Popular Swing Comps

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
What are some common swing comps or accent patterns. I know swing doesn't have a clave per se, and the books I have seen are geared towards developing "independence" and sight reading, but I can't help but wonder if there aren't some common cross rhythms out there, that would useful to have down pat. Take for example "I Got Rhythm", usually people look at it for the chord changes but the melody has a nice syncopated rhythm, did any other composers use that rhythm? It's really fun to play.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
What are some common swing comps or accent patterns. I know swing doesn't have a clave per se, and the books I have seen are geared towards developing "independence" and sight reading, but I can't help but wonder if there aren't some common cross rhythms out there, that would useful to have down pat. Take for example "I Got Rhythm", usually people look at it for the chord changes but the melody has a nice syncopated rhythm, did any other composers use that rhythm? It's really fun to play.
For comping exercises, you can check out The Art of Bop Drumming and Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer. But there are no common patterns, because comping means accompaniment. Your comping should be related to the rhythm of a melody or a soloist; you should NOT be playing a pattern just because it's popular, or out of habit. Learning to comp has two facets: practicing the exercises to develop your coordination and independence, and improvising using your coordination and musical sensibilities.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Let's see, basic punctuations you hear a lot are 4, & of 3, &-4, & of 2, & of 4, 1 (2)&, and 3 (4)&. At the top of a chorus, or the beginning of a solo you might hear 1--4, or 1-2 (a Tony thing), or 2-3 (a blues piano thing). A dotted quarter note (or 8th+4ter) cross rhythm starting on any beat, running for 2, 4, or 8 bars is a standard thing. I guess there are others. Most standard rhythms come from tunes and riffs, which you can learn by learning a lot of tunes (esp Charlie Parker, Monk, and famous bop tunes by other composers) and listening to a lot of Duke, Mingus, and multi-horn ensembles in general. And, seriously, everything played by Philly Joe and Red Garland on those Miles records. Those have been listened to so closely by so many people, they're basically a standardized language of comping.

So, the answer to your question is basically a body of stuff that everybody good knows and has listened to, and learned in whatever fashion-- rather than a collection of specific rhythms. Even if someone wrote down such a list of rhythms, the actual process is to learn tunes and listen to records and learn things you like because they sound good, and make your own list.
 
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