Introduction: How to Play a Basic Jazz Drum Beat
Playing the drums can seem like an intimidating feat. However, this jazz beat simply involves the high hat and cymbal. However, this deceivingly simple jazz beat could qualify you to become one of Letterman's Late Night Drummers. Please remember that while I am only showing the simplest form of this beat, feel free to "jazz it up" with various 4/4 time measures or kicking it up a bit by adding the snare.
Step 1: Instruments You Will Need:
You will need:
-The ride cymbal will be what you use to play your triplet jazz ride beat; thus, the meaning of the name 'Ride-cymbal
-The Hi-hat consists of two cymbals stacked on top of each other, mounted on stand, and clashed together using a pedal on the stand.
3) 2 Wire Drum Brushes
-These brushes will replace your standard drum sticks and create a softer or quieter beat.
The picture below designates each item with a label and image.
Step 2: Getting to Know Your Jazz Triplet Ride
You should understand and get comfortable with your beat even before picking up a drum-stick- or in your case drum brush. This basic jazz beat requires a triplet ride pattern played continuously on your crash-cymbal.
What is a triplet ride pattern?
To help you understand a basic, jazz triplet ride pattern, clap while counting aloud the words, “1, 2, and-3, 4-and, 1, 2, and-3, 4-and, 1…” and so forth.
This quick video demonstrates clapping a basic triplet ride:
Warning: Make sure you are comfortable with your beat before playing your drums.
Step 3: Start With Your Cymbal
After getting comfortable with your beat, pick up one of your wire drum brushes andpractice playing the triplet ride (that we clapped together in the last step) with either your right or left hand on the ride-cymbal.
The video below demonstrates a quick, triplet-ride played on the cymbal:
Step 4: Adding Your Hi-hat
After you feel confident with playing the triplet jazz beat on your cymbal, add the hi-hat to the beat on every 2 and 4 count.
When adding the hi-hat, you should tap on your hi-hat peddle with your left foot.
Tip: Continue counting aloud, “1, 2, and-3, 4-and, 1, 2, and-3, 4-and, 1…” to help you add the hi-hat on the 2 and 4 count of the beat.
The video below demonstrates playing your hi-hat on every 2 and 4 count while continuing to play your cymbal with the triplet jazz beat “1, 2, and-3, 4-and, 1, 2, and-3, 4-and, 1…”
Step 5: The Final Product
Now you have the knowledge to play a basic, triplet jazz beat!
As I said at the beginning, you can get creative and add a snare or base in addition to your hi-hat on the 2 and 4 count.
I hope this was beneficial to you and good luck with your future drumming!
Remember: If you continue to have problems keeping this consistent beat, remember to be patient with yourself. With the right amount of practice as well as reciting the triplet, "1, 2, and-3, 4-and, 1..." your hands and feet will eventually catch up with your head.
Below repeats a video of the fundamental triplet jazz beat played on your ride-cymbal:
The root to the basic jazz beat, and something you need to have full comprehension of before adding your hi-hat, snare, kick-drum, etc.