Tony Williams Drum Clinic (1hour)

Jazz

Member
Awesome!!!! This is gold! Great stuff!!!

I'll say that I agree with his hand technique. It echoes a lot of what I've been taught rudimental/marching style.
edit: He later talks about learning both traditional and matched grips, which I think is a great idea. They just feel different, and you think differently...

31:10 I'm sure most of us have had that experience. You record yourself the first time and realize that you don't sound like you thought you did (you thought you sounded good, but you really sounded like poo)
 
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fourstringdrums

Guest
Awesome!!!! This is gold! Great stuff!!!

I'll say that I agree with his hand technique. It echoes a lot of what I've been taught rudimental/marching style.
edit: He later talks about learning both traditional and matched grips, which I think is a great idea. They just feel different, and you think differently...

31:10 I'm sure most of us have had that experience. You record yourself the first time and realize that you don't sound like you thought you did (you thought you sounded good, but you really sounded like poo)
I'm still a bit unsure about what he was talking about hand technique wise. Was he saying that he doesn't use fingers and doesn't rely on bounce at all, that everything comes from his hands?
 

Jazz

Member
The rudimental technique that I was taught is this:
Don't rely on bounce: you have to be able to control the stick- also, different sized/tuned drums bounce differently (try playing a double stroke roll on your leg)
Have all you fingers touching the stick- don't rely just on your front two fingers because you won't have any control. All fingers- the whole hand- controls the stick.


This doesn't mean you ply with a death grip or anything- everything should still be relaxed and comfortable, and you should still should have loose smooth strokes. I adjust my playing stlye when playing drumset rather than rudimental snare, but the main concepts are still there.
 

Steamer

Platinum Member
I'm still a bit unsure about what he was talking about hand technique wise. Was he saying that he doesn't use fingers and doesn't rely on bounce at all, that everything comes from his hands?
Watch this masterclass in stick/wrist control carefully recorded just before Tony's untimely passing. Speaks volumes about his approach to technique as he mentioned in the hour long clinic from many years before. EVERTHING is controlled with the hands and wrist and of coarse fingers combined but NO finger type bouncing as he mentioned in the clinic. Amazing solo proving as i've told many of my fellow local drummers that Tony just kept getting better and more focused in his concept as he got older. Like listening to a fine symphonic percussion piece. Enjoy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDgNKlLLm4Q&feature=related

P.S. Just watched this again myself. A humbling and inspiring performance all rolled into one and goes without saying a most musical display of fine drumming by this great master on tape preserved for all of us to enjoy and LEARN something from for many years to come.
 
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Steamer

Platinum Member
The rudimental technique that I was taught is this:
Don't rely on bounce: you have to be able to control the stick- also, different sized/tuned drums bounce differently (try playing a double stroke roll on your leg)
Have all you fingers touching the stick- don't rely just on your front two fingers because you won't have any control. All fingers- the whole hand- controls the stick.


This doesn't mean you ply with a death grip or anything- everything should still be relaxed and comfortable, and you should still should have loose smooth strokes. I adjust my playing stlye when playing drumset rather than rudimental snare, but the main concepts are still there.
I came from a early background of traditional old style Swiss Basel drumming as part of my studies so I know exacty what you speak about Jazz. Every stroke no matter how soft/loud or fast/slow combined with incredibly quick and difficult dynamic shifts particularly at high speed during patterns is controlled with the hand and wrist with fingers in conjunction with each hand grip in this very old traditional approach to snare drum playing. Tony's definitely had some of this going in his approach and concept. You can see and hear this when he's warming up with doubles at the beginning of the old clinic clip.
 

tomgrosset

Pioneer Member
I'm still a bit unsure about what he was talking about hand technique wise. Was he saying that he doesn't use fingers and doesn't rely on bounce at all, that everything comes from his hands?
Tony is gripping the stick with his pinky and ring finger and the middle and index finger are not gripped on to the stick. The thumb does most of the rebound work. He also uses a lot of wrist with his grip and he was able to pull this off at any tempo, because he's a machine. I even use my wrists at fast tempos. My fingers give the control and my wrists produce the stroke. If you see my WFD videos on my YouTube page, you'll know what I mean.
 

Class A Drummer

Pioneer Member
Wow what a coincidence. A few hours ago i was thinking to myself how i wanted to watch this video again, so i looked around the forum for a couple mins and couldnt find it, so i did a google video search and found it.
Great solos. I especially liked his brushes work over any of the other solos he did.
 
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fourstringdrums

Guest
Tony is gripping the stick with his pinky and ring finger and the middle and index finger are not gripped on to the stick. The thumb does most of the rebound work. He also uses a lot of wrist with his grip and he was able to pull this off at any tempo, because he's a machine. I even use my wrists at fast tempos. My fingers give the control and my wrists produce the stroke. If you see my WFD videos on my YouTube page, you'll know what I mean.
Oh I wasn't aware of that. Did he use his index or middle fingers at all in providing the fulcrum or some finger control? If not, where is his fulcrum if the first two fingers aren't involved?
 

