When playing a jazz swing, I can play the ride, hi hat and comp on snare alright; But if I try to incorporate the bass drum it instantly throws me off

bonecock

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Sooo, title. I'm pretty new to jazz drums but I have definitely taken a step up from being complete mess, but now I try to toss in some bass drum and I just *stop* using the hi hat instinctively. What can I do to fix this?
 

JDA

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get rock and roll out of your head 1st.

Bass drum in jazz is a felt thing; not need to mark bar lines (on the 1) every measure

Bass drum is going to be " walking" ....along
the whole deal is walking..
the whole beat..flowing..forward..not loud..forward..

The "1'" the strong 1234...is in your right hand..

the
small one-two-three-four or two-four is in your left foot

Your bass drum or left hand works off those two things still walking) ...sometimes accompanying ...sometimes countering.. sometimes all things...sometimes no things...sometimes taking-off...sometimes walking along with.
but it's a holistic entire forward Walk. (then you learn to reverse it move it sideways) but first get the forward motion ....all limbs walk
 
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Seb77

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Coordination... you need to practise all combinations you want to play. In the beginning, there is no independence, only coordination, and your practsing takes it to a level that makes the limbs look, and sound, independent. (It just occurs to me that with ostinatos, you could add "automation" to the equation, but that's still only after practising a lot).

Take just the feet, there's both feet at once, or one at a time/both alternating. A very small exmaple, the three over two pattern is both L/R at once , then RLR: R/L - RLR- (or R/L-LRL- for the inversion).
 

David M Scott

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Sooo, title. I'm pretty new to jazz drums but I have definitely taken a step up from being complete sheeet, but now I try to toss in some bass drum and I just *stop* using the hi hat instinctively. What can I do to fix this?
 

JazzDrumGuy

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As an older, experienced yet still crappy jazz player, I had a long time figuring out comping that didn't turn into a generic, repetitive rock solo type sound every time. I would do the swing on the ride, the 2/4 hats and lock that in, and do a light 1/2/3/4 on the foot. Then, I'd just hit the snare and internally imagine the bass. Then I'd just hit the bass and internally imagine the snare. I also would just focus on the snare/bass while letting the ride/foot go. Once you get the hang/feel, then I focus on just one of these parts.....and just go back and forth.......

There are a lot of good comping YT videos that teach "patterns" of snare/bass while keeping a steady swing/foot.....






https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZvbpUx9FkI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gzUfrR-ZZA
 

icebone

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If you can read, a place to start is using the syncopation book or the Bellson reading text in 4/4. Play quarter note values on the bass drum eighth note values notes on the snare. Swung of course. Then work through all the stuff. Chapin book 1, Riley etc. Also sing your name sung then play it between the snare and bass drum.
This way of playing you are thinking of the right hand and left foot as an ostinato. This is only one way, a starting point. Go slow and play along to Kind of Blue. Forget about Tony, Buddy, Elvin and Max for a bit. Get the groove right and keep it simple. Despite what people say time keeping in jazz is way more important than independence. Time first then all the other stuff. It takes a lifetime and we never get it exactly right. Everyone practices when they can.
 
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David M Scott

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Hey
Im 80 and have played Jazz and swing all my life and still do. Someone gave you an answer that said "get Rock out of your head and that's good advice. I play Classic Rock as well and the Bass drum pattern 90% of the time is a "one/one two" Because i play Jazz so much i sometimes drive the Rock guitar players nuts because i'll often follow the Bass guitar doing runs etc, whereas they expect me to just keep the basic rock pattern on my kick.... they cant adapt because they've been stuck in a genre' since they started playing. There is an old thought among classic Jazz men that the Bass drum should be understated as regards patterns and volume. You will see many Jazz drummers use the kick for odd accents in other words"now and then" and let the Bass guitar do all the work. That's great but because of my age and the fact i've played, or tried too a Bass guitar, I often carry the Bass lines on my kick when we don't have a Bassist. Sound strange ? Take a look on you tube to the 1937 Benny Goodman Quartet. It consisted of Benny on Clarinet, Lionel Hampton on Vibes, Teddy Wilson on piano and Gene Krupa on drums...what no Bass ? That's right no Bass, so Krupa carried bass lines on his kick but its very understated. Why no Bass..well in the 30's the electric hadn't been invented and most orchestras did use a bass as they were considered as a symphony orchestra part of the string section and generally "bowed" so the drummer provided that sound with a kick. As most numbers were written in straight 4/4 the bass lines were simple anyway. So after all is said try using the bass for accents, as in when you and little nuances on the ride cymbal. It works for me and i've been fortunate to play with some pretty fine Jazz musicians. I'm sure your aware of the fact that unlike loud Rock, the Jazz drummer has to be able to go up and down on volume to fit in with vocalists and the other instruments which will go up and down in volume. In Rock its rather rare for the Bass guitar to solo but in Jazz the Bass will generally always to solo and if its a stand up instrument. That's when the drummer has to back right off. I generally do a quiet shuffle on the Hi Hat that compliments the Bass. I do hope the ramblings of an "old drummer"haven't bored you.
Good luck
 

Jazz Turkey

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Heel / toe (with the heel down) technique on the hihat. Rocking back and forth.
Heel 1, toe 2, heel 3, toe 4.
All 4 on the bass. Once this is on lock, start varying the right foot.
 

