Swing Discussion Boards > Videos > Likes and Dislikes -- What Makes West Coast Swing?

Discussion in 'Videos' started by pygmalion, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    and the truth shall set you freeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
  2. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Has WCS ever been danced to music that is swung?
  3. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Swung as in by the awesome definition of swung that Siggav wrote out for us a week or two back in the ECS vs Lindy thread.

    I ask in all sincerity. The music that was "swung" was largely big band music of the 40s. I thought WCS came into the picture later, around the time "swung" music was dropping off the scene.

    I'll have to pull up (I think) Steve's old thread re: music WCS was originally danced to, or something like that. I remember seeing the thread title,but am not sure I ever read the thread.
  5. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I pulled up that old thread but haven't had a chance to read the whole thing yet. According to the first couple of posts, WCS, at its inception, was danced to 16-count blues music, NOT swung music. Imagine trying to dance WCS to Glenn Miller or Benny Goodman. *awkward*

    The fact that the dance was called swing is probably directly attributable to the fact that people back then were less argumentative than we are. Just kidding! The patterns (that we don't have :D) grew out of lindy hop. You can see it. But the music changed, necessitating a different dance.

    Kinda my point about WCS these days. The music is changing dramatically and so is the look of the dance.

    How's about West Coast Show Dance or West Coast Hip Hop? :D
  6. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    Yeah.. his threads can be heavy sledding JK steve much love bro

    i like the comps where one round is blues and one round is "contemporary"

    wanna see the top competitors have to work both musical styles
  7. Siggav

    Siggav Active Member

    Yeah I've seen definitions sometimes when people say it's a swing dance because the follow swings from one end of the slot to the other. I find that sort of hilarious but I do think that the reason "swing" is in the name of the dance is because it evolved out of a swing dance (i.e. lindy hop) that was/is done to swung music. It's very much in the family of swing dances.

    It's also complicated by the fact that people sometimes go oh the band's really swinging! when what they mean is that the band is kicking knat and being awesome. So I've seen people get offended when I mention the music doesn't swing and they read that as me saying the music isn't good, which isn't what I'm trying to communicate at all.

    Anyway, could call the dance: West Coast. Just drop the swing off the end.
  8. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I haven't yet gotten around to posting the stuff I've referred to at least several times, but, yeah, it has. But not in a way that many people would think of as "swing."

    In the film "Hot Rod Gang" unacknowledged dancers, one of whom is Dick D'Agostin, dance "Western Swing" to Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps "Dance to the Bop." I think I posted details in the Original West Coast Swing music thread.

    It turns out the "swung eights" were very common in Rockabilly. I know his for sure because I have a book of Rockabilly Hits sheet music, and the notation is there on many of the songs. One song actually has the note that authenic rockabilly is played ((swung eight)) notation.

    Bill Haley had the Saddlemen before the Comets and did some of the earliest rockabilly on records.
    Oh, and, an often overlooked fact is that "Western Swing" as a type of music, was a big influence on the rockabilly musicians, including Haley.
    By the time Haley appeared in Rock Around the Click with the Comets, they had pretty much lost their swing, but there were traces of it as doucmented in Tamlyn's PhD thesis.
    And the overlooked dancers there are Earl Barton, who ws a professional, and Lisa Gaye, who was (also) received training in the studio system.

    Lauré Haile, who first described "Western Swing", listed the following songs/records as "Good Swing or Fox Trot Records":[41][42]
    " String of Pearls" by Glenn Miller ((1942[43]))
    "Let's Dance" by Ray Anthony ((Capitol L-258)(1951)[44])
    "Be-Bop's Spoken Here" by Les Brown Columbia 38499 (4/14/49)[45]
    "Also Good Swing - but unusual Chorus "AABA":"
    "One Mint Julep", Buddy Morrow, Victor 20-4869 (June/July 1952)[46]
    "Dry Bones", Tommy Dorsey, Victor 20-3523 (1949?)[47]
    And a slight change up because I'm tired of wrting...

    The term Shuffle Rhythm is used for the "swung eighth." It is essentally "swing" at a slower, more narrowly defined pace. And shuffle is found in many places. It was big in the early 60s with the Bill Black Combo, known to have been used for "Western Swing." Even swing is found in surprising places like hip hop, according to books on drumming.

    Although that orignal music thread can be kind of painful at times, there is a lot of interesting (to me!) information there.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2017
  9. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Roger that!
    You have to admit, d nice and Black Sheep Joe Lanza made an inpressive contribution!

    But I'm working on a cleaner, much more comprehensive presentation. Will have to be a blog or old skool book.
    Mr 4 styles likes this.
  10. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    They did. Many thanks to them both.:)
  11. Siggav

    Siggav Active Member

    Shuffle rhythm is not the same thing as a swung eighth, but you are right that at slow tempos swung eighths tend to start to get played in basically shuffle rhythm.

    Just to add a bit more complexity to things, there's more to "swing rhythm" than just the swung eighths, there's also how the rhythm section in general emphasises the four beats. I saw it referred to as a train rythm.

    Good post that talks about this sort of stuff:
    myjazzcanbeatupyourjazz blogspot co uk/2009/10/hi-jazz-fans-when-i-wanted-to-progress.html

    Put dots in the spaces in the above url, I still can't post proper urls :(
  12. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Well, I have to add, there was a bit of sarcasm there.
    Meanwhile, I just snagged a copy of Haile's book "I Love to Dance!"
    I am SO excited!
  13. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Oh I get it. I was a mod during d and Joe's heyday. It was a nightmare. BUT there is a lot of useful information in their threads, which is why I've been bumping up a few ... after I read through to make sure that the name-calling and other unnecessary contentiousness is not too bad.
  14. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    Thanks again for all the musical assistance. :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2017
  15. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I've been reluctant to burden you with questions, but since you brought it up...
    And I haven't written more because I'm not confident enough in what i think I know to post anything that I can't back up with multiple sources. And that's very time consuming.

    I can't quite fit the steady 4/4 "sock rhythm" played by guitarists, with variations of how the notes / chords / or parts of chords are played, with the swung 1/8 notes thing.

    Write as much as you want! I'm all ears.

    What sort of comping do you do on violin when you play "gypsy jazz?"
  16. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    you two are a treasure trove of info

    thanks you very much!!
    pygmalion likes this.
  17. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    I think this is just gorgeous. Some lifts and stuff, but more swing content than some of the showdance numbers you see.

  18. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    kellese key another hottie!
  19. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    It is gorgeous! I love the way that their choreography accentuates the music. And it's definitely WCS, lifts, drops and all. Nice.:)

    Re: the rest,when I have some time, I am going to gather some of the relevant posts and start a new thread on swing rhythms. These conversations are great, but they're embedded in other threads where we'll never find them. Doing that might be a bit time-consuming so it may take a while, but I will do it.
    Mr 4 styles likes this.
  20. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    you rock pyg!!

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