View Full Version : yet another traditional grip question...

scott h
12-15-2004, 04:08 AM
hi everybody,
drummer boy's thread gave me an idea for my first thread in about one year...

anybody who has seen mr. weckl's 'how to develop technique' video from the 'natural evolution' series will no doubt have got out their pads and tried his rebound excersises for matched grip or the right hand.
i found the technique to be very relaxed, free, and without tension.

but what about the left hand???? getting the constant full rebound strokes with the LH is easy at faster speeds where the hand doesn't stop moving, but what about at slow speeds?? I have found that getting full rebound (like the video's RH excersise) in the LH is not ony hard, but IMPOSSIBLE.

With the RH hand (in this excersise) the motion is in two parts: 1. a full stroke where the hand and wrist remain down but the stick rebounds fully, almost 180 degrees (nearly parallel to the arm); then, 2. the fingers snap the stick back down to the pad/drum while the hand pulls up ready for part 1 again.
we can see that this is a simple easy down-up hand motion.

When i try and do this same excersise in the left hand (using traditional grip of course), the maximum rebound for a slow stroke rate (say 1 stroke per second) is around 85 degrees for me. To get the stick back any further would require the elbow to come in past the stomach!
If you take all the fingers of the stick you can maybe get it to about 100 degrees max., but then you have to bring it BACK to 85 degrees to make the next stroke. Obviously this is not efficient.

How can my left hand stroke with a rebound of 85 degrees ever get to the level of freeness of the RH of 180 degrees??????!!!!!!

How the **** can you do it?? :(

Has anyone had the same problem?

12-15-2004, 07:54 AM
There is but one solution, my friend. You must abondon traditional grip. It is impossible, unless you are an alien practicing 13 hours a day for thirty years. In which case I become most jealous of your skill and spend hours on your msgboard instead of the practice room where I should be... I've been most helpful, I know. No need to thank me or send me money. >Wink, Wink, Nudge, Nudge<

12-15-2004, 08:01 AM
The left hand traditional grip will never do the same as the right hand matched grip no matter what you try. The hand underneath the stick (traditional) will ultimately have a lower dynamic threshold (how loud you can physically play with that grip) and rebound threshold, than left hand matched grip (hand on top of the stick).
The stick on the right hand may come back nearly 180 deg.with rebound, but the stick would fly out of the left hand traditional every time you did that, because you'd have to let your fulcrum on the stick relax (in the 'well' of the thumb), thus losing...well, the stick.

First, take a look at the movement of your hand at the wrist. The wrist itself does not move, it is merely a bridge or 'tunnel' connecting the hand and its digits (fingers) with the muscles of the forearm and arm. In matched grip the hand moves up and down, which is the most natural movement. Traditional grip involves the hand moving side to side, like turning a doorknob. Now place sticks in your hands and do the same movements. You can see the path the sticks travel, and you'll notice that traditional grip in your left hand will have slightly more limited movement than your right. I haven't even talked about rebound yet.

I think in the Weckl DVD he showed both hands but he approached them differently. I think he even said in the DVD (correct me if I'm wrong) that he didn't have to change his approach with traditional grip as he did with his right hand (from his videos in the late 80's)much, he just relaxed it even more.
One of my goals with traditional grip is to have the sound be as uniform as possible between left and right hands. I think 85deg in the left hand, is, more or less, its ultimate level of freeness. It's not the right hands' nearly 180deg, but trying to get the same rebound from two hands doing, essentially, opposite movements, is futile. You'll never get out of the practice room.

Make sure it sounds good, and feels good when you're playing (no elbows in stomachs, no hyperextending) Talk with a drummer whose input and insight you trust about grip. Videotape yourself playing in rehearsal or in performance, if you can. Don't beat yourself up if both hands do not look EXACTLY alike in every movement.
Tony Williams, one of the greatest drummers who ever lived, treated trad. grip, and each hand, essentially as two different instruments joining to create ONE SOUND. That is what I strive towards, and hopefully I didn't confuse you too much.

