help from other percussionists

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by almost a musician, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. almost a musician

    almost a musician Member

    after this weekend playing at the armistce parades ive been thinking, when playing kit should we play traditional grip or match:confused: . if traditional what is the best way to build up the stregnth of the left hand this way, because i found on sunday that after not playing traditional for a while my left hand was sluggish and tired easier.
    any help, tips or suggestions will be appriciated. thanks
  2. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    I'm NOT a percussionist, but I was a drummer with the Royal Marine Cadets, taught at what was the Royal Marines School of Music, Eastney Barracks. The wrist strengthening and suppleness exercise that we spent ages on every week was, hold two sticks in one hand. Held so that One stick pokes out almost fully from the thumb side and the other pokes out almost fully from the little finger side. You are only holding about 3" of the 'hitting end'. You then rotate your wrist back and forwards as fast as you can, for a couple of minutes (building up weekly). Then change hands and repeat. My Dad, a Royal Marines Bugle Sergeant and Drummer for 25 years made me practise 5 minutes each wrist, every day!! Bless him. ;)Hope that is of use. :D
  3. Jason Poulston Percussion

    Jason Poulston Percussion Member

    Ive been playing percussion for about 18 Years Now and my suggestion to you is to play what ever you feel comfortable playing. To be honest the general public wont care what grip you use. They will only notice if the playing is sub standard. I have come across a useful tool for strengthening your wrists. If you look at all will be revealed, it is fab.


    Jason Poulston
  4. Aidan Geary

    Aidan Geary Member

    I believe this all depends on whether you are solely a kit / snare player, or an all round percussionist.

    I always teach matched grip from day one, as I expect my pupils to eventually play all percussion instruments, and obviously you wouldn't play timps / xylo with the trad. grip!!!

    Should the need arise for the trad. grip for a marching snare, then I will teach it then. The important thing to remember I believe, is to remain relaxed, and keep a good posture - if you drop your shoulders forward, this will affect the wrist movements.

    A good exercise to build speed / stamina is:

    RH 8 strokes; LH 8 strokes;
    RH 7 strokes; LH 7 strokes
    RH 6 strokes etc. all the way down to 1 with each hand.

    I use this warm up with all pupils, and time it - each term we have a competition for the fastest. See if you can get the trad. grip speed to that of the matched grip speed.
  5. Band Lads Army

    Band Lads Army Member

    I use matched when I'm kit drumming , but often use other grip when just playing a march or something.

    Just depends what feels right. A technique isn't always wrong just look at James Morrison ,puffing cheeks out and chin on neck , but I'm not going to be the one to tell him that :p

    Other things to build speed and stamina are found on Creative Control on the Thomas Lang dvd. Where there is a lot of stuff no-one except him can play he does give easier things to do.

    Eg linear drumming , play a tom then after that bass and get that going fast and go around the kit one handed. Try it with the right and left , it kills eventually.

    Get yourself onto go up to student centre and get yourself on the rudiment exercises ,they are great.
  6. Shaggy

    Shaggy New Member

    I seem to remember reading that "orthodox grip" came about as a result of playing drums on horse back, on the basis that the drum had to be placed on one side of the horses neck in order for the player to be able to play the drum. The same of course applies to marching on foot, you cant march with a drum between your legs! This of course meant that the drum was offset rather than in the centre, so a grip had to be devised to cope with this offset position.

    I use orthodox grip for kit playing kit, but matched grip for all other intruments. Its hard to say whether orthodox grip has any particular advantage if you dont ride a horse when you play. I originally decided to use it because all my drumming heros such as Shelly Man, Chico Hamilton, Joe Morello and Buddy Rich all used it.

    Once you have mastered it, it does have a different "feel" to matched grip, and enhances a sense of the left hands independance particularly in swing or jazz type music, were the right hand plays repeated crochet, dotted quaver, semiquaver patterens on the cymbal ,and the left hand is playing random off beat patterns or single strokes on the snare( otherwise known as "tipping")

    Two other small advantages of orthodox grip are, firstly cymbal choking. Assuming you execute the crash with your right hand, choking with the left hand with orthodox grip is I find easier and "cleaner" as the first finger and thumb are free to grip the cymbal edge.Secondly I find it usefull for holding two sticks or beaters in one hand i.e. a stick and triangle beater, again the stick can be retained in the left hand while the finger and thumb are still available for holding another type of stick, this can be quite usefull in those tight situations were you need to find a bit of time.

    One other point on this issue. Looking at the layout of a standard drum kit, as it would be for a right handed player, you could argue that it shares an element of the "offset problem" in that the drum heads are set out on the right of the player so it could be argued that it is more comfortable and makes more sense to use orthodox grip in this situation.

    Having said that, it is fairly easy to adopt and adapt either stlye of grip with equal sucess.
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