Jazz Gig


Senior Member
This might sound like a weird question, but I'm going to see some jazz tomorrow and it's the first time since I started focussing almost exclusively on jazz drumming (not much good live music around here). I know I'll be watching the drummer throughout, so my question is basically this: what should I prioritise in terms of observing the drummer? What are the key things I can pick up seeing a jazz drummer live over a record?


Platinum Member
Don't overanalyze it, If possible sit in a good spot with view of the drums and just enjoy the music, jazz is all about communication and interaction between the players so be on the lookout for aural and visual cues, your ear will naturally gravitate towards what it likes so you don't have to worry that much about constantly dissecting the drummer's every move. I prefer to record gigs on audio, I can just put the recorder on the table and forget about it for the rest of the gig.


Silver Member
One thing you should be aware of that you can't tell in just one performance is that jazz musicians never play the same song exactly the same way each time they perform it. If you
happen to hear this same drummer again sometime and he happens to play a tune you already heard him perform, this will become apparent. Have fun at the gig!