Rhythm: From Banjo to Guitar, 2 Drums to Trap Set

Kansas City Jazz - A Little Evil Will Do You Good - Con Chapman

Con Chapman [+-]
Music writer
Con Chapman is the author of Rabbit’s Blues: The Life and Music of Jonny Hodges (Oxford University Press, 2019), winner of the 2019 Book of the Year Award by Hot Club de France, and a 2020 Certificate of Merit for Best Historical Research from the Association for Recorded Sound Collections. His writing on jazz has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, Syncopated Times, and Brilliant Corners, among other publications.


The evolution of the typical rhythm section of a Kansas City-style jazz band are described. The banjo was abandoned in favor of the guitar, which could be used to produce more varied tones; Eddie Durham, who would collaborate with Count Basie as composer/arranger for Bennie Moten, played an important role in the electrification of the guitar which allowed it to be heard over other instruments and to displace the hackneyed rhythmic accompaniment that the banjo produced. The use of drums in African-American music evolved from the two-drummer format of New Orleans bands (one bass, one snare), with the invention of the bass drum foot pedal. The development of the “hi-hat”—a contraption by which two cymbals mounted on a pole could be manipulated by a drummer’s foot and played either by itself or with drumsticks--expanded the rhythmic foundation of Southwestern bands and allowed for more varied effects.

Notify A Colleague


Chapman, Con. Rhythm: From Banjo to Guitar, 2 Drums to Trap Set. Kansas City Jazz - A Little Evil Will Do You Good. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Mar 2023. ISBN 9781800502826. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=42624. Date accessed: 05 Oct 2022 doi: 10.1558/equinox.42624. Mar 2023

Dublin Core Metadata