Why are they calling my groove, Swing???

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Phil Smith, Sep 30, 2002.

  1. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    I just don't get it, and it's happened on more than one occassion. Why are people saying I play with a swing feel? To me I'm just grooving the heck out of the pocket unless of course I'm walking changes, then I better be swinging, or better yet, I'm trying my best to. Someone help me understand?

    A (rough) clip
  2. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I have heard some define "swing" as constant tempo.
    You are pretty consistent with your time, right? ;)

    Are they sayin'-
    "Man, you are swingin'"!
    (Like what you'd hear on some '60s Sit-Coms whenever one of those Beatnik bands were playing in a discoteque?). ;)
    IMO, that means, they're just diggin' it(what you're playing).

    I will often groove(cough-cough) with a little "bounce"...not quite Swing, not quite "straight".
  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    There's a fascinating discussion of swing feel, swing eighths, swing triplets and other grooves at the following web site. It is written for brass players, but I think it would be useful to any musician interested in jazz. Maybe you will recognize yourself in the discussion and discover why folks say you play swing-style.

    (I hope the link works.)

  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    People will say that a lot if you play with a sextuplet 16th feel on funk tunes, especially if you ghost them. Do you?
  6. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Yeah, I have that sextuplet thing going on. I figured that out playing a percussion pad while Finale did the notation of the some of the rhythms I was playing.

    I've included a link to clip in the original message.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think this is an interesting point - you have to bear in mind the age of the people saying it.

    So my direct contemporaries grew up in the 70s with funk, rock etc and talk about groove etc.

    But when I started playing and listening to Jazz, I also started to talk to a fair proportion of people older than me - they grew up in the 60s or earlier and if they like the feel of anything the say it's really swinging - it's just their vocabulary/vernacular.
  8. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Bruce has a point about the word "swinging." We used that a lot in the fifties and early sixties. It could even be used in other ways, such as "the joint was swinging." It didn't neccesarily refer to triplets. It also has a more unfortunate connotation, but not the one folks mean when they say your bass playing swings. :)