Will learning jazz make me a better rock drummer?

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jw11
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Post Wed Oct 11, 2006 2:47 am

I am attempting to become a rock drummer. Problem: my teacher makes all his students learn jazz, which I really don't like. Will learning jazz make me a better rock drummer? Or will it be a waste of time?

Any opinions?
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ganeshgiri
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Post Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:54 am

Yes, it will. I studied jazz extensively, and now all I play is rock. The independence exercises are very useful! To me, not doing what your teacher asks is like going to the doctor and telling him how to fix you. What's the point? You don't have to listen to a lot of jazz to study it's techniques, although I strongly suggest you do, just to open your perspective a little. There are some badass drummers in jazz, like Tony Williams, Art Blakey, and Max Roach. Some great newer jazz drummers to check out are Tain Watts, Steve Gadd, Billy Cobham, and Smitty Smith. I hasten to add that the latter are great all-around drummers who can play jazz well.

Case in point: Vinnie Colaiuta, one of the best jazz players (or any other style) out there is on the new Megadeth record. Check him out in some videos on the web, he will blow your mind.
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Post Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:35 am

Learning jazz will definatly make you a better rock drummer or anyother drummer and, for that matter it will make you or anyone elese that considers themselves to be a musician a more accomplished musician, regardless of your chosen style or instrument.

Ever drummer owes their career to jazz to one extent or another. Music is an art of self expression, jazz, punk, blues what-ever are all global languages with-in styles with their own interpratations of punctuation.

Jazz is vital regardless because it opens you to endless possibilities. Once you have learned to read music and you know the signifcance of 1 number on top of the other in a time signature, you've won half the battle. Jazz is perfect for improvisation and being that extra bit daring every time.
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Post Wed Oct 11, 2006 8:37 am

Jazz music in my opinion is one of the hardest styles to play and play well. History shows that alot of the rock and other styles of music these days evolved from Jazz and Rhythm and Blues. If you think it's easy, you are wrong. To learn how to play Jazz will greately improve your skills in any style of music. I say pay attention and practice alot. You will not be disappointed.
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tabbott23
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Post Wed Oct 11, 2006 8:38 am

Yes. I play all styles (therefore rock + jazz) and it really does. Your aim should be to be a drummer not a rock drummer or funk drummer etc. Because if one day, a job comes along, you may get there and then if they say play jazz time in 7/8 or something, you wanna be able to do it! I even incorporate jazz licks and fill ideas in my rock playing. Just get into it and enjoy it.
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Post Wed Oct 11, 2006 8:55 am

If you want to be a better rock drummer you should try and learn as many styles of music as you can.
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Post Wed Oct 11, 2006 9:22 am

i think that anything you do to improve your performance is not a waste of time
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Post Wed Oct 11, 2006 9:54 am

hey shouldnt learning all types of drumming help us become a better drummer? today i was in a music performance wrkshop in uni and the teacher taking the class is a local pro drummer and the first thing he did was ask ppl to clap out the rhythm on the board. it was surprising to see grade 8 players in piano and violin and other classical instruments couldnt clap a simple rhythm pattern! anyways back to question at hand yeah learning jazz, latin, celtic rhythms etc will make you a better drummer.
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Post Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:09 am

Yes! learn as much about every kind of music you can.
It will make you a better player and it will also help you come up with new creative beats.
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Post Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:25 am

Yes playing Jazz will make you a better drummer. check out Keith Carlock. He is amazing. Started out playing rock and went to school for music/drumming. While there the drum teacher instructed him in jazz. he hated it but learned alot and he attributes jazz to his playing style now.
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Post Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:21 pm

Learning different styles will open your mind. Jazz is not all about the "ding dinga ding" thing...that's just the venacular that it is most expressed within. Jazz is more of an attitude..a freedom of sorts. Jazz will give you independence between limbs that can be comported to the rock world, and make you more creative and sound much better.

By having a few different "languages" to draw from within your vocabulary, you'll become a better communicator. After all, playing drums is like speaking a language of sorts. The more knowledge you have within speaking, the easier it is to communicate with others.
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Post Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:24 pm

totoole26 wrote:check out Keith Carlock. He is amazing. Started out playing rock and went to school for music/drumming. While there the drum teacher instructed him in jazz.


I grew up with Keith Carlock in Jackson, Mississippi. We had the same teacher. I have watched KC play since he was 13 years old. I even have a video of him on a huge Slingerland kit playing stuff that was years beyond his age. I'll try and get that digitized someday and post it up on YouTube or something like that.
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Post Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:26 am

If you wanna be just the usual average "rock drummer"...stick to rock. If you want to be a great rock drummer...learn jazz technique.
Learning jazz, you will get some crazy chops happening. U wont be just another 4/4 boring rock drummer. My saying is "if you can play jazz, you can play anything man!"
Whether u like him or not, a good example of a great rock drummer who studied jazz is Jimmy Chamberlin of The Smashing Pumpkins. Now he has some crazy chops goin on. His solo album is really awesome.
It really is worth the time practicing it dude. Think of it as investing in your future as a player.
Good luck man!
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maximilian
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Post Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:00 am

so, everybody advocates the benefits of studying jazz... and with good reason.
one thing to consider though -
when i got out of high school i studied jazz performance drumming at a tertiary institution. i found playing jazz very difficult and did not enjoy it much. however, as soon as i graduated, and people stopped forcing jazz down my throat, i started enjoying listening to it, and then started enjoying playing it. i realsied what my teachers had been telling me all along: jazz is about listening. listen to as much as you can as intensely as you can and your touch and feel will improve.
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Post Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:11 am

jw11 wrote:I am attempting to become a rock drummer. Problem: my teacher makes all his students learn jazz, which I really don't like. Will learning jazz make me a better rock drummer? Or will it be a waste of time?

Any opinions?


My answer would be yes, no doubt!

I "hate" jazz myself, but in terms of technique, skills, rythm-patterns, "groove" and "feel", I've come to respect the basic concept of jazz, even though I am MOST DEFINATELY a loud (hard) rock drummer, always was, always will be! 8)

I'll give a few references of a couple of great rock drummers that has more of "a tad" of jazz feel incorporated in their playing:

Ian Paice (Deep Purple)
Brian Downey (Thin Lizzy)
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