I'm just finding this out NOW?!!!!!

someguy01

Gold Member
This is a super interesting thread. Unfortunately, the Willet link is no good anymore so I can't read the article. I think I know what the discussion is about, but I need a visual aid to fully understand. Guess I'll have to subscribe to Bill's site when funds allow.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
This is a super interesting thread. Unfortunately, the Willet link is no good anymore so I can't read the article. I think I know what the discussion is about, but I need a visual aid to fully understand. Guess I'll have to subscribe to Bill's site when funds allow.

The Rudimental Logic DVD spells it out, if you can find that.
 

pocket player

Junior Member
I'm basically a self taught drum hobbyist. My regular gig is at a church that I've been playing at since 2004. I got my first snare drum (a toy) at about 5 years old, back in 1970 or 71, and have been playing ever since. Not once have I ever come across this tip that I saw last week. It has to do with gripping the stick. I'm sure some of you know of it. And I see (only NOW!) on videos that many of "the greats" have been using it.

I'm one of those people who hates to practice, unless it's something I really want to learn or get better at. Then I'll put in the time. Because of that "poor attitude", I look for simple and easy methods or techniques to help get better without a ton of practice. In the June 2020 Modern Drummer is an article by Bill Bachman entitled "Technique Vs. Musicality". He said something that at first I thought was too easy. I didn't really believe I would notice a difference when I tried it. Was I wrong!

Bachman has a few tips to improve "musicality, time and groove." There was one particular thing I had never heard before that immediately stuck out to me. So I had to try it. He said at one point "I've watched many students greatly improve their musicality, time and groove within minutes simply by modifying their technique." (Italics and underline are mine)

The one thing that was new to me was taking the index finger off the stick. Using a palm down/German style grip, keep the first finger off to the side of the stick. He recognizes that there will be times when you will put the index finger on the stick. But in most regular tempos, he recommends keeping the first finger off to the side instead of under the stick. I'm thinking this is just too simple to make a difference.

I go to my practice kit and start trying this method. I immediately noticed that my kit sounded better. The drums, the cymbals, the overall sound just became nicer, right off the bat. I realized that keeping the index finger under or on the stick somewhat chokes the stick itself and slightly chokes the instrument that you are striking. At first I'm thinking that maybe I'm just imagining it.

After playing on my practice kit for several days now using this grip, I realized that the type of stick I'm using has more of its own personality/quality coming through. Since the first finger is no longer restricting the stick as much, I can hear a bigger difference in the sticks as I change from one pair to another.

Anyway, the more I kept thinking about this, I was kind of getting a bit angry. First at myself for not experimenting or researching grips all these decades. But then I was thinking about all those hundreds of videos and articles and books I've seen over the years and never saw, heard or read anyone mention this. It's possible that some may have mentioned it and I just missed it.

Soooo, I started looking around on the web to see who else talks about this. I found the following article. After reading it, I was surprised to see that this is a somewhat controversial topic. Thank you both, Mr. Bachman and Mr. Wittet.


good information, think in contrast to this and should be mentioned ,i heard Jim chapin say he was taught by MR Moller to hold the stick like you are holding a baby bird,not to tight to squeeze it ,but enough to control it,this has helped me alot. i will try more and more the method with the index finger to the side.thanks for sharing
 

Paul Blood

Junior Member
It makes sense to me that the middle finger makes a natural fulcrum point, but It seems really hard to play drums without the index finder having contact with stick as the OP stated. am I missing something? any videos and photos of what this grip should look like?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
@larryace


I’m wondering if you still recommend learning his way. When I saw his video, I thought he controlled the stick from the last two fingers and then didn’t need a fulcrum at all. I assumed he controlled it completely from the ring and pinky fingers and the rest of the hand supported it. I’d like to get more detailed information on it if you know links to suggest. (I’m assuming that you still think it is very useful)

Thanks
Most definitely. I mean c'mon, Tony Williams. All the fastest jazz guys play from their ring and pinky from what I can see. The fulcrum is still a thing, but now it's just a pivot point instead of my "engine".
 

Ruok

Silver Member
any videos and photos of what this grip should look like?
Check out Steve Gadd in the Up Close video. You will see him use it frequently with the right hand, since he uses mostly the traditional grip in the video. You will see his index finger on the side of the stick with palm down quite a bit.


To clarify, the first finger still touches the side of the stick slightly, but it won't prohibit the up and down movement of the stick. I'm not sure if I was giving the impression that the first finger is totally off the stick.
 
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Ruok

Silver Member
I’m looking at his right hand and do not see his other fingers snapping to move the drum stick. So, does this correspond to the Tony Williams style discussion of holding the stick by the ring and pinky fingers, and then moving the stick from there?

Since the index is relaxed and drooping, what is he using to move the stick?

He does use fingers when playing the ride cymbal.

Great questions, beet. To answer truthfully, I have absolutely no idea.
 
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