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Topic: JABB Hit and Miss

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  1. #1

    JABB Hit and Miss

    Am finishing up a JABB score and need a little help when it comes to writing for the drumset.

    I've looked at various scores, but when it comes to implementing the hits in the right place with the right drumset instruments, I would like to know more of how to do this. Most texts on jazz techniques (including Gary Lindsay's text) do not include solid examples of writing for drums and what drum instrument combinations to use (standard accompaniment, fills, etc.).

    If anyone knows of a good text on "Writing for the drumset," I would appreciate knowing the title and author. In this way, I could become more adapt at scoring my own compositions with the JABB drum kits.

    Right now it's HIT and MISS. Where are you Styxx?

    Thanks,

    Jack
    Jack Cannon--MacBook Pro (2015, 13") GPO4/5, JABB3, Auth. STEINWAY, YAMAHA CFX, Gofriller CELLO, Stradivari VIOLIN, COMB2, WORLD, HARPS, PIPE ORGANS, FINALE 2014.5, Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 9.5, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express, MacBook Pro (2012, 13") 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: JABB Hit and Miss

    I don’t believe there is one definitive text on how to write for drum set in any genre. “Hits” in Jazz or Swing can be placed in anyone of the four limb settings, i.e.; right hand cymbal accents, left hand snare, bass drum etcetera. It can depend on what instrument(s) of the orchestra are being “highlighted” low brass, or woodwinds. For horn hits I would instinctively accent using snare and crash cymbal(s). Sometimes just a cymbal alone or snare will do the trick but not always just cymbal and snare. All depends on how it all compliments what you are accenting. Heck, sometimes I’ll through the whole freaking set at them.
    Would love to see an example that would give any drummer a better idea of your question.
    I think the best thing to do is listen to as many recordings ofs old and new jazz to get a good feel of how the drummers executes hits and where. I can tell you it becomes second nature unless someone writes in the accents and usually it's the cymbals supported by snare.
    Chime in anytime fellow drummlets!
    Styxx

  3. #3

    Re: JABB Hit and Miss

    Jack,

    I have been researching this too - and jazz drum writing appears to be a mystical art!

    I think the basis is that most drummers (rightly) use drum parts as drum guides. Very rarely would a srummer play exactly what is written, and having viewed a couple of hundred drum parts, they generally follow the pattern of indicating when to play time, and where a fill is required - the actual drums to hit are not indicated, except perhaps "play time on closed hi-hat only".

    The problem comes when a composer/arranger writes a section for drums where he does want it to be played exactly - and this is where the "hit and miss" comes in. I do have a guide to drum notation somewhere and I'll post it when I find it

    In the meantime if Styxx or Brian can conduct a forum tutorial on jazz drum writing, this would be greatly appreciated.

    If copyright permitted, I would post a few .pdf samples of different drum parts for forum review - I don't know the in's and out's of the ethics if they were only being posted for "education" ??
    Richard N.

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  4. #4

    Re: JABB Hit and Miss

    I'm not a drummer, but my drummer roommate buddy from college gave me some good advice:

    When writing (sequencing) drum parts. always visualize what you are doing and ask yourself "is this humanly possible?"

    He said the number one key to a REALISTIC sequenced drum part is to remember this(!)

    Beyond that, his other 2 pieces of advice were to watch and listen critically to as many good drummers as you possibly can, and get the sounds/patterns in your head so you can "write" for them as fluently as you would for any other ensemble or instrument.

    Someetimes less is more - on one of his cuts from a CD he made, the ENTIRE song is done on cymbals - all contrast comes from different techniques in plaing the cymbals(!)


  5. #5
    Moderator/Developer Brian2112's Avatar
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    Re: JABB Hit and Miss

    Well, let’s see…
    Usually, a jazz drummer just reads off a lead sheet which usually has the following items:
    Jazz Swing
    Tempo=160
    ////|////|////|////|…etc with the occasional rhythmic figure added at crucial spots. The figure is usually generic (not written for specific drums) and up to the drummer to decide how to play it.
    I.e. play anything swing at 160. Usually this will be just the standard style played either on ride cymbal (with hi hat pedal on upbeats) or just hi hat. Bass drum is rarely used except to accent certain figures. Most jazz work is Hi Hat, Snare Drum, and Ride cymbal and occasional Bass Drum. Moments of heavy accent are usually backed up by snare drum (especially trumpet accents) and also include bass drum and crash cymbal added to taste.
    I wish my studio was running (which it will be soon I hope), and then I will be glad to give you a complete run down. (Also, to give away a secret, after you record your drum part, drag it back a few milliseconds in time. A good Jazz drummer will usually play ahead of the beat a little to drive the band)

    ...2112
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: JABB Hit and Miss

    I remember seeing Buddy Rich in the sixties at a place call the LoveJoy Inn in Beeffalo. We had a chance to talk to him and I asked him how one would write down what he played tonight. His answer was typical Rich, "I don't say it man I play it!"
    Just thought I would share.
    Brian, you best post your gooves baby!
    Styxx

  7. #7

    Re: JABB Hit and Miss

    Thanks Styxx, Richard N., giwro_jon and Brian.

    I have heard much of what you all said and I, too, agree that "less" is probably "more."

    Maybe I didn't ask the question correctly. I'm not for writing a WHOLE drum part for the drummer to play, just wanted to know how the parts of the drumset were used for accents, etc., and you all have indicated that.

    A special thanks to you Brian for telling me that the drummer should be a few milliseconds ahead of the group. That should be a neat experience listening to the drummer "drive" the group.

    In summation, I was just asking if there were any books that showed the different combinations of the drumset in use for accents, fills, etc.

    Right now, I am mostly using the HH, snare, and ride as already suggested. Also a few "pops" from the "sidestick" and "rimshot."

    Thanks a bunch guys.

    Jack
    Jack Cannon--MacBook Pro (2015, 13") GPO4/5, JABB3, Auth. STEINWAY, YAMAHA CFX, Gofriller CELLO, Stradivari VIOLIN, COMB2, WORLD, HARPS, PIPE ORGANS, FINALE 2014.5, Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 9.5, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express, MacBook Pro (2012, 13") 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: JABB Hit and Miss

    Check for this instructional book when you get time.

    ADVANCED TECHNIQUES for the MODERN DRUMMER by Jim Chapin, Volume 1 Coordinated Independence as Applied To Jazz And Be-Bop.
    I found this to be a great book in learning more about jazz drumming and taking it further. Loads of Exercises you may find useful for notational reference.
    Styxx

  9. #9

    Re: JABB Hit and Miss

    Thanks, Styxx. I will look into this ASAP. Sounds like something I should have.

    Thanks again,

    Jack
    Jack Cannon--MacBook Pro (2015, 13") GPO4/5, JABB3, Auth. STEINWAY, YAMAHA CFX, Gofriller CELLO, Stradivari VIOLIN, COMB2, WORLD, HARPS, PIPE ORGANS, FINALE 2014.5, Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 9.5, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express, MacBook Pro (2012, 13") 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

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