STICK CONTROL (George L Stone) Your experiences and suggestions

NUTHA JASON

Senior Administrator
a thread about the drummer's bible.

here you can talk about specific exercise numbers and ideas you had while playing them as well as your approaches in using the book as a whole.

for example:

ex 13 is a great one for practicing french finger technique.

or

ex 19 - 22 are useful for learning the open-close method for getting three stikes

or

ex 65 - 68 ... play them straight as written until the sticking is imbedded then play straight 16ths on the bass, 8ths with the hihat foot and swing the pattern (triplet feel) over the top playing it on the ride and snare or over the toms. voila...instant solo.
 

n2xlr8n

Senior Member
Re: STICK CONTROL (george L stone) your experiences and suggestions

We have a fantastic resource here, and I feel there are many, many great ideas that can be contributed in regards to Stick Control.

I'm one of the older guys starting (over) at the beginning with rudiments, and I'd like to know the facts about the application of this book.

My recent practice involves the metronome-supervised (counting out loud) free stroke and the Moeller motion, focusing on my right hand (weak hand). I'm waiting on my copy of Stick Control to arrive at the music store, In the meantime, I have Accents and Rebounds, but I'm afraid it's too much too soon having not mastered the motions yet. i.e., Sometimes the accents are on the last note of a double stroke, and I'm clueless as to how to make that motion in a "closed" or finger-control-type stroke.

Qs relating to Stick Control:

-Is the book intended to be practiced in an "open" fashion until the comfort is acheived with the patterns? Is that the idea with most rudimental study books?

-Should I intuitively be using less and less "moeller" motion as the tempo increases?

-Should I stay away from implementing my "fingers" until I feel comfortable with the rudiments or patterns (in time and even)?



Thanks everyone, for the input. I certainly appreciate it!

S.
 

centralzeke

Senior Member
Re: STICK CONTROL (george L stone) your experiences and suggestions

Just play the god damned exercises, lol. Slowly. Forget about Moeller and finger technique..

An example routine would be go through exercise 1-12 on the first page.. doing each one 3 times softly then 3 times louder and go through them without stopping.
 

NUTHA JASON

Senior Administrator
Re: STICK CONTROL (george L stone) your experiences and suggestions

yeah. thats a good start but then you need to really work in each one discovering its application and feel. the temptation with the moeller thing is to only practice it in singles and doubles but actually stick control is a great platform for putting it to good use. by using the open close technique i can really relax into each double or triple stroke wherever it may be in the pattern. but yeah, first just overcome the problem of remembering which hand goes where.

j
 

Just Drums

Silver Member
Re: STICK CONTROL (george L stone) your experiences and suggestions

There's just too many ways to use SC to list here! =)
Maybe one day, I'll write an article on it.

I'll make myself unpopular here but I think people get too caught up on trendy techniques. Moeller. Heel-toe. Etc. Sure - if you have all the time in the world to practice all these techniques and grips, knock yourself out. It surely can't hurt. But I can't say that I believe that it helps either. Pick a grip and just practice! =) I was introduced to Moeller in college after marching and that was it. I can play plenty fast and I never needed to resort to using a special technique.

OK - flame away for not being a Moeller fan.
 

Garvin

Pioneer Member
Re: STICK CONTROL (george L stone) your experiences and suggestions

Groove, I wholeheartedly agree with you here. I think it is good to have some technique in mind while practicing these excercises, but I think the main goal is to get through the pages. I've gotten stuck while deciding how to hold the sticks and what strokes to do rather than just play the piece.

Converseley, SC can be used as a great tool for practicing anything you want from independence, to footwork, to technique (solely technique) and in that regard it is a very versatile and open teaching and learning tool. But I think that again, the main point is to decide what you want to practice and stick to it all the way through.
 

n2xlr8n

Senior Member
Re: STICK CONTROL (george L stone) your experiences and suggestions

Groove said:
There's just too many ways to use SC to list here! =)
Maybe one day, I'll write an article on it.