Steamer

Platinum Member
Oh I wasn't aware of that. Did he use his index or middle fingers at all in providing the fulcrum or some finger control? If not, where is his fulcrum if the first two fingers aren't involved?
Watch the clip I recently posted carefully you can see precisely how he held the sticks in this matched grip masterpiece of musical drum playing.
 
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fourstringdrums

Guest
Watch the clip I posted carefully you can see precisely how he held the sticks in this matched grip masterpiece of drum playing.
I've watched it a few times but it's still hard to see precisely what he is doing. I can see that he isn't really holding on with the first two fingers, but when he gets faster and is using fingers, I have a hard time seeing where his fulcrum is.
 

Steamer

Platinum Member
I've watched it a few times but it's still hard to see precisely what he is doing. I can see that he isn't really holding on with the first two fingers, but when he gets faster and is using fingers, I have a hard time seeing where his fulcrum is.
Nope he's not using finger bouncing in the faster passages. All coming from the wrist and hand with fingers closed in on each stick on that clip.
 
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fourstringdrums

Guest
Nope he's not using finger bouncing in the faster passages. All coming from the wrist and hand.
But for the times when he does use fingers for control, where is his fulcrum if the index and middle finger don't hold on to the stick?
 

Steamer

Platinum Member
But for the times when he does use fingers for control, where is his fulcrum if the index and middle finger don't hold on to the stick?
Watching it carefully again without sound it would appear the flat of the thumb and second inner knuckle of first finger with the rest of the fingers including pinky drawn always in contact with the stick. You can also see that his hand is moving with each played beat to each stroke even in the blistering fluid motion sequences going from drum to drum in this clip. I believe he explains his fulcrum grip in detail in the question and answer part of the old clinic
 
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fourstringdrums

Guest
Watching it carefully again without sound it would appear the flat of the thumb and second inner knuckle of first finger with the rest of the fingers including pinky drawn always in contact with the stick. You can also see that his wrist moves to each stroke even in the blistering fluid motion sequences going from drum to drum in this clip. I believe he explains his fulcrum grip in detail in the question and answer part of the old clinic
Ok that is what I thought. But in the clinic video where he starts off with doubles/paradiddles and what not, he seems to be using a combination of his wrist with any finger movement being supplied mainly by what looks like his ring and pinky finger (I'm talking about his right hand). Does that sound about right?

He does answer in the question and answer part but to me it was a little bit vague. I'll have to watch it again later.
 

tomgrosset

Pioneer Member
Yeah, Tony's grip is hard to understand. But it certainly sounds good!

That's what we all have to keep in mind. We should be paying more attention to the sound we are producing as opposed to worrying about what our fingers/wrists look like all the time.
 

Steamer

Platinum Member
Ok that is what I thought. But in the clinic video where he starts off with doubles/paradiddles and what not, he seems to be using a combination of his wrist with any finger movement being supplied mainly by what looks like his ring and pinky finger (I'm talking about his right hand). Does that sound about right?

He does answer in the question and answer part but to me it was a little bit vague. I'll have to watch it again later.
I'd have to view it carefully again but yes sounds about right. The most important thing is the initial fulcrum between the flat of the thumb and second knuckle of the first finger and that fact that Tony REALLY made a point in the old clinic he does not advocate a finger bounce style approach into his personal playing technique. All else can be debated but that important point stands as a way of understanding his sound and how he got his sound to project.
 

Steamer

Platinum Member
I respect Tony and all, but his playing just not for me. I could've fallen asleep.
Listening to Tony and falling asleep seems like quite a stretch of the imagination IMO but each to his own and I respect others to listen to whoever turns their crank. Certainly know fine exciting musical drumming at the hands of a true drum master when I hear it from MY perspective and musical concept for what it's worth.
 

Michael G

Silver Member
Listening to Tony and falling asleep seems like quite a stretch of the imagination IMO but each to his own and I respect others to listen to whoever turns their crank. Certainly know fine exciting musical drumming at the hands of a true drum master when I hear it from MY perspective and musical concept for what it's worth.
To be fair it is past midnight.

Anyway, you're missing a keyword in that last sentence so I am not quite sure what you mean. It looks like you are implying I am not knowledgeable in exciting musical drumming?

If so, please do explain.
 

Steamer

Platinum Member
To be fair it is past midnight.

Anyway, you're missing a keyword in that last sentence so I am not quite sure what you mean. It looks like you are implying I am not knowledgeable in exciting musical drumming?

If so, please do explain.
Well I was not sure what in direct relation you are making reference too in this thread about Tony,his playing in general or something else in your comment. I guess i'm confused because i'm still buzzing off of watching the incredible display of dynamics and musical playing on the clip I posted tonight of someone with a masterful touch and very enjoyable melodic/harmonic ideas on the drumset IMO.

If you don't like Tony's playing that's cool with me sorry if it came off funny on my part. Each to his own...
 
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