Mhdb & Bambulete drumming history (extract 2 from Mozart had the Blues)     German

   Preliminary note
   The summary
      From 1890 on
      From 1930 on
      From 1960 on
      From 1990 on
   Next. A basic drum set. History of the Drumset. Cajon
   Drumming literature

 

The live songs by Mhdb, which have evolved since around 1990, were systematically reworked in the Mhdb style by digital means between 2005-10. The percussion group Bambulete was established in 2010. And at this time the following summary of drumming history & development was written based on the major drummers & percussionists, as well as important songs. These are cited in 'Mozart had the Blues' and are fundamental to the development of the Mhdb & Bambulete drumming style.

Apart from consulting the internet, advanced drumming literature (1) or drumming lessons, this summary can be used to remind ourselves: of how the drumkit developed historically; what it looks like; how you set it up and how you sit and play it; which hand or foot should go where, and which drum or cymbal each hand/foot should play (for right and left-handed /-footed drummers: vice versa). It is certainly undisputed that transport, setup and dismantling, adjusting and tuning of a drumset requires time, patience and physical exertion, regardless of whether you play a basic set or an extended drumkit.


The summary.

When we refer to a 'drumkit', we don't mean one single drum, but essentially a whole system of drums, including cymbals. A drummer must learn to adapt the techniques he has learnt on one single drum, normally on a snare, for use on the entire drum set. The minimum size of a drumkit corresponds to the four extremities (two hands, two feet = basic set), i.e., it consists of four sections or sub-instruments (with extensions forming a fifth section):

#1 Snare
#2 Bass drum
#3 Cymbals
#4 Hihat
#5 All extensions (tom toms, cowbells, other percussion, electronics, ...)

#1-4 are not played as single instruments, but rather as synchronized sub-instruments or sections (the same is true of #5). The overall result is a new instrument, the drumkit. The synchronization of the sections of a drumkit has not just been a random process. Rather, this synchronization has developed gradually, starting from the advent of the drum set over one hundred years ago, and - despite, or due to globalization, the internet and the digital era - as yet showing no signs of ending.

In fact, globalization, internet and computers have actually made it possible in a reasonable time to gain a systematic understanding of the variety of drumming styles existing throughout the world. A multitude of styles have evolved, are being developed further with the aid of computers, and are continuously increasing. However, the limits of development have always been posed by human beings. For instance, computers have not really been used so far to produce new, unimaginable drum sounds. They are used rather, as is the case with Bambulete, to imitate the sounds which are played on existing drums. To do this, it is important to have understood the growing variety and history of global drumming styles, e.g., through the internet, by studying detailed drumming literature or taking advanced drumming lessons.

The drumkit is essentially an instrument of indeterminate pitch. As a rule, the drums, cymbals and other sub-instruments are not tuned to a particular key such as C, D# or Bb, etc., but rather in high-low tuning. For instance, well tuned tom toms have a high or low pitch, which can be clearly differentiated from other tom toms even from a great distance, but which is not tuned exactly according to a key such as c, d# or bb. It was always an exception to permanently integrate sub-instruments with a defined pitch, for instance, chromatic chimes or cowbell sets (e.g., in the swing big bands of the 1930s) or keyboards (e.g., in some of the avantgarde jazz bands of the 1990s).

Right from the beginning until today, the drumkit has essentially remained an instrument, which developed in the US and European regions. However, this fact cannot simply be attributed to jazz, US and ethnic black-white influences. The Latin-American influence, especially that from Cuba and already on preceding forms of jazz and blues (around pre-1890), as well as of the mambo, chacha or salsa, cannot be denied.