I'll make myself unpopular here but I think people get too caught up on trendy techniques. Moeller. Heel-toe. Etc. Sure - if you have all the time in the world to practice all these techniques and grips, knock yourself out. It surely can't hurt. But I can't say that I believe that it helps either. Pick a grip and just practice! =) I was introduced to Moeller in college after marching and that was it. I can play plenty fast and I never needed to resort to using a special technique.

OK - flame away for not being a Moeller fan.


Wow. Maybe I misunderstood your post. While I agree it's not a good thing to get mired up in trends, I'd have to say for myself (not being concerned with BPM, gravity blasts, and the like) I'm more concerned with the correct application of Stick Control as it relates to my hand speed. Although I've been playing for 31 years, I've never studied rudiments and hand technique specifically.

As far as time goes.....if one wants it bad enough, there's time.

BTW, do you know Grant Menefee? I'm one of his OLD students, lol. Great guy.

Thanks for the input!

S.
 

jazzsnob

Silver Member
Re: STICK CONTROL (george L stone) your experiences and suggestions

This is an awesome thread, and I hope it gets stickied. I'll add the way I learned.

This is by no means the only way to do stick control, but this is a proven way to get some serious technique together. It requires A LOT of patience, and I don’t suggest starting it if you aren’t going to finish it. It’s EXTREMELY difficult sometimes. And also, the method takes about 3-5 years to complete. And you only practice the first page of the book.

THE JIMMY SAGE/CHUCK BROWN/BILLY GLADSTONE METHOD FOR STICK CONTROL.
Set your metronome to an 8th note of about 100. Most drummers should be able to do anything on the first page at that tempo after a few minutes of messing around. Now spend an entire week working(I’m sorry, I don’t have my book with me, so I don’t have exact numbers) on the . Just singles, doubles, and the first paradiddle exercise. Only those two , extremely slow. The doubles and paradiddles should sound EXACTLY like singles. It’s good to go over this method with a teacher, or to record yourself doing it on a snare drum to make sure everything is perfect. Then, one week later, you practice single, doubles, and the next exercise, inverted paradiddles(RLLRLRRL). If it takes you two weeks to get it perfect, fine. Give youself time on these excercises.

Another difficult part of the exercise is that every minute or so you should raise your stick to at least a 12-16 inch height and play at that height for 8 measures. Then you bring in back down. You must do this perfectly in time and make sure all the strokes are still uniform in dynamic and tonal quality and all that jibba jabba. This will give you “good pain” after a while, your muscles WILL get sore, but they will never give you terrible pain.

Remember, just like G.L. Stone said, stay relaxed 100% of the time, even when you go up. You should be putting at least 30 minutes a day into these excercises.


So you spend 2 months, going through excercises 5-24 or something at tempo 100. Done now? Great! Now you do it all over again at 104! and 108! and 112! and 116! and so on!. Never go up more then one click on a metronome when starting the page over.




The reason this exercise method is so difficult is because you have to be so patient. A lot of younger drummers especially want to start faster, speed up the next day, blah blah blah. If you do that you WILL NOT IMPROVE AS QUICKLY. This exercise really seriously does require patience. It apparently takes an entire year to get from 200 to 208.


The reasons this exercise is GREAT are numerous. First of all, you are always working on singles and doubles. Singles and doubles are what most of drumming is made of. Second of all, spending a couple weeks on only one combination of 8 notes makes you completely intimate with the pattern, and you will be able to interchange it in time with any feel you want. I guarantee you that by the time you finish this exercise(in 2112 or so) you will have some SERIOUS technique. One of my drum teacher’s older students is on 176 or something(he's been doing for 3 1/2 years) and has some crazy technical abilities.

Good technique means you can learn parts faster.

Yay for good technique!


p.s. do these excercises on a practice pad with LOTS of rebound. Don't worry, you won't need a pillow to "feel the burn" once you get to about 138 or so.
 
