Traditional grip

Tigerdrummer

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I've only been playing about 18 months and I just stay at home to play. While I've dabbled with traditional grip I made up my mind to go w matched grip. I get if you're my age (60's) and started playing traditional but why continue otherwise? I know why years ago people played this way. Is there some great reason to continue now? I'm not going to march and it just seems not worth the effort. I'm open to being convinced otherwise. Just seemed each hand doing it the same way would be more efficient. Thanks
 

Nacci

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I’ve been playing about 30 years, most of it matched but there was a time when I saw Steve Ferrone playing traditional grip on Clapton’s 24 Nights DVD and I though he was just too cool so I switched to traditional for 4-5 years, got pretty decent at it too.

Thing is; play however you want to play. I guess someone could make a strong case that it is a dying vestige of the marching drum or doesn’t make sense mechanically or leads to bad posture or certain strains and injuries but then so many of the worlds great drummers played with a traditional grip.
 

m_anderson

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Being a southpaw, I have always played match grip, except for high school marching band and snare drum lessons from my early years. Little known fact I was taught; when using traditional grip you are using seven muscles of the arm for stick control, with match grip you are using thirteen muscles. I would need to consult a medical specialist for confirmation, but the source is an incredibly knowledgeable drummer. With this in mind, you could argue that one is developing more muscle and hence better control with match grip. On the other hand (pun intended), traditional grip provides a lot of wrist flexibility, and that wrist action is something I have always felt I was lacking on my snare drum, especially with some of the straight ahead jazz stuff.

At any rate, that was all just a thoughtful rant. Nacci nails it when he says "Play however you want to play".
 

JDA

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I've only been playing about 18 months and I just stay at home to play. While I've dabbled with traditional grip I made up my mind to go w matched grip. I get if you're my age (60's) and started playing traditional but why continue otherwise? I know why years ago people played this way. Is there some great reason to continue now? I'm not going to march and it just seems not worth the effort. I'm open to being convinced otherwise. Just seemed each hand doing it the same way would be more efficient. Thanks

sure no marches?


I'm open to being convinced otherwise.
You known you don't get convinced by someone else. someone here. You alone make your decisions.

I've only been playing about 18 months and ... if you're my age (60's)
Even at your stage there is still time to play both. And discover the differences yourself. There's time.
One doesn't "hurt" the other. just the opposite actually. You can fit both in your schedule and in the time you have left.
Traditional makes it all seem compact. matched more expansive. Sometimes you want to be close-in and tight other times expansive and freer.

that's all. it's not a one or the other. we as drummers are open minded and umm.. flexible.
 
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Tama CW

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After 52 yrs of traditional I gave matched a try for the past 10 months. And while matched now allows me to do things that traditional never could....power and speed are better no doubt in the left hand. Left hand ride seems so much easier ....and I can reach much further to the right with matched. But, I now know I'll never quite get that close-in buzz/comp/roll feeling that traditional taught me. You can learn either at ANY age. And each has advantages. In only 4 months of matched it was exceeding my traditional in most areas. If I did it all over again....I'd start with matched though. I do see the advantages of being able to do it either way as the music calls for.

I found it interesting that even though I didn't play hardly any traditional the past 10 months...it did improve some ... mainly along the lines of power and reach as I was working on my matched grip. Funny how that worked.
 
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cozy4ever

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I am 40 and I grip trad.

I am a hard rocker with no jazz training at all. I did a little bit of marching as a kid and I think that's where I first picked it up. Always thought trad looked really sleek and classy, and it feels pretty good as I am left handed. I think it's just as well because when it comes to learning match after all this time "You can't teach an old dog new tricks"! (speaking for myself here) I would end up throwing sticks everywhere and putting out my eye somehow.

You can learn both or just stick with match, it's all up to you.
 

ZackPomerleau

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Matched can do everything traditional can do. Some claim it leads to a quieter feel, or it's more "jazzy," but that's because 99% of the greats did that, and so you perceive it as better. You get great wrist and finger motion in German grip.
 

MrDrums2112

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I play both grips. Admittedly, I have a harder time with traditional grip, but I do enjoy using it from time to time, depending on what type of music I’m playing. As far as a reason why I play traditional grip? Just because I want to and I want to become more proficient with it.
 

Gcort49

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Welcome to the "old age of drumming".

I started playing in high school. Was taught by the school band teacher to play traditional. This was, to my knowledge, before the popularity of matched. I am approaching my 71st birthday. Though I still play, mostly in my home studio, I started recently to use matched more. Reason, I do not seem to have the coordination in my left hand anymore going around the kit. I seem to lose the ability to grasp the stick.

If you look at some old videos of the 'greats' from the jazz era, it is all traditional. The 60's and rock n roll brought in the popularity of matched (mostly those British drummers on Ed Sullivan-LOL).. Maybe because it was easier going around the kit?
I don't know. I think, however, best to learn and play both.
 

Gcort49

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Just remembered something, as a footnote to my above post.
I recall as an 18yo, I went to the famous MetroPole Cafe in Times Square (NYC). One of my favorite drummers was playing. Dino Danelli, original drummer with The (Young) Rascals. He was playing with a jazz band. He used the traditional grip, and continued with it into The Rascals...check him out in the video.

 

jptrickster

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When we all started way way back when old school style trad grip was the only way. If you held matched grip it was because you didn't know how to play, you didin't know how to hold the stx. You needed lessons!lol
 

EssKayKay

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I was taught traditional nearly 60 years ago. After a long hiatus, when I rediscovered drumming I began using matched. No more traditional for me. It seems like I have to "stretch" too far with traditional and these old arms just can’t cut it.
 

hardbat

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I learned with traditional and play much better that way. However, I think that these days, especially for someone starting later in life, matched makes more sense.
 

bigbonzo

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When we all started way way back when old school style trad grip was the only way. If you held matched grip it was because you didn't know how to play, you didin't know how to hold the stx. You needed lessons!lol
I was the lead drummer my junior and senior years in high school, 1974/1975.
The snare drummers played out in front, and not on a sling.

So, I had the snare drummers make the switch, myself included, to playing matched grip. The entire drum line played matched grip.

It looked so much cooler.
 

Seb77

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I've never taught trad. unless someone requested it. Matched grip works well for all styles; it's just certain traditional things, brushes, stick on stick, buzz comping, that seem to work better with trad. When you playRH ride , LH snare a lot, like for jazz, trad. grip offers a nice balanced posture: both arms are at a very simiar angle. To me it's more relaxed than when I comp using matched grip. I'm happy I invested the time to learn trad., but this was after I already had a degree on jazz drumming, which I got using matched.
 

TheBeachBoy

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I'd say learn it if you want. Anything you can play with nuance with the right hand you can do with matched grip in your left. I play a few songs with trad grip, but it's not necessary. Likewise, if you're more comfortable with trad, then go with that. Or both and switch it up depending on the song. It's just another tool.
 

RogersLudwig

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When I started back in the early 70s I played matched grip until I started taking lessons and my teacher, Bob Levey, insisted I play traditional grip. Since then, I was shot in my left hand and lost my fifth metacarpal, replaced by allograft, and now I can't play matched grip due to the muscle loss from the gunshot. So, Bob Levey, I am told, now plays matched grip and I still play traditional.
 

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