Is it worth the time investment to develop traditional grip to play jazz?

Sausagetoad

Active Member
Play music
Hold the sticks in your armpits if you are comfortable expressing yourself that way.
Just play music
Make a desirable and contributing sound ... that's it
Worry about sound.
Pardon me, but there's an easy way and a hard way to do everything. Hence the development of technique. One wouldn't lift weights with dodgy technique, because besides not achieving maximum benefit, one could become injured. There's no sense kneecapping oneself from the start by rejecting all the knowledge that's been accumulated on any given subject. If you wish to hold your sticks in your armpits, by all means do, but you'll work 5 times as hard to achieve the same result, if you ever do. My two cents, whatever it's worth...
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Pardon me, but there's an easy way and a hard way to do everything. Hence the development of technique. One wouldn't lift weights with dodgy technique, because besides not achieving maximum benefit, one could become injured. There's no sense kneecapping oneself from the start by rejecting all the knowledge that's been accumulated on any given subject. If you wish to hold your sticks in your armpits, by all means do, but you'll work 5 times as hard to achieve the same result, if you ever do. My two cents, whatever it's worth...

No, it really doesn’t matter, there are good players who use all kinds of techniques, including sometimes pretty bad technique. But the point of the original question was, is it necessary/useful/worth a lot of work to use a certain technique *to play jazz*, and it isn’t.
 

MG1127

Active Member
Pardon me, but there's an easy way and a hard way to do everything. Hence the development of technique. One wouldn't lift weights with dodgy technique, because besides not achieving maximum benefit, one could become injured. There's no sense kneecapping oneself from the start by rejecting all the knowledge that's been accumulated on any given subject. If you wish to hold your sticks in your armpits, by all means do, but you'll work 5 times as hard to achieve the same result, if you ever do. My two cents, whatever it's worth...
I'm sorry you didn't pick up on the extreme hyperbole of the armpits comment.

It meant how you hold your sticks means absolutely nothing toward to outcome if you have common sense.

you play the way you are comfortable... the OP is comfortable in matched

The "hard way" would be wasting time working on a grip or technique that is uncomfortable simply because you've seen other players do it.

Technique is how you move the stick, brush or beater to achieve a desired result ... thats it ... they don't need names.

Make a sound on your instrument ... it's either desirable or not

Others will let you know

And if you are comfortable with the sticks in your armpits and achieve a desirable sound then by all means do so

Drummers more than any other instrumentalists waste immeasurable amounts of time learning "techniques" and "patterns" ... most of which will contribute absolutely nothing to making music.

That's a long winded answer to the OPs question

Of which the short answer is NO
 
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UpandIn

Member
Tommy Igoe just shared an old video/post of his over the weekend about this:

"Traditional vs matched for those that don’t already know my position. I’m an expert on both grips and use both professionally at the highest levels of our industry and if I don’t give a sh*t, why the hell are you dying on this hill that nobody, except other grip obsessed, self-appointed amateurs give a crap about? I’m convinced it’s some sort of weird ass OCD mental defect at this point. Let it go.

Join the major leagues. Nobody gives a sh*t how you hold your damn left hand. All that matters is that it’s great. THATS. ALL.THAT. MATTERS."
 

SomeBadDrummer

Platinum Member
I concur with Larry, but will go one further - there is NO Sound difference between the two grips. That’s just crazy talk. If that we’re really the case, then Virgil Donati shouldn’t sound as rock n roll as he does, and Max Roach’s jazz should sound like rock (he played a lot of match grip towards the end of his career). If you can hear a difference without seeing it, you are DEEP.
@Bo Eder you have a lot more pro experience than me especially over the last three decades and I respect your opinion.

However I must be crazy because there IS a difference in the way trad/matched sound...at least from my POV on the throne. Matched grip rim shots on the snare are simply tighter and sharper than rimshots using traditional grip, which tend to be more open and ringing. Perhaps its perception, stick angle, grip tension, force....but I think not. (y):)
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
@Bo Eder you have a lot more pro experience than me especially over the last three decades and I respect your opinion.

However I must be crazy because there IS a difference in the way trad/matched sound...at least from my POV on the throne. Matched grip rim shots on the snare are simply tighter and sharper than rimshots using traditional grip, which tend to be more open and ringing. Perhaps its perception, stick angle, grip tension, force....but I think not. (y):)
I think it’s a power issue. If you’re technique is correct, your strokes and rimshots shouldn’t sound different at all. Of course, you are applying more power in matched grip, if your trad grip is weaker. But when you work on it, neither grip should sound different.
 

Matt Suda

Member
I find these discussions around technique and traditional grip confusing. You have to practice and gain proficiency in something in order to feel "comfortable," no? Traditional grip feels very comfortable to me, because I've practiced it, a lot. Do we have the same comfortability standard for other instruments? I can't imagine giving a guitar, horn, etc. to someone and telling them to just do what feels comfortable.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I'm mostly trad. I really only flip when I do something that's technically more timpaniesque or mainly side sticking.

I've sometimes hurt my hand in a way that trad is painful(not from playing), so then I also play matched.
 

