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  #1  
Old 05-07-2012, 02:52 PM
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Default Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

I am a funk drummer if i must describe my own style. When it comes down to funk i have to hear a drum just once and mostly i can play it in one go. This i don't state to brag about myself, but to give the reader an idea of how i think about drums. Since years of playing funk i kind of grow tired of doing the same thing over and over. I know that i will never master metal, but after seeing a jazz band perform in the city last week i knew this is what i want to learn and also what i need to get some fresh inspiration to drum. So i thought that listening to some jazz would fit the bill, but my lord what on earth are you guys doing with the kick and the snare? I listen and listen but the only thing i can comprehend is the rhythm of the cymbals. The rest doesn't make any sense to me, they play the snare all over the place where i least expect them and i am clueless of where to play the kick drum. Does this mean i will never learn to play jazz or is there a way to learn to understand so i can give it my own twist? Help me please, because i am getting frustrated from not being able to pick it up.

Edit: I am talking about being able to drum jazz like the guy in this promotional video:

http://youtu.be/lAxKQFB-JMA

What he is playing from 3.45 minutes i can copy, but the rest still is a huge mystery to me.

Last edited by Piebe; 05-07-2012 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:30 PM
Anthony Amodeo
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

first you have to understand the music and how the instrumentalists are talking to each other and responding to what one another are playing

I recommend listening to jazz with someone who understands how to listen to jazz for a while before you start playing it to understand forms, comping, and space

I say this because you are where I was many years ago...used to back beat music

this is the polar opposite

getting a teacher who is a jazz player to study with for a bit would be a great idea......you may ...like most of us who decide to study jazz....fall in absolute love with it

even if you decide to never play the music once you learn about what the drummers are playing, how they are playing it, and how they are approaching the tune....you will take so much away from it to add to the style that you will play

....and what the guy in the video was playing was more of a latin jazz feel than a straight jazz feel
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

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Originally Posted by Gvdadrummasum View Post
getting a teacher who is a jazz player to study with for a bit would be a great idea......you may ...like most of us who decide to study jazz....fall in absolute love with it
I already am in love with it and i feel it gives me fresh air to breathe even though i am not able to pick it up yet. Getting a jazz teacher seems like a very good idea because the movies that are on youtube don't get me any further.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

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I already am in love with it and i feel it gives me fresh air to breathe even though i am not able to pick it up yet. Getting a jazz teacher seems like a very good idea because the movies that are on youtube don't get me any further.
yeah brother....a good instructor will open your eyes to all the things you are wondering about and make them clear as crystal

these things are not hard to understand at all.....its just so much easier when someone is sitting right in front of you working WITH you on it

to play the style on drums you have to understand the music.....listening with someone who can break down what is going on in the tune will start to turn the light on
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:20 PM
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

You need a jazz teacher. The rest will all fall into place. It's basically all completely upside-down from what you've been playing.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

@ Jackie k i looked at your video but the low quality of the sound makes it rather hard to determine what you are actually playing. Do you have another example perhaps where i can hear you play more clear?

@ Spreggy, it feels indeed exactly upside down from what i am used to and this is the main reason what makes it that hard to master. I am looking for a jazz teacher as we speak.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:04 PM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

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Originally Posted by Gvdadrummasum View Post
yeah brother....a good instructor will open your eyes to all the things you are wondering about and make them clear as crystal

these things are not hard to understand at all.....its just so much easier when someone is sitting right in front of you working WITH you on it

to play the style on drums you have to understand the music.....listening with someone who can break down what is going on in the tune will start to turn the light on
That is why i hope to find a teacher real soon, i just want to reinvent myself and enjoy drumming again like i used to. Funk is good and i love it, but to change the flavor stimulates the apatite.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:04 PM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

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That is why i hope to find a teacher real soon, i just want to reinvent myself and enjoy drumming again like i used to. Funk is good and i love it, but to change the flavor stimulates the apatite.

and it will do just that

live it brother
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:34 PM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

Only one additional element I can add to the good advice already provided about the listening part.

To me understanding the evolution of the history of the music helps to understand the hows and whys things are being done in current times.

At this point, the music of giants such as Louis Armstrong / Eddie Condon can be as important to study as can Miles Davis/Coltrane/Ronny Rollins, etc....

