Jazz drumming

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Thank you
I'm getting a great history lesson. I've found the history of the music and equipment used early on fascinating.
Per an early suggestion I'm diving into
Max Roach today. Something about his style I like.
Again thanks

Then dive into Max and don't be in a rush to move on. Enjoy and use it for all it's worth.
 

drum hostage

Active Member
the Jazz 625 (625 b/c 625 scan lines in PAL) programs are nice to watch
not drum specific...but that's kind of the point maybe...ensemble work
but the context stuff is clear and the visual compnent helps

oh yeah, not that it matters ;-) but its also good music! :-D
 
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Wbp

Member
Try listening to the album Midnight Blue, by Kenney Burrell. The drummer is Bill English, and his playing is much more low key than a lot of jazz drumming. You should find it easier to digest than some of the more drum heavy performances by bigger name players.

It's the album I always recommend as a starting point for how to "get" jazz drums. Sure, it's fun to listen to Art Blakey or Tony Williams, but you have to learn to walk before you can run, so Bill English is the guy.

It's the same idea as learning to play like Ringo before you try to play like Terry Bozzio.

:)
Thanks
That sounds good. I put it on the list of suggestions. I listened to a bunch of max roach today. Interesting style, I like his pauses and changes but way over my head. I'll try the Kenney Burrell album next wk.
Got a new ride coming then.
Thank you sir
 

Wbp

Member
Apart from swing and groove .. you'll also want to work on your finger technique. I see a lot of great jazz drummers around town and a lot of the time their wrists don't bend much.. but the sticks are bouncing like crazy. Also for fast patterns on the ride cymbal etc.. or articulated double stroke rolls around the kit - it's all fingers!
I picked up on the double stoke rolls today watching max roach. Very interesting. I've been trying lately to work the bells with my fingers. Lots there.
Thanks for the info. I'm getting an education today.
 

Wbp

Member
I don't know if it matters where you start, I think first it's about finding a connection to the music and having some patient listening. And then you can work the lineage both backwards and forward. I distinctly remember getting A Love Supreme because it is recommended so highly and listened to Elvin, 'hmmm....that's interesting' but not really even having an understanding what was going on as it was so foreign at first. Tony was far more accessible because his technique was so refined plus he knew lineage extremely well while having a vision, so on a deep dive it was a lot to digest and connect alot of other jazz drummers, then connect to others. For Elvin, I read alot of interviews so see what they liked but I needed more of my own musical experiences to digest what was happening; it was like staring too close to an Impressionist painting and them stepping back to absorb the whole painting along with the quartet....holy smokes, this freakin' amazing. It continues to be fun treasure hunt to check out players and albums.
Lots for me to learn for sure. It can be overwhelming at times. I've learned to settle down a bit. On the learning side it took me 6 months to figure out the drum sound in my head was Brass.
I'm enjoying all of it now that I can move around the kit.
Thank you for your input.
 

Wbp

Member
the Jazz 625 (625 b/c 625 scan lines in PAL) programs are nice to watch
not drum specific...but that's kind of the point maybe...ensemble work
but the context stuff is clear and the visual compnent helps

oh yeah, not that it matters ;-) but its also good music! :-D
Don't know that one. I'll check it out.
If I can get a visual it makes it easier for me
Thank you
 

Wbp

Member
I don't know if it matters where you start, I think first it's about finding a connection to the music and having some patient listening. And then you can work the lineage both backwards and forward. I distinctly remember getting A Love Supreme because it is recommended so highly and listened to Elvin, 'hmmm....that's interesting' but not really even having an understanding what was going on as it was so foreign at first. Tony was far more accessible because his technique was so refined plus he knew lineage extremely well while having a vision, so on a deep dive it was a lot to digest and connect alot of other jazz drummers, then connect to others. For Elvin, I read alot of interviews so see what they liked but I needed more of my own musical experiences to digest what was happening; it was like staring too close to an Impressionist painting and them stepping back to absorb the whole painting along with the quartet....holy smokes, this freakin' amazing. It continues to be fun treasure hunt to check out players and albums.
I started today with Max Roach. Way over my head but I'm going to work on that for
Awhile. I love his changes. Good stuff.
Thanks for the help.
 

