Wise Words
Working on technique: that's not all!!


Jim Chapin: Wise Words:

Working on technique - that's not all!!











from:
Speed, Power, Control, Endurance
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This video contains a detailed lesson by Jim Chapin on the "Moeller Method", which is an approach to drumming that was developed by Sanford A. Moeller around the 1920's. Moeller was interested in studying the techniques used by Civil War era drummers, who during the War had to play very loudly for long periods of time on badly tensioned rope drums. In order to survive such playing conditions without suffering fatigue or injury, Moeller found that there was a particular way these drummers held their sticks and hit the drum. He codified these techniques into a system, and became well known as a teacher in the 1930's, with two of his students from that era being Gene Krupa and Jim Chapin.
Chapin discusses at length the mechanics of the Moeller system, which consists of making accents via a "whipping motion." He also details Moeller's concept of "pull-out" accents, which is a very effective way of developing the double stroke roll and single stroke ruffs. He gives numerous exercises for developing these techniques. He also spends some time discussing various ways of holding the sticks, and various "hand holds" that can be used.

One of the things that I like best about this video is that Chapin advocates being open-minded about learning drum technique. He himself has learned a very effective way of playing with astonishing speed and power (as is evidenced several times throughout the video by his displays on a Real Feel practice pad), but he acknowledges that there are several ways of achieving good technique, and he advises the viewer to be aware of this.

This video is not meant to be an overall snare drum method. It's purpose is to focus on a particular way of playing with (as the title promises) speed, power, control, and endurance. Because of it's specific focus, Chapin is able to go into more detail about the method than if he were doing a more broad-based instructional video.

A word of warning, to those who want to see drum set solos: Chapin's playing on this video is strictly confined to a practice pad. He doesn't do any demonstrations on a snare drum or a drum set. But the educational value of the video is extremely high, and just watching Chapin play licks on a practice pad is awe-inspiring.