Stick/hand control

Squirrel Man

DFO Veteran
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2020
Messages
1,744
Reaction score
2,101
I'm sure this topic has been discussed ad nauseam but here it is again. It might be lengthy, I'm sorry about that but I have a lot going on in my cranium on this topic.

Diddles on the pad - I have a litany of them and I've worked on them to death and I know it's a long process but I'm finding a few things out about practice routines. You can do it right or do it wrong, the latter with limited results and I've found that I can do what I can do and hit a ceiling, so I'm just sitting there for hours just doing the same mundane thing over and over again and not advancing.

So a Rob Brown video I watched showed me how to use just my fingers and not my wrists and that got me looking at how I'm playing. Singles, working with just my fingers - did that for a couple of months and I saw results. My right hand is a monster, left hand.. eh, but progress still so I started looking at my grips.

I play most comfortably between traditional and American. Maybe go French around the toms or ride. ..go French... oi vey, anyway... I can do amazing things with my right hand holding the stick with my index finger and thumb for control and my middle finger does all the rest, buzz that along with amazing speed and control and I'm trying to get my left hand to duplicate that with results and over time I figure it will happen but I don't know if this is the right thing to do.

I've watched tons of videos on this and like the foot technique, there aren't many approaches to technique, only "just slam it out". I know there are books and resources out there that folks will throw at me and I've tried to absorb them to the point that I can get desensitized with all the stuff and I like direct experience and suggestions. My brain works better that way so I'm wondering what others have had in their direct personal experiences here.

My right hand middle finger does all the work, like a clock. Finger is on the stick, doesn't move from it at all. I'm amazed at it sometimes but when I try to duplicate that with my left hand I find I'm slapping the stick with my middle finger Not optimal I think and when I add my ring finger to it I get a little more control but still the slapping and pinky sticking out happens.

Am I going about this the right way?

Just wondering, sorry for the long thread post and thanks in advance for your input.
 

Deafmoon

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2014
Messages
1,245
Reaction score
1,170
If your question is about grips, try them all, including Tony Williams grip of holding the stick with the ring and pinky finger only in the right hand. But even Tony moved grips around for different things. Sometimes you are playing German grip sometimes French, sometimes Tony's, other times I've even used Appice's grip ( RH stick between the index and middle finger, crazy huh?). I do play mostly traditional but go back and forth between all. Is it done easily, no, but after 50 years of playing it is easier than it was. I've asked the question on fingers, wrists and grips all my drumming life of teachers I've had and ya know what the answer is...it takes a lifetime.
Now, if your question is about Rudiments, you may want to change your thinking on them. What do I mean? Try this...instead of playing RRLL long rolls thinking RIGHT-RIGHT-LEFT-LEFT hand sticking, seek a sound that delivers in your head that same sound you play when doing this sticking. I used to listen to Tony Williams play Long Rolls on the snare and to me it emulated a Huey Helicopter. I spent time listening to sounds of Huey Helicopters while I played long rolls, open and closed. Singles, 5 Stroke Rolls, Paradiddles...get the sounds and seek to deliver them on the drums. Maybe its a trumpet phrase, maybe it's a machine gun, maybe it's a jack hammer...listen and emulate them on the drums. Stop thinking hand strokes and start thinking of sound and how to emulate it on the drums. I hope this helps, maybe even a little.

Check out Max on this video and although this is in the traditional style, get into Max's head of how he phrases. He's certainly not thinking R's and L's here.

 
Last edited:

cworrick

The BIG Bunny on the block
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2005
Messages
7,877
Reaction score
2,094
Location
Northeast Indiana
Who's to say any one grip is better than another (French, American, German, Traditional.) Steve Smith is extremely versitile with his playing and has studied around the world with experts in different areas. He has a different grip for every situation and musical need. Find what works for what you need and go with it.

 

moosryan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2008
Messages
71
Reaction score
33
Two things that were helpful to me in getting my fingers working:

1) Even if you're not ultimately going to use French grip as your main go-to, it's worth practicing finger control with this grip, because it's easier to get the fingers working there. Once you've got them going, you can move over to a more American-oriented grip.

