[Dixielandjazz] Patter, was "Dancing Fool"

PHIL WILKING philwilking at bellsouth.net
Sat Sep 20 12:51:10 PDT 2008

Of course there are no absolutes, but a patter section may be put into a 
tune to have a temporary complete change of rhythm and meter. It is 
frequently intended to be a tongue twisting vocal in all 1/8 or shorter 

For example: "It's A Sin To Tell A Lie" is written as a waltz. (I know most 
jazz bands play it in 4/4, but it was written in 3/4.) The "Cross my heart 
and I hope to die" chorus in 4/4 might (or might not) be considered a 
rudimentary patter chorus. (If you really want an exercise, try singing 
"Cross my heart ..." while the band keeps on playing a soft 3/4 behind you, 
maybe with someone else singing the 3/4 lyrics.)

"Wang Wang Blues" has a patter section. "Josephine Please Don't Lean On The 
Bell" has a dandy one. Some Gilbert and Sullivan songs are ALL patter. If 
you're playing along in a nice two or four beat and, bang!, you have 16 bars 
of all 1/8 notes, that's a patter section.

Phil Wilking

Those who would exchange freedom for
security deserve neither freedom nor security.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dick Sleeman" <dick at sleeman.nl>
> I know it has been discussed before, but what exactly IS a "patter"?

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