Weird and tedious problem with push pull technique


Junior Member

I've been practicing the push pull technique as shown by jojo mayers dvd and watching drummers do it on camera. I think I do it correctly and it's been getting better and better lately for me.

I slowly push up the tempo on the metronome and practice it and I get faster and more relaxed. But there is one significant problem I have run in to:

I can play double strokes, 4 hits on each hand, 6, 8, 10, 12 and any even number within reason, but, I can't play odd numbers. I try to do 3 strokes on each hand, or 5 or 7 and it's really awkward and sloppy and I can't get it.

with a 3 for example, the last stroke is a down-stroke, meaning my hand is kind of in that funky position, ready to pull back up and get the up-stroke but you can't because its a 3.

I've seen the moeller technique and gladstone technique, but they never fit what I want to do. Some techniques have an accent on the first stroke, can't play any more than 3's or something else.

Should I just practice moving my hand back to normal position after the down-stroke? Is there a technique you could direct me to that would allow me to play 3s, 5s, 7s etc. at the same dynamic level/volume, evenly?

Thanks :)


Platinum Member
Not to discount your concerns related to being able to apply odd strokes when exercising the push-pull technique, but speaking for myself, I've always been somewhat of a fast learner, whether it be through watching someone execute whatever I'm trying to learn IRL, or whether in the form of a video walk-through, but beyond that, I have always found that once I have the basics down-pat, I often develop my own style of mastering the technique or exercise.

Just messing around and experimenting with what works for you is key. Not being afraid to try something new or unorthodox is where the magic happens, at least such is the case with me.

It sounds like you haven't yet mastered the push-pull technique absolutely, and one area where I so often see drummers struggle, is taking on too much- too early. Instead of working their way through each stage in a deliberate fashion before attempting to progress to the next level, they want to be able to do it all right now, right away.

Incremental steps... your best friend when it comes to learning and progressing. One step at a time, stage by stage, introducing more complex and advanced structure into your play as you gain more comfort, control, and confidence.

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
As mentioned a technique, because we're all different, will always be a concept rather than looking exactly the same.

As for push pull. I can't really think of an example where I'd use an obvious big motion with that for only 3 strokes. It wil. either be small and sort of like PP or something else.

If were to practice it the way you say I'd just be in the position I'd be in after any type of down stroke which is not my only starting position, but not unusual at all. With a paradiddle you have one extra stroke to prepare and with this you obviously have one more.

I guess you could have fun starting every other direction, but I don't don't really see how it would be anything but a different, maybe fun for some, exercise in control.