Practice the swing feel with a metronome on 2 and 4

Tip: to work on the swing feel, nothing beats feeling the pulses of the 2nd and 4th beats which are the strong beats!


Why practice the swing feel with the metronome on 2 and 4?


When we play swing with a drummer, he will always accentuate beats 2 and 4. When we come from another style of music and we are not used to the swing feel, we start to improvise with the rhythm, then there is a good chance that we will go “upside down,” in other words, there is a risk of taking beats 2 and 4 for 1 and 3 and of shifting by one beat.


Work the swing feel on all beats

Obviously, before starting to work on 2 and 4, it is preferable to start working on the swing with the metronome on all the beats of the measure: 1 2 3 and 4. Once you manage to raise the tempo, then try to put the metronome on 2 and 4.


Here is a small video demonstration, where I play the theme of Stella by Starlight with the metronome on 2 and 4, then I improvise on the chord changes of this standard



What to work on with the metronome on 2 and 4?

You can first work on all the standard melodies you already know with the metronome on 2 and 4. Then you can work on improvisation with this system. But you can also work on other songs you know by trying to play them with swinging eighth notes with the metronome on 2 and 4! Personally, there was a time when I worked on Kreutzer studies in swung eighth notes with the metronome on 2 and 4!


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