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  #1  
Old 02-11-2019, 03:37 AM
wizard sticks wizard sticks is offline
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Default Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

Hi,

I am not trolling, honest gov. My Dad used to be a professional jazz musician and I have played in big bands. But recently I have wondered: why is jazz so dominant in the drumming world?

It peaked prior to the Beatles explosion that was nearly 60 years ago. Fusion was (sort of) popular for a while in the 70s. There isn't a huge demand for it. It is the least popular selling music in the US.

Some theories:

1) It could be that the best drummers are simply jazz ones, so players get sucked into it.
2) Jazz is considered the "classical music" of the USA. It is taught at the major music schools and places like Berklee have pushed this since the 70s. Berklee is seen as the Gold Standard of drumming technique theory (perhaps correctly - it produced Vinnie and Steve Smith after all).
3) It is simply more interesting than pop/rock/ etc for the drummer. Technique is fun, and it is an opportunity to express this.
4) Even more so, it is very musician-centric, as it can be accused as alienating for the audience with its focus on the technical and melodic complexity.
5) Drummers think they are cool playing it.

Thoughts ............ !
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  #2  
Old 02-11-2019, 03:45 AM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

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why is jazz so dominant in the drumming world?
It is the foundation/root of all drumming.

https://youtu.be/_7P944vQ0Aw
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  #3  
Old 02-11-2019, 03:46 AM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

Well, it's not dominant in my world, not at all, but it's where mature musicians of any instrument go for fun and exploration. This is true specially when people get older and want musical excitement in other ways than LOUD and AGGRESSIVE.

The "drum set", "trap kit", whatever you wanna call it is a jazz instrument.
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:47 AM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

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Originally Posted by drumming sort of person View Post
It is the foundation/root of all drumming.

https://youtu.be/_7P944vQ0Aw
Well, for all drum set playing.
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:48 AM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

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Well, for all drum set playing.
Ha yes, the rudiments!

I suppose Steve Smith is getting at understanding the overall art. It might be Berklee propaganda but all serious chop players would be kinda foolish to ignore it i.e. all the chops players built on ideas from the other.
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  #6  
Old 02-11-2019, 05:15 AM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

How is it dominate?

I wouldn't say it's dominate.
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  #7  
Old 02-11-2019, 05:26 AM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

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How is it dominate?

I wouldn't say it's dominate.
Yeah, I'm not sure what he means either. Of course there are some fantastic players out there playing jazz, but all the people I teach want to learn rock. I can't think of any jazz clubs in town. Not sure there are any jazz stations on the radio around here.
Of course we do have the Utah Jazz, and they're a pretty big deal around here, lol
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:00 AM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

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Originally Posted by wizard sticks View Post
..1) It could be that the best drummers are simply jazz ones..

Thats basically the reason..

I would make an exception for some Latin players and some 50's-60's-70's Rhythm 'n' Blues, Soul and Funk guys too..
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  #9  
Old 02-11-2019, 12:16 PM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

Jazz drumming dominates formal music education, but I do not think it does at all outside of that. I think the prevalence of jazz drumming in education has a lot of underlying reasons but if anything because a lot of educators are coming from that kind of background, so they just teach what they know. Also, in terms of modern styles of music, jazz is the only one that is even remotely respected in the "legit" music world, and sometimes not even that.

Outside of education, I think what we see populated on places like YouTube is just "chops." This shows itself in many various forms of drumming, gospel, jazz, hard rock/metal, etc.

What do you see in the "real" world, out on gigs and whatever? I don't think you see either of these for the most part actually.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:02 PM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

I see it as where the drum kit was born and is made for. The majority of theory books we all have are written by jazz drummers.

I may be wrong but to my knowledge first rock drumming book was written by Carmine Appice but it still derives from jazz.

Obviously for people who are self taught and have never heard of jazz this argument is null and void.