Find a great jazz history book and check it out - or try this educational course by Danny Gottlieb "The Evolution of Jazz Drumming (Book CD & DVD)"

As stated a jazz drummer who is a good teacher can take you miles into this life long journey you are currently knocking on the door of.
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:39 AM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

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At this point, the music of giants such as Louis Armstrong / Eddie Condon can be as important to study as can Miles Davis/Coltrane/Ronny Rollins, etc....

Find a great jazz history book and check it out - or try this educational course by Danny Gottlieb "The Evolution of Jazz Drumming (Book CD & DVD)"

As stated a jazz drummer who is a good teacher can take you miles into this life long journey you are currently knocking on the door of.
Thanks for all the great advice, i know now what i need to do and hopefully in a little while i will be able to swing it like i can play funk.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:24 AM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

I like the term 'back beat music' that somebody mentioned.. yes, jazz is not that. Just think of it as, most styles of music have things that are (at least somewhat) constant, and things that should be free. With jazz - at least in the beginning - the ride cymbal and hi hat are what's constant, the snare drum and kick are what you want to be free to improvise. Learn the hihat and ride cymbal pattern, and then be able to play snare or kick, on each of the 8th notes (1+2+3+4+). Work out the coordination so you can maintain the ride/hihat pattern, then try to start putting phrases together.

Or more simply put, if you read music, buy The Art of Bop Drumming by Jon Riley. If you don't read music, learn how to read music and then buy The Art of Bop Drumming by Jon Riley.

And yes, as others say, definitely keep listening to jazz. That's enormously important.
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:44 PM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

Listening to jazz is what i have been doing the past days and this afternoon i started playing along with some old bebop and i am impressed by what i've learned.
I am improving more than i could have dreamed of yesterday and even nailed down that jazz fill i love so much. But i still have lots of work to do, namely on the snare because i often am tempted to play it constantly on the 2 and 4 like in funk.
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

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Originally Posted by Piebe View Post
and even nailed down that jazz fill i love so much.
Which one's that, dude?
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

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Originally Posted by Piebe View Post
I am a funk drummer if i must describe my own style. When it comes down to funk i have to hear a drum just once and mostly i can play it in one go. This i don't state to brag about myself, but to give the reader an idea of how i think about drums. Since years of playing funk i kind of grow tired of doing the same thing over and over. I know that i will never master metal, but after seeing a jazz band perform in the city last week i knew this is what i want to learn and also what i need to get some fresh inspiration to drum. So i thought that listening to some jazz would fit the bill, but my lord what on earth are you guys doing with the kick and the snare? I listen and listen but the only thing i can comprehend is the rhythm of the cymbals. The rest doesn't make any sense to me, they play the snare all over the place where i least expect them and i am clueless of where to play the kick drum. Does this mean i will never learn to play jazz or is there a way to learn to understand so i can give it my own twist? Help me please, because i am getting frustrated from not being able to pick it up.

Edit: I am talking about being able to drum jazz like the guy in this promotional video:

http://youtu.be/lAxKQFB-JMA

What he is playing from 3.45 minutes i can copy, but the rest still is a huge mystery to me.
Hey Piebe,

In addition to following all the great advice here, check out this video I made recently about a way to start making sense out of the comping rhythms you are hearing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk7DHG1T5Wo

This video is trying to clarify the logic of WHY jazz drummers play what they play with the snare/bass. I hope that it helps!
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

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Originally Posted by Liebe zeit View Post
Which one's that, dude?
The jazz fill i mean is this one:

Ride x-xx-x-xx-|
Snare ----xxxxx|
kick x--------------|

Hope this makes sense to you, i may post a recording later but right now i ain't able.
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:53 PM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

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Hey Piebe,

In addition to following all the great advice here, check out this video I made recently about a way to start making sense out of the comping rhythms you are hearing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk7DHG1T5Wo

This video is trying to clarify the logic of WHY jazz drummers play what they play with the snare/bass. I hope that it helps!
Thanks a lot, the video suits me like a hand glove, it is almost as if i hand picked it. Now, after seeing it i know what comping is all about, i am seriously considering to put the thought of getting an expensive teacher on hold. Do you have more video where you expand on the snare some more?

And what song is that by Miles David you played along with?
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:03 PM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

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Thanks a lot, the video suits me like a hand glove, it is almost as if i hand picked it. Now, after seeing it i know what comping is all about, i am seriously considering to put the thought of getting an expensive teacher on hold. Do you have more video where you expand on the snare some more?

