How to play heavy backbeats while playing cross-handed?

cornelius

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I’ve played open handed since I picked up sticks. I’m self taught and left handed, so I just copied how my friend set up, but with my ride on my left. What I noticed was that I was constantly switching from leading with my left while keeping time on the hats, to leading with my right when I went into a fill. I could never get the hang of leading fills with my left like Ringo. I think the constant switching gave me a slightly herky jerky style. That’s all well and good, but I want to expand my repertoire and see if I can get smoother. One thing I can report so far is that I’m getting better at lower dynamics
I'd suggest that you stick with open-handed playing and practice leading fills with your right.
 

NickSchles

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I don't know how helpful this will be, however, your body will start adjusting to it naturally. That is, as long as you're making a conscious effort to not do it. Experiment!

Recently, I've been working on my rim shot accuracy, and I've tried various exercises in order to help me nail these more consistently. Now, regardless of the exercises, I've realised that if I keep my left elbow a bit more tucked in (without straining, maintaining a relaxed posture), it helps my consistency. Probably, partly because I'm forcing a more consistent movement by doing so.

Everyone's anatomies are slightly different, so what works for you might not work someone else. Just keep experimenting! :)
 

mebeatee

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Dude, is this your band?

This is great stuff!!!
Why thank you.....yes this is/was a band I was in....many moons ago now. However it is a good vid to illustrate the “technique”...irregardless of age as I’m still a windshield wiper kind of fellow when rocking out!!!! I’ve never had any physical issues as one must be totally warmed and loose before attempting...lol...
When I play open handed it’s not like this though....
The YC’s must still be relevant as records....yes records...are still being released....and they are talking about a live album.....coool....maybe I can buy some new pants with all my royalties....;)
bt

 

Cauldronics

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If having your hats in the middle of the kit (or enough to get out of the way) won't bother you, dw makes a cable-free hi hat stand. I used one for a couple of years until I decided the toms were better in that spot, and I could still manage with the hats in a 'normal' position.

It helped that the dw had the fastest, smoothest action of any hh stand I've played. It was good enough to keep for whatever setup I might try.

Almost forgot: the 'universal' part means you can setup the hh pedal on either side of the stand.

https://store.dwdrums.com/p/universal-hi-hat-w-linkage
 

Drm1979

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From a set up standpoint you could try moving your hats further forward from their current position at least as comfortably as you can so that your hands aren't crossed completely over each other. Then you can really crank back your left hand to get that loud back beat your looking for. This video shows a way to play right hand dominant without crossing over. Although it may require a period of adjustment.

 

cribbon

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I'd suggest that you stick with open-handed playing and practice leading fills with your right.
+1
You're way ahead of the game by being able to play open-handed, which solves the biggest problem of being right-handed on a traditional set-up. There's really no good reason to play cross-handed. You're already driving a car, why do you want to put on roller skates?
 

Deafmoon

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Why for the love of St. Pete would you want to switch to cross handed playing. The possibilities with open hand playing are incredible. If you can keep time with the left hand on hi hat, you can do it with a ride or China on that side too. That frees your right hand to accent and melodically interplay like a true drummer should. You want to sound like 4 drummers from behind your kit or just have a solid 2 & 4 with your left hand while your right hand crosses over? I’ll pass on the latter.
 

stevil

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Why for the love of St. Pete would you want to switch to cross handed playing.
It's kind of silly, but the idea came to me when I realized that I drum left handed, but air drum right handed. Then it occurred to me that putting my ride cymbal on the right would fill valuable real estate and that keeping a big 24" between my hats and rack tom was pretty ungainly.

I'm not abandoning open handed playing. I want to be more versatile, which I think requires becoming adept at keeping time with both hands. I'll probably settle on playing the ride with my right and the hats with my left.
 

stevil

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If you wanna play cross handed you gotta axk
↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓

I've never heard this cover before, but I love it. Maiden was my second concert and Tull was my third, and I've always loved this song in particular. My cat has crossed eyes so I named him Cross-Eyed Gary.
 

Davo

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I've noticed a few posts recommending moving the hats forward or farther to the right . I believe my approach is opposite of that and where my sticks don't cross at all . My hands do . First off , try raising the height of the hats giving you more room between the snare batter . My right wrist rides above my left hand , so if anything collides it's my right wrist hitting my left hand , but when coming down simultaneously there's no chance of that happening . Both up and down at the same time . I actually tend to accent the hats with the snare count too . It's just the way I've always done it in most stuff to give the whole thing more punch . So try moving the hats further to the left or back to where your hands are over each other instead of the sticks .
Or you could always use the Charlie Watts method and get your right hand out of the way on that snare count . :)
image.jpeg

Notice the height of my hats from the snare batter .
 
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toddbishop

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I play normally, with my right hand on the hihat, and I never had any problem with it when I was playing stupidly loud. I did raise my hihat a little bit, nothing silly.

If you're left hand's playing loud, so is your right hand. When your right stick is vertical (about 16" off the hihats) your left hand has all the room in the world to play as high as you want. And both hands are coming down in unison on 2 and 4, so there's never a time when your RH needs to be low while your LH needs to be high.

Steve Jordan does OK with it-- even with a pretty low hihat:

 

Cauldronics

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I think a lot of the replies aren't taking into account that there's more to play loudly than 2 and 4. There's a whole host of other subdivisions that can land the snare anywhere, depending on what the beat/music/band calls for. Backbeat doesn't always mean 2 and 4, to me at least.

A perfect example is Harvey Mason's playing on the Headhunters "Watermelon Man." The snare is on the 'ah' of 1 and then on 4. Still a backbeat. How did he keep from getting his sticks tangled up? He played a lot until whatever he played was natural to him.

 

poco rit.

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You just gotta do a little chicken wing Moeller whip with rimshot.

Even with a small chicken wing movement, you could still gather up your energy like Goku and crack some loud rimshots.
 

RIDDIM

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Hey all, I've always played open-handed on a kit, ie: I play hihats with my left hand on my left side, snare with my right hand. I'm training myself to be able to play the hats with my right hand. It's going well, but I get mixed up/hit my sticks or arms together when I try to lay into a heavy backbeat on my snare. How do heavy hitters manage to play crossed without encountering this problem? So far I've tried moving my hats as far to the right as possible and also raising them higher. I'm not certain if this is just something that feels weird but will improve with time versus it's something I'm doing wrong and need to correct.
- What is broken that you're trying to fix? If you're playing backbeat music, you'll get a heck of a lot more power by playing open handed. You may want to work on being able to start fills and crash cymbal, with either hand if that's the issue.
 

Cauldronics

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The little smack you can get by whipping your hand while crossed over isn’t a match for a home run swat you can do by fanning your arm down on the drum. It just ain’t the same.

You can incorporate both and wail upon the drum without mercy. That may be more of what the OP meant. However, not tangling up the sticks when crossed over was part of it, as well. That’s why the Watermelon Man beat is a good example, even if he’s not pounding the drum. He is smackin’ it, though.

Like it or not, it’s worth learning to do more than 2 & 4. Learn everything!
 

Ajbambino

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Im right handed and footed, but play open handed and bass drum with left foot.

So it's this weird dyslexic setup for people where Right Hand & Left Foot sync up and Left Hand and Right Foot sync up.

I tried playing traditional setup and have zero idea how the hell anyone can play that. I also do a lot of other super weird things most people would question what I'm doing - but aye, live and let live man!
 


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