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  #1  
Old 07-29-2013, 06:19 AM
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Default Trad or matched? completely torn here

Between whether to proceed with developing my matched or traditional grip. Yeah, I know, it's a subject that's been beaten to death. And before anybody says "well, just learn both"...hear me out.

I've stated a few times here that I've gotten back into drumming after a long hiatus. Before my break, I played matched grip. But I never really developed any sort of technique. I was actually anti-technique. But now that I've gotten a second chance I've really been wanting to perfect my grip. On a whim, I tried playing with traditional grip and it's been working pretty well. I actually play better with it than with matched. But here's my dilemna...

I already don't have much time to play the kit, much less practice my technique. While I've got horrible technique with matched grip, it's what I know and it feels the most natural. But then I can actually do some pretty impressive stuff with traditional grip, but it doesn't feel natural....it's like it works but I don't feel like I have much control. Now, I simply don't have the time to learn both, so I need to just pick one and go with it, but I don't know what's the best path to take. Go with what feels natural, but awkward, and just work through it. Or go with what's been mysteriously working, yet doesn't feel very natural at all?

Any advice, thoughts, and personal experience stories would be GREATLY appreciated.
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:29 AM
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Default Re: I am so completely torn here

It really doesn't matter mate......honestly. Pick the stick up and hold it however you feel will best serve what you want to do on a drum kit.

Obsessing over this is only distracting you from what's really important. This is just not the sort of thing that is worth splitting yourself in two over.
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:43 AM
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Default Re: I am so completely torn here

Stick with trad. Why? It looks cooler. ;)
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Ian Ballard View Post
Stick with trad. Why? It looks cooler. ;)
I know it probably sounds superficial, but part of what keeps drawing me to trad is that it just flat-out looks cooler.

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Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
It really doesn't matter mate......honestly. Pick the stick up and hold it however you feel will best serve what you want to do on a drum kit.

Obsessing over this is only distracting you from what's really important. This is just not the sort of thing that is worth splitting yourself in two over.
I agree what what you're saying, but at the same time, I kinda WANT to obsess over it because I feel like I want to make a final decision that is going to benefit me most in the long run.

I laid out the cases for both. Based on that, which would you go with?

Last edited by Bernhard; 07-29-2013 at 07:48 AM. Reason: Edited by Arky: merging consecutive posts
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:57 AM
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Default Re: I am so completely torn here

I moved over to drums from the guitar. I have been playing about 3 years now, taking lessons for most of that and I never get tired of my teached and my father in law telling me how much better I have gotten.

When I started playing I played matched because that's how my friends who were drummers played. I'm not sure when or even why I just decided one day that I wanted to play trad grip. When I started taking lessons I told my teacher that I would to like to learn to play with trad grip. It took a little while to really build up the ability. I figure that was a mix of the weaker hand and the new techniqe. I remember that I used to have to switch to match about halfway through a gig because my left hand got tired. Your ring-finger cuticle hurts like hell when you're learning.

Now a few years later I think that I have finally gotten the hang of it. I play trad maybe 98% of the time. I'll switch to play with mallets and to use cross-stick. I can still play some of the really tom heavy bits of the hard hitting parts with matched just fine.

If you really want to play trad then go for it. Get yourself a pad and play it while you watch TV, your significant other will eventually get used to the tapping. Get a teacher and take some lessong. You won't be limiting yourself by playing trad. The only limitation will be not working to improve your technique.
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  #6  
Old 07-29-2013, 07:06 AM
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Default Re: I am so completely torn here

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Originally Posted by FoolInTheRain View Post
I agree what what you're saying, but at the same time, I kinda WANT to obsess over it because I feel like I want to make a final decision that is going to benefit me most in the long run.
Yeah, but for mine it's a bit like like saying that you're gonna walk for a thousand miles.....but aren't able to get started because you can't decide whether to put your left or right foot forward first.

When those thousand miles have been walked, will it matter?

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Originally Posted by FoolInTheRain View Post
I laid out the cases for both. Based on that, which would you go with?
If it were me, I'd flip the stick at will and work on both as my fancy took me. I've been doing this for ages anyway. I don't forget how to play matched grip because I've spent some time working on trad and vice versa. I find any time spent working my hands is beneficial regardless of how I hold the stick. One doesn't work to the detriment of the other.

