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  #1  
Old 04-06-2014, 03:47 AM
nsfalgout nsfalgout is offline
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Default Jazz Kit Idea

Hey guys. So recently I have been very interested in jazz and want to try to improve my playing (I'm a pretty basic jazz player) I play in my schools jazz band, youth jazz band in the summer, and am staring a group with my buds.

I want to have a kit just for my jazz gigs and to practice on. My current kit sizes are too much for jazz. Heres what I was thinking:

Sonor Safari Kit in black sparkle with Aquarian Modern Vintage heads on the Toms
70s Acro with Evans G1

Zildjian 14 New Beats

Now I am not sure about the other cymbals. Id like a ride and crash (preferably Zildjian). I want to keep this kit small and budget friendly. Any help is appreciated! Especially from those jazz cats out there!

Ill also be picking up all the jazz books i can.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 04-06-2014, 04:28 AM
ZildjianLover ZildjianLover is offline
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

For cymbals, I would suggest looking at a Zildjian 16" Medium (or Medium-Thin) Crash, a regular 20" K Ride, and a 10" ZHT China Splash for accents. Many jazz drummers have only one crash cymbal, hi-hats, a ride, and a splash, but you may also want a bigger crash as well. I personally use my 21" A Sweet Ride for that purpose, and also as a nice, washy ride to fill in the space during quieter, slower jazz songs. I use my K Ride (same as one mentioned above) for louder and/or faster songs where the Sweet Ride's wash may be problematic. I hope this advice is helpful, and I would love to hear about how this venture into jazz drumming plays out for you.
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Old 04-06-2014, 07:48 AM
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  #3  
Old 04-06-2014, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZildjianLover View Post
For cymbals, I would suggest looking at a Zildjian 16" Medium (or Medium-Thin) Crash, a regular 20" K Ride, and a 10" ZHT China Splash for accents. Many jazz drummers have only one crash cymbal, hi-hats, a ride, and a splash, but you may also want a bigger crash as well. I personally use my 21" A Sweet Ride for that purpose, and also as a nice, washy ride to fill in the space during quieter, slower jazz songs. I use my K Ride (same as one mentioned above) for louder and/or faster songs where the Sweet Ride's wash may be problematic. I hope this advice is helpful, and I would love to hear about how this venture into jazz drumming plays out for you.
You don't really need a crash or a splash for a jazz kit. A pair of hats and two rides is all you need. You can even ditch the other ride if it doesn't fit your budget.
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:00 PM
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

Without knowing what your current gear is it's hard to not recommend buying more stuff that is better suited to playing jazz, but I really think when it comes to jazz whether a kit is "jazz enough" is all in how you tune them and how you play them.

Prior to the 70s most of the jazz greats played on whatever they had lying around, and the notion of "jazz drums" and "rock drums" was a foreign concept.

It think it also depends a lot on what flavor of jazz you're taking about. Playing big band vs. piano trio or small combo comes with very different sound goals. For small groups I think smaller drums and darker cymbals helps get you into the right vibe, but if we're talking a big band you can go pretty "rock" with both the drums and cymbals and still sound authentic.

For cymbals, I'd strongly recommend getting used ones. They're cheap and plentiful. I'd go with an 18" or 20" medium thin and a 20" or 22" medium. For hi hats New Beats are a great choice because they're versatile, but since 90% of your playing is going to be with the foot, unless you've got a pair of Z Customs now you might not need new hats just for jazz.

Getting into some books is good (I just finished working through The Jazz Drummer's Reading Workbook by Tom Morgan and thought it was pretty nice) but the best advice I have (and the advice I wish I could give my younger self) is just listen more. Listen to everything you can find. Same tunes different players, same players at various points in their careers, anything and everything.

