Using the Fulcrum of Sticks?

Billy Brown

Senior Member
I have always gripped sticks lower than the fulcrum point. The exception might be marching sticks from back in the day.

Opinions? Your experiences?
 

Wavelength

Platinum Member
The definition of a fulcrum is a pivot on which a lever moves, so it's impossible not to grab a stick at the fulcrum -- your grip creates the fulcrum! Now, the stick's balance point is a different thing altogether, and I assume this is what you mean with "fulcrum".

I never, ever grab a stick at the balance point. This would make the stick become "weightless" with no inclination to move in either direction. Trying to play with a stick like this would be very difficult, since you'd need to be exerting effort throughout the stick's range of motion. The stick's sweet spot is always below the balance point: this makes the stick "top heavy" which allows you to throw the stick into motion instead of guiding it all the way.
 
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Big_Philly

Guest
The stick's sweet spot is always below the balance point: this makes the stick "top heavy" which allows you to throw the stick into motion instead of guiding it all the way.
Agreed. I only grab the stick's balance point when I need to play really soft.
 

k3ng

Silver Member
Those two points on the stick are what I call 'natural balance point' - the one where your sticks are completely balanced and have no inclined weight on either end, and 'optimal balance point' - this is the position that allows the stick to rebound the most.

Going too near the NBP means you have less weight on the tip of the stick and that means your stick's touch is completely independent of the weight of the stick. Going too far from away from the OBP in the other direction would mean that your stick has more than the usual amount of weight on the front, which makes your strokes heavier, but also kills a certain amount of rebound.

I don't stick to a single position on the stick. I move around really. Optimal balance points are suited for normal playing, I find my doubles especially are cleanest when using this position. But holding further back allows even a 7A stick to have substantial weight and sometimes that's what you need for those big finishes. Sometimes I don't move my hand, but grab with my pinky and ring fingers (like Jim Chapin does when explaining moeller for hard hitters) and that allows a louder larger sound from lighter sticks.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Well said Wavelength. Different drummers locate their fulcrum on different parts of the shaft, depending on their particular grip, the volume they need to play at, and other factors. It's not a set location, akin to how guitar players hold their picks...10 different guitar players, 10 different ways to hold their picks.
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
The definition of a fulcrum is a pivot on which a lever moves, so it's impossible not to grab a stick at the fulcrum -- your grip creates the fulcrum! Now, the stick's balance point is a different thing altogether, and I assume this is what you mean with "fulcrum".

I never, ever grab a stick at the balance point. This would make the stick become "weightless" with no inclination to move in either direction. Trying to play with a stick like this would be very difficult, since you'd need to be exerting effort throughout the stick's range of motion. The stick's sweet spot is always below the balance point: this makes the stick "top heavy" which allows you to throw the stick into motion instead of guiding it all the way.
Ditto.

If you watch someone like Gadd, you will see that he often holds the left stick pretty far back. I think he wants to get a fat sound from thrusting the full length of the stick down. Buddy held the stick quite far up, probably at its balancing point, so this allows for more speed.
 

Alex Luce

Pro Drummer
...I never, ever grab a stick at the balance point. This would make the stick become "weightless" with no inclination to move in either direction. Trying to play with a stick like this would be very difficult, since you'd need to be exerting effort throughout the stick's range of motion. The stick's sweet spot is always below the balance point: this makes the stick "top heavy" which allows you to throw the stick into motion instead of guiding it all the way.
I am not sure if I follow you here or if our definition of the stick's balance point is different. For most drumsticks, the balance point for the fulcrum is about 1/3 of the way from the bottom of the stick. This still leaves about 2/3 of the stick to move downward towards the drum, so that hardly results in an equilibrium or "weightless" effect.

Also, there is nothing wrong with "exerting effort throughout the stick's range of motion" or guiding the stick towards the drum. The minimal effort required to guide a stick through its range of motion pays off in a more powerful stroke. With a powerful stroke there is no need to grip the stick below its balance point--which results in a loss of potential rebound.

Regards,

Alex
 

Vipercussionist

Silver Member
I have always gripped sticks lower than the fulcrum point. The exception might be marching sticks from back in the day.

Opinions? Your experiences?
I've been told I hold the sticks like a Baby Rattle. I hold them ALL the way at the end of the stick. Must be a product of my being self taught, I just DID it and now that's how it is.
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__________________
Most respect the badge, but all fear the drum.
 

Toza

Senior Member
Ditto.

Buddy held the stick quite far up, probably at its balancing point, so this allows for more speed.

buddy held right hand on a balancing potint, but left was more to the right (up). On vic firth sticks there is little american flag vhich is sweet spot of the sticks. buddys signiture model has two sweet spots;););)
 

Billy Brown

Senior Member
I am not sure if I follow you here or if our definition of the stick's balance point is different. For most drumsticks, the balance point for the fulcrum is about 1/3 of the way from the bottom of the stick. This still leaves about 2/3 of the stick to move downward towards the drum, so that hardly results in an equilibrium or "weightless" effect.
So what is your definition of "the balance point?" The place to hold the stick to achieve maximum rebound?
 

Bruce M. Thomson

Gold Member
I used to generally hold them just back of the fulcrum particularly when I used 5B's, I have switched over to 55A's which are blend of 5A & 5B and have gotten into the habit of holding them farther down the shaft and gripping mainly with my pinky fingers. Takes a while to get used to but I noticed that you can save energy.
 

Fiery

Silver Member
buddy held right hand on a balancing potint, but left was more to the right (up). On vic firth sticks there is little american flag vhich is sweet spot of the sticks. buddys signiture model has two sweet spots;););)
If you rest your stick on just one finger, and it balances, without tipping either to the tip side or to the butt end side, it's resting on the balance point. It's not the same thing as the maximum rebound point.
Did you know that Vic Firth doesn't always place the logo (including the little flag) on the same place on the stick. Some sticks of the same model have the logo higher, and some have it lower.

To the original question, I hold the stick behind the maximum rebound point most of the time. More power and feels better.
 

tybaker5150

Junior Member
I hold my sticks about 3 inches from the back. But, ive been in drumline for the tenors, so i probably have a hybrid set hold. lol.
 

Alex Luce

Pro Drummer
If you rest your stick on just one finger, and it balances, without tipping either to the tip side or to the butt end side, it's resting on the balance point. It's not the same thing as the maximum rebound point.
I guess what you say makes sense, but I did a search on Google and nothing comes up when I type in "maximum rebound point". However, type in "balance point" and there seems to be a general consensus that this is the part of the stick you grip to create optimal rebound.

Anybody knows that the center of any rod or stick is the "center of balance" as Wavelength put it, but is this really of a concern to drummers? Most people know if you grip the stick at its center you are way in front of what would be considered a normal fulcrum. Although it is done, and by some famous drummers...another one that comes to mind is Steve Jordan...I've seen him do it on his ride cymbal.

Anyway, I am sticking with "balance point" for the fulcrum spot for now...unless somebody has a better idea!

Alex

P.S. I just read K3ng's post, somehow I missed that before. He makes good points, but still "balance point" seems to be the accepted term, even if it is a bit imprecise.
 
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