"4 limb comping"-jazz

ingvald

Member
Hey Guys!

Check out Antonis Sanches´s drumming here :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pOx5Yc1R60. I just wondered.. I´ve been playing alot of jazz recently and i really enjoy it! But i´ve gotten to the the point where i really think i´m ready to "lossen up" my ride cymbal pattern (+ the hi hat foot ). Instead of playing hi hat on 2 and 4 and the usual "spang spangalang spangalang" - pattern i would love to be able to vary the patterns and sound more "playful" with my limbs!

I´ve been trying the last week to do some transcriptions of Antonio and Roy Haynes while playing this way just to get the feeling, and yes!, it has helped me a little bit, but i DO feel a little stuck. When i try to just improvise it myself ( playing along to music), it just doesn´t feel the same, or i get stuck in some repetetive phrasing thingy... Well, i´m really motivated to learn this style, and i do know there are many ways to play this way but i just wondered... Any experienced jazz drummers out there who could they me how i could work on this thing, or how you guys did it? Are TONS of transcriptions the right way to go?. It´s really hard, but i feel motivated!

Thanks guys!
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
There are many ways to work this, but one of the best resources I've seen is John Riley's Beyond Bop Drumming book. He covers ride cymbal pattern variations and three-voice comping. I think you'll get all the exercises you need to work on from that book.
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
There are many ways to work this, but one of the best resources I've seen is John Riley's Beyond Bop Drumming book. He covers ride cymbal pattern variations and three-voice comping. I think you'll get all the exercises you need to work on from that book.
agreed

all you can handle in this book for sure

the book is pretty much dedicated to specifically what you are looking for
 

dmacc

Platinum Member
I echo what Anthony and 8Mile has stated. Beyond Bop Drumming should be at the top of your list.

One other resource if you want to spend the money which will help to loosen up your ride cymbal is Essence of Jazz Drumming by Jim Blackley.

Lastly, for more independence work, be sure to check out Ari Hoenig's book: Systems I - this is very different than the two listed but will certainly challenge your independence.
 

witold

Junior Member
Hi!
I`d like to add something to this thread. These books are really great and for sure you need to practise with them. But remeber that this this'modern' jazz phrasing will give you totally different flow than basic walking pattern, even if you are still keeping triplet swing feel. You can claerly hear this with very simple excercise - play quaters on your ride and play some two notes each bar on hihat with foot for example four bars on every hihat click. Consider classical 2 and 4 as a check pattern beetween every four bar phrase.
So when you will get comfortable with such playing your band mates (especially bass player) should listen to you and flow of your playing.
And most important be musical and play with band. It is not about trying to impress anybody, your playing should support solist!
 

eddypierce

Senior Member
I echo what Anthony and 8Mile has stated. Beyond Bop Drumming should be at the top of your list.

One other resource if you want to spend the money which will help to loosen up your ride cymbal is Essence of Jazz Drumming by Jim Blackley.

Lastly, for more independence work, be sure to check out Ari Hoenig's book: Systems I - this is very different than the two listed but will certainly challenge your independence.
I agree with all of these recommendations. One particular exercise that might help you get some flow going: play the exercises in the Syncopation book (The nine pages near the back) alternating between the hi-hat (with the left foot) and the bass drum, while filling in the remaining triplet notes lightly on the snare drum with the left hand. The right hand plays the standard jazz ride pattern (either accenting quarters or accenting the skip note a la Elvin Jones). I think this is actually one of the systems outlined in Hoenig's book, but I first was exposed to it in an old Modern Drummer article by Joe Morello on developing independence. Morello said it was an exercise that he and John Riley (a former Morello student) came up with, and Morello mentioned that Roy Haynes and Jack DeJohnette can and do play figures like that in their playing.

In addition to the technical independence exercises, though, I would continue with the transcribing that you're doing. That way you can connect the facility you're developing with the actual patterns that these great drummers utilize in their playing, and that'll probably be the most effective way of making sure that this type of vocabulary actually works its way into your own playing. At one point I had practiced a lot of independence exercises, but it was only after I starting transcribing and learning some Elvin Jones comping patterns that I finally started to hear and use the stuff on a gig.
 

