Straight 8th fills in jazz

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blade123

Guest
Most of my fills consist of 8th triplets, swung 8ths, and 16ths. Some tempos are just too high to try and swing it. I have a hard time playing straight 8ths, it just feels really awkward, especially at high tempos (when I actually need them). Is this just a practice thing? Or is there anything special to it, any exercises or something like that?
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Is this just a practice thing? Or is there anything special to it, any exercises or something like that?
Learn to feel the quarter note rather than the triplet-eighth subdivision. Subdivide it by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. That should cover your bases.

Practice at a slower speed (where you can still swing) and do some sixteenth note fills. Work in the eighth notes once you can "feel" the smaller subdivision of the 16th notes. Trade fours with keeping time and doing fills. You can learn to do it pretty easily if you feel the quarter note pulse. Best of luck!
 

pasta

Senior Member
Put on a metronome and play qtrs. for two meas. then qtr. triplets, then 8ths, then triplet
8ths, then 16ths, triplet 16ths (sixes), then 32nd notes, then 32nd note triplets. Then reverse it and work your way back to qtrs. You can also do it for 4 meas. of each or one meas. of each. Then start mixing it up.
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
Great advice in here. Also, I want to say, you can learn to play straight 8ths in swung jazz tunes, and still have it fit. Both Elvin and Tony used straight 8ths or 16ths in swing tunes...it's heavily based on listening to what the band is doing, and filling the space when they aren't actually playing swung figures.
 
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blade123

Guest
I know how to make them fit, but they just feel awkward to play. I've been working on them, though. I can now somewhat play them without the awkward feeling.
 

slingerland755

Silver Member
I've heard good things about it, but no. Right now I'm working on Beyond Bop Drumming, and doing a little closing work on Art of Bop
I mention it because there are a few exercises that work on the exact things you mention above.

I know you're having fun with that. Good luck.

Michael
 

KCDrummer

Silver Member
Caddywampus mentioned feeling the quarter note rather than the eighth note interpretation, which is good advice. I would add that the faster the tempo, the bigger note values you should focus on. At those upstairs tempos, you're gonna go nuts trying to keep track of quarter notes. Half notes, whole notes, even chunks of four or eight measures are what you should be thinking about. Don't think of how you're going to subdivide a quarter note (triplets vs. swung eighths vs. straight eighths), think of phrases that will fill up bigger spaces.
 

The Colonel

Silver Member
And listen to Art Blakey on "Chicken & Dumplings". LOTS of straight 8ths there. Listen to a master do it. And remember the Rosie the Riveter poster:

"You can do it!"
 

slingerland755

Silver Member
Caddywampus mentioned feeling the quarter note rather than the eighth note interpretation, which is good advice. I would add that the faster the tempo, the bigger note values you should focus on. At those upstairs tempos, you're gonna go nuts trying to keep track of quarter notes. Half notes, whole notes, even chunks of four or eight measures are what you should be thinking about. Don't think of how you're going to subdivide a quarter note (triplets vs. swung eighths vs. straight eighths), think of phrases that will fill up bigger spaces.
Sorry off topic but Zack...Nemesis sounds great!
 
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