But in your case you say you don't have time to "learn" both. Then stick with what you know. Play matched and there's no need to acquire a new skill....merely to continue to develop old ones.
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:20 AM
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Default Re: I am so completely torn here

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Originally Posted by FoolInTheRain View Post
I know it probably sounds superficial, but part of what keeps drawing me to trad is that it just flat-out looks cooler.
Besides that, it is physically impossible to properly play a second-line New Orleans groove with matched. \m/
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:23 AM
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Default Re: I am so completely torn here

The answer will come to you.
Use your head, but follow your heart, and make your dreams become reality.
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:50 AM
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Default Re: I am so completely torn here

I agree with Pocket. I use trad with brushes for easier sweeping but I've found that I prefer it in brush songs where there's no sweeping because it keeps the brush loop from getting tangled in my bracelet lol

Also, I've found trad helps with an odd problem I've had in recent years. My left hand starts shaking in the first song of gigs and also the first song after the break - to the point where it's almost impossible to play properly. Horrible and disturbing. It seems to be a nervous thing. While I seem to feel and behave perfectly relaxed and normal before gigs, my left hand says otherwise. But ... it's okay if I use trad grip. I supoose it is something to do with the way my nervousness acts on certain muscle groups.

So I am slowly shifting. I don't care what grip I use - whatever works. After seeing that guy without arms carving it up on another thread, it clearly doesn't much matter apart from the little credibility game, ie. trad grip can make you look like a taught "serious" musician, which of course might be just an affectation :)
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:07 AM
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Default Re: I am so completely torn here

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Originally Posted by FoolInTheRain View Post
I already don't have much time to play the kit, much less practice my technique.
The important thing is that you spend some time on it every day, that practice is a DAILY thing for you. Even if it's only 10 minutes some days, every day exercise is much more effective than 4 hours on your day off. I always feel like recommending Great Hands For a Lifetime to someone who wants to get their fundamentals together. Get a practice pad and a metronome app on your phone, and you're good to go!

If you like trad, play it. Don't completely neglect matched.
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:33 AM
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Default Re: Trad or matched? completely torn here

I'll share a little story that sounds somewhat similar to your experience :)

When I first started out drumming, I was pushed straight into the punk scene by a guitarist friend. My right hand built up blazing fast speed (I was also playing other stuff all the time, too), but my left hand, as much as I tried, not only couldn't develop the speed, but the bad technique I was using was so far ingrained that I felt I couldn't fix it.

So after three years of playing, I switched to traditional grip, which I played for about 6 years. During this time, I ended up hitting the same speed plateau due to circumstances which prevented me getting enough practise, but I developed quite impressive power and clarity, as well as dexterity around the kit. Having Virgil Donati as my inspiration was a big help :).

Anyway, after the last 2 years' worth of frustration at still being stuck at the speed plateau, and in the middle of a band practise, I decided to switch back to matched and start from scratch, as I felt it was time to do so.

As a consequence, I was able to redevelop my left hand matched grip technique, and I managed to get it mostly right. It took a couple of years to work out the main problem I had was holding the stick at too high an angle, and as soon as I lowered it to almost parallel, the physical 'impairment' that I felt was preventing me building speed disappeared. Not long after that, I forced myself to develop French grip with both hands, which was MAJOR struggle, and now my left hand feels like it's finally reaching its potential with regards to speed and control, and I no longer feel any sort of physical barrier preventing me from moving ahead at full steam.

With regards to those who've followed my comments in the single foot speed thread, hand technique is a far more complex issue IMO, we're talking about more joints and more complicated planes of movement. It is very easy to start off with poor hand technique without correct instruction, or by ignoring your teacher, and that can cause issues down the track, even if you build up speed, you could end up with joint issues, tendonitis, carpal tunnel, etc.
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:32 PM
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Default Re: Trad or matched? completely torn here

I just read the Dave Weckl interview in Drumhead magazine. He is of the belief traditional grip has done internal damage to his hand, and he cites other old pros with the same ailments. I play matched, after reading that, with all my physical injuries, I am glad I do play matched.
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:22 PM
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Default Re: Trad or matched? completely torn here

IMO - work on matched - it won't take long to get your technique together.

I always thought trad was cool, and when I started delving into technique my teacher would only go through matched (he was a converted Trad player). If you learn a loose middle finger fulcrum, get the Freestroke happening letting the sticks do the work, you should be good. With my lessons I got hip to German, French and American grips - once I saw the possibilities available Trad just looked way to limiting to invest my time into. I know what you mean about trying to learn two different grips - it's just way too time consuming...

