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"Swing"

GerBearGerBear SAN Diego, CANew
edited April 2006 in Gypsy Fire Posts: 16
Hey Andreas,
I just got your book and I'm really blown away by your playing. I hope that I can develop my chops and theory-knowledge enough so that some day I can have as much fun as you while improvising! I haven't actually started your book yet, still working on Gypsy Picking, but I have a funny question...
I always hear about "swing"... like either a player's got it or hasn't got it. For example, I've read somewhere "John McLaughlin is the tin man of jazz; he ain't got no swing".
What exactly is Swing?
"Words Bernardo... there was a time I beleived in words"

Comments

  • AndreasObergAndreasOberg Stockholm,SwedenModerator
    Posts: 522
    Hi GerBear!
    I'm glad you like my music, thanks:)

    It's hard to define "swing" because everyone's got a different opinion about it and there are many different kind of swing...jazz, house, flamenco, blues, folkstyle, country etc.
    In general, I would say that if you listen to a concert or a cd and you suddenly find yourself tapping with your feet..it's definately swinging.

    One thing is sure, traditional jazz is very much about swing and the emphasis on the 2&4. A good way to get this 2&4-feeling right is to practice with a metronome and put it on 80 bpm for instance.
    Pretend that the clicks from the metronome are the 2's&4's of a 160 bpm
    swing tempo. Play single string phrases and try to get the feel right. Then change the tempo to faster and slower.

    Best Regards
    Andreas
  • GerBearGerBear SAN Diego, CANew
    Posts: 16
    Wow, that was a quick response! Thanks for your advice!
    I was also wondering if you have any tips for learning to really visualize all the notes of the fret board. That seems to be my biggest problem, it's difficult for me to visualize all of the chords, scales, and arpeggios overlayed in one position let alone the whole neck. Should I just memorize each note of each string?
    "Words Bernardo... there was a time I beleived in words"
  • AndreasObergAndreasOberg Stockholm,SwedenModerator
    Posts: 522
    When it comes to playing traditional GJ, it's mostly arpeggios instead of scales. Try to play an ascending A minor6 arpeggio like this with two notes per string:

    Low E-string: A, C
    A-string: E, F#
    D-string: A, C
    G-string: E, F#
    B-string: A, C
    High E-string: E, F#


    This way you can play phrases that cover a much wider range than if you're playing in a position or box. If you play two notes per string, the picking pattern stay the same D, U on every string.
    This way of playing arpeggios makes it much easier to visualize your fingerings on the guitar because the interval is the same on every second string as you may have noticed...minor third, second, minor third, second etc.

    Practice this way on all the different arpeggios in all the positions and suddenly you'll be practically dancing all around the guitar neck :wink:

    Best Regards
    Andreas
  • GerBearGerBear SAN Diego, CANew
    Posts: 16
    That sounds do-able. Thanks!
    "Words Bernardo... there was a time I beleived in words"
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