A creative device that many jazz drummers use for an authentic jazz feel is playing accents with the cymbal and bass drum in unison. It came to my attention recently at UNF that some students could not play time and accents easily with the bass drum and cymbal. Mel Lewis used this to great effect and I associate this type of accenting with his playing. Ex. 1 is a New Orleans–inspired jazz pattern. Ex. 2 illustrates the same pattern with the snare fills, which can be played with one or both hands. Ex. 3 is the same pattern over a four-bar phrase. Ex. 4 includes the snare fills. Ex 5 is a triplet figure with the snare doubling the bass drum. The great Tony Williams often played patterns in this style. The only guidelines are to play them musically and to experiment with your own ideas.
Danny Gottlieb has played with Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, the NDR Big Band, and is currently a member of Gary Sinise’s Lt Dan Band (ltdanband.com). He is an associate professor of jazz studies at the University Of North Florida. dannygottlieb.org