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  #1  
Old 04-05-2013, 06:45 AM
grasshopper22 grasshopper22 is offline
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Default Left hand fulcrum woes

I guess you could say I'm an "older player" who got a late start. 37 now and I started playing seriously about 3 years ago. I'm trying to improve my drumming from the ground up, which of course means a fair amount of rudiments on a practice pad. I don't have a teacher and at this moment cannot afford one. In between jobs right now. The only instruction I've had is Tommy Igoe's "Great Hands for Life" DVD, which I love btw.
Anyway, MY QUESTION relates to the "bottleneck" I've hit because of poor left hand technique. In particular I'm having trouble with my left hand fulcrum. I play match grip by the way and I'm not interested in learning traditional grip. I can play left hand singles on a pad and maintain my fulcrum and get a nice bounce going. But for some reason when it comes to doubles and accents my left hand fulcrum falls apart. I can't seem to get the stick to stay in the pocket, so to speak. So, consequently I'm not getting the proper rebound stroke with my left hand doubles. The stick will bounce a little off to the side or there won't be enough power to get the same kind of bounce my right hand can perform.

What seems weird is that I don't have this problem at all with my right hand. Great singles and really nice, fluid doubles and accents with the right hand. My right hand grip creates a nice fulcrum that doesn't move around. It feels solid. The stick stays in my grip where I want it to be and doesn't move around other than to pivot up and down like the fulcrum of a lever. I try and recreate this same grip with my left hand but to my consternation it won't sit right when changing dynamics or stroke types(between doubles and singles or adding accents).
The problem is really pronounced when I try both hands individually on a surfance that has almost no rebound like a pillow or mattress. The left hand dies like a lame duck but the right hand I have enough control of the stick to get the correct range of motion.

Anyway, sorry for being long winded. I know I'm not the only one whose run into this debilitating and frustrating problem. I thought more practice time was what was needed but Its been a couple of years now. Granted not practicing every day, but if you add it all together I've probably put in 4-6 months of daily practice with this stuff on a pad. Surely, I should be able to get a decent double stroke roll going at 120-130 bpm by now!
Any tips would be so so welcomed! I love drumming so much and I dream of being able to perform fluid and fast rudiments like I see others playing. I think its the coolest thing in the world.
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  #2  
Old 04-05-2013, 07:50 AM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: Left hand fulcrum woes

Remember that part in Great Hands where he says that he's making lots of minor, small adjustments to his grip as he's playing? Start doing that with your left. Watch that fulcrum, and get it back as soon as you can, hopefully without stopping the exercise or playing. Eventually you'll learn to retain the fulcrum positioning as you play, but the muscles in your left hand and fingers need time and experience to develop and strengthen. Your right hand has a more developed musculature and nervous system, from years of opening doors, writing, brushing teeth, etc. No real way to get your left hand up to speed than to simply practice the left hand more. I would recommend brushing teeth, eating, and doing other tasks left-handed, simply to engage those muscles and neurons.

rills and exercises where the right and left play exactly the same thing, in unison, are of great use, because you can directly compare the feel and positioning of your right to your left.

If you're not already, practice in front of a mirror. You might notice your left elbow sticking out, or a difference in your shoulders or posture, which could certainly hamper your left hand ability and grace. Good luck!
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:34 AM
EvilDrummer EvilDrummer is offline
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Default Re: Left hand fulcrum woes

Great hands of a lifetime is good because it gets you started playing correctly and not dig into the pad but sort of bounce the stick like a ball. However it has a major flaw. He tells you to play a downstroke on the last note so the hand that is not playing is resting an inch off the pad. This is correct when playing stuff with accents but when ever practicing anything with one stick height you should let the stick bounce back up by it self. Start and stop the stick at a 90 degree angle. It's important because it proves that your hands are loose and that there is enough velocity to let the stick bounce back up on it's own.

