First described as “swing” during the heyday of jazz as the popular dance music in the 1930s, patterns of uneven rhythms can now be found in many styles of pop, jazz, rock, country, blues, and more. But how do you learn to swing rhythm when it seems to be more like a feel or an art rather than something that can be clearly notated?
In this month’s Instrument Packs Musical U’s Resident Pros for guitar, piano, and bass “do the math” on swing rhythms, with videos, PDFs, and MP3s that line out structured sequences of exercises to get you up and swinging.
Resident Pro Sara Campbell does the math on swing – until this mysterious “feel” becomes more clear and accessible, including counting and sight-reading methods:
- What Exactly is Swing Rhythm? How to feel (and count!) swinging 8th notes.
- Counting Complex Rhythms: What to do with triplets, single 8th notes, and 16th notes.
- Swing Rhythm Exercises: three exercises to help you with common swing rhythms.
- Playalong MP3 backing tracks to sharpen your syncopation skills
Banish the fear of the “Swing Feel” marking on your sheet music, and bring your piano playing to life with Sara’s swinging Resource Pack.
The bass plays a unique part in swing, holding down a walking bass line. Resident Pro Steve Lawson takes you on bass “walk to remember” through Swingtown:
- Swing Basics: Differentiation between the theoretical and the stylistic/applicable.
- Different Types of Swing: Swing feel (4/4), shuffle (12/8), and walking bass swing styles.
- The Walking Bass: How to play the most prevalent swing bass pattern.
- Practice Exercises and Backing Tracks: combining typical chord progressions with swing explorations
With this Swing Rhythms pack, you’ll learn how bass holds down the foundation and keeps the music swinging.
Swing rhythm feel varies considerably from blues to rock to jazz. Resident Pro Dylan Welsh shows you where to start on your guitar to explore these different feels while remaining right “in the pocket” with your rhythm:
- Swing Basics: The definition of swing and what it sounds like.
- Interpreting Swing: How a swing rhythm is commonly interpreted (incorrectly), and how to break it down properly.
- Unique Styles: The reason why the best players have their own unique swing “feel.”
- Exercises: A few scale exercises to help you get into the rhythm at different speeds while never losing the beat.
Discover your own unique swing feel with this month’s Guitar Resource Pack.
Coming up next month…
Next month is “Improvisation Month” here at Musical U. Our resident pros will be exploring how to take your improvised explorations and transform them into music to remember with a keen awareness of musical phrasing and form.
Interested in getting access to these resources and much more, with an Instrument Pack membership? Just choose that option during checkout when you join Musical U, or upgrade your existing membership to get instant access!