Invention of the basic Jazz beat…

It was the late 30s’ and there was a drum cat named, Kenny Clarke. This dude could swing! Little did I realize that he created a very cleaver way (amoungst many other insightful trap notables) to use the ride cymbal as the one-beat.

Most drummers in those days struck the bass on every beat in the measure, a technique known as four-on-the-floor. For some of the faster songs back then, it was virtually impossible for drummers to keep-up this way.

Instead, Kenny kept the pulse going on the cymbal, using the bass and snare to ‘cut the time up’.

Now, with the advent of double bass and drums and pedals, the 4 on the floor is an option for trap players.

This article talks more about the history of this patriarch of drumming in modern jazz.

Jam On!
-Ron

Jazz-Beat-Kenny-Clarke

(by: Michael J. West via: NPR.org)

 

Spang-a-lang was only part of Clarke’s innovation. Marking time on the ride cymbal with his right hand — previously, jazz drummers employed the bass drum with the right foot — gave his left hand and feet the freedom and sonic space to play thundering accents (“dropping bombs”) at irregular intervals…

Read the rest of the article here…

http://www.npr.org/sections/ablogsupreme/2014/01/08/260769892/the-drummer-who-invented-jazzs-basic-beat

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