View Full Version : Standard jazz ride pattern?
01-08-2007, 02:27 AM
I just recently told my drum teacher that I would like to begin learning some jazz. He told me to practice the basic tripelet ride pattern with the hat foot on 1. He said that jazzers tend to play it really tight with virtually no break between the 1 and the 2-3.
2 days ago: My first jazz cd Kind of Blue (wich is very good by the way) comes in the mail. This is considered by many to be THE quintessential jazz record (as I'm sure most of you know....I, however, am brand new to the jazz world), so I was bearing that in mind as I listened to it, particularly the drummer. And what do you know, he plays the tripelet ride pattern very loosely, 1 2-3 1 2-3. Anyway, you get the idea. So my question to you is, how is this pattern played? Loosely, tightly or does it depend on the drummer and the tempo of the song. Thanks.
01-08-2007, 02:43 AM
i'm also diving into the jazz scene with my teacher as well. so far we've done songs in 2 and songs in 4 and a few songs had the ride pattern very tightly played and some had it pretty loose and spaced out. i guess it depends on the song i'm not sure if there is an exact time when to play loose or tight but i assume the old theory that "if it feels good, play it" applies.
01-08-2007, 02:54 AM
For reference's sake, I'll refer to it as this: Dang, Pang a Lang. Just for reference.
Basically you're right. It depends on the song and definitely the drummer. It really has to do with how close the "a" is to the "Lang". I teach that it can vary from about (being counted as)
(1). One, Two And Three.... That is, fairly straight. This is usually used where the song is very fast and it's difficult to make it any closer together. Or..
(2). One, Two (e,and) A Three.... That is also fairly straight, but is usually naturally turned into our happy medium, that is...
One, Two (Trip) Let Three.... This is usually taught as the standard pattern, but really, it varies between numbers one and two depending on the song.
One thing I've noticed, just in a drummer that I know, is that he tends to put the "a" too close to the "Lang", thereby creating a feel that it is almost being counted "One, Two, Three-E, and giving the music a very jittery, strange feeling. Just make sure you stay away from this.
I always count it like this:
Caps numbers are where the ride cymbal hits are:
If that makes any sense at all.
01-08-2007, 03:34 AM
First of all, HH traditionally goes on 2 and 4, not one, not sure what your teacher is talking about there.
And the interpretation of the ride pattern depends on the song, the tempo, the style and who's playing it. When I say the style, I don't just mean "swing". The Benny Goodman Orchestra and the Miles Davis Quintet both played swing, but they couldn't be more different.
I could go on for awhile about this, but my best advice, as usual, would be to listen listen listen! Collect jazz from all time periods, from as many sub-styles (New Orleans, dance, big band, bop, fusion, modern, free, etc.) from as many artists as possible. The more you listen, the more familiar you'll become with the different ways of interpreting the swing style and the appropriate ways to use them all.
01-08-2007, 03:41 AM
talking about how a standard swing ride pattern should sound in terms of mathematics just doesn't seem to work in my mind.
I generally keep it right on the triplets, but depending on soloists, or comping players, I'll fall into more of a 16th feel or even put the "a" directly between where it would be in triplet form and 16th form, making it almost feel like i'm playing straight 8ths, but my time sucks, even though it's on purpose and completely consistent. That feel especially tends to feel really loose and almost off the beat, but soloists tend to like that kind of thing if they're not the kind of player who blows a solo directly on the beat all the time.
If you want a really good example of this kind of "in the middle" swing feel, check out zoro's DVD, the commandments of r&b drumming. His example is based around a shuffle, but take one note out of a shuffle pattern and you have a swing pattern, right?
i wish i had my drums right here so i could record this idea... talking about feel is really hard to do.
01-08-2007, 04:48 AM
truthfully speaking, the jazz ride pattern should not be learned from the perspective of how it would be notated. listening to the music and vocalizing what you hear (meaning sing the pattern) will get you where you need to be in order to phrase the pattern correctly.
for example a phrase like spang-a-lang (spang = beats 2 & 4, lang = beats 1 & 3, a=skip note (the upbeat of beats 2 & 4)).
jimmy cobb, who is the drummer on kind of blue, had a very "tight" phrasing of the cymbal pattern when compared to say, elvin jones who had a very wide beat. further, using the above phrase, both spang and lang would be at equal volume while the skip note is softer. jimmy also played on top of the beat and really pushed the time forward (which is more obvious on an album like "a night at the blackhawk").
p/u john riley's book "the art of bop drumming." i am very impressed w/ this book as it gives plenty of basic info. coordination exercises using eights and triplets. an excellent example of how to phrase swing eigths. it also goes into soloing, song structure, how to support the soloist, reading charts, brush patterns, and a discography of recommended listening.
there are many interpretations of the cymbal pattern. tony williams and louis hayes both shared the same type of pattern (in general) as jimmy cobb. tight phrasing and on top of the beat. mel lewis, connie kaye, and billy higgins all had a very even interpretation of the pattern. although it is common to hear the cymbal pattern even out in up tempo songs, these particular players had an even phrasing on mid tempo songs also. elvin jones and jack dejohnette (especially later jack) have a very loose wide beat where they accent different parts of the pattern. all this can be understood pretty much one way.....listening.
01-08-2007, 05:10 AM
Thanks for all your replies, as they are very helpful and informative.
01-08-2007, 05:33 AM
FYI I find that Jimmy Cobb's play on Kind of Blue is great to practice with. I think he has one of the best jazz ride feels you can find. He does keep a fairly tight spacing compared to other drummers, and he plays the notes on each beat heavier than the "a."
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