And what song is that by Miles David you played along with?
Great!

I am really glad that you found it helpful. Don't not get a teacher though, in my opinion there are a great number of things that you can really only get from sitting in a room with someone!

I will have some videos in the future that expand on the snare drum, but right now I am having a hard time producing more videos because of some technical limitations.

The song is "Freddie Freeloader" from the album "Kind of Blue" which you should get immediately if you don't have it already! Good luck.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:10 PM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

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Great!

I am really glad that you found it helpful. Don't not get a teacher though, in my opinion there are a great number of things that you can really only get from sitting in a room with someone!

I will have some videos in the future that expand on the snare drum, but right now I am having a hard time producing more videos because of some technical limitations.

The song is "Freddie Freeloader" from the album "Kind of Blue" which you should get immediately if you don't have it already! Good luck.
agreed

Jimmy Cobbs playing on the first 2 tracks of Kind of Blue were the first ride cymbal beats I played along to .....wouldnt trade that experience for the world
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:52 PM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

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agreed

Jimmy Cobbs playing on the first 2 tracks of Kind of Blue were the first ride cymbal beats I played along to .....wouldnt trade that experience for the world
Had a couple of evenings playing along to them this week :) "Blues to Elvin" is a nice slow spang-a-lang too, for when you want to slow it all down and let your brain get around the thing
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

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Originally Posted by Piebe View Post
and even nailed down that jazz fill i love so much.
Which one's that, dude?
I recorded a piece of my rehearsal session where i play it. Tho it's still a little shaky here and there and the accents need improvement i think you'll get the picture. It's that fill i play around 5 seconds, right before the one. They can be played longer too, it's just of those things that i love about jazz!
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

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Don't not get a teacher though, in my opinion there are a great number of things that you can really only get from sitting in a room with someone!
That's true indeed, but i never needed a teacher to learn how to play funk, is this any different really?
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:21 PM
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That's true indeed, but i never needed a teacher to learn how to play funk, is this any different really?
Well.

That is an interesting question. I think the answer is still yes. Funk and jazz do have a lot in common, but I think what you are asking is more whether a self-taught drummer can benefit from spending time with a teacher. Although it does depend on the particular student/teacher, in my personal experience, every time I have taken on a self-taught drummer they have told me that I really opened their eyes to a lot of new things (I am not bragging by the way).

And I think that that is basically the point. As good as it is to be confident and take charge of your own musical growth, just about everyone can benefit from the additional perspective of a good teacher. So I would definitely recommend that you try to find an experienced jazz teacher in your area and start taking lessons as soon as possible.
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:13 PM
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So I would definitely recommend that you try to find an experienced jazz teacher in your area and start taking lessons as soon as possible
I hear you, i'm starting next week.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:56 AM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

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Hey Piebe,

In addition to following all the great advice here, check out this video I made recently about a way to start making sense out of the comping rhythms you are hearing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk7DHG1T5Wo

This video is trying to clarify the logic of WHY jazz drummers play what they play with the snare/bass. I hope that it helps!
EXCELLENT VIDEO!!!!! Very helpful, thank you.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:05 AM
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EXCELLENT VIDEO!!!!! Very helpful, thank you.
Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:12 PM
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

Jazz drumming is growing on me like crazy, today i was able to do some stuff almost automatic what cost me crazy trouble yesterday. Right now i am at a point where i seem to have drawn a usable line between funk and jazz. What i came to realize is when i play my snares half a count later than i am used to in funk and skip one here and there, they fit like a glove and sound real jazzy while funky at the same time. I like it a lot, but if it's still jazz i can't say.

I uploaded a part of my practice session from just a few minutes ago, i played it on the fly without a metronome nor any music. As you may notice my playing is already much more secure than it was yesterday.

This afternoon i went back and played some funk and man have i grown! I am really blown away by what a little jazz can add to ones drumming.
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:04 PM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

So i practiced some more and i'm really getting the hang of it! When i opened this topic last week i couldn't understand what Eric Harland was doing in his video's no matter how i tried and honestly it made me a bit frustrated. Yes even so much that i once threw the sticks at my drum kit who of course could not help it! All of you can probably imagine how happy i was this afternoon when i not only understood Eric Harland, but even was able to copy some of his ahead of the beat drumming.

