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Free Jam Tracks - Brought to you by Nick Cresswell
Swing That Thing
Time/size: 4 mins 18 secs/6.0mb. 140 beats per minute/bpm
Blues jam track: The jam track Swing That Thing is a 12 bar blues with a swing in its step in the key of E.
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, fretless bass and drums.
Progression: E7, A7, E7, B7, (Bb7), A7, E7.
Suggestions: The E blues scale is a great place to start with this jam track. You can also try out the E Mixolydian scale to come up with some other sounds. You want to play with the feel of the tune. Keep close to the triplet rhythm that gives it the swing. If you go for speed rather than feel and good note choice you'll sound like you belong in the 80s with long hair and a perm. No one wants that.
Swing That Thing Chords and Progression
Swing That Thing uses one chord shape to play three main and one passing chord. Play the E7 chord with you middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th (D) string, your index finger on the 1st fret of the 3rd (G) string and your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 2nd (B) string.
Then all you need to do to play the A7, B7 and Bb7 chords is move that same shape up the neck so that your middle finger is on the 7th fret to play the A7 chord or the 9th fret to play the B7 chord or the 8th fret to play the Bb7 chord.
You don't even need to take your fingers off the fretboard. Just slide the shape up and down the neck.
This is a standard 12 bar blues progression. The E7 chord is our I (one) chord, the A7 is our IV (four) chord and the B7 is our V (five) chord. The Bb7 is just a passing chord that we are using to move down from the V to the IV chord.
If you want to play these chords solo you could add the Root note of each chord one Octave lower on the 6th (low E) string using your thumb (thank you Jimi Hendrix). For the E7 chord you'd play the open E string, the A7 chord play the Root note A on the 5th fret of the 6th string and for the B7 play the Root note B on the 7th fret of the 6th string.
Just playing the three notes when accompanying another guitar player is enough though. Especially if there is a bass player around to jam with as well. Its often good to play less notes when you are playing rhythm guitar. It leaves more space for the soloist.
Swing That Thing Scale Suggestions
Start off with the E blues scale shown below in 1 and 2. 1 is in open position right down low on the neck using the open strings. You can play this same patter an octave higher at the 12th fret. If you're unsure of which frets to play an octave higher it's the exact same pattern as you are playing in figure 1 except each note is 12 frets (one octave) higher. You can look at the guitar tab on Groovin Blues if you want to make sure you've got the pattern right.
Figure 2 shows the E blues scale on the 1st (high E) string. It's a good idea to play just on the one string and see how much you can get out of it.
If you want to get some totally different sounds happen to the standard blues scale you can try out the E Mixolydian scale shown in Figure 3 and 4. Note that figure 4 shows the scale on the 1st string so that you can compare the notes of the E Mixolydian scale to the notes that make up the E blues scale in figure 2. The Mixolydian scale adds the Major 2nd and Major 6th notes and uses a Major 3rd. The blues scale uses the minor 3rd or b3rd (flat 3rd).
The two scales give completely different sounds. When you are comfortable with both scales you should uses them both switching from one to the other. If you just drop in the occasional note from the Mixolydian scale into the blues scale, blending the two scales together.
The more you play around with the two scales the more your ear will pick up what notes work well and what notes don't. Some notes work over only one or two of the three chords in the progression.
There's a lot to play around with here so tell all your friends you are busy for the next week and get that swing happening.
1. E Blues Scale - Open Position - Two Octaves
2. E Blues Scale - High E String
3. E Mixolydian Scale - 9th Position
4. E Mixolydian Scale - High E String
Swing That Thing Bass Tab
The bass line for Swing That Thing uses the Root note, Major 3rd, 4th and 5th notes from the scale associated with each chord. There are also some passing notes thrown in that create some walking bass.
Each note is being played on the beat of each bar. To add variety to the rhythm and feel of the tune you could also double up on each note and play it on the 'a' of each beat.
1-an-a, 2-an-a, 3-an-a, 4-an-a is the triplet rhythm, if you play each note on the '1' and the 'a' you'll be playing a shuffle rhythm. That will make the tune sound fairly busy so you can just throw in the shuffle rhythm every now and then or you could use it on the 4th, 8th and 12th bars when the drums is playing a shuffle pattern between the bass drum, snare drum and ride cymbal.
Swing That Thing Drum Chart
Swing it baby yeah!
Web page with drum instruction: Swing That Thing Drum Chart
Download: Swing That Thing Drum Chart