Is German/American/French Grip dead?

Chopstix44

Active Member
Hey, I wanna discuss something with you, I’ve seen especially with Germanys and Austrian Drummers but also sometimes with American Drummers too and something I’ve been introduced into several times in my musical education, so this may be rather a topic for intermediate+ drummers who are taking lessons, took lessons and/or teaching intermediate - professional drummers (everyone is welcome of course!).

As for myself: I’m an intermediate drummer and teacher (beginners to slight intermediate only as of yet!).

What I’m speaking about is the so called
„Back Hold Grip“.

You can see it with drummers like:
Timur Salincakli, Andy Horst, Frank Dapper, Jan Turk, Mario Meruna, Alberto Atalah and Dirk Erchinger just to name a few.

I’m not to sure about it, but whenever Rob Brown switches to Matched Grip you can see it with him as well, I guess.

The Stick is held between Thumb and middle finger and the index finger is loosely wrapped around the stick.

I realize, that German, American and French Grip are more and more less seen and that it is required more and more to learn the Back Hold Grip, which should once mastered, help to play faster and relaxed.

Is anyone here using it and what is your experience?
Did you experience soreness in your index and how long did it take till you weren’t sore while or after playing with the Back Hold Grip?

How many of you are still using German/matched and French grip?
 
I’ve never heard of it referred to as the “back hold grip.” I’ve heard it referred to as using a middle finger fulcrum. When I was playing classical music, it was the grip that a lot of snare drummers played, as it allows a smoother execution of orchestral rolls and greater finesse during quiet passages. Even my college professor used it.

But, no, the other grips aren’t “dead.” Drummers still obsess over them.
 
I use a sort of French grip with my right. It's mostly thumb up, but there is still a fair amount of wrist involvement. I can play, especially accents, with my palm down, but mostly gravitate towards palm kind of inward. I injured my wrist years ago and discovered I have more control and endurance using French. With palm down, my right wrist (back of the hand specifically) fatigues quite quickly.

My left hand is traditional grip 99% of the time.
 
I’ve never heard of it referred to as the “back hold grip.” I’ve heard it referred to as using a middle finger fulcrum. When I was playing classical music, it was the grip that a lot of snare drummers played, as it allows a smoother execution of orchestral rolls and greater finesse during quiet passages. Even my college professor used it.

But, no, the other grips aren’t “dead.” Drummers still obsess over them.
That’s interesting.
 
I always thought middle finger fulcrum (what I think you mean by back hold grip) was a variation on German grip.

Unless you're talking about the grip people use when rimshotting. That's basically using your back fingers to stabilize the stick (since rimshots produce no rebound).
 
I use the both depending on which hand is hitting which drum or cymbal. Just think of which way if more comfortable on your wrist. I try to minimize arm movement.

Fingers move faster than wrists which move faster than elbows which move faster than shoulders.
 
I’ve never heard of it referred to as the “back hold grip.” I’ve heard it referred to as using a middle finger fulcrum. When I was playing classical music, it was the grip that a lot of snare drummers played, as it allows a smoother execution of orchestral rolls and greater finesse during quiet passages. Even my college professor used it.

But, no, the other grips aren’t “dead.” Drummers still obsess over them.

we also saw middle finger fulcrum come into the drum corps world in the keyboard lines in the early 2000's, and then some of the battery lines tried it out in the late 2000's. I think most batteries have gone back to more of a front fulcrum and also what I call - and use - the "combo" fulcrum" where it is thumb, index and middle. And this fulcrum is happening "within" American grip in my program.

I think the Amer/Fr/Gr thing is definitely taught in classical/college circles though.
 
That’s what I thought too, but some say it would include Fulcrum too in Ger and Am.

They probably do-- it would be overreaching to claim there's a single official correct version of either thing. The German/French names are borrowed from timpani terminology, American was made up more recently. What's now called German was always just correct hand position for snare drum-- there would be different schools of thought re: the finer points of that. "French" and "American" were never considered correct snare drum technique that I'm aware of-- some drum set players just held their sticks that way and somebody slapped the names on them.
 
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