Switching Styles?

justaramsfan

Junior Member
Hey guys, I've been playing for about 2 years, and I feel like I've made pretty good progress. I've been (with my teacher, and on my own with groove essentials 1.0) working on jazz, and I feel like it'll be a really long time till I can convincingly play this genre...it seems out of my comfort zone (I play rock, and recently some metal stuff), and ideas for fills don't seem to come as easily for me--not to mention the feel.

My question is, how long (please give a good estimate for this bad question) till I can feel my way through jazz gigs/ensembles, and what I should do to make the transition as quickly as possible? Also, if you have any tips or experiences from when you tried to learn a new genre of drumming, please share them!
 

samthebeat

Silver Member
Jazz is an improvisional style. you cant just learn it, you have to play with other musicans to learn it. Its all about interacting with other muscians and improvising, you cant really practice that. Find yourself some fellow jazz beginers maybe.
 

mcbike

Silver Member
The best way to fell you way through gigs with ensembles is to do it in rehearsals. I think if you do a few weeks of rehearsals with a group you will be gig ready. Jazz really does take a lifetime to learn though. The best learning you can do in any style is playing with other people.
 

madgolfer

Senior Member
Hey guys, I've been playing for about 2 years, and I feel like I've made pretty good progress. I've been (with my teacher, and on my own with groove essentials 1.0) working on jazz, and I feel like it'll be a really long time till I can convincingly play this genre...it seems out of my comfort zone (I play rock, and recently some metal stuff), and ideas for fills don't seem to come as easily for me--not to mention the feel.

My question is, how long (please give a good estimate for this bad question) till I can feel my way through jazz gigs/ensembles, and what I should do to make the transition as quickly as possible? Also, if you have any tips or experiences from when you tried to learn a new genre of drumming, please share them!
My question to you is: do you listen to jazz as a primary preference? If/when you do, you will be able to make it through gigs with few problems. This is not something that will come quickly, no matter what you do or how badly you want it. You need to identify with it.
 

justaramsfan

Junior Member
My question to you is: do you listen to jazz as a primary preference? If/when you do, you will be able to make it through gigs with few problems. This is not something that will come quickly, no matter what you do or how badly you want it. You need to identify with it.
No, but I do have a good library of tunes that I listen/play along too (excluding the groove essentials stuff which is awesome as well)...Some of it includes the Dave Weckl Master Plan album (awesome drumming, I can't get enough of this guy recently), some Charlie Parker (April in Paris, specifically), Miles Davis, Big Bad Vodoo Daddy, etc...I do try my best to practice this stuff at least every other day for around 15-30 minutes (just depends on the day, really)...

I guess what I'm really asking is if I'm headed in the right direction on tackling this genre?
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
i'm not a jazz drummer. i'm a rock drummer who has worked hard with my teacher on learning jazz. i do have a little jazz experience from when i was in high school stage band, so i'm not a beginner.

i've learned a few basic things i can pass along from my learning experience. one of the toughest things i had to learn was to play a lot lighter and focus on feel rather than impact. i had to really relax and loosen up, which is good for all types of drumming actually. i had to learn to use rudiments around the kit and not rely on single stroke rolls so much. i had to learn to focus on the ride cymbal and the hats and not pound on the bass drum and snare. those drums are used mostly for color and accents in jazz. i had to learn a lot of independence to play the syncopated patterns that are common in jazz. it's been hard but i've made a lot of progress.

i'm no expert, but i can "hang" with jazz musicians now, as long as they're not too good! that's the problem with jazz. it tends to attract the best musicians so it's hard to come in on the ground floor with it.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Jazz is an improvisional style. you cant just learn it, you have to play with other musicans to learn it. Its all about interacting with other muscians and improvising, you cant really practice that.
Well, it is and it isn't. In a lot of ways it doesn't require any more improvisational expertise than any other type of music- you have to keep time, fill in appropriate spots, catch ensemble figures, make starts and stops. At its most basic level comping is just making punctuations at the ends or beginnings of phrases or sections, or riffing (playing a repeated rhythmic phrase). Much of the vocabulary is pretty stock.

For the OP:
- Your teacher should be able to relay this to you without making a big, mysterious, monumental task out of it. If he can't, you might want to consider finding someone more knowledgable for your jazz studies.
- Learn tunes.
- Get out and play with people whether you think you're ready or not.
 

madgolfer

Senior Member
Kind of a late follow up, but...

Check out these recordings:

Miles Davis - Milestones (Philly Joe Jones)

John Coltrane - A Love Supreme (Elvin Jones)

Chick Corea - Now He Sings, Now He Sobs (Roy Haynes)

Clifford Brown/Max Roach - Study in Brown (Max Roach)

Miles Davis - Four and More (Tony Williams)

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers - The Big Beat (Art Blakey)

Keith Jarrett - Standards (Jack DeJohnette)

Bill Evans - Live at the Village Vanguard (Paul Motian)

Miles Davis - Kind of Blue (Jimmy Cobb)
 

zakhopper316

Silver Member
2 years 8 months and 12 days,

but really don't put to much pressure on yourself, just relax, play the music that feels good to you, and if you really like jazz you will progress and be able to play. it takes practice tho. start on the basics of jazz with your teacher and if you like it and are having fun then stick with it. if not then try reggae or something and come back to jazz later, if you play what you enjoy then you will really progress.
 

BassDriver

Silver Member
Kind of a late follow up, but...

Check out these recordings:

Miles Davis - Milestones (Philly Joe Jones)

John Coltrane - A Love Supreme (Elvin Jones)

Chick Corea - Now He Sings, Now He Sobs (Roy Haynes)

Clifford Brown/Max Roach - Study in Brown (Max Roach)

Miles Davis - Four and More (Tony Williams)

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers - The Big Beat (Art Blakey)

Keith Jarrett - Standards (Jack DeJohnette)

Bill Evans - Live at the Village Vanguard (Paul Motian)

Miles Davis - Kind of Blue (Jimmy Cobb)
To play along to those songs?...

...With all the comping phrases and such?...
 
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