What is the difference between jazz drumming and regular drumming?

9073 what is the difference between jazz drumming and regular drumming

Jazz drumming and regular drumming differ in various ways. Jazz drumming is a sub-genre of music that originated in the late 19th century in the African-American communities of New Orleans, whereas regular drumming encompasses a broader range of musical styles and genres. Jazz drumming has a distinct style and approach that sets it apart from other forms of drumming. Here are some of the significant differences between jazz drumming and regular drumming:

  1. Rhythmic Complexity: Jazz drumming typically features complex rhythms, with an emphasis on syncopation and improvisation. Jazz drummers use a wide range of techniques, including polyrhythms, ghost notes, and off-beat accents, to create intricate rhythms that complement the other musicians in the ensemble. In contrast, regular drumming usually follows a more straightforward, straightforward beat and rhythm.

  2. Dynamic Range: Jazz drumming requires a broad dynamic range, with the drummer frequently transitioning between loud and soft playing. Jazz drummers use techniques such as brushes, mallets, and sticks to create a range of sounds and tones, from delicate whispers to thunderous roars. In contrast, regular drumming tends to be more consistent in terms of dynamics.

  3. Swing Feel: One of the defining characteristics of jazz drumming is the swing feel, which is a rhythmic quality that creates a sense of forward momentum and groove. Jazz drummers achieve this by playing slightly behind the beat on some notes and slightly ahead of the beat on others, creating a bouncing, swinging rhythm. In contrast, regular drumming tends to have a more straightforward, driving feel.

  4. Interaction with other musicians: In jazz, drumming is an integral part of the ensemble, and the drummer interacts closely with the other musicians to create a cohesive sound. Jazz drummers often listen closely to the other musicians and adjust their playing to complement what the other musicians are doing. In contrast, in regular drumming, the drummer may be more of a timekeeper, providing a steady beat for the other musicians to follow.


  • “Jazz Drumming” by Bill Evans (Modern Drummer, February 2011)
  • “The Art of Jazz Drumming” by John Riley (Modern Drummer, October 2009)
  • “The Drummer’s Bible” by Mick Berry and Jason Gianni (Alfred Music, 2004)