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Just Drums

Silver Member
Re: STICK CONTROL (george L stone) your experiences and suggestions

n2xlr8n said:
Wow. Maybe I misunderstood your post. While I agree it's not a good thing to get mired up in trends, I'd have to say for myself (not being concerned with BPM, gravity blasts, and the like) I'm more concerned with the correct application of Stick Control as it relates to my hand speed. Although I've been playing for 31 years, I've never studied rudiments and hand technique specifically.

As far as time goes.....if one wants it bad enough, there's time.

BTW, do you know Grant Menefee? I'm one of his OLD students, lol. Great guy.

Thanks for the input!

S.

Maybe I wasn't clear. I am a huge stickler on proper technique. I'm all about rudiments, reading, and a good grip. When I was teaching, if I saw pinky fingers sticking out or thumbs facing up, you had to drop and give me 20! =)

But on the flip side of all that is that I think too many drummers get too caught up on the latest popular technique or grip. Push-pull. Heel-toe. Moeller. Etc. Just use good technique and practice the hell out of it. Period. I can play plenty fast doubles, triples, and even quad strokes without having to practice using some special technique. I'm sure there are some WFD champs lurking around who could play singles much faster than me and more power to them. They'd most likely tell me to use a certain method or technique to do what they do. But chances are, I wouldn't be asked to play 1500 BPM on a gig or audition. And if I did, I'd probably be fired. =)

I'm not saying working on multiple techniques is bad. I just think time can be spent better doing other things.
 

Dr. Jones

Member
Re: STICK CONTROL (george L stone) your experiences and suggestions

Ummmmm.... what's wrong with thumbs facing up? Isn't that the french grip? Nearly every jazz player I've seen play has their thumbs facing up when playing ride patterns. Just look at the picture of of Bill Stewart on the link to his second video.

http://www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Bill_Stewart.html
 

centralzeke

Senior Member
Re: STICK CONTROL (george L stone) your experiences and suggestions

Great post jazzsnob!!! That is a right way to practice Stick Control. If everyone did this their technique would improve tremendously.

And that Bill Stewart clip is sick..
 

Just Drums

Silver Member
Re: STICK CONTROL (george L stone) your experiences and suggestions

Dr. Jones said:
Ummmmm.... what's wrong with thumbs facing up? Isn't that the french grip? Nearly every jazz player I've seen play has their thumbs facing up when playing ride patterns. Just look at the picture of of Bill Stewart on the link to his second video.

http://www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Bill_Stewart.html

If an experienced student came to me wanting to play traditional jazz and only jazz, then sure, having a french grip in the right hand is OK. It gives a certain light feel to your right. But if a beginner came to me with 100% french grip on both hands, I'd correct it before diving into SC. I catch myself using french grip a lot but only when I'm swinging. It's all a matter of the context of what you're doing I suppose.
 

jazzsnob

Silver Member
Re: STICK CONTROL (george L stone) your experiences and suggestions

If you're doing the method I wrote out, DO NOT use the french grip. My teacher's have always stressed that you don't really need to spend much time working on french grip besides isolated finger technique. This is similar to the heel-down/heel-up debate. It's better to practice 90% heel down and perform with either, because heel down works more muscles and helps both equally. American and german grips work the muscles that also help french grip a lot. French grip doesn't work the same muscles.


Don't use french grip on stick control. Most jazz drummers who play french on ride still play a flatter, more american grip on the snare and toms
 

Styx

Senior Member
Re: STICK CONTROL (george L stone) your experiences and suggestions

To make it a bit interesting as well as working on a bit of independence, try playing a Samba pattern with your feet while doing the sticking exercises.
 

