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Questions about matched grip...


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I am trying to find out the most efficient way(s) of holding drumsticks that will give me the best technical ability on the drumset.


Is there a standard accepted way that drumsticks should be held?


Should the stick be held between the thumb and the first joint of the index finger?(the joint closest to the finger tip)


How much space (if any)should be between the thumb and the index finger?


Should the palms always face down, or does this change when using the fingers for faster rolls?


Is there a time when the wrist barely moves, letting the fingers do all the work?


Is there a time when the fingers barely move, letting the wrist do all the work?


Should the butt of the stick fall into the crease between the fleshy base of the thumb and the fleshy 'karate chop' part of the palm?


You get the picture. I want to make sure I am developing good practice habits.... Any help or information would be much appreciated.




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The technique you described there seems to be right on the money in terms of playing with matched grip. I personally use the same one and found it has worked great for me. Since developing that form I no longer get blisters, break heads or sticks(helps your drumming budget greatly). With that style I use my middle finger as the main fulcrum point with the other fingers as support with very little arm movement making your wrist and fingers do most of the work. The one thing I do change a bit, depending on what I'm playing, is where I hold the stick(Jim Chapin told me to find the middle balance point of the stick and start your grip an inch below that)I tend to hold them closer to the butt for rock and Jim's way for double stoke rolls and jazz stuff. I also changed to traditional 6 months ago and to my suprise found it was'nt as hard to make the jump as I thought it would be, now I use that grip for jazz and lighter playing which I find more comfortable for certain things than matched(go figure).


Hope this helps, CHEERS


This message has been edited by mrthirsty on 07-18-2001 at 01:23 AM

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Hey, Jamoflage!

Check out my review of Dave Weckl's latest video. There is a clip on there of Dave playing and you can really see the grip. He is a traditional player, but if you apply his right hand technique to your left, you will get the picture!

You can get to the story through the home page in the review area.

Hope this helps!


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Pretty technique is one thing but I can stand only so much of it. And for rock...well, let's just say you should have good technique before you decide you don't want to use it.


Dave has beautiful technique and you can develop Jim Chapin hands (I have been to clinics with the old geezer and his pad myself)...


But don't be afraid to throw it out the window and bring your arm up ala tommy lee or let the stick go back and shred some as well.


I love matched grip...never bothered with traditional...that's for other folks.

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Just for the record, the Moeller method incorporates the full arm, wrist and fingers. You can bring the stick way over your head ... no problem; it's all part of the Moeller method. The fingers, wrist and arm are all part of the "machine" ... you use the parts that you need. If you need volume, I would hope you would be using some arm (which would then be using your body's natural weight and gravity).


Check out some stuff by Ed Soph, drummer and instructor at North Texas State University. This guy has it down and teaches it very well ... just ask Greg Bissonette.





Bart Elliott


Drummer Cafe - community drum & percussion forum
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I started out playing drums using Traditional grip. After I started college, I only used Traditional grip for jazz style playing. I found that Matched grip worked well for me since it was closer to the techniques I was using on mallets, timpani, etc.


I don't use Traditional grip anymore, accept occasionally when I use brushes (or teach a student who needs to learn the grip for historical purposes). Traditional grip uses a whole different set of muscles (two actually) than does Matched grip (which uses 9 different muscles). With Traditional grip, the Radius bone is rotating around the Ulna bone ... no wrist bending. For me, it didn't make sense to continue switching between these two drastically different grips. Every time I switch I have to warm-up and build-up a whole different set of muscle groups for my left hand.


There are guys out there that can play great with either grip ... but for me, I just don't have the time. I play percussion and hand drums as well as drumset; my time is spread out as it is.


If you've never seen Billy Cobham play his different assortment of grips, I highly recommend that you check out his instructional video, "Drums by Design". Cobham plays standard Matched grip, the Traditional, reversed Traditional (where the right hand is holding the stick like the normal Traditional grip), and what I call "Back-Asswards" Traditional in which both hands are holding the stick like the Traditional grip left hand! This guy has WAY too much time on his hands ... but boy, can he play! Cobham plays a lot of other variations of these grips ... all working with the Moeller method.


We have Cobham and Gadd to thank for bring our drumming to a new level when they incorporated their drum corps influences onto the drumset.





Bart Elliott



This message has been edited by Bartman on 07-18-2001 at 10:48 AM

Drummer Cafe - community drum & percussion forum
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Hi, this is my first posting / reply on this forum. So I'm a new here. http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/wink.gif


I do have a bit of playing experience, so perhaps I can offer a suggestion or two which may provide some assistance.


First thing, don't stress it. Techniques are myriad, as exemplified just by responses you've received here. IMHO, the MOST important thing is to be comfortable and relaxed in your grip. While of course, this is just my opinion here, I think you'll find that in almost any video, book or article on hand or foot techniques, the first thing the author will bring up is being relaxed. That's where your greatest speed comes from, though you have to work up to your maximum ability. Unfortunately, while little 'tricks of the trade' can help the curve, basically there's just no way around it, there's no short cuts. Time and effort yield results.


Personally, I usually play back and forth between Matched & Traditional grips, often switching back and forth frequently during a song. It just works for me, as I'm more proficient as some things (like rudiment work, ghost notes, odd time left hand work, etc.) with a Traditional grip. But matched grip enables me to extend to the left side of the kit a bit better. The big down beat (I play in a rock / progressive rock band) doesn't seem to matter much with either grip. Matched I utilize more arm movement. Traditional it's more of a wrist snap.


I've horsed around with the left hand Traditional (I'm left-handed but play normally play right-handed. Go figure...), and the 'both hands Traditional' grip. I thought I was the only one goofy enough to even mess with it, LOL. I'm not really proficient enough at it to utilize it yet during gigs, but it's possible it could have some practical usage. Time will tell, I suppose.


Personally, my best suggestion is use the most comfortable relaxed grip on the stick you can find. Work at a slow, very relaxed pace on whatever techniques you wish, and the speed will come naturally. I'd recommend starting at a tempo where the technique is very easy, even lazy for you to do. Work as much as you can for SMOOTHNESS, more than sheer speed. After some time, you'll notice, almost surprising yourself, that you're smoothness has been retained, but your relaxed speed has increased noticeably.


To my mind, any "standard accepted way" is just someone else's opinon. Over the decades of the trap kit, drummers over time and experience have come to pretty much adopt either Traditional or Matched grips for the traps. Both seem to have shaken out to work well for trap kit work. There's fantastic drummers using both methods. So you may be able to benefit by their experimentation over the last almost 100 years, and adapt one of these two methods. Sounds like you prefer Matched, which is absolutely fine.


But in the long run, it's GETTING THE JOB DONE that's MOST important. NOT what grip you use. If you play best holding 'em like a spear, have at it! Who's to say what works best for ya? And most of the greats would probably tell ya that it doesn't matter. Just play. http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/wink.gif


Just my thoughts.


ThanX A Million,




This message has been edited by ModernDrummer on 07-18-2001 at 01:27 PM


This message has been edited by ModernDrummer on 07-19-2001 at 12:14 PM

If you always do what you've always done, you'll always have what you've always had.
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Hey thanks everyone,

I guess theres a million ways to analyze it. Like any other instrument there are standard rules that sometimes need to be broken...


One of my concerns is efficiency, which like MD said is mostly about relaxation, (something I must remind myself to do a lot), and also letting the stick bounce freely to absorb the energy instead of having my arm absorb it... I have heard of drummers who needed all types of arm surgery due to problems caused by a 'faulty stroke'.




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