The Concept of the One Man Jazz Trio

I’ve recently been “woodshedding” as a One Man Jazz Trio.

Jazz Music is dependent on music performed in “real time”, because of the power of improvisation.

At least I believe true Jazz is performed in “real time” and “improvised”.

It’s true Zen, the more I think about it, and is in keeping with my overall approach to Zen.

The Concept

For now, here are the basic elements of this One Man Jazz Trio approach.

  • 1. Piano – This is the main function of the digital piano. To provide a digitally sampled version of a Grand Piano when there is none made available.
  • 2. Acoustic Bass – The digital piano is split, so that the lower keys below middle C (or whatever key is designated as the top bass note) will be handled by the Acoustic Bass sample.
  • 3. Hi-Hat Cymbals – This is an important aspect of swing, to play the hi-hat “chick” sound on 2 and 4.
  • 4. Ride Cymbal – The ride cymbal is vital in performing Jazz Music, and I was able to rig a modified stand that would hold a Jazz ride cymbal, in such a way that a bass drum pedal with a modified drum stick will work quite well. A bit of technique will be needed to actually duplicate the right hand (or left hand) playing the ride cymbal.


Setup: One Man Jazz Trio

Setup: One Man Jazz Trio

Personal Notes

I’ve studied piano since age 5, when my mother started me on formal piano lessons. At around age 9, I fell in love with the drums and switched. And the drums have been a dominant force in my life.

In recent years, after finally getting a Yamaha Grand Piano, I have been getting my piano chops up-to-speed.

It’s been hard for me, but I haven’t given up and have been more determined at the challenge.

I’d been accompanying singers over the years on the piano. And sometimes I would bring my hi-hat cymbals to keep time on 2 and 4 while playing Jazz and Swing.

Adding a means to play the ride cymbal with the right foot has made the “Jazz Trio sound” more of a reality while playing piano. Along with a great acoustic bass sample when splitting the keyboard, at least in my humble opinion, it really makes the One Man Jazz Trio sound and feel more realistic.

And, it’s all done in “real time” with no sequencing, no programmed music, no tracks, and no band-in-the-box with a laptop.

To me, that is still keeping with the philosophy of play true Jazz, improvising, and playing songs on the fly.

Hopefully, this concept will translate to some success in gigs, and getting the opportunities to perform in this fashion.

Wish me luck!



Carlos Rull

Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and

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