Buddy Rich playing match grip

Seafroggys

Silver Member
This video gets posted a lot at different drum communities. This is one of the most egregious examples of Appeal from Authority I have ever heard. Nothing that Buddy is talking about makes any freaking sense. He sounds like OJ trying to put the glove on. Making an easy task seem overly difficult.

He's wrong here. End of the line. His logic makes no sense. Just because its Buddy, doesn't mean he's right.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Buddy was notorious for his unilateral statements on all things drumming. I've always found his semi-insolence rather entertaining. He sometimes capitalized on his greatness by treating it as a pass to stake out extreme positions. Such tactics lent color to his image in my opinion.

I used traditional grip periodically in my early days as a drummer but haven't done so in over thirty years now. Matched grip has always been more practical to me. For some players, traditional grip is just that -- a celebration of tradition. There's nothing wrong with that sentiment. The method that appeals to you is the one you should champion.
 

Al Strange

Well-known member
Buddy was notorious for his unilateral statements on all things drumming. I've always found his semi-insolence rather entertaining. He sometimes capitalized on his greatness by treating it as a pass to stake out extreme positions. Such tactics lent color to his image in my opinion.

I used traditional grip periodically in my early days as a drummer but haven't done so in over thirty years now. Matched grip has always been more practical to me. For some players, traditional grip is just that -- a celebration of tradition. There's nothing wrong with that sentiment. The method that appeals to you is the one you should champion.
I love most of his sharp chat show retorts etc but to me he just comes across as bitter and nasty in this...I get that part of his charm was his no-nonsense strong personality but if you read Mel Torme’s book he had a tendency to cross the line sometimes. In my view he’s still the greatest ever to hold a pair of sticks, but I really cringe at this. He had a lovely generous side to him and had an opportunity here to inspire/identify with the next generation. Instead he aggressively smashed them over the head with his superior technique and put them down for being “wrong”. Having said all that I still love the guy... 😂
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
He had a lovely generous side to him and had an opportunity here to inspire/identify with the next generation. Instead he aggressively smashed them over the head with his superior technique and put them down for being “wrong”. Having said all that I still love the guy... 😂
In a Modern Drummer interview back in the '70s, Buddy was asked what advice he had for up-and-coming players. He replied that he had no advice at all, that he never gave advice, and that drummers should learn to make their own decisions. As unsupportive as that renunciation of guidance might be, I find it quite refreshing. Today's society could especially use a dose of that "Figure it out for yourself" mentality. Too many people feel paralyzed without step-by-step instructions, often through an irrational fear of committing errors. There's much to be said for making a complete mess of matters if you learn something through your own folly. Internet searches never reveal the hidden truths of existence. That applies to drumming as well. Sometimes you need to bleed a little to ensure that you don't get cut again.
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
Buddy was notorious for his unilateral statements on all things drumming. I've always found his semi-insolence rather entertaining. He sometimes capitalized on his greatness by treating it as a pass to stake out extreme positions. Such tactics lent color to his image in my opinion.

I used traditional grip periodically in my early days as a drummer but haven't done so in over thirty years now. Matched grip has always been more practical to me. For some players, traditional grip is just that -- a celebration of tradition. There's nothing wrong with that sentiment. The method that appeals to you is the one you should champion.
I'm pretty much echo this. Buddy was such a icon and he was completely aware of it and leaned into being on the pedestal that we all put him on. I love some of his quotes...just love the guy.

However - after playing traditional for like 15 years and switching to matched for the past 10 or so....I feel much more confident with matched grip ....though I do miss the aesthetic of traditional grip....

I know it's a un-fair bias, but every time I see someone playing traditional I immediately think they will be above average.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I know it's a un-fair bias, but every time I see someone playing traditional I immediately think they will be above average.
If I have a grip bias, it's against French grip, the thumbs-up method. As a disciple of German grip (palms down, thumbs on sides of sticks), French grip has always looked bizarre to me, though I know its has its merits. It's just not a technique I'll ever grow accustom to seeing.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I've tried the floor tom on the hi hat side, and I've tried the symmetrical/open-handed setup like Mike Mangini, and I've tried the flip-flop the two high toms like Kenny Aronoff and it's VERY clear to me that my wiring is pretty well set at this point. :D

As for the grip topic I think Buddy's off base on this in general, but it does prove what I believe; We're most comfortable with what we're most used to. Where any of us (including Buddy) can go wrong is when we confuse what's best for us with what's best for everyone...
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Another Buddy tale: When Billy Cobham asked Buddy to sign his snare drum at some music venue, Rich seized the shell and hurled it down a flight of stairs. So much for being star-struck.
 
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