I can't think of any that haven't seen Buddy play and gone, 'he's half decent!'
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:10 PM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

Jazz is the least popular music in US. But I've noted numerous rock drummers talk about Tony Williams or some other jazz cat as being inspirational. I don't know how universal but it seems most music shops who offer "drum lessons" it's basically rock drumming, and you can tell all their students when you listen to them play. More interesting is the evolution of modern drumming-and lots of jazz drummers have really contributed a lot.
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  #12  
Old 02-11-2019, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

In most other styles of music, the drums are in a support role and are not the main focus of the music.

In jazz, the drummer is just as crucial as any other player. In many groups, the drummer is arguably the most important component to the overall sound.

I think this is why so many drummers gravitate to jazz - because it's one of the few styles where they are really appreciated as first-class, and not just as a backup musician.
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  #13  
Old 02-11-2019, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

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Originally Posted by Odd-Arne Oseberg View Post
...it's where mature musicians of any instrument go for fun and exploration.
This!!!

When I play with cover bands, I am a drummer. When I play Jazz, or Blues, I am a musician playing drums.
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  #14  
Old 02-11-2019, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

Definitely not dominant here in the UK. But, is something I am becoming more curious about each day.........
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  #15  
Old 02-11-2019, 05:06 PM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

Jazz drumming is the most interesting due to how different it is from other genres. Also, the improvisational element of jazz adds to that interest. The drum sounds are usually a bit different from other drum sounds. Peace and goodwill.
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  #16  
Old 02-11-2019, 06:04 PM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

Perhaps the same reason why classical piano is so dominant despite piano being in so many other genres: it's what the instrument was originally made for.
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  #17  
Old 02-11-2019, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

Personally I think it's the freedom. Some of us just get bored playing 4/4 all the time. Sort of the same reason some of us play metal. No one is gonna tell you that you are being too busy. Don't get me wrong, 4/4 is still fun in the right context. But not all the time. It's like I read on here once, nobody wants to just eat pizza everyday. I like that analogy.
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

Someone should start a thread about Buddy Rich being the best drummer out there...
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  #19  
Old 02-11-2019, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

I recall someone saying years ago that a jazz player could pretty much play whatever you needed, but not so if you hired a predominant rock only drummer. When you look at the LA and NY recording studios cranking out the hits in the 50s-70s, guys like Earl Palmer, and Gary Chester, were well-rooted in jazz. And in a lot of instances it's still that way - the best players and educators can play jazz. I myself have seen this to be true too - take a jazz guy and throw music at him and tell him to play any style, he/she will most likely be able to do it. Whenever I've seen someone do this with a hard rocking' drummer (only), the results aren't quite as satisfying.

Perhaps it's a difference in gig perception too. The jazz player is happy to play anything, and will learn how to play anything, in order to keep playing. My jazz background prepared me for playing for ballroom dances, churches, Broadway shows, etc.,.. and it gave me an appreciation for a lot of different genres. Most people I meet who are only into straight-8th rock n roll, are only good at that genre, limiting their exposure to playing other genres. Which is probably why those people ask "why is jazz dominant?"
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  #20  
Old 02-11-2019, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Perhaps it's a difference in gig perception too. The jazz player is happy to play anything, and will learn how to play anything, in order to keep playing.
I don't know if I think that is true anymore. There seems to have been a bit of a rise in the jazz snobbery in at least my generation (I'm 35) and perhaps those slightly older and younger than I am. Where jazz is the be all and end all, and anyone who plays anything not jazz is just wrong and playing anything other than jazz is just beneath them.
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  #21  
Old 02-11-2019, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

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I don't know if I think that is true anymore. There seems to have been a bit of a rise in the jazz snobbery in at least my generation (I'm 35) and perhaps those slightly older and younger than I am. Where jazz is the be all and end all, and anyone who plays anything not jazz is just wrong and playing anything other than jazz is just beneath them.
I think that attitude has existed forever. And as I have seen, those attitudes lessen when compared with putting food the table. A lot of jazz snobbery still exists, but we're not talking about guys who collect instruments and hoard their 1962 Blue Note albums and who only speak on online forums. I'm talking about the guys who are out there actually working and trying to make a living.
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

Definitely a lot of snobbery when it comes to jazz musicians in general.

