The timing of rhythm section instruments in prototypical early period funk and jazz-funk tracks (1967-1971) was investigated in order to gauge to what extent ‘swing’ might be a vital rhythmic quality in funk-based grooves. Swing was defined as consecutive note pairings of the same subdivision level with long-short ratios between on- and off-beat equal to or higher than a theoretical threshold of 1.2:1. Sixteenth notes of instruments were measured both in terms of overall swing per measure (‘global’ mean swing) as well as per sixteenth-note pair (‘local’ mean swing). In nearly all excerpts analysed (twelve out of thirteen), either global or local swing was found in at least one instrument. Such findings suggest that it is not so much the clear-cut use of regular swinging subdivisions that seems to define the general microrhythmic character of classic funk grooves, but rather a subtle juxtaposition of straight and swung sixteenths which is manifested both within the fluctuating local swing patterns of single individual instruments, as well between the interaction of globally swinging and non-swinging instruments of the rhythm section. Utilizing the empirical results from the swing analyses, various ways in which swung sixteenth-note pickups and syncopation gestures may be perceived to interact with virtual referential metric structures, as well as counter-rhythmic patterns, were explored in light of interpretive and affective rhythmic theories of jazz and funk.