Becoming a Jazz Drummer at 57

CSR

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Its just a personal bias here but there are a lot of better examples for how to play Jazz than Igoe. Try some of the masters who have been mentioned including Papa Jo Jones, Max Roach, Kenny Clarke, Art Blakey, Philly Joe Jones, Elvin Jones, Roy Haynes, Tony Williams. There are a lot of them out there.
I recommended Igoe kind of as a “primer” to get started. He clearly articulates the various Jazz styles (swing, bossa, jazz waltz). Once you have those, move on to the masters who take those basic styles and go on from there.
 

Johnny K

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- Or you could just go to YouTube and search by artist.
That is what I do now and what my bandmates currently do too. Its mostly 80% helpful, 20% annoying and 100% a PITA if you're driving. Any my point still stands, you will find more music on iTunes, be able to organize it better and since the most recent of updates, some song will Karoke mode the lyrics. (though not too essential for Jazz)
 
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Roch

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Thanks again..I have been listening to a lot of late 60's, early 70's stuff at work on my bluetooth, then playing along to some of the songs with head phones...working on double stroke rolls around the drum set,. Using Riley's comp exercises and switching up the left hand from snare to toms to make rhythms, etc...it's nice to play new rhythms, songs, etc., after playing rock, country most of my life...I welcome the new experience..
 

RustyNails

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Art Blakey. He's my go to for learning jazz drumming. I feel like he's the most right on the beat of any of them. Listen/play along to the album, Moanin'. He lets the other players be the stars and keeps time like nobody else. Elvin Jones is cool, but I feel his playing is too sporadic and impossible to play along with as he makes some unorthodox choices. Art Blakey is the man. Nothing unnecessary in his playing.
 

JDA

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to get the essence remember, you're playing for dancers... not Soul Train dancers...not American Bandstand dancers..... Swing dancers ; ) Like the Billy Eckstine Band shown in the Miles Davis documentary


that's Art Blakey on the drums



In other words- you have to relate- play the connection to the people Your audience.
You have to move them in a very basic heartfelt way... get em right in their soul their heartbeat..
that's what the feathering of the bass drum is all about. Heartbeat..Pulse. Transmitting thru the drums to their tapping feet. And back and forth it goes to your hands and feet. that's swing.
gotta give it up and come to earth and be connected with the people in the room. Without smoke machines, light shows just basic everything earthy heartbeat

and that' will then carry over into any style you'll ever play..
 
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Pounder

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Another good book (Riley wasn't on the radar when I was studying from a teacher), which I highly recommend as well is The Chapin Book. You want good time, you want a good swing pattern, and try to get the subtleties because even the swing pattern is different depending on the style of the song, etc. You also need "independence"-- This is a wide-open topic there are drummers who spend their lives on this stuff! in addition to listening find some music that has no drums play drums to it, record what you're doing and be brutally honest about what the outcome is. I agree it is about freedom and it's also about having a degree of control to where that freedom isn't a distraction, but it is raising the band up. The best combo music is greater than the sum of its parts. About the swing pattern: one thing that was shown to me is how when the tempo increases you get closer to a sixteenth note pattern whereas very slow is generally a triple feel. But that feel needs to be consistent too.

Oh yeah another book I really dug though it's out of print is Drum Wisdom by Bob Moses. He speaks about "dependence" rather than "independence", and the way he explains it helps one to understand how natural it needs to feel. He mentions how "unnatural" it is to shoot for total independence.. so the body should feel balanced yin/yang. His demonstration of this is, instead of a ride pattern try a shuffle playing the off-beat on the snare with the left hand and just quarters on the right or ride hand.

Just a few words while I'm not practicing!--DUH!
 
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Roch

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Another good book (Riley wasn't on the radar when I was studying from a teacher), which I highly recommend as well is The Chapin Book. You want good time, you want a good swing pattern, and try to get the subtleties because even the swing pattern is different depending on the style of the song, etc. You also need "independence"-- This is a wide-open topic there are drummers who spend their lives on this stuff! in addition to listening find some music that has no drums play drums to it, record what you're doing and be brutally honest about what the outcome is. I agree it is about freedom and it's also about having a degree of control to where that freedom isn't a distraction, but it is raising the band up. The best combo music is greater than the sum of its parts. About the swing pattern: one thing that was shown to me is how when the tempo increases you get closer to a sixteenth note pattern whereas very slow is generally a triple feel. But that feel needs to be consistent too.

Oh yeah another book I really dug though it's out of print is Drum Wisdom by Bob Moses. He speaks about "dependence" rather than "independence", and the way he explains it helps one to understand how natural it needs to feel. He mentions how "unnatural" it is to shoot for total independence.. so the body should feel balanced yin/yang. His demonstration of this is, instead of a ride pattern try a shuffle playing the off-beat on the snare with the left hand and just quarters on the right or ride hand.

Just a few words while I'm not practicing!--DUH!
I have the Chapin book..I am doing some of it also..I like it..I haven't opened it in a few weeks..thanks for reminding me..lol..
 

Seb77

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About the swing pattern: one thing that was shown to me is how when the tempo increases you get closer to a sixteenth note pattern whereas very slow is generally a triple feel.
I rarely play the 16th feel these days, but if I did, it would be on slower tunes (solist playing double time lines). Medum to fast has a triplet feel, then around 280bpm start evening out the pattern to even eights.
Some drummers such as Billy Higgins have a unique style with more even eights at medium tempo, so no strict rules here, it just has to wrok with the phrasing of the other instruments.
 

jansara

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If your center is in the groove, it doesn't matter what your extremities are doing.
 

Tracktuary

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I rarely play the 16th feel these days, but if I did, it would be on slower tunes (solist playing double time lines). Medum to fast has a triplet feel, then around 280bpm start evening out the pattern to even eights.
You beat me to it, Seb. The space between the skip beat and the down beat widens to eighths; it doesn't shrink to sixteenths.
 

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I rarely play the 16th feel these days, but if I did, it would be on slower tunes (solist playing double time lines). Medum to fast has a triplet feel, then around 280bpm start evening out the pattern to even eights.
Some drummers such as Billy Higgins have a unique style with more even eights at medium tempo, so no strict rules here, it just has to wrok with the phrasing of the other instruments.
Yes, Thanks for the correction. faster moves towards even eights, but has everything to do with the individual song and how other players are playing it. I was just pointing out the variations are there, it isn't a simple rhythm. More subtle. A lack of awareness of this is a limitation in playing jazz.
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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I’ll also add...I find that ultimately you become a specialist in some type of style. And you end up getting gigs in one type of thing for the most part. It’s a rare bird to get jazz and funk and rock gigs...and be able to play those all at a very high level. Anyways...spending some time learning jazz is always beneficial IMHO. Regardless. I still advocate learning that first. Foundation.
 

Morello Man

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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.
Try the Bill Charlap Trio, Dave Brubeck Quartet, Shelly Manne and his Men, Ella, Betty Carter, Thad Jones-Mel Lewis and Don Ellis. A spectrum.
 

jb111

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I just want to acknowledge that killer Gretsch kit you picked up during the process of this post. Looks incredible. Hope it's providing a lot of great inspiration.
 

Matched Gripper

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I have the Chapin book..I am doing some of it also..I like it..I haven't opened it in a few weeks..thanks for reminding me..lol..
Do ALL of it. And get Progressive Steps to Syncopation. One of the most versatile books you’ll ever own. There are innumerable, valuable exercises you can do with that book. Also, watching great jazz drummers do what they do to get the sound and feel they get can be a very efficient way to learn the same, especially if you are a visual learner.
 

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