Sebenza

Member
Go look for something that you can connect with. Spend an hour or two on a playlist of classics and pick out tunes that resonate with you. Then go and listen to the albums the tunes came from. It really doesn't matter if it's music from the 40's, the 60's, the 80's or whatever...if it's something you can relate to, just take it from there. Eventually, when you get deeper into it and you start to get a feel for what, when and why things are being played, you'll end up visiting most of the classic stuff anyways.
 
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Tosheus

Member
Try listening to the album Midnight Blue, by Kenney Burrell. The drummer is Bill English, and his playing is much more low key than a lot of jazz drumming. You should find it easier to digest than some of the more drum heavy performances by bigger name players.

It's the album I always recommend as a starting point for how to "get" jazz drums. Sure, it's fun to listen to Art Blakey or Tony Williams, but you have to learn to walk before you can run, so Bill English is the guy.

It's the same idea as learning to play like Ringo before you try to play like Terry Bozzio.

:)
Midnight Blue.. What an album.. 🙏🏻
 

Wbp

Member
Go look for something that you can connect with. Spend an hour or two on a playlist of classics and pick out tunes that resonate with you. Then go and listen to the albums the tunes came from. It really doesn't matter if it's music from the 40's, the 60's, the 80's or whatever...if it's something you can relate to, just take it from there. Eventually, when you get deeper into it and you start to get a feel for what, when and why things are being played, you'll end up visiting most of the classic stuff anyways.
Per a suggestion yesterday I've been watching an listening to max roach.
Over my head technically but I really like
His timing and how melodic his playing is.
Think I'll try and hang there for a while.
Thank you for your ideas
 

Wbp

Member
Try listening to the album Midnight Blue, by Kenney Burrell. The drummer is Bill English, and his playing is much more low key than a lot of jazz drumming. You should find it easier to digest than some of the more drum heavy performances by bigger name players.

It's the album I always recommend as a starting point for how to "get" jazz drums. Sure, it's fun to listen to Art Blakey or Tony Williams, but you have to learn to walk before you can run, so Bill English is the guy.

It's the same idea as learning to play like Ringo before you try to play like Terry Bozzio.

:)
Early this am I listened to that entire album with the cans on. Oh my !
Mr English's use of the rim and different
Accents are quite tasty. I'll be lifting some of that soon.
Thank you so much for that recommendation
 

drum hostage

Active Member
Here's something to watch

Now I'm NOT talking about watching it for technique - but he's covering the purpose there ..how it's an integrative approach -i'ts bridging with other instrumentation

you have history laying keys...right?
remember when everyone was working on synthesizing rhodes sounds and one of the things they had to account for (and cheesier patches didn't do right) was the hammer sound?
it's sort of like that.

I'm not saying that's the only function by a long shot, but it's just an example of the way drums integrate.
It's really orchestration

I think a lot of harmonic concepts can be translated rhythmically
like OK, say you are playing homophonically to make big, declarative chords everyone is on it, not adding harmonies and playing right on the triad - that's sort of like playing right on the beat...linear clear, this is what's happening
vs, say in a fugue where you WANT the voices to be more interpreted as independent melodic lines that evolve a harmony (which a lot of organists will kind of mess up if they panic and start "reading vertically")

Then ther are times when you might be filling in little spaces to add a sense of dynamics and motion...kind of like the Bach ornaments (I mean that's really literal, you know that whole school of thought that the ornaments fill in for dynamics on pre-pianoforte clavier)

of like tritone subs..you know how there's that sort of anti-theory simplifying approach you hear sometimes like "the tritone is the whole point, the rest is window dressing" - so maybe you have 4 bars where there's a certain feel/theme like a military march, or maybe a samba or whatever where you need to get to that snare roll or keep the clave but you can color it however as long as you maintain the markers for that theme

even in repertoire..like think about how the string section is playing the same notes every string section is playing, but 1st chair sets the bowing to interpret the music against the total orchestration (I need a sharp attack here b/c this is where the exposition is, I've got to pull back on a strong downstroke here to stay off the legato horns)


