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Traditional grip players... A question

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#1
Tommy D

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So I have been trying to play the kit with traditional grip for the past few months.  I don't play every day, maybe only a night or two a week for about an hour.  So I'm still fairly new at traditional grip on the kit.  Anyway, I'm finding a couple frustrations about playing with this stick technique that I would like to talk with you about.

 

1) How do you position your hi-hat so the butt end of the stick doesn't hit it while trying to play on the rack tom?  

 

This is crazy annoying to me.  I have lowered the hi hat to a point where it is still comfortable, but is still lower than I would play with matched grip.  Even with the lowered hi hat, the butt end of my left hand stick keeps whacking in to the hi hat when I transition to any tom playing/fills on the rack tom.  I feel like I have to abnormally raise my left elbow to position the stick in a location where the hi hat does not interfere.  What do you guys do about this?

 

2) Other than getting a stronger, more secure, grip with my left hand how do you get nice solid feeling hits on the rack tom without tilting the tom at such an awkward angle towards the ride cymbal?  

 

I feel like the natural position and playing style of this grip requires that the drums be abnormally tilted to accommodate a proper striking angle for the left hand.  I already have my snare at a crazy tilted angle, but it feels totally normal with this grip.  My rack tom is already at an angle that tilts it a bit towards the ride, but the stick still never hits nice and solidly with the meaty part of the stick tip.  This could be partially a problem related to the first issue above, but should I tilt the drum even more extremely to the right to get a nice solid hit or is it just a technique thing?

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Edited by Tommy D, 17 February 2017 - 01:37 PM.

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#2
Slingerland3ply

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Hi Tommy, have you been playing matched grip for a long time? what genre of music do you normally play? I started with traditional grip years ago, but except for when I practice jazz , I usually play matched grip now.


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#3
Bugtussle

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While I know that pedal placement is a personal thing to each of us and it may be a pain to get used to - I would suggest trying to get your hi hat pedal in line with your kick pedal. In Billy Ward's Big Time DVD he covers this well.
Basically it involves sitting at your throne without your drums and placing your feet in a natural position in front of you and putting the pedals there. Only then do you bring in everything else.
If you're used to having your hat foot back towards you it'll feel strange at first but with time it makes much more sense.
This can allow you to use either grip and still get to everything comfortably.
I find that I'm only angling my rack down and to the right slightly to accommodate trad grip this way with the hats forward enough to not interfere.

Kit ergonomics are kind of a passion of mine and I see so many drummers with setups that hinder their ability to get around comfortably. Believe me I used to be one of them, hehe
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#4
Tommy D

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I learned to play traditional grip way back when I was in 3rd-7th grade.  I had to play field drums on slings at Memorial Day and 4th of July parades.  So that sucked... :happy8:   Other than playing a drum on a sling, I have played matched grip for the rest of my drumming life (20+ years).  I am getting in to playing traditional grip because I want to learn a more jazz oriented style of playing.  Its going okay, but some of the logistics of playing the kit with a grip designed for playing field drums on slings is causing issues.  


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#5
bigbonzo

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While I am totally against playing traditional grip pretty much on anything (except a drum on a sling), you could try just moving your hi-hat away from your snare drum.  It will likely take a while to get used to having it further away, but you will get used to it.  Or, you could move it a little forward, away from where the butt of your stick would be.

 

Also, if you're going to play traditional grip, you should slant your snare a little, like a marching snare on a sling.


Edited by bigbonzo, 17 February 2017 - 02:26 PM.

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#6
rhythmace

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The butt is about 2" from the hats at about 4:00. Ace

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#7
Tommy D

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The butt is about 2" from the hats at about 4:00. Ace

attachicon.gifIMG_1116.JPG

It looks like you have your hi hat pushed further forward that I do.  It looks like its partially under your left side crash/ride.  Mine is a bit further back.  I wonder if that's an issue.

 

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#8
rhythmace

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I was just going to say that I bet you need to push the hats farther out. If you keep you left hand low, you won't have to tilt the small tom so much.  Also your small tom seems to be angled towards you quite a bit?

Ace


Edited by rhythmace, 17 February 2017 - 02:39 PM.

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#9
lperdomo13

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You don't really need to use traditional grip to play jazz or a small bass drum.😜
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#10
Rich K.

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I can see no logical reason to switch TO traditional. It makes a little sense if you learned that way.
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#11
CSR

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My traditional grip set up is shown in this photo, but of course, to each his own. Sit with your legs at a comfortable spread and your feet at about 45 degrees out. Here's where your hi hat and bass drum pedals go. Put your snare in between your legs so that is comfortable and at the best angle for your playing. Arrange your ride close enough to hit both the sweet spot and the bell. I'd move your high tom a little further to your left; this lets your traditional left hand make good solid contact. Pull your floor tom close enough to hit with both hands (twisting your torso to do so), but not close enough for your bass drum leg to contact it. This set up should feel pretty comfortable to you as a starting point.

See my photo here and my avatar photo to check out my personal distances and angles. (The piano combo photo to the right is with an 18/14/12 jazz set up - drums look a little low, but still comfortable. The set up on the left is higher and 24/16/13.)

By the way, your bass drum is either set up facing the audience with you facing a few degrees to the left ...or... you facing the audience with your bass drum facing a bit to the right of them. Kapish?

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Edited by CSR, 17 February 2017 - 03:47 PM.

