TERM 5, 2023
INSTRUCTOR: Frank Hamilton (bio)
TIME: Tue – 7:30pm, In-person
LEVEL: Level 2
Swing guitar is basically used for keeping rhythm for dancers, although it’s melodic, tuneful, using the popular songs of the late Thirties and early Forties. As dance band guitarists became more known, the instrument was basically acoustic guitar. Players such as Eddie Lang, Django Reinhardt, Lonnie Johnson, Freddie Green, Allen Ruess, Dick McDonough and Carl Kress came into prominence. The lead style derived from Lang eventually found its way into the electric style of Charlie Christian. Swing guitar is different from earlier two-beat music but developed from the dance styles of the Lindy Hop to the Fox Trot and Jitter Bug. It went out of fashion when be bop replaced it. Many of the New York City Night Clubs on 52nd Street discouraged Swing dancing and playing in favor of a more complex modern jazz. It became a lost art but was found in the playing of later electric jazz guitar players. The rhythmic patterns were based on four-four time, unlike its predecessor, two-beat Dixie or New Orleans jazz. Songs that typified that era were “Satin Doll”, “Honeysuckle Rose”, “Out of Nowhere”, “At Sundown”; a branch of Swing Guitar known as Southwestern Swing, also made for dancing, was popularized by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, who highlighted that style of music with “San Antonio Rose”. Early Swing Guitar players reached a high level of expertise.
In this (primarily) discussion class, Frank will demonstrate everything that he teaches, so you can follow and play each step. As each example is played, Frank will go through the applied theory so you’ll have a firm grasp of the ideas presented. The theory will involve chord construction, chord progressions, and lead lines applied to each tune learned.
This class meets in person.