Jazz Drumming Tips for Sizzle and Swing

Here are some Jazz drumming tips that helped me develop my skill on the drums. If you’re interested in learning Jazz on the drums, it might seem a little daunting at first.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Most drummers feel this way in the beginning. With consistent practice and dedication, you can definitely get the hang of it! Here are 3 quick tips for learning Jazz drumming. 

These Jazz drumming tips helped me to become the drummer I am today.

Start with the Basics: Understanding Jazz Rhythms

Jazz music is all about those groovy rhythms and improvisation. So, to play Jazz drums, you need to know and be able to play those rhythms. 

One of the most common rhythms is Jazz Swing. It creates a bouncing forward moving feel that makes, people snap their fingers, clap their hands, tap their toes, bob their heads and dance. In fact in the 1930’s Jazz Swing was the the popular American dance music of the time! 

To play it, just accent the second and fourth beats of the measure and play the first and third beats softer. You can start by practicing playing just quarter notes on the ride cymbal with a metronome or bass only drumless track to help develop your timing and feel.

Get many Jazz drumming tips and learn to to play a super swinging Jazz drum beat in my Intro To Jazz Drumming Course.  You’ll also learn, Jazz drumming independence, drum fills and a solid foundation for playing Jazz on the drums. 

Another rhythm to know for Jazz drumming is the Bossa Nova rhythm from Brazil. It has a straighter, relaxed and smooth feel to it.

To learn the Bossa Nova, check out my Brazilian drumming course.  You’ll learn the coordination, most important Bossa Nova rhythms and how to put it all together. 

Loads of Jazz drumming tips for playing Bossa Nova in my Brazilian Drumming course.

Get Creative: Improvisation

Now, when it comes to playing Jazz drums, it’s not just about playing the right rhythms. You also want to add your own musical voice and creativity to the mix.

That’s where improvisation comes in. A good way to practice improvisation is by playing along to famous Jazz recordings. Try to emulate the drummer’s grooves, comping (accompanying), drum fills and feel. 

Copy the drummer a few times and then try and improvise your own fills and grooves with the music.  Don’t worry about making mistakes, just have fun and play things that sound good with the music you hear.

The most powerful of all Jazz drumming tips is to get together and play with other musicians to practice your improvisation skills. Jam with friends or join a Jazz jam session in your town. The most important skill for Jazz drumming after all, is being able to play well with other musicians. 

In my Secrets of Jazz Drumming Course, I’ll teach you over 100 secrets to improve your improvisation and playing with other musicians! 

Practice, Practice, Practice

Like any instrument, practice is key when it comes to Jazz drums. Try to set aside some time each day to practice your rhythm and improvisation skills.

Always start slow with everything you practice and gradually increase the tempo as you get more comfortable and consistent. Don’t be afraid to keep challenging yourself more complex grooves, comping and drum fills.


Jazz drumming can seem overwhelming at first, but don’t get discouraged! Take it one step at a time and remember to enjoy the process of learning.

Enroll in some courses here at Jazz Drum School and with practice and a little bit of patience, you’ll be up and swinging in no time!

Do you want to play Jazz on the drums?

Hey, I’m Von Baron. I’m determined to help you become an AMAZING Jazz drummer.  My only question is, are you ready?

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