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Old 02-24-2018, 10:32 PM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Softening my hands...what about toms?

I have been going back to the beginning recently and re-learning the four strokes (up, down, rebound, tap), re-aligning my fulcrum and grip, focusing on utilising rebound and practicing fingers more. I was frustrated with being tense all the time.

All of these things I have never really practiced much in 7 years of drumming.

After re-assessing those things in a short period of time my hands feel amazing and I feel I have taken a limiter off of my playing.

I have never felt so relaxed playing the drums. Tommy Igoe talks about 'softening' his hands, when he moved from drum corps to drum kit. I feel like I am going through that sort of change, but more extreme, as I played with more tension than you would ever need, ignoring rebound and not really using much fingers.

This is all great and I am really enjoying the experience, but I am worried about how this will affect my playing on toms.

For all the bad things I was doing before, I could speak really well on toms, even on a finger-tight floor tom. Moving from snare to tom didn't phase me. My chops on that weren't much different to on a snare, and my volume was plentiful when needed.

I worry a little that with my new found 'relaxedness' behind the kit, my chops on the toms will suffer. What do you think? Is it just a matter of learning how far I can push being relaxed (that sounds weird)? Or should I not mind playing more in my old style on the toms? After all, tom-stuff will make up a small amount of my overall playing.

I just don't want to slip back into old habits. Any thoughts?
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Old 02-24-2018, 10:57 PM
Push pull stroke Push pull stroke is offline
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Default Re: Softening my hands...what about toms?

Need more volume? Use the big whip motion, Moeller-style.
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Old 02-25-2018, 12:47 AM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: Softening my hands...what about toms?

Ah, thanks, I hadn't thought of that. I generally use very small whip movements. Hmm, something to think about.

Before, I was definitely a 'wrists only' guy, now I have extending that to 'wrists and fingers', but you made me realise I have been neglecting the bigger gears a bit. Ta
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Old 02-25-2018, 02:25 AM
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Alex Sanguinetti Alex Sanguinetti is offline
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Default Re: Softening my hands...what about toms?

I never practiced nor teach "that thing" (up, down, rebound, tap - full) often felt like an OVERanalysis of playing.

Anyhow not one profi I know is worried about not being able to play on the toms what he plays on snare even playing very softly.

PLEASE CHECK OUT MY 1 minute VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-t0XzNlIdu8
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Old 02-25-2018, 03:13 AM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: Softening my hands...what about toms?

Thanks Alex. I think we are all different and some thing come more naturally to some of us than they do to others.

For me, thinking about the types of strokes (up/down) is a mental and physical thing. Physically, it allows me to go from loud to soft, without overplaying or injuring myself, and mentally, it lets me ‘drive’ my playing dynamically (without them, my brain-hand connnection get a bit confused as to where they want to go dynamically). Focusing on the types of strokes also help me to be relaxed, which is a big thing for me.

Of course, it is important to always think of the fulcrum and also the velocity of the stroke, as it is the acceleration and not the height, that determines the dynamic level. Upstrokes and downstrokes can get a bit too ‘wristy’ ask well if I am not careful

For me, the ups and downs are the tough ones. Full and tap come naturally.
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Old 02-25-2018, 04:01 AM
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Alex Sanguinetti Alex Sanguinetti is offline
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Default Re: Softening my hands...what about toms?

AndeeT,

good if it helps you!

Personally I never think of that or fulcrum (since you are adding this element now in your answer)

Best,

Alex
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Old 02-25-2018, 06:27 AM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: Softening my hands...what about toms?

Sure thing. I am definitely the type of person to over-analyse! I wish I didnt have to think about this (and over stuff!), it’s just the way I am. but even Tommy Igoe talks about a fulcrum...not in any detail...but he doesn’t like to get into analysing drum technique either it seems.

I like Tommie’s philipsophy ‘there are two types of drummers; those who play rudiments and know they are playing rudiments, and those that play rudiments and don’t know they are playing rudiments’

I think it is a similar situation with other drum concepts, e.g fulcrum, up/down strokes. The same result, with different approaches.

Musically, (maybe even visually), we all end up speaking the same language, but the spoken or written English (or whichever tongue) can sometimes cloud things.

As long as it’s musical in the end, it’s all good!
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Old 02-25-2018, 10:36 AM
martianmambo martianmambo is offline
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Default Re: Softening my hands...what about toms?

There is no one-size-fits-all grip or technique on drums--that goes for both players themselves and drumming contexts. One's touch on the hihats will be different from on the snare, from on the toms, from on the ride, and from on any other surface of the kit. So, discard the idea that you should settle on one type of hand technique at the expense of others.

After I attended a Dom Fomularo clinic when I was relatively new to drums, I started practicing all three grips (french, american, german) everyday or so. Also, I practiced A LOT of moeller accent-taps, in each grip, and then a fuller moeller motion starting from french and ending in german. Practicing moeller everyday helped with everything else. IMHO, moeller is foundational to all other aspects of good hand technique.

I suggest you practice basic strokes (full strokes, down strokes, taps, upstrokes, crescendos, decrescendos, doubles, triples, accent-taps) on each drum surface for a little bit at least once a week. Eventually, your hands will come to know the differences between each surface and adapt accordingly.

And always remember, to quote Scojo, if you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong!
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Old 02-25-2018, 11:10 AM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: Softening my hands...what about toms?

Thanks MartianMambo! And thank you for leading me on to Scott Johnson. Just watched a vid with him and Tommy Igoe. Those guys are definitely havin' fun!
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Old 02-25-2018, 11:57 AM
Alex Sanguinetti
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  #10  
Old 02-25-2018, 06:06 PM
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Tone Laborer Tone Laborer is offline
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Default Re: Softening my hands...what about toms?

Really nice playing and sweet sounding drums there, Alex Sanguinetti.
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Old 02-27-2018, 11:29 PM
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Alex Sanguinetti Alex Sanguinetti is offline
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Default Re: Softening my hands...what about toms?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone Laborer View Post
Really nice playing and sweet sounding drums there, Alex Sanguinetti.
Thanks a lot Tone!

Best to you!

Alex Sanguinetti
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Old 02-28-2018, 01:54 AM
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Jeff Almeyda Jeff Almeyda is offline
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Default Re: Softening my hands...what about toms?

The less rebound from the drum, the more you just incorporate wrists.

If you were able to do this before then learning finger control won’t cause you to lose it. Just don’t try to force a technique to where it doesn’t apply and you’ll be fine
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Old 02-28-2018, 02:17 AM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: Softening my hands...what about toms?

Cheers Jeff.

I was trying last night at band practice to use mostly fingers/soft hands for everything, just to try and ingrain that style more into my playing. I love how relaxed it makes me feel in general. I feel I can concentrate more on the music, rather than hanging on for dear life.

As for the toms, it wasn't exactly underwhelming when I did my rolls and rudiments on the low tom, but there is definitely a difference in volume.

I guess if I just reserve the mostly wrists technique for the tom stuff, and just be mindful not to slip into bad habits, I should be OK. After all, I am playing mostly snare/cymbals.

The other thing is playing live with microphones. I don't have any experience of playing drums live and I don't know how common it is to have tom's miked, but I guess if they were, I could get away with using fingers/soft hands on everything. I just like the projection wrists give on (especially the low) tom.
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