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Open hand questions

RIDDIM

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Thanks for all the replies people.

I am still doing this and I think I am going to stick with it (see what I did there :) )

Anyway my 2 biggest challenges so far is my left hand does not have near the speed or endurance of my right. The speed aspect of it I figured would be an issue right off the bat, but the endurance surprised me. I really run out of steam much quicker doing beats on the HH with my left hand. The other issue that is slowly going away is that after a fill, I would start to play HH beats on the snare with my right hand. That's a practice- muscle memory thing but it was really frustrating at first. Weirdly bass drum patterns came together quicker than I thought.

I am playing as a right hand setup, except I switched locations of my crash and ride.
The LH endurance issue will change over time if you work with it.
 

RIDDIM

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I agree with Todd. Open handed is kind of trendy but really has no great advantage when you consider that being comfortable takes repetition. The best openhanded drummers are usually left handed to begin with and play the ride cymbal on the left. Reference Lenny White and Billy Cobham.
Billy and Si Phi are right handed.
 

charlie's_good_tonight

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I've made half-hearted attempts at learning to lead with left-hand (I'm righty on a traditional righty kit). It does bring out some different feels for me, so I like to pursue it.

It's always the height of the hats that complicate it for me. If I leave them at "righty" height for crossing over the snare, they're too high for LH lead. It's just all stick shoulder, and it doesn't feel comfortable or natural to elevate my arm to get stick tips on the hats.

If I lower the hats for more optimal LH lead, then I'm banging wrists if I want to switch back to RH lead on the hats. Guess you just have to commit to one or the other.

Maybe some innovative hardware tinkerer can come up with the hat stand equivalent of a dropper post for mountain bikes.
 

DrummBumm89

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I've made half-hearted attempts at learning to lead with left-hand (I'm righty on a traditional righty kit). It does bring out some different feels for me, so I like to pursue it.

It's always the height of the hats that complicate it for me. If I leave them at "righty" height for crossing over the snare, they're too high for LH lead. It's just all stick shoulder, and it doesn't feel comfortable or natural to elevate my arm to get stick tips on the hats.

If I lower the hats for more optimal LH lead, then I'm banging wrists if I want to switch back to RH lead on the hats. Guess you just have to commit to one or the other.

Maybe some innovative hardware tinkerer can come up with the hat stand equivalent of a dropper post for mountain bikes.
I play ~85% open handed. That is the biggest adjustment I make when I sit down on a kit. Most Hi Hat stands are set up too high for my wrist angle open handed. Ilan Rubin does it somehow and more power to him. I can go basically Simon Phillips HH level with snare unless I'm on a real big bashing gig.

I'm right handed, so my right is still naturally a tad faster then my left if I'm doing 210+ BPM punk beats. Most of my gig requirements aren't hitting that however.

Worth dabbling in both and choosing what you think benefits you most. I can bring my cymbal heights down much more open handed which relaxes my shoulders and makes for a more comfortable drumming experience.
 

charlie's_good_tonight

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I play ~85% open handed. That is the biggest adjustment I make when I sit down on a kit. Most Hi Hat stands are set up too high for my wrist angle open handed. Ilan Rubin does it somehow and more power to him. I can go basically Simon Phillips HH level with snare unless I'm on a real big bashing gig.

I'm right handed, so my right is still naturally a tad faster then my left if I'm doing 210+ BPM punk beats. Most of my gig requirements aren't hitting that however.

Worth dabbling in both and choosing what you think benefits you most. I can bring my cymbal heights down much more open handed which relaxes my shoulders and makes for a more comfortable drumming experience.
The hi-hat really is the root cause of so many drumkit complications. Long pull rod, fixed flat angle, two cymbals to deal with. We should adopt a drummer's resolution to dispense with them altogether :happy8: Robert Fripp was on to something when he asked Bruford to minimize them in his playing.
 

Ludwig4life

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I hate to sound like a jerk but if you guys are having this much trouble with hi hat placement why not get a cable driven hi hat and place that sucker wherever the hell you want it and at whatever angle you want it?

I never realized this was such an issue for people and I play open handed
 

DrummBumm89

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I hate to sound like a jerk but if you guys are having this much trouble with hi hat placement why not get a cable driven hi hat and place that sucker wherever the hell you want it and at whatever angle you want it?

I never realized this was such an issue for people and I play open handed
It doesn't take much more than 5 seconds to adjust a high hat stand. As long as they aren't imitating Barker I can manage fairly easy even if the stand can't. 70% of my gigs are my kit FWIW.
My point was there's no need for my cymbal to be at neck level when I'm not crossing my arms. Lowering cymbal heights in general keeps me more relaxed and works well with my shoulder that was torn in a car accident years back.
Travelling with the cable from a remote HH sounds like a PITA compared to lowering a stand.
 

charlie's_good_tonight

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I hate to sound like a jerk but if you guys are having this much trouble with hi hat placement why not get a cable driven hi hat and place that sucker wherever the hell you want it and at whatever angle you want it?

I never realized this was such an issue for people and I play open handed
Just a bit of sarcasm in my post, friend. Moving a hat stand up or down a few inches isn't a deal-breaker.

