Does Trad grip make you "think" differently?

MCS

Member
Played match grip for 10 years, switched to trad for 17 and now back to match for the past 3 due to changing my kit set up.

I find that the different grips made no difference to the way I played at all, no matter what style I'm playing.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I think it does.

I feel like there's a little bit of the chicken vs. egg argument involved with traditional versus matched in terms of the differences. I think the work put in with each grip is the biggest factor, which is why you can get great at doing anything with either.

But I do believe the physical aspect of placing the hand under the stick instead of over is a factor also. I find that holding the left stick in trad puts the range of motion of my left hand right in the "sweet spot" for playing intricate things at low volume, particularly the stuff you need for jazz comping. In some ways, my left hand feels more suited to that than my right. Whereas for pure volume, I feel like having my hand on top of the stick gives me more potential for striking a drum with maximum impact.

I think of it kind of like holding kitchen utensils. I might hold a spoon with my hand on top for maximum effort scooping hard ice cream out of a carton, but then move my hand underneath it when sipping soup out of it. Same thing with using a fork to hold a steak in place while cutting it versus when using it to put food in your mouth. When you play drums, your right and left hands spend a lot more time doing different things than being used in a symmetrical fashion. So having different approaches for the two hands is not that strange. Even within matched grip, you may find that using French grip on the ride cymbal pairs nicely with German or American grip on the snare.

The left hand in trad came to be because of the way snare drums were tilted. But an entire vocabulary for the instrument was developed on drum set using that grip, so again, I think the grip's inherent characteristics (and limitations) may have informed the evolution of how we play today.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I wouldn't say it makes me think differently, but it does feel different. Any thinking difference for me is trying to compensate for the fact that I kind of suck at trad. It doesn't give me personally any new ideas. If anything I have to dumb my playing down because I have poorer execution with trad. So I never use it.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I think it does.

I feel like there's a little bit of the chicken vs. egg argument involved with traditional versus matched in terms of the differences. I think the work put in with each grip is the biggest factor, which is why you can get great at doing anything with either.

But I do believe the physical aspect of placing the hand under the stick instead of over is a factor also. I find that holding the left stick in trad puts the range of motion of my left hand right in the "sweet spot" for playing intricate things at low volume, particularly the stuff you need for jazz comping. In some ways, my left hand feels more suited to that than my right. Whereas for pure volume, I feel like having my hand on top of the stick gives me more potential for striking a drum with maximum impact.

I think of it kind of like holding kitchen utensils. I might hold a spoon with my hand on top for maximum effort scooping hard ice cream out of a carton, but then move my hand underneath it when sipping soup out of it. Same thing with using a fork to hold a steak in place while cutting it versus when using it to put food in your mouth. When you play drums, your right and left hands spend a lot more time doing different things than being used in a symmetrical fashion. So having different approaches for the two hands is not that strange. Even within matched grip, you may find that using French grip on the ride cymbal pairs nicely with German or American grip on the snare.

The left hand in trad came to be because of the way snare drums were tilted. But an entire vocabulary for the instrument was developed on drum set using that grip, so again, I think the grip's inherent characteristics (and limitations) may have informed the evolution of how we play today.
That is a great analogy, sir. ^^^
 

Juniper

Gold Member
Yep, makes me approach things quite a lot differently. My touch is of course completely different, fills are different.
 

MrPockets

Gold Member
1. I look cool when doing it.

2. Doing it makes me look like a pro.

3. I feel like certain types of hits are easier using traditional so I use those more. The asymmetric grip I think does activate the brain differently.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
I learned traditional grip and it's only grip I use. But there are slight variations of it that make me think differently when playing. I learned it playing snare only through middle school band and orchestra, and then in high school moved to marching band, too. In those situations the height of wrist over drum stays very static. But on a set, especially playing derivatives of jazz with blues, I often move my left wrist up way high over the snare and tip of stick sits resting on head and then kinda flip stick up then down. I see a lot of jazz drummers doing this, too. When I do it I think more about how the snare sounds I think of it more as an instrument than a drum if that makes any sense. I sometimes do it on floor tom, too (although I seldom take a floor tom with me to my gigs).
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
Tony Williams thought so... see starting at 25:50....interesting thoughts on the subject...


https://youtu.be/7x5bAyLvzoE
That was thought provoking. He has a very convincing argument about why one should be playing Trad grip. He said not learning Trad grip is like saying you want to learn piano, but you don't want to use the black keys. If you don't want to know Trad grip, you don't want to know all that there is to know about drumming. Interesting....
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
That was thought provoking. He has a very convincing argument about why one should be playing Trad grip. He said not learning Trad grip is like saying you want to learn piano, but you don't want to use the black keys. If you don't want to know Trad grip, you don't want to know all that there is to know about drumming. Interesting....


