Advice on traditional grip

I've been working on changing to traditional grip for the last 6-months. Although it's progressing, I'm still having issues getting around the set, so a couple ?'s:

1) Any advice on crashing with the left hand? This has been a real struggle for me, with the "crash" being inconsistent, and usually quieter than it would be compared to matched. I've tried adjusting height and angle of cymbal, but nothing has worked thus far.

2) Although I can play faster single stroke rolls on the snare using trad than matched, it falls apart at those speeds if I try to move around the kit. I believe it's related to the looser tension of the toms. Is this something that will just resolve in time with plenty of practice?

3) Hi-hat placement has been an issue. When I go to hit the small tom (I play one up, two down) the back of the stick will often hit the hi-hat. I've tried changing hi-hat height, and location, but still no luck.

TIA for any advice!
 

geezer

Senior Member
I experienced similar issues when I switched from matched to traditional grip - (it's been about a year now) - some of my experiences:

-for left hand cymbal crashes I've found that the angle I'm striking the cymbal at, plus being aware of using wrist motion and not just arm motion has helped a lot.

-for single stroke rolls/moving around the kit I used to log a fair bit of time just moving from snare/rack/floor and floor/rack/snare using a metronome and building up my speed. I also watched Dave Weckl's videos on natural approach to drumming, where he talks a lot about letting the rebound of the sticks do the work for you and it really helped me relax more, which had a definite impact on my speed and flow.

-exact same issue here with the butt end of the stick catching the hi-hats. Again I found that if I was striking the rack using wrist motion, and not so much arm motion I stopped getting snagged by the hi hats. I had to consciously think "wrist motion" to myself for awhile just before going to hit the rack so that I wouldn't just default to raising my arm at the elbow, which I was doing I think, unconsciously as a misguided attempt to add power to my stroke.
 

AudioWonderland

Silver Member
Traditional grip served a purpose a 100 years ago when you were marching with a drum slung on your hip. Its really surprising that it has stayed with us all of these years. There really is no advantage to it on a drum kit and as you are discovering, there are definite disadvantages. As such, I have basically abandoned it.

If you want to pursue it though, as has been suggested the wrist has to drive the motion more than the arm. Its also important to adjust your setup so you can attack the cymbals from a good angle with that grip.

Traditional grip actually uses far fewer muscles than a matched grip. I have heard unconfirmed reports that some big name artists are having issues in the left hand because of it. Obviously I have no way to prove or disprove those rumors but it sounds plausible to me.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
1. try crashing like this


2. just keep practicing and understand the three driving forces to traditional grip ... first the wrist turn... then thumb pressure... and lastly index finger... you will eventually learn when to kick in each gear and where they are needed .... try to sit with someone who plays the grip well and take a look at how they manipulate these gears

3. if you play exclusively traditional try tilting your tom slightly.
that has always helped me and makes the most sense for my motions ergonomically
 
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beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
Traditional grip served a purpose a 100 years ago when you were marching with a drum slung on your hip. Its really surprising that it has stayed with us all of these years. There really is no advantage to it on a drum kit and as you are discovering, there are definite disadvantages. As such, I have basically abandoned it.

If you want to pursue it though, as has been suggested the wrist has to drive the motion more than the arm. Its also important to adjust your setup so you can attack the cymbals from a good angle with that grip.

Traditional grip actually uses far fewer muscles than a matched grip. I have heard unconfirmed reports that some big name artists are having issues in the left hand because of it. Obviously I have no way to prove or disprove those rumors but it sounds plausible to me.

This. If you started out this way or were taught that is one thing. Alot of older drummers did this years back and have always played that way.

To change grips makes no sense.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
This. If you started out this way or were taught that is one thing. Alot of older drummers did this years back and have always played that way.

To change grips makes no sense.

completely disagree
there are advantages to both grips

comments like this usually come from people who cannot execute the grip and do not understand its advantages
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
completely disagree
there are advantages to both grips

comments like this usually come from people who cannot execute the grip and do not understand its advantages
Can you please list some advantages to using traditional grip when playing a drum kit? A drum kit with two rack toms and two floor toms.

I am truly interested in knowing.


.
 

AudioWonderland

Silver Member
completely disagree
there are advantages to both grips

comments like this usually come from people who cannot execute the grip and do not understand its advantages
I was taught traditional grip around 1980. I would say 35 years of experience qualifies me to have an opinion on the matter. I too would like to know what the advantages of traditional grip are on the drum kit.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
I was taught traditional grip around 1980. I would say 35 years of experience qualifies me to have an opinion on the matter. I too would like to know what the advantages of traditional grip are on the drum kit.
I guess the old saying applies here.... if you have to ask you'll never know

I find traditional grip to be very advantageous to many things in my playing ... just as I do matched

not everyone finds comfort in the same things .... but to try to discourage someone from learning one of the oldest traditions in drumming is quite childish for someone who learned the grip in 1980 in my opinion

players have been getting around the drums just fine using traditional grip for over 100 years
 

AudioWonderland

Silver Member
I guess the old saying applies here.... if you have to ask you'll never know

I find traditional grip to be very advantageous to many things in my playing ... just as I do matched

not everyone finds comfort in the same things .... but to try to discourage someone from learning one of the oldest traditions in drumming is quite childish for someone who learned the grip in 1980 in my opinion
BS. I know. Its not childish. Its experience. If you want to worship at the alter of outdated techniques feel free. I am pointing out his time would be better spent learning something new, not relearning what he already knows again just to satisfy traditionalist snobbery.

