How to Change from Straight 8th to Swing in Finale

I hate to admit it, but for years I did not know how to correctly set playback in Finale to change from a straight 8th feel (i.e. latin, bossa nova, etc.) to swing style.  I tried things that came close, but until a jazz arranging class member gave me these exact instructions, I was clueless.  (And I’ve been using Finale since 1989.  I know, no excuse.)

This short video tutorial shows you how to make the playback in Finale sound good when going from straight 8ths to swing.

Click here to listen to this entire chart >>

  1. Choose Advanced Tool Palette
  2. Click on Midi Tool >> Edit Note Durations
  3.  Highlight area to be swing
  4.  In Midi Tool >> Select Alter Feel
  5.  Enter 171 as the value in Backbeats By:
  6. Click OK

Click here to listen to this entire chart >>

3 Replies to “How to Change from Straight 8th to Swing in Finale”

  1. Laurent Rinaldi

    Well, another option is to use Overture… Changing from straight to swing feel is done in less than a second. I know, I know, everybody uses Finale…But me… 🙂

  2. Howard Vaughan Wrightson

    Jim, I sequence(midi) all my work(charts) in Sonar(cakewalk) where everything is straight 8ths. I then make a second file later with adjusted(high lighted) swing parts(1st 8th duration is stretched to 66% & 2nd 8th duration is reduced to 33%). Simple task in Sonar.
    I then import both files separately into Finale or Overture. (still learning Finale)
    I add dynamics to straight 8ths file for printing.
    I just play 2nd file just to listen.
    I know it sounds complicated but I can do it fairly fast. (2 files)


  3. Jim Martin

    Laurent, alot of people now use Sibelius. After using Finale since 1988, I just can’t switch at this point.

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