Jazz vs Rock drummer differences-80/20 drummer

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Always an interesting perspective from that guy. He brings up some valid points, which are more subtle. Good video!
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Good video. Ed O'Shaughnessy once explained in a clinic that the dominant hand is the "money hand" in jazz. It's used chiefly for timekeeping on the ride, freeing up the non-dominant hand for embellishments. Just the opposite applies in rock, where the non-dominant hand falls like a lever on the backbeat, allowing the dominant hand to embellish. The two styles are somewhat inverted in that sense.
 

J-Boogie

Gold Member
Hmm interesting. It maybe kinda seems like what you do with the ride hand in jazz, you straighten all the way out, and do with your snare and bass drum in rock. Im sure this is nonsense, Im bored lol. Happy holidays all!
 

brushes

Well-known member
Everything important regarding this video summed up here:
 
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Auspicious

Well-known member
My dad (a non-musician) made an interesting observation when I was younger....he found that jazz musicians can usually play rock pretty well, but rock musicians rarely could play jazz. I find that fairly true in my experience.
Just yesterday I was reading a thread from C.M. Jones about his new A Avedis Cymbals and I went on YT listen to their sound and found this video of Steve Smith. For me, he is an example of a Jazz drummer playing rock and that's what I hear totally in the video. First part is a rock groove then jazz.

I think he is amazing.

This is the video of the amazing cymbals too.

 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
My dad (a non-musician) made an interesting observation when I was younger....he found that jazz musicians can usually play rock pretty well, but rock musicians rarely could play jazz. I find that fairly true in my experience.
It very much depends on the drummer in question. I've known jazz players who just don't grasp the concept of a backbeat. Rather than laying down a rock-solid groove and keeping it simple, they feel obligated to throw in a bunch of accents and chops. Busy playing is the norm for them, but it just doesn't translate well to certain applications.
 
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MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Just yesterday I was reading a thread from C.M. Jones about his new A Avedis Cymbals and I went on YT listen to their sound and found this video of Steve Smith. For me, he is an example of a Jazz drummer playing rock and that's what I hear totally in the video. First part is a rock groove then jazz.

I think he is amazing.

This is the video of the amazing cymbals too.

Steve is the man. He will go down in drum history.

It very much depends on the drummer in question. I've known jazz players who just don't grasp the concept of a backbeat. Rather than laying down a rock-solid groove and keeping it simple, they feel obligated to throw in a bunch of accents and chops. Busy playing is the norm for them, and it just doesn't translate well to certain applications.
I have this problem, hence the reason I started "The Unwavering Drummer" thread a week or so ago. Not stuffing 16ths into everything is an exercise in self control for me.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Mainly they just move in different communities of musicians, and play different music, except most jazz drummers also play rock gigs at one time or another, and have to play rock tunes on other kinds of gigs, and probably started out as rock drummers.

Jazz isn't really a single genre any more, so maybe "jazz drummer" implies a broader range of skills, including playing rock, than "rock drummer" does.

What the best rock drummers do is a special thing, though, that it's difficult for mainly-jazz drummers to duplicate-- if they're not really serious about pop craft and simplicity. Plus you can't just go into another community and expect to be handed great gigs just because it's easy for you to play the notes.

Is that what he says in the video? I can't really watch his stuff.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
Mainly they just move in different communities of musicians, and play different music, except most jazz drummers also play rock gigs at one time or another, and have to play rock tunes on other kinds of gigs, and probably started out as rock drummers.

Jazz isn't really a single genre any more, so maybe "jazz drummer" implies a broader range of skills, including playing rock, than "rock drummer" does.

What the best rock drummers do is a special thing, though, that it's difficult for mainly-jazz drummers to duplicate-- if they're not really serious about pop craft and simplicity. Plus you can't just go into another community and expect to be handed great gigs just because it's easy for you to play the notes.

Is that what he says in the video? I can't really watch his stuff.
^^^ nailed it
 

ToneT

Well-known member
Steve Smith. Marvin Smitty Smith. Jack DeJohnette. Tony Williams. Dennis Chambers. Mitch Mitchell. Dave Weckl. Vinny Colaiuta. Ronald Bruner. Danny Gottlieb. I know I'm leaving out many others, but these bad-asses can all rock out and swing equally well.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
The vid keeps it clean.

