A REVELATION.

Stroman

Platinum Member
How so? Tilting the snare like this allows the stick to be almost parallel to the head/rim. It's something that I picked up from the Jojo Mayer Secret Weapons DVD. Honestly, I think tilting the snare like this is the only way traditional grip would make sense to be used on the drum set, especially if you're trying to get those back beats in.
Carlock tilts his snare away, which makes perfect sense to use with trad and is the angle the grip was developed for.

The guys I was talking about tilt the snare toward them. Opposite of Carlock, Buddy, etc.
 

whitecatcafe

Senior Member
Carlock tilts his snare away, which makes perfect sense to use with trad and is the angle the grip was developed for.

The guys I was talking about tilt the snare toward them. Opposite of Carlock, Buddy, etc.
Ok, sorry... I misunderstood what you wrote.. so you were agreeing with me, yeah. But I guess it would make sense to have the snare at a somewhat neutral angle if you switch between matched and traditional grip a lot, which I think Steve Gadd does quite a bit.
 

feldiefeld

Senior Member
I remember that Tony video too and I agree with everything he says. I also have been following what the prominent players have been doing with their grips (switching to matched).

Lately, I've continued to use both grips. If I play heavy rock, a la Nirvana, etc, then I use matched because of the power I get. When I play more "finesse" required stuff or if I want to solo, I play trad.

It's working for me now...... I fear that the injury thing could be an issue forcing me into matched only, but for now, I find each grip has it's own strengths and weaknesses..... Mostly related to whether significant heavy rock kind of power is required.
 

geezer

Senior Member
New here (lurked for ages). I switched to traditional grip in January after a lifetime of playing matched and I now find traditional grip way more comfortable to use. I've been taking jazz drumming lessons for 2+ years which was one of the things that inspired me to try it out, but I also use it when playing with the indie band I'm in. I'll be possibly joining a second band (punk/post-punk stuff) and may go matched when playing with them, but by and large the majority of the time I prefer to use traditional grip, it feels more natural for me now.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Wow, this thread is really freaking me out. I've been playing traditional grip for about 60 years.

I have been wishing I had started with matched grip long ago.
Now I think I'm too old to switch over.

And here all these drummers are switching to traditional grip!........... Scheese !

.
 

moxman

Silver Member
I learned using trad grip with the snare angled away from you , and it worked well for many, many years playing mostly jazz standards and big band stuff. But when I played mainly rock, I just found I got more power and effortless 'rolling around' the kit and smacking the crash cymbals just seemed more natural with matched. It took me a lot longer to completely switch to matched with the same level of technique that I had with trad grip.. mainly the finer detailed strokes - especially the final strokes of the buzz roll. Even today I can play a better buzz roll using trad (the whip cream roll).. but a small trade off.
I also felt at the time I switched that I'd hit a wall with trad.. when playing hard with trad I felt like it was also hard on my my inner knuckle joints/bones.. never crosses my mind with matched.

I also like the symmetry of matched grip and don't put too much value on the fact that one hand grip is different with trad. I can see where Tony is coming from but different strokes for different folks.. It really boils down to whatever feels right and works for you.
 

Hewitt2

Senior Member
Kind of ironic all these Gruber guys ending up with hand problems.
Well, to paraphrase Gruber, any technique that leads to pain/injury is not an advisable one to continue. He'd be the first to say that persisting with a technique which is causing long-term health issues is a bad idea.

Is it only us drummers who are obsessed with the minutiae of technique; heel up/down, open-handed, how we hold the sticks? Do these things really amount to anything more than personal preference? It is fun to discuss and debate why we chooose to hit drums a certain way but I think we go too far when we start to believe that choosing a certain technique is necessary to achieve a certain sound.

The most sensitive jazzer and heaviest metalhead could draw from the same set of techniques yet translate them to completely different sounds.
 

