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Learn to play the basic foundation Jazz drum groove

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We are going to concentrate on the fundamental parts of playing Jazz drum beats.

We are only going to concentrate on the right hand, and the left foot.

Step 1 - Right hand

With your right hand, play the ride cymbal 4 times.



If this is too easy you can skip this and go to step 3. If not, repeat this for a while without stopping to get used to how long each bar lasts for, and used to counting too.

Step 2 - Use a metronome to improve timing

Now put on a metronome at a similar speed to what you have been playing, and play along for a while. Keep counting.

Step 3 - Left Foot

Now we will play the stepped Hi Hat by quickly pressing down on the hi hat pedal with the left foot, so that it sounds similar to when you play a closed hi hat with your sticks.

We need to only play on beat 2 and 4. So count 1 2 3 4, but don't play anything on 1 or 3.

Repeat this for a while without stopping



Step 4 - Use a metronome to improve timing

Now put on a metronome at a similar speed to what you have been playing, and play along for a while. Keep counting.

The role of the Stepped Hi Hat in Jazz

In Jazz we will make use of all 4 limbs by using the left foot to play the hi hat.

The main function of the left foot will be to keep a steady regular beat on 2 and 4.

Even when things get crazy with 4 way co-ordination, comping and improvising with triplets and other syncopated rhythms, the left foot usually holds it all together with the 2 and 4 rhythm. This is both for the band to stay in time, and perhaps also for the listener to help make sense of whats going on by putting all the syncopation into context.

Step 5 - right hand and left foot - Bringing together the Ride and Stepped Hi Hat

So we are going to do Step 1 and Step 3 at the same time, to form the groove we are trying to acheive in this step by step lesson.

  • On beat 1, play the Ride.
  • On beat 2, play the Ride and Stepped Hi Hat with your left foot.
  • On beat 3, play the Ride.
  • On beat 4, play the Ride and Stepped Hi Hat with your left foot.
  • And then repeat this for a while without stopping...



Step 6 - Use a metronome to improve timing

Now put on a metronome at a similar speed to what you have been playing, and play along for a while. Keep counting.

Overview

When you feel confident in doing this at various speeds with and without a metronome, you are then ready to start building on this foundation Jazz groove by adding in snare and bass patterns.

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