Jazz with a muffled kick?

Piebe

Senior Member
The thing is i play both funk and jazz with the same kit and it's a bit of a hassle to get the pillow out of my kick drum every time i switch styles. Can you play jazz with a muffled kick? Cause i sure as hell know i can't play funk with a kick that isn't muffled.
 

Duracell

Senior Member
The question is not if you can play that way it's more about do you want to play that way? However, as long as the muffling is not too strong you can still achieve open and closed tones from the kick.
 

Piebe

Senior Member
I recently took out the pillow and i couldn't really get used to it, so i guess i don't. But when i hear other drummers i like the sound of kicks that aren't muffled.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Bear in mind that it never sounds the same from behind the kit. Maybe get someone to play your kit before the gig while you stand back. Then get them to adjust the dampening until you're happy. Bear in mind that it will vary from room to room and also that a live room can deaden once it's full of warm sound baffles (ie. people).
 

Piebe

Senior Member
Good point. I feel that a kick that isn't muffled quickly begins to sound like an extra tom, which might be preferable in jazz but certainly not with funk.
 

Longfuse

Senior Member
Re wool beaters, got this tip from a forum (not sure which one) a few years ago and it's a beauty:

Stick a coupe of squares of self-adhesive Velcro tape to the sides of your beater (design permitting). Buy a strip of synthetic wool/fur and cut it so that it wraps round most of the beater's front. Then affix another couple of Velcro squares to the ends of the strip of material so that you can swap between 'wool' beater and normal in seconds.

Works for me, and dirt cheap.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
You should give a listen to Keith Carlock playing with guitarist Oz Noy. He's playing a 20" bass drum with what I think are just remo ambassadors on both sides. This totally wide-open ringy sound, and they're playing funk. It actually sounds quite awesome. With something that ringy and open he could easily turn around and use it on a jazz gig too.
 

Shedboyxx

Silver Member
Yes Keith is a bad boy with that resonant sound!

Same thing for his toms and snare. Wide open as far as I can tell.

However there is one name who comes to mind when it comes to playing straight ahead jazz with a muffled bass drum: Steve Gadd.

I can't recall any recordings with Gadd going for an open 'Elvin' or 'Tony' sound. He would just use the sounds he usually does. Those are generally on the muffled sound.

So it is a question of how close you want to get to a traditional 50's\60's bass drum sound sound.

If it's a gig where you're going from song to song with changes in style like say from Sly to Art Blakey - that isn't practical to work through effectively.

If it's from gig to gig you could always have a second drum set that is tuned, headed and configured for the style you'll be playing. Again not practical if you are just doing a few of any particular style but..there it is

Jim
 

jodgey4

Silver Member
Another trick I've heard from some members here is to tune the kick more open, and then when you need muffling, you can just roll up a small towel, and cram it between the bass drum pedal and the batter head. It just has to be small enough to not interfere with the action of the pedal, but big enough to change the sound. I've never tried it, but you should give it a go.
 

Pass.of.E.r.a.

Gold Member
This guy, who funnily enough sat in for Carlock, can do the whole funk/blues/jazz thing pretty well with an unmuffled 22" kick. I think it depends on the player a bit too, because there are certain techniques, like burying the beater, which can deaden the sustain on an open bass drum and give you more options. I dunno, the nice thing about music is that there aren't any rules, so ultimately just do what you want to do!

Also another thing I thought of (sorry if I'm starting to ramble at this point), is you could just de-tune the batter head do get more punch for your funk gigs, and then tune it back up for the jazz ones.

-Jonathan
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
His kick is muffled with the Dan, so it really depends on the music.
Wayne Krantz
Oz Noy
Rudder
Robben Ford
Tom Hemby Band
Bill Evans
etc. etc. ......

all gigs with a wide open kick

he prefers a wide open kick and will absolutely play that way unless told otherwise
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
I've heard both Steve Jordan and Alan Evans play plenty of funk with an open kick drum. Go back to old JB stuff with Stubblefield or Starks and you'll hear ringy kicks.

If you get the drum somewhere on the slightly open side, you can bounce the beater for a more open sound and bury it for the deader funk stuff. P-Funk type things tend to have more simple kick lines where you can hold the beater down.

And you don't have to have a high ringy kick drum for jazz. I was listening to Gonzalo Rublcaba's For Diz the other day and Julio Barreto kills with a modern kick sound. Another great album is Joey DeFrancesco/Danny Gatton and Relentless where Timm Biery plays a ton of different jazz styles with a fairly modern drum sound.
 

groove1

Silver Member
I've been playing that way for over 50 years with a felt strip on the batter head off to the side.
With my 9x18 bass drum I currently use a lot, I have 2 2" felt strips on the batter head, one
off to each side and have things adjusted where I get slight muffling only allowing different
sounds from the drum.
 

mrmike

Silver Member
Wayne Krantz
Oz Noy
Rudder
Robben Ford
Tom Hemby Band
Bill Evans
etc. etc. ......

all gigs with a wide open kick

he prefers a wide open kick and will absolutely play that way unless told otherwise
Yes, maybe he would choose a wide open kick to play "Hey 19" but I don't know him or have ever heard him say "it really depends on the music" so I guess I was a bit quick to answer definitively.
 

MJD

Silver Member
The thing is i play both funk and jazz with the same kit and it's a bit of a hassle to get the pillow out of my kick drum every time i switch styles. Can you play jazz with a muffled kick? Cause i sure as hell know i can't play funk with a kick that isn't muffled.
Yes you can play jazz with a muffled kick. You can play anything with anything just about as long as the feel is right. You can use the wide open for funk if you want, it really doesnt matter. If you play it well no one is going to say a thing about whether you muffled the drum or not.
 

richkenyon

Silver Member
It certainly can be done - Steve Gadd, Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta come to mind. Also, I think a more punchy BD sound works better in a Big Band setting.
 
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