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#12
drumgadget

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I would agree that your hi-hat seems pretty far back and close in. Looking at my setup, the hats are definitely "in the shadow" of my left side ride, and I might add, higher relative to the snare rim. I have played trad grip all my life, and funnily enough have had trouble getting a grip on matched ...... but when I started playing as a kid, that was all there was, at least if you wanted to play a field drum in a marching band like I did at 9 years old!

I have gradually reduced the amount of angle of my snare drum; too much trad tilt makes playing matched really awkward for me. I agree that staying with whatever works for you (as your primary grip) makes the most sense. But good on ya for trying something new.

Have a look at that Dave Weckl interview vid posted earlier today - a pretty good demonstration of getting around a big kit using trad grip. Including a second floor tom to the left of the hats ...... with lots of left hand lead ..........

M.
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#13
Tommy D

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I can see no logical reason to switch TO traditional. It makes a little sense if you learned that way.

 

I was of this mentality not too long ago.  In fact watching Buddy Rich talk about how the "drummers of today" don't hold their sticks correctly made me want to punch the screen.  Truth is, I found trying to play jazz oriented music on a kit set up for rock with a grip set up for power (matched grip) lead me to have absolutely no grace in my playing.  My overall volume was way too high with matched grip.  My ghost notes were pretty much non-existant.  They sounded like '90's Green Day beats (boom, bop, bop-da-dap-dop, boom, bop, bop-da-dap-dop.)  I kept wanting to play accents on 2 & 4, which is not where accents go in jazz music.  Switching to traditional grip completely changes my mindset when behind the kit.  My foot just doesn't want to hit hard, my left hand doesn't want to do back beats, my right hand... well that one still needs work, but at least my playing is not rock oriented and that's what I was going for.  


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#14
Rich K.

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I can see no logical reason to switch TO traditional. It makes a little sense if you learned that way.


I was of this mentality not too long ago. In fact watching Buddy Rich talk about how the "drummers of today" don't hold their sticks correctly made me want to punch the screen. Truth is, I found trying to play jazz oriented music on a kit set up for rock with a grip set up for power (matched grip) lead me to have absolutely no grace in my playing. My overall volume was way too high with matched grip. My ghost notes were pretty much non-existant. They sounded like '90's Green Day beats (boom, bop, bop-da-dap-dop, boom, bop, bop-da-dap-dop.) I kept wanting to play accents on 2 & 4, which is not where accents go in jazz music. Switching to traditional grip completely changes my mindset when behind the kit. My foot just doesn't want to hit hard, my left hand doesn't want to do back beats, my right hand... well that one still needs work, but at least my playing is not rock oriented and that's what I was going for.
Whatever works...
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#15
70's Drummer

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My advice would be to enjoy learning this grip, I use both trad and matched. Also move your setup around a little at a time. We're all made differently so your positioning will vary from others.
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#16
tommykat1

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I'm a trad player since 8th grade, and I'm 64 now.

 

I think I position my hi hat more forward and to the left than you do, and I play it as high as I can get it on my two Rogers stands.

 

I play both my mounted toms fairly flat and don't have issues getting volume and consistency. I often do rim shots on the rack toms, thus I like them flat.

 

I think it's just a matter of what you're used to.

 

Gretsch 10-12-14-18 on the left, Rogers 12-13-16-22 on the right:

 

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#17
rondrums51

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Trad grip seems old fashioned and unnecessary, but a lot of guys still use it. Not just jazz guys. I watched a Charlie Watts video of a recent Stones concert today, and he still plays trad grip. 

 

Tony Williams once said that trad grip gave you two different approaches to the drums, in the same way that a boxer punches with one hand and jabs with the other. 

 

If you learned trad grip as a kid like I did, you develop the muscles in your left hand wrist and fingers a certain way. It just becomes natural. 

 

I remember playing rock and R and B gigs when I was young, and I used matched grip because it worked better for backbeats. But when I got into jazz, I reverted back to trad grip because I could get so much more out of my left hand. I could do bounces and multiple stokes because that's they way my left hand muscles were trained.

 

Today, I use matched grip for latin and rock stuff. But for hard core jazz, I always go trad. I can't explain this. I think it has to do with "muscle memory." 


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#18
rhythmace

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I don't mean to irritate anyone AGAIN (lol) but I kind of agree with JoJo Mayer, that trad grip makes you more creative. Might have something to do with different parts of the brain being used. I will now go put on my asbestos suit. Ace


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#19
JDA

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You could try- sitting away- back- from the snare - a little bit.

The hi hat cymbals are well-forward- of the stick, when on the snare.

Try pushing the hihat and stand, forward, a little bit.

 

Try sitting, further back.

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Edited by JDA, 17 February 2017 - 10:27 PM.

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#20
Tommy D

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You could try- sitting away- back- from the snare - a little bit.
The hi hat cymbals are well-forward- of the stick, when on the snare.
Try pushing the hihat and stand, forward, a little bit.

Try sitting, further back.

Holy crap, your hats are really far forward. How do you reach the pedal? Edit: after looking at the photos again, it doesnt look like your hi hats are that far forward, but they are really low, like a couple inches above your snare. Am I seeing the images correctly?

I'll have to do some tinkering tomorrow with the hi hat position and maybe adjusting the tom angle a bit.

Edited by Tommy D, 17 February 2017 - 11:00 PM.

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