Jazz Piano School, Ep 16: How To Swing!

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Jazz is all about swing! 

It is the feeling that makes you tap your feet or clap your hands. Without that swing jazz wouldn’t exist; that’s why we love it! 

Sometimes the difference between a great player and a mediocre player is the difference in their swing feel. So work hard on this! 


How To Swing

  • correct-swing-feel
  • Wrong-swing-feel

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Brenden Lowe

Brenden Lowe

6 Responses

    1. Thanks for the question! Quarter notes can swing too (the pinnacle example of that is walking bass). As far as plain quarter notes are concerned you can play around with being on the top of the beat versus behind the beat versus in the center of the beat. But quarter notes are more strict in time, whereas the “Swing variances” are within that beat (the eighth notes or triplets within a quarter note for example).

      As it relates to reading lead sheets with quarter note melodies, you can play around with anticipations and delays where you would be spontaneously changing the note values. Anticipating a quarter note on the and of 4 for example. Or delaying a quarter note till the and of 1 for example.

      Hope this helps!

      – Bijan

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