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. bookish

    bookish Active Member

    While I'm (over) analytical about dancing, I admit to mostly just feeling swing rhythm, not usually breaking down the timing.

    Besides the actual timing of the syncopation, there are a few things that I think support swing dancing. One is that, despite the syncopation, there isn't excessive emphasis on the even beats, like in jump blues or rock and roll. Notice how in int'l jive, dancers often bob downward strongly on the even beats in their basics, if they do any basics. The emphasis pattern in Lindy feels a bit more even, but with some emphasis on the odd beats. (Look carefully at a swingout, especially an efficient fast swingout, and the emphasis is more on 1,3,5,7).

    I like dancing to gypsy swing (or jazz manouche or hot club jazz -- always felt really weird about the term gypsy even though that's what everyone uses). I don't think it's all too low-energy for the speed, plus there are some live bands that play with more energy and chunka-chunka than some of the recorded stuff. Actually, I was reading a post on Glenn Crytzer's blog linked above, about how bands used to use one mic instead of one per instrument, which you can see in the Grappelli video above. That might cause some of the rhythm instruments to get lost as they're further back. If that rhythm guitar and bass were brought up in the "mix" vs. the wind instruments, there would be plenty of pulsing energy.

    In Lunceford's For Dancers Only, is it just me or is only the first 30 seconds really unusual? Even if you miss the first break, it should have prepared you for the next 5 ;)
     
  2. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    What do you dance to gypsy swing? (I feel weird about that term, too. Romany Swing doesn't carry the same punch, though. :) )

    Oh yeah and do you have any good videos of gypsy swing? I found a few things online, but am not sure I'm looking at the right stuff.
     
  3. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah and For Dancer's Only had a couple surprises at the beginning. After that, there were changes in the music, but I didn't find them surprising. OTOH, maybe it's because I knew what I was listening for.

    Loved the piece, though. Now I know why Mom raves about him.
     
  4. Siggav

    Siggav Active Member

    When I go to the blog I get a left side panel that I can scroll that links to the older posts. Might be some blogger weirdness though, I don't know.

    ..and yeah re: Dancer's only, it's really just the bit that really catches you off guard and maybe also the very last note but it's still fun and I got really surprised when I listened to it for the first time.

    bookish, you're right with the beats and the emphasis on them. The swing guitar/bass drum etc. all go: "chunk chunk chunk chunk" in standard swing vs more of a "ba Boom ba Boom" when the even notes are emphasised more that you get later.
     
  5. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    One thing to ponder is: swing music appeared about a decade before the dances that we now think of as "swing" did. I've always wanted to try to find some old films to see what other dances people did to swing music in the 1920s.
     
  6. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I was wondering that when I read Siggav's post from yesterday (where she gave a link to a band leader's blog.) there was an awesome example of a "train" rhythm but all you could see was the orchestra. What did people dance to that?
     
  7. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Take a look at this essay by Peter Loggins that I just happened to be looking at the past day or so. http://jassdancer.blogspot.com/sear...d-max=2013-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=4

    I've actually been looking at the reverse of your question. There wasn't that much swing in the late 1920s when "Lindy Hop" or "Lindbergh Hop" reportedly began. Schuller "The Swing Era" is my main source there.
     
  8. bookish

    bookish Active Member

    Just checked my video collection for Lindy to gypsy/hot club swing. The entire Midwest Lindy Fest 2012 Invitational Jack & Jill finals were danced to the Twin Cities Hot Club. (Not the open J&J though, that was to Glenn Crytzer). Here are two of my favorites.



     
  9. Siggav

    Siggav Active Member

    Those are awesome and totally danceable. I think I may have just been listening to faster and more virtuoso type hot jazz, in part because of the violin playing which was why I got interested originally.

    Example of the sort of thing I was thinking of, although that one is on the extreme end really

     
  10. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I wonder if I'm not a bit obsessed about understanding the music in relation to dancing. Last night I walked in to an audition with a big band, and sat down in the brass section. When the player next to me asked if I could play from the score, I said, I can't play. It was a dream of course, but... bro ther.
     
  11. jwn57030

    jwn57030 New Member

    If you're going to be obsessed with something, swing music is a pretty good choice. I think I have the same obsession. I have started trying to figure out the beat and how to swing to every piece of music I hear. Last night I was at a salsa club for the first time and all I could think about was how I could lindy hop to the music.
     
  12. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Well... lemme just say that all swing is not suitable for lindy hop, and that's probably why there are other swing dances.
    What a crazy dream, though. I think it was about hoping that whatever I write I can support with something substantial, and wanting to have that ready to go before I post. (Inferiority complex could be a shorthand for it, if you like. Not wanting to be found out...) The reference thins is a habit that has been honed through editing wikipedia articles, and reading well researched books. Although I've have a few things published in journals (not music or dance - yet) and that's pretty much the same kind of thing. And, not all wikipedia articles are well supported as they are supposed to be.
     
