilting fluid playfulness is much harder to try to get when dancing to non swung music.
     
  3. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

     
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

     
  5. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    And now alittle bt about WCS and "swung"rhythms"

     
  6. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2017
  7. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

     
  8. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

     
  9. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

  10. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Thanks. :) Not done yet, though. ;)
     
  11. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


     
  12. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

     
  13. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Okay. So I think those are all the partial conversations we've had recently. :)
     
  14. Siggav

    Siggav Active Member

    Hi Steve, a few things. First of all I'm just a hobby violinist, studied swing fiddle for a bit but never got properly good at it, mostly just played with my teacher (he played guitar as well as violin). I actually went and saw a really good gypsy jazz trio last sunday though and they were really awesome.

    I didn't really "comp" the violin is very much a melody instrument and you have a tendency to just not play when it's not your turn to be playing the tune or doing a solo or doing melody support kind of thing. The violinist in the trio I saw tended to join the guitar, actually putting the bow down and holding the violin sideways like a mandolin and just plucking some chords to help out and join the guitar or the double bass.

    Clip of Grappelli playing and you can see how him and the other melody instrument players just "shut up" so to speak when it's not their turn. Not my favourite version of minor swing but it's great to actually see them play



    Another thing is that gypsy jazz is often too fast for lindy and/or doesn't quite have the right feel. It can work great for balboa though. Bit of an elaboration of the too fast for lindy, it's too fast while not being super high energy music. You can lindy really fast but it needs really driving high energy music to match the energy output required to dance at that speed (in my opinion anyway)

    Aaanyway back to the rhythm in the guitar vs the melody lines and riffs. The guitar in swing is a part of the rhythm section along with potentially double bass, drums, left hand of piano etc. The steady quarter notes on every beat playing in the 4/4 rhythm is necessary to provide the stable base that everyone else syncopates around. The guitar doesn't play swung eigths, that's for the melody and solos etc.

    One thing to be aware of as well is that there are a lot of things that together create that genuine woo I want to lindy to that swinging sound. Almost every one of those details can be found elsewhere. You'll find swung eighths in not really danceable music, the sock rhythm guitar thing is quite common in old school country and some folk music. It's all been a melting pot, however you need all of those things together to get that swing sound.

    Another thing to add, I know we're getting quite technical and complicated with all this now, it's not that hard to identify swing music normally, listening for the swung eights and that swung feel is pretty easy once you know what to look out for
     
  15. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah, but how am I, and anyone else, going to learn if we don't get into it?

    I want to know what people are talking about when they use certain terms, etc. In eventually comes down to "feel," as even the most detailed writers seem to get to eventually.
    I THINK I've come a long way since I started asking questions years ago.

    I may go delving into all these books I have out of the library right now... and do more than study them!
    I can see that Skippy Blair's sheet music for dancers fits right in with most of what I'm reading. So that's pretty cool.
    I THINK can can dance WCS with that swing feel, and even put in in line dances when I feel it in the music. And I'm pretty sure I can PLAY some very basic things on keyboard and guitar with a swing feel.
    Still, there always seems to be more to learn.
    And THAT I think is pretty cool.
     
  16. Siggav

    Siggav Active Member

    Oh absolutely re: having to start somewhere and all that. I more finished my last post on the feel talk because, I didn't want people to feel too intimidated, a lot of people can learn to identify what swinging music feels like without being able to nail down exactly what it is beyond the swung eighths that makes it feel like full blown swing music.

    Slightly sideways, this track always amuses me. It was written pretty much specifically to trip dancers up with lots of breaks and slightly unexpected accents etc, it is a lot of fun to dance to you really have to be musical to dance well to it. Can't just do basic patterns because of the playful teasing of the music itself



    Anyway there's tons of good stuff on the myjazzcanbeatupyourjazz blogspot co uk blog it's written by a swing band leader who really knows his stuff and is a dancer as well so he's very aware of the difference between danceable jazz and jazz that's more intended just for ears.
     
  17. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    You totally rock ... or should I say swing? ;)

    I can't see the Jimmie Lunceford piece in the US because of copyright stuff. Is this it? LOVE this piece, and if this is it, I see what you mean about the playfulness of the music. Nice. :)

     
  18. Siggav

    Siggav Active Member

    Yep it's that one :)
     
  19. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Thanks.:)
     
  20. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I perused the website a bit last night. Good stuff. I found it a bit difficult to navigate beyond the front age, though. How did you find the archived stuff?
     

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