John Lamb

Senior Member
I have my snare tilted, kind of like Keith Carlock so I don't have to work that hard for the back beat. If you look at both Steve Gadd and Dave Weckl, you'll notice that their snares aren't tilted as much. I think this might have something to do with it. Keith seems to only play traditional grip.
I'd bet good money this is correct. Trad is designed to play a tilted drum. I
 

John Lamb

Senior Member
I have my snare tilted, kind of like Keith Carlock so I don't have to work that hard for the back beat. If you look at both Steve Gadd and Dave Weckl, you'll notice that their snares aren't tilted as much. I think this might have something to do with it. Keith seems to only play traditional grip.
I'd bet good money this is correct. Trad is designed to play a tilted drum. In order to play a flat drum, you have to dip your shoulder down. When you do this the collarbone presses down on the thoracic outlet, a bundle of nerves, blood vessels, tendons, etc that pass through the underarm and feeds the arm. This can cause thoracic outlet syndrome and cause the symptoms those guys are causing. Check out photos of Gadd et al, and you'll see their shoulders are low (the collar bone should be roughly level with the ground in neutral position.)



Regarding the difference between the two techniques, they aren't really the same. Trad grip relies heavily on elbow rotation from the radioulnar joints, and the wrist is barely used.


Gladstone technique relies heavily on the bending of the wrist, and Moeller distributes the movement relatively evenly across the arm. Moeller is often thought about as elbow powered, but the elbow doesn't move itself in andout - that movement comes from the shoulder ... this also contributes to trad, as does rotation at the shoulder, which is also important in Moeller, but not so much in Gladstone... but I digress)
 

samthebeat

Silver Member
I think if you're experiencing pain, discomfort or injury as a result of what you're doing, then you revise it, adapt it, change it or stop doing it altogether. That goes for anything, up to and including playing traditional grip.

As for the blanket belief that traditional grip is automatically the root cause of problems for every player, in every situation, well I'd have to dispute it. There's been far too many life long players of trad grip who have successfully retired unscathed. The argument is obviously not without merit in some cases, but that doesn't make it an absolute truth either.
I think drumming taking its toll is almost un avoidable when your playing with power. Firstly you can only really comment as you get older. When you're young none of these things are an issue its only as you get older any abuse comes apparent. I think cracking out rim shots with a sticking butting up against bone counts as abuse.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I think drumming taking its toll is almost un avoidable when your playing with power. Firstly you can only really comment as you get older. When you're young none of these things are an issue its only as you get older any abuse comes apparent. I think cracking out rim shots with a sticking butting up against bone counts as abuse.

A few high profile cases tells me that long term injury is possible. But it certainly doesn't make it a rule.
 
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samthebeat

Silver Member
No it doesn't, I think the key thing here is all of these guys play alot of drums. This is really where things like this become a apparent I think. A few hours of trad a week isn't gonna hurt no one, an hour of jogging isn't gonna hurt no one. Its when you start putting 3 hours a day cracks will appear. the thing about trad is that it gets used the same as matched and really its comming from another place physically. All I know from own experience is that I can't beat out rim shots with out pain so I don't. I'm sure I'm not alone.
 

John Lamb

Senior Member
A few high profile cases tells me that long term injury is possible. But it certainly doesn't make it a rule.
A study from Berklee found that 99% of pianists experienced pain that stopped them from practicing at some point.

Accurate numbers on the injury rates of professional musicians are hard to come by, because most musicians don't let others know they've been injured - they could lost their gig, after all. An injured musician is a liability because you can't rely on them. Then, getting injured is an admission of weakness, bad technique, etc that many musicians would prefer to keep to themselves.

That being said, studies generally show that somewhere between 40-70% of pro players get a playing-related injury at some point that keeps them off the bandstand. (I've been researching this for a book I'm writing on the subject now)
 

John Lamb

Senior Member
No it doesn't, I think the key thing here is all of these guys play alot of drums. This is really where things like this become a apparent I think. A few hours of trad a week isn't gonna hurt no one, an hour of jogging isn't gonna hurt no one. Its when you start putting 3 hours a day cracks will appear. the thing about trad is that it gets used the same as matched and really its comming from another place physically. All I know from own experience is that I can't beat out rim shots with out pain so I don't. I'm sure I'm not alone.
Depends on the technique! There are some terrible techniques out there, and I've had total newbie students report pain during the first lesson. Its not uncommon. Really bad technique problems will lead to issues sooner. Smaller problems will take longer to express themselves.