  13. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    you need help..........;)
     
  14. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    say it aint so.................:(
     
  15. Dancelf

    Dancelf Member

    [​IMG]
    * http://xkcd.com/285/
     
  16. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    The following text is from "Stuff Good Guitar Players Should Know" by Wolf Marshall.
    Good book. If you are interested in guitar, or information on different styles of music, I can reccomend it.
    This material is provided here for educational purposes.

    Swing
    General Stuff:

    The term swing has a two-fold definition. The performance aspect of swing transcends
    style and is based on a feel, whereby a shuffle rhythm is applied to a composition,
    arrangement, groove, chord progression, or melodic line. The swing rhythm is heard in blues,
    pop, country, rock, jazz, and other music.

    Swing is also used to describe the popular musical style that dominated late thirties
    and forties. To jazz historians, swing bridges the gap between classic of the twenties
    and the modern jazz styles of bebop and cool jazz. Yet swing was certainly not confined
    to jazz genres. Swing manifested itself in country form as western swing, a highly
    influential subgenre. At the dawn of rock 'n' roll, rockabilly regularly employed many
    stylistic elements of swing music. And with respect to groove, harmony, riffs, and even
    melodic material, blues has been inextricably linked to swing. Moreover, many pop songs
    have borrowed telling elements of the swing style.

    The performance aspect of swing transcends style and is based on a feel, whereby a shuffle rhythm is applied to a composition, arrangement, groove, chord progression, or melodic line.

    The swing rhythm is heard in blues, pop, country, rock, jazz, and other music.
    Swing is a rhythmic feel that is based on the subdivided triplet group for a beat of music, often called a shuffle rhythm (see Shuffle, (p. 101)). At moderate tempos, these shuffling patterns have been called swung eighth notes and are most evident in jazz and blues melodies and boogie rhythm figures.

    Technical Stuff: Swing is a rhythmic feel that is based on the subdivided triplet group for a beat of music, often called shuffle rhythm. At moderate tempos, there shuffling patterns have been called swung eighth notes and are most evident in jazz and blues melodies and boogie rhythm figures.

    The swing rhythm is most often indicated in modern music notation as two even eighth notes, an equal sign, and the long-short pattern of a subdivided triplet. Each pattern applies to one beat of music. At slower tempos, sixteenth notes become the basic unit of time.

    At the beginning of a piece of blues, rock, country, or pop music in swing feel, the directions usually include the tempo and feel, as well as the appropriate symbols. For example, the words "Medium Shuffle" and the metronome mark are included at the top of the music, with the swing symbols in parenthesis. In many jazz scores, the swing rhythm symbols are omitted (the experienced player already knows how to interpret the swung eighth notes) and only the words "Medium Swing" are needed to designate feel. Swing and shuffle are generally interchangeable to the performer of a swing rhythm.

    To jazz historians, swing bridges the gap between classic jazz of the twenties and the modern jazz styles of bebop and cool jazz. Yet swing was certainly not confined to jazz genres. Swing manifested itself in country form as western swing, a highly influential subgenre. At the dawn of rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly regularly employed many stylistic elements of swing music.

    Stuff Good Guitar Players Should Know. P 113


    Wolf Marshall - Lecturer , Jazz performance, guitar, B.A. Music, Wolf Marshall is internationally acclaimed as both a guitarist and educator. Through his many products and publications, Marshall has gained a worldwide following and has been listened to on his recordings by legions of aspiring fretboard enthusiasts.
    Wolf is a highly respected music author, contributing long-running articles and columns to Guitar World, Guitar for the Practicing Musician (Guitar), Guitar School, Vintage Guitarand Jazz Improv since 1984. Wolf also created, served as editor-in-chief, and, for three years, managed the content of Wolf Marshall’s GuitarOne, a major music magazine which embodies Wolfe's personal approach to the instrument.

    http://www.ethnomusic.ucla.edu/inde...&id=1120:wolf-marshall-bio&catid=7&Itemid=226
    UCLA Herbert Alpert School of Music, Department of Ethnomusicology


    There are some things in there I would like to highlight, but I'll trust that those of you who are really interested will notice them.
     
  17. Generalist

    Generalist Active Member

    I agree.
     
  18. Siggav

    Siggav Active Member

    I went back there and realised that if you select "sidebar" from the menu view thing you'll get the side bar with a list of the archives on the left hand side

    Can also do it by going directly to the URL like this:

    myjazzcanbeatupyourjazz blogspot co uk/?view=sidebar
     
  19. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2017
  20. leee

    leee Well-Known Member

    I can hear the swung rhythm in here where the drummer plays a pattern both straight and then swung at slow speed (and the swung rhythm sounds very odd and awkward, maybe because of that very slowness?):




    But I can't hear it in, for instance, the Elvis Youtube on the previous page -- possibly because of the tempo, possibly because I don't really have a handle on hearing the rhythm on non-drum instruments.

    Which is a roundabout way of prefacing what I want to ask: does '60s girl group music swing? I'm thinking particularly of The Supremes' "When The Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes" (the beat sounds straight during the intro and the choruses, but there's something about the verses that doesn't sound so straight?), but wouldn't mind assessments of any of the vintage groups (the Ronettes, the Shangri La's, the Crystals, etc.) or even retro acts (the Pipettes here and here?).
     

Share This Page