Drum Lesson: Left Hand Upbeats in Jazz

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DRUM! Magazine

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Shared July 13, 2019

There is one big rule to remember in order to free your left hand from the right hand ride cymbal pattern in jazz drumming. If the snare lands on the ah of beat 2 or 4, it will play along with the right hand on the ride cymbal. Conversely, if the snare lands on the ah of beats 1 or 3 that note will be independent from the ride pattern.

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The swing in jazz music is created by the placement of the upbeats based on the eighth-note triplet. Triplets in this lesson are counted as 1 & ah, 2 & ah, 3 & ah, 4 & ah with the ah being the upbeat. This is the first real exercise that will begin to unlock your independence skills.