Jazz vs Metal. Polar Opposites or Unknown Friends?


Platinum Member
I was thinking in terms of the extra mile the drummers in these genres have to go to be at the top of their game, and the general unpopularity of both genres for the average listener. It's kinda musician based fun as beyondbetrayal eluded to earlier. And people strive to get there.
Well, I'm all for a good time! :)

I do have a couple of thoughts. You know when I was younger, I used to think more of opposites in terms of music. Like I used to think that country was the opposite of rock and roll (I wasn't exposed to much more of this until I was probably a teenager when I started band class). Classical music was just something else entirely when I was a kid.

As far as the amount of work to be at the top of the game, it does take a lot of work. In addition, the unpopularity topic reminds me of a joke:

What's the difference between a jazz guitarist and a rock guitarist?

A rock guitarist plays 3-4 chords for thousands of people.

A jazz guitarist plays thousands of chords for 3-4 people.

I'm here all week...

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
This video is jazz. I don't hear anything = metal. I like it.

I hear two different sax. But only one sax player in video.

They don't need the guitar player.

Love the bass.

The only thing "metal" about this is the gyrations of guitar player. And do they even need him? They're fine without him I don't hear him doing anything.

I do think the two are similar.


Senior Member
Jazz / Metal? - King Crimson has been there done that and got the "T" shirt - old news - :) but good stuff!
I came here to post that, too! You could also listen to some Mahavishnu Orchestra (I suggest Birds of Fire) for a similar blending of styles.

It seems to me that Jazz and Metal had some similarities/overlapping back in the day, which is not surprising given the technical prowess and sheer intensity both of those styles require.


Platinum Member
I'm with MrInsanePolack. Jazz and metal are almost kissing cousins.

Particularly when you look a how popular bands set up smaller and smaller sub-genres, that requires far more disciple and skill to play, with a smaller and smaller audience.

Jazz: The very popular Swing/Big Band to be-bob to fee jazz and Avangard jazz

Metal: Early metal to thrash to death metal to djent to math metal

And also the endless fan debates about just what is or is not jazz/metal.
Examples: Is Kenny G jazz? Is Poison really metal? People will argue to the death on these topics.


Senior Member
Metal came from Jazz. More specifically, metal came from rock, and rock came from jazz.

Jazz influenced everything.

For instance, the first double bass player was Louie Bellson, a jazz drummer, who came up with the idea while in high school in the late 30s or early 40s.


Active member
I think when mixed properly, they create a really cool sound. In terms of drumming, I’ve seen really interesting metal/rock beats based off of traditional jazz. Ex. Lovesick by Breakfast at Midnight

Link to song (10:37):


Well-known member
Animals as Leaders hits that spot to my ears. Lots of non-metal chords and rhythms pleasantly moving all over the bar lines.
It may lack the improv factor, but I haven’t seen them live so I can’t really say what they do live.


Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
In jazz, the “feel” is hugely important....drummers can have poor technique but still have incredible feel, and be highly regarded.

The exact opposite is true in MODERN metal. Feel is almost meaningless in metal, you just play perfectly-straight 16ths and don’t worry too much about the ineffable quality we call “feel.” And you better have some serious speed to keep a job playing metal.

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
Other than the Conflux video, most of what has been shared here, IMHO, demonstrates the LACK of similarity. And, on the Conflux, video, I hear nothing that resembles metal.

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Could you maybe give a few examples of jazz drummers like that..?
Well they all have degrees from Berklee and UNT these days, and have to have tremendous chops to even graduate . I’m talking about guys from back in the 20s and 30s, before bop drumming was a thing. I can dig up some names, if you want, although I’m pretty sure there are a couple of folks here who know way more about it.