Becoming a Jazz Drummer at 57

Roch

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I’ve started to try and learn jazz drumming. I’ve been a Classic Rock weekend warrior most of my life. I can read a bit and have Played around with a few classic books over time. Stick Control, Master Studies, john Riley Bop Drumming to name a few.
I don’t have time for
lessons so this is a self directed journey I am embarking on.
The available material on line is vast and possibilities endless. I’m looking for any suggestions that may be helpful in my development. I want to have fun at this and , in reality, probably never play in a jazz band. But still want to expand my repertoire and learn as I go. I’m not fooling myself about how far I can come, but it is about having fun, growing as a drummer and at the end of the day, having something to look forward to when I head in to the drum room.
Opinions would be appreciated..
 

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Tracktuary

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Listening is definitely the most important part to instilling the feel. Everyone has their own favorites, but some of the hardest swinging guys to me are:
Oscar Peterson
Ray Brown
Sonny Stitt
Chet Baker
Barney Kessel

If the group is swinging, the drummer is a part of that. Therefore, I seek out groups / leaders I like instead of seeking out specific drummers. Try to make your ride dance like Oscar's touch on the piano, while driving like Ray's bass lines.
 
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JazzDrumGuy

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Listen to Coltrane with Elvin Jones! Just a whole other dimension of jazz drumming........I like late 50's - early 70's jazz......bop, hard bop, pre-fusion & fujnk.
 

Roch

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Thanks! I have been listening to most of the names mentioned. Although never really from a drummers perspective.... Will have to listen more carefully in the future....
 

Roch

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In terms of self-study maybe tackle John Ramsay's "The Drummer's Complete Vocabulary as Taught by Alan Dawson"

That should equip you with ample building blocks for jazz expression on the instrument.
Will seek it out. I’ve worked with a few books with various exercises, but not that one. Maybe a new book would spark a new perspective...,
 

CSR

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Lighten your touch and lower your volume. In jazz, the drive comes from the hats and ride cymbal; the snare and bass are lower in the mix. Keep the quarter note pulse coming no matter what you play. Listen to the masters and get the feel into your blood.
 

Roch

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Lighten your touch and lower your volume. In jazz, the drive comes from the hats and ride cymbal; the snare and bass are lower in the mix. Keep the quarter note pulse coming no matter what you play. Listen to the masters and get the feel into your blood.
Thanks...when I am playing along to comping exercises it is habit to lean on the kick..old habits die hard...I'm also waiting for the end of a bar to do a quarter note fill..lol....I can't help myself...I should video myself..it would be worth a laugh..
 

drumaniac

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Miles Davis
Coltrane
Wes Montgomery
Brubeck
Coleman Hawkins
Herbie Hancock
Mingus
Keith Jarrett
Monk
Wynton Marsalis
Dizzy
Dexter Gordon
Charlie Parker

That should keep you busy lol
 

JDA

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Ed Blackwell is (was) a man that played with clarity.
And Ornettes band sometimes played almost nursery rhyme like "heads" before taking them into distant galaxies : ) But you can hear Ed- clear always- with that marching band connection..he's just a swell drummer.
Old And New Dreams
First 5 or 6 Ornette albums.
Highly recommended
 
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jaymandude

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What is your weakness ? Coordination ? Swing feel ? Can you feather the bass drum ? Do you have a bass drum set up with no front port for example ?

I'm taking about basic stuff here that's not " easy" per se, but absolutely necessary
 

Neal Pert

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Why, in this day and age, do you want to play jazz?

I ask this as a pretty serious jazz drummer, who's done a ton of jazz gigs.

The music is not in a healthy place in much of the world. It's not like you are setting yourself up for a ton of gigs-- or any, for that matter.

I think the first question to answer is "why?" Because if you can answer that, the "how" and "what" will be pretty straightforward. If you want to deepen the rhythmic sophistication of your playing, that's one path. If you want primarily to lighten your touch, that's a different thing. If you want to play along to records by way of "moonlighting" from your day-to-day experience, that's still another.

Doing it to make money is stupid. Doing it to grow as a musician is awesome.
 
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JDA

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The point about "being" Jazz is You're not a part player. Even if it's not triplet based, you are pushing (like a Jon Christensen straight 8th thing) forward. (the entire 'thing' is moving forward..) NOT PLAYING parts... FREEDOM and shaping and reacting.... If You want to "play Parts" Play Pop..
Jazz or Jazz -based is Freedom. From Slavery. There's nothing like it/ comparable..
If you want to be a slave play pop. If you can stand being a slave play pop for 5 and 6 minutes at a time..then play the next slave tune part. Maybe even join a repo band.
I don't do Slave. (lol.. Eventually realize, Life is too short..
 
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Neal Pert

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The point about "being" Jazz is You're not a part player. Even if it's not triplet based, you are pushing (like a Jon Christensen straight 8th thing) forward. (the entire 'thing' is moving forward..) NOT PLAYING parts... FREEDOM and shaping and reacting.... If You want to "play Parts" Play Pop..
Jazz or Jazz -based is Freedom. From Slavery. There's nothing like it/ comparable..
If you want to be a slave play pop. If you can stand being a slave play pop for 5 and 6 minutes at a time..then play the next slave tune part. Maybe even join a repo band.
I don't do Slave. (lol.. Eventually realize, Life is too short..
What the actual eff are you talking about now? I just read this shizz twice and I need another bourbon, I think.
 

JDA

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You don't understand Freedom? in a jazz setting as the drummer versus playing a part? I'm sure you do. I think-there's more "driving" to do when negotiating Jazz. Rock you're pretty much staying in the guardrails established by those (keys guitar etc) around you. Jazz seems to have a larger breathing area. Freedom. Have another drink. Rock and Pop COVERS I mean.. Maybe I missed explaining that. As opposed to anything rock pop folk Original. Where one is creating rather than playing an exact part laid down by some one else sometimes decades long ago.
Or maybe I prefer treading the path Jimmy Cobb drove down than the drummer who played Mony Mony or Smoke on The Water Space Truckin and Jeff beck Goin Down (ie Rock...
 
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Neal Pert

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Lol, I know, right?

I've noticed his replies will fall under either of two categories :
Complete gibberish or utter hogwash.
Disagree utterly-- Joe's my guy and we've been back and forth for decades.

I just don't know what he's talking about right now and am requesting clarification.
 


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