I finally discovered...


"Uncle Larry"
LEADING....with my pinky.

I play matched grip, and I always motivated the stick with a combination of my index and middle finger, against my thumb.

The music I play doesn't really require more than this.

After watching a Tony Williams video, he said how in his opinion, the best players play from the back of their hand.

I've always espoused getting the pinky involved, but I never thought to lead with the pinky. I always knew that the pinky was where to go for flat out speed, but I never really fully embraced it. So I decided to give it a try and went to work on altering my technique, leading with my pinky finger.

It feels weird. I like it. Pinky shocks in the beginning as the pinky muscles and tendons adapt to the new stresses. But it found it's way into my gig playing already, after what, a week of practicing?

I think I will finally be able to get the lawnmower singles I've always coveted. With a bunch of time spent, naturally. I always hit a ceiling of around 700 BPM prior, leading with the front of my hand. Not that I could do 700 for a whole minute, but like 10 seconds maybe lol. That's almost 12 beats a second. I hope to get to 900, 15 beats a second someday. For 10 seconds at least. I really shouldn't have to play a roll that fast for more than 10 seconds, right?

This is just for me. I want that ability..

I am only sharing this because I wish someone had told me about playing from the back of the hand right from the very beginning.
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Senior Member
I usually do this Odd-Arne (alternate a slow/moderate single stroke with each finger in the back/under grip if that makes sense), when I’m practicing but don’t seem to try when I’m playing. It just felt more of an exercise than technique. Thanks for confirming the application to actual.

Thanks Larry for sharing experience in your post!

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
1) Choking up on the stick for various soft ride playing.
2) Tony's signature singles.
3) Might be different for different people, but trying to play the O-TT hats like "Fred" in that tempo gripping with the pinky certainly helped me.

There are so many options when it comes to technique. I personally don't really use index finger fulcrum for anything but the mot obvious things. It's one of those things that looking on top of the hand you can't really tell what people are doing.

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
The highest speed is really in the front of the hand, but you can’t get much volume playing there at high speed. Fairly high speed that’s also loud is easiest from the middle or back of the hand. In my experience.


Silver Member
We play absolutely flat out for 3/4 an hour in our set. The older i get (52) the more I learn to make my life easier so have adapted my style. I will use my Middle & 3rd finger to "Bounce" the sticks in my hands now which helps tremendously :)


Silver Member
Sanford Moller wrote a drum method book. His grip was with the pinky. Yes that Moller guy


Senior Member
Hey Larry ... how do you measure the speed of your singles? I have no idea where I might be at.


"Uncle Larry"
Hey Larry ... how do you measure the speed of your singles? I have no idea where I might be at.
I have a clock with a second hand. While doing singles, if one of my hands plays 6 notes in the space of one second, that means with 2 hands I'm doing 12 beats a second...just for that second. It's close enough for rock and roll.