When it comes from generalizations from one style or the other it gets really hard today as there so much expansion and crossover.

Most music has a deeper side to it if you can be bothered to look inside. Musicians of any intrument dissing the other are never the ones in the know. It may not be your thing, I certainly know I'm getting narrower tastes with age and rock goes out the window outside of being part of a paid gig, but that doesn't make it less valid. It's certainly very relevant to the kids I tend to teach. I don't try to tur them into jazzers either, I try to turn them into curious people with open ears and open minds who can do a gig with respect.

I've met plenty of well educated and skilled traditional musicians who can't do anythig outside their speciality justice. That goes in all directions musically.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I have this problem, hence the reason I started "The Unwavering Drummer" thread a week or so ago. Not stuffing 16ths into everything is an exercise in self control for me.
I'm not picking on busy players. There's a time to tear it up for sure. But there's also a time to buckle down with a 4/4 pattern of eighth notes on the hi-hat and hold the ship steady for a full three minutes. What's important is knowing the difference and being able to do both.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Just yesterday I was reading a thread from C.M. Jones about his new A Avedis Cymbals and I went on YT listen to their sound and found this video of Steve Smith. For me, he is an example of a Jazz drummer playing rock and that's what I hear totally in the video. First part is a rock groove then jazz.
Quite pleased with my A Avedis lineup so far. And Steve is one of those guys who can play any genre to perfection. He's a drummer without limits. Those are VERY rare.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Quite pleased with my A Avedis lineup so far. And Steve is one of those guys who can play any genre to perfection. He's a drummer without limits. Those are VERY rare.
I just watched this really interesting video where John Riley and Zildjian's Director of Cymbal Innovation discuss the A Avedis range, and compare them to actual vintage As from the 1930s-50s. If you're into cymbal-making and cymbal history, it's definitely worth checking out.

 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Music styles can be like language- someone may speak a second one but not fluently, while another person may vaguely understand a foreign message but hasn't learned to speak it themselves yet.

I think the secret is time, practice, listening and immitating.

Is there a way to learn how to deliver a messsage through words or music to make it sound like it's coming from the heart? Now there you have me...
 
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adamosmianski

Senior Member
Good video. Ed O'Shaughnessy once explained in a clinic that the dominant hand is the "money hand" in jazz. It's used chiefly for timekeeping on the ride, freeing up the non-dominant hand for embellishments. Just the opposite applies in rock, where the non-dominant hand falls like a lever on the backbeat, allowing the dominant hand to embellish. The two styles are somewhat inverted in that sense.
I'm going to partially disagree, with respect. The backbeat is, indeed, extremely important in rock/pop/whathaveyou, but I would by no means discount the dominant hand. For me, the dominant hand is one of the things that makes guys like Steve Jordan, JJ Johnson, Keith Carlock, etc., etc., so great. Focus in on the hihat or rides of one of those guys. They groove so hard, and ooze nuance and subtlety, just like a "jazz" drummer's ride cymbal. That's what is most often carrying the groove.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I've seen lots of great videos of rock drummers talking about the first time they saw Tony, Elvin, Buddy, etc and were blown away but I don't think I've seen a single video of a jazz cat talking about some rock drummer??? I know that's anecdotal. I think the time spent on jazz or any other genre of music will make you a better drummer. And now with about every genre being "fused" you would do well to learn some latin, afro, jazz, rock, punk, metal, etc. to address anything that might come up. I've attempted all of them-and I qualify "attempt". After all my jazz efforts I can really see that influence in my playing now-I think a big improvement.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I'm going to partially disagree, with respect. The backbeat is, indeed, extremely important in rock/pop/whathaveyou, but I would by no means discount the dominant hand. For me, the dominant hand is one of the things that makes guys like Steve Jordan, JJ Johnson, Keith Carlock, etc., etc., so great. Focus in on the hihat or rides of one of those guys. They groove so hard, and ooze nuance and subtlety, just like a "jazz" drummer's ride cymbal. That's what is most often carrying the groove.
I'm not discounting the dominant hand in rock. I used the example as a generalized point of differentiation, not as a hard-and-fast rule. There are lots of ways to play rock, just as there are lots of ways to play jazz. Each drummer will activate the dominant hand in a unique manner.
 
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