2) I spent a lot of time with this exercise: play finger-control singles using one finger at a time. 4 strokes using the index, then middle, ring, pinky...then after a minute or so, go to 8...then 12, then 16. Start slow. Don't over-do it, it's a good way to strain the tendons. Eventually when your left is more comfortable you can do the two hands together and it's a nice warmup. Best to start on a bouncy pad and let the pad's rebound do the work.

Once you begin to develop some muscle memory in your fingers, they'll start working across grips, and you can pay less attention to which specific grip you're using and just let your grip shift naturally as you move around the kit (some people are more strict about this, I'm not--up to you ultimately).
 

Matched Gripper

DFO Veteran
Joined
May 28, 2019
Messages
2,276
Reaction score
1,991
I'm sure this topic has been discussed ad nauseam but here it is again. It might be lengthy, I'm sorry about that but I have a lot going on in my cranium on this topic.

Diddles on the pad - I have a litany of them and I've worked on them to death and I know it's a long process but I'm finding a few things out about practice routines. You can do it right or do it wrong, the latter with limited results and I've found that I can do what I can do and hit a ceiling, so I'm just sitting there for hours just doing the same mundane thing over and over again and not advancing.

So a Rob Brown video I watched showed me how to use just my fingers and not my wrists and that got me looking at how I'm playing. Singles, working with just my fingers - did that for a couple of months and I saw results. My right hand is a monster, left hand.. eh, but progress still so I started looking at my grips.

I play most comfortably between traditional and American. Maybe go French around the toms or ride. ..go French... oi vey, anyway... I can do amazing things with my right hand holding the stick with my index finger and thumb for control and my middle finger does all the rest, buzz that along with amazing speed and control and I'm trying to get my left hand to duplicate that with results and over time I figure it will happen but I don't know if this is the right thing to do.

I've watched tons of videos on this and like the foot technique, there aren't many approaches to technique, only "just slam it out". I know there are books and resources out there that folks will throw at me and I've tried to absorb them to the point that I can get desensitized with all the stuff and I like direct experience and suggestions. My brain works better that way so I'm wondering what others have had in their direct personal experiences here.

My right hand middle finger does all the work, like a clock. Finger is on the stick, doesn't move from it at all. I'm amazed at it sometimes but when I try to duplicate that with my left hand I find I'm slapping the stick with my middle finger Not optimal I think and when I add my ring finger to it I get a little more control but still the slapping and pinky sticking out happens.

Am I going about this the right way?

Just wondering, sorry for the long thread post and thanks in advance for your input.
There are several techniques that every drummer should spend time with IMO: Gladstone, Moeller and open/closed as taught by Gordy Knudtson. Many drummers use these techniques naturally, by necessity, without being taught. But, I think it’s best to really understand what you are trying to do and to be purposeful about your practice.
 

Rock Salad

Very well Known Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
920
Reaction score
682
Location
Tulsa, Ok. USA
Gordy Knudtson's videos on YouTube are quite in depth, slow and start at the beginning. He is super into teaching and demonstrating technique.
 

Houndog

DFO Master
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
4,321
Reaction score
4,094
Location
Oklahoma City
Gordy Knudtson's videos on YouTube are quite in depth, slow and start at the beginning. He is super into teaching and demonstrating technique.
He’s absolutely nuts ...how many guys are going to buy 3 mirrors ??
His technique is super impressive though .
 

Seb77

DFO Master
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
3,196
Reaction score
1,847
Location
Germany
My right hand middle finger does all the work, like a clock. Finger is on the stick, doesn't move from it at all. I'm amazed at it sometimes but when I try to duplicate that with my left hand I find I'm slapping the stick with my middle finger
It seems like the stick in your right hand bounces up against the middle finger so you stay in control. In the left hand the sticks doesn't seem to bounce the same as in your right hand. This could be due to the fulcrum between thumb and probably index finger in your case.

In genreal fi you're into finger control, I would definitely include the ring finger to pull the stick, in French griip I use the pinky a lot.
 

toddbishop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2020
Messages
287
Reaction score
444
so I'm just sitting there for hours just doing the same mundane thing over and over again and not advancing.
I'd say it's time to shift focus altogether. It's not supposed to be that hard, and technique is not supposed to be your entire focus.

What are you practicing that's music-related?
 

