Moeller Grips vs Stroke

JimmyM

Platinum Member
Thank you. I watched all of the videos, except for the whole Bozzio video, because I saw him I concert right before the pandemic, and he is one of my favorite drummers of all time so I am familiar with how he plays. I also own that Steve Smith book/dvd. Anyway, I think what you call “twisting the wrist” is what I call forearm rotation? I certainly don’t see anything wrong with it, afterall it is the basis for the traditional grip stroke. Also for french grip. Of course the difference is that french grip rotates the forearm outwards while trad grip rotates the forearm inwards. In the Dan Weiss example, I see that as kind of an extreme example of American grip, which combines the pivoting of the wrist from german grip and the french rotation of the forearm outward. Again, nothing wrong with that, it is amazing the finesse he is getting with his right hand!
One thing I don’t understand is this “ulnar torque” or “ulnar twist” you mention. As far as I understand it, the ulna cannot rotate or twist, it is locked into the humerus, and can only pivot up and down at the elbow. It is only the crossing of the radius over the ulna that allows our forearm to rotate at all…or am I missing something here?
I just googled it…you’re correct, Alex. I think I understand what S means, though. Kind of looks like it could be rotating when you turn it.
 

s1212z

Silver Member
Thank you. I watched all of the videos, except for the whole Bozzio video, because I saw him I concert right before the pandemic, and he is one of my favorite drummers of all time so I am familiar with how he plays. I also own that Steve Smith book/dvd. Anyway, I think what you call “twisting the wrist” is what I call forearm rotation? I certainly don’t see anything wrong with it, afterall it is the basis for the traditional grip stroke. Also for french grip. Of course the difference is that french grip rotates the forearm outwards while trad grip rotates the forearm inwards. In the Dan Weiss example, I see that as kind of an extreme example of American grip, which combines the pivoting of the wrist from german grip and the french rotation of the forearm outward. Again, nothing wrong with that, it is amazing the finesse he is getting with his right hand!
One thing I don’t understand is this “ulnar torque” or “ulnar twist” you mention. As far as I understand it, the ulna cannot rotate or twist, it is locked into the humerus, and can only pivot up and down at the elbow. It is only the crossing of the radius over the ulna that allows our forearm to rotate at all…or am I missing something here?
Sorry, I guess my nomenclature…forearm twist is more appropriate so we are talking about the same thing.

For forearm twist, not counting grip changes I really don’t use it unless I need significant power, which is not often, German more so and really not much for French either (or at least the way I play it). For trad, it’s a product of the grip but not necessary for matched….it’s not most efficient muscle group most playing need for me. I’m not a trad grip player except for brushes, but the forearm twist is the least desired part of it for me so putting more than necessary in matched is definitely not for me…not that I’d avoid it, I just think I have other choices that work for my specific hands for most kit playing and use it when necessary like for the arm whip transition for power. Plus it’s known to be injury prone if played incorrectly or continuous on stiff surfaces. And I don’t need to bring my stick angle more perpendicularly like a colonial drummer for an over proximal drum (which would call for more forearm twist by design). But again, for power in arm whip it’s another gear.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
Sorry, I guess my nomenclature…forearm twist is more appropriate so we are talking about the same thing.

For forearm twist, not counting grip changes I really don’t use it unless I need significant power, which is not often, German more so and really not much for French either (or at least the way I play it). For trad, it’s a product of the grip but not necessary for matched….it’s not most efficient muscle group most playing need for me. I’m not a trad grip player except for brushes, but the forearm twist is the least desired part of it for me so putting more than necessary in matched is definitely not for me…not that I’d avoid it, I just think I have other choices that work for my specific hands for most kit playing and use it when necessary like for the arm whip transition for power. Plus it’s known to be injury prone if played incorrectly or continuous on stiff surfaces. And I don’t need to bring my stick angle more perpendicularly like a colonial drummer for an over proximal drum (which would call for more forearm twist by design). But again, for power in arm whip it’s another gear.
I just tried to play spangalangs like Dan Weiss with that little twist, and my arm revolted. It will not move that way at all. Nor can I do the Ringo hi hat sweep.
 

Alex Luce

Pro Drummer
I just googled it…you’re correct, Alex. I think I understand what S means, though. Kind of looks like it could be rotating when you turn it.
Thanks! Actually this is something I remembered from my anatomy class back in college many moons ago, that my teacher had specifically pointed out. Nobody ever thinks about it, but us drummers owe a lot to the radius! Imagine if your hand was locked in one orientation, or even had limited rotation, like your foot. Us humans would be pretty terrible drummers!

P.S. What is the Ringo high-hat sweep?
 

Otto

Platinum Member
I am thinking that there isn't a 'best' way to learn physical motion patterns...that it depends on the learner.

I have tried the exaggerated/large motion method to learn Moeller....and once I stopped i was able to learn Moeller(which i have replaced with a simple wrist(radial around ulnar) rotation with a finger grip throughout the stroke-no clubbing the drum to develop understanding of the motion - primarily developed through western fencing blade beats years before).

I think it worked that way for me because i was 20 odd years into playing and my ability to learn did not require exaggeration...only understanding and repetition.

Someone without that background might be able to benefit from exaggerated motions...but i found it misleading.
 

Alex Luce

Pro Drummer
I am thinking that there isn't a 'best' way to learn physical motion patterns...that it depends on the learner.

I have tried the exaggerated/large motion method to learn Moeller....and once I stopped i was able to learn Moeller(which i have replaced with a simple wrist(radial around ulnar) rotation with a finger grip throughout the stroke-no clubbing the drum to develop understanding of the motion - primarily developed through western fencing blade beats years before).

I think it worked that way for me because i was 20 odd years into playing and my ability to learn did not require exaggeration...only understanding and repetition.

Someone without that background might be able to benefit from exaggerated motions...but i found it misleading.
western fencing blade beats?
 

Alex Luce

Pro Drummer
I am thinking that there isn't a 'best' way to learn physical motion patterns...that it depends on the learner.

I have tried the exaggerated/large motion method to learn Moeller....and once I stopped i was able to learn Moeller(which i have replaced with a simple wrist(radial around ulnar) rotation with a finger grip throughout the stroke-no clubbing the drum to develop understanding of the motion - primarily developed through western fencing blade beats years before).

I think it worked that way for me because i was 20 odd years into playing and my ability to learn did not require exaggeration...only understanding and repetition.

Someone without that background might be able to benefit from exaggerated motions...but i found it misleading.
I would love to see a video of you doing it. And of course, the important thing is getting it, however you get it. A lot of drummers seem to struggle with Moeller--in the execution and just the understanding of it
 
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