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Sunday Strum, Episode 16: Swinging Eighth Notes –– Lesson

In today’s episode, I go over how to swing eighth notes.

Swung (as opposed to straight) eighth note pairs contain one long and one short eighth note.

This literally translates to the first and third hits of an eighth note triplet figure.

The strumming pattern I play in the examples can be applied to different types of music and can create different distinct feels depending on how you approach it.

Check out the video for two ways to incorporate the same rhythmic figure using swung eighth notes.


Justin Horenstein is a guitar instructor and musician in the Washington, DC metro area who graduated (cum laude) from the Berklee College of Music in 2006. He plays in Black Clouds, a 3-piece atmospheric/experimental band. Their debut album was recorded by J Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines). Justin’s 18 years of musical experience also includes touring the U.S., a record deal under Sony, starting his own teaching business, recording several albums, and playing club shows with national acts including Circa Survive, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Biffy Clyro, United Nations, Caspian, and more.

More about Justin at and

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