more fluidity playing jazz ride

Seb77

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I noticed I've gained some extra fluidity on the ride by practicing snare (pad), all kinds of stuff, using French grip. I usually play the ride that way, thumb up, and I've also done quite a bit of isolated practice on the ride, but noticed another kind of flexibility and control after doing rudimental and other technical exercises on a pad. I usually think you only need to practice what you want to play, which in this case would be ride patterns on the ride but there is something about being more flexible after having practiced all kinds of patterns.
I don't stick to one grip throughout but rather change more or less intuitively to whatever seems to work and sound best. On snare, I usually play trad grip with the left and I guess some in-between (American?) grip with the right on snare. Just tried tried this French grip thing with both hands matched.

If you want to try it, make sure you always stay as loose as possible here, it should always feel good, and don't overdo it, especially at first; some muscles and tendons need to get used to the new turning motion.
 

shnootre

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I too have gained a ton of advantages from pad work on french grip (totally fixed a lifelong weak buzz roll)!
 

zenghost

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Nice, I like swinging flam-taps to various degrees to replicate the standard jazz ride pattern. Working through the various grips/cradles, fulcrums, and methods of actuating the stick is a good approach and translates functionally to the kit well in my experience.
 

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I'll take this concept even a bit further. Way back when I was in music school. I was a drummer in band and orchestra. After practicing proficiency on piano I would notice my drumming was improved just following that practice, and vice versa. But the french grip makes sense because on the cymbals you're playing typically at an angle where the forearm moves easier with hand vertical to the ground, which is basically what we're talking about here.
 

Rock Salad

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I got one. It's not technique, but is helping me flow on the ride much more smoothly.
I start off with quarters on the ride, 2 and 4 on the hats and put the bass on all &s or "lets". Then with that sounding nice and flowing start adding the Ta to the quarter note tings, Following the foot instead of the other way round with foot following hands.
It is helping me a lot. I don't know if it is because my foot is learning where the upbeat is better or if it is because it is just free to be where it is and let the hand follow. It sure feels and sounds better though.
 

Seb77

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Talking about the skip beat (the &):
I think the conventional notation of the typical swing ride beat starting on 1 is a bit misleading when it comes to phrasing (for a general discussion of this, check out "Forward Motion" by Hal Galper).
When explaining the motions of the swing ride beat, it is often looked at as starting on the 2 and 4 ("ging-ga-ding" shape), but here's another idea: for a change, try hearing the figure as starting on the &: "ga-ding-ging", or, counting, &1-2.
If this results in over-accenting the 1 at first, just add a bit of emphasis on the following 2, which is now the afterbeat in the original sense of the word. This concept is in line with the "Forward motion" concept of upbeat/pickup phrases leading into 1, and, the way I feel it, also fits the harmonic motion: Most often, chords change on 1 and 3.

The concept outlined above takes the "halftime" beat "&1, &3" as a starting point and then adds the "2", the afterbeat. Listen to Philly Joe during the sax solo after the interlude (2:55) for an example of this relaxed halftime playing.
(Coming from the original tempo of the tune, it's actually double-time, and he's mostly sticking to the original slow figure, which equals "&1- 3" in double-time counting).
On a side note, just noticed that solo starts exactly at half the duration of the tune!
 

chrissmithjazzdrums

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I am a jazz drummer in NYC and I also play French grip in my right hand. It works well for me and for nearly all of the other drummers I look up to admire. Wanted to add that I am a matched grip drummer and while my left hand is more of an American type grip, that I use French grip in both of my hands when I play brushes and it gets great results. It's easy to get fluid horizontal motion with matched French grip and I feel more drummers who are looking to improve their brush playing would benefit from playing brushes matched grip. If you're going to be the next Philly Joe go ahead with yourself, but if you simply want to be a good jazz drummer who gets gigs and can make brushes sound good in nearly every setting then matched grip can really work!
I do several video lessons on matched grip brushes at my site:
www.jazzdrumhang.com

- Chris Smith
 
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wolfereeno

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Check out the thread I created about the 21 Minute Jazz Ramp tommy igoe playalong.

