When I look at pictures of great drummers- John Bohnam, Jon Theodore, Aaron Spears, Virgil Donati, they don't usually have that space between their thumb and forefinger open, and yet, everyone touts that as being a must. Why? I don't think it's that important. When you're hitting hard, it's nearly impossible. I mean, Carlock has an insanely loose grip, and he pounds those things, but for most of us, closing that gap and holding the stick right in there seems like the more comfortable and natural thing to do. The reason why I am so concerned is that for years, I've been purposely trying to keep it open and hold my stick at the first knuckle in my forefinger, even though I don't want, and I don't feel that I get as good of rebound as when I just hold at the second knuckle and what seems more natural to me, and what I grew up playing with. I'm just confused. I force myself to hold my sticks the way 'they tell' me I should, but I want to be a better drummer, but I'm not so sure anymore. Does anyone has any thoughts on this? thanks.