Letting the Stick Rest on the Snare After a Stroke

AceRockolla

Junior Member
I've noticed that some rock drummers let their stick tip rest on the head of the snare after hitting it on the 2 and the 4. This isn't a ghost note--they're actually just leaving the tip resting on the snare up until they need to wind up again for the next stroke. It seems like this would create a little extra noise and might sound sloppy since the stick is rubbing against the head a little on the wind-up for the next stroke. Does anyone here do this? What are the advantages? Is it just to save energy from holding up the stick? Is it an actual technique that people are taught, or is it something that just feels natural for some people so they do it? Do most rock drummers do this and I just never really noticed? Any feedback is appreciated!

You can see what I'm talking about in this video starting at 20 seconds in. I noticed in the video that he seems to be doing rim shots when he does this. Is that a key part of this technique? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNDiGssQsNw


Also, as a related thing, I just thought about how I've seen some drummers do a similar thing on the hi-hat. After a stroke, they'll just leave the stick resting on the hat instead of having it rebound. Any advantages/disadvantages/thoughts on this? Does this give a different sound?
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
It could be considered a bad habit. I don't see any harm in doing it. It doesn't have an advantage or disadvantage.
As long as the drummers timing in correct, It makes no never mind.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Playing like that will reduce overtones but you don't really notice it at high volume. Most drum resonances just melt into the wash in busy, loud music.

In the vid sometimes the stick seems to rest on the head, sometimes there's a little bounce (accidental ghost note) and sometimes the stick tip is just a fraction above the head with the shaft resting on the rim. We're not talking a precise science here. The guy's rocking out.

I've played backbeats in that style because I saw a lot of drummers doing it and figured that that was how things were done. It physically feels satisfying too, for some reason. And it helped me look like a proper rock drummer :)

You have to be committed to the big backbeat if you do this. If you want dexterity and flexibility then you'll let the stick rebound back up naturally, ready for another stroke. I suspect that's why some would see it as a bad habit. It depends what you want to do.
 

Munchdrum

Member
I remember that the first thing i was ever taught was the rest position, so that after striking the drum return the tip to a position around and inch or less from the head ready for the next stoke. I have always looked at resting the sick on the head as a bad habit / laziness.
 

Scorched

Member
I try not to do this but occasionally I catch the stick balancing on the rim between hits without touching the head.
 

Shedboyxx

Silver Member
Here's my 2 cents:

There are a couple of reasons that a drummer might be doing this intentionally.

The first reason I remember hearing about is that it can be used to try to produce a more consistent back beat in the studio. I've heard that this pops up in some Nashville sessions - but that's just something I've read and not something witnessed. I have tried it at home and it does seem to have a way of focusing on the area struck, but I wouldn't want to rely on that.

This also has the effect of dampening or kind of 'self gating' a resonant snare. This approach is not as much a consideration for live playing. As Pollyanna said, the live wash will usually wipe out overtones that would be affected by this approach, especially in a high volume scenario. However it is interesting to note that this is similar to an approach timbale players use to give a more controlled sound on cowbell patterns.

I also agree that when playing the hi hat, 'dead sticking' can give a different sound and feel. It makes 8th notes more 'sticky'. Good for country, roots, some latin and other styles. Another related example I saw was a documentary on Erc Claptton where he recorded in the same building that Robert Johnson did. Steve Gadd was playing beautifully in this documentary. I distinctly saw Gadd dead sticking and even sort of buzz stroking his ride on some blues song. I tried it and it 'dirties' up the sound while slightly dampening the ride very nicely. I think this works better on darker sounding cymbals but YMMV.

Of course this approach can also be unintentional and just a lack of technique. But knowing that it is intentional in some situations allows someone to say, "Oh yeah....I meant to do that".


Just my thoughts...:)

Jim
 

BillBachman

Gold Member
I've seen this and certainly wouldn't call it ideal. Some stifle the stroke and hold it against the head which makes the stroke tight and leaves your body taking a lot of shock. Otherwise if you put it there after the fact there's probably a bit of residual noise and a lost opportunity for potential ghost notes.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
It's just one of the many variables people employ that helps define "their" sound, which is neither right or wrong. I personally don't do it, rebound is king in my book, but there's nothing wrong w/ it unless it is creating problems. You are free to make your own rules concerning drumming.
 

wolfmoon

Silver Member
It's just one of the many variables people employ that helps define "their" sound, which is neither right or wrong. I personally don't do it, rebound is king in my book, but there's nothing wrong w/ it unless it is creating problems. You are free to make your own rules concerning drumming.
It's just like those that squash the beater into the bass drum head. I've never done it. I can't. I think it sounds awful. You wouldn't hold a stick into your tom heads. I always went by that thought but there are those that bury the beater and hold the stick to the snare and they make it sound fine. If you aren't watching, you can't really tell. If someone else plays my set like that then I can tell watching or not. I gave up on saying it's wrong. I guess if you play like that and it feels right for you and you aren't damaging anything then so be it. Right or wrong it seems to have become a "style"
 

BassDriver

Silver Member
I produces extra buzz you wouldn't want.

I have learned to play rimshots unconsciously and I know that leaving the tip buzzing is not good, instead I "stick" the drumstick to the rim when I do rimshots...

...it is kinda like a follow-through in golf, you hit the ball and you can wave the club about after you hit the ball and nothing happens, a good follow-through means that the motion of the stroke had been aimed well into the final position.
 

PJR

New member
I see this is very old post but I've been looking for information on this sticking. I've seen a number of great drummers do this. One of the most notable is Jeff Porcaro. It's really evident in his instructional video and also his live playing. Usually when it's a superbly steady backbeat that has incredible consistency of tone, plus he's not playing with ton of weight. And often he's not playing with a lot of snare ghost notes when he uses it. He doesn't raise his snare sticking very high but has this beautiful snap with the right amount of impact and then he'll momentarily rest the stick on the head. I think (and this is my opinion) that it has a way of evening out the decay of the snare. So for a studio player it gives crazed perfectionists like Steely Dan, a very even weight and very even decay.
It's weird to do though, I still mess with it. We did some big shows opening for Toto and I got to stand right behind him, behind the scrim and watch him and his techniques.
 

moodman

Well-known member
I use the deadstroke on cymbals when playing at low volume sometimes. Just like the tightness of grip affects tone and resonance, subtle but useful.
I also deadstroke (stick choke) crashes. I've never tried it on backbeats yet.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
With the exception of cross-sticking, I don't rest the stick on the snare under any circumstances. Rebound is everything to me. I never even utilize rimshots. They're antithetical to my style of drumming and to the music I play.
I grew up in the marching/concert band world where rebound is the main thing, so I don't do this either...and I would consider it bad technique b/c that is what I was told during the formative years of my life...

but I hit rim shots every stroke in my rock and metal bands...and still rebound afterwards
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I grew up in the marching/concert band world where rebound is the main thing, so I don't do this either...and I would consider it bad technique b/c that is what I was told during the formative years of my life...

but I hit rim shots every stroke in my rock and metal bands...and still rebound afterwards
Nothing wrong with rimshots if the music calls for them. They'd be out of character in most of the relatively mellow stuff I play.
 
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