And saying jazz is "the most interesting", ONLY OPINION.
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:11 PM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

Speaking for myself and my experience a lot of it comes from the fact that jazz bands are part of the curriculum for middle and high schools if you're in band. It's a great way to get kids accustomed to playing with a group and forcing them to listen to those around them. How else is a kid going to learn improvisation and soloing without practicing it with other people? Obviously that's not necessarily the same for the person that is self taught, but I started playing in school jazz bands at about 12 years old. I would have never practiced jazz if it hadn't been for school band, and I would definitely not be as good of a drummer. If you have a good teacher while participating in school band programs they'll show you all the greats on video and recording which is awesome for a kid who otherwise wouldn't be interested in the genre.

Last edited by WiscoDrums; 02-11-2019 at 08:14 PM. Reason: For got to mention improv.
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:20 PM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

In my mind rock drummers who have a jazz background are more interesting to listen too. They seem to have better flow and feel. They tend to have more interesting fills and tackle odd time signatures. To me it is a more of a foundation thing that I wish I had. I don't really like most jazz, but I do appreciate what jazz drumming brings to other styles.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:28 PM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

For me, it's still visible as it's the pinnacle of our art/instrument.

You have to be a great technician and have an even better/sympathetic ear for the music around you.

Also with Jazz you're required to play off the grid at times and have to improvise more often where Rock music playing (especially now days) you're kept very rigid in terms of what expression you're allowed as that's more about supporting the music but also laying a foundation. Jazz you're more reactionary, especially in improv pieces. It's a music form that's more demanding of players, whether that be drummers, brass, keys.....etc

Rock/Pop players will get more rewards and plaudits from the music industry (as it's been for decades) and general music fans but for me the peak are the Jazz players and still deserve to be thought of as the cream of the crop.

And I type this mostly as a Rock player that absolutely adores Jazz but is very much stuck in the 'rock' world.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:37 AM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

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Originally Posted by Old Dog new Cans View Post
Definitely a lot of snobbery when it comes to jazz musicians in general.

And saying jazz is "the most interesting", ONLY OPINION.
This type of snobbery (on both sides) seems to only exist outside of the industry (or people who don’t work). Many of the top working people also have those cool people skills that parents need to impart to their children about being nice and getting along with others. Usually, snobs on either side of the music spectrum do not last long in the real world.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:07 AM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

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This type of snobbery (on both sides) seems to only exist outside of the industry (or people who don’t work). Many of the top working people also have those cool people skills that parents need to impart to their children about being nice and getting along with others. Usually, snobs on either side of the music spectrum do not last long in the real world.
Well, hopefully the working musicians can get along. Otherwise the music is really going to suffer. There's always ego involved with musicians.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:31 AM
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  #28  
Old 02-12-2019, 02:32 AM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

"But recently I have wondered: why is jazz so dominant in the drumming world?"
It could just be me, but I think O.P. question begs clarification. What exactly is the drumming world?
The typical gig being played on the weekend?
Or the material being taught in schools: both public and private?
In the world of drumming there are many different styles being played.

Last edited by Jeremy Bender; 02-12-2019 at 02:46 AM.
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Old 02-12-2019, 02:53 AM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

All the great rock drummers learned jazz drumming.

Mitch Mitchell, Ginger Baker, John Bonham, Keith Moon, Ian Paice, Carl Palmer, they all took jazz lessons as kids, were inspired by people like Buddy, Morello, Gene, etc., and even played in jazz groups before hitting it big.

Any modern monster of playing is almost guaranteed to have some sort of jazz background.

