Blast Beats In Swing Time

Translating the three main blast beat patterns into 16th note swing time.

In this lesson you will be making a simple change to the base rhythm of the original 16th note blast beats by using 16th note swing time rather than straight 16ths. On paper this is a simple change as you are just making the parts have that 'jumpy' rhythmic feel but in practice in can take some getting used to.

In terms of notation, the parts look very similar as the short hand swing time notation can be used. It is massively important that you remember each set of two sixteenth notes is played as a sixteenth triplet with the middle note cut out. Making this rhythmic change will alter the feel of the part drastically and can have a really cool affect when used correctly.

Work through the three examples below as written, focusing on rhythm and note placement before work on tempo.

Constant 16th Note Blast Beat

The constant sixteenth note blast beat in swing time

Reverse Sub-Divided 8th Blast Beat

The reverse subdivided eighth note blast beat in swing time

Sub-Divided 8th Blast Beat

The subdivided eighth note blast beat in swing time


  1. Learn the examples above to a tempo of at least 200bpm.
  2. Experiment with the orchestration of the grooves, remember that percussion items are also a good option.
  3. Experiment with different lengths of groove.
  4. Apply the grooves to songs and phrases as either a fill or groove.
  5. Try using some of the different right hand rythms suggested on the blast beats menu.
  6. Apply the swing time feel to blast beats in other time signatures.