Need help swinging...

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Ferg Deluxe, Jul 7, 2004.

  1. Ferg Deluxe

    Ferg Deluxe Gold Supporting Member

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    I'd like to work on my swing feel, but don't know exactly where to start. When I start to swing, things come out unintended as a triplet feel instead of a swing feel. Any good ideas on where to start from nearly ground zero?

    Thanks!

    :D
     
  2. wooldl

    wooldl Member

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    You've got to have a beat.........and then it's

    1 and, 2 and, 3 and, 4 and, etc....... down-strokes on the 1,2,3 & 4 while upstroking on the 'ands':)

    It's harder to put into words (type) than it is to play it. :D

    Hope this helps a little.
     
  3. Tom Gross

    Tom Gross Supporting Member

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    Try setting the metronome on 1/2 time, then having the click on beats 2 & 4.
    Tap your foot on all 4, but let the click be just on 2 & 4.

    This really works.
     
  4. Colin P

    Colin P Guest

    There's a Emily Rimler video where she explains it, I think the title is something like "Swing and Bebop guitar" the video has been around a few years, i got it on Ebay, but it as as Tom Say's.
     
  5. EricT

    EricT Member

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    This is exactly what my teacher has me doing, and it has really helped my swing feel.
     
  6. FrankW

    FrankW Member

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    Don't play eighth-notes with a triplet feeling (especially at faster tempos), but rather play even eights and try to accent the off-beats and to articulate the down-beats as often as possible using slurs, hammer-ons or pull-offs. This results in a more horn-like phrasing and, along with setting the metronome on 2 and 4 as suggested, really makes you swing.
     
  7. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    Even 8ths with accents on the off beats (I assume you mean upbeats) is not swinging. Swinging is typically based on the triplet feel. Buy Miles Davis' Kind of Blue and listen to his phrasing. It's impeccable.
     
  8. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    Magical CD....Just put it into my deck again, and it will stay there for a solid month like it always does.
     
  9. FrankW

    FrankW Member

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    Jack, I agree, even eights are not swinging per se. However, neither are triplet eights.
    I should have made my point a little clearer. If Ferg Deluxe stated in his initial post that
    this sound familiar to problems many of my students have when they try to start to play with a swing feeling. It is my experience that, for a beginner, if you lay to much emphasis on the triplet feeling, it almost always results in a sort of galloping rhythm with a heavy accent on the downbeat, and that most certainly does not swing. To get rid of this kind of phrasing, I found it helpful not to think to much about even or triplet eights initially, but to concentrate on the upbeats (sorry, I mixed this up). With accents I did not mean that the upbeats have to be really accented but they should just be (for practicing purposes) more accented than the downbeats. I find that this can result in a more flowing articulation and then I start to think about how the eights notes are played (even or triplet).
    Also, I really think that the way eighth notes are articulated depends very much on the tempo you play in. In slow or medium tempos there certainly is a triplet feeling to eights notes, but a triplet feeling is just impossible in flowing up-tempo lines.
    Finally, I totally agree that you should listen to the Jazz Greats as often as possible. That is where the swing feeling comes from (especially Horn players). You will learn a lot more about Swing from listening to records or concerts than from reading books or posts and you will also find out that a definite Swing feeling does not exist (otherwise it would be easier to explain) :)
     
  10. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    The triplet *IS* the basis of all swing music from the Count Basie period up through the '60s. During the mid '60s the swing feel became slightly more relaxed but all you have to do is listen to some '50s Count Basis, Miles' Kind of Blue or even Mike Brecker's "Time is of the Essence" (Check out Metheny's playing on that record) to hear the triplet feel.

    Miles Davis's early '60s records epitomized the triplet feel in jazz.

    I agree with you that it's difficult to get beginners to learn to vary the triplet feel along with the tempo and that students often go wildly galloping into the distance with exaggerated triplets but they still need to understand that's the base for this feel.

    When in doubt, listen to Basie's Lil Darlin'.

    That's triplet feel heaven!
     
  11. seafoamer

    seafoamer Member

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    Do yourself a favor & buy this double CD: I think it's called "The Quintessential Charlie Christian" (or something like that). It's a collection of some of the best stuff ever recorded of Christian and the Benny Goodman band.

    In my opinion it should be required listening for every gtr player who even thinks about playing jazz.

