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The Art of Comping for Jazz Drums

The Art of Comping for Jazz Drums

Master the essential component of jazz drumming with this simple approach. This book offers a clear step-by-step method suitable for anyone new to jazz drumming and also provides a thorough work out for more experienced players.

Includes 128 downloadable play-along audio tracks

Ready to Discover Comping for Jazz Drums? 

Are you an experienced drummer but new to jazz?

Do you struggle to know what to play on the snare or bass drum when playing jazz?

Do you find the coordination required to play jazz a challenge?

Are you looking for a more structured approach to develop your jazz drumming?

Then this introduction to comping for jazz drummers is for you! 

Comping is the art of improvising in response to the music going on around you in the moment – whether that’s accentuating the rhythmic hits of the band, or supporting the lines of a soloist. In fact, you have to be prepared for anything! And that means a different approach to learning.

The Art of Comping for Jazz Drums breaks down the process into clear steps via a comprehensive series of exercises that improve your skills and confidence to explore your own musical expression.

You’ll not only discover a clear, practical practice method, you’ll also learn how to apply your skills musically, while developing the kind of fluency that will enable you to improvise your own ideas, as you would on a jazz gig.

The Art of Jazz Comping for Drums:

  • Master the rhythmic ingredients of comping

  • Learn to spontaneously create musical phrases

  • Discover the structure of artistic comping

  • Play polyrhythms and advanced phrasing

  • Apply your skills musically with professional live backing tracks

A Masterful Study in Four Parts: 


Part One focuses on developing your coordination skills with a logical, thorough series of musical exercises that work systematically through the fundamental rhythmic ingredients of comping.

Part Two uses your new skills to create melodic phrases with snare and bass drum combinations. This is where your language of jazz comping is developed, via exciting examples you can use as a template for your own ideas. In addition, other clear strategies such as question and answer phrasing, are demonstrated to help you turn the exercises into music on the drums.

Part Three teaches you polyrhythmic phrasing and shows how simple ingredients can be used to produce the complex ideas played by Elvin Jones and Tony Williams. You’ll also learn to interact with the soloist to bring the drums to the forefront and confidently become an equal partner in the music. You are not there just to keep time! As the great Duke Ellington said, “Jazz is democracy!”

Part Four puts you into a live musical situation with play-along tracks recorded by professional jazz musicians, so you can practice your own comping by listening and responding to the pianist in real time.

But Don't Take Our Word For It!

“It is a unique skill of the jazz drummer to accompany sensitively in such a way as to inspire and not impede the soloist. Buster has done a superb job in making it both attainable and attractive for anyone eager to learn.”

Spike Wells (Tubby Hayes, Bobby Wellins, Stan Getz, Roland Kirk, Art Farmer, Johnny Griffin, James Moody)

“Aspiring drummers often forget to master the most important thing: comping. This book includes fun and important exercises and gives advice in a clear, logical way. It should be on every drummer’s music stand.”

Sebastiaan de Krom - (Herbie Hancock, Gene Harris, Wynton Marsalis, John Scofield, Clark Terry, Phil Woods, Barry Harris, Dave Holland, Joe Lock, Ron Carter) Leeds Conservatoire, jazz drums teacher at Purcell School for Young Musicians, Musical Director of NYJO/NABB 

“A clear, well thought-out and user-friendly resource for drummers with experience, but who are new to jazz. Buster demystifies the language used in jazz drumming accompaniment. Highly recommended for both private study and institutions of learning.”
Winston Clifford (Benny Golson, John Abercrombie, Biréli Lagrène, Joe Lovano, Eddie Henderson, Courtney Pine, Julian Joseph, Ronnie Scott)

“An excellent publication focusing on the development of coordination, independence and musical application/ vocabulary. The audio/play-along tracks bring the whole project into musical focus. Highly recommended.”

Dave Hassell - Honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, Visiting Fellow at Salford University, UK recording session legend. 

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