Jazz is one of the most artistic forms of music. With some pieces being made purely out of improvisational techniques and patterns, jazz drumming may seem sort of scary to a newcomer.
We’ve all seen the way great jazz drummers are able to navigate their kits, playing nearly impossible patterns and fills without even breaking a sweat.
This can be discouraging for new drummers, as they don’t see someone who has spent thousands of hours practicing; they see a jazz drummer as a machine of perfect and ingenious playing.
Well here’s the good news; every drummer started just where you are, banging on a kit with little to no technique.
Today we are going to go over some basic jazz drumming lessons which will help you get started off on the right foot in the world of jazz.
The first, most important part of learning jazz is to get the feel for what jazz is. Listen to your favorite artists, but this time, act is if you are doing homework. Take a pen and a pad of paper and write down things that catch your attention. Chances are, those parts were played to do just that.
Write down sounds that catch your ear as well. Thoroughly surround yourself in the world of jazz. If you are allowed to listen to music at work, listen to jazz. If you have free time, listen to some jazz. Don’t drown out the music with other things, either; if the music is just background noise, you won’t be learning anything.
You may not understand it yet, but listening to the music will help you learn the style, and when you start playing, those techniques that have been branded into your mind will shine forth, begging to be learned.
The next jazz drumming lesson, the one you have been no doubt been so eager to learn, is a simple jazz pattern. Jazz drumming is known for its ride patterns; if you have been listening to jazz, you should have recognized this. If you haven’t been, then go back up to lesson one!
This introductory jazz drumming lesson, transcribed using Guitar Pro 6, will help you to grasp the rhythm of a basic jazz ride pattern. This example is in 6/4. If you don’t know this time signature, that’s okay; 6/4 means that six quarter notes make up a full measure. Notice the rests between the notes, which form a small pattern.
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If you do not have Guitar Pro 6 yet, you can download it instantly here…
Before you try to play the pattern, try to clap the note values. If you find you have trouble, use your metronome. When you go to your kit to practice, bring your metronome along. This will help you to establish a steady rhythm, which is very important in jazz drumming.
Once you find this exercise easy, try this second one. It is the same basic pattern, but with snare strokes in on the first, second, forth and fifth beats.
Download the .gtp file for the lesson ( Right click and Save As... )
When using this second basic pattern, be sure to strike the snare and the ride at the same time. As we always say; bad practice habits lead to bad playing habits. With these basic jazz drumming lessons, you can start to understand the basic jazz patterns. Remember to have fun, and practice often.
#1 – Comping the Snare Drums In Jazz Styled Music
If you ever listened to jazz music, you would have noticed that the drummer would often use the snare as an accompaniment beat during solos by other members of the band.
#2 – Limb Independence Exercises to De-Stupefy Your Coordination
Perhaps one of the hardest things for any drummer to master is achieving complete limb independence. Imagine what you could do if you can coordinate between all the parts of your body seamlessly and work the drums like an octopus.
#3 – Mastering the Art of Brushes to Create Fuller Sounds in Jazz
The use of brushes can help to create fuller tones and sounds in your playing. Here, we introduce you a new technique which doesn’t involve the drumsticks per se but by stroking the drum with the brush.
#4 – Cymbal Tips and Tricks For Music Ascension
Cymbals can really add texture to your playing depending on how you work them in a piece of music. In this article, we will help you approach the cymbals from a different perspective and show you creative ways to play them.
#5 – Stick Control For Height And Distance
Firstly, why do we need stick control? Well, without proper control, it can often lead to awful catastrophes like flying drumsticks and unwanted noise. More importantly, control can let you implement dynamics in music.
#6 – Playing Perfect Drum Fills In Mid Song Sections
Did you know that the proper use of fills can help you greatly during a transition from different segments of the song? Besides giving an indepth explanation, we will help you come up with your own unique patterns you can modify for use.
#7 – Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone
Every so often we get to a stage where it is tough for us to make further progress. What do you do in such scenarios? Well, I will show you some of the best tips to overcoming the rut.
Have you always wanted to learn jazz drumming but couldn’t find the proper resources to do so? Well, your search is over. With the Jazz Drumming System DVD course, you will instantly improve your grooves and enhance your confidence on the drums.