unorthodox pivot grip

swarfrat

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I've gravitated into this grip where the drumstick is held almost entirely between thumb and index finger, and its balanced across the finger (almost at the first knuckle). My hand is almost vertical, and the rest of the fingers are sort of along for the ride. It rolls really well for me, but my teacher has expressed carpal tunnel concerns.

Has anyone else seen or used such a grip, and is it a legitimate grip, or is my teacher right to be concerned about the long term use of it. Other than the remaining fingers pointing out, it's a lot like your hands would be shaking hands, so it seems like an ergonomically benign or even advantageous grip.

If you're having trouble picturing it, try doing it without the thumb, between index and middle fingers. I've done it that way messing around for giggles, but if you get that to work for you, it should illustrate the difference between my grip and the more orthodox match grip. Its all stick balance and fulcrums.
 

JoePasko2002

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Can you show a photo when you get a chance ?

Over the past year, I've come up with a grip for my brushes, that might be similar to what you are describing. Having come to the realization that brushes are their own animal, I didn't see any reason why one's brush-grip should mimic common stick-grips.

Brushes obviously don't bounce like sticks do... and I don't feel obligated to do the 'sweep' thing on every song, just because I am playing with brushes. So I have been using 'pivot' and 'fulcrum' concept, like you say, to force some 'bounce' into the brushes. I'll try to get a picture taken of what I have been doing... I am taking the general viewpoint that the brushes are the instrument, and focus on the manipulation of them.
 

CSR

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If I'm understanding you, it sounds like you're using French grip, often used playing timpani. This is the grip I use drumming, too. My left hand is traditional, though.

image.jpeg
 

multijd

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People call thumbs up the "french" grip but if youve ever seen true French grip there is much more finger and less wrist action than is useful for a drumset drummer. True French grip is for timpani. Heres a video of Frederic Macarez. The best!

It is often preferable with matched grip to keep the motion of the stick perpendicular to the ground (palms down) this way the stick is moving straight up and down vertically pivoting on the fulcrum between the thumb and first crease of index finger. This allows the fingers tips to support and aid the stick underneath while the overall motion of the stick is efficient and working with the gravitational and rebound forces.

It is very common for drummers to play thumbs up on the ride and hi hat cymbals. Of course traditional grip is often used in the left hand. In the end it is all about sound and comfort. But working efficiently with the forces of nature can make life more graceful, fluid and relaxed.

Best wishes,
JB
 
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Hop

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It's a pretty well known grip. Murray Spivak was probably the most notable proponent, Richard Wilson was huge into it as well (these guys had the virtual who's who list of top drummer between the two of them). Chuck Silverman was a student of Murrays and Richard and documented some of his lessons and made the material available online (not sure if it's still availabe since his passing a few years ago).

The notable point to the grip is that the stick sits in the crease of the first joint of the middle finger - this is the fulcrum point; the thumb and first finger apply just enough pressure to hold the stick in place. It's an incredibly tension free gripp that lets you get a lot of control and rebound.

Here's Jack Verga giving a lesson (watch the magic in the wrist):


Jack's new book is, "The Essential Rudiments of Drumming In The Natural and Logical Order Of Succession as taught by Murray Spivack and Richard Wilson" - Available at https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/essential-rudiments-drumming/id613552663?ls=1

Max Valentini's take on it:
 
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