I wanna learn bebop

Kenneth Nishimoto

Senior Member
Alright, up until this point, my specialty has really been the sort of choppy, funky, jojo mayer/johnny rabb/squarepusher style breakbeats, right? That's all delightful, and it works well in the context of the music I make, but Lately, well, I've been itching to branch out. I've been working out seventh chords on my piano, studying scale theory, learning to sing properly, and now I want my heart to beat with a spang-a-lang.

That's right folks, the drum machine wants to learn jazz. I can do a reasonable approximation with a pair of brushes, and just a snare, but I oftentimes feel that my playing is less fluid than it ought to be, I'm going through the motions, it's not "natural", you know? The thing is, I've got the groove, when I listen to a bop record or some benny goodman show, I can feel the beat, and I understand the mysterious allure of the whole thing, but how do I get my arms to do what's all up in my head?

I'm going to check out that one Jim Chapin book (you know the one, with the umbrella?) at the local library, and I was curious as to if anyone has any other suggestions as to what course I ought to pursue, or books I ought to look into. However:

1. Lessons are out of the question. I have good technique, I can read sheet music, and I, being a poor college student, am extremely, consistently broke. Drummerworld is going to have to suffice as my teacher for now.
2. Specifically, I want to look into bop, swing, and good old N.O. style shuffles. All that fusion whitewash is for the birds, I reckon, and I think that a good understanding of free jazz will come as my skills in bop become more advanced.

Thanks folks!


Senior Member
I would really recommend "The Art Of Bop Drumming" by John Riley. That book can't be pimped enough, in my opinion.
It covers sound, comping, solo structure, brush technique, solo analysis and a whole lot more. Buy it - you won't regret it! =)

The Colonel

Silver Member
I love that Zorlee responds to Nishimoto-san's post with a picture of a completely adorable Japanese girl in his moniker's picture. That is awesome (and she's very cute btw - is she single and how do I get to know her?)

Maybe what you need isn't the conventional way to swing. Reading your first paragraph, I thought "This guy needs to buy Free Range Rat - the drummer is a banker by day (as far as I know and have been told) and swings in his own completely unique way. He was never a jazz musician before - just did some rock/funk stuff and the trumpet playing leader knew he'd be great in the jazz role and holy bajoly he is.

The guy plays 3/4 like no other and I wish I had that raw sound in my playing.

Look for Free Range Rat on CIMP - great album - some great Sun Ra tunes in very melodic wonderful interpretations.

If I were to go for more conventional means, I'd say grab some Duke Ellington or Count Basie (seriously - go pick up Atomic Basie today and start playing along to that entire album - it'll change your world)

As far as books - I say "Sure" to the Riley books and a Napolean Dynamite "Heck yes!" to The Complete Drummer's Vocabulary As Taught By Alan Dawson by John Ramsay (which means you'll need to buy Syncopation too)

Have fun.


Senior Member
Hahaha! That's right!
Her name is Hiromi Uehara, and she's probably my favorite musician of all time. Check out some youtube videos of her and her trio / quartet - it's amazing! Jazz/Fusion/whatever on steroids! I saw here live this summer - greatest concert ever! And I got to talk to her after the show, amazing...!

And she's so cute!

Kenneth Nishimoto

Senior Member
Thanks folks, I'm going to look into those books, and I also listened to some of that Free Range Rat album, it's pretty choice, huh?

I've been listening to a load of Max Roach stuff lately ("We Insist!" was nothing short of a masterpiece), along with a lot of Mingus and the Duke. I'll keep you folks posted on my progress.