It's a great tool for exploring your ride technique as tempos change. It kind of gets you out of your comfort zone and it's interesting to figure out exactly where and how you change technique as the tempos go up.

You can mess with it all sorts of ways - double shuffles, HH on all 4's, Left hand ride, clave...
 

Matched Gripper

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Talking about the skip beat (the &):
I think the conventional notation of the typical swing ride beat starting on 1 is a bit misleading when it comes to phrasing (for a general discussion of this, check out "Forward Motion" by Hal Galper).
When explaining the motions of the swing ride beat, it is often looked at as starting on the 2 and 4 ("ging-ga-ding" shape), but here's another idea: for a change, try hearing the figure as starting on the &: "ga-ding-ging", or, counting, &1-2.
If this results in over-accenting the 1 at first, just add a bit of emphasis on the following 2, which is now the afterbeat in the original sense of the word. This concept is in line with the "Forward motion" concept of upbeat/pickup phrases leading into 1, and, the way I feel it, also fits the harmonic motion: Most often, chords change on 1 and 3.

The concept outlined above takes the "halftime" beat "&1, &3" as a starting point and then adds the "2", the afterbeat. Listen to Philly Joe during the sax solo after the interlude (2:55) for an example of this relaxed halftime playing.
(Coming from the original tempo of the tune, it's actually double-time, and he's mostly sticking to the original slow figure, which equals "&1- 3" in double-time counting).
On a side note, just noticed that solo starts exactly at half the duration of the tune!
Not sure if this is the point of your thread, but, sometimes the visual feedback of watching and imitating the physical movement of a great swing drummer playing live can be the best lesson of all. If there are any such drummers in your area, I highly recommend it.

You could also spend some time listening to Philly Joe Jones, a hard swinging drummer with great feel, time and musical taste. There are other great drummers to listen to, of course, but no one I would recommend more for this purpose. I once read that Tony Williams said that he learned how to play jazz by listening to Philly Joe Jones.
 

Seb77

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sometimes the visual feedback of watching and imitating the physical movement of a great swing drummer playing live can be the best lesson of all. If there are any such drummers in your area, I highly recommend it.
Thanks, that's a great aspect of this topic. I once collected snippets of videos of the great drummers in which you can see their motions, usually looking sideways from the hi-hat side. There are many different ways of doing it.
Here are a few I uploaded (more on my hd somewhere). I also made slow motion versions of them, but these days you can simply slow down the yt video via settings.



 

dboomer

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I have found I can play the ride faster using a french grip but it causes me to have to swing my elbow out a bit more than using a German grip.

But can someone explain to me the advantages of such a steep angled ride cymbal?
 

Seb77

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I have found I can play the ride faster using a french grip but it causes me to have to swing my elbow out a bit more than using a German grip.

But can someone explain to me the advantages of such a steep angled ride cymbal?
Some have argued this originated when drummers such as Eric gravatt used large cymbals on tiny band stands...it was a 70s thing.
Some thoughts of the effects on the playing: as you play more or less horizontally into the cymbal, the stick doesn't fall down, so maybe the neccessary push changes the feel of the beat. The sound of the cymbal gets drier and prjects differently into the audience.
 

Matched Gripper

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Thanks, that's a great aspect of this topic. I once collected snippets of videos of the great drummers in which you can see their motions, usually looking sideways from the hi-hat side. There are many different ways of doing it.
Here are a few I uploaded (more on my hd somewhere). I also made slow motion versions of them, but these days you can simply slow down the yt video via settings.



I haven’t found any video of Philly Joe in his prime. But, there is plenty of Jack Dejohnette another great role model.

Here’s a whole concert showing Jack D. in his prime, with the Kieth Jarrett Trio. You’ll have to jump around to the good views of Jack D. But, it’s worth the effort.

 

toddbishop

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When I was in school another student, a great drummer named Jeff Falcone, showed me an exercise he got from Ed Soph-- he would practice playing the cymbal rhythm extremely slowly, using a timpani-type stroke, French grip, with a lot of lift on all the notes. That's lift with the forearm, not using fingers or bouncing. Around quarter note = 30-40 bpm. It's second hand so I don't know if that's Soph's exercise exactly, but doing that worked well for me.
 


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