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This is an introduction to playing jazz swing time on the drums. These exercises will give you the basic independence needed to play jazz. We are going to start with the basic jazz pattern and gradually add quarter notes on the snare and the bass drum.

The basic pulse is the quarter note subdivided into eighth note triplets; dividing the main note into threes. Here is the standard ride pattern with the hi hat foot on 2 and 4. Work out the ride cymbal first, then add the hi hat. (Scroll down to see the notation).

 

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Now let’s put the snare drum on 2 and 4 so it lines up with the hi hat.

 

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Next, put the snare drum on 1 and 3 so it alternates with the hi hat. (If you’re having trouble adding the snare, leave out the hi hat part and focus on how the snare lines up with the ride cymbal. Then add it back.)

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Finally, let’s put the snare on all of the quarter notes.

 

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Now do the same with the bass drum. First on the 2 and 4.

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And on 1 and 3.

 

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And then on all of the quarter notes.

 

 

 

There you go. You can download this exercise HERE. When you have these basic patterns down, move on to these independence exercises.