Houndog

DFO Master
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
4,321
Reaction score
4,094
Location
Oklahoma City
I think a good portion of time needs to be given to singles . Confidence galore comes to me when my singles are easy and fast .

 

Squirrel Man

DFO Veteran
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2020
Messages
1,744
Reaction score
2,101
I think a good portion of time needs to be given to singles . Confidence galore comes to me when my singles are easy and fast .

Agreed, finding out that I'm going to be using singles and variations a lot of the time moreso than the other stuff which is really for conditioning.
 

Squirrel Man

DFO Veteran
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2020
Messages
1,744
Reaction score
2,101
I'd say it's time to shift focus altogether. It's not supposed to be that hard, and technique is not supposed to be your entire focus.

What are you practicing that's music-related?
That's what I'm wondering. I know what I know and I'm going at it a little blind.

Just bits and pieces, my practice routine is a number of conditioning exercises (feet, coordination, independence) and parts of things like shuffles or fills.
 

Houndog

DFO Master
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
4,321
Reaction score
4,094
Location
Oklahoma City
We are faster than we think , I have a concrete method to prove it as well .
Do singles as quiet as you can 16 hits
The next 16 as loud as you can . back and forth


When you reach a certain tempo when you get loud it will sound like you sped up ....
 

Matched Gripper

DFO Veteran
Joined
May 28, 2019
Messages
2,276
Reaction score
1,991
He’s absolutely nuts ...how many guys are going to buy 3 mirrors ??
His technique is super impressive though .
How bad do you want to be good?

PS: This video blows me away every time. I think it came with his book about 20 years ago. It's also a great overview of his "open/closed" technique. And his snare drum sounds killer to me:

 
Last edited:

Houndog

DFO Master
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
4,321
Reaction score
4,094
Location
Oklahoma City
How bad do you want to be good?

PS: This video blows me away every time. I think it came with his book about 20 years ago. It's also a great overview of his "open/closed" technique. And his snare drum sounds killer to me:

Exactly , How bad do you want to be good ?
But , you know what .
I’m not a pro I have a family a job and Im having to learn that while I really strive to be great . And I am . I’m just not going go to Gordyville on this technique.
Don’t beat yourself up Squirrell . And I’ll try to do the same .
 

Matched Gripper

DFO Veteran
Joined
May 28, 2019
Messages
2,276
Reaction score
1,991
Exactly , How bad do you want to be good ?
But , you know what .
I’m not a pro I have a family a job and Im having to learn that while I really strive to be great . And I am . I’m just not going go to Gordyville on this technique.
Don’t beat yourself up Squirrell . And I’ll try to do the same .
There's an old tennis axiom that goes: "Tennis is not a matter of life and death. It's much more than that."

Music? Drumming? It all depends on your goals and what gives you a sense of accomplishment. Squirrel asked about technique. Maybe he's more into it than you think.
 

Squirrel Man

DFO Veteran
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2020
Messages
1,744
Reaction score
2,101
Exactly , How bad do you want to be good ?
But , you know what .
I’m not a pro I have a family a job and Im having to learn that while I really strive to be great . And I am . I’m just not going go to Gordyville on this technique.
Don’t beat yourself up Squirrell . And I’ll try to do the same .
I'm already there, in the same boat. I'm realistic. I'm 53, full-time professional career and a family and chickens. I'm not looking to be Danny Carey, but I do want to get as good as I practically can get.
 

Houndog

DFO Master
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
4,321
Reaction score
4,094
Location
Oklahoma City
There's an old tennis axiom that goes: "Tennis is not a matter of life and death. It's much more than that."

Music? Drumming? It all depends on your goals and what gives you a sense of accomplishment. Squirrel asked about technique. Maybe he's more into it than you think.
I was pretty sure he is a lot like me .
The serious approach you have can be debilitating to hacks such as us .
 

toddbishop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2020
Messages
287
Reaction score
444
That's what I'm wondering. I know what I know and I'm going at it a little blind.

Just bits and pieces, my practice routine is a number of conditioning exercises (feet, coordination, independence) and parts of things like shuffles or fills.
That's the thing, conditioning to do what. I'd look into some snare drum books or something. Mitchell Peters, Goldenberg, Wilcoxon, Haskell Harr, Garwood Whaley.

And actually playing with people, whenever that's possible.
 


Top