Topic: Re:Jazz Ride Techniques  (Read 9465 times)

0 Members and 5 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline Scott

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 531
    • Scott Miles
Re:Jazz Ride Techniques
« Reply #40 on: December 31, 2002, 07:24 AM »
Thanks Rat and Mr. A.  

Mr. A - I understand what you're saying; in my current situation, it really is more about having something to play because like Rat mentioned, I don't have the comprehending ability to either hear or to execute any comping at these warp speeds.  In the few times I've been in a playing situation like that, the piano player is usually only playing one note/chord every measure and it gets rather redundant either doing the same (placing a single snare hit somewhere in each measure) or trying to anticipate when he's going to play that one note next.  So, I'd really like to be able to not only react better but also contribute something for the rest of the players.  

Obviously, I need to practice more, which I'm trying to do :), but like Mr. A mentioned, I need to figure out a technique or method that helps me improve my ability to hold down that ride pattern with the right hand so I can concentrate fully on comping.  I think that's my real problem.  

Mr. A -- I'd love to hear about the technique you use at these killin' tempos if at all possible to explain here.  :)

Offline Bart Elliott

  • Chef de Cuisine
  • Posts: 15199
  • Founder & owner of DrummerCafe.com
    • bartelliott
    • bartelliott
    • w w w . B a r t E l l i o t t . c o m
Re:Jazz Ride Techniques
« Reply #41 on: December 31, 2002, 07:52 AM »
I need to figure out a technique or method that helps me improve my ability to hold down that ride pattern with the right hand so I can concentrate fully on comping.  I think that's my real problem.

I just made a correspondence video for one of our Cafe members in which I discuss/demo this very thing.

What I have done, and has worked for me, is that I work the left hand on the snare first.

I make sure that I can play downbeats (1, 2, 3, 4) at any point in the measure. Perhaps there will only be one stroke per bar on one of those four downbeats. I make sure I can do any combination of the above, but sticking to the criteria of ONLY downbeats. Next I do swung upbeats; same concept. The combinations of downbeats and upbeats. Then on to triplets (three note groups), then broken triplets. All of this with the ride time happening. Do all of the above with the kick drum. Then do all of the above with the hihat (foot).

As far as comping, such as in a jazz trio situation, we as drummers must be listening to the piano (or guitar), and the bass. The time needs to be locked in with the bass, while the comping needs to lock in with the piano/guitar. Playing together, listening to everyone, and leaving SPACE ... is the key to successful time keeping and comping. What for the holes in which you can fill. Listen to the soloist, and comp (compliment as well as accompany) what you hear.

Many of the "big name" players that I've worked with have said the same thing: The rely on the drums to generate the energy and give direction. One famous saxophonist I've worked with took the longest solos I've ever had to play behind. It was my job to build, and build, and build the music. It was tough, and I really don't think I was very successful to be honest. I think I built too quickly ... but hey, who would have known they guy was going to take 20+ rides through the form of the tune!  ;)

If you want a book to help you with all of this, and need something MORE than what Jim Chapin's book can offer, you might want to pick up a copy of Ron Spagnardi's book, Progressive Independence. Ron did a good job of taking you through each combination for the comping limbs. He does not, however, get into three-voice comping ... using the hihat (foot) ... it's just 2 and 4.

If you want some three-voice comping assistance, have a look at John Riley's book, Beyond Bop Drumming. I just recently started working through this book and it's got some fun stuff in there. The book comes with a CD as well. I'll try to review it in the next month or so.

One final word on the ride cymbal time keeping. Although it's important to have the coordination to maintain the standard jazz ride pattern while comping ... it's not a law or legally binding when you actually play. An old school approach, or big band genre ... yes ... but not BeBop to modern day swing.

When I was studying with Alan Dawson, he would have me outline the melody (the head of the tune) with my ride pattern. Always keeping the standard ride pattern in mind, but weaving the melody within that frame work. Also, allowing the entire kit to be part of the time keeping ... not just ride and hihat ... which is the typical approach with the novice jazzer, which I guess I still am. You can play the kit in a way that it's time keeping, but then you can play it in more of a time/comp approach. Subtle differences, and ones worthy of exploration.

