Mike Portnoy's Stick Trick


Senior Member
Hey just a quick post for anyone familiar with Mike Portnoy.

Whenever Mike plays he always does a single stick flip in between his fingers before a snare hit for example. I think it looks really neat and I am just wondering if you guys know how to do this simple looking trick because i cannot find it on the web.

Anyone know how to do this trick correctly or know where i can learn this?

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Platinum Member
Yep, standard twirl. Backwards, though, which is more useful, and easier to incorporate into playing. If you are looking at the palm of your hand, the stick is twirled clockwise, between the index and middle fingers (it remains between these two fingers, and does not travel to any other fingers).


Platinum Member
That twirl is often referred to as a "fake twirl", and can be performed both clockwise and counterclockwise. Our own Nutha_jason has a video demonstrating it here:


If you search for fake twirl on YouTube, you'll get hundreds of hits demonstrating it.

I can do the twirl, but not quick enough to incorporate between hits like that. For those situations, I sometimes use another twirl method (I've heard it referred to as the "gospel twirl", while Jason refers to it as the "Blackwell twirl"), which looks like this:


I stole it from Daniel Adair, but it's a popular technique. He demonstrates it pretty effectievly here (starting from about 1:42):