Funk drummer trying to learn jazz

Piebe

Senior Member
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.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
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
 

Piebe

Senior Member
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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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
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
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
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.
 

Piebe

Senior Member
@ 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.
 

Piebe

Senior Member
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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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
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
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
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.
 

Piebe

Senior Member
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.
 

Bacci0909

Junior Member
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.
 

Piebe

Senior Member
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.
 

haredrums

Silver Member
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!
 

Piebe

Senior Member
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?
 

haredrums

Silver Member
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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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
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
 

Liebe zeit

Silver Member
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
 

Piebe

Senior Member
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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