Full arm motions

stevo

Senior Member
I see a lot of drummers use full arm motions, they're all over the place; it seems like such a mis-use of energy? I guess when I play, I try to use minimal motion. I'm not sure of the reason why someone would play that way, other than show? So, is there technique behind this?
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Full arm motion isn't about show and power, It's a way for some drummers (including myself) to keep time and groove. I will use my arm motion much like a conductor of a symphony orchestra to keep me in time so that I can supply groove to a musical piece.
It is almost like dancing with arm motions behind the kit.
Raising my arms gives me time so that I don't rush ahead of the band.
 

LukeSnyder

Gold Member
Full arm motion isn't about show and power, It's a way for some drummers (including myself) to keep time and groove. I will use my arm motion much like a conductor of a symphony orchestra to keep me in time so that I can supply groove to a musical piece.
It is almost like dancing with arm motions behind the kit.
I agree with that assessment, I came to that realization more recently. I used to think it was a waste of energy like the OP, but it definitely makes it easier to keep time if you make larger motions.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
It also helps with The Moeller method to get more hits with one stroke.
I can raise my arm once and get several hits with one stroke when it is called for.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I would show you a video of Dom Famularo at a drum clinic I attended but was asked not to publish it. He uses a lot of arm motion.
 

PeniScott

Silver Member
I can sympathize with the whole keeping time in correlation to erratic arm movements, but that's not why i do it. I keep time by just listening and making sure i know the songs. Since we play all originals, i know them anyway (thankfully).

I move my arms a lot simply for show and, for me at least, it makes the whole thing a lot more fun. When i'm on stage, it's the only time i can really let loose. Whether i'm extremely happy, extremely annoyed or just full of energy drink, i love to throw my arms about the place in a somewhat 'controlled' environment. I certainly can't flail my arms around in the living room, that's for sure!

I do it for show and for fun which works just fine for me.
xoxo
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I can sympathize with the whole keeping time in correlation to erratic arm movements, but that's not why i do it. I keep time by just listening and making sure i know the songs. Since we play all originals, i know them anyway (thankfully).

I move my arms a lot simply for show and, for me at least, it makes the whole thing a lot more fun. When i'm on stage, it's the only time i can really let loose. Whether i'm extremely happy, extremely annoyed or just full of energy drink, i love to throw my arms about the place in a somewhat 'controlled' environment. I certainly can't flail my arms around in the living room, that's for sure!

I do it for show and for fun which works just fine for me.
Yep. It's fun for us, fun for the band and fun for audiences.

Nothing like a bit of ham on the musical pizza (as long as it's free range, of course).
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Agree completely on the fun part. (That *is* why we play, right? At least a big part of it?) I don't NEED to lift my right hand up to shoulder level to lay in the backbeat during that last chorus, but it sure does feel great doing it. Not to mention, it looks great, too... and the audience may come see a band with a motivated, exciting drummer again.
 

Zickosdrummer

Senior Member
I would show you a video of Dom Famularo at a drum clinic I attended but was asked not to publish it. He uses a lot of arm motion.

I've been to one of his clinics and ditto on that. He has a lot of fun but he has a way of making things look harder than they really are. However, If I was that good, I'd do it too.
 

PreppieNerd

Silver Member
There's gotta be a balance.

I attended a Kenny Aronoff clinic and he talked about the energy of motion originating from the core of the body and using natural body movement. That I can agree with, but when newer drummers see stuff like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZRn2iXLdg0 They view the full arm motion as a means and not an end. Technique first, flair on top. If you think you have to move your arms a lot to play well you might end up hurting yourself.
 

stevo

Senior Member
I guess after playing for over 30 years, maybe I should at least try to work this into my playing. I love the way Dave Grohl plays, and he's not the only one who uses this full arm motion style. It just seems like a lot of wasted motion... but it looks cool.
 

denisri

Silver Member
I very much agree with the comment below about the energy and motion from the core of the body. Full arm 90% of the time,wrist 9% and fingers 1%. Just depends on what I'm playing! This approach also reduces the issues associated with motion injuries and I find better time keeping. Denis
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I said this when someone posted about hitting hard, and the concepts are similar.
It's not just about being efficient, it's about creating a certain mood or vibe.

There is a certain excitement level, and musical power that comes from playing hard, which, matches the excitement and power level of a guitar player playing through a loud stack.

I also think hard hitting attracts some people because it satisfies a certain primal instinct, much like some people love to watch football, boxing, wresting, or other sports where hitting hard is factor. Of course, it's not for every much, much like some people prefer to watch golf or cricket, where it's not so "violent."

It's not just drummers, many musicians like playing with hard hitters. Some don't.

Kenny Arnoff is one of the top studio and live drummers today, and he hits extremely hard. There is something about his approach that top artists and producers prefer for the situations that he gets hired for.
 
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