Virgil Donati Messageboard

Virgil Donati Messageboard (
-   General Chat (
-   -   Traditional Grip (

peter 07-25-2003 09:16 AM

Hi, guys.

Kirk, where and when did you see
that article on Tony, with his comment
on traditional? I was just wondering.

The reason being is that he indicated
to me that if traditional were the more
logical methodology, we should all be
holding both sticks that way.

Now, mind you, this was during the
1970's, when he was consumed with
power and flams. As he became older,
he went back to his original approach
often, which, like Virgil, was traditional.

It is evident that he mellowed into his
later years, becoming less rigid about
certain fixed ideas, some of which I
still find interesting.

kirk 07-25-2003 11:01 AM

To be honest with you Peter It was in college, which was 16 years ago(I was 20 then) and actually I was sitting in the room of my teacher at school and he had this article on Tony(the name or date eludes me) and he wanted me to check it out because he was a huge fan of Tony's and wanted me to get the inspiration if you no what I mean which I did by the way. I was at the same time turning my teacher on to Vinnie, quite funny. What I remember reading was not that Traditional was his favorite(or matched for that matter) but that certain aspects of traditional grip were better for him when playing certain things. If I do remember he mentioned matched as a grip where if you wanted volume and power it was somewhat easier to get. But he did emphasize what he liked about traditional.

I also remember at that time him being hardcore about playing multiple stickings without using rebound as a way of helping develop the stroke. He was emphatic that you should control and manipulate the entire stroke, using rebound was a joke to him. Well I really disagreed with him about that, I never thought that he had the most fluid or relaxed hands which might of been from this way of thinking that he had. I wonder if he ever thought different before then or afterwards. Actually Thomas Lang plays the same way, and I also do not think he has a stroke that sounds very relaxed it sounds controlled a little stiff to me. Now his hands are very clean and precise and consistent just stiff, using rebound allows for more fluidity and a stroke that sounds more relaxed. Just my opinion though. Tony was obviously pretty outspoken and well down right arrogant about his opinions years ago. But I do believe he did soften up some later on down the road.

Regards Kirk

peter 07-25-2003 01:25 PM

Well, that sounds like the Tony I knew
back then. I was 16-17, when I studied
with him. He was brutal. It's just as you
say, he promoted "no bounce" as the
only way. When I told him, I wanted to
continue playing traditional, he had me
squeeze the stick between my left-hand
middle and ring-fingers and play with it
that way, until it cracked open and bled,
which he enjoyed, I think. I did not enjoy
these lessons, though they provided for
interesting directions, later on.

One thing I have to say about his approach
is that it allowed for the most notable ride
I have ever heard in jazz, evident in his
1960's recording, with Miles and others. To
this day, I have never heard anyone ride
like that. He was something else.

He leaves a legacy that is rich.

By the way, I now played matched all the
time and have converted from German to
French grip, using some bounce. I was
convinced by Steve Gadd and Billy Cobham
that the rigidity of Tony on that subject may
not have been the best for applications in
other musical genres.

kirk 07-25-2003 03:58 PM

That is a very interesting point Peter, when i think about it. If you are playing traditional and have to play by Tony's method where everything is forced it would not be as beneficial to play traditional because really you are hurting yourself and making the whole stroke harder to pull off. To me you take the feel out of the equation in large part and if so go ahead and play matched, because the benefit of feel, intricacy and fluidity is cut out to a great degree. And you are right Tony's ride was Awesome, so darn creative, musical and powerful.

Regards Kirk

peter 07-25-2003 06:03 PM

You know, Kirk, since I have switched
to left-hand lead, on the right-handed
kit, I have noticed that my touch on the
snare is as good, if not better than when
I used played right-handed, with my left
hand on the snare.

A couple of years ago, I lost the use of my
right arm for a while. It was terrible. I
could not even hold up a glass of OJ. At
the time, Billy Cobham talked me into
switching to left-handed lead, saying I
had nothing to lose and everything to
gain. I tell you, it's opened a new world
for me. I can't ever go back now.

Listen to this:

Tell me what you think. This is from Billy
Cobham's play-along CD called "Conundrum",
with me over the track. He wrote the music
for drummers to learn and play. It's different
than what most of the guys here like but
you might appreciate it.

I think that players that begin traditional
have a tough time switching and vice-versa.
Let me tell you that it's tough leading with
your left hand instead of the right BUT the
eccentricity of it all makes for a positive,
creative experience.

kirk 07-25-2003 10:02 PM

So far I listened to about half of it. Hard with kids running around. Different influences going on, Jazz, tribal, Latin, some bluesy influence, good variety of colors, nice feel and good time throughout what I have listened to so far. Would be interesting with some real gritty guitar thrown in the mix. Will try to listen to the rest later.

Regards Kirk

jimi 07-27-2003 03:20 AM

Originally posted by Me.2
Jimi....i would like to know why you have 5 fingers? I only have 4 and a thumb,.....what are the advantages if any? ;)

Well i also have 3 arms and 3 legs which really helps for polyrhythms and the triple bass!!:D

Me.2 07-27-2003 03:55 AM

Originally posted by jimi
Well i also have 3 arms and 3 legs which really helps for polyrhythms and the triple bass!!:D

Is it also true you charge Triple scale for sessions too?:D

TUDW 08-03-2003 03:34 AM

You do know that the people who say tradditional is better than match grip and etc, havent finished about learning drums (no offence). See, im 15, and at school, people ask, "are you a better player than him/her?" etc. I dont have time to explain to them so i think up something stupid, because there is no better! I mean, thats like saying that Virgil is Better than Dave because Virgil can play faster and better rock. Thats bloody stupid! No ones going to be better out of both of them cause there two totally different styles, feel etc. Same with the argument, i mean people have there own style and if that means they play Tradditional for comfort and style, or the other way around, so be it! Dave said on TUDW2002 DVD, ".....we are all different....."

Me.2 08-03-2003 06:57 AM

People say things for many reasons TUDW. Its sometimes THEIR belief that something is better..... until someone comes along and disproves the belief that they've held for so long.

I think their was an artical i read by a marching drummer who stated that in the Trad grip only 4 muscles were used compared to something like 15 for matched. If you looked at it from the point of view of energy expenditure.....4 muscles is quite a saving.

Both styles suit different people better...just as music styles suit some better.....while some do both/all. The ONLY thing thats important is that the grip you use lets you express yourself to the max.......If it aint broke dont fix it.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:20 AM.

Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.