In jazz drumming, “coordinated independence” refers to the ability to execute separate rhythms in each hand and foot in a coordinated manner, yet totally independent of one another. More specifically, it refers to the ability to execute various rhythmic figures on the snare and bass drum against an uninterrupted “time pattern” on the ride cymbal and hi-hat.
This ability is an essential part of jazz drumming. The greater your understanding and ability to develop this aspect of your playing, the more you’ll be able to support and respond to what the players around you are doing in a musical and effective manner. The purpose of this book is to help you gain a substantial level of coordinated independence, and to free the snare drum hand and bass drum foot from the ride cymbal and hi-hat pattern.
At the early stages, expect to pay careful attention to the four separate parts of each exercise. Each part should be played precisely as written. Though this may prove somewhat difficult at first, with practice the ride cymbal and hihat pattern will begin to function on their own, with little or no conscious thought required. At that point, full attention can be devoted to the snare drum and bass drum figures. This takes some time, so be prepared to be patient.
Once the techniques in this book are mastered, you’ll be able to play rhythmic figures on the snare and bass drum in a “comping” style behind a jazz soloist, as well as accentuate ensemble figures in a big band situation without disrupting the time flow.