Thanks for reading,

12-15-2004, 08:16 AM
What a mouthful. I'm no master at trad. grip, but it occurs to me that if you work on control instead of your mechanics, the hand will gradually adopt the right technique on it's own, much like your feet do. Through much practice, your body will become efficient because it must to improve. For me, at least, the more control I gain, the easier it becomes to see what motions I must do differently.

12-15-2004, 10:03 AM
LOL! first i can't help it but laugh a little at how much detail scott posted there on top and quite amazed at the same time. HE DEFINITELY MADE lots of EFFORT TO DECIPHER THE TECHNIQUE! i'm sure he's one hell of drum transcriber as well playing all his favorite drum related songs note for note, hehe.

all i can say concerning your query...just let your left hand flow naturally...sorry i can't decipher that. you just have to check out other drummers who can do it.

scott h
12-16-2004, 12:07 AM
haha! thanks alencore. you flatter me! i really do love transcribing stuff note for note. Especially Dave Matthew's Band tracks where Carter makes the job real difficult cause he plays something different every bar.
drummaman1: i LOVE Tony as well!! Tony really used his whole arm to bring the left stick back, for a very powerful stroke. He didn't even bother with rebound unless he was doing multiple strokes, where he almost takes all fingers off and really bounces the stick. He was something else. He also tended to keep his LH in an 'upright' position, like in shaking hands. Steve Smith i think does the same thing...

12-16-2004, 01:26 AM
hi guys.

i have been surfing these boards for ages now, and have been a premium member for a few months....a fellow virgil freak!

i felt compelled to post in response to someone's question about dave's technique, and their problem getting good rebound or flow with the left hand. unlike someone else said DONT abandon trad grip....its a good grip, looks kinda retro and will make your drumming more interesting as its not a symetrical grip like matched.

it sounds like your 1st and 2nd finfer are blocking the rebound.....it should only be your thumb and the space between your thumb and 1st finger, that grips the stick. take the other fingers away. dont bring your elbow into your stomach, that wouldnt be rebound. it is just like bouncing a basketball with your thumb....and your left hand when its at the farthest point back....should look like its palm up. when its at the farthest point down (i.e hitting the pad) it looks like palm sideways....

try that.....

12-16-2004, 01:42 PM
leaving your fingers off the stick will give the biggest rebound and the biggest sound.
Sorry if my post was too long. I tend to get long-winded, especially something about traditional grip. I love the grip, but playing-wise I use it only for certain things, like comping on the snare when playing jazz
As much as I love Dennis Chambers and Steve Jordan, and the immense respect I have for them, their traditional grip is...eh...well, I'll leave it up to the person who watches them play. I'm the last person who should judge anyone. I'm still going to listen to their drumming. I say this because traditional grip is up to the one doing the 'gripping' and leave the 'griping' out of it.

..I got a million of 'em, folks. I'll be here all night. Try the shrimp legs!!!

12-16-2004, 08:17 PM
Palmerlouis, I actually do love traditional grip, only I suck at it. Anyone that knows me knows that I make jokes first, and answer questions later. I am actually a big proponant of trad. grip, as it is different from almost all mainstream drummers' choice of grip. It makes you stand out and be taken more seriously, and I believe other people respect it a little more. Hey Scott h, I love Carter too, he was my first real influence. It's so much fun to mimic his style and steal his licks! Did you get his DVD?

12-18-2004, 05:53 AM
yeah scott carter and tony rules!

scott h
12-19-2004, 10:17 PM
no cjc i don't have his dvd. how is it? what's the band on it? his playing is so tasteful, musical and inventive.

alencore: i had to read your last post again cos i've been thinking "wow, i have never heard of scott carter before. i should check him out.." and looking in Google for Scott Carter. Then i realised that I am Scott, and Carter is Carter.

07-22-2005, 08:14 AM
Hey Palmerlouie!!
Good to see you here!
See you here and at HOD!

Your friend,