How do I have both swing and straight in one piece?

• Nov 12, 2013 - 18:43

Hi, how do I have the first half of my arrangement played straight and the second half swung?

Is there a notation mark to switch between the two instead of having to push F11 and using the combobox manually every time?


Currently, this is not supported for the automatic computer playback. But the usual way to mark this for the human musicians who will ultimately play the arrangement would be with the word "swing" or "straight", placed as system text or tempo text. It is possible some future version of MuseScore may support this for playback. Hopefully even customizable swing ratio.

For a quite tricky workaround to create some quavers with swing feel to it. I will quote a post by DIM, (the original post can be found here:

Probably, you have to right click on each swung note individually
and change the ontime and offtime values suggestted by the user DIM in this post (see below)

Subject: Ontime and offtime for 8'th note triplet feel

Posted by DIM on February 10, 2014 -8:05am
To make 8'th notes swing (in playback mode online) you can do the following. A quarter note is 100%. Two straight eight-notes is 50% each. But a swing-feel requires the first note to be around 2/3 and the latter 1/3. You can do it like this: Set the first 8'th note like this:

ontime offset type: offset
ontime offset: 0%
offtime offset type: offset
offtime: 66%

And the second 8'th like this:

ontime offset type: offset
ontime offset: 34%
offtime offset type: offset
offtime: -66%

It is very important to change the second 8'th note end-length to minus 66%, as the last triplet-feel 8'th note will "clip" the sound of the next-coming note in playback mode. It is a little tricky, but it works. .

I May Be A Bit Late On This Comment But This Is For Future Composers!
When you place a Swing Text symbol down if you right click it and go to system Text Properties You can then go to swing settings and change them there, However if you have a piece of music where you want It Swung in one section and Strait in another you can place your Swing Text Symbol, Adjust it anyway you want then place another one were you want it to end, Then Right click the new one go to System Text properties and Then Swing Setting, and check the Off Button, That way it will return back to normal keeping your swung Portion Swung! Really Useful, and to make it a bit Better you can rename the text from swung to Strait!

In reply to by kpack01

If two instruments are playing in the same rhythm at the same time, and one is playing on the swing and the other is straight; the other instrument is heard in the same way as the rhythm of the dominant instrument.

For example: The piano is in a rhythm of a swing, and the violin is in a straight rhythm; The violin is also heard as swing. But on the contrary, you can distinguish swing.

In order to understand the difference, you should take the swing ratio to around 70%.

Listen to the test.

Attachment Size
Swung_or_Not;_That's_the_problem.mscz 15.98 KB

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

I think SWING, like TEMPO are SYSTEM terms, they are for the whole score, I think, but perhaps I'm wrong, 2 "swings" can not have their action at the same time on different instruments. So, I use tuplets, if I am straight and I want somebody swing I write for him, only, music in triplets , quater note and eight note, and if I am in SWING and i want somebody straight, iI use duolet (2 eight notes )

In reply to by Raymond Wicquart

By default, yes, the "Swing" element on the text palette applies to all staves (it is "system" text). But if you want some instruments t swing and others to play straight - or different swing ratios at once - you can do that in MuseScore. Just add staff text to the relevant staves, and use Staff Text Properties to set the swing properties however you like.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Like I said, the things I never noticed in version 2... I've learned more about version 2 than I ever thought I would using version 3. I remember an option that several people never noticed until a few days ago about Selecting a section. I didn't know about it either. There's more but a detailed list is not necessary.

In reply to by SkellySniper165

This worked well ! I began the piece with swing then I selected the first measure (in musescore 2), for no swing, went to palette and clicked on swing so the word "swing" would appear then right clicked on it - to 'text properties,' then swing settings and click 'off.' Worked well. Thank you !!

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