Your attempt to divert instead of answering the question tells me your bluff was called.
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
1. try crashing like this
Oooh, I like that setup. is that your L side ride/crash over your hats? I'll bet you can get around very quickly with that setup.

It bums me out when I read comments from the disillusioned old timers who are rejecting the style in which they learned. I learned trad grip within the last 5 years when I started playing and couldn't be happier with it.

The distinct advantage I have is that I can play with a softer attack on the L hand by angling the stick up. This isn't going to be of any benefit to some hard hitting tub thumper of a drummer but it has helped quite a bit for what I do.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
For me, it's as simple as holding a spoon differently when I'm stirring something with it versus when I'm eating with it. My left and right hands spend more time doing different things than playing the same thing. Depending on the style of music, what's required of each limb varies.

I find that holding the hand underneath the stick with the left hand confers some nice advantages at softer dynamic levels, especially in jazz comping. It puts the motion of the hand in the sweet spot for playing intricate patterns at lower volumes. I find hand on top of the stick works well for power, so when the left hand is slamming backbeats and volume is the main concern, I prefer matched.

I don't have any problem with people preferring one or the other. Sweeping generalizations about the absolute value of one over? I'm not convinced.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
BS. I know. Its not childish. Its experience. If you want to worship at the alter of outdated techniques feel free. I am pointing out his time would be better spent learning something new, not relearning what he already knows again just to satisfy traditionalist snobbery.

Your attempt to divert instead of answering the question tells me your bluff was called.
"outdated"

you are clearly funny and bitter man .... I wish you happiness in your cutting edge techniques
 
BS. I know. Its not childish. Its experience. If you want to worship at the alter of outdated techniques feel free. I am pointing out his time would be better spent learning something new, not relearning what he already knows again just to satisfy traditionalist snobbery.

Your attempt to divert instead of answering the question tells me your bluff was called.
To get this thread back on track, the reason I'm switching to traditional grip after 20 years playing matched is that I suffer from a condition called focal distonia, which affects my ability to play relaxed strokes in my left hand (basically, my hand always shakes to a degree). I've realized recently that the affects of this condition are much less when I'm using traditional grip.

Thanks for all the responses, btw!
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
BS. I know. Its not childish. Its experience. If you want to worship at the alter of outdated techniques feel free. I am pointing out his time would be better spent learning something new, not relearning what he already knows again just to satisfy traditionalist snobbery.

Your attempt to divert instead of answering the question tells me your bluff was called.
Oh my............................

To get this thread back on track, the reason I'm switching to traditional grip after 20 years playing matched is that I suffer from a condition called focal distonia, which affects my ability to play relaxed strokes in my left hand (basically, my hand always shakes to a degree). I've realized recently that the affects of this condition are much less when I'm using traditional grip.

Thanks for all the responses, btw!
As far as set up goes - keep adjusting until it's right. I know it's an oversimplification of an answer but it's true. As you get used to the grip and how it feels to move around, your instinct of all of these years playing will kick in and you'll find what works best for you.
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
As far as set up goes - keep adjusting until it's right. I know it's an oversimplification of an answer but it's true. As you get used to the grip and how it feels to move around, your instinct of all of these years playing will kick in and you'll find what works best for you.
+1. At the core of becoming a real drummer is the constant tinkering and adjusting of crap on your setup. Personally I love it. I recently mounted a tom off the bass drum hoop with a hoop clamp. Had to angle it a bit like an old school trap kit but it turned out better for trad grip.

Keep moving stuff around and angling things till it just feels right. If you feel yourself contorting or straining to reach something then its time to relocate it.
 

TroutMacDuff

Junior Member
yiu said you've tried adjusting your hi hat setup, but about the tom? I find with trad grip everything needs to be higher than what might feel immediately natural.

What helped me when I switched grips was doing the thing where you sit at (or away from, up to you) the kit, stool height already set, close your eyes and play air drums. Play an imaginary rimshot and stop your arm in mid air where it feels like the snare should be. Then put it there. Same for the whole kit.

Also try having the snare tilted down from left to right. Not only is the angle helpful, but because matched and trad generally require different drum heights. Lower for the right hand, higher for the left.
 

drummer-russ

Gold Member
BS. I know. Its not childish. Its experience. If you want to worship at the alter of outdated techniques feel free. I am pointing out his time would be better spent learning something new, not relearning what he already knows again just to satisfy traditionalist snobbery.

Your attempt to divert instead of answering the question tells me your bluff was called.
Wow AW. So maybe narrow minded is a better fit? Honestly you are coming off like you think you know it all. There are advantages and disadvantages to both grips. I learned traditional and am teaching myself matched because I like the idea of being able to choose which to use based on what I am playing.

I am just a weekend hack these days and really like the tone of the board most of the time. I benefit from so many drummers contributions. Making disparaging remarks like this just doesn't contribute in a positive way. There are lots of others forums that seem to thrive on arguments and narrow mindedness. Glad this is not normally like that.

To the OP, crashing with left hand playing traditional is something I have recently been working to improve and I find focusing on the wrist turn has been helpful.
 
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