MOELLER METHOD

Wavelength

Platinum Member
Re: the moler technique

Passages.jpg

Two snare drum passages; the first is single-height, forte all the way, and the second is a two-height passage played with alternating hands. I marked the strokes one should use when playing the second example: Down strokes, Taps and Up strokes. If you don't pre-empt the accents and ghosts using the strokes themselves, you'll have to do the pre-emptive motions between the strokes, which translates to wasted effort. As for the first passage, why should you stop your sticks after every stroke, when the sticks want to rebound back up? It makes no sense.

Of course no-one keeps his sticks up all the time when playing two-and-four. The pre-emptive motions are mostly used when playing dense(ish) two-height passages on a snare or on the kit.
 

cactusjack

Junior Member
Re: the moler technique

You ask where all the drumming virtuosos the Moeller technique is producing are...

...yet you keep referring back to the same two drummers (Rich and Chambers) to support your theory that practicing on a pillow is the only way to practice.
You don't seem to have good reading comprehension.
I never said that practicing on a pillow is the only way to practice,
and I never said it was my theory. Please quote me where I did.
You are misreading what I said and your response doesn't seem
to be to what I've actually written.

I use Buddy as an example because he is a virtuoso and an example to us all,
Dennis on the other hand has many times stated that he was told at a young age by Buddy to practice on a pillow. that's why I bring him up. They both have fast single strokes
and strong wrists and playing single strokes is all I've talked about so far.
I'm still waiting for that musical example of how and why to use a full stroke
and it's supposed advantage. Did you read my question about playing a backbeat?
I'm still waiting for the technique discussion to begin, why not answer my questions?
Is this not a forum for discussing technique??
 

cactusjack

Junior Member
Re: the moler technique

View attachment 13567

Two snare drum passages; the first is single-height, forte all the way, and the second is a two-height passage played with alternating hands. I marked the strokes one should use when playing the second example: Down strokes, Taps and Up strokes. If you don't pre-empt the accents and ghosts using the strokes themselves, you'll have to do the pre-emptive motions between the strokes, which translates to wasted effort. As for the first passage, why should you stop your sticks after every stroke, when the sticks want to rebound back up? It makes no sense.

Of course no-one keeps his sticks up all the time when playing two-and-four. The pre-emptive motions are mostly used when playing dense(ish) two-height passages on a snare or on the kit.
Hi Wavelength,
Thanks for the musical example. I'm at work and have to log out, but I will respond later this evening, when I have more time to explain my ideas on this musical passage.
 

jonescrusher

Pioneer Member
Re: the moler technique

I'm still waiting for that musical example of how and why to use a full stroke
and it's supposed advantage. Did you read my question about playing a backbeat?
I'm still waiting for the technique discussion to begin, why not answer my questions?
Is this not a forum for discussing technique??

If you take the time to understand the system of strokes, you'll see that the full stroke is a perfectly valid type of stroke, for example where you are required to play to accented notes successively with one hand - the full stroke returns the stick to full height after sounding the first accent, meaning that it is in position to sound the second accented note. An obvious example, but it's not practical to spell out all the musical examples that such a need may occur. I took the time to scan in an example below....
 

stasz

Platinum Member
Re: the moler technique

Oh god why am I getting into this...

cactusjack, nonargumentatively, could you please tell me in your honest opinion, how do you play an accented note? If I were to bring a practice pad in front of you and I said play 2 notes, one nonaccented, and one accented, what motion(s) would you perform to play the second, accented stroke?
 

cactusjack

Junior Member
Re: the moler technique

Watch JoJo Mayer's new DVD and tell me that these methods don't yield fantastic results.

And if you have all the secrets to the world of drumming, why don't you post a video to displaying your incredible Buddy/Dennis-trained technique? I assume your just posting this garbage to get a rise out of people because quite frankly, none of it makes any sense.


If there is a way to get the stick back into your hand without expelling any of your own energy, how in the hell does that create MORE tension? Ridiculous.
Never seen the Mayer video so I have no comment on it.