When I was growing up it was harder to get access to recordings and that lack of listening had an impact on my playing in a way I really wish I could have avoided. Now with the easy and free access to just about any kind of audio or video recording there's really no excuse to not listen and try to digest and absorb what all of the great players did.
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

Jazz drumming is more about heads and tuning than sizes.
I play with my Jazz band using my 50's Gretsch Broadkaster kit in 22" 13" 16" sizes just as easily as I use my 1965 Slingerland kit in 18" 12" 14" sizes.
I have also owned a Sonor Safari kit in the recent past and I used it for jazz.
I even have a really cool Mapex Saturn Manhattan kit in the 18" 12" 14" sizes which I am currently selling because I bought the vintage Slingerland kit that I mentioned.

For cymbals I use an Istanbul Agop 21" Sultan Jazz as a main ride. On the left I have an 18" Istanbul Agop Traditional series 1700 grams for riding and crashing.
I use Istanbul Agop Sultan 14" hats.
For added fun, I have a 22" Zildjian Swish Knocker with 8 rivets. An Istanbul Agop 18" Traditional Paper Thin crash, and an 11" Zildjian K Custom Hybrid splash.
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  #6  
Old 04-06-2014, 03:46 PM
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winston_Wolf View Post

Prior to the 70s most of the jazz greats played on whatever they had lying around, and the notion of "jazz drums" and "rock drums" was a foreign concept.
this is not really true

by the mid 1960s there were major drum companies offering "Rock n Roll Outfits" in their drum catalogs which usually consisted of a configuration with a larger bass drum than the "bop" or jazz outfits and they would also usually have 2 mounted toms

obviously this does not mean jazz or any kind of music for that matter could be played on them .... or any drums.... but they were offering "rock" drums in the early to mid 60s when rock music surpassed jazz in popularity



.... as for the topic

I play jazz for a living ... mostly in trios and quartets

I use an 18" or 20" bass drum depending on the configuration of the band and the size of the venue..... mostly use the 18" simply because I love it and love the kit

Bob is correct in that it is mostly in the tuning and head selection... to which every player has their preference.... but I will tune my bass drum based on where the bass player likes it's frequency.

Ron Carter has expressed that he does not like the drummers bass drum to be near the frequency of his bass because it cancels out some of his notes so he preferred the bass drum be tuned higher

bass players who play a doghouse are often particular that way and we and they are one so it is wise to oblige each others preferences

when I studied with Elvin Jones his bass drum was tuned like a rack tom .... but out front in a venue it sounded thunderous

not unlike Bonhams 26.... that thing was cranked.... I mean high ... but was thunderous... Bonham tuned his drums like a jazz drummer

for toms I like to find the sweet on the high end.... there is a spot where all toms like to be ...and nicely made shells have that spot in the low, mid , and high register ... I choose the high because it blends nicely with the small jazz combos I play with .... plus it is what I heard all my life on the records of my heroes

Cymbals is a very particular topic when it comes to playing jazz
you want a nice stick definition that will cut through but also a body of wash that the band can sit on and get comfortable.

I prefer to not distinguish between "crash" and "ride".... they are cymbals to me.... different weighted cymbals......there are two kinds of cymbals in my opinion....
ones that sound good and ones that don't

I have stacks of cymbals but the ones I use most are Zildjian K cons
22" medium thin low on my right 2298g
20" light with 3 rivets on my left 1835g
14" hats - bottom 1152g top 922g

bottom line is it all comes down to what you like the sound of and that your sound matches your surroundings

for example you would not play in a piano trio with some Zildjian Z series right?..... right

use what you like.... because when all is said and done it is really the player that makes the kit not the other way around

Tony Williams could make a trash can lid sound unbelievable and have hardware stores around the world not able to keep metal trash cans in stock

Last edited by WhoIsTony?; 04-06-2014 at 04:01 PM.
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  #7  
Old 04-06-2014, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

Some good advice posted here. The majority of my gigs are Jazz gigs and an 18/12/14 or 20/12/14 kit with snare is a great place to start. Snare drums are very subjective, my personal preference is for a 5 x 14 snare as ai like the crispness and response for brushes.