Brian

Gold Member
great suggestions, and I'm no experienced jazz drummer but the material in Time-functioning patterns is enough to keep me busy for a few more years. lol
 

eddypierce

Senior Member
great suggestions, and I'm no experienced jazz drummer but the material in Time-functioning patterns is enough to keep me busy for a few more years. lol
Yes, Time Functioning Patterns is another good one for working out the 4 limb coordination. In addition to playing the jazz independence exercises that are in triplets, you can also take the earlier 16th note section (after the fat back exercises) and play them as swung 8th notes against the jazz ride pattern. If the you do that with the 16th exercises that are just bass drum and hi-hat, you can also fill in on the snare drum lightly with the left hand on all the other triplet notes.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Yes, Time Functioning Patterns is another good one for working out the 4 limb coordination. In addition to playing the jazz independence exercises that are in triplets, you can also take the earlier 16th note section (after the fat back exercises) and play them as swung 8th notes against the jazz ride pattern. If the you do that with the 16th exercises that are just bass drum and hi-hat, you can also fill in on the snare drum lightly with the left hand on all the other triplet notes.
That section is also good for comping at fast tempos, playing the 16th notes as uptempo 8th notes. But the actual jazz section of the that book has about the most punishing format I can think of for working on jazz coordination-- like Dahlgren & Fine, but more sadistic. I've never been able to do anything with that part of it.

Most of my modern vocabulary came out of working with Syncopation, and the Dejohnette/Charlie Perry book. Bob Moses's Drum Wisdom also does a good job of explaining the deal with modern jazz drumming-- it's not just a matter of more and harder independence.

Ed, do you remember which issue of MD that Morello article is in? I'd like to look it up.
 

eddypierce

Senior Member
That section is also good for comping at fast tempos, playing the 16th notes as uptempo 8th notes. But the actual jazz section of the that book has about the most punishing format I can think of for working on jazz coordination-- like Dahlgren & Fine, but more sadistic. I've never been able to do anything with that part of it.

Most of my modern vocabulary came out of working with Syncopation, and the Dejohnette/Charlie Perry book. Bob Moses's Drum Wisdom also does a good job of explaining the deal with modern jazz drumming-- it's not just a matter of more and harder independence.

Ed, do you remember which issue of MD that Morello article is in? I'd like to look it up.
The drawback with the Chaffee book is that all of those triplet exercises are just one beat long, so it's not of much help in developing phrasing, or independence for longer figures, without quite a bit of creative manipulation (but Chaffee's main goal is to run your limbs through ALL the one beat possibilities--the book would be immense if he expanded this to two beats or more). The Syncopation book is way better for that. But I think Chaffee is good for helping with some of the "wiring," so to speak, to make playing more musical phrases easier. One of the things I've done is take the triplet units (just the two pages of linear triplet stuff; I've yet to spend any time practicing the harmonic coordination exercises) and play them as half note triplets, quarter notes, quarter note triplets, and regular 8th notes (either swung, or straight if you're practicing uptempo comping), all against the jazz ride pattern. Then at least with the quarter note and 8th note rates you're playing figures that equal 3 beats or a dotted quarter note, so there is some playing over the bar line. Of course, you can play those rates against 3/4 swing as well--if it's in 8th notes each 3-note phrase will get played twice in one bar. Something I've also thought of, but have never really practiced, is to take those 2 beat 16th patterns from Chaffee (interpreted in swung or straight 8th notes against the jazz ride) and add a quarter note rest, or a quarter note (played on the limb of your choice), or an 8th rest followed by an 8th note pickup, so you can create a 3 beat phrase, and not be so boxed in.

It's been a while since I practiced out of the DeJohnnette/Perry book, but it's a good one, too. The comping exercises at the back are yet another way to get some 3 limb comping under your belt.

I think the Morello article was from around 1992 or 1993. It was in a 2 part series on developing independence and coordination. I'll try to look it up at home and get a more specific date for you. If I recall correctly, the bulk of the article involved playing the jazz ride pattern, along with another ostinato figure in the left hand on the snare, and then playing a line from the Syncopation book on the bass drum. Sort of like Gary Chester's combined systems from New Breed, but applied to swing. Ari Hoenig has similar systems in his book, and Steve Fidyk (who studied with Morello) also has systems like this in his jazz independence book.
 

Brian

Gold Member
Good suggestions, all. I need to pick up some new material to practice, the Dejohnnette/Perry book sounds/reads interesting. I try to go through the Time functioning, or whatever systematic exercises in order, by memory, then it makes the small one-bar bits much easier to recall. Thats how it was suggested the best way to utilize the material. Now the goal is to learn to string them together in mixtures, (not unlike I had been doing with technique patterns and hand/foot combinations). it's a b*tch, but the stuff really does overlap, as I'm sure some of you know and have been there before.
 
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