Anatomy and the laws of motion are not secrets .
I'm not trying to get a rise from anyone I'm trying to discuss technique but it seems everyone is wearing their ego on their sleeve and if i say anything that contradicts what they believe is correct, I get insults instead of intelligent discourse.


Your last statement tells me you don't really understand how to hold a stick. Please read the Buddy Rich article, look at the bottom of the first column. Why is the stick out of your hand?
Your supposed to be holding it firmly.
Your statement means your are using the drumhead's tension to move the stick up instead of your muscles, so you are not really in control of the stick
your waiting for it to catch back up with your hand. So your changing your grip on the stick as your are moving it. Buddy clearly states to keep a firm grip, Maybe you should consider the meaning of his words.
 
Last edited:

cactusjack

Junior Member
Re: the moler technique

Oh god why am I getting into this...

cactusjack, nonargumentatively, could you please tell me in your honest opinion, how do you play an accented note? If I were to bring a practice pad in front of you and I said play 2 notes, one nonaccented, and one accented, what motion(s) would you perform to play the second, accented stroke?

Depending on tempo and volume for the unaccented note I would lift the stick up by turning the wrist and then turn again on the way down. Most of the energy is expended on the way up. But if tempos are fast or the volume is high I may add a little energy on the way down, For the accent I would
lift my wrist slightly and then turn it as it falls back, creating a slight whipping motion , this add a little more mass to the stick and creates the accent.
I would compare it to walking (unaccented) and then jumping (accent)
so as to come down with more force.
 

cactusjack

Junior Member
Re: the moler technique

View attachment 13567

Two snare drum passages; the first is single-height, forte all the way, and the second is a two-height passage played with alternating hands. I marked the strokes one should use when playing the second example: Down strokes, Taps and Up strokes. If you don't pre-empt the accents and ghosts using the strokes themselves, you'll have to do the pre-emptive motions between the strokes, which translates to wasted effort. As for the first passage, why should you stop your sticks after every stroke, when the sticks want to rebound back up? It makes no sense.

Of course no-one keeps his sticks up all the time when playing two-and-four. The pre-emptive motions are mostly used when playing dense(ish) two-height passages on a snare or on the kit.
Hmmm.... where to start?
you said : As for the first passage, why should you stop your sticks after every stroke, when the sticks want to rebound back up? It makes no sense.

The equal and opposite law of motion is in effect here.
The sticks want to rebound up when you play because your
first motion is down. If you moved up first then you would come
down for the note and the stick would not want to rebound away.
That's why what I said makes no sense to you because you
are doing the exact opposite of me.
Since that is the way you move, you may find it very difficult
to reverse what you have taught yourself. I play the drum the
same way I walk and run. Up then down. This is a fundamental law
of motion that Moeller seems to be ignoring.

then you said; Of course no-one keeps his sticks up all the time when playing two-and-four. The pre-emptive motions are mostly used when playing dense(ish) two-height passages on a snare or on the kit

why would i want to change my motions when playing an accent
in a fast passage as opposed to a backbeat. An Accent is an Accent at any tempo, So I use the same motion for both.
 

cactusjack

Junior Member
Re: the moler technique

Lol, I wonder to myself is there any point to explaining (my interpretation of ) the moeller system. It seems to be the most disagreed upon topic of discussion after politics and religion.

As has been said it is not about speed, it's about improved mobility and tone on the set. It describes a set of motions that covers all patterns of accented and unaccented notes. With practice these motions become incorporated and second nature. The four types of strokes used:

Full stroke - stick starts and finishes in high position
Up stroke - stick starts in low position, finishes in high position
Down stroke - stick starts in high position, finishes in low position
Tap stroke - stick starts and finishes in low position

Sometimes a combination of these will result in the fabled 'whipping motion'. The 'whipping motion' is not the sum total of Moeller, it is sometimes the result of.....


Cactusjack's post is confusing. You both condone and condemn the Moeller system, hmmm.....
Yes I do condone and condemn the Moeller system as it
is only partly in accordance with the natural laws of motion
and anatomy. I only disagree with the parts that
are ignoring important physical facts, like everything on
earth must move up first , to come down.
That is why I think the full stroke is wasted energy to practice.
 

cactusjack

Junior Member
Re: the moler technique

Yes Henry Adler did write the rudiment book that he an Buddy published,
but I don't think it's safe to say Buddy didn't write the Metronome article.
What proof have you?