But to address your suggestion, I've thought about cable hats off and on. Bruford's whole symmetrical approach is interesting. But cable stands are expensive and reviews seem mixed. Some people say the action can be sluggish. They look like a bulky, awkward apparatus.

What we need are some Bluetooth or WiFi-operated pedal/hat combos...
 

Ludwig4life

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It doesn't take much more than 5 seconds to adjust a high hat stand. As long as they aren't imitating Barker I can manage fairly easy even if the stand can't. 70% of my gigs are my kit FWIW.
My point was there's no need for my cymbal to be at neck level when I'm not crossing my arms. Lowering cymbal heights in general keeps me more relaxed and works well with my shoulder that was torn in a car accident years back.
Travelling with the cable from a remote HH sounds like a PITA compared to lowering a stand.
Agreed
 

Ludwig4life

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Hahaha
Just a bit of sarcasm in my post, friend. Moving a hat stand up or down a few inches isn't a deal-breaker.

But to address your suggestion, I've thought about cable hats off and on. Bruford's whole symmetrical approach is interesting. But cable stands are expensive and reviews seem mixed. Some people say the action can be sluggish. They look like a bulky, awkward apparatus.

What we need are some Bluetooth or WiFi-operated pedal/hat combos.
 

Ludwig4life

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Hahaha blue tooth haha

To be clear I was not responding directly to your comments but the thread in general!
 

KCJazz

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Why don't we just dispense with the term "open handed"? It doesn't seem necessary to elevate playing the hi-hat with the left hand to the level of a separate style nowadays.

I've always thought that it was awful for lefty children to be forced to write right-handed. But, if it promoted ambidexterity...
 
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Deafmoon

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Playing open-handed will naturally lead to strengthening of your weaker hand. It will also open up alot more possibilities in your mind when executing creativity at the drums. It is also wise here to have a balanced kit. If you have 8 sound sources on the right side and only a hat, crash & small tom on your left side, then that's not a balanced kit. Think about a balanced setup of sound sources as you progress. All in all, open handed playing helps with your balance, posture, breathing and endurance. That said; for Jazz, I am still switching back to traditional grip (which I practice all the time) and enjoy the left hand comping against my right hand lead. So, there is no right or wrong!
 

Seb77

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I have a young student who has repeatedly asked me to do the "broken-arm routine", that is to play with just one hand plus feet. Proud to say I can do it both ways by now, which might have to do with practising more matched grip, and practising the same things in both hands, including swing beats, push/pull technique etc. (haven't done cross rim with the right yet, though).

For advanced players, it boils down to how much and what to practise. When teaching, I feel there is a steeper learning curve when the beginner students first play the cymbal with the same-side limb as the bass drum foot (I start them out on the ride instead of the hats).
 

bigbonzo

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I have not practiced enough to be proficient at open-handed playing. I always thought that it would be good to ride on the hi-hat with the left hand and ride on the ride cymbal with the right hand. Ambidexterity is the drummer's best friend.

Also, since I occasionally play double-bass, I have difficulty finding an ideal position for the hi-hat.
 
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Furious Styles

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I'm naturally left-handed and was playing (poorly) for 6 months before I took a lesson. My instructor had me switch to leading with my left hand on a right handed kit. I'm in the Tommy Igoe camp of going with your dominant hand. I never fully warmed up to the righty setup (I put the ride near the hats) and feel like the right side of the kit is perpetually underutilized.

Combine that with being extremely left-eye dominant (basically only see out of one eye) and the setup just *feels* off center to me. Kind of reminds of being left-handed and using a right-handed baseball glove.

Now that I'm older, wiser and less of a slacker I'm developing the weaker hand, but I always wonder "what if?"
 

toddbishop

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Billy and Si Phi are right handed.

Handedness doesn't matter. I'm left handed, and play right handed, and I'm a skilled player. I know there are a lot of other people like that. I know a couple of excellent weirdos who are right handed but decided to play left handed. It's a two handed instrument, and the amount of practice required to play it well far outweighs any natural advantage one hand has over the other.

Like, with piano there's no left handed or "open handed" option, and it hasn't stopped any left handed people from becoming good or great pianists.

Playing open-handed will naturally lead to strengthening of your weaker hand.

I also don't believe in weaker hands. If somebody has a weaker hand, it means they've been learning to play in an extremely lazy, lopsided way-- like with the left hand never doing anything but hitting 2 and 4. A few months of actually practicing the book Stick Control, and maybe Accents & Rebounds, would fix it.
 

xopherhills

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Good replies
I will point out I moved my ride next to the HH. It was impossible otherwise.
It did mess up a lot of my stickings but I was able to adjust on a few. I didn't' go too deep down the rabbit hole because I am unsure what I wanted to do.
I'm a lefty who plays on a righty kit. The only thing I switched in my set up was to put my ride on the left side. Over the years I have developed the ability to switch lead hands so I can play floor tom beats, use cymbals, etc, on the right side without having to cross arms. keep it up and you will be able to develop both sides. The only downfall, if it could be considered one, is sometimes some thought has to be put into sticking patterns so you land back in the right place after certain fills, but rightys probably have to figure that stuff out too.

All my drumming heroes growing up played cross-handed, and I was always jealous of their right side aux hi-hats, but now I know they used them so they could play open-handed (on certain songs or beats) like happened naturally for me!
 


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