In the last couple of years I've been hearing about big-time pro players who are getting lots of injuries with Trad grip - Weckl, Thomas Lang, Aaron Commess, etc. These are guys with great, natural technique, too.
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  #14  
Old 07-29-2013, 05:28 PM
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Default Re: I am so completely torn here

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Originally Posted by brentcn View Post
The important thing is that you spend some time on it every day, that practice is a DAILY thing for you. Even if it's only 10 minutes some days, every day exercise is much more effective than 4 hours on your day off. I always feel like recommending Great Hands For a Lifetime to someone who wants to get their fundamentals together. Get a practice pad and a metronome app on your phone, and you're good to go!

If you like trad, play it. Don't completely neglect matched.
As a matter of fact, I picked up that DVD last week and I really like it. I really like Igoe's approach and attitude. One thing that I CAN do every day is spend about 10-15 minutes, undisturbed, with the pad and metronome after work. I've been doing the bounce practice routine in matched. Then I tried to play along when they do the actual routine with the other guys and couldn't even get faster than 105 bpm. But I want to stick with it.
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: Trad or matched? completely torn here

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I just read the Dave Weckl interview in Drumhead magazine. He is of the belief traditional grip has done internal damage to his hand, and he cites other old pros with the same ailments. I play matched, after reading that, with all my physical injuries, I am glad I do play matched.
Good point. And something that definitely concerns me. Thomas Lang has said that he switched to matched for the same reasons, but then that was refuted by somebody, somewhere that he only switched because he could do the same things with matched that he could with traditional.

Still, it's not the most comforting thing to hear. Then again, those guys play probably 8 hours a day. I suppose if you do anything physical for 8 hours a day, your joints, bones, and tendons are going to wear down over time.
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: Trad or matched? completely torn here

Both, Why limit yourself. More tools are best. A screwdriver and a hammer will do more than having one of those. Both are better. OPTIONS.
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: Trad or matched? completely torn here

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Both, Why limit yourself. More tools are best. A screwdriver and a hammer will do more than having one of those. Both are better. OPTIONS.
+1, absolutely! I wouldn't even bother thinking of limiting myself when there's no need to.
Trad or matched? That's not even a question in my book ;-)
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:54 PM
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Default Re: I am so completely torn here

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Originally Posted by FoolInTheRain View Post
As a matter of fact, I picked up that DVD last week and I really like it. I really like Igoe's approach and attitude. One thing that I CAN do every day is spend about 10-15 minutes, undisturbed, with the pad and metronome after work. I've been doing the bounce practice routine in matched. Then I tried to play along when they do the actual routine with the other guys and couldn't even get faster than 105 bpm. But I want to stick with it.
Cool! Keep it up! If you're going at it every day, the speed should come in a few weeks. That's what I like about that DVD: it pushes you along, much like a drum line or music camp would. After you're doing well with the guys in the video, post and ask about where to go next.
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:25 PM
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+1, absolutely! I wouldn't even bother thinking of limiting myself when there's no need to.
Trad or matched? That's not even a question in my book ;-)
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:31 PM
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Default Re: I am so completely torn here

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Cool! Keep it up! If you're going at it every day, the speed should come in a few weeks. That's what I like about that DVD: it pushes you along, much like a drum line or music camp would. After you're doing well with the guys in the video, post and ask about where to go next.
In your opinion, are the tempos they play at on the DVD what a beginner should be playing at? In that first little practice routine, they go up to 200 bpm! There's no way I can touch that.

Is the idea to not go further in the DVD until I can get that fast? Or at least considerably faster than I am now? It's a 4-hour long video and I'm overwhelmed after just the first 20 minutes, you know?
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: Trad or matched? completely torn here

I PRIMARILY play trad because it feels good to me and my hand naturally wants to hold it that way. It's my mom's fault. She stuck the stick in my hand at 4 years old like that, being that she was taught as a snare drummer to play that way. I also loved watching Buddy Rich on the Tonight Show. Besides that, there are some unique mechanical advantages that I've discovered and certain things, especially in jazz, that make traditional a no-brainer. I do occasionally switch over and watching JR Robinson's DVD "The Time Machine" inspired me to work on my matched a little bit. I LOVE watching that guy's technique. Very unique and since my current obsession is time-feel, I find that matched and trad encourage different "feels" and movements, which work for different styles. I've been playing more and more Latin stuff too, which lends itself to matched.

