Traditional grip and high tom

sciomako

Silver Member
Hi folks,

I give myself the challenge to learn traditional grip this year. And I run into a ergonomics problem.

Now my stick is more at 8 o’clock instead of 7 o’clock as with match grip, my HH is getting in the way of the butt of the stick when I hit the high tom full stroke. Similar problem happens to floor tom.

I imagine this should a common problem. How do you guys adjust your kits to accommodate this? Move high tom higher? Tilt high tom left side up? Move HH more to left? What about the floor tom?

By the way, I play a small makeshift bebop kit (16” bass) at home.

thanks.


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mrfingers

Senior Member
I’ve moved my hats more to the left and lower and my FT level with my snare. My crash on the left gets moved to left also and higher than the tom. The small tom I tilt up at small angle, not flat.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Can't help but notice that you should hold the stick a bit closer to the butt end, maybe an inch or two.

Also, the angle of your left hand is too straight, coming out from your wrist. Bend your entire hand backward a bit, at the wrist, as you play. The butt end of your stick will be hanging out a bit closer to the back of your forearm, and be less likely to hit an adjacent surface.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
As others suggested, making those small changes to the kit will help. I also think part of the problem is your grip location. My traditional grip, like Morrisman's, is further back on the stick.
 

jansara

Junior Member
Your grip position is off. You're playing palm up. The grip starts with the palm facing to the right, with the hand cocked upwards at the wrist. That allows the wrist to rotate freely with maximum travel.

When held properly, and you make a full stroke from the up position to down, the stick tip will move in an arc, down and away from you; the stick makes contact with the drum in the middle of the arc. It glances off the head instead of playing into it.
 
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C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Dave Weckl angles his rack toms to accommodate his preference for traditional grip, mirroring the marching position of a Colonial drummer's snare. You may be able to find a video on his ergonomic preferences. Though I used traditional grip in my early days as a student, I haven't done so in decades and can be of no direct service. Good luck.
 

sciomako

Silver Member
I get that my fulcrum is a bit off and my palm is facing too much upward. (Learning in progress :))

But if the stick is to hit the centre of the tom, changing the fulcrum or palm rotation doesn't change the stick's length and, thus, doesn't solve the problem. Or do I miss something?
 

sciomako

Silver Member
While we are on this topic, may I also ask about the grip.

When I do free strokes, my index finger won't be in touch with the stick. I'm aware there are varieties of finger techniques. But it looks like when it comes to free/full strokes, only the thumb (and the fulcrum) is controlling the stick. Is that correct?
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I get that my fulcrum is a bit off and my palm is facing too much upward. (Learning in progress :))

But if the stick is to hit the centre of the tom, changing the fulcrum or palm rotation doesn't change the stick's length and, thus, doesn't solve the problem. Or do I miss something?
It doesn't change the length of the stick, but it will change the position of the fulcrum and the amount of stick that dips down toward the hi-hat. Believe me, it will help.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
While we are on this topic, may I also ask about the grip.

When I do free strokes, my index finger won't be in touch with the stick. I'm aware there are varieties of finger techniques. But it looks like when it comes to free/full strokes, only the thumb (and the fulcrum) is controlling the stick. Is that correct?
Depends. I learned that the left hand full stroke comes from a rotation of the wrist, and that doesn't necessarily require the finger to leave the stick.

This video isn't directly related to what you're asking, but at the beginning, when he is demonstrating full strokes, you can clearly see what I mean. In the free stroke, the stick uses rebound to come back to this spot.

Does that help any?
 

sciomako

Silver Member
Depends. I learned that the left hand full stroke comes from a rotation of the wrist, and that doesn't necessarily require the finger to leave the stick. This video isn't directly related to what you're asking, but at the beginning, when he is demonstrating full strokes, you can clearly see what I mean. In the free stroke, the stick uses rebound to come back to this spot.
Does that help any?
At 3:02-3:15, his index finger did come off the stick in the full stroke.
 

Supernoodle

Senior Member
Seems you are using 'palm upwards'. Most players angle their wrist inwards, which means holding on to the stick only using your thumb for larger strokes.

If you don't want to let go like that watch Tony Williams, he uses the 'inward' angle with full grip, but then the range of motion is somewhat restricted.

(Modern) Dave Weckl has it figured out perfectly IMO, best of both worlds, and also in terms of tom placement!
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
This is a great topic. Just yesterday, after repositioning my 11in tom from the bass drum to a separate stand (to eliminate bass drum induced mic noise) I realized I had space on the stand for a 10in tom. I mentally envisioned it sitting there and being able to hit it without being limited by the hihat. However, I also realized I wouldn't have the same access to the 11in tom, my trad hand hitting the 10in on the down stroke.

If it's too good to be true, it probably is.
 

sciomako

Silver Member
Seems you are using 'palm upwards'. Most players angle their wrist inwards, which means holding on to the stick only using your thumb for larger strokes.

If you don't want to let go like that watch Tony Williams, he uses the 'inward' angle with full grip, but then the range of motion is somewhat restricted.

(Modern) Dave Weckl has it figured out perfectly IMO, best of both worlds, and also in terms of tom placement!
I've just watched some of Tony Williams' videos. When you say "palm inwards", do you mean palm facing the tummy?
 
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Stroman

Platinum Member
At 3:02-3:15, his index finger did come off the stick in the full stroke.
Yeah, a little.

It seems to me, though, that the point of the free stroke is to teach you to let the stick get out of it's own way, and use its energy most efficiently. I think you can become too focused on the wrong details.

Check out this video by Jim Chapin. It's long, but he shows that in real application, it's really common to use a lot of variations of numerous techniques. They're all just tools in your tool box.
 
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