The swing figure is encountered in two types of music:
In the case of ternary music, its use is normal, this figure being only one of eight rhythmic possibilities.
It is jazz that has some particularities. Its use of the swing figure comes from the binary. The two equal notes are modified to obtain a swinging effect.
Swing consists in lengthening the first note of a binary division.
Even if this operation is done in an uncontrolled manner, the note that used to be on the upbeat now finds itself on or close to the second third of a ternary division.
Binary becomes ternary
There remains some positioning liberty that depends on each individual and on the tempo of the piece.
The faster the tempo is, the less the swung note reaches the second third.
A: Start by doing this rhythm, using the syllable "Ta".
B: Remove the "T" from the second "Ta" of each beat.
C: Hold the first "Ta" of each beat.
Press the "Play" button on any of the three players below to hear this exercise performed: •Slowly •At medium speed •Fast