"Important note: drumsticks ARE NOT like hammers.."

Yes they are Hammers, in fact that's exactly what they are.
They are not bouncing balls. you hold the sticks not throw them at the drums and then catch them.

You guess John Blackwell grooves ok?
Are you kidding?? John is a groove machine, that's why Prince hired him.
He plays that hard because he's playing in Arenas and Stadiums
night after night not night clubs and bars.
Of course he could play softly if he wanted or needed to.

"It seems like there's something you're not understanding when it comes to upstrokes and downstrokes,

really? what is the something I don't understand?

" I think you might be overanalyzing or exaggerating these ideas"

Maybe. But I think all I've said is that I think they are useless things to practice because they are not in accordance with the laws of motion
and anatomy. That took no analysis, it's a simple fact of motion,
that any one could understand if they suspend their preconceptions
about Moeller and maybe understand a little more about motion and
human anatomy, then what I criticize about Moeller would be obvious.
 

brittc89

Pioneer Member
Re: the moler technique

This is the most ridiculously long argument I have heard on here in a while. Just play what sounds good and feels good to you. I feel like there are too many people thinking about this too much and its just gonna make you sound goofy on a drumset. Play the drums should not be a physics equation, it should be a musical expression. Having good technique is really important, but nothing should replace the musicallity of the instrument and I feel like petty squabblings over the laws of gravity and the only way to practice and blah blah blah are doing just that. Just play the drums.
 

Wavelength

Platinum Member
Re: the moler technique

The sticks want to rebound up when you play because your
first motion is down. If you moved up first then you would come
down for the note and the stick would not want to rebound away.
You strike from up to down. I strike from up to down. It's the same motion. What I'm trying to get across is the motion that leads the stick up. You do it before each stroke, or between strokes. I do the motion during the previous stroke, exploiting the sticks rebound whenever possible. It's a minute difference, but a crucial one.

why would i want to change my motions when playing an accent
in a fast passage as opposed to a backbeat. An Accent is an Accent at any tempo, So I use the same motion for both.
You seemed to miss the word PRE-EMPTIVE. When you play backbeats you have time to let the hand rest in the down position. When you play a stream of consecutive loud notes, your hands don't have time to rest in the down position, since they need to be ready to strike the drum. Using an extra windup motion between strokes is a waste of time and effort, when you can accomplish the same thing using the sticks' natural rebound.
 

jazzin'

Silver Member
Re: the moler technique

Depending on tempo and volume for the unaccented note I would lift the stick up by turning the wrist and then turn again on the way down. Most of the energy is expended on the way up. But if tempos are fast or the volume is high I may add a little energy on the way down, For the accent I would
lift my wrist slightly and then turn it as it falls back, creating a slight whipping motion , this add a little more mass to the stick and creates the accent.
I would compare it to walking (unaccented) and then jumping (accent)
so as to come down with more force.
You've basically just described using the Moeller stroke. Also you keep referring to really odd analogies which simply don't relate to playing drums. What do walking and lifting your legs have to do with holding a drumstick and whacking various drums on a drumkit? Or hammers? Hammers are damn heavy! Drumsticks weigh very little.
Check out my first post. What do you think?
Oh and by the way. When you play a simple backbeat you use the Moeller stroke in both your hands. If you're relaxed. Right hand: most often you accent the quarters. To do this you use a whipping motion or even push pull depending on how hard you're playing. Left hand: Lift up just before the stroke and whip it down creating a strong accent. Then pause and again just before the stroke you lift your wrist up letting the tip of the stick stay down and then whip 'CRACK'! Nice solid backbeat using natural motion.
But, this is getting ridiculous and while I agree with all the great posts in response to yours check out brittc89's and have a think about that. Let all your physics theories and notions go. Just play.
 