Weak argument from a strong player IMO, and he said "... but you don't want to use the black keys, or 'something' like that." Even Tony is not sure of what he said there.


I agree two different grips means the brain detects which signal is to/from which hand easier, and these signals for some more easily discernable than natural grip. So, a dyslexic person 'might' have an better time mentally with trad grip.


What most are slow to admit is 'traditional' was never meant for the drum kit, it was adopted, carried over from marching when the drum hung at ones side. Early man thousands of years ago beating on logs did not traditionally use a marching grip.


Marching (traditional) came after matched (natural) grip and was the way people played drums (marching drums) before the drum kit was assembled. At the time of the drum kits invention, marching just happened to be the default grip, unless you lived in the jungle, or Africa, or were an American indian or any people who didn't march with a drum slung on their side.



What we need is a list of these things you can do with a traditional marching grip you can't do with a natural matched gip... the whole vocabulary Tony says in the vid people have played for years with traditional grip, those 'certain things' the mind thinks about differently for trad grip then it does for natural grip.
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
I learned trad grip first as a 13 y/o drum and bugle corp member as the drums were on a strap over the shoulder and using the curved metal guide on the thigh.
Later as I played to other drummers and in bands, I went to matched for the style of music I was playing.

Now I can switch back & forth with equal ability, but I'm careful to choose which to use for the musical style.
 

MJD

Silver Member
I play both but primarily trad. I don't know if it makes one think differently but I can well remember that if you use a traditional strap for your marching snare using matched grip is not a comfortable option. I just feel more comfortable with trad now as my go to grip cause I rarely need to use matched even with the metal band I'm playing in.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
It would make me think differently. Its difficult enough learning new technique and new parts/songs without learning to do two different actions, one with the Left hand and one with the Right. If I had started in a marching band I would have had to learn trad grip from the start, but as I dont play a marching drum the point is moot.
 
Started drumming at age 8, traditional grip all the way, and today at age 52, traditional grip is still my #1 choice.

Does traditional grip make me think differently? Not at all, but the control and smoothness I've achieved through decades of incorporating traditional grip into my practice and play, has more than sold me on the style, to a point where I'll never give it up.
I agree . I’m about same age .But only the other way around . Started playing around age 10 and am now 51. I self taught until I was 14( matched grip) at which time my parents realized I had more talent and proficiency at drums than the clarinet I had been playing since first grade with lessons. Teacher tried to switch me over to traditional for a bit but thankfully gave up on that . He was just as good at both . I did also practice traditional for quite some years and then on and off over the years , but could never master or even become at all proficient . It felt awkward and foreign to me even with a lot of practice . I wish I could do it as I always thought I was missing out on something, but after playing all these years and watching others I’ve realized there’s not much I can’t do with matched as opposed to traditional. So no argument over witch one from me . If you can play both great, but it comes down to comfort for using either . I could see how it would make a player approach things differently on the kit and change the thought process . But when I sit down and try and use it , it makes me think only one thing ....... I SUCK !!!!! Lol . But I still give it some time here and there, just .... because .
 

Stroker

Platinum Member
I agree . I’m about same age .But only the other way around . Started playing around age 10 and am now 51. I self taught until I was 14( matched grip) at which time my parents realized I had more talent and proficiency at drums than the clarinet I had been playing since first grade with lessons. Teacher tried to switch me over to traditional for a bit but thankfully gave up on that . He was just as good at both . I did also practice traditional for quite some years and then on and off over the years , but could never master or even become at all proficient . It felt awkward and foreign to me even with a lot of practice . I wish I could do it as I always thought I was missing out on something, but after playing all these years and watching others I’ve realized there’s not much I can’t do with matched as opposed to traditional. So no argument over witch one from me . If you can play both great, but it comes down to comfort for using either . I could see how it would make a player approach things differently on the kit and change the thought process . But when I sit down and try and use it , it makes me think only one thing ....... I SUCK !!!!! Lol . But I still give it some time here and there, just .... because .
Adopting a grip that's comfortable and works for your style of playing is what it's all about. Learning the basics of either/or is simple, but when traditional grip comes together, there's something about it that feels magical when you truly get it.
 
Adopting a grip that's comfortable and works for your style of playing is what it's all about. Learning the basics of either/or is simple, but when traditional grip comes together, there's something about it that feels magical when you truly get it.
I’ll just have to take your word on that . And I do believe you . In the back of my strange mind I guess I must think that also ,....... It must be the reason I’ve kept trying lol !
 
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