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  #1  
Old 10-07-2012, 08:59 PM
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Souljacker Souljacker is offline
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Default Learning Jazz

Just have a question about self learning jazz drumming.

What are the best books/tutorials/videos to learn it? I have a teacher but I've only done the basic swing grooves with the ride and foot on the hi hat.

I'm from Ireland where it's kind of non existent to hear jazz played at gigs in comparison to the States where it seems every college has a program for it.

Any help would be great, thanks.
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  #2  
Old 10-07-2012, 09:30 PM
toddbishop toddbishop is offline
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Default Re: Learning Jazz

As important as anything else is being around people who are also playing it or learning it, and doing a lot of playing yourself. So I would seek out anyone who has any interest in it at all in your area, and be sure to go out and see whatever gigs or concerts are available to you. Since the pickings will be kind of scarce, you may find it hard to get excited by most of what you will hearó that's something you have to work through.

You will also need to listen a lot, so start working on your record collection. It's easy to find recommendations online, or you can ask here what to buy.

As far as books are concerned, John Riley's books seem to be written for people like you who may not have mature players around to learn from. Peter Erskine's books are also great, and Jack Dejohnette's book (which is very advanced, but also gives good insight into what jazz drumming is all about).
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:45 PM
Anthony Amodeo
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Default Re: Learning Jazz

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddbishop View Post
As important as anything else is being around people who are also playing it or learning it, and doing a lot of playing yourself. So I would seek out anyone who has any interest in it at all in your area, and be sure to go out and see whatever gigs or concerts are available to you. Since the pickings will be kind of scarce, you may find it hard to get excited by most of what you will hearó that's something you have to work through.

You will also need to listen a lot, so start working on your record collection. It's easy to find recommendations online, or you can ask here what to buy.

As far as books are concerned, John Riley's books seem to be written for people like you who may not have mature players around to learn from. Peter Erskine's books are also great, and Jack Dejohnette's book (which is very advanced, but also gives good insight into what jazz drumming is all about).

thread should end right here

perfectly stated
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:15 PM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: Learning Jazz

Listen to toddbishop, you will.
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  #5  
Old 10-07-2012, 10:20 PM
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Default Re: Learning Jazz

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Originally Posted by Gvdadrummasum View Post
thread should end right here

perfectly stated
Haha, please don't.

But thanks toddbishop, that post was very helpful.
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:52 PM
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:32 PM
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  #6  
Old 10-07-2012, 11:33 PM
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Default Re: Learning Jazz

Todd really did say it all.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:57 AM
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AZslim AZslim is offline
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Default Re: Learning Jazz

I would add only one thing to toddbiships post. I found lessons to be VERY helpful in learning jazz. I'm not great at it, but I wouldn't have even known where to start had it not been for them.
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  #8  
Old 10-08-2012, 04:30 PM
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Numberless Numberless is offline
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Default Re: Learning Jazz

Get:

John Riley's Art of Bop Drumming
Complete Drummer's Vocabulary as Taught By Alan Dawson
Stick Control
Syncopation

Also get:

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers - Moanin
Miles Davis - Some Kind of Blue
Clifford Brown & Max Roach - Studies in Brown
Thelonious Monk - Monk's Dream
Sonny Rollins - Tenor Madness

If you're serious about learning jazz you should consider finding a teacher well versed in the language (or talking to your teacher about it if he is). Lessons help an awful lot.

Asides from that you need to listen, listen, listen. Listen to as much records as you can, spotify is a great tool for this, as is youtube. You also need to go to live gigs, try to make it as many as you can, I can't stress how important it is to actually immerse yourself fully to start getting what it's all about.
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  #9  
Old 10-08-2012, 08:30 PM
Anthony Amodeo
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Default Re: Learning Jazz

as others have said

listen listen listen

go see live music

along with all the great books mentioned

there is an amazing book by Danny Gottlieb called the Evolution of Jazz Drumming that is amazing.
it is set up like a college course where you spend a week on each drummer....comes with a DVD and CD showcasing each drummer to go along with each chapter.

another great book is The Art of Modern Jazz Drumming by Jack DeJohnette and Charlie Perry ......fantastic

one of my personal favorites is John Rileys Beyond Bop Drumming

there is also a book by Johnny King called An Insiders Guide To Understanding and Listening To Jazz......pretty cool book.....he breaks down forms and gets into specific tunes .
really good for someone pretty new to the style

but nothing..... NOTHING is a substitute for jumping in the fire and falling on your face a few times

have fun bro.....and swing your ass off

here is a little inspiration .......this video has never failed me :)

one of the greatest to ever touch a drum stick

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0XED9VI2cg
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  #10  
Old 10-08-2012, 08:40 PM
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Dr_Watso Dr_Watso is offline
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Default Re: Learning Jazz

It's interesting... More than any other genre, I've had to (quoting gvda) "listen, listen, listen".

There are aspects to playing jazz that you simply cannot really communicate in written form or even in person; you have to let your body learn the feel and reproduce it. "Comping" for example is something that while you can write it out from an example, you won't get a feel for how it's done best unless you listen to other great players - a lot.
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  #11  
Old 10-08-2012, 08:46 PM
eddypierce eddypierce is offline
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Default Re: Learning Jazz

Quote:
Originally Posted by Souljacker View Post
Haha, please don't.