The other night I played a balls-out loud punk gig with the band Black Wall Monument. The other drummers, obviously were playing matched and played like gorillas. I get up there with my 2 RACK TOMS and my traditional grip and I basically demonstrated how much power trad can produce. Using a Moeller-on-steroids sort of method, I has ZERO pain, blisters or any issues whatsoever. Obviously some folks asked me about my grip. It's just how I prefer to play. Simple as that.
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:03 PM
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Default Re: Trad or matched? completely torn here

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IThe other night I played a balls-out loud punk gig with the band Black Wall Monument. The other drummers, obviously were playing matched and played like gorillas. I get up there with my 2 RACK TOMS and my traditional grip and I basically demonstrated how much power trad can produce. Using a Moeller-on-steroids sort of method, I has ZERO pain, blisters or any issues whatsoever. Obviously some folks asked me about my grip. It's just how I prefer to play. Simple as that.
I can imagine some people probably thinking "what's this jazz nerd doing playing in this punk band?".
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:44 AM
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Default Re: I am so completely torn here

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Originally Posted by FoolInTheRain View Post
In your opinion, are the tempos they play at on the DVD what a beginner should be playing at? In that first little practice routine, they go up to 200 bpm! There's no way I can touch that.

Is the idea to not go further in the DVD until I can get that fast? Or at least considerably faster than I am now? It's a 4-hour long video and I'm overwhelmed after just the first 20 minutes, you know?
Heck no, it's not beginner stuff! More like challenging for the intermediate, even at slower tempos.

The warm-up itself is finally demonstrated at 180, right? Once you can do most of the content at, say, 130 or 140, the final push to 180 shouldn't take long. It's the initial practice, the building of muscle memory, the refining of your technique, and just flat out becoming comfortable with the sound and phrasing of the rudiments that takes the most time.
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:50 PM
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Default Re: Trad or matched? completely torn here

I just got back from a percussion camp that included 10+ top professional players (including many names that you all know), and I think that every single one of them was advocating matched grip. (I do think that they'd all agree that having both abilities is ideal, but if focusing on one, they'd all say matched.) Many of them had played most of their lives with traditional but have recently switched to matched. Others are still playing mostly traditional but are advocating matched.

Another thing that occurs to me is that there's a whole lot of percussion that's played with sticks where traditional makes no sense, so if you can only play traditional, then that leaves out a whole bunch of percussion options. For example, stuff that's played with mallets like a marimba. Or concert percussion. So it seems to me that a percussionist really needs to be able to play matched, and if he/she can also do traditional, then so much the better. But matched should be the first choice.
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:26 PM
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Heck no, it's not beginner stuff! More like challenging for the intermediate, even at slower tempos.

The warm-up itself is finally demonstrated at 180, right? Once you can do most of the content at, say, 130 or 140, the final push to 180 shouldn't take long. It's the initial practice, the building of muscle memory, the refining of your technique, and just flat out becoming comfortable with the sound and phrasing of the rudiments that takes the most time.
Good to know. I watched a little more tonight and during the Accent Practice Routine, all but one of the guys he was playing with had to tap out.

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Another thing that occurs to me is that there's a whole lot of percussion that's played with sticks where traditional makes no sense, so if you can only play traditional, then that leaves out a whole bunch of percussion options. For example, stuff that's played with mallets like a marimba. Or concert percussion. So it seems to me that a percussionist really needs to be able to play matched, and if he/she can also do traditional, then so much the better. But matched should be the first choice.
That's a good point. But, the fact of the matter is that I'll never play a marimba or any sort of concert percussion. I spend 100% of my drumming time behind a drum set.

Last edited by Bernhard; 07-31-2013 at 12:09 AM. Reason: Edited by Arky: merging consecutive posts
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  #26  
Old 07-30-2013, 11:29 PM
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Default Re: Trad or matched? completely torn here

Ultimately, it doesn't matter which one you use. But some of the arguments for or against either grip (not necessarily on this thread, but in general) seem unfounded.