Sausagetoad

Active Member
I'm sorry you didn't pick up on the extreme hyperbole of the armpits comment.

It meant how you hold your sticks means absolutely nothing toward to outcome if you have common sense.

you play the way you are comfortable... the OP is comfortable in matched

The "hard way" would be wasting time working on a grip or technique that is uncomfortable simply because you've seen other players do it.

Technique is how you move the stick, brush or beater to achieve a desired result ... thats it ... they don't need names.

Make a sound on your instrument ... it's either desirable or not

Others will let you know

And if you are comfortable with the sticks in your armpits and achieve a desirable sound then by all means do so

Drummers more than any other instrumentalists waste immeasurable amounts of time learning "techniques" and "patterns" ... most of which will contribute absolutely nothing to making music.

That's a long winded answer to the OPs question

Of which the short answer is NO
No, I got the 'joke.' But my point was, why handicap oneself? The 'right' way is easier in the long run.
 

Sausagetoad

Active Member
I think it’s a power issue. If you’re technique is correct, your strokes and rimshots shouldn’t sound different at all. Of course, you are applying more power in matched grip, if your trad grip is weaker. But when you work on it, neither grip should sound different.
With traditional, playing rock, I do the Steve Gadd thing and use the butt of the stick on the snare. That's powerful. But there's also a certain smoothness to matched, because both hands are equally situated.
 

Sausagetoad

Active Member
No, I got the 'joke.' But my point was, why handicap oneself? The 'right' way is easier in the long run.
Now here's MY joke: One thing about the guy who plays with his sticks in his armpits...he'll probably get his name in the paper and achieve fame more quickly than the rest of us...:ROFLMAO:
:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 
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SomeBadDrummer

Platinum Member
I think it’s a power issue. If you’re technique is correct, your strokes and rimshots shouldn’t sound different at all. Of course, you are applying more power in matched grip, if your trad grip is weaker. But when you work on it, neither grip should sound different.
Maybe. I learned trad grip in 8th grade, at the same time I started 'formal' instruction (public HS band director who had very little percussive skills, but made band a lot of fun). It felt uncomfortable at first, but with lots of practice it became almost as comfy as matched. In the snare line we mimicked what the big colleges were doing at the time and used lots of stickwork, crossovers, etc.

So probably not as much of a problem for me to understand the differences of power potentially created by a different grip than some who only played a kit and didn't have the fortunate experience of marching corps where dynamics were as essential as precision.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
With traditional, playing rock, I do the Steve Gadd thing and use the butt of the stick on the snare. That's powerful. But there's also a certain smoothness to matched, because both hands are equally situated.
That’s why Ive gotten away from traditional grip altogether. The only reason it exists is because of the way they had to March with the snares back in the day. There’s really no reason to play traditional grip anymore especially since marching snares can be worn flat. Granted, when I pick up brushes, I just go to traditional because it looks cooler. But Max Roach, when he went to matched grip, I don’t think he ever used traditional grip again. And if Max felt that way, then that’s how it is 😉
 

Bozozoid

Gold Member
Was it Weckl? that mentioned switching now and then due to an emotional decision making him play differently because it makes him THINK differently?. He also mentioned not feeling either was right or wrong. I remember thinking that it made sence. Also my mind is just weird enough that for a time I felt since Vinnie plays traditional I need to. 😕.
 

planoranger

Junior Member
...Also my mind is just weird enough that for a time I felt since Vinnie plays traditional I need to. 😕.
I'm afraid your mind is going to get a little weirder. The last bunch of recent videos I saw of Vinnie he was playing matched grip. Hope your head doesn't explode.:eek:
 

SomeBadDrummer

Platinum Member
That’s why Ive gotten away from traditional grip altogether. The only reason it exists is because of the way they had to March with the snares back in the day. There’s really no reason to play traditional grip anymore especially since marching snares can be worn flat. Granted, when I pick up brushes, I just go to traditional because it looks cooler. But Max Roach, when he went to matched grip, I don’t think he ever used traditional grip again. And if Max felt that way, then that’s how it is 😉
Once you 'get away' from a technique it will more and more difficult to retrieve that skill should you ever want it or if the job demands it. Good luck.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Once you 'get away' from a technique it will more and more difficult to retrieve that skill should you ever want it or if the job demands it. Good luck.
There’s a certain point where you get smart enough to work so well that it shouldn’t matter to anybody if you’re not doing it. Stick technique is one of those things. Nobody cares what I look like, they only care about what it sounds like. Check out Chester Thompson’s technique, you’d swear he doesn’t know how to hold sticks, but the man worked with Frank Zappa, Genesis, and Phil Collins.
 

SomeBadDrummer

Platinum Member
There’s a certain point where you get smart enough to work so well that it shouldn’t matter to anybody if you’re not doing it. Stick technique is one of those things. Nobody cares what I look like, they only care about what it sounds like. Check out Chester Thompson’s technique, you’d swear he doesn’t know how to hold sticks, but the man worked with Frank Zappa, Genesis, and Phil Collins.
You are obviously smart enough to figure it out. Congrats and well done mate!
 
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