Holding sticks backwards whilst playing rudiments?

During my recent decision to focus on fine tuning my rudiments I couldn't help but notice that in half the rudiment videos on Youtube, the sticks are held backwards when giving an example. Is this a strategy to improve rudiments faster or merely a way of making the sound more clear when recording?
Or, dare I say. is it just because they can?
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I just noticed I was doing this while playing snares at NAMM today. They'd give me sticks and after playing with the sticks the correct way, I like the power I get when I flip one or both around. They become like hammers in a way, with the weight forward. But I suppose after all these years of playing, I should be able to. So I'm not bragging - you'll be able to do it in time too.
 

areFish

Silver Member
There is a comprehensive set of rudiment videos on YouTube which the player uses marching size sticks without tips. They taper down a bit to a rounded end that can look like the butt end of traditional sticks at first glance.
 

HoM3R

Member
Think it has to do with practice and the reason why practice sticks are thicker. If you practice your rudiments with a heavy stick they will feel like a breeze when doing them on your drumset with thinner sticks.
Turning them around makes them heavier without having to buy special practice sticks.
 
Think it has to do with practice and the reason why practice sticks are thicker. If you practice your rudiments with a heavy stick they will feel like a breeze when doing them on your drumset with thinner sticks.
Turning them around makes them heavier without having to buy special practice sticks.
This seems like a good technique. However, don't you think it might pay off using the same weight sticks on your practice pad as you do your normal kit. Seeing as how one of the main purposes of a practice pad is to gain muscle memory?
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
This seems like a good technique. However, don't you think it might pay off using the same weight sticks on your practice pad as you do your normal kit. Seeing as how one of the main purposes of a practice pad is to gain muscle memory?
Of course, if you do ALL of your practicing on the pad. But, for people who also practice on their kit with their regular-sized sticks, there is some benefit to practicing with heavier sticks. John Riley describes the concept as "headroom"...be physically able to do more than you actually play, so you're never playing at the outer reaches of your limit, where your playing might fall apart. Playing with heavier sticks is like the batter on deck, swinging with a donut on his bat. Or, it could be likened to a stock boy at a grocery store who trains with a 15 pound weight so he can stock the 8 pound gallon jugs of milk easier and for longer. Headroom, or "excess capacity".
 
Of course, if you do ALL of your practicing on the pad. But, for people who also practice on their kit with their regular-sized sticks, there is some benefit to practicing with heavier sticks. John Riley describes the concept as "headroom"...be physically able to do more than you actually play, so you're never playing at the outer reaches of your limit, where your playing might fall apart. Playing with heavier sticks is like the batter on deck, swinging with a donut on his bat. Or, it could be likened to a stock boy at a grocery store who trains with a 15 pound weight so he can stock the 8 pound gallon jugs of milk easier and for longer. Headroom, or "excess capacity".
Ahhh I see, it all makes sense to me now.

Its also the same kind of concept as to when I used to do weights; the heavier you can push yourself the easier it is to lift lighter objects.

Thanks for explaining it to me mate :)
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I'm not sure if I agree with this 'extra weight' concept. You're not playing baseball, or lifting weights. Playing drums is not about being the strongest drummer on the block. It's about coordination and musicality. At NAMM there was this booth selling metal sticks in various weights just for warming up or building muscle, and after playing them for a bit, and then handling a normal wooden stick, I literally couldn't play anything.

I would think if you wanted to be able to play past where you need to play with the band, you would build your muscles by playing faster and faster, so when you played regular speed, you'd feel very relaxed. Leroy Clouden (on Steve Jordan's DVD) said they used to speed up Barry White albums and play along with them when it was running at 45 rpm.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I'm not sure if I agree with this 'extra weight' concept.
Nor am I mate......or at the very least, I'm not sold on it.

As one who has practised extensively with every stick in my arsenal....including big heavy marching sticks.....I'm not convinced that they actually add that much benefit to your playing. Whilst it's true that a heavy stick does take more to get moving and can certainly "feel" like you're working harder, I've always thought that this is at least somewhat offset by the fact that due to being heavier, they naturally rebound more anyway.

I have done no form of "scientific" tests to affirm my conclusion. It's merely the word of one idiot, his sticks ranging from 7A's to 5A/B's to 3A's to marching sticks, and his perceptions of how each stick responds to the pad or drum. My practice has lead me to believe that it takes just as much work to get a 7A stick to full speed as it does to get a marching stick........purely because of the weight/rebound issue.

If that one idiot's opinion is worth anything. The hand plays the stick......regardless of what that stick is. Not the other way round.

If you really wanna see improvement, grab a stick....any stick and get your hands working. It really is as simple as that IMHO. ;-)
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I can add this bit of perspective. I was in a punk band for awhile and our gigs would always start with a fast song. I had to warm up my arms really good before I played or else my fast eighth notes on the hi-hats would soon become fast quarter notes. So I would hold two sticks in my right hand and warm up my arm for 5 to 10 minutes so that it was nice and loose and won't fail on me during the gig. It's much like the batter using a donut. So I can see where some weighted sticks can come in handy really.
 
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