Jazz Drummer’s Workshop
Jazz Comping With Quarter-Note Triplets
Swinging an Offbeat Figure
by John Xepoleas
Let’s start by getting a good feel for the first note of an offbeat quarter-note triplet, which lands on the second partial of the 8th-note triplets on beats 1 and 3.
Now we’ll complete the figure by adding the first and third triplet partials of beats 2 and 4.
If you find it difficult to play this comping rhythm along with the jazz ride pattern, try starting with quarter notes on the cymbal.
Once you’re comfortable, alternate between two bars of the pattern and two bars of a swing feel.
Now we’ll play the quarter-note triplet rhythm during the last two bars of an eight-bar phrase. Notice that the rhythm creates excitement and anticipation as it leads to the end of the phrase.
Next we’ll practice moving this figure around the drums. In Exercise 6, the left hand starts on the snare and then moves clockwise to the rack and floor toms.
For this example we’ll create an interesting effect by moving the left hand between the toms.
Now we’ll move the left hand between the snare and tom.
Finally, let’s apply this concept to a four-bar phrase.
John Xepoleas has written two drum books, Style Studies for the Creative Drummer and Essential Drum Lessons With the Greats. He is also an active online educator. For more info, visit johnxdrums.com.