Now i recorder my own interpretation of what i like to call green jazz, since i am new to this really. If anybody who knows something about jazz can give me a review it would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:38 AM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

i don't think this is really jazz.

i think that you'd benefit from working through some good books. try "art of bop drumming" by john riley. then after that work through "the drummers complete vocabulary" by john ramsay.

also listen to lots of jazz!
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:39 AM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

Yesterday i visited this drum teacher who i mailed that i want to learn jazz drumming, since i am basically sick of funk which i have been playing for many years. Guess what? The teacher thought it would be a good idea if i start from scratch with funk! That sounded kinda ridicules to me to put it gently (unless his mission is to destroy my motivation) and he almost got me started when trying to convince me this is the way to become versatile! Little did he know i am living in the 30's! Anyhow, i will look for another teacher who lived and breathes jazz and if a teacher like that can't be found i will teach myself by getting all the books you guys advised.

Cause let's be frank, since i am truly sick and tired of playing funk, what kind of teacher advises me to go and play just that?

Last edited by Piebe; 05-24-2012 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 05-24-2012, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Piebe View Post
Yesterday i visited this drum teacher who i mailed that i want to learn jazz drumming, since i am basically sick of funk which i have been playing for many years. Guess what? The teacher thought it would be a good idea if i start from scratch with funk! That sounded kinda ridicules to me to put it gently (unless his mission is to destroy my motivation) and he almost got me started when trying to convince me this is the way to become versatile! Little did he know i am living in the 30's! Anyhow, i will look for another teacher who lived and breathes jazz and if a teacher like that can't be found i will teach myself by getting all the books you guys advised.

Cause let's be frank, since i am truly sick and tired of playing funk, what kind of teacher advises me to go and play just that?
sounds like he was trying to avoid jazz

probably is not well versed in it and thought diverting your attention from it would mask his lack of knowledge
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:02 PM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

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Yesterday i visited this drum teacher who i mailed that i want to learn jazz drumming, since i am basically sick of funk which i have been playing for many years. Guess what? The teacher thought it would be a good idea if i start from scratch with funk! That sounded kinda ridicules to me to put it gently (unless his mission is to destroy my motivation) and he almost got me started when trying to convince me this is the way to become versatile! Little did he know i am living in the 30's! Anyhow, i will look for another teacher who lived and breathes jazz and if a teacher like that can't be found i will teach myself by getting all the books you guys advised.

Cause let's be frank, since i am truly sick and tired of playing funk, what kind of teacher advises me to go and play just that?
One simple thing you could do to track down a good teacher who can help you with jazz is just start hanging out at jazz clubs and talking to the drummers. If you like what you hear, ask for a lesson, or ask them if they know any good drum teachers. Usually word of mouth in the jazz community will lead you down the right path.
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:38 PM
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sounds like he was trying to avoid jazz

probably is not well versed in it and thought diverting your attention from it would mask his lack of knowledge
Good point! It sure seems that way.
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:42 PM
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One simple thing you could do to track down a good teacher who can help you with jazz is just start hanging out at jazz clubs and talking to the drummers. If you like what you hear, ask for a lesson, or ask them if they know any good drum teachers. Usually word of mouth in the jazz community will lead you down the right path.
Unfortunately we don't have any jazz clubs in my environment. But, what we do have is a jazz festival every now and than, where i can talk to some drummers.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

It might not exactly be jazz what i am playing, but it sure feels refreshing and it's growing on me like crazy. Never before did my sticks feel like a lady i am gently leading while we dance in evening clothes to the tunes that the piano player is laying down.

But there is no lady, nor a piano!
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

For what it's worth, I wrote an article / recorded 2 instructional videos dealing with playing jazz for beginners.
They're here: www.drumlessonland.com/jazz-drums.html

Basically, it's ALL in the ride cymbal beat. If your beat feels good, and you're locking in with the band, you'll be in good shape.

I think there really is such a thing as too much interaction:

Let your cymbal do that talking! Use your snare as a rapper uses a hype-man. Saying "YEAH!".. "What?!" .. etc, in between the spaces of your cymbal melody, or at key points you'd like to emphasize WITH your cymbal melody.