So I mean listen to the technicals I guess - that's not for me to say
but then also make sure to put that down and listen to the musicality - jazz is super-interactive.
(I have a love-hate with recorded Jazz. I mean it gives us access to some seriously historic performances, but for me , it's still just sort of shadows in a Platonic cave -- and again, this is for me YMMV but I find it a live music and when it's really rolling the ensemble isn't just intracting with the bandmates but with the audience too. I always think it's funny when a bass player throw in a musical pun, quotes something from a different context..and they notice that you notice and they start playing AT you..."OK, OK, but do know this one?" or they pull some deceptive cadence that makes your jaw drop and you go "oh man I never expected you to resolve to THAT - I just didn't see that coming" and they feel the audience do that and they just bloom it back in as they bring you home to the theme.
I mean that's like real concrete, literal broadbrush interactions, but I find it happens a lot in lot less concrete fashion - "vibe" "energy" I hate using those words b/c they can come off trite, but it's kind of really a thing too

eh, anyway , that was some serious word vomit bullshit - maybe I should drink some wine and make up a bunch of descriptions about tannins and whatnot "it's fruity and playful, yet not ostentatious. I'm getting notes of old leather boot, warm Coors and...and...ah....my older brother's armpit from when he would headlock me as a child")
 
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toddbishop

Platinum Member
You've been playing drums for a year? The thing to do now is just to listen a lot, see some local drummers, get John Riley's book to get an idea of the terrain, and continue improving your general drumming skills. Lessons would be an excellent idea.
 
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Wbp

Member
Here's something to watch

Now I'm NOT talking about watching it for technique - but he's covering the purpose there ..how it's an integrative approach -i'ts bridging with other instrumentation

you have history laying keys...right?
remember when everyone was working on synthesizing rhodes sounds and one of the things they had to account for (and cheesier patches didn't do right) was the hammer sound?
it's sort of like that.

I'm not saying that's the only function by a long shot, but it's just an example of the way drums integrate.
It's really orchestration

I think a lot of harmonic concepts can be translated rhythmically
like OK, say you are playing homophonically to make big, declarative chords everyone is on it, not adding harmonies and playing right on the triad - that's sort of like playing right on the beat...linear clear, this is what's happening
vs, say in a fugue where you WANT the voices to be more interpreted as independent melodic lines that evolve a harmony (which a lot of organists will kind of mess up if they panic and start "reading vertically")

Then ther are times when you might be filling in little spaces to add a sense of dynamics and motion...kind of like the Bach ornaments (I mean that's really literal, you know that whole school of thought that the ornaments fill in for dynamics on pre-pianoforte clavier)

of like tritone subs..you know how there's that sort of anti-theory simplifying approach you hear sometimes like "the tritone is the whole point, the rest is window dressing" - so maybe you have 4 bars where there's a certain feel/theme like a military march, or maybe a samba or whatever where you need to get to that snare roll or keep the clave but you can color it however as long as you maintain the markers for that theme

even in repertoire..like think about how the string section is playing the same notes every string section is playing, but 1st chair sets the bowing to interpret the music against the total orchestration (I need a sharp attack here b/c this is where the exposition is, I've got to pull back on a strong downstroke here to stay off the legato horns)


So I mean listen to the technicals I guess - that's not for me to say
but then also make sure to put that down and listen to the musicality - jazz is super-interactive.
(I have a love-hate with recorded Jazz. I mean it gives us access to some seriously historic performances, but for me , it's still just sort of shadows in a Platonic cave -- and again, this is for me YMMV but I find it a live music and when it's really rolling the ensemble isn't just intracting with the bandmates but with the audience too. I always think it's funny when a bass player throw in a musical pun, quotes something from a different context..and they notice that you notice and they start playing AT you..."OK, OK, but do know this one?" or they pull some deceptive cadence that makes your jaw drop and you go "oh man I never expected you to resolve to THAT - I just didn't see that coming" and they feel the audience do that and they just bloom it back in as they bring you home to the theme.
I mean that's like real concrete, literal broadbrush interactions, but I find it happens a lot in lot less concrete fashion - "vibe" "energy" I hate using those words b/c they can come off trite, but it's kind of really a thing too

