Is this conflicting info on Moeller?

One1

Well-known member
Chapin asserts in his video [3] that the technique does not rely on the rebound - that the drummer must master the hand motion while playing each note as an actual stroke,


yet this says:

The Moeller Method utilizes stick bounce. So the trick to this technique is getting the most bounces from one stroke.


So, as someone who is not great at Moeller Technique and trying to get better at it, is this not conflicting statements? Since I don’t have it down pat I’m assuming I’ve not understood the technique properly, and I HAVE always used the rebound to help me achieve the desired effect - which has me thinking that’s why I’m not good at it after reading this.
 

MrPockets

Gold Member
I think was he meant by not relying is that rebound isn't the main source of the stroke. Hand position is a more important part of the stroke.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Chapin was well-known among working drummers way back in the day for folding up napkins and showing off his rudiments on them at clubs during breaks. So he clearly cited do all that stuff with very little rebound.
 

cornelius

Silver Member
What confused me was 36:50 (to 38:00) here

The prerequisite to learning Moeller is mastering the Free Stroke. When you get the feeling of the Free Stroke in your hands, you'll really understand the true feeling of rebound. When Jim mentions "stop at the top" that is the best example of letting the stick do the work. In other words, you allow the stick to come back up to where you started, instead of only letting the stick rebound half way, then having to wind up by lifting the stick up higher to get to your previous starting point. That's wasted motion, the only time you have the stick rebound lower, is if you need to bring down the dynamics.

There's a certain "choreography" that needs to happen in order to play with Moeller, as it's a combination of downstrokes, taps and upstrokes. It's a very natural way to play, but it does take a bit of discipline and practice to understand the motions.
 
I was taught the Moeller technique in the UK by a superb teacher called Andy Leask, who was taught by Jim Chapin and continued going back to him for lessons for decades. I don't claim to have perfected the technique (you could argue no one has really) but I have a reasonable amount of experience in practicing and utilising what you might call "authentic" Moeller. The whole rebound thing seems to confuse a lot of people so here's what I would say about it.

In a nutshell, I would say make as much use of rebound as you can but at the same time, don't rely on it. There are a lot of analogies you can make. For example, I'd compare this monitoring at a gig. Of course if you're playing an important show you want he onstage sound to be as good as it can be, so you make as much use of the available equipment as possible to play the best gig possible. But if for some reason there isn't any good monitoring equipment, you still need to be able play well under those conditions, or you won't make it through the gig. I think of rebound as being exactly the same. You should make absolutely full use of it one surfaces that have a lot of rebound but should also be able to execute the technique on surfaces with little to no rebound such as loosely tuned drums.

What a lot of people don't realise is how much Moeller can change the way your playing SOUNDS as usually when people talk about it, the focus is on the efficiency of the movement. I think if you can execute Moeller with no rebound, then it will make your playing on surfaces with rebound cleaner. You'll find the non-accented notes will have more clarity to them and they won't die away like how they would if you relied solely on the rebound. You need to own the rebound, rather than use it as a crutch. And the key to that is letting the stick fly back off the drum which is something a lot of people don't do when using Moeller strokes. My favourite example of this is Vinnie Colaiuta - just listen to how bolstered his playing (particularly on the snare drum) sounds. Even the small notes have so much presence and I believe that is a result of him utilising rebound to its fullest degree by letting the stick come back off the drum. And I don't think this can be achieved without also having the ability to play with no rebound.

I hope this is all of some help! Finally, here's a little vid of Andy Leask teaching someone Moeller. Notice at 1:36 how the stick is coming back off the pad, allowing the non-accented note to speak and not die away. Andy is a legend and in my opinion, an unsung hero of the drumming community
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
Chapin asserts in his video [3] that the technique does not rely on the rebound - that the drummer must master the hand motion while playing each note as an actual stroke,


yet this says:

The Moeller Method utilizes stick bounce. So the trick to this technique is getting the most bounces from one stroke.


So, as someone who is not great at Moeller Technique and trying to get better at it, is this not conflicting statements? Since I don’t have it down pat I’m assuming I’ve not understood the technique properly, and I HAVE always used the rebound to help me achieve the desired effect - which has me thinking that’s why I’m not good at it after reading this.
I think Chapin is saying that it doesn't matter which surface you're playing on (ie whether you have or don't have bounce) if you have the Moeller technique. But if the surface you're playing on does offer bounce (eg the acoustic drums), then the Moeller technique puts your hands in the optimal position to maximize control of that bounce.
 
I think Chapin is saying that it doesn't matter which surface you're playing on (ie whether you have or don't have bounce) if you have the Moeller technique. But if the surface you're playing on does offer bounce (eg the acoustic drums), then the Moeller technique puts your hands in the optimal position to maximize control of that bounce.
Haha you basically nailed my long post in a short paragraph!
 
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