At our classes, one of the most common questions that newcomers ask is: “What music should we practice to, and where can we get it?”
There’s a whole world of jazz and swing music out there, but for newcomers to the dance, who aren’t yet used to some of the complexities and intricacies of some of the more sophisticated examples, I prefer to use songs of reasonable tempo, with clear uncomplicated rhythms, and which are nicely accessible to everyone. At the same time, I want them to be fun songs, with good energy melodies – they still need to be enjoyable for beginners. Finally, they have to swing. These are for new swing dancers, and in my view, it’s essential that newcomers get a feeling for the music as soon as possible.
Finally, I want these songs to be easy to get – so this will be a very simple article – just a list of songs suitable for basic Lindy Hop practice, with Amazon, iTunes and eMusic links to allow people to get the songs easily. These aren’t necessarily the best, or the most exciting pieces of swing music around, but neither are any of them particularly challenging to dance to.
So without any more preamble, here’s a bunch of songs.
Low Tempo Songs for Triple-Step Based Practice
|Bouncin’ Around||Hot Sugar Band||Are You in Shape?||118||Amazon||iTunes||Listen|
|Comes Love||Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five||Crazy Rhythm||118||Amazon||iTunes||Listen|
|Why Don’t You Do Right||Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five||Crazy Rhythm||118||Amazon||iTunes||Listen|
|Smooth Sailing||Ella Fitzgerald||Lullaby of Birdland||120||Amazon||iTunes||Listen|
|Sermonette||Earl Grant||Ebb Tide – The Best of Earl Grant||124||Amazon||iTunes||Listen|
|Swingin’ on Nothin’||Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five||Jammin’ the Blues||126||Amazon||iTunes||Listen|
|Summit Ridge Drive||Artie Shaw and his Gramercy Five||The Essential Artie Shaw||130||Amazon||iTunes||Listen|
|Easy Does It||The Big 18||Live Echoes of the Swinging Bands||130||Amazon||iTunes||Listen|
|Yes Indeed!||Sy Oliver||Yes Indeed||132||Amazon||iTunes||Listen|
|Walk ‘Em||Buddy Johnson & His Orchestra||A Pretty Girl||135||Amazon||iTunes||Listen|
|Hallelujah I Love Him So||Ella Fitzgerald||Twelve Nights in Hollywood||140||Amazon||iTunes||Listen|
Listen on Spotify
If you want to listen to the whole list on Spotify, here’s a link to a playlist with all of them.
Let’s finish off again with a plug for Jonathan Stout. I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating – Jonathan Stout has (at the time of writing) released three albums – Moppin’ and Boppin’, Crazy Rhythm and Jammin’ the blues, and if you’re a Lindy Hopper who hasn’t already done so, you should buy them all. Now.
|Jammin’ The Blues’||iTunes||Amazon||Spotify|
|Moppin’ and Boppin’||iTunes||Amazon||Spotify|