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Old 09-07-2018, 05:34 PM
Pasteur Pasteur is offline
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Default Open Handed Drumming

Hi, Beginner here! Learning traditional style for a year or so now, but interested in open handed, please forgive my ignorance, I hope it's not too dumb of a question:
Why not put the hihat on the right, near the ride (for right handed players)? And change the toms around (if that is the issue)? Most discussions I've seen seem to assume keeping it on the left. Thanks for your help!
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Old 09-07-2018, 05:47 PM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: Open Handed Drumming

The simplest explanation is that most right-hand-dominant players are also right-foot-dominant, and the bass drum has always gone to the dominant foot. Nowadays with cable hi-hats and slave pedals for bass drums, that's less of a consideration for where the instruments actually go; but the majority of drumset and hardware packages still assume that the hi-hat will go to the non-dominant side.

There are a number of folks who play open-handed (either because they taught themselves to do so, like Simon Phillips, or because they're lefties adapting to a right-handed world).

Another option is to mount X-hats to the right to play open-handed. You don't get to open and close them, but you get to play open-handed.

if you are just starting out, it will of course be easier to learn whatever you decide to do from the ground up, but it will also present some interesting challenges occasionally in your playing life. When you turn up at the blues jam, for instance, I can almost guarantee that the house kit will not be set up with the hi-hats to the right and the toms rearranged the way you describe. You then have to decide whether to change stuff around (and possibly incur some grumpiness from the hosts and kit owner), or struggle through with the kit set up differently to how you like to play.

Having said that, there are no hard and fast rules with drums - just conventions. Most people set up the way they do because someone else did first. You might be a pioneer of a new way of doing things!
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Old 09-07-2018, 05:53 PM
Pasteur Pasteur is offline
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Default Re: Open Handed Drumming

Wow, thanks, yes of course, the kick drum! I would have to learn to play it with my left foot. hmmmm OK, after only a year of learning maybe I'm still green enough to not have become too used to the traditional way...best to be able to do both, no? Can Cobham and all those guys play both ways just as easily?
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Old 09-07-2018, 08:26 PM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: Open Handed Drumming

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pasteur View Post
Wow, thanks, yes of course, the kick drum! I would have to learn to play it with my left foot. hmmmm OK, after only a year of learning maybe I'm still green enough to not have become too used to the traditional way...best to be able to do both, no? Can Cobham and all those guys play both ways just as easily?
I don't know about Billy, but Simon can.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1jPudE8eRE
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Old 09-07-2018, 08:39 PM
toddbishop toddbishop is offline
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Default Re: Open Handed Drumming

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Originally Posted by Pasteur View Post
best to be able to do both, no?
Why would that be best?
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Old 09-07-2018, 09:06 PM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: Open Handed Drumming

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Why would that be best?
You know, Todd brings up a good point. Plenty of folks make a solid living, earn awards and accolades, and make dozens of records without going open-handed or being able to switch between the two.

It's a choice and a technique, but as with nearly anything else in drumming, it has no intrinsic value on its own. If it happens to work well for you, that doesn't mean it works well for everyone. I would struggle, after 30+ years playing traditionally, to do a whole gig open-handed. For me, then, it's clearly not "best".
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Old 09-08-2018, 04:34 AM
aaronmcd aaronmcd is offline
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Default Re: Open Handed Drumming

I'm also pretty new, but I like to practice left foot kick and left hand keeping time sometimes just for the coordination and help get my left half up to speed. I'm hard pressed to get those 16th note patterns in this way right now, but it'll come in no time.

For instance, when I work double bass, my left foot being like 30 bpm slower really limits me. And also my single hand roll on the left hand is like 85 vs 110 or so on the right. So basically my whole left half are keeping me from doing blasts and fast double bass.
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Old 09-08-2018, 11:15 AM
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Odd-Arne Oseberg Odd-Arne Oseberg is offline
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Default Re: Open Handed Drumming

People do all sorts of things.

Thomas Lang has everything on both sides, Mangini, too.

Aronoff uses wired hats, so he can move it whereever he wants.

Open handed players usually didn't start that way.

I generally cross, but there's no better way to even things out, with control, than to play a bit open handed.

And yeah, open handed or crossing, traditional or matched... they all sound the same if played well. It's a technical thing, your choice depending on what you want to do and how you want to set your kit up.

Going through stuff like New Breed does help. It has a great influence on your general control and comfort, so if you want to have good flow, feel conmfortable and balanbced as well as being a modern improvising musician it's a good idea to try and work on both. If you're a beginner and your time is limited I'd take it slow, though. You don't want to go in over your head, burn out because you demand to much of yourself to early or loose sight of the real practical and musical skills you want to develop.
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Old 09-09-2018, 12:14 PM
bud7h4 bud7h4 is offline
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Default Re: Open Handed Drumming

You can't put everything on the right side just because you're right handed :D There are all kinds of ways that closed-handed players play the hats open handed. What happens when you want to play 8ths or 16ths with both hands? How uncomfortable would that be over on the right side? Or doing some syncopation between the hats and ride?

Great example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCSynl4WbLQ

Last edited by bud7h4; 09-09-2018 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 09-09-2018, 03:39 PM
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GetAgrippa GetAgrippa is offline
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Default Re: Open Handed Drumming

Seems I watched a video explaining why Simon switched to open handed which seems was problematic to his set up and playing. It was ergonomic fundtion issue as I recollect. But If you were playing a transcribed drum song do you think you’d hear a difference between traditional or open? Simon can play the song either way (talented fellow he’s masteted both) and it sounds great. Either way he knows how to make it sound great-so I think it’s all the little things he does with either. So hitting the high tom with either hand open or traditional at the right time and finesse gets it done.
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