Monday, March 09, 2020

Stick control patterns for jazz

Because some novice jazz students get hung up on the idea of left hand “independence”, here is a little set of exercises for helping coordination between the hands when playing jazz time. We're using some sticking patterns to make some common cymbal and comping rhythms.

You can play the patterns in 4, or in 3, by just playing up to the dashed bar line. Play the Rs on the cymbal, Ls on the snare drum:

B means both hands in unison:

Focus on the rhythm— which is running swing 8th notes— and the sticking, and don't make the leap to “I'm playing this rhythm on the cymbal, and this rhythm on the snare drum.” Play with just the hands at first, then add the hihat:

You can add bass drum on 1 when you're playing in 3.

This isn't meant to be a comprehensive method— it's more a remedial method for people having trouble getting the coordination, and/or with making a solid rhythm between all the parts. After working through this page, continue with normal jazz materials.

Get the pdf

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