6 different ways to swing the ride

Markkuliini

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This is a subject I have been really obsessed for a few months now: Trying to develope my right hand swing in a way that I would have some differentvariations to choose from.
So I have taken inspiration from some of my favorite jazz drummers and tried to learn to play the swing pattern with similar feel/phrasing/sound as they.

I'm not trying to replicate them exactly, but rather trying to create my own version from what I heard/seen them doing on some recording or a gig. Also, I'm aware that they don't always play the same way, for example Billy Higgins doesn't always play the ride the "wide" way.

Really fun stuff to go deep into the details, but challenging as h*ll.

Anyways, decided to record all of these, maybe someone else finds this inspirational also.Hope you dig it!

Edit: one of my friends just commented this video by saying "Nef ride". So I went and listened Nefertiti and, blimey, it's pretty close.
Well, the ride is a Tony Williams tribute ride, so that's a damn good tribute. B)



 
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halldorl

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Funny, this is exactly what I have been studying and experimenting with. You have a great way of coming this across Markku, well done.

Actually I use one of your videos for teaching; the one on the eight note feel. It’s very helpful for some students.
 

Markkuliini

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Funny, this is exactly what I have been studying and experimenting with. You have a great way of coming this across Markku, well done.
Actually I use one of your videos for teaching; the one on the eight note feel. It’s very helpful for some students.​

Oh wow, didn't even remember that video. Cool that you're using it, I'm glad if it helps.

It's also interesting how much more crucial it is to keep the skip note's placement intact in jazz ride playing. When playing funk or what ever, and some off beats are not exactly where they should be, it doesn't ruin the groove. But in jazz ride playing, if the skip note's timing wanders, it gives bit unreliable and unprofessional feel. Maybe because it's so much better heard, the loudest part of the kit.
 

Seb77

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Cool video! Tthe Cobb, Elvin and click variants sound very different. With the first three, you seem to focus on beat placement, but the motion and sound are very similar to my ear.

Higgins' beat when you see him play often involves hardly any hand motion, just playing from the fingers (index/thumb fulcrum). (I also like a steeper angle of the cymbal with this, you don't need to pick up the stick as much.)
When I do that, the beat automatically gets wider/more even It also creates a certain drive I don't get otherwise. I might make a video of what I mean myself.
 

Markkuliini

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Cool video! Tthe Cobb, Elvin and click variants sound very different. With the first three, you seem to focus on beat placement, but the motion and sound are very similar to my ear.

Higgins' beat when you see him play often involves hardly any hand motion, just playing from the fingers (index/thumb fulcrum). (I also like a steeper angle of the cymbal with this, you don't need to pick up the stick as much.)
When I do that, the beat automatically gets wider/more even It also creates a certain drive I don't get otherwise. I might make a video of what I mean myself.
Yes, exactly! The first three are timing variations using exactly the same technique and grip. And the last three involve different sound/grip/movement also. And yes, they sound surprisingly different, especially when listened like this, with direct cuts between them.

I've been listening Billy Higgins quite a bit, and noticed that he often played with relatively "normal" swing too, more like the triplet variation on my video. And sometimes he played it wider. I think that Lee Morgan's Sidewinder (where he played the ride very wide) is just so popular track, that it makes people think that Billy always played like that, that's it's his signature thing.
And that part of the reason why I haven't tried to copy any of my idol's technique per se, I just have been trying to find ways to morph my playing into different directions, so I can emulate different feels that I've heard them doing.

Also, it's been difficult to find good, hi-res footage from older jazz guy's ride hands, so it's a guessing game for the most parts anyways. Jimmy Cobb's strong quarter feel is the mystical and difficult for me, and I just figured at some point, that is more efficient to practice it by ear, and not trying to copy how it looks on some blurry videos.

Anyways, if you have good source for Billy Higgins right hand, please post the video. I haven't really been watching him, since I mostly listen his playing from late 50's/early 60's.

Thank you for the comments! B)
 

Seb77

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Also, it's been difficult to find good, hi-res footage from older jazz guy's ride hands, so it's a guessing game for the most parts anyways. Jimmy Cobb's strong quarter feel is the mystical and difficult for me, and I just figured at some point, that is more efficient to practice it by ear, and not trying to copy how it looks on some blurry videos.