Listen to lots of jazz, and you'll be in great shape.
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  #36  
Old 06-04-2012, 08:07 PM
Anthony Amodeo
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemusic View Post

I think there really is such a thing as too much interaction:

Let your cymbal do that talking! Use your snare as a rapper uses a hype-man. Saying "YEAH!".. "What?!" .. etc,

I love both of these points

I have never heard comping compared to a hype man before....brilliant !!!!!
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  #37  
Old 06-04-2012, 09:58 PM
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Piebe Piebe is offline
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemusic View Post
For what it's worth, I wrote an article / recorded 2 instructional videos dealing with playing jazz for beginners.
They're here: www.drumlessonland.com/jazz-drums.html

Basically, it's ALL in the ride cymbal beat. If your beat feels good, and you're locking in with the band, you'll be in good shape.

I think there really is such a thing as too much interaction:

Let your cymbal do that talking! Use your snare as a rapper uses a hype-man. Saying "YEAH!".. "What?!" .. etc, in between the spaces of your cymbal melody, or at key points you'd like to emphasize WITH your cymbal melody.

Listen to lots of jazz, and you'll be in great shape.
Thanks for sharing, i know now i'm in the right direction. Love your drumming!
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  #38  
Old 06-05-2012, 11:25 AM
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Piebe Piebe is offline
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

I realize now that bebop and hard bop are the styles i meant earlier when i was still unaware of the many different styles of jazz. Which i still am, but it's growing on me as we speak, i know what to skip, so it saves me thousands hours of research and i still haven't found a better teacher than experience. What i have been doing lately is drum every change i get and improve on issues that i still stuttered with while trying to find or better yet preserve my own tipsy style of drumming. Because that is just how i do it and i mustn't want to change my own swing right? And that i have grown i proven by the fact that i can now understand what you guys are doing and understand how you do it and most of it i can copy. It's the solo's where i have trouble, but this is also the main thing i do not focus on being a funk drummer as stated earlier. The thing is, i don't like solo's that much, especially not the long ones. Is this cursing in jazz church?
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Old 06-05-2012, 04:30 PM
Anthony Amodeo
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piebe View Post
I realize now that bebop and hard bop are the styles i meant earlier when i was still unaware of the many different styles of jazz. Which i still am, but it's growing on me as we speak, i know what to skip, so it saves me thousands hours of research and i still haven't found a better teacher than experience. What i have been doing lately is drum every change i get and improve on issues that i still stuttered with while trying to find or better yet preserve my own tipsy style of drumming. Because that is just how i do it and i mustn't want to change my own swing right? And that i have grown i proven by the fact that i can now understand what you guys are doing and understand how you do it and most of it i can copy. It's the solo's where i have trouble, but this is also the main thing i do not focus on being a funk drummer as stated earlier. The thing is, i don't like solo's that much, especially not the long ones. Is this cursing in jazz church?
without solos every jazz tune would be about 40 seconds long

as for drum solos.....you dont have to be chops Magee...just play melodically and creatively ....try some simple 5,7,&9 stroke rolls around the kit mixed with some triplet RLL around the kit maybe replacing some R with your foot ....you will be surprised what you can get out of just those with a little creativity ...start with 4s.....4 measures of time 4 measure solo....its fun......sometimes with 4s you can use just 2 one bar phrases.....use them as a question and answer type things ..Max would often play a 1 measure phrase twice then answer it with another 1 measure phrase played twice

listen to some Max Roach ....he rarely blazed chops around the kit ...he would play beautiful melodies

Joe Morello as well....even though he would display impressive chops more often he would play so melodically and effortlessly that you almost didnt miss the rest of the instruments no matter how long he played

Last edited by Anthony Amodeo; 06-05-2012 at 04:47 PM.
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  #40  
Old 06-05-2012, 10:59 PM
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haredrums haredrums is offline
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Default Re: Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemusic View Post
For what it's worth, I wrote an article / recorded 2 instructional videos dealing with playing jazz for beginners.
They're here: www.drumlessonland.com/jazz-drums.html

Basically, it's ALL in the ride cymbal beat. If your beat feels good, and you're locking in with the band, you'll be in good shape.

I think there really is such a thing as too much interaction:

Let your cymbal do that talking! Use your snare as a rapper uses a hype-man. Saying "YEAH!".. "What?!" .. etc, in between the spaces of your cymbal melody, or at key points you'd like to emphasize WITH your cymbal melody.

Listen to lots of jazz, and you'll be in great shape.
Great post Ilovemusic!

Love the video and your whole approach. There is lots of great advice tucked into the video, thanks for sharing it.
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