If you let the stick bounce back by it's own you will advance much, much, much faster than starting and stopping the stick. Especially on double strokes. Double strokes should be two free strokes when playing slow and then when you can't play two identical free strokes as you speed up it should be a free stroke using mostly wrist and the second is free stroke using mostly fingers. This will come automatically as you speed up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brentcn View Post
rills and exercises where the right and left play exactly the same thing, in unison, are of great use, because you can directly compare the feel and positioning of your right to your left.
I agree, however it's important that your hands are operating independently when practicing that stuff. For instance if you are playing RRRRUUUULLLL and so on (U means unison) the hands need to be thinking by them selves. When playing RRRRUUUU the right hand must never change. It should be like playing RRRRRRRR. Same goes for the left. The hands need to play like they are unaware of eachother. A good thing is to play the leading hand on the pad and the "slave" hand on your thigh and listen so the leading hand sounds identical all the time.

It should not be like: ok now I'm playing right hand, ok now it's time to play both hands together get ready. You know what I mean?
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:50 PM
toddbishop toddbishop is offline
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Default Re: Left hand fulcrum woes

I'm not sure you can get there without practicing every day, if as you say, you only have six months total of practicing in three years of playing, that has you practicing once every six days, which is definitely not going to cut it. I don't know what's in the video, because I've never seen it, but if you were my student I would get you working on developing an effective wrist-only technique, where you learn to actually pick up the stick rather than rely on rebound to do half of your job for you.
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  #5  
Old 04-05-2013, 06:27 PM
eddypierce eddypierce is offline
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Default Re: Left hand fulcrum woes

Here are some suggestions of things I might try:

1. Get the book "Stick Control" by George Lawrence Stone
2. Practice the first three pages (the Single beat exercises) using full strokes and half strokes. I'd recommend doing this at least 30 minutes a day, every day (or at least 5 days a week). Practice each exercise at least a minute apiece, but you can practice them for much longer, too (3, 5 or 10+ minutes each). You can also try practicing the single roll or double roll exercises if you feel comfortable with them.
3. Practice VERY slowly at first. Like quarter note=50 or less (for the full strokes, at least--you can practice half strokes faster as long as your playing them very precisely and relaxed). Focus on making the strokes as perfectly as possible. This is very important.

This is just one idea out of many that will get you results, but I practiced these exercises when I was first starting out (and I still do to this day, after drumming for around 25+ years), and they benefitted my hands greatly.

Here's a helpful video by Danny Gottlieb on executing full strokes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tI2ODPVBvqI
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  #6  
Old 04-06-2013, 11:03 PM
EvilDrummer EvilDrummer is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddbishop View Post
but if you were my student I would get you working on developing an effective wrist-only technique, where you learn to actually pick up the stick rather than rely on rebound to do half of your job for you.
I'd say that's the absolute opposite to what he should do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grasshopper22 View Post
What seems weird is that I don't have this problem at all with my right hand. Great singles and really nice, fluid doubles and accents with the right hand. My right hand grip creates a nice fulcrum that doesn't move around. It feels solid. The stick stays in my grip where I want it to be and doesn't move around other than to pivot up and down like the fulcrum of a lever. I try and recreate this same grip with my left hand but to my consternation it won't sit right when changing dynamics or stroke types(between doubles and singles or adding accents).
The finger adder exercise will solve any type of grip issue or sticks sliding issues. Basically you start and stop with the stick at above 90 degrees and do free strokes but you start with a measure of 8th notes only using the first finger. Then you add the next finger and play a measure and then add the next finger and so on. It should feel and sound the same as you add fingers. 90-100 BPM. When you get comfortable with it after a few weeks maybe you can speed it up and lower the stick heights but the stick should always start and stop at the same height.

Last edited by Bernhard; 04-08-2013 at 08:56 AM. Reason: Edited by Arky: merging consecutive posts
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  #7  
Old 04-08-2013, 08:28 AM
EzDrumLessons EzDrumLessons is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Milano
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Default Re: Left hand fulcrum woes

Hi all!

Yes, you have to pratice everyday and stick control is a very good book.

I've learned a lot playing pop-rock groove in the open-handled mode

check http://www.ezdrumlessons.com/coordin...k-ambidextrous
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