Anyways, if you have good source for Billy Higgins right hand, please post the video. I haven't really been watching him, since I mostly listen his playing from late 50's/early 60's.

Thank you for the comments! B)
Very cool you came up with the Cobb style by listening, for visuals check out the "So What" tv footage of Miles.

Finding close-up footage and making slo-mo versions of them was a project of mine back at conservatory around 2004. I later uploaded a few clips on youtube that I had made then, when they seemed useful to discussions like this one. A clip on Tony got quite a bit of attention, others I uploaded were of Jon Christensen and Al Foster (search the channel). I have more on my hd, but these days there seems no need to upload those clips or slo-mos anymore, it's easier to just point at existing yt videos (time markers) and set the playback speed to 0.5 or similar.
Would be a cool new thread, posting videos with footage like that. Right now I don't know which videos show Billy at which minute, I hope I'll remember when I come across a good clip and post it here.

 

Markkuliini

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Very cool you came up with the Cobb style by listening, for visuals check out the "So What" tv footage of Miles.

Finding close-up footage and making slo-mo versions of them was a project of mine back at conservatory around 2004. I later uploaded a few clips on youtube that I had made then, when they seemed useful to discussions like this one. A clip on Tony got quite a bit of attention, others I uploaded were of Jon Christensen and Al Foster (search the channel). I have more on my hd, but these days there seems no need to upload those clips or slo-mos anymore, it's easier to just point at existing yt videos (time markers) and set the playback speed to 0.5 or similar.
Would be a cool new thread, posting videos with footage like that. Right now I don't know which videos show Billy at which minute, I hope I'll remember when I come across a good clip and post it here.

Oh that Tony clip is your doings. Very cool, have watched it many times.
So What video I'm familiar with also, and there's lot of new stuff of him in YouTube. All I seem to get from them is that he had quite stiff looking technique and closed hand. So if there's any finger action there, it's really hard to see. He maybe all wrist player, and the quiet skip note might be the byproduct of that.
I dunno, have to watch the so what clip again.
 

Markkuliini

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The first 3 seemed identical - goes to confirm I don't know shite about jazz!!!
The placement of the quick skip note changes a bit between them.
On the first one is should be pretty much on top the third triplet. On the second the skip note is rushed a bit, so it's played little bit before the triplet, and the gap between the skip note and the next quarter note gets wider.
On the third example the skip note is played later, so the gap between skip and next quarter gets tighter.

To me the first sounds neutral, and bit boring sometimes. The second sounds bit lazy, loose and drunk.
The third sounds more alert and aggressive.

Give it one more listen, see if you can spot those changes.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Mark,

Thanks for taking time to explain it. I hear the "ding-a-ling" and that's 3 notes to me. What is the skip note? Is that the middle "a" note - the 2nd of the triplet? I like Philly Joe's (#1) and I can tell a slight difference on #2 (Higgins) with an accent on the middle note or that it is a little behind (rushed before the "ling"). I can tell #3 is tighter and I like both #1 and #3. #2 just sounds odd to me......

I didn't like Cobb's playing #4 which is odd because I love Jimmy Cobb's playing! Elvin was good and seems to accent the "ding". The last one (Stewart) was so so for me.......

Great playing & cymbal sound, btw!...thank you again.....
 

Markkuliini

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Mark,

Thanks for taking time to explain it. I hear the "ding-a-ling" and that's 3 notes to me. What is the skip note? Is that the middle "a" note - the 2nd of the triplet? I like Philly Joe's (#1) and I can tell a slight difference on #2 (Higgins) with an accent on the middle note or that it is a little behind (rushed before the "ling"). I can tell #3 is tighter and I like both #1 and #3. #2 just sounds odd to me......

I didn't like Cobb's playing #4 which is odd because I love Jimmy Cobb's playing! Elvin was good and seems to accent the "ding". The last one (Stewart) was so so for me.......

Great playing & cymbal sound, btw!...thank you again.....
Yes, the skip note is the same thing as 'a' in ding a ling.
There you go, the differences started to reveal themselves. Also, correct analysis on the Elvin, he often accents his skip notes.
The last one is pretty much just a sound variation. Bill Stewart has sometimes crazy amount of stick attack in his ride sound, and that's the grip to get it, although I find it hard to swing with that grip. Maybe he does it bit differently, because his swing is insanely good.
 

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