Offline Carlos Benson

  • Bronze Member
  • Posts: 234
  • I'm new to the Drummer Cafe!
Re:Jazz Ride Techniques
« Reply #42 on: January 01, 2003, 10:17 AM »
First of all, playing the "standard" ride pattern at fast tempos is NOT what you want to learn to do. Sure, it's a great thing to practice, but it's NOT what the masters do. This topic was addressed in a few of the PASIC jazz  clinics this past November. What you want to learn to do is mix up the ride stuff you're doing when PLAYING ANY TEMPO. You won't hear Elvin or Jack Dejohnette or Tony playing a straight pattern endlessly in a tune, it's broken up - so go ahead and play those quarter notes in there. Really listen to what they're doing. So, yeah, go to your practice room and practice your "standard" pattern at 150 BPM for a week then 151 BPM the next week, but go the gig and play those broken ride patterns MUSICALLY!! That's where it's at. peace and blessings in the New Year - carlos  :o

Offline Mister Acrolite

  • Cafe VIP
  • Posts: 5938
  • I'm not bald; I'm aerodynamic.
    • k e i t h c r o n i n . c o m
Re:Jazz Ride Techniques
« Reply #43 on: January 01, 2003, 10:26 AM »
Quote
First of all, playing the "standard" ride pattern at fast tempos is NOT what you want to learn to do. Sure, it's a great thing to practice, but it's NOT what the masters do.

Depends on the context. For modern (bebop and thereafter) instrumental jazz, that's absolutely true.  But for a lot of swing, big band, and vocal tunes, the "traditional" ride pattern is still very much in vogue, even with the masters. Listen to Irv Cotler with Sinatra, or Jeff Hamilton with Diana Krall, etc.

Just wanted to throw that in. I'm not sure how many of us have actual bop-oriented gigs, so I wanted to point out the importance of playing in a stylistically appropriate manner. For example, just last night on my New Year's gig, I noticed how many of the songs we played sounded best with the traditional ride pattern (or brush pattern), despite the serious "jazz jones" I've been getting from the last couple days of discussions on this board.   ;)

So yes, to play "serious" jazz, you need to be able to comfortably break up the ride pattern, using it as part of your musical conversation with the soloist. But be aware of the style of the song (or gig) you're doing. Sometimes, sticking with the basics is the right thing to do.
Hit on 2. Repeat on 4.
(instructions found written on Mr. A's snare drum)

Ratamatatt

  • Guest
Re:Jazz Ride Techniques
« Reply #44 on: January 02, 2003, 11:33 AM »
This is a very hard topic to address via a message board. Let me see if I can assemble some thoughts or maybe crank out some written music. But here are my initial thoughts:

Part of how I suggest you approach it is the same way you (probably) learned to comp at a regular tempo: by mastering a good basic "vocabulary" of phrases you can play at that tempo. At that tempo, measures are screaming by pretty fast, so instead of the one-bar or half-bar patterns you learn in books like the Chapin book, you might want to work on some 2- or 4-bar comping phrases.

Develop a few of these that you can play well and feel good about, and learn to link them together and shuffle them around, so that you at least have SOMETHING to play at that tempo. As you get more comfortable, you may be able to play in a more reactive or responsive way to what the soloist is doing, but for starters, you want to be able to lay down some authentic-sounding time behind the soloist. Does that make sense?

I'll try to write a few phrases as examples.

Also, I have a trick for playing those "ludicrous speed" tempos, but I need to figure out how to explain it via this board. I think it's similar to what Max does, a neat trick that allows you to actually play comfortably around the 400bpm mark. Let me work on finding a way to demonstrate...

When comping at medium tempos or slower I always tried to let the overall feel of the music inspire me to respond appropriately without thinking about it too much.  But, that presumes you have the facility to execute the figures you are inspired to play.  If I understand you correctly, it seems that spreading typical one bar figures over say 2 or 4 bars may be an effective device to develope a vocabulary at high speeds.

Thanks Mr. A, that's excellent advice.

Ratamatatt

Offline Carlos Benson

  • Bronze Member
  • Posts: 234
  • I'm new to the Drummer Cafe!
Re:Jazz Ride Techniques
« Reply #45 on: January 04, 2003, 11:38 AM »
I agree with Mr. A about the fact that it depends on what style you're playing whether you play broken time ride or the standard ride pattern. But, I think the original question was referring to cats like Elvin and Tony and that's bebop and beyond, and that's broken time, nothing standard about it. Even when playing older styles or "straighter" styles you don't have to KILL yourself by playing 100,763 measures of it to convince yourself you've got it down. I still find the best way to do it is by taking your metronome up a notch every week and practicing, DON'T BE STIFF!!! loose man  8) - carlos

Offline Bart Elliott

  • Chef de Cuisine
  • Posts: 15199
  • Founder & owner of DrummerCafe.com
    • bartelliott
    • bartelliott
    • w w w . B a r t E l l i o t t . c o m
Re:Jazz Ride Techniques
« Reply #46 on: October 25, 2016, 01:12 PM »
Learn the important aspects of jazz time-keeping on the Ride cymbal for medium and up tempo jazz, as well as few time variations between the Ride and Snare drum, with this unique Premium Resource here at the Drummer Cafe.

Jazz Time-Keeping 101 and Beyond

 

Drummer Cafe RSS Feeds Drummer Cafe on Twitter Drummer Cafe on Facebook Drummer Cafe on Google+ Drummer Cafe on YouTube Drummer Cafe on Pinterest Drummer Cafe on Instagram