JCM

Senior Member
Re: the moler technique

Nobody's technique is perfect. There is always going to be something minutely wrong with your technique no matter how much you practice. If you are going to spend all your time practicing your technique, then what is the point in sitting behind a drumkit? As much as everyone is entitled to their own opinion, some professionals have bad technique but it is this flaw in their technique that makes them as good as they are. Technique is important to a certain extent, but when you begin to sound like you have been personally offended by what somebody has said, I feel you have lost the plot. Technique maybe an important aspect of drumming but it is still ONE facet of drumming nonetheless.
 

stasz

Platinum Member
Re: the moler technique

Depending on tempo and volume for the unaccented note I would lift the stick up by turning the wrist and then turn again on the way down. Most of the energy is expended on the way up. But if tempos are fast or the volume is high I may add a little energy on the way down, For the accent I would
lift my wrist slightly and then turn it as it falls back, creating a slight whipping motion , this add a little more mass to the stick and creates the accent.
I would compare it to walking (unaccented) and then jumping (accent)
so as to come down with more force.
My point (although I wasn't online to answer quickly enough) was that if you play an accent, then before the stroke you lift the tip of your stick higher than a normal stroke. This motion would be considered an upstroke. It just has to be done to play louder. The more distance you put between the stick and the drum, the louder you play (when the stick moves at the same speed).
 

cactusjack

Junior Member
Re: Moeller mathod is stupid crap.

If you take a hammer and hit a rebounding surface, such as a trampoline, it will fly back up to you with the force you generated with your downstroke. You don't need to lift it back up and it will come up a lot faster.
Can I assume you are describing what Famularo calls the Free Stroke?
Letting the drumheads tension return the stick to you?

Wavelength recommended I watch Dom Famularo, so I watched his first one on free stroke.
And stopped right there. He states that the free stroke
is a fundamental motion and where you start with rebound technique.
If that is the first thing you learn your technical aspirations are doomed before you begin.
Again I refer to Buddy's statement that you must have
a firm grip with your fingers. I do not see a firm grip when Dom is playing
the Free Stroke. Buddy recommends playing on a non rebounding surface FIRST,
to develop the wrists strength.
Without a strong wrist first you cannot understand what Buddy is trying to teach you
because you cannot FEEL it until your wrist is strong.
Buddy knows that you must first understand up and down not down and up as Dom
demonstrates and says is first. So who are you going to believe is correct about what is fundamental and first, Dom or Buddy?
So if you throw your stick down and let it go and rebound by itself it will fly back up at you very, very quickly. If you throw it down and pull it back up with your wrist it is stopping it's natural inertia and it is noticeably slower.
This is why I originally stated that Moeller was absurd. You are judging what I say based on your preconceptions about playing and still don't understand the meaning of my words. I repeat everything on earth
must go up to come down, that is a fundamental fact of nature and
motion, Practicing motions that ignore that fact are, useless and do not improve your playing, they will not build the real muscles you need to play
because you are not using them. I'm not talking about weight lifting here,
I'm not trying to develop bulging musculature as someone else seemed to think in one of the more hostile posts.
For a muscle to develop it must work against gravity that's how your muscles work they move your skeleton around fighting gravity at every move. Something Wavelength doesn't seem to take into account since he dissed me for using my muscles and not letting what he calls natural rebound work in my behalf.
What everyone is calling natural rebound is just letting go of the stick and
losing control until it flys back to your hand and you get your grip back.

Why does everyone defend Moeller and ignore Buddy?
I find that fact quite odd.
 

cactusjack

Junior Member
Re: the moler technique

This is the most ridiculously long argument I have heard on here in a while. Just play what sounds good and feels good to you. I feel like there are too many people thinking about this too much and its just gonna make you sound goofy on a drumset. Play the drums should not be a physics equation, it should be a musical expression. Having good technique is really important, but nothing should replace the musicallity of the instrument and I feel like petty squabblings over the laws of gravity and the only way to practice and blah blah blah are doing just that. Just play the drums.
I agree with you.
you should only play what feels and sounds good to you.
doing so ensures that you are in control of what you play
and if your in control the time will be solid and grooving.
The free stroke FEELS wrong, that's one reason I call it absurd.
I only used physics and anatomy to explain why it is wrong .
 
Top