    Just listening to this album will give you more insite into "swing" than I could ever put into words. Maybe transcribe a solo or 2 and you'll start to really get cookin'.
     
  12. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    I think that's a great album but the swing feel of that era is so different than a modern swing feel that I hesitate to recommend it to someone who is trying to learn a modern jazz feel.

    Miles Davis' Kind of Blue is the Standard for modern swing.
     
  13. seafoamer

    seafoamer Member

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    Ooow, I don't know if I agree. Ferg Deluxe states "Any good ideas on where to start from nearly ground zero?"

    Also, Every player jives a little differently. Cannonball jived differently compared to Trane, who played very differently compared to Miles ....Wayne Shorter...etc,etc.

    Coltrane didn't sound like his influences because he took it to a NEW place. When I suggest this album, it's not because I think everyone should sound like the playing on it, but because the spirit on this album can inspire like a bastar(d), no matter what particular style you jive with.
     
  14. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    Cannonball totally and completely blows me away everytime I listen to him. Personally, one of my favorite players ever. That combination of soul, blues and jazz was just right for me. Damn that guy could play.
     
  15. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    Yeah but so can Kind of Blue. The feel on those old Benny Goodman records is much more dotted 8th and 16th and a young or budding jazz musician may develop an early gallop or choppyness to their playing by emulating that music. Nothing wrong with listening to CC but I wouldn't recommend it as the hallmark for someone learning to play with a swing feel.

    For that, Basie and early Miles are king...
     
  16. seafoamer

    seafoamer Member

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    Yeah, This is precisely where I disagree with you. Too many "young & budding" players only listen to the "modern cats" and think in order to swing like the "old" guys you need to gallop.

    There is not much difference at all in the way Miles swings on "So What" and the way Christian swings.

    IMO you're making a big deal about different styles of jazz, but if you can swing with a great feel in one, odds are, your not going to absolutely suck in a more modern style. These things are not black & white. When u play a jazz set, don't you play various songs from various styles. Most guys I play with that have great feels, have it because they have it inside and that comes out in most songs they play in most styles.
    And most importantly they acquired it from listening to all sorts of music from different eras.

    With the frequency that "Kind of Blue" is recommended as the "end all be all" jazz lp, it's no wonder why most young jazzers sound alike. Don't get me wrong, great lp. Transcribed about 3/4 of it back in my college days. But if I was a beginner and didn't know any better I would think "Miles Smiles" and "Four & More" aren't worth checkin' out because nobody ever says **** about them.
     
  17. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    Yikes...IMO, there's a *HUGE* difference in feel between those two records and those two cats.

    An absolute WORLD of difference. I think it's useful to study all historical aspects of the music so I have no problem studying Charlie Christian's music but I just don't think it's necessarily the best recommendation for a budding jazzer. And if you are interested in the historical perspective, I would say that Count Basie's band pretty much defined what is now deemed to be the standard for jazz feel and articulation though even that feel is somewhat dated.
     
  18. BBHollowbody

    BBHollowbody Member

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    It seems that two of the most swingin' guitar players ever have been overlooked.

    Wes Montgomery--hello people. You've all mentioned a some great players, but for relating to a guitar player, Wes is one to listen too.

    George Benson--Wes's disciple. Absolutely killin' rhythmic feel.

    I also agree that Miles has a great swing feel, one of the best ever. But my experience teaching has shown me that beginning guitar players have more trouble relating to horn players.

    I think that you need to listen to Christian as well. I mean that is the roots of the tree. I disagree with Zucker, I think all beginning students should study Christian. But I do respect his opinion.
     
  19. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    Wait, you're misquoting me. I stated in every reply that folks SHOULD study CC. My nit was with stating that he was what folks should study for help with a swing feel. I think there are other places I'd direct folks to first.
     
  20. seafoamer

    seafoamer Member

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    DUDE, we're talking SWING!!! There is not a huge difference between the way Charlie a SWINGS and how Miles
    SWINGS on the song "So What". Matter of fact, that's the point I'm making. Having a Good feel transcends style barriers.

    Anyway, I'm done arguing with you.
    The thread starter wanted help w/ his swing. Undoubtedly he has heard or will hear the "Kind of Blue" recommendation till he is blue in the face. (Maybe a little pun intended).
    I gave him another option.

    Goodbye.
     

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