The following chronological overview reveals four principal drumming-history eras, in which the basic four-section drumset (plus extensions) described above developed, and identifies certain exemplary jazz drummers & percussionists of the time who have played a major role not only for the jazz-oriented Bambulete and Mhdb, but also in general for rock music and other music styles:

- From 1890 on
- From 1930 on
- From 1960 on
- From 1990 on

From 1890 on:

- Snare, bass drum and cymbals, played in concert orchestras and wind orchestras by several musicians, were combined to form a new instrument (drumkit) to be played by a single musician (drummer) .
- The main application of the drumkit at the time was jazz, which began to emerge from around 1890, and with the few styles, which emerged pre-1930, came to be known as traditional jazz.

#1 Snare:

- A drummer (usually male) accompanied the band on the snare with both hands using special sticks.

#2 Bass drum:

- The drummer used one foot on the newly invented pedal of the bass drum (kick drum) to mainly accent the 1st beat, where today's audiences often unskilfully clap along with (instead of clapping the backbeat).

#3 Cymbals:

- The drummer stroke the cymbal with his hand simultaneously with the bass drum to create a powerful accent (bass drum / cymbal effect).
- The bass drum / cymbal effect had been adopted in the 17th century from the Turkish 'Janissary music' into European music (marches, Mozart, ...), because it was so effective. This effect has prevailed to the present day (e.g. in rock music, with Billy Cobham, and even as the basis for techno, etc.).

#4 Hihat:

- Not yet used (in general)

#5 All extensions (tom toms, cowbells, other percussion, electronics, ...):

- Not yet used (in general)

Drummers & percussionists (inter alia):

- Baby Dodds (1898-1959) (2)

From 1930 on:

- The use of the bass (primarily 'plucked' double bass) became widespread in Jazz and then in Rock & Roll. From this time on, a particularly close interaction between the bass and the drums began to develop.
- These still 'danceable' jazz rhythms (swing style, ostinato, i.e., a basic drum set played in a repeating pattern) evolved on the one hand into 'listenable' jazz (modern jazz from bebop on, flexible snare / bass drum interjections), and on the other hand, continued to develop in danceable form, culminating in rock & roll. There was also a resurgence of danceable traditional jazz (dixieland revivals).
- The drumset was now standardized ( = basic set + 1 mounted tom + 1 floor tom).

#1 Snare:

- With one hand on the snare (or one foot on the added hihat), the drummer now emphasized (and he still does this today) precisely the point at which the audience does not usually clap, namely right inbetween two claps of the audience (backbeat, the second and fourth beat in 4/4 time).
- Snare interjections, or to be more precise, snare / bass drum combinations or figures (ostinato, i.e., persistent repetitive and danceable combinations, or flexible combinations in jazz) were now created.

#2 Bass drum:

- The powerful bass drum which was originally played on all beats (4, assuming 4/4 time, especially in the swing style of the big bands), began to be played in a more differentiated fashion, with double and syncopated strokes (from bebop on: flexible snare / bass drum figures).

#3 Cymbals:

- The hand not used to hit the snare (backbeat, interjections or snare / bass drum figures), now played the accompaniment with one stick on the single cymbal ( = ride cymbal, or hihat top), rather than on the snare as was usual before 1930.

#4 Hihat:

- The hihat had evolved from two marching cymbals mounted on a stand at hand height, which were rapidly clashed together by means of a pedal at the base of the stand, thereby producing a crisp percussive sound (chick).
- Since this development, the 'chick' is used by the drummer to mark the backbeat with the foot not used to play the bass drum.
- Alternatively, the hand not used to strike the snare has since been playing the accompaniment with a stick on the top cymbal (hihat top) of the hihat pair, which are held closed, half open or fully open over a longer period (during whole song sections, verses, etc.), rather than on the snare as was usual before 1930.

#5 All extensions (tom toms, cowbells, other percussion, electronics, ...):

- The integration of tom toms now heralded the development of drum solos.

