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DECEMBER 19, 2019

New Workout “Jazz Drumming”
With Jazz Icon John Riley

Jazz is considered as one of the supreme disciplines in music and jazz musicians are regarded as the “crème de la crème”. That reputation of Jazz can be discouraging to many musicians. The prejudice that Jazz musicians exclusively belong to the elite prevents many of them from giving it a try. In our new Workout “Jazz Drumming” with John Riley we show you that you can approach Jazz like any other genre through consistent practice. Step by step John explains the basics that will help you become a Jazz Drummer. After that your fears of this musical genre will certainly be history.

Speaking of history – the beginnings of Jazz date back to the year 1900. In the southern states of the USA this musical style developed out of the Afro-American culture and has its roots in gospel music.

Musicians like Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Herbie Hancock, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Zappa or Buddy Rich are regarded as giants of this genre and have further developed and significantly shaped Jazz.

A great trademark of Jazz is freedom. If you decide to get into Jazz, you will have a lot of opportunities to broaden your own musical horizon, try out new things as a drummer and above all have lots of fun. Jazz will spark your creativity, since you need open ears to interact and improvise with your fellow musicians.

And yet, it’s not just about improvisation and perpetual solos. Rather, Jazz requires the musicians to listen to each other. The drummer in a Jazz combo is essential. He drives the group especially with the ride cymbal, playing a constant rhythm pattern. For a Jazz drummer a good feeling for rhythm & time is therefore indispensable. Especially since spontaneity and interaction are core elements of Jazz, which on first sight may seem overwhelming.

As in other genres you don’t start off with a solo or improvisation. In Jazz there are some basics you have to master before you get down to business.

The first part of our new four-part workshop is exactly about that – the basics. In “Introduction to Jazz Drumming” John familiarizes you with the Jazz vocabulary, the Jazz Ride Cymbal Pattern, explains the role of the bass drum and the hi-hat. After that you are ready for the next step: “Jazz Comping”. Comping describes the rhythms a drummer plays to Swing Patterns to support melodies or solos. And then it’s already off to the solo. In the third part “Jazz Soloing” you learn the most common solo format “Trading Fours” as well as “Soloing over a form”, “Soloing over a vamp” and the “Open Solo”. And now get are ready to join the band. In the fourth and final part of the workshop “Jazz Ensemble Playing” John reveals how to become an indispensable Jazz drummer for your band colleagues. Uptempo playing, switching between Latin and Jazz rhythms, between sticks and brushes are some of the topics of this course. At the end of the workshop you are familiar with all the cornerstones of Jazz drumming and will become a valuable member of any Jazz band.

During the entire workout you benefit from one of the best drum teachers of the past 30 years. John Riley was a student of the famous Jazz drummer Joe Morello and studied Jazz at the University of North Texas. In the 1970s he moved to New York, where he toured with the One O’Clock Lab Band and worked as a drummer in the studio. Later he earned his living as a freelancer in New York, working with a large group of world-class musicians such as Stan Getz, Milt Jackson, Miles Davis, Gary Peacock, Mike Stern, Joe Lovano, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, John Patitucci, Bob Berg and many more.

John Riley teaches at the Manhattan School of Music, the Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and is “Artist in Residence” at The Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Furthermore he is an author and still teaches master classes around the world.

Are you excited to give it a try and take your first steps in the world of Jazz? We look forward to seeing you in the courses and appreciate your feedback!

Click here for the Jazz Drumming Workout.

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