TPC

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Another good exercise is to narrow it down to just two limbs at a time - bass drum and hihat, ride cymbal and hihat, snare and hihat ... all the different combinations, but just two at a time, not four. Do this a long time before adding that third limb. Then do that for a very long time before adding the fourth limb. Eventually independence begins to emerge.
 

mebeatee

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So what....don't play the bass drum then...a whole "new skool" of jazz drumming. I've done many a gig with a snare and a cymbal....
Or just try a different instrument....



Seriously....go on(to) a different instrument and play some sort of jazzyish music on it, while at the same time have that "jazz swing beat" going on in your head......notice how your bd foot (hopefully) will be tapping away....there ya go....step one done...take it from there...
bt
 

Tornado

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I will repeat what some others have said. Get John Riley's "The Art of Bop Drumming". It will fix your problem if you stick with it.
 

JDA

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Don't over stuff yourself or bog yourself down, with books ....and you tube videos.

Get it in your ear, Picture it in your mind, and take it to your drums.
the most important part is Listening

Do learn notation. Do learn to feel the extent, of 4, 8 and 16 bars.
Realize you are playing (in) a Grid. You can go out of it but never leave it.
Swing.
Imagination ears Intelligence.
get it in your soul

https://soundcloud.com/jda56%2Fgitinyouyrsoul
 
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RIDDIM

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The books are cool - by all mean learn the mechanics. But, more important, understand why the cats played what they did. Most of us, at least when we're young, concern ourselves with copping what someone did - but not why they did it. If you understand the why, the what becomes obvious.

Don't just listen to the drums. Learn the whole tune, then the bass part - how does it relate to the melody? - the chordal parts - how do they relate to the melody and bass line? - the soloists - how to they relate to everything preceding? - and then the drummer. Again, listen for how what the drummer did relates to everything to everything that preceded. If he or she was a musician, then it should become apparent.

This line of reasoning will stand you well in any idiom. It's all about giving the music what it needs, no more and no less.

So work on the mechanics. They can be challenging. But you don't want to go to a gig and play your latest exercise with no idea of how to apply it musically. You have to become familiar with the tunes, the idiom, the masters, what they did and why they did it.

Go to YouTube. Research second line, maracatu (especially Scot Kettner's clips) and Herlin Riley's DCI video (Ragtime and Beyond). A lot of what we know as second line can be traced to maracatu, and second line playing is the roots of the instrument. Pay attention to how the bass drum is used there; you'll hear it, at least implicitly, in straight ahead and in other idioms. Check out the Charleston rhythm as well; it's related to second line and can be felt in a lot of this music. Once you've done those, check out Papa Jo in depth, Big Sid, Max Roach, Roy Haynes, Art Blakey, Philly Joe, Billy Higgins, Elvin, etc. That will keep you busy for a minute or maybe the rest of your life.
 
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Tornado

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You guys are absolutely right, it's important to go back and listen to the source. But I would wager that a lot of you older cats are able to hear things on those records that a lot of younger guys just can't hear yet.

Justin Varnes, who has a YouTube Channel named "JazzDrummersResource" really does a great job of explaining why listening to the old masters when starting out isn't necessarily the best idea.


I think he's absolutely right, and I think it's hard for older players to understand what a younger drummers ears are tuned to. Maybe they have the benefit of growing up in a different era, maybe they forgot. There's just a lot of context that people starting out today are missing that having clear modern recordings and printed music in books gives them.
 

JDA

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You see it's also this. The availability to play swing out in nightclubs and bars. That may be what Your "young" people don't have the opportunity to do that a generation before did. I was in my 30s playing in a band of 60 year olds, that swung. (I was born in the 50s They were born in the 20s and 30s..) Now. That wasn't listening to records (while on stage) that was actual doing it.
let me watch the above video.
Yea. You don't start at "Jeff tain Watts". You learn to swing from 40s and 50s drummers who had no name mention credit- but was the popular music of the time. So far the video above is starting too late somewhere in the 80s. You have to go back to the 40s then come forward.

Yes you don't start where that video guy says. You start in the popular music of the Forties.

the video fella actually gets it correct takes him a couple minutes..like to 4:07
Basically he's saying be careful working backwards reverse engineering.
Nothing wrong with that. You'll survive. You crawl back. That's ok.
yea. "don't let that sway" but hey "you'll get back there" eventually. Got it.
 
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Tornado

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You see it's also this. The availability to play swing out in nightclubs and bars. That may be what Your "young" people don't have the opportunity to do that a generation before did. I was in my 30s playing in a band of 60 year olds, that swung. Now. That wasn't listening to records (whil on stage) that was actual doing it.
let me the above video.
That's bigger than anything, really. Those opportunities are long gone.
 

JDA

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That's bigger than anything, really. Those opportunities are long gone.
Maybe they're not gone, just forgotten..may be quite popular to bring some old 40s and 50s popular music of that time...forward...
Certainly would be a "Listenable volume" to an ($$) upper end restaurant ($$) certain lounge/ crowd ($$) than ear-splitting wayne/garth/spinal tap/delusions/
 
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