Jazz Drumming

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Jazz drumming has been around since before the big band era. Originally just a swing pattern on the ride cymbal, it has morphed into a very sophisticated genre comprising several spin offs like dixieland jazz, be-bop, and fusion jazz which fuses Latin, rock and blues styles with swing to make it's own music. Requiring a bit more study and sophistication, jazz drummers are expected to not only lay down a solid feel, but also to be able to compliment soloists and even improvise on call. See a list of well-known jazz drummers below.

Clarence Penn - DrummerClarence Penn - Stanley Clark, Steps Ahead, etc.

  • Buddy Rich
  • Gene Krupa
  • Tony Williams
  • Art Blakey
  • Billy Drummond
  • Clarence Penn
  • Billy Higgins
  • Jack Dejohnette
  • Roy Haynes
  • Max Roach
  • Elvin Jones
  • Roy Haynes
  • Brian Blade
  • Dennis Chambers
  • Vinnie Colaiuta
  • Billy Drummond
  • Steve Gadd
  • Jeff Hamilton

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Tips for Playing Jazz Music
  • Listen, listen, listen. Go back and find recordings with the greats. Absorb the music.
  • Learn all the jazz standards. This will give you a solid foundation and will allow you to be ready when any number of jazz bands you play with decide to pull one out from the archives.
  • Find a jazz jam session in your town and consider sitting in when you're ready.
  • Know basic music theory and have a general understanding of how all the instruments work together.
  • Acquire some improvising and soloing chops (technique) so that you can contribute to the music equally.

Free drum lessons on Jazz, Rock, Latin, and all Drumming Styles.

Whether you wish to improve your ride cymbal pattern or pick up some new jazz beats, we've got links to
dozens of videos and resources that will help you along your journey of learning jazz drums. From independence exercises to your indidual touch when playing the music, you're sure to learn a lot about the style. Don't forget the history. Jazz, often referred to as America's music, goes back quite a long way and has its roots in New Orleans and some would argue even before that into African blues. So, study, listen and
emulate the greats. Sit in on jam sessions and study the culture. Jazz is not only a style rich in
tradition, it's a whole of of fun to play as there is often more of a chance for drummers to have a voice.

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