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Swing feel and 16ths

Discussion in 'Ask Todd Johnson [Archived]' started by haidearsouthfl, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. haidearsouthfl


    Jun 3, 2011
    Im just starting to learn jazz bass and was wondering when walking in swing feel how are 16th notes supposed to be felt. For example if you play an 8th note followed by two 16th notes do you extend the first 8th and squeeze two 16th's into the space of the shortened 2nd 8th note, or do you play even? Or do you play the 8th note even and swing the 16ths? You could also extend this question to dotted 8ths followed by 16ths. Advice would be much appreciated
  2. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    You are discovering the inadequacies and limitations of musical notation.

    You seem to be on the right track with your instincts.

    As to "dotted 8ths followed by 16ths", that's often a copyist or typographer decision to suggest or indicate a swing feel.

    Swing is any ratio between 50/50 (straight eighths) and 66.6666/33.3333 (triplets)

    This is all dependent on tempo, as well.

    Keep listening!
  3. tsar nicholas

    tsar nicholas

    Mar 28, 2012
    I was just discussing this very topic with a drummer last week. I like Stick_Player's 'ratio' explanation.

    It was in a Pat Metheny video that I was first turned on to the idea that the triplet feel sort of replaces the straight-16th feel in swung (faster) jazz.