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Old 08-01-2003, 09:05 PM   #1
peter
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Any Open Players Here?

Does anyone here play "open"?
In other words, does anyone
play left-handed on the right-
handed kit or vice-versa?
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Old 08-02-2003, 07:52 AM   #2
peter
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About two years ago, I had a
physical issue come up with my
right arm and hand. I lost about
70% of its strength and use.

Now, I wasn't gigging and don't
anymore. I'm an economic analyst.
I do write a great deal. You can
imagine that I was frightened by
this development. I saw many
specialists and heard all kinds of
stuff from them as to the cause.

I was NOT going to cut open my
arm like Carl Palmer did. I knew
that much.

Well, during the time, Billy Cobham
talked me into riding left on the kit,
taking the pressure off the right.
He encouraged me, saying that
I would not lose anything but only
gain. I took him up on it and began
this long venture into the world of
"open" playing and I tell you, I am
glad I did it.

It's a work in progress but the gains
I have made, thus far, have been
enough to keep me on track for
the rest of my life.

Incidentally, it was a couple of
months after that talk that an OMD
(Oriental Medical Doctor) saw me
and told me something about my
body that was different. Working
with this information and having
physical therapy done, among
other things, I have regained 90%
of the use of the arm. Those videos
are all post-trauma.

If there are some of you out there
thinking about, I'd be glad to talk
about its fruits.
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Old 08-02-2003, 08:50 AM   #3
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I myself am very locked to regular, right-hand-crossover-hihat playing on a standard righthand-style kit. Sometimes I'm a little annoyed at how assymmetrical you realize you've become when trying to do something out of the ordinary....

The legendary metaldrummer Gene Hoglan said in an interview that he is somewhat ambidextrous (or whatever?). He had been part of a supporting act at a concert before he hit the big time and he was going to play the drumkit belonging to the drummer of the headlining band.

Turned out that drummer was left-handed and wouldn't let him alter the setup, so Gene played the show on a lefthand-setup without any problems!!
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Old 08-02-2003, 11:51 AM   #4
peter
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Mike Mangini plays open, from what I understand. Simon Phillips plays open. He's a fine drummer, among other things.

Outside of harder Rock, there are players like Billy Cobham, who pioneered it, really, along with Lenny White and now Rayford Griffin, as well as the young Jim Blackwell Jr., who is enjoying a bit of fame, from his working with Prince.

There's an added benefit, besides the agility issue and that relates to the 're-wiring' that has to take place, when you switch consciously and that is that the re-working of older patterns for the left hand brings with it the 'memory' of the old ones and that can contribute to exciting nuances you didn't think would develop.

I found this especially true for my Latin work, where inside the normal rhythm, you really want to use your free hand to accent or add color to the composition, like in:

www.thediametrixletter.com/lallave1.mp3
www.thediametrixletter.com/sube10.mp3
www.thediametrixletter.com/dondeestaminegra.mp3

The horn kicks are a plenty in Salsa and you need to kick them or you wind up being useless to the rhythm section. At the same time, the rhythm has to be strong, while you're kicking. Keeping a strong pattern going on the left hand on the HH and normal kick, with a free right hand, allows you to crash much more often or accent with a tom etc.

While Latin music may seem far from what Virgil is doing, the truth is it only appears that way. Virgil is about conquering the mechanics of drumming. He can play any music, I'm sure. It's what he chooses and it's the same for us.
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Last edited by peter : 08-02-2003 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 08-04-2003, 01:22 PM   #5
Adam
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I actually started off playing that way for about 2 years from 10-12 years old. That's because there was a drum beat I wanted to play but I couldn't play it the other way for some reason (I was so immature as a drummer :P) so I switched to playing left handed on a right handed kit. I think that every drummer should do that for a the first years because my hands are a lot more even now than if I hadn't.
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Old 08-04-2003, 01:32 PM   #6
peter
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Adam,

You should consider it. You have a leg up on
guys like me. I'm serious.
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Old 08-05-2003, 09:26 AM   #7
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I don't think I'd ever go completely open handed. I think I'll have phases just to even out my limps hehe.
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Old 08-07-2003, 04:11 PM   #8
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I started playing open handed for a few months to gain dexterity and strength with my left hand. You'll be shocked at just how uncoordinated you become when you start leading with your left hand and try to add ghost notes with your right hand!
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Old 08-07-2003, 05:22 PM   #9
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I have been using the Gary Chester book for the last 2 years. Using the left hand on a remote hihat has helped me tremendously as far as coordination and strengthing the left hand. But as far as using the left hand exclusively on a right handed kit on the hihat, I primarily play it using my right hand on the hihat.
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Old 08-07-2003, 05:41 PM   #10
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You know guys, I have found that
I could do a lot more from this the
right, in terms of ghost notes than
I can from the left. I really think it's
just a matter of sticking (pardon
the pun) to it. I have been at it for
a year and a half but I do it EX-
clusively. Give it a try.
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Old 08-07-2003, 07:36 PM   #11
Adam
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Pete, just a question...how long have you been drumming? I got one of your videos to work and it's absolutely groovin'! You should be in there among the greats!
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Old 08-08-2003, 11:02 AM   #12
alencore
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i sometime fool around riding on my left on songs with simple eight notes and stuff or even play some basic beats on a lefty drumset tnx to my mentor whose a full pledge lefty.
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Old 08-08-2003, 11:15 AM   #13
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Adam,

Don't say that. I am not one of the greats.
That was just an accident.

www.thediametrixletter.com/doodle.mpg

I have been playing since I was 14. I am 44
years old now. I have been away from the
business, pretty much since 1984.

I'm an independent economic analyst and my
work, while it may seem uninteresting, is very
fascinating and rewarding, especially since only
I can do the type of work that I do.

At the same time, I have loved the drums and
especially recently, with Billy's encouragement,
after my arm affliction. He convinced me to go
lefty on my approach about 1.5 years ago,
telling me that I had nothing to lose and
everything to gain. He was right and now, I
am enjoying myself behind the kit more than
ever. Again, thanks to Boomer.

I have to admit that Virgil has helped to light
a fire under me, as well, his talent the greatest
that I have seen, through the years. Tony
would have loved him.

I was fortunate to have studied with Tony,
as a young teenager, though the experience
was hard on me, at the time.

However, just afterward, I had even better
luck, setting up Steve Gadd's drums, one
night, when he couldn't and becoming friends.
He let me come back stage and watch him. I
saw him every night, if he was in town and if
my mom would lend me the money.

I'll be seeing him in a couple of weeks and
probably for the 100th time!

He had a profound influence on me. I think you
can tell. He had so many positive things to say
you should have seen him talk about Tony. He
worshipped him!

I went to Berklee for a couple of semesters
and hated it, though there were great kids
there, at the time, (Kenwood Dennard, Steve
Smith, Tommy Campbell, Roberto Petaccia (RIP),
as well as Vinnie Colaiuta) but most of them
were great BEFORE Berklee. "Don't think any
school will make you one of them."

Again, I'm a nobody but what I know, I will
share with anybody and like "The Pig In The City",
if I have nothing positive to say, I'll try and say
nothing at all! I said I'd TRY. I know that what
I said about Berklee wasn't very flattering.

Of course, thank you for your compliment. What
can I say except we're alike in that we admire
one of the greatest drummers who has ever
lived in Virgil Donati.

By the way, I will be seeing him again, tonight.
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