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

RIDDIM

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i hear you riddim about maracatu, id go one step further and say its in Ketu Candomble drumming . A beat called OPANIJE is all up in new orleans beats and louis armstrong


and one great pattern in there is Bravum that has the swing pattern in it and the bell plays "jingle bell" like the figure in "jingle bell rock". i find if my bass drum goes for that jingle bell figure , it is simple and really gooses the swing.

Thanks. I have research to do.
 

MntnMan62

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- Unless you're in a tribute band, it's not about extracting exactly what they did on albums - it's about understanding what they did and why they did it. Then what you will play will be based on your responses to the music, not someone else's. We may learn to speak from our parents, but we don't run around quoting them exacting later on in life - we're not living their lives. We figured out what they did, why they did it, and adapted these lessons to how we live our lives now. The same logic applies here. Do what works in the context you're in, with the musicians you're with.
No one is saying that we all should play exactly what other people have played before. But you do need to know exactly what they did on albums in order to understand what they did. I would think that part is obvious. I agree with everything else you've said. Arguing for the sake of arguing is, well, pointless.
 

dcrigger

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- And what did they do to play it? They listened.
Well yes and no - listening does not create new things. Creating new things always requires speaking from within, while not listening at all.

But how those new things become part of the shared vocabulary is a different process. Aren't they then shared by observation, by instruction, by instruction manuals?

IMO getting up to speed on a style as complex as jazz requires using every approach and every shortcut one can get there hands on.

Deep diving into getting some independence in my tool belt isn't about thinking to shortchange the need to listen - but to enhance the ability to grasp what I'm hearing - and to be one, two or three steps closer to being able to functionally imitate it.
 

dcrigger

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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?
I agree with others that have suggested -

Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer by Jim Chapin

and/or

The Art of BeBop by John Riley

IMO trying to learn to play jazz without going through those books is simply a fool's errand.

Neither book is a complete course in jazz playing... absolutely not. To me, they are more like a cover charge.... a "fee" to get in the door to the ground floor of learning jazz. Then the long path starts... But trying to get started on that path without the basics those books teach is just silly - again IMO.
 

Rock Salad

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From another beginner.
I am going really slow @ 40-50 bpm and working on RLK unisons on the "let" (tri po let.) (Within the beat pattern right)
I figure that is the big one, used most often. I should get that one first.
Jazz is not my first priority, but I do love it and want to be able to fake it some eventually.
 

Johnny K

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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.
If you get this book, make sure you photo copy AND take a picture of page 9. It's a like Stick Control page 5, but for all your limbs. (at least it is for me). I dont carry books everywhere I go, but I have those two book pages on my phone.
 

Johnny K

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- How did guys play this music before they had the mechanics?
I often ponder this. There seems to be one constant going way back an that is Stick Control, but I bet most of my favorite drummers learned a lot by watching and listening to the others they admired who came before them. Like a handed down tradition. I cant imagine Art Blakey sitting down youTube videos, but that press roll of his didn't just miracle it self into in hands. Someone one showed him (Big Ciid Cattlett, im not mistaken was a huge influence of his) and he practiced it. A LOT. I've been listening to Free For All on repeat for a week or so now and I cant believe some the things I am hearing. His independence is amazing. His doubles are amazing. I'd put what he did on that record up against thing modern drummers are doing now. Listen to a lot of Art Blakey
 

icebone

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Listen to Dave Tough thats what JDA is on about. There is a definite groove to playing swing. Upbeats proximity to downbeats change depending on tempo and band. Try playing along to a Sinatra track and not rush the figures, Irv Cottler has an amazing feel !! Start simple.
 
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marc3k

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ADVANCED TECHNIQUES FOR THE MODERN DRUMMER
by Jim Chapin
+1 for this book! And as said by Rock Salad, start slowly. I still consider myself a beginner and I usually start at around 60 bpm and really take my time to work through new combinations. It is frustrating sometimes, but all of a sudden you manage to play what you've been practicing - which is a super rewarding feeling.

And thanks a lot to all you experienced guys for sharing all your valuable information here!!
 

