Louie Bellson Solo: To Diddle Or Not To Diddle?

The legendary Louie Bellson was one of jazz drumming’s true greats, and the originator of the use of the double bass drum in jazz. In working through his transcribed solo in the Evolution Of Jazz Drumming with UNF student Landon Baker (sub drummer for Cirque du Soliel, Orlando), there was a passage that was very difficult to play at the fast tempo Louie played it at. From Landon’s marching background, he came up with a variety of sticking options and I added a few more. Here are five options for the same figure. However, Landon showed me you could simplify the pattern using diddles (Ex. 5), and even though Louie didn’t play it this way, at the fast tempo it sounds the same. Please study and enjoy the great solos of Louie Bellson, and experiment with your own sticking variations.

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