Rides are more important to your sound in jazz than crashes. Mel Lewis was quoted in an interview that you don't need the crashes you need rides and that very cymbal he had was both a crash and a ride. Personally I like using three rides in my setup. A washier left side ride ( preferably with rivets),a main ride with more stick definition over an understated wash and usually a flat ride.
Hihats are on the thin side with a lower pitch, nice foot chick not brash or overpowering. I lkke cymbals that are lower pitched that. Lend in the music more than cut. If I was playing a Big Band gig I would use something with a bit more presence and cut.

Heads - I really like the Aquarian Modern Vintage Medium heads on. Oth the batter and resonant sides of my toms and on the snare batter. They are allow excellent bass drum heads and the Modern a vintage bass drum head has a felt strip affixed to the head from the manufacturer. Another couple of heads ai like for Jazz gigs are Remo a Fiberskyn FD and Skyntone or Evans J1 etched.

The Gretsch Catalina Club Jazz kit would be a nice choice in your budget. I would recommend you not take the snare as that is the weak link in these kits. A nice Ludwig Acrolite would work well and nt kill your budget.
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  #8  
Old 04-06-2014, 05:18 PM
DrummingAllNightLong DrummingAllNightLong is offline
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

For rides try Vintage Zildjian 20" Crash rides, From the 50's/60's their gems, great ride sounds and great for crashing too! they were called Crash Rides many jazz players now search and get them because their so mellow sound smoky and are great for jazz, If you need help on identifying the stamps just shoot me a pm.
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  #9  
Old 04-06-2014, 05:21 PM
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bobdadruma bobdadruma is offline
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

I recently tried the Evans J1 Etched Jazz heads as both batters, and resonates on my toms. I also use one as a batter on my snare.
Very interesting bright sounding heads. I think of them as balloon-like. The rough etching finish likes the brushes. I rather like them.
I have also tried the Evans EQ4 Frosted for a bass drum batter and I really like that head.
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  #10  
Old 04-06-2014, 09:43 PM
nsfalgout nsfalgout is offline
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

Thanks guys for all the great responses! Currently my kit is a PDP FS Series. With sizes 22,10,12,14, and my Acro. Its actually a really good kit for price (got it used). I have some Remo Emps on the Toms and they sound pretty dark. For cymbals, I have XS20 Rock Hats, 20" HHX Stage Ride, 16" HHX Evo Crash, and a Wuhan China.

For the music Ill be playing Big Band with my school and the youth summer jazz band I play with. I was also asked to play in a small Jazz Combo with some friends from school. The summer jazz band I play with sometimes gets up to 8 of each instrument with 2 bass, 2 piano, a guitar, and me on drums.( sometimes there's another drummer so I have to help him, but during perfomance the director of it will have me play along with him on a separate kit to help him keep time).

As you can see, that jazz band is usually BIG. So I need a kit that will work for Big Band playing, and in a small jazz setting. I would like to use my PDP kit, but I think it will just be too big in a small jazz setting. I also don't want to have my main kit setup only for jazz because I play other music with my friends, and just like to mess around on that kit.

Now, I am thinking the 16" bass drum on the safari is going to be too small for my school jazz band and the summer group. How would the Sonor Bop Kit be? I don't really have a lot of money so I am trying to keep this affordable.

For cymbals, I think I would like 1 main ride, 1 left side washy crash ride with rivets, and some hats. My XS20 Rock Hats are pretty thick, so I might have to get some new ones.