JDA

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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?
Take your time;

peruse thru these...
 

RIDDIM

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Well yes and no - listening does not create new things. Creating new things always requires speaking from within, while not listening at all.
- True, but what we have to say often is influenced by what the music, or a given soloist, does. We've all, I hope, played with folks who bring good things out of us that we probably wouldn't have thought of on our own.

"But how those new things become part of the shared vocabulary is a different process. Aren't they then shared by observation, by instruction, by instruction manuals?"

- By whatever means we have, if we are well and truly smitten. Books can certainly be part of that.

"IMO getting up to speed on a style as complex as jazz requires using every approach and every shortcut one can get there hands on."

- I'm sure we've all grabbed whatever information sources we could find. I did and still do.

"Deep diving into getting some independence in my tool belt isn't about thinking to shortchange the need to listen - but to enhance the ability to grasp what I'm hearing - and to be one, two or three steps closer to being able to functionally imitate it."

I hear you. That said, while being able to play through the Chapin book gave me facility it didn't really make clear what to play or why. In our culture there is a lot of emphasis on developing chops - but less on when and how, and more importantly, why, to use them. I think the why is based on the needs of the music, plus those of the person who hired us and the folks we're playing with with.

The guys who developed the roots of this music -- Max Roach, Kenny Clark, Roy Haynes, Art Blakey -- didn't have Chapin's book. They took what they heard and went from there. It certainly didn't hurt that they were all great musicians, with quick minds and ears. Eventually Jim Chapin published it in 1948, giving the rest of us a leg up.

Bottom line - develop the facility, but don't stop there. Listen to the music in depth and it will tell you what it needs - or does not.
 

drumgadget

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RIDDIM has this exactly right ............

The main thing is this: this is really difficult stuff. Both from a conceptual and a basically physical standpoint ....... The body naturally wants to do certain things; there's a lot of variation among people as to the degree of coordination between the limbs. Even playing a simple rock beat with right hand/right foot - left hand/ left foot independence is difficult enough ...... just witness a stone beginner trying to sound like Ringo! Assuming you've got the natural ability to get such a basic 4/4 pattern to actually GROOVE ........ then you're faced with the problem of breaking those synapses that you were lucky to be born with in the first place! That's the hurdle you're approaching when learning coordinated INTERdependence - I like John Riley's terminology here - you've got to slow the whole thing down (hard enough to do at any stage in the game!), and be prepared for lots of frustration; trying to play, hey .... TWO bars in a row without the whole thing falling apart, then ..... 4 ...... , then 8 ...... Then speeding it up, and trying to add yet another combination of eighths on snare and bass to the ride pattern. For me, at least, as a part-time (but serious!) player ...... this was the work of a half-lifetime.

But worth it ............ !

Mike
 

hardbat

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The OP's frustration is in not being able to execute what he wants to do. A bunch of philosophical mumbo jumbo isn't going to help that. The two mentioned books will.

Yes, it's true that Max Roach didn't have Chapin's book. If I were Max Roach, I wouldn't need it either. But I am a mere mortal, and so I am grateful to have had such a resource that has enabled me to build a modest facility to execute things that I otherwise would have spent a lifetime hearing, and wishing I could do.
 

jazzerone

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Can't remember anybody I've ever played with saying to me "Y'know... if you could just get that bass drum sounding better..." On the other hand, I do CLEARLY remember my first jazz teacher telling me "First thing we need to do is get your right foot off that bass drum pedal (and take that stick in your left hand and sit on it... literally)." You want to p.o. a good jazz bassist, try thumping along on your bd with his bass line

Books are good. Listening is good. Playing out with others is good. But nothing matters as much as time, both the time you keep when playing, and the time it takes to develop what joe keeps saying... the "feel" of jazz.

That, plus this --- it's not a learning curve, in the sense of a steady upward ramp. It's more like a staircase, where you play along on one of the steps for a while and then, suddenly, almost to your surprise, you climb one of the risers and find yourself on the next step. So, it can feel like you're stuck on one of those steps for a long time, like you're not making any progress, but that's where time and persistence comes in. Also, books, listening, jamming, playing. There are no shortcuts, no magic formulas.

