More or less

I played last nite with a B-3 organ and a jazz guitar player all old guys we did very well and another player stopped in and played the B-3. This guy plays with one of the best drummers in the area and the drummer is very busy on ths drums. I wish I could play that way but I lack that style I just play straight rythmn with just a very strong after beat. I can only do what works for me and I started playing in the late 50,s no lessons just practice.
I guess how I played worked well just not fancy, but lots of FUN. jz,


Silver Member
I love B3 groups and have played with quite a few over the decades, but not recently. Along the way I got to know both Richard "Groove" Holmes and Jack McDuff quite well (but didn't
play with them). Jack loved Joe Dukes on drums. Groove swung so hard any drummer would have to fall into his pocket. As an aside, I once saw Groove with Gene Ammons, Sonny Stitt and Dexter Gordon each on tenor...all 3 of them playing with Groove! I get goosebumps remembering it! I can tell you that a lot of B3 players I know and knew loved Joe Dukes for organ band drums.

When I played with B3 groups (or any group for that matter), I just try to be tasteful, nudge
the soloists, and keep things's gotta cook. I like just enough without it becoming too much. A balance with teasing. Dang, I miss the B3 days.

Lastly, I heard Shelly Manne with Jimmy Smith in late 60's southern California. It burned!
Gotta love Shelly playing with any group!

Very cool you got to play with a B3 recently.


Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
We all have different capabilities and playing preferences, and apply them differently. Except in extreme cases, most music doesn't require a lot of technical fireworks to sound good. Often, it's refreshing for other players who've been used to a busy drummer, to hear more economic playing.

Let's put it this way... there are a lot more complaints about busy drummers, than those who keep it simple and solid.

Sorry for my ignorance here but what is a B3 band?
It,s not a band the B-3 is a Hammond organ that weighs about 375 pounds plus the large leslie speaker. The B-3 was popular in 1956 for blues and jazz .The size and weight was what made it hard to gig with. There is nothing that sounds like a B-3 some are close , but your ears will know the sound,


Platinum Member
Gregg Rolie (Santana/Journey) would play the Hammond B3 if that gives you any point of reference as well.


Platinum Member
Would I be right in thinking that Steve Winwood used a B3 to great effect in Gimmie Some Lovin, with Spencer Davis???

Regardless, I love that Hammond sound whatever model it was.


Senior Member
For those who don't know any B3-ers:

Jimmy Smith
Jack McDuff
Lonnie Smith
Billy Preston

Many yootoob and all will be revealed.

Jack McDuff has been a huge influence on my playing. I don't play Hammond, but I play melodica and his licks transfer really well. Love the way he phrased. Simple, but stylish.


Silver Member
Here's a couple more:
Larry Young - (w/Elvin Jones) Many jazz musicians I know consider Larry to be the best of the best)
Big John Patton
Joey DeFrancesco
Charles Earland
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jackie k

Senior Member
Everybody is taught differently and had different drum influences. This has an impact on how you interpret the music and how you respond to it as a drummer. When playing jazz you have alot of room as a drummer to express yourself on the kit. When you are playing your ride cymbal, laying low, not to standout, letting the piano or other players do their thing, you can add short accents or short snare to tom strokes, (I wouldnt even call them fills), while they are playing or between their pauses.
Experiment when you are playing. Its not about being a busy drummer, because just playing alot can take away form the song and other players. The trick is always to compliment the song and other players. And all that means is to play in the context of the music (what I mean is you wouldnt just smash crash cymbals, it wouldnt sound right).
You can get to the point when a drummer overplays and its just too much and nobody sounds good at that point. Your are ad libing, when playing and its what you are feeling.
I like to take chances and try different things, sometimes it sounds cool and sometimes, opps !, I ain't going to do that again, thats how you learn.
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Platinum Member
There's nothing like a Hammond B-3. I love all the cats who've been named here. Jimmy Smith was the guy who really turned heads when he managed to play bebop on the thing. Larry Young's work in the Tony Williams Lifetime and on the classic album Unity were a revelation for me.

Of the current players, I think DeFrancesco is my favorite.

As to the playing style, I think a deep groove is what complements organ trios the best. You can still stamp your name on the music but a strong pulse is essential.


Platinum Member
I never understood why we always have to compare our own unique styles to those of others. If your style isn't as busy or is more busy than someone else, so what? It irritates me when someone says I need to play more like so and so. The only time someone should comment in my opinion is if I'm missing changes or cues, slopping my time or feel...

I was once told I should aspire to play more like Tom Pridgen. (Mars volta). No matter what I did, I couldn't get it through to this guy that I don't particularly care for that playing style and think the way I play things is tasteful and suits the music we're playing. Bottom line is, the audience loved my feel, so nit picking about some extra notes that you think should be there is dumb. This is also the same guy who insisted that a double pedal would "take my playing to the next level". LOL.

Anyway, I try to never think in terms of "should I play more or less". I just listen to the music in the moment and decide what I think sounds good to compliment.