Thanks again for all the help!
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  #11  
Old 04-07-2014, 12:49 AM
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

The Sonor Bop kit will work well for what you want to do.
Here is a new kit from Sonor that will be right up your alley. I really like the jive of this one.
http://www.samash.com/drums/drum-set...et-splayerbg-p
The shallow 20" bass drum is all happening!
You will be killing it with this kit :)
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Last edited by bobdadruma; 04-07-2014 at 12:59 AM.
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  #12  
Old 04-07-2014, 01:04 AM
nsfalgout nsfalgout is offline
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
The Sonor Bop kit will work well for what you want to do.
Here is a new kit from Sonor that will be right up your ally. I really like the jive of this one.
http://www.samash.com/drums/drum-set...et-splayerbg-p
The shallow 20" bass drum is all happening!
You will be killing it with this kit :)
Thanks! That looks perfect for what I want to do. I think that will be a good kit for me to really start studying jazz on (:

Now for cymbals how would this be; Hats- Zildjian New Beats Main Ride- Zildjian K Custom Dry Ride? and Left side washy crash ride- Im open to suggestions within a decent price.
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  #13  
Old 04-07-2014, 01:32 AM
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

I know man, it even comes with the holder for the ride pie! I made a similar cymbal holder for my Safari kit when I had it. Go for it :)
I always wished that my Safari kit had a larger diameter bass drum. I had a Pearl Rhythm Traveler kit before I owned my Safari kit and I loved the shallow 8" x 20" bass drum on that kit.
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Last edited by bobdadruma; 04-07-2014 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:43 AM
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

I play small group jazz exclusively these days. I like smaller drum sizes too (18" bass) etc
but so long as the drums are quality, I don't concern myself too much with them because
I can tune them and put heads on I like. When it comes to cymbals that is a much different
matter....cymbals become so much of "your sound" that it is important to find a ride cymbal
that is appropriate. I prefer two crashable rides and also take a 20" flat ride along with me
for very low volume gigs, or gigs with wooden floors in the room instead of carpeting etc.
I go back and forth on 13 vs 14 for hats and currently use 14's more often. For the gigs I play
(mostly piano bass drums or guitar bass drums....sometimes quartets or quintets with the addition of horns etc or a vocalist) I prefer 20" rides over larger sizes.

In a way the cymbals depend on how big the jazz group is that you are going to play with.
My kit would not work well with big band but is heaven for small groups.


Listen, listen, listen to the great recordings of jazz artists for ideas about the sound you want to achieve.

Good luck! Have Fun!
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:46 AM
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

Instead of two rides, I would splurge on k con or a new kerope. Such amazing cymbals.
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:38 AM
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

I would recommend maybe getting a different ride cymbal, like a K Custom Dark Ride. Other than that, you don't really need anything else. A good player can make any kit work for any setting. You already have a kit that will work with both. Even your head choices can work (I use emperors top and bottom and use my kit for everything). If you're currently playing your bass drum with a port on the front, go get a PowerStroke 3 and put that on the front and make your bass drum sound good.

Little drums are cool, but it's always easier to tone down your playing rather than try to get more sound out of a small set of drums. I know historically you saw great small jazz kits with those tiny sizes, but that had more to do with how those guys were traveling rather than a musical requirement. It's hard to get 22" and 24" bass drums into the station wagon when the rest of the band is in there too.

I would really avoid getting a small set "just for jazz". Play what you have and knock everybody dead with how you play them correctly for the genre.

Unless this is a "help me buy another drumset" thread ;)
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:00 AM
nsfalgout nsfalgout is offline
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
I would recommend maybe getting a different ride cymbal, like a K Custom Dark Ride. Other than that, you don't really need anything else. A good player can make any kit work for any setting. You already have a kit that will work with both. Even your head choices can work (I use emperors top and bottom and use my kit for everything). If you're currently playing your bass drum with a port on the front, go get a PowerStroke 3 and put that on the front and make your bass drum sound good.

Little drums are cool, but it's always easier to tone down your playing rather than try to get more sound out of a small set of drums. I know historically you saw great small jazz kits with those tiny sizes, but that had more to do with how those guys were traveling rather than a musical requirement. It's hard to get 22" and 24" bass drums into the station wagon when the rest of the band is in there too.