Just limiting yourself to 'rock' playing will only get you so far. You'll play like Dave Grohl, but you won't progress beyond that. Expanding your vocabulary goes beyond that, and jazz has the biggest vocabulary of them all.
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Old 02-12-2019, 03:16 AM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

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Well, hopefully the working musicians can get along. Otherwise the music is really going to suffer. There's always ego involved with musicians.
Well, it's like any other job. I'm sure you've worked a shift with jerk people and just made up your mind about not having to work with the same people. It's the same with musicians. They can have egos, but if they're jerks about their behavior, they won't be working long. There's too many people making the wheel spin, and anybody that makes that difficult is remembered and dealt with. In entertainment, you never get fired, you just don't get called. There's a reason those guys who get the calls, get them. And it's not always about being the 'best' (this describes me).
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:28 AM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

The way I see it, jazz is to drumming what the decathlon is to the olympics.

If you can play jazz, you can play anything.

I can't think of a drummer who can play anything but jazz.
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:45 AM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

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If you can play jazz, you can play anything

I disagree, but I hesitate to open up this can of worms...should I continue or just keep this opinion to myself?
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:02 PM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

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If you can play jazz, you can play anything.
Beatdat beat me to it :)

I taught my kids drive using a manual transmission. Now they can drive a stick or automatic. Most kids who start with an automatic will never learn stick, if you get the analogy.
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Old 02-12-2019, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

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I disagree, but I hesitate to open up this can of worms...should I continue or just keep this opinion to myself?
Your opinion is valid, and definitely not alone.
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Old 02-12-2019, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

Jazz has contributed to rock, metal, numerous genres-as it had contributions from various genres itself. Jazz cats with double bass-blazing bass patters and blasting decades ago. It's all fused together (all kinds of jazz, big band, rap jazz, rock jazz, etc)-all has migrated and mixed just like human populations. There is only good music and bad music of any genre (modern country sounds like pop and rock to me). But remember I posted "a study" where jazz and classical (two dying music forms in US) associated with higher IQ-so US must be shifting to lower IQ since so few appreciate it ROFL. I think drummers are enamored with Jazz though-note how many rockers have played in Buddy Rich band.
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Old 02-12-2019, 04:26 PM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

On a video with Stewert Copeland, he said "Jazz is more fun to play than listen to."
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Old 02-13-2019, 02:59 AM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

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I disagree, but I hesitate to open up this can of worms...should I continue or just keep this opinion to myself?
I agree with your disagreement.
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Old 02-13-2019, 03:24 AM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

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On a video with Stewert Copeland, he said "Jazz is more fun to play than listen to."
On the Big Bang Theory Sheldon Cooper said, "I've always thought I hated jazz, maybe I was wrong. Maybe it's great to hear all the notes at once."

I feel this way sometimes.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:55 AM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

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... Where jazz is the be all and end all, and anyone who plays anything not jazz is just wrong and playing anything other than jazz is just beneath them.
That kind of chauvinism isn't a jazz thing, I'm pretty sure.

I called somebody a little while back, to try and find an emergency bass player.

"Sorry, no I don't know anybody who'd be up to play covers. All the guys I know only want to play originals, and only death metal at that."

So not a jazz thing - it's a dickhead thing.
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:04 AM
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Default Re: Why is jazz drumming still so dominant?

Everyone is different, and everyone likes what they like.

I played rock/pop most of my life, learnt a few latin beats, but never really did anything to work on 'learning' jazz until a few years ago.

For me, jazz presented a new challenge, as the feel and approach is so very different from 'backbeat' drumming. Learning jazz 'vocabulary' and practicing 'jazz phrasing' had the effect of developing a sort of subtlety, attention to dynamics (and yes, technique - as some of the practice forced me to confront my poor technique and find something better) in my case.

I have a looong way to go of course, but in the short time (about 4 years so far) that I have been learning/practicing jazz, it has already made a huge difference to my playing. Not just my jazz playing, but all of my playing. I practice other things too, but for me jazz has opened up a new world of listening and playing which I have really liked.

YMMV of course. Whatever you practice will find its way into your playing. Take your pick.
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