NUTHA JASON

Senior Administrator
Re: STICK CONTROL (george L stone) your experiences and suggestions

good one.

i like to keep a record of what i've done to keep my practices structured and also to make sure i've covered stuff evenly. after an initial suck-it-and-see record sheet where i do each exercise for at least 12 minutes spread out over a couple of weeks i get down to business with this one below.
the horizontal dark lines show exercise groupings (which i think logically fit together) and i do not allow myself to go into the next group until all the boxes have been ticked in the current group. the vertical dark lines show practices at the same tempo. i vary the amount of time in each exercise to keep it fresh but these are only minimum times as i sometimes hit a sweet spot and will keep going. when the whole sheet is full i might change the speeds and make a sheet starting at 100 and going up in increments of 10 to go up to 160 but that will depend on a self assessment of the results after filling the chart. hope it helps some of you.
j
 

Wavelength

Platinum Member
Re: STICK CONTROL (george L stone) your experiences and suggestions

jazzsnob said:
Set your metronome to an 8th note of about 100 (and) spend an entire week working on (j)ust singles, doubles, and the first paradiddle exercise... The doubles and paradiddles should sound EXACTLY like singles...Then, one week later, you practice single, doubles, and the next exercise, inverted paradiddles.

This method of practice sounds great! However, I could use some clarifications. Should you practice the singles and doubles leading with both hands all the time, or just one hand? Or should you lead with the left only when the special exercise of the week starts with a left hand stroke?

How about stick height? You suggested raising the sticks to a 16 inch height every minute, but never mentioned how high you should play otherwise. So, is it half strokes and full strokes, or taps and full strokes?

And by the way, going through the page takes nineteen weeks according to my math, which sums up to almost five months rather than just two. If you spend only two months on one tempo, then you're cheating, mister! :)
 
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NUTHA JASON

Senior Administrator
Re: STICK CONTROL (george L stone) your experiences and suggestions

Should you practice the singles and doubles leading with both hands all the time, or just one hand?

the GLS book is so written that for example ex1 (RLRLetc) and ex2 (LRLRetc) are mirrors as are 3 (RRLLetc) and 4 (LLRR etc) and so on. so leading hand is immaterial. he insists on making you do both systematically. i think jazzsnob is thinking in groups of related exercises as in my chart above.

j
 

n2xlr8n

Senior Member
Re: STICK CONTROL (george L stone) your experiences and suggestions

Thanks for the help, folks.

I went through the ex.1-6 last night @ 8th=80 using full strokes (the "free stroke") for an hour.

To make sure I understand the method: Play the examples using half strokes for one cycle, then use tap strokes, correct?

Are you guys saying that I don't necessarily have to use a full or "free" stroke when playing this book (for the first time)?

I appreciate the help!

S.
 

jazzsnob

Silver Member
Re: STICK CONTROL (george L stone) your experiences and suggestions

Wavelength said:
This method of practice sounds great! However, I could use some clarifications. Should you practice the singles and doubles leading with both hands all the time, or just one hand? Or should you lead with the left only when the special exercise of the week starts with a left hand stroke?

How about stick height? You suggested raising the sticks to a 16 inch height every minute, but never mentioned how high you should play otherwise. So, is it half strokes and full strokes, or taps and full strokes?

And by the way, going through the page takes nineteen weeks according to my math, which sums up to almost five months rather than just two. If you spend only two months on one tempo, then you're cheating, mister! :)

As far as heights go, whenever you aren't "UP" you should be playing extremely low, about 2-3 inches. Taps you could say.

And you're right about the 5 month thing, but sometimes things can go faster. And it is one thing I forgot in my original post, but if you want, you can play the paradiddle sections and the triple stroke sections all in one week. You should only do that if you are seriously practicing 6-10 hours a day(like what I'm doing now that I'm out of high school).

But I stopped working on this excercise after two years because I changed to tradtional grip. Luckily, my drum teacher tells me that when I start it again in a month or two, I can start it just a few metronome clicks below where it was before, about 126.

Good luck with it!


edit:As Nutha said, you don't need to worry about leading with these excercises, G.L. Stone already did that work for you! And for clarification Nutha, the whole point of these excercises is to make sure that you are constantly working on singles and doubles every day, while looking and and working on variations of them, every single day. You can do a simpler excercise by taking maybe, a group of four excercises and practicing them for a week, but that unfortunately means less focus on the individual patterns.
 
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