I would really avoid getting a small set "just for jazz". Play what you have and knock everybody dead with how you play them correctly for the genre.

Unless this is a "help me buy another drumset" thread ;)
Hmm, after reading this, I think it would be a good idea just to use my current kit. It would be a heck of a lot cheaper since I am only a high school student. I will just get a new ride and maybe another crash. Also, the Vater Bomber beater might make my kick a little mellower. I'm due for a head change, so I'll put some G2s on the toms and an EMAD on the kick.
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Old 04-07-2014, 12:03 PM
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

I really think it's hard to do justice to both genres on one kit but especially kit with the same heads for both,.

I thought the same when I was starting to learn jazz and got to one rehearsal and quickly realised a 22 and 16" floor aren't the right sound for small group jazz....big band yeah but not for small combo stuff.
I would steer away from the emad for jazz. Try and get a g1 or even g2 on the bass drum.

D
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  #19  
Old 04-07-2014, 01:05 PM
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

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Originally Posted by Dave_Major View Post
I thought the same when I was starting to learn jazz and got to one rehearsal and quickly realised a 22 and 16" floor aren't the right sound for small group jazz.
A 16" floor tom can be tuned up to bebop territory surprisingly well: http://youtu.be/4YVepskAwK4
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

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Originally Posted by Wavelength View Post
A 16" floor tom can be tuned up to bebop territory surprisingly well: http://youtu.be/4YVepskAwK4
A 22" bass drum cranked up sounds pretty convincing too. Most of my days playing jazz were behind a '68 Ludwig Super Classic that was 22/16/13, fitted out with Fiberskyns and tuned up fairly high. I prefer the tone you get with bigger drums tuned high, and 90% of your playing is on the cymbals anyway.

I'd just invest in a good ride cymbal and some type of coated single ply heads. I don't consider the Aquarian Modern Vintage heads a "jazz only" head; they're pretty versatile, and sound completely different tuned high, medium or low.

The Vintage Bomber beater is pretty cool too, though they don't hold up extremely well. Vic Firth just rolled out their version and when my current Bomber beater finally gives out I'll be trying the Vic Firth one next.
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Old 04-07-2014, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

If you look in the Gretsch catalogs from the early 50's, you will see that a 22" 13" 16" kit is called Broadkaster Bop kit. Those were the Bop sizes of the era.
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:04 AM
nsfalgout nsfalgout is offline
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

Alright. I will be keeping my current kit and getting some new heads (I need to anyways) and a new ride and maybe a crash or crash ride. I really like cymbals with rivets.

What heads would you recommend from Evans to use? I'm really liking Evans coating and they tune pretty easy. I need a head that will be versatile for all styles of music. Do the coated G2s tune up nice?
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:37 AM
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

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Originally Posted by Dave_Major View Post
I really think it's hard to do justice to both genres on one kit but especially kit with the same heads for both,.

I thought the same when I was starting to learn jazz and got to one rehearsal and quickly realised a 22 and 16" floor aren't the right sound for small group jazz....big band yeah but not for small combo stuff.
I would steer away from the emad for jazz. Try and get a g1 or even g2 on the bass drum.

D
Well, yeah, avoid the EMAD, but try a PowerStroke 3, or the Evans EQ3 for the bass drum batter. You retain enough ring but enough low end punch.

And if 22" and 16" aren't right for small group jazz, then somebody better re-record Dave Brubeck's Time Out album. Joe Morello said he liked his bass drums to sound like bass drums. And apparently, he didn't have a problem carting that stuff around, eh?
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:12 AM
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

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Originally Posted by nsfalgout View Post
Alright. I will be keeping my current kit and getting some new heads (I need to anyways) and a new ride and maybe a crash or crash ride. I really like cymbals with rivets.

