Jazz vs Rock drummer differences-80/20 drummer

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
There is only one way for rock. The Phil Rudd way. And there is only one way for jazz. The Antonio Sanchez way.

*duck and cover*

๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ™‰๐Ÿ™Š
I'm inclined to agree with your Phil Rudd claim. I'll dodge the jazz quagmire. I've gathered that all jazz observations are prone to turbulence.
 

jazzerooty

Junior 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.
I'm a lifelong jazz drummer, and I agree with your assessment regarding the lack of admiration of other drumming styles from my brethren. I don't want to go into my laundry list of rock, latin, and even country style drummers I admire. I'm especially impressed with many of the top recording/studio players, who have the ability to come up with "gold" in every tune they're asked to tackle.
 

brushes

Well-known member
I don't know if it is a lack od admiration (some of those snobs will be there, of course) or rather a case of "not really following what drummers outside the jazz-genre do". My impression is rather the latter, that most jazzers are too concerned with what other jazzers do (which is a full-time-job in itself, as jazz is such a broad musical field) so that they just don't manage keep track with what musicians in other genres do.

I am guilty of that, too. I do realize what the one or the other drummers does, but I would not state that I know who the best/most popular/most sought after drummers in metal, fusion-rock, pop, punk, rock or reggae are right now and what makes them stand out from the crowd. Heck, I even have problems keeping track with what jazz drummers do.

I am pretty much a jazzcat myself but really appreciate what drummers like Paice, Moon, Starr, Blaine, Jackson, Baker, Ulrich, Portnoy, Cavalera, Aronoff, Sucherman, Smith, Botts, Soan, Brazil, Copeland, Bonham, Collins and many more have done. Without them, our global culture would be less entertaining and inspiring. JMHO
 

Chris Whitten

Active member
I'm not really a fan of 80/20 Drummer.
There are virtually no rock drummers who can play jazz convincingly, and very few jazz drummers who can play rock.
The differences are simple - jazz drummers focus on the top kit, the emphasis is on a conversation between drums and lead instruments, a constantly evolving pattern of notes that are largely improvised.
Rock is almost the opposite. The best rock drummers are rooted from the floor - the bass drum, then the snare. The ideal is to set an infectious groove that hardly deviates and underpins the lead part of the music (vocals or melody instruments).
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Of big names within each style there aren't many, but many drummers also approach all styles and have their own sound that sort of transcends it while doing what each style demands. Obviously, Vinnie comes to mind.

One obvious reason why many donรฆt get it is that there's one style they've grown up with, listened to and played for most of their lives and then they sort of turn that other style into just academia and have no experience with it, don't listen to it and don't really enjoy it either.
 

prokofi5

Junior Member
I don't know if it is a lack od admiration (some of those snobs will be there, of course) or rather a case of "not really following what drummers outside the jazz-genre do". My impression is rather the latter, that most jazzers are too concerned with what other jazzers do (which is a full-time-job in itself, as jazz is such a broad musical field) so that they just don't manage keep track with what musicians in other genres do.
I wonder if part of it is that in a good portion of vocal-oriented music the drummer is held in check. A lot of rock drummers only get to cut loose on the occasional drum feature and rarely get to solo unless they're live. You see rock guys in clinics and they're insane, but unless they're in a prog or grind band you don't usually get to hear that on an album whereas when you see someone like Tain Watts cut loose in a clinic, that's the way he plays all day long. When jazz guys are supporting a singer they're much more restrained too. That might partly explain why there isn't as much talk from jazz drummers about their rock influences.
 

Chris Whitten

Active member
You talk as if it's punishment. I actually love to play a simple groove on a great song.
African drumming sets up a groove that barely deviates for 10-15 minutes. I love that.
Drummers should listen to themselves less and get lost in the song (the music).
 
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