Drummers & percussionists (inter alia) (3):

- Gene Krupa (1909-73)
- Buddy Rich (1917-87)
- Kenny Clarke (1914-85)
- Elvin Jones * (1927-2004)
- Joe Morello (1928-2011)
- Earl Palmer (1924-2008)

The very first drum solo of significant length in 1938, "Sing, Sing, Sing", Benny Goodman & His Orchestra, Gene Krupa on the drums:


Embedded video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mJ4dpNal_k&feature=youtu.be, April 12, 2018 (4)

From 1960 on:

- Rock music, played predominantly with an even (binary) rhythm, developed out of rock & roll and jazz, which were played more with a 'dotted' rhythm, shuffle-style or triplet swing feel (ternary), and now came to dominate over jazz.
- The evenly played rock music was a result of the strong Latin-American musical influences, particularly of the chacha.
- Different rock styles, or styles similar to rock (beat, hard rock, punk, metal, pop, disco, soul, funk, reggae, ...) were now forming.
- Jazz was dissolving into free jazz (freely improvised style of play), or under the influence of rock was moving towards jazz rock and then rock jazz.
- On the other hand, jazz styles from prior to 1960 were being played in new ways, for instance, with amplifier equipment and electronic instruments, as so-called neo bop.
- The standardized drumkit of pre-1960 was often considerably extended (several snares, many cymbals and tom toms, two bass drums and hihats)
- Computerization was now in its early stages (synthesizer drums or electronic drums, techno).

#1 Snare:

- Sometimes several different-sized snares were used.

#2 Bass drum:

- Double-bass-drum play in its early phase (2 bass drums, one per foot, pedals are now similar to 3 car pedals: 1 hihat + 1 bass drum = 2/left foot, 1 bass drum = 1/right foot, for left-handed/-footed people, the other way around)
- The twin drum pedal (double pedal or double-foot machine, instead of two bass drums) was now evolving.

#3 Cymbals:

- Often a large number of cymbals were used.
- Cymbals were now undergoing a specialization (ride cymbals for constant rhythmic accompaniment, crash cymbals for strong accents, splash cymbals for fast accents, China cymbals for special effects).

#4 Hihat:

- The practice of playing the closed hihat by hand ('chick chick chick ...') was gaining great popularity.
- The hihat was now played flexibly with the foot (backbeat now mostly played on the snare).
- Sometimes several hihats were used (left: the conventional hihat played by hand above and with the foot below; right: e.g., closed hihat played by hand only; for left-handed/-footed drummers, the other way round).

#5 All extensions (tom toms, cowbells, other percussion, electronics, ...):

- A large number of tom toms were used.
- Percussion elements were added (styles from all over the world outside the US-European regions were being increasingly integrated).
- Electronic sounds were incorporated (e.g., computer-generated effects played by means of a so-called 'pad').

Drummers & percussionists (inter alia) (5):

- Brian Bennett (1940-)
- Tony Meehan (1943-2005)
- Ringo Starr (1940-)
- Charlie Watts (1941-)
- Al Jackson Jr (1934-75)
- Clyde Stubblefield (1943-2017)
- Billy Cobham (1944-)
- Jack DeJohnette (1942-)
- Tony Williams (1945-97)
- Ivan Krillzarin (1941-)
- Guenter Sommer (1943-)
- Andrew Cyrille (1939-)
- Kenneth Nash (1946-)
- Nana Vasconcelos (1944-)
- Steve Berrios (1945-2013) *. With Jerry Gonzalez (tp, cong, 1949-):


Embedded video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbqyYJB7m8E&feature=youtu.be, April 12, 2018 (6)

From 1990 on:

- Aided by computerization, full electronic simulation of the 'mechanical' or 'acoustic' drumkit (basic set + extensions), which so far had only been played by hand, was now becoming regular procedure.
- Through the internet, Rock drumming was now going global.
- From now on, drumming styles were now dominated by the wide variety of metal rock and r&b styles (sometimes with extreme slowing down to 16/16) as well as techno follow-up styles (power pop, etc.).

#1 Snare:

- Essentially unchanged from pre-1990

#2 Bass drum:

- Double-bass-drum play is undergoing strong differentiation. Feet are now virtually used as hands.