But thanks toddbishop, that post was very helpful.
I also agree with Todd--I think Riley's book The Art of Bop Drumming is the single best intro to jazz drumming that I've seen. I don't own any of Erskine's books (I should rectify that) but I've seen parts of them, and anything he has to say is gold. Here are a few other ideas (besides everything else that's been mentioned, all of it good):

Essence of Jazz Drumming by Jim Blackley--approaches time playing in a bit of a different manner than the Riley books, focusing on articulation. Very good stuff.

I don't think anyone's mentioned Jim Chapin's classic text Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer, but this is also a good one to have. This book lays out a lot of the mechanics of jazz oriented independence. It's been duplicated in a million other more modern books, but I still like the presentation in this one. You need to do a lot of listening, though, to see how to use the independence skills you learn from this (the Riley books offer a lot of perspective on this)

John Riley's DVD The Master Drummer is a good supplement to his books, so you may want to check that out.

Another insightful DVD is the Art of Playing with Brushes. Not only is there great info on brush technique, but you have a great opportunity to get some overall musical perspective from some fabulous jazz drummers.

Good luck!
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  #12  
Old 10-08-2012, 09:11 PM
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8Mile 8Mile is offline
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Default Re: Learning Jazz

You’re getting great advice here.

I’m old enough to have learned jazz before the Riley books were available. I was lucky enough to be good friends with a guy who was a good drummer and had studied jazz. He was able to direct me to some good recordings and when I had questions about what I was hearing, he’d help me figure out how to play the parts. I listened to a ton of jazz and I’d devour anything I could glean from Modern Drummer. I’d read the interviews with jazz drummers and I’d look for transcriptions of their playing. My reading wasn’t so hot, but I could decode the parts and eventually figure them out.

Later on, I sought a teacher explicitly to learn how to play jazz. I remember studying the DeJohnette book, but not with my teacher. My teacher would use exercises from the Bellson book Modern Reading Text In 4/4. He’d have me play the spangalang on the ride, 2 and 4 on the hi-hat and then play the snare pattern on snare. But he’d mix it up by having me fill in all the notes that weren’t written with the bass drum. Or he’d flip it around and I’d play the bass drum along with the written part and fill in the unwritten triplets with my left hand. It really helped me develop independence and it improved my reading.

But nothing was as useful for me as going to see jazz live and hanging with the musicians. Jazz musicians seem particularly predisposed to taking a mentor role with young musicians. I think these cats knew I was sitting 6 feet away from the drums and staring intently because I was trying to learn some sh**. And they’d talk to me, show me some things and I’d hurry home to woodshed it.



The main thing is, you have to have a real love for it. Because it's a little society of its own and very few can play it and play it well. Lots of drummers can copy the exercises and show they can play the patterns, but only a very small minority of those drummers actually nail the feel and make a band swing in the traditional sense. I know some cats who think you have to completely leave the rock and pop world and just focus on playing jazz to really get it. I disagree with that. But I do think you need to completely immerse yourself in it to really play it correctly.
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  #13  
Old 10-08-2012, 09:12 PM
Anthony Amodeo
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Default Re: Learning Jazz

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post

There are aspects to playing jazz that you simply cannot really communicate in written form or even in person; you have to let your body learn the feel and reproduce it. "Comping" for example is something that while you can write it out from an example, you won't get a feel for how it's done best unless you listen to other great players - a lot.
could not agree more

and in some cases I had to see it done in front of me to "get it"

I have been playing drums since before I can remember....and when I became obsessed with jazz it was the first time in my life where while listening to a record I found myself saying over and over........what the hell is he doing right there????

then I would do some research ....see what I heard written down and think....there is no way thats what he is doing

then i would play what was written and still say......something is just not right

then I would see it played in front of me .....and all of the sudden the lightbulb goes on

always amazes me because it still happens

it's funny because it happened pretty recently while studying with Peter Erskine.
he was doing a demonstration and just played some comping licks in passing leading up to what he was going to demonstrate and I had to stop him.

I said what was that right there......he played this sort of quick flutter between the kick and snare that I had been trying to break the code of for quite some time

so he breaks down what it was for me only to find out that what he was describing for 5 minutes was not at all what he was actually playing .

after he wrote it down on the white board he looked at it and played it and was like....hmmmmm thats not it at all

he said all these years he thought he was playing one thing and it turns out that it wasn't that at all

so we sat and figured out what it actually was and all had a bit of a revelation

we drummers who dive into this jazz game are all a bit out of our tree

to me there is nothing like seeking out that mystery phrase or lick

and the fact that it all does not completely translate in writing is so much of the magic that you just don't get in other styles of music quite as much
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  #14  
Old 10-08-2012, 09:46 PM
dmacc dmacc is offline
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Default Re: Learning Jazz

You've been given wonderful advice and no need to add anything else.

Check out ALL of the music from Armstrong's Hot 5's / 7's up through the masters of today.

It's a lifelong journey just waiting for you to explore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gvdadrummasum View Post
.... we drummers who dive into this jazz game are all a bit out of our tree
For true... My branch sometimes feels like it's going to snap with the next breeze but for some reason I manage to hold on.

Last edited by dmacc; 10-08-2012 at 10:19 PM.
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  #15  
Old 10-09-2012, 06:33 PM
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Souljacker Souljacker is offline
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Default Re: Learning Jazz

Very grateful for all the advice, you guys came out tops!

Will be sure to check out one or two of the books in due course.
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  #16  
Old 10-10-2012, 10:53 AM
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kafkapenguin kafkapenguin is offline
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Default Re: Learning Jazz

All great advice! I'd add this: listen to Roy Haynes on "now he sings now he sobs"....
over and over and over again...
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