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Topic: I think I'm gonna like this JABB thingy...

  1. #1

    I think I'm gonna like this JABB thingy...

    So I spent way too long just noodling around on each of the instruments tonight; this library's got just a massive amount of stuff in it, and it all sounds fantastic. Then I figured I oughta throw together a quickie arrangement to see how a few instruments sounded together before I went to bed.

    Here's a bit of "Why Don't You Do Right" using Tenor Sax 2, Upright Bass 1, Steinway Jazz Piano and 01 Brush Drum Kit. Apologies in advance for the suckiness of the drum part; I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to percussion. Especially this brush stuff. (Can anyone recommend a good book on it?) Come to think of it, the piano part's a bit dodgy too.

    Why Don't You Do Right (Fragment) - 1.2 MB

    Mainly I was concentrating on the sax, trying out the vibrato controls and so forth.

    Gary, Tom... anyone else who was involved in making JABB... this is absolutely awesome. Thanks!
    -- Jeff Lee
    Etiam singula minima maximi momenti est - Even the smallest detail is of the utmost importance

  2. #2

    Re: I think I'm gonna like this JABB thingy...

    hey man,

    Cool tune.

    Just on a very basic level, cymbal hits are always accompanied by kick drum hits (to balance out the high and low end). Also, try chipping the hats on 2 and 4. Usually, you don't want to land on a tom on beat 1, it gives the impression that the groove is comming to a halt. Also, you can experiment with snare comping.

    Generally a right handed jazz drummer is working the ride (or high-hat) with his right hand, comping on the snare (and to a lesser extent the toms) with his left hand, chipping the hats on 2 and 4 (with variation) with his left foot, and working the kick with his right foot (accenting hits, downbeats, comping etc) An older technique called "feathering" the bass drum, is when the drummer plays quarter notes softly on the kick to accentuate the bass player's walking line--also called "four on the floor."

    Obviously, these are very basic concepts and aren't by any means the gospel truth or anything. I'd recommend checking out some Max Roach transcrition books to get a good feel of bop drumming (and the roots of pretty much all drumming after that). Elvin Jones and Tony williams are more "modern" and expeimntal drummers but who are both deeply rooted in the max roach tradition. For some current inspiration I would check out Jeff tain Watts, Vinnie Calliutta (spelling?), Steve Gadd, Jeff ballard sounds really good right now, Jorge Rossy is a really hip trio drummer... the list is a mile long. Also, I know he overplays like a mofo, but Dave Weckl is a good guy to check out for sheer possibility. His orchestrational choices (within the kit) often differ from convention and he's got a clock you can set your watch to. (no wonder he plays with Chick).

    Main thing I'd recommend is to do some listening and transcribing on your own. Transcribing drums is really fun and not too taxing on your ears. (I've gone braindead a few times transcribing Keith Jarrett and Herbie solos). With drums, you really want to get a sense for what makes a groove work, and in my opinion you can only rally get that from listening, not so much from reading.

    Anyway, just my 2 cents.

    EDIT: sorry I realize I didn't really say anything about brushes. Your tune is a slow "bluesy" ballad. The tempo calls for a technique know as "stirring soup." This is acomplished by swooping the brushes on the snare in circular patters. It gives a constant "fffffffffff" sound underneath everything and is usually accented by brush "hits" on 2 and 4 and swing eighths on the "and" of 2 and 4. Also, when playing with brushes you don't really rely on the ride cymbal as much for the "splang-a-lang" subdivision, as it's pretty much taken care of on the snare.

  3. #3

    Smile Re: I think I'm gonna like this JABB thingy...

    You have the honor of being the first JABBER, on this forum, perhaps you should be honored with the title:

    Sir Godfrey JABBERWOCKY

    Thanks for the quick sample.

    You might want to pickup Band-in-a-Box which will compose percussion in 5 seconds. Then you can export it to your favorite notation or sequencer pgm, tweak it as much as you like, then play your sax, clarinet etc. with it. Study it and then you'll be able to see & hear how it is done.


    It's my all time favorite play along program and like GPO, JABB, it is the bargain of a lifetime.

    Let me know how you like it.


  4. #4

    Re: I think I'm gonna like this JABB thingy...

    Hee, heee, I'm gonna like all the great comps to listen to!

    This was fun. And so easy?


    PS Even for a small ensemble, I'd prefer to hear a little more depth in the ambience - push those drums and bass back and bring out the sax a little. (Do you know how?)

  5. #5
    Senior Member LHong's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    San Jose, Ca, USA

    Re: I think I'm gonna like this JABB thingy...

    Not bad! I like Tenor Sax & Steinway Jazz, except the Drum/Perc as others have suggested...
    Looking forward to your completion song.

  6. #6

    Re: I think I'm gonna like this JABB thingy...

    Getting very jealous now!

    - m
    Free MFX and other plugins: http://www.TenCrazy.com/
    Markleford's music: http://www.markleford.com/music/

  7. #7

    Re: I think I'm gonna like this JABB thingy...

    shnurgle: Thanks for the tips! I'll definitely check out Max Roach and the other drummers you mentioned. Some of what you said is a mystery to me, but I'm sure the meanings will come clear as I learn the terminology of percussion.

    drdancm: Hey, good idea. And it reminds me: SONAR comes with a bunch of drum patterns, too, but I never looked into them. Hmmm...

    YBaCuO: This was a quick test, so I just stuck a convolver on the master bus. But yeah, normally I'd play with panning and reverb wet/dry levels.

    LHong: Thanks!

    Markleford: If it's any consolation, you had a hand in making it.

    -- Jeff Lee
    Etiam singula minima maximi momenti est - Even the smallest detail is of the utmost importance

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Re: I think I'm gonna like this JABB thingy...

    Bravo Godfrey! Ye are hereby dubbed Sir Godfrey of the JABBERWOCKYS!

    And Sir Markleford the empowerer of the JABBERWOCKYS.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    UK- teeming with life....

    Re: I think I'm gonna like this JABB thingy...

    I thought this was very good Godfrey.....just like I'd walked into a club (just the right ambience and looseness)....very impressive.


  10. #10

    Re: I think I'm gonna like this JABB thingy...

    just the right ambience and looseness
    There's a misconception that jazz is "loose." This is a very false notion. All the great bands in jazz history are extremely tight in fact. Jazz musicians (especially rhythm section players) stake their reputations on their ability to lock.

    Even the more free ECM stuff, the players are all locked. This doesn't necessarily mean that the groove needs to be stiff-- it can breath, fluxuate with tempo etc, but the players do it together.

    One of the biggest giveaways in midi jazz mockups is when the bass isn't locked with the kick and ride, or the piano player isn't in the groove. This would never be the case with a decent band, the cats would get fired that night!

    Just FYI..

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