Secret Registrations of the Jazz Masters
|How to Play Jazz on the Hammond (and why!)|
|Secret Registrations of the Jazz Masters!|
|Original Standard Registrations|
|A Few Notes On the Hammond Organ|
Secret Sounds and
First off, just to be clear, I am not one of the ‘Jazz Masters of the Hammond Organ!’ I have been playing keyboards for lotsa years, and consider myself pretty good at what I do, but every time I hear the real deal, I am reminded of how much I have to learn…
The sound of the B-3 as a jazz machine is (as always) anything you want to make it. Any sound can be played in a jazz style and sound soulful and grooving-if you know how to be soulful and grooving! Check out Dr. Lonnie Smith or Rhoda Scott for the best examples I know! But when you’re just learning, it’s helpful to have a starting place. Here are the ‘typical’ registrations used by the majority of the great jazz players, with a few side notes.
The secret language!
The drawbars correspond closely to the harmonic series. Each tone has a (relatively) simple relationship to the fundamental frequency, the third drawbar, corresponding to the pipe lengths of a classical pipe organ. The names given the drawbars reflect this:
16′, 5-1/3′, 8′, 4′, 2-2/3′, 2′, 1-3/5′, 1-1/3, 1′
The 8′ drawbar is the Fundamental, where middle C is the same as on the piano.
Hammond players refer to the drawbars as sets of 9 numbers. Because of the nature of the harmonic series and the color of the drawbars, they are spaced like so:
12 3456 789 Each position is a drawbar “pulled” to a number between 0 and 8, representing the position of the drawbar. Thus the registration at the top of the page is notated:
00 8000 000 A full organ (Hammond full, not ‘classical’ full) is represented as:
88 8888 888 all drawbars out all the way.
The B3 is essentially an additive synthesizer with fixed envelope…
The other information needed is the setting for Vibrato/Chorus and Percussionwhich are outlined in the descriptions. All registration names are my own; other organists may use the same setting with a different name. It ain’t what ya call it, it’s how ya play it!
Yer Basic Jimmy Smith Tone
88 8000 000, Perc On, Soft, Short, 3rd Harmonic
The all-time favorite sound of jazz organists all over the world is the standard ‘Jimmy Smith’ registration (he may or may not have been the first to use it, but he indisputably was the one to popularize it.) V/C can be set to almost any setting with chorus, C3 is common, Leslie off (or slow).
Some folks add the last drawbar:
88 8000 006 to get a ‘free’ second sound. The top drawbar does not sound with the percussion On, so turning it off generates a new timbre, similar to the Silk setting below.
Also, some organists add partial or full 4th drawbar to add brightness (and distinguish themselves from all the other JOS clones!)
Use it to play leads, solos, bright accompaniment.
83 8000 000, C3, Leslie Slow/Off
This is the typical bass registration used by virtually all left-hand-bass players, so just about everybody uses it.
Typically, players set the second drawbar between 0-5 to make the the tone smoother or grittier.
The “Silk” Registration
80 8000 008, Perc Off, C3, Leslie Fast
This is a popular sound for ballads and light swing. See my Tips page for details on how to play it.
A smooth, ‘silk-y’ sound great for tunes like Shiny Stockings or I Cover The Waterfront – if that’s the kind of music you’re playing.
The Bro’ Jack Squabble
80 0008 888 C3, Leslie Fast, any Perc.
This registration is typically played in a style known as “squabbling,” with a particular technique (again, see the Tips page.)
And yes, I know, somewhere along the line he became known as Cap’n Jack, but it doesn’t matter, as this is really another Jimmy Smith registration!
What I Call Fatt !!
88 8000 888 with C3, Leslie Slow/Fast, no percussion
This is a setting midway between Full and the Bro’ Jack setting. It’s a good screaming solo sound when you need to build tension but also need to be able to get even bigger later.
00 0000 000 Perc On, Normal, Long, 2nd Harmonic
This is a kind of quiet sound. Remember the percussion only triggers when all notes have been released, so it takes a little practice to get it to work right.
If you need more body and sustain, add the 4th drawbar to taste.
888888888, Perc Off, C3, Leslie Slow/Fast
This is the full-on, balls-to-the-wall loudest registration in the zoo. This is not a true ”
full organ”, rather it’s just everything all the way out. Rock On!