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Need help finding a good swing song?

Hello! I'm choreographing a dance that inspired by the movement of swing dance. I was going to have the dance go along with the song "Jump, Jive, and Wail" by the Brian Setzer Orchestra, but my dance teacher won't let me because it's too popular.

Do you know any songs that keep the swing feel, have roughly the same tempo as the Setzer song, and isn't too popular?

Thanks so much for your help!!

2 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Well, first off, the song you picked is actually a "neo-swing" song, which is a modern interpretation of swing with a rock back beat.

    The song is a cover of the original version by Louis Prima, which was more of a "Jump Blues" rather than swing:

    If you are interested in using some other NeoSwing Songs, you can look up some bands such as Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Royal Crown Revue, and Cherry Poppin' Daddies, but most of the songs will also be too popular.

    Alternatively, you could look into some more songs by Louis Prima, or some other Jump Blues artists, like Louis Jordan and Wynonie Harris, or perhaps some early Rock n' Roll from Bill Haley and His Comets.

    Personally, I'd go with some original swing music, because you'll find the phrasing and feel of the music easier to choreograph to. The thing that makes swing music swing is a strong staccato beat played on the rhythm guitar or stand up base. Listen to this song, "Diga Diga Doo" by the Jonathan Stout and His Campus Five:

    The song is a little faster than Jump Jive and Wail (225 versus 200 beats per minute), but you can hear that "chug, chug, chug" feel from the rhythm guitar. (You should check out more of their songs. They are the best modern swing band working today.)

    Some other songs around 200 beats per minute:

    "Back Bay Shuffle" by Artie Shaw

    "Free Wheeling" by Artie Shaw

    "All The Cats Join In" by Benny Goodman

    "Gangbusters" by Cats and the Fiddle

    "Stomp Stomp" by Cats and the Fiddle

    "Rock-A-Bye Basie" by Count Basie

    "Shorty George" by Count Basie

    "Me And You" by Duke Ellington

    "Jeep Jockey Jump" by Glenn Miller

    "Flying Home" by Lionel Hampton

    (Just to name a few that come to mind)

    You could find a lot more suggestions at this website:

    Anyway, are you planning on choreographing partner or solo dancing? Is it for a group or just one individual or couple? There's a lot of resources available for learning some common jazz steps found in the swing dance community. You could check out this website for example:

    If you want get some inspiration about chorographing to swing, check out these videos:

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    Anyway, I hope that helps.

    To talk about all things swing, head over to the national swing forum:

    Source(s): I'm a swing dancer, DJ, and choreographer.
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  • 4 years ago

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