Jazz "feel" incorporates the bass drum somewhere, sometimes, but it's not describable in terms of exactly when or where --- it depends, on the tune, the other players, the tempo, the pace, the dynamics, and I'm leaving out several hundred other little things that are all going on at the same time. The worst thing you can possibly do in jazz is decide that on the 3rd beat of the 9th measure of the first A section of 'Cherokee' you need to hit your bass drum.

Be patient, be persistent, be willing to move slowly along that step toward the next riser... it'll come. One day you'll hit that bass drum at just the right time, and you will light up. Of course, you won't remember when or why you did it, and if you try to repeat it you'll fail horribly and hate yourself. But then you'll realize that the very reason you nailed it was because you weren't trying to do anything. You were just feeling it.
 

David M Scott

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The OP's frustration is in not being able to execute what he wants to do. A bunch of philosophical mumbo jumbo isn't going to help that. The two mentioned books will.

Yes, it's true that Max Roach didn't have Chapin's book. If I were Max Roach, I wouldn't need it either. But I am a mere mortal, and so I am grateful to have had such a resource that has enabled me to build a modest facility to execute things that I otherwise would have spent a lifetime hearing, and wishing I could do.
Your dead on.. one has to feel Jazz but that also holds true for most music. I’m 80 and started playing at 14 when popular music was still Jazz or BigBand style 4/4 for Ballads or up tempo. Even early Rock was that way, basically a shuffle. I played frequently until the early 60s when I got married and had 3 kids. I also travelled for business a lot so the kit just sat there. When I decided to pick it up again I realized after trying out with a couple of Rock groups that I had no idea how to play that genre’. I played shuffle/Jazz beats and so I was dismissed quickly. So I had to learn and listen to understand how to feature the hi hat using 1/8 notes there, 1-1,2 on the kick and a crash Cymbal at beginning or end of lines with the ride being incidental.. in other words I had to start from the bottom and that was very foreign to me. I could do the famous Joe Morello 5/4 from Bruebecks famous “Take Five”
Recording but when 6/8 time came on the scene in the late 60s early70s I was flummoxed.
I had to mentally, sometimes verbally count to stay in time. So I listened, listened, listened and practised. I became a huge fan of soft rock as the drums became a featured instruments of their own. I’m still slow at “around the horn” mainly because it required not only speedy hands but a lot more that one mounted and one floor Tom.
Getting back to Jazz, the early New Orleans stuff was played in marching band style where the snare was all sticks playing quasi military beats and the horns free forming. That was known as Dixieland style. When white musicians discovered Dixie they maintained the horn free form but the rhythm section, Bass and Drums went to a basic 2 feel, but still 4/4 with a few flams or mini break/fills thrown in by the drummer. Big Bands of the late 30s and up till early 50s emulated that style.
In the early 50s Modern Jazz became the vogue with two prominent styles:
East Coast. Bluesy but basic
West Coast. Cooler with two instruments playing variations of the melody at once. In both cases the drums became more of an instrument that a straight rhythm machine and that was more or less reinvented in the 70s.
So my point is there are so many styles of Jazz that one should start with the basics and
“must learn to play with brushes” For Jazz they are best played using an opposed grip that allows the left hand to sweep and do subtle slaps and not a heavy Rock beat. The right hand can do the accents.
Gene Krupa used to sweep with his right and do triplets with his lead right hand.
So don’t be discouraged listen, listen and practise,practise.
The sold Timer
 

bonecock

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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
Hasn't bored me at all! I'm trying to absorb everything I can here, with everyone's posts. I just got back into playing drums recently and have been doing a lot of rudiments on my practice pad. When I get behind the kit and I record myself I just feel so locked up anytime I play jazz cause of this whole bass pedal thing. I'm going to start today with lowering my pedal's tension, I have a Tama Iron Cobra power variant (I forget what it is called) but I feel like that heavy press to bring the beater to the head is hurting me, at least for one thing it burns more to play slow and meaningful on the bass drum than just fast and crazy.
 


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