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Binary Comparison and Ternary Feeling

First of all, we sometimes forget that music is first and foremost a form of human expression. Just like words exist for
communicate ideas, music exists (largely) to communicate feelings. One of the oldest elements and
the most visceral of music is the pace. From the first dances and the first hand claps, until today,
the rhythm speaks to the body.
Thus, we will approach the shuffle, also nicknamed swing feel or even ternary feeling. It is a way of interpretation, of
play in ternary figures which are binary.
In this course we will study the guitar shuffle for beginners. So, if you don't know what it is, let's find out together
its explanation and how to interpret it on the guitar.

What is Ternary Feeling, Swing Feel or Shuffle? : Binary comparison feeling ternary

Swing is a musical term used in two ways. First of all, it is used colloquially to say that music has good momentum
forward. We're talking about something that swings.
More specifically, the shuffle refers to a stylistic modification of the rhythm of a piece of music. Instead of playing notes
of equal length on a regular rhythm, the notes are lengthened or shortened, depending on their placement in time.
This rhythmic sensation is common in blues, jazz but also in other styles.
The first thing to do is to get used to the way a shuffle sounds by comparing it to a “non-shuffle” rhythm that we call straight.
If you have studied the lessons on eighth notes on guitar from the site, you have already learned to play straight eighth notes. Straight eighth notes are eighth notes
which divide each beat in half equally. Since this is an equal division, they are called “lines”. In a shuffle, the first
note of each pair of eighth notes is longer. So it’s about feeling the groove. The symbol therefore tells you: “when you see two eighth notes written,
plays a note the length of two notes in a triplet, followed by another one the length of a note in a triplet.” Or in short: play with a feeling
shuffle, triplet, ternary!

Shuffle rhythm notation: binary comparison feeling ternary

Most of the time, if a song uses the shuffle feeling, it does so throughout the entire song. To make the notation easier to read,
the notes are written as straight eighth notes. But, at the beginning of the music, you will be instructed to interpret the eighth notes as shuffle eighth notes.
A common indication for mixed eighth notes is a small equation written at the beginning expressing that 2 eighth notes should be played as one
triplet with the first two notes tied. Or, the first two eighth notes of the triplet are written as a quarter note. Another very common way
To indicate shuffle or swing in music is to simply write “shuffle” or “swing” at the beginning of the music.

How do you know if a tune has a ternary feeling? : Binary comparison feeling ternary

Music played in ternary feeling is generally written in standard notation and rhythms. However, at the beginning of the song,
Usually next to the tempo (speed) indication, you will find instructions for playing shuffle guitar. It usually looks like
with two eighth notes equivalent to a quarter note and an eighth note to be played as triplets.
So it is important that we show you the ternary feeling binary comparison.

Swing eighth note guitar shuffle: Binary comparison ternary feeling

Here's how to practice swing rhythms!
When you're a beginner it can be difficult to learn the notes and change the rhythm at the same time. Here is a simple method
and effective for understanding the swing feel thanks to the binary ternary feeling comparison!
Start by adding notes to make triplets. We start with regular eighth notes and instruction to play with swing feel.
In written rhythm, we can add an extra note to the first eighth note of each beat. This will create three notes per beat
(triplets), the first being doubled.
Then accentuate the important notes. Then, once you have added the additional notes, accentuate the notes written in the
original score. These are usually the first and third notes of each triplet.
Finally, remove the extra notes. When we can play the passage with accents, we can remove the extra notes
(middle), keeping the rhythm in triplets. This will bring us back to the original notes, but played in precise swing time.

So take a good look at this video which shows you the ternary feeling binary comparison.