The fact that matched grip is easier to learn or is more "natural" should not be a factor in developing your playing. An instrument shouldn't be difficult for its own sake, but neither should bringing things down to the lowest common denominator, so as to not 'scare away players'. A student who is serious about drumming with sticks should look at it as a lifetime pursuit. And the main body of work for developing stick technique has been geared toward the snare drum using traditional grip; perfected over centuries. I believe this peculiar grip, developed out of necessity from wearing a sling, influenced the rudiments and phrasing that worked into the drum set technique which we use today. If we had modern harnesses back in medieval times through the beginning of the last century, I believe the rudiments and phrasing would be totally different. Especially 2nd line drumming.

Now that those phrases are out there, you can certainly play them using matched grip. Maybe even more efficiently. But efficiency and symmetry should not be the deciding factor in how to learn music. There are plenty who disagree, have only played matched and play matched grip with great technique and feeling. But again, they're playing phrases that were rooted in a completely different grip. Since you are torn between the two, I'd suggest learning traditional grip with a qualified teacher. Once you learn that, you can always switch to matched if you feel the need. It might take a few weeks or months to get comfortable, but you won't need anyone to show you how to do it. Just make sure the left hand mirrors the right. It would be much harder to switch from matched to traditional.

As far as traditional grip leading to injury; that's where you need to learn from a qualified teacher. It's an awkward grip to begin with and playing it repetitively with bad technique will lead to physical problems over time. A number of great players have switched from traditional to matched for a number of reasons. Many because of injuries allegedly from playing traditional grip for decades. It could be that grip combined with their physiology caused the problem. Or bad posture overlooked as a culprit because their hands were fine. Or a slight flaw in their left hand technique, overlooked because their overall set technique was great. Some players just wanted a change and switching technique certainly gets you to think about your playing differently.

In turn, learning traditional grip will get you to think about playing with a certain mindset and respect. And you will best be served by learning this grip from a qualified teacher. He or she should be able to help you work out the awkwardness so that you feel in complete control of the stick. Later, if you decide to switch to matched, you won't need anyone to show you how to do it.
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:15 AM
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Default Re: Trad or matched? completely torn here

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Ultimately, it doesn't matter which one you use. But some of the arguments for or against either grip (not necessarily on this thread, but in general) seem unfounded.
My reason is simple: Because I want to. Being "close" to similar quality of technique with both hands, I've found certain mechanical advantages to both grips for different purposes but when I realized that I could hit backbeats just as hard, get consistent rim shots, just as easily and have some facility with trad that I don't have with matched (unless I sit on a pad for long periods of time to get it there, which I don't have time to do), it was a no-brainer to use trad for most stuff. I find myself getting in "modes" where I'll want to go back to matched for certain things, but mainly I like the motion and the feeling. Simple as that.
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:50 AM
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Default Re: Trad or matched? completely torn here

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That's a good point. But, the fact of the matter is that I'll never play a marimba or any sort of concert percussion. I spend 100% of my drumming time behind a drum set.
You're just begging for someone to validate you and say play traditional grip here, aren't you? We're just going round and round a very long mountain for no real reason....your mind is made up. That much is evident. I reckon it was berfore this thread was started.

Go on mate. Have at it. Trad grip to your hearts content :-)
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:51 AM
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Default Re: Trad or matched? completely torn here

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Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
You're just begging for someone to validate you and say play traditional grip here, aren't you? We're just going round and round a very long mountain for no real reason....your mind is made up. That much is evident. I reckon it was berfore this thread was started.

Go on mate. Have at it. Trad grip to your hearts content :-)
Actually it was quite the opposite. I was hoping to hear a resounding "NO! Do NOT keep playing traditional!" Matched is what I played for so long. Tried traditional just as an experiment and, with nothing more than some YouTube demos to guide me, my hands just took a liking to it. It's so weird.

But what works...works. I'm just completely dumbfounded as to why it came so naturally to me.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:08 AM
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Default Re: Trad or matched? completely torn here

I don't think it's that weird, trad is a cool grip, it feels good to hold the stick like that and to play like that. I use both grips, my matched is better than my trad at some things and vice-versa.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:39 AM
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Default Re: Trad or matched? completely torn here

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Originally Posted by Numberless View Post
I use both grips, my matched is better than my trad at some things and vice-versa.
Same here. I think the difference between both grips is getting smaller with time, at least that's what I'm working on. I try to identify what it is that is harder with one grip and would then work on that thing for better grip balance.
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:26 AM
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Default Re: Trad or matched? completely torn here

