Average swing, need help

gusty

Platinum Member
I had a one-off lesson with a conservitorium teacher and I'm confused about all this again...I just don't think I 'get it'. Being told to just listen, but I can't hear what I'm listening for. I know what it sounds like for people to swing, but I don't know what to do to improve mine. Do I just play the ride pattern over and over and it'll just click sometime?
 

Mattiadrummer

Junior Member
I think this is only a problem of listening.You must only listen the big Masters of Jazz the they swing on the Ride,improve your sensibility,try to play togheter the audio tracks, you need time for develope a good ear and swing...
Sorry for my English

Mattia
 

randrade89

Senior Member
Yes, it's not all about listening. You have to practice a lot, and the best way to do that is by playing along with some great swingin drummers. It's much better than just playin spang a lang to a metronome. Hope this helps.
 
T

thatguykalem

Guest
Try listening to a swing song, and bounce from side to side in rhythm with the song's swing. That's kinda what your drum playing should be like.
 
Listen listen listen listen. While you listen, play along on your pad or legs. Something quiet so you can still hear the drummer. Try and duplicate the feel. Eventually you will internalize it.
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
Here's an example of my swing.
Not as bad as you might think. But what I'm hearing is that you're accenting 1 & 3 slightly. That can work in very particular situations, but in general will give your swing playing a stiff feeling.

Work on trying to get all four quarter notes to be of the same volume, and your skip beats to be lower in volume. This will help give your time a sense of forward propulsion and locks in with a bass player playing 4-to-the-bar - that's why we play that way in the first place.

One exercise is to play along with basslines and do alternating 2-bar patterns - first of just quarters, then adding in the skip-beats, then quarters, etc. Listen carefully and try to keep the forward momentum of the quarters going when you add the skip beats w/o accenting.

If you're going to regularly accent any notes in the pattern, stick to 2 & 4 or even the Elvin-ish "and" beats. But whatever you do, don't accent 1 & 3 - it's like clapping on 1 & 3. It's a groove killer.
 

gusty

Platinum Member
Not as bad as you might think. But what I'm hearing is that you're accenting 1 & 3 slightly. That can work in very particular situations, but in general will give your swing playing a stiff feeling.

Work on trying to get all four quarter notes to be of the same volume, and your skip beats to be lower in volume. This will help give your time a sense of forward propulsion and locks in with a bass player playing 4-to-the-bar - that's why we play that way in the first place.

One exercise is to play along with basslines and do alternating 2-bar patterns - first of just quarters, then adding in the skip-beats, then quarters, etc. Listen carefully and try to keep the forward momentum of the quarters going when you add the skip beats w/o accenting.

If you're going to regularly accent any notes in the pattern, stick to 2 & 4 or even the Elvin-ish "and" beats. But whatever you do, don't accent 1 & 3 - it's like clapping on 1 & 3. It's a groove killer.
Ok thanks, I'll work on that.
 

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
Have you tried playing all triplets on the snare with your left hand while playing the swing pattern on the ride? (at slow tempos first) Helps to get locked-in with a basic and regular triplet feel.
One important point for the feel is IMO that in jazz(swing) the 1 and 3 aren't the strong parts of the pulse, as in a pop/rock groove, but the 2 and 4, thus the upbeats, are important. This emphasis is already there with the 2 and 4 hihat foot pattern, but I believe it helps to have it in mind also while playing.

I recommend John Riley's books on bop drumming. The first one (the art of bop drumming) also includes a play-along with just a walking double bass, at a reasonable slow tempo. Maybe that could be of interest to you. It's a great book providing great insight.
 

gusty

Platinum Member
Yeah, the annoying thing is I've done all the exercises at the start of bop drumming, the comping stuff, I've been into jazz for 3 years now. I would've thought by now I'd have a better idea of whats going on...but i guess in the long run 3 years is next to nothing. Oh well, I fix up what I can and hope it all clicks into place sometime soon.
 

jonescrusher

Pioneer Member
As below, it's equal parts practice on the cymbal to listening. Getting an authentic swing is one of the hardest tasks, especially if you're not coming from a 100% jazz background. A committed daily routine will eventually bring results, it won't come in days and weeks though. Try doing some sessions of 20 minutes or more, at a slow tempo at first; you'll need to give your right hand ample opportunity to work in the feel.
 

Drums101

Senior Member
Swinging is hard, definitely the hardest part of jazz drums. Play along to a song and try to do exactly what the drummer does. Listen to Elvin Jones
 

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
Get a band! It's one thing to get a swing going on in the practice room, but another thing to swing with other people, cause there are different possibilities of phrasing, and the musicians have to lock in with each other.
 
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