Swinging Quarters: A Real Perspective

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
Based on a recent thread, I started listening more to how I play jazz tunes that swing. I'm finding the ideal place for "swinging quarters" is on bridges. They sorta drive the groove and band more than when I'm walking the dog. It changes the feel. The band is still swinging but I'm just playing the quarters. While the other thread and OP were sorta hard - for me - to comprehend and the OP could not really articulate or demonstrate how quarter sound when the "swing" (hey they are just quarters; I came to conclusion it's what band is doing playing over those quarters that make quarters "swing") that thread did cause me to think about quarters and how I can evoke different feelings and grooves by going to quarters vs walking the dog.

I also learned that real jazz cats make fun of drummers who, when walking the dog on hats, play the first two notes on closed hats and open for the 3rd. The proper way is to only play closed on first note. Peter Erskine says so. It's a subtle difference. I actually think it sounds better the "wrong" way, but if nothing else that thread may me pay attention to something as subtle as that.
 
Wrong forum. Post in Semantics Drum Technique. :p

I understood MG's original post as "establish a groove / forward momentum / swing" with the quarter note and add more notes if you see fit, but don't lose that feel just for the sake of adding embellishments. Somehow, everybody got hung up on swung eighth notes. Quincy Davis talks about the same thing here (Approach 1):
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
People are getting hung up on the literal idea of swinging quarter notes. The whole deal with this music is that you listen to records and try to sound like that. It's very direct, and you can do it with no verbal instruction or intellectual concept whatsoever. When somebody gives a clue like that, it just means hey pay serious attention to the quarter notes, or the quarter note pulse.

I made that comment a couple of times on that thread, and I don't know if it's too easy for people to accept, or what. But you really do just use your ears and do what you hear. MG just threw out a guide post for you.

I feel like all drumming videos should just say "go practice the thing the video is about for the duration the video was going to be"-- maybe it's a good video, but I feel like people would be better off just playing their cymbal for 13 minutes, trying to make it sound like whatever record is on their mind at the moment. There are worse things than not knowing whatever finer point of drumming somebody put in their video-- mainly, not practicing listening and playing enough.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
The real perspective was explained in the original thread…but…most people have not understood…

There is no better way to explain the thing than how thread starter in the original thread tried to explain in like 10 replies…..at least not on a text board…

Regarding that Erskine video….:

Note that Erskine says to NOT see the jazz ride pattern as a 3 note phrase, but to see the syncopated note only as a pick up to the quarter note…

To me, that was the most important thing of that whole video…

Other players, like that Greg Hutchinson video in the technique-section, really explain to focus on the jazz ride pattern as a 3 note phrase…at least for beginners…

Meaning, there are always videos and info to be found that seem to focus on the opposite….but….i am pretty sure that also Greg Hutchinson will agree with what was written in the original thread…

There is not much more to say about this…
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
Even though I could not decipher the OP's IMHO cryptic descriptions and I started to take much offense with his condescending attitude that if we didn't get it we're not accomplished enough don't practice enough don't know enough, but through the multiple pages and responses I did start to study swinging more and looking at how playing just quarters in sections might work. The Erskine video posted there was also helpful; found out I've been swinging hats wrong for 55+ years lol.

It ended up a helpful thread to me but more so because of other posts not necessarily the OP's commentary.

I wanted to start a new thread here about real perspective and practical use of quarters vs walking dog or shuffles, and share where I am starting g to use them. I hope this thread serves a unique purpose about how we're using "swinging quarters" in a real way, not theory and not referencing other players and their videos.
 

nolibos

Member
I also learned that real jazz cats make fun of drummers who, when walking the dog on hats, play the first two notes on closed hats and open for the 3rd. The proper way is to only play closed on first note. Peter Erskine says so. It's a subtle difference. I actually think it sounds better the "wrong" way, but if nothing else that thread may me pay attention to something as subtle as that.
I've been playing the hi hats wrong this whole time! Oh crap.
 

C. Dave Run

Gold Member
I also learned that real jazz cats make fun of drummers who, when walking the dog on hats, play the first two notes on closed hats and open for the 3rd. The proper way is to only play closed on first note.
Do you close on the first note? If you play the second and third open, where or when do you actually close them?
 

Sebenza

Member
Do you close on the first note? If you play the second and third open, where or when do you actually close them?
On 2 and 4. Just like you normally would. You control the sustain by how much you open the hat. Or with your left hand, like Erskine kind of shows
 
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