What heads would you recommend from Evans to use? I'm really liking Evans coating and they tune pretty easy. I need a head that will be versatile for all styles of music. Do the coated G2s tune up nice?
We already gave you head suggestions. Use single ply heads for jazz. Evans G1 or J1 Jazz heads or the like from other head manufacturers.
it is OK for you to buy a small sized jazz kit if you want to but is isn't totally necessary. It is up to you.
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:03 AM
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

Remo vintage emperors are amazing, as are the vintage ambassadors. Coated all the way. Coated pinstripes can help make bad drums or tuning sound a lot better as well.
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:33 AM
nsfalgout nsfalgout is offline
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
We already gave you head suggestions. Use single ply heads for jazz. Evans G1 or J1 Jazz heads or the like from other head manufacturers.
it is OK for you to buy a small sized jazz kit if you want to but is isn't totally necessary. It is up to you.
Alright. Since I am going to be using it for other genres of music as well, I am a little worried about durability. At times I can hit hard.

How would the G14 be? Its still single ply, but 14mil. This would be more resonant than a double ply 14mil right?
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:35 PM
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

Thicker heads make a dark sound even when tuned tight. I use thick single ply, and double ply heads for Rock and Modern Country playing because of the sound.
You want a lighter sound for Jazz so single ply fills the order.
Remember, Dark Cymbals, Bright Drums for Jazz.
Bright Cymbals, Dark Drums for Rock.
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:09 AM
nsfalgout nsfalgout is offline
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
Thicker heads make a dark sound even when tuned tight. I use thick single ply, and double ply heads for Rock and Modern Country playing because of the sound.
You want a lighter sound for Jazz so single ply fills the order.
Remember, Dark Cymbals, Bright Drums for Jazz.
Bright Cymbals, Dark Drums for Rock.
Thanks! I was just wondering because Im using my kit for multiple genres.

Now, I don't know if I should ask this here or star a new thread, but heres a quick question.

I'm going to be joining my friends jazz combo. They are going to be playing mostly stuff out of the Real Book. Do I just improv on all the songs? How do I remember what to do for each song? Should I write my own chart to remember? How would you guys do this?

Again, thanks for all the help!
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:15 AM
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by nsfalgout View Post

Now, I don't know if I should ask this here or star a new thread, but heres a quick question.

I'm going to be joining my friends jazz combo. They are going to be playing mostly stuff out of the Real Book. Do I just improv on all the songs? How do I remember what to do for each song? Should I write my own chart to remember? How would you guys do this?

Again, thanks for all the help!
Use the search function on here.
Lot of discussions about the 'real book' ....and playing along on standards.

also there was a really good post by ConStruct on here about getting started on some basic jazz songs, read this string:

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...d.php?t=113133
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  #30  
Old 04-09-2014, 01:17 AM
nsfalgout nsfalgout is offline
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

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Originally Posted by opentune View Post
Use the search function on here.
Lot of discussions about the 'real book' ....and playing along on standards.

also there was a really good post by ConStruct on here about getting started on some basic jazz songs, read this string:

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...d.php?t=113133
Thanks. Sorry about that. Ill search first.
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:13 AM
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bobdadruma bobdadruma is offline
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

The Real Books contain basic guides to the tunes. I discuss with my band how we want to play each tune and we adjust how we play it based on our input. If you listen to Jazz bands play standard tunes, you will find that there are many different versions of almost every tune that is in the Real Books.
That is the freedom of Jazz. Your band can play the tunes as you wish them to be played.
Use the Real Books as a reference and add your own ideas.
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:21 AM
nsfalgout nsfalgout is offline
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Default Re: Jazz Kit Idea

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
The Real Books contain basic guides to the tunes. I discuss with my band how we want to play each tune and we adjust how we play it based on our input. If you listen to Jazz bands play standard tunes, you will find that there are many different versions of almost every tune that is in the Real Books.
That is the freedom of Jazz. Your band can play the tunes as you wish them to be played.
Use the Real Books as a reference and add your own ideas.
Cool. Thanks. My brother is a trumpet player and has the Real Book so Ill look through his tonight.
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