The key to swing drumming

Houndog

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The key to swinging is having the feel you're trying to express clearly in your mind and in your chest, then singing it through your hands. If you could scat the feel convincingly and entertainingly enough to make a little kid dance, you could might be able to make that particular swing feel (there are lots of shades of swing feels) dance off a ride cymbal. I bet for every clunky drummer who mechanically fails to swing, there's a super-swinging pianist or sax player whose never picked up a stick, but could make the right sound on the ride (excepting up tempo stuff that requires RH chops), because swing is in the mind and they already do it on another instrument.
The technique in the video was an instantaneous huge improvement for me .

And I can already swing but ………
 

Matched Gripper

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As unpopular as this opinion my be (I know...opinions are like....) You either have it or you don't. You can learn by reading books and watching videos but that always sounds stiff to those in the know. I'll be leaving now but I stand by my statement, critisisms be damned.
Just not true! If you feel it you can play it. It’s not an ancient far east mystery.
 

Matched Gripper

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The technique in the video was an instantaneous huge improvement for me .

And I can already swing but ………
Try this: Start by accenting quarter notes on the ride, and really step into the hihats on 2 & 4. Push the time just a little bit. Dragging, or even playing right on the beat can dull the swing feel. Then start adding occasional skip beats softly like ghost notes.

PS: THE hardest swinging drummer I’ve ever seen is Duffy Jackson. One reason is how hard he accents the hihats.
 

Houndog

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Try this: Start by accenting quarter notes on the ride, and really step into the hihats on 2 & 4. Push the time just a little bit. Dragging, or even playing right on the beat can dull the swing feel. Then start adding occasional skip beats softly like ghost notes.

PS: THE hardest swinging drummer I’ve ever seen is Duffy Jackson. One reason is how hard he accents the hihats.
Gee if you’d watch the video …he talks about the hats
 

Tornado

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I was at the JENerations Jazz Festival today because my daughter's middle school jazz band was playing for a clinic. They played some songs for two clinicians who critiqued the performances and helped them make things better. And they really did.

One judge kept using a word when teaching them how to improve the feel, swing, and dynamics: Intentionality. Carter McClean calls it "Give a s
****". Kind of the same thing. And that's hard to do unless you've really got a love for it inside.

Anyway, here's the best 13 year old female trumpet player at the festival.

20220108_084604.jpg
 

toddbishop

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That's difficult for me, I feel like I'm hearing jazz education schtick after awhile.

Everybody knows the rhythm is supposed to be in time, and it's supposed to feel good, right? There are a lot of ways of doing that. Usually you listen to a lot of records and play a lot and see what works for you. I don't think watching endless videos is really helpful, especially for people who really aren't doing enough of the other thing.

 

Matched Gripper

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That's difficult for me, I feel like I'm hearing jazz education schtick after awhile.

Everybody knows the rhythm is supposed to be in time, and it's supposed to feel good, right? There are a lot of ways of doing that. Usually you listen to a lot of records and play a lot and see what works for you. I don't think watching endless videos is really helpful, especially for people who really aren't doing enough of the other thing.

Having the opportunity to watch an excellent local jazz drummer up close on many occasions was a very helpful visual aide.
 

jansara

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As unpopular as this opinion my be (I know...opinions are like....) You either have it or you don't. You can learn by reading books and watching videos but that always sounds stiff to those in the know. I'll be leaving now but I stand by my statement, critisisms be damned.
In today's world of dime-a-dozen drum gurus, having "it" is seldom if ever, acknowledged. "It" creates an un-level playing field. Convenient lies outsell inconvenient truths.
 

Pat A Flafla

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Having the opportunity to watch an excellent local jazz drummer up close on many occasions was a very helpful visual aide.
A great live view of someone you want to play like is worth its weight in gold. Well, a view doesn't weigh anything, but you smell what I'm cookin'.
I had a band leader who wanted certain shuffles to be as close to Bramhall Sr. as possible. Lo and behold! Weeks later Doyle played a show in an outdoor venue and I was able to watch the whole show from his 8:00, not 30 yards away, with a perfect view of his left hand. My shuffle quality doubled literally overnight in a way it couldn't by watching youtube.
 

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Spider when I first saw him in 1974 and he had Eric Kloss in his band..I never missed an opportunity to get to his gig..eventually got rite of passage to Sit in while he Sang out front... many times, led to gigs with Gene Ludwig and Kenny Blake...all thru and right up till day Spider left this earth.
He was a true bebopper born in 1935. And I loved him +/- I wasn't him he wasn't me but I understood things and how he did them
that was half or a third of it. Playing in small club dance small band swing commercial bands of old dudes much older helped immensely. So did parents
I had a melody in my head the other day and I had to run it past my mother.
She's 90 yrs young. Took her two or 3 studious seconds "that's Stella By Starlight" Thanks,that's it, ma.
 
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Pat A Flafla

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Or even a pretty good drummer, or pretty good fellow student. People have to put themselves around other drummers.
Indeed. As an undergrad, I learned a lot by intently watching the arms of two particular students who played the way I aspired to.
 
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Tornado

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Seeing Ralph Peterson play brushes live was an epiphany.
 
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Pat A Flafla

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Seeing Ralph Peterson play brushes live was an epiphany.
Early on, I watched Ed Soph do an entire set with brushes from maybe 15 feet away, but I was so green that it all shot right over my head. I was impressed, but I didn't know how to process it.
 


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