eh, anyway , that was some serious word vomit bullshit - maybe I should drink some wine and make up a bunch of descriptions about tannins and whatnot "it's fruity and playful, yet not ostentatious. I'm getting notes of old leather boot, warm Coors and...and...ah....my older brother's armpit from when he would headlock me as a child")
I get what he's saying. I'd played keys and strings for 50 yrs but never touched a drum stick. Drumming is all new for me in both context and skill. Wished I had done
This decades ago. I listened to a Kenny Brunell early 1960's disk thelis am all the way thru and tried to keep the drums in context to every thing else going on.
Good stuff. Thanks for the wisdom.
 

Wbp

Member
You've been playing drums for a year? The thing to do now is just to listen a lot, see some local drummers, get John Riley's book to get an idea of the terrain, and continue improving your general drumming skills. Lessons would be an excellent idea.
Probably a little less than a yr.
Only within the last couple months have
My left hand and internal clock gotten to where I was comfortable taking on the jazz thing. I'LL try to work out the lesson thing but it would be a 50 mile round trip.
That's why a consult with knowledge ppl here from time to time. They have helped
Alot. Thank you for the help.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
I think of you really want to get into playing Jazz you need to go to the roots . I would start with the Big Bands like Count Basie , Glen Miller , Benny Goodman etc . , even if Big Band is not what you ultimately want to play , listening will get the sense of swing into your playing .

For small Group /Bop playing it all starts with Art Blakey for me . The first time I heard Art is was an epiphany for me . I could get Art and fell in love with his style .

After Art I made a progression through the Great players
Max Roach was next ( such a melodic player )
Tony Williams (you can hear he was influenced by Max and Art )
Mel Lewis - another of my favourite players

So many great players - get the John Riley book The Art of BeBop Drumming there is an excellent recommended listening section .
+1000. Start with learning to swing on ride, and rely less on hats. Rely less on playing the 2+4 on snare. Listen to everything Art Blakey put out.
 

pibroch

Junior Member
Per a suggestion yesterday I've been watching an listening to max roach.
Over my head technically but I really like
His timing and how melodic his playing is.
Think I'll try and hang there for a while.
Thank you for your ideas
Another drummer to listen to could be Ben Riley. Drummer and Educator Todd Bishop, who replied to you earlier on this thread, had this to say about the late Ben Riley:

He's a great player to listen to as a beginning jazz drummer-- he's about the cleanest example of a modern bop player as I can think of. You can hear all of the stuff you'll be practicing in action, played in a straightforward way.

Here's an excellent recording of him playing live, recommended for beginning jazz drummers to study by NYC jazz drummer and educator Keith Balla:

 
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Wbp

Member
Another drummer to listen to could be Ben Riley. Drummer and Educator Todd Bishop, who replied to you earlier on this thread, had this to say about the late Ben Riley:

He's a great player to listen to as a beginning jazz drummer-- he's about the cleanest example of a modern bop player as I can think of. You can hear all of the stuff you'll be practicing in action, played in a straightforward way.

Here's an excellent recording of him playing live, recommended for beginning jazz drummers to study by NYC jazz drummer and educator Keith Balla:

I was just listening to your clip thru the stereo and my wife walked in an said, " I like that, who is it ? " good stuff.
I'm going to put that in the rotation and try out my first " Real " ride cymbal that came today. I've gotten alot of ideas and suggestions. Even tried out a couple on the kit but mostly just listening to get a better feel.
Again many thanks
 

picodon

Silver Member
Try listening to the album Midnight Blue, by Kenney Burrell. The drummer is Bill English, and his playing is much more low key than a lot of jazz drumming. You should find it easier to digest than some of the more drum heavy performances by bigger name players.

It's the album I always recommend as a starting point for how to "get" jazz drums. Sure, it's fun to listen to Art Blakey or Tony Williams, but you have to learn to walk before you can run, so Bill English is the guy.

It's the same idea as learning to play like Ringo before you try to play like Terry Bozzio.

:)
That album is a pearl. I'm listening to it for the first time now and it's as if it has always been there. I got that same feeling with certain older Stevie Wonder albums. There's just so much else connected to it.
 
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