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Originally Posted by uniongoon View Post
I just read the Dave Weckl interview in Drumhead magazine. He is of the belief traditional grip has done internal damage to his hand, and he cites other old pros with the same ailments. I play matched, after reading that, with all my physical injuries, I am glad I do play matched.
I just read the same article and I encourage anyone with an interest in this topic to do the same. It is a truthful discussion on the topic from a top top pro who has been using the grip for decades. Really eye-opening.
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: Trad or matched? completely torn here

Just looking at the physics, it would seem to me that trad grip is not so well suited to heavy backbeat playing, or at least it would put a great load on the left thumb. Can't imagine there's too many pain issues with trad grip for acoustic jazz drummers.
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Old 07-31-2013, 03:41 PM
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  #34  
Old 07-31-2013, 07:02 PM
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Default Re: Trad or matched? completely torn here

I want to add that just as there are variations in matched grip (French tympani, German, American, etc.) there are variations in traditional. A couple of examples include having your thumb arched back pinching the middle of the forefinger and playing with your thumb on top of the stick.

Pipe Band drummers play with the left thumb on top of the stick because it helps playing buzzes and dead sticking. Sometime the index (fore) finger adds a slight bit of control for dead sticking and sometimes you'll do a run of singles that incorporates alternations of the thumb and forefinger on top of the stick. If we tried to play buzz rolls with our thumb off of the stick, just using the forefinger, it would sound very uneven compared to the lead hand as well as putting an inordinate amount of strain on the forefinger.

And the thumb on top of the stick allows is a greater range of motion within traditional grip. If you play with the thumb off the stick, I think you'd be hard pressed to get the stick to rotate more than 60-80 from the drum head, unless you pull your elbow into your side or mid section. With my thumb on top of the stick, I can easily get 120 of motion without repositioning my arm, as the base of the thumb acts as a hinge.

Are there fewer muscles with that grip compared to matched? I would imagine so; I don't know biomechanics. But the muscles controlling the thumb are powerful. When needed, a snap from there is every bit as loud as a snap from my right hand. That power isn't spread out among four fingers but again, I can alternate open strokes between my thumb and forefinger.

Just another perspective on this. And I'll add that there are plenty of matched grip Pipe Band drummers out there, so I look at this as just an interesting discussion, rather than a dogmatic approach.
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: Trad or matched? completely torn here

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Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
I want to add that just as there are variations in matched grip (French tympani, German, American, etc.) there are variations in traditional. A couple of examples include having your thumb arched back pinching the middle of the forefinger and playing with your thumb on top of the stick.

Pipe Band drummers play with the left thumb on top of the stick because it helps playing buzzes and dead sticking. Sometime the index (fore) finger adds a slight bit of control for dead sticking and sometimes you'll do a run of singles that incorporates alternations of the thumb and forefinger on top of the stick. If we tried to play buzz rolls with our thumb off of the stick, just using the forefinger, it would sound very uneven compared to the lead hand as well as putting an inordinate amount of strain on the forefinger.

And the thumb on top of the stick allows is a greater range of motion within traditional grip. If you play with the thumb off the stick, I think you'd be hard pressed to get the stick to rotate more than 60-80 from the drum head, unless you pull your elbow into your side or mid section. With my thumb on top of the stick, I can easily get 120 of motion without repositioning my arm, as the base of the thumb acts as a hinge.

Are there fewer muscles with that grip compared to matched? I would imagine so; I don't know biomechanics. But the muscles controlling the thumb are powerful. When needed, a snap from there is every bit as loud as a snap from my right hand. That power isn't spread out among four fingers but again, I can alternate open strokes between my thumb and forefinger.

Just another perspective on this. And I'll add that there are plenty of matched grip Pipe Band drummers out there, so I look at this as just an interesting discussion, rather than a dogmatic approach.
Very good points! Sadly, while you have names for all the variations of matched, we only have one primary name for "traditional", yet if you take 10 trad players, you're going to find 10 slightly different approaches.

You have: Buddy Rich, Jack DeJohnnette, Tony Williams, Vinnie Colaiuta on drum kit and then you have pipe drumming guys like Jim Kilpatrick and his illustrious teacher Alex Duthart, who have a very different approach as you said.

