Additional strums — especially swing?


The title pretty much asks the question. It would be a tremendous boon to me if 4/4 and 3/4 had the ability for the strums to swing on on request. 2-measure syncopation would also be nice someday but swing lets us play many ballad types not currently doable on Strum Machine.

I know how to fake swing using the 6/8 and 9/8 patterns but that places downbeats on every beat.

I would be happy to alpha test anything you can concoct in that regard.

Keep up the good work!



Definitely! In a few weeks I’ll be getting acoustic treatment for my office in our new home, which is currently way too echo-y to record in. Once that’s in place, I’ll be able to start working on assembling the samples required to put together new strumming patterns with upstrokes (among other things). This has long been a goal of mine, one I’ve already sunk dozens and dozens (hundreds?) of hours into with mixed results that didn’t see the light of day… but I’m pretty confident that this time I’ll nail it and be able to offer many more strumming patterns.

I’d be curious to know what you have in mind when you say “2-measure syncopation”. Thanks in advance.


Swing might mean different things, but I am reasonably happy using Strummachine’s existing patterns for practicing swing jazz. By turning off the guitar and using the mandolin (beats 2 and 4) and bass, its a decent approximation for standard 4 to the bar jazz rhythm. I use it for gypsy, standards, jazz blues, and Latin and it’s way better than a metronome (and swings just as hard). Could be that I am using some creative license with my imagination to make it work. That said, a real 4 to the bar option would be great. Standard jazz would be downbeats for the quarter notes, at least in the styles familiar to me. Just allowing the mandolin to play on all 4 beats could be very helpful.


You do not understand what ‘swing time’ is. “Swing” cannot be played if the notes of the measure divide into equal 8s — that’s “Straight” time and is the opposite of “Swing”. That 3 people agreed means they don’t know either. How hard the afterbeat is played is not swing if that beat is in straight time.

Swing has the look of 4/4 but is really 12/8 or 6/8 when you hear it. The off beat is delayed. Yes, always.

There only way to cheat swing time in Strum Machine is to use 6/8 — and I do. The ‘boom-chuck chuck’ nature of Strum Machine makes it impractical for folk and country swing strums that need the guitar to be playing the downbeat, too, not just a single note with the bass.

I think Steve is talking about the musical genre of “swing”, whereas you’re talking about “swing time” (versus “straight time”), which is all about the timing of the eighth-note beats that come between the quarter-note beats in 4/4 time.

Strum Machine’s “boom chuck” rhythm doesn’t play those in-between eighth notes. That means that you can play along in straight time, or swung time, and it won’t conflict, because the timing of the quarter-note beats (the “downstrokes” in swing guitar) is the same in both straight time and swung time.

That said, I very much want to, and plan to, offer strumming patterns that incorporate true swung rhythms. I posted my plan for adding additional strumming patterns. I’m not sure if I’ll have any of those ready to play with this year or if it will be early next year, but they’re coming and I’m very excited about it!

Absolutely not. Read my original post where I was very clear what I was talking about.

> Swing … feel is achieved by accentuating beats 2 and 4, replacing steady eighth notes with lilting, “swinging” eighth notes, and adding accents and syncopation

I can walk into any stage band or studio session and ask the players to change from straight to swing or back again and all would know exactly what I’m talking about.

Please don’t patronize me by trying to make me somehow understand that terms I’ve used, played, taught, directed, conducted etc. for 55+ years are wrong.

I’m glad to read that you might incorporate more playing styles.

I’m sorry, Mike. I can see now how my last post, specifically the first sentence, was rude. I have edited it out because it isn’t in keeping with the spirit of this forum that I want to encourage. I could have and should have communicated differently and I apologize.