There is a perfectly fine technique for rimshots that doesn't involve deadsticking. The idea is to virtually throw the stick at the drum so that your hand isn't squeezing the stick and thus doesn't accept the vibration + shock (this also improves tone as that vibration is, quite literally, sound so you are muting the drum with each stroke by doing so) Perhaps you could play around with the angle of the snare to make the throw easier to make accurately? just a thought.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Trad grip doesn't make sense for me. And that's what we all have to be true to, ourselves. I started trad and played it for probably 5 years. But I was just a boy then. My left hand was weak enough, then to saddle it with a....non intuitive grip....well in my mind, that made the gap even wider. I wanted even from day 1. Some guys like the concept of right and left being different, and hey, I'm glad for that. Diversity is great. But I wanted machine guns for hands. Still haven't made it yet lol, but I know the goal. It made more sense for me to strive for even-ness. Not that drummers can't sound even with trad, I couldn't sound even with trad. I have to feel even to truly be even.

I was even using 2 different techniques for matched for many years. My dominant hand thumb knuckle would bend, initiating the stroke, while my left hand thumb would be held immovable while the fingers initiated the stroke. I sussed that out about 2 years ago because I still didn't "feel" even. Now I finally "feel" even, and there's light at the end of the tunnel.

Trad does look really cool sometimes, but at the same time sometimes it also looks just slightly clumsy, especially when crashing cymbals. For me it's all about how it feels. It's easier for me to concentrate on 1 technique over 2 hands rather than 2 completely different techniques. It's odd that I play brushes reverse trad, with my right hand doing the trad grip. Whatever, it feels more comfortable for me. They wires stay out of each others way better with 2 radically different approach angles. I'm no brush player, I totally fake it lol.

You have to be true to yourself first. Some guys just feel right with trad, and it shows. I personally don't know how they do it.... but they do it.... and in fine style too.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
A study from Berklee found that 99% of pianists experienced pain that stopped them from practicing at some point.

Accurate numbers on the injury rates of professional musicians are hard to come by, because most musicians don't let others know they've been injured - they could lost their gig, after all. An injured musician is a liability because you can't rely on them. Then, getting injured is an admission of weakness, bad technique, etc that many musicians would prefer to keep to themselves.

That being said, studies generally show that somewhere between 40-70% of pro players get a playing-related injury at some point that keeps them off the bandstand. (I've been researching this for a book I'm writing on the subject now)
This sounds like a very interesting book!
It seems to me that most if not all musical instruments have the potential for causing pain, repetitive motion injury and at least discomfort.

Is there a musical instrument that involves only natural body motions? Maybe the Kazoo.

I'm currently trying to learn how to play guitar, and my left hand hurts because I'm trying to bend my fingers in un-natural ways.

.
 

whitecatcafe

Senior Member
There is a perfectly fine technique for rimshots that doesn't involve deadsticking. The idea is to virtually throw the stick at the drum so that your hand isn't squeezing the stick and thus doesn't accept the vibration + shock (this also improves tone as that vibration is, quite literally, sound so you are muting the drum with each stroke by doing so
Yes, Jojo talks about this in his Secret Weapons for the Modern Drummer Part I DVD, and he explains it very well. By the way John, I have put your Rhythm book on my wishlist, going to get it soon!

Also, you should totally write a book about Traditional versus Matched Grip!
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I'm currently trying to learn how to play guitar, and my left hand hurts because I'm trying to bend my fingers in un-natural ways.
That pain goes away as the dexterity increases. Your hand will fall onto the chords soon enough. How are your finger tips doing?
 
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