I personally find I get the best combination of power and control for drumset playing, from having thumb sticking upward, squeezing slightly against the stick, a la Vinnie, as opposed to the closed thumb approach of Buddy or the on-the-stick thumb method of the aforementioned pipe band guys. Jack DeJohnette, for example, uses almost entirely the crotch of the hand between the thumb and forefinger to manipulate the stick and virtually never uses his fingers. Tony Williams had his hand sideways with the stick nearly straight down his arm, like an extension which is very different from the "classical" approach to the grip. As a teacher, I'm thinking of creating some educational material to differentiate these differences.
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Old 07-31-2013, 10:00 PM
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Default Re: Trad or matched? completely torn here

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As a teacher, I'm thinking of creating some educational material to differentiate these differences.
That's a great idea. And a good point made about all the variations of matched grip having names, yet traditional is just "traditional".

Just like people say that they change from German grip to French grip when they're hitting the ride cymbal, for example, I feel like my traditional grip changes when I go from the snare to the tom-toms. It would be great to see somebody really go into depth about how the mechanics within traditional grip change around the drum set.
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: Trad or matched? completely torn here

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Originally Posted by JohnW View Post

Are there fewer muscles with that grip compared to matched? I would imagine so; I don't know biomechanics..
From the 2nd issue of Modern Drummer magazine (1977) - yes, this has been a topic for a long time: They quote from a Percussive Arts Society article from 1967 - ''...Traditional uses 4 muscles - matched, 13..."

John, that's interesting when you mentioned how rudiments and playing styles developed years ago around Traditional grip, I never really thought of it that way... But looking forward - music, playing styles and the drum kit itself are changing - and I think matched and its variations will continue to be the dominant grip.
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:24 AM
JohnW JohnW is offline
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Default Re: Trad or matched? completely torn here

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Originally Posted by Ian Ballard View Post
Sadly, while you have names for all the variations of matched, we only have one primary name for "traditional", yet if you take 10 trad players, you're going to find 10 slightly different approaches.
Well here's one name to add to it, Ian- I've heard a variation of the traditional grip you use called 'the Bobby Thompson grip'. In the 1950's there was a guy named Les Parks (and later with Bobby Thompson) who took the left handed grip and added the pinky curled into the palm. Here's a video that explains it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_SkL...ature=youtu.be

Marty Hurley (a prominent snare educator) used this grip but I believe he arched his left thumb back, as well as curling the pinky. I think 8mile is pretty well versed in this technique; he should chime in on this.

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Originally Posted by cornelius View Post
From the 2nd issue of Modern Drummer magazine (1977) - yes, this has been a topic for a long time: They quote from a Percussive Arts Society article from 1967 - ''...Traditional uses 4 muscles - matched, 13..."
Of course being a smart aleck- another way to look at it is with Trad you only need 4 muscles to do the work of 13! Now I'll have to join PAS and get that article...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cornelius View Post
John, that's interesting when you mentioned how rudiments and playing styles developed years ago around Traditional grip, I never really thought of it that way... But looking forward - music, playing styles and the drum kit itself are changing - and I think matched and its variations will continue to be the dominant grip.
This is only my musing, cornelius. There are a lot of factors that went into developing rudiments. They were originally meant to convey signals to move troops and be heard over long distances; especially over the sounds of battle. Some of these signals formed coded messages, which meant drummers were targets and had a shortened life expectancy on the battlefield, or a terrible fate if captured! And I think the delivery method of these messages (a "Moeller", whipping motion combined with an asymmetrical grip) developed these patterns. The grip itself wasn't the only factor, but I believe it played a significant part.

But yes, I think you're right. Matched grip goes hand in hand with changing styles, expansive drum sets and will continue to dominate.
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Last edited by JohnW; 08-01-2013 at 04:34 PM. Reason: Added parentheses for clarity.
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  #39  
Old 08-01-2013, 06:19 PM
cornelius cornelius is offline
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Default Re: Trad or matched? completely torn here

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Of course being a smart aleck- another way to look at it is with Trad you only need 4 muscles to do the work of 13! Now I'll have to join PAS and get that article...
LOL
BTW, the author of the '67 PAS article was Gene Pollart...
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:58 AM
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Default Re: Trad or matched? completely torn here

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Originally Posted by uniongoon View Post
I just read the Dave Weckl interview in Drumhead magazine. He is of the belief traditional grip has done internal damage to his hand, and he cites other old pros with the same ailments. I play matched, after reading that, with all my physical injuries, I am glad I do play matched.
I know this to be true...After playing trad for about five years, a specialized chiropractor told me I had jarred(bent) my ulna and radius from playing trad palm up...thats what I think about with Dave Weckl who has more of a palm up trad...
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