#3 Cymbals:

- Essentially unchanged from pre-1990

#4 Hihat:

- Essentially unchanged from pre-1990

#5 All extensions (tom toms, cowbells, other percussion, electronics, ...):

- Essentially unchanged from pre-1990

Drummers & percussionists (inter alia) (7):

- Dennis Chambers (1959-)
- Terri Lyne Carrington (1965-)
- Eddy Garcia (1970s?-)
* *
- Khari Parker (1970s?-)
-
Jeremy Spencer (1973-)
- Brit Turner (1980s?-)
- Chris Dave
(1973-). With band:


Embedded video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tsi3z1EFv24&feature=youtu.be, April 12, 2018 (8)


Next:

_____
(1)

Drumming literature:

- Aufstellung des Drumsets (only in German, www.thomann.de)
- Bohlaender, Carlo ..., Reclams Jazzfuehrer, 5., durchges. u. erg. Aufl., 2000
- DeJohnette, Jack (d) ..., The art of modern jazz drumming, special ed., third pr., 1989
- Ehrhardt, Sven (d) ..., Drums Total, Das erfolgreiche Infokonzept fuer Unterricht und Selbststudium, DVD, 2005
- Hennessey, Mike, Klook, The story of Kenny Clarke, 1990
- Jones, Elvin (d), A different drummer, Video, 1979
- Jost, Ekkehard (bs), Europas Jazz 1960-1980, 1987
- Kilgallon, Steve ..., Turn it up and lay it down, Double pedal metal, 2008
- Klauber, Bruce H., World of Gene Krupa, 1990
- Meriwether, Doug, We don't play requests, A musical biography/discography of Buddy Rich, 1984
- Mintz, Billy, Different drummers, 1975
- Morello, Joe (d), New directions in rhythm, Studies in 3/4 and 5/4 jazz, rev., 1969
- Nesbitt, Jim, Inside Buddy Rich, 1984
- Paiste, Robert, Profiles of international drummers, percussionists, musicians, by Paiste Cymbals gongs, vol. 3, 1981
- Peinkofer, Karl, Fritz Tannigel, Handbuch des Schlagzeugs, 2., rev. u. erg. Aufl., 1981
- Schuetz, Stefan (d), Fundamentale Konzepte fuer Schlagzeuger, 2. Aufl., 2009
- Slutsky, Allan ..., The funkmasters, The great James Brown rhythm sections, 1960-1973, For guitar, bass, and drums, 1997
- The Baby Dodds Story, As told to Larry Gara, rev. ed., 1992
- Wicke, Peter, Kai-Erik und Wieland Ziegenruecker, Handbuch der populaeren Musik, 4. Aufl., 6.-8. Tausend, 2001
- Ziegenruecker, Wieland, ABC Musik, Allgemeine Musiklehre, 6., vollstaend. ueberarb. Aufl., 2009
- Ziegenruecker, Wieland, Die Tanzmusikwerkstatt, Eine die Spezifik der Tanz- und Unterhaltungsmusik beruecksichtigende allgemeine Musiklehre, 6. Aufl., 1972
- Zoro (d), The commandments of the half-time shuffle for drumset, 2013
etc

(2)
- Baby Dodds (d), www.rhythmweb.com/baby/index.html, April 2018
(3)
- Gene Krupa (d), www.drummerman.net, April 2018
- Buddy Rich (d), www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Buddy_Rich.html, April 2018
- Kenny Clarke (d), www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Kenny_Clarke.html, April 2018
- Elvin Jones (d):
   . www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Elvin_Jones.html, April 2018
   . www.elvinjones.com, April 2018
- Joe Morello (d), www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Joe_Morello.html, April 2018
- Earl Palmer (d), www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Earl_Palmer.html, April 2018
(4)
...

 

 

German - Mozart has the blues - A-Z