Very loose/flexible wrists - a must have?

C

Christianic

Guest
I trying to practice this technique but it always let me to drop my stick. is there a correct practice procedure that will help me in not dropping my stick. sorry for my grammar.
 

WaitForItDrummer

Senior Member
Thanks ncc, Bo and all! - I guess I can see both sides of the 'pillow vs no pillow' argument... Might give it a go out of curiosity...
 

cornelius

Silver Member
This is exactly what practicing on a pillow does.
It forces you to pick up the sticks off of the pillow to simulate rebound.
So when you actually get rebound from a drum head your hands are moving in the right direction and doing the right thing; so as to get the most sound out of the drum.
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I'm not into the dead-surface thing, but that's the first description of playing on pillows, that kinda makes sense to me... It's true, you have to do what Joe Morello would say as "accept the rebound". In other words, when the stick rebounds back, your wrist has to bend back with the stick, and follow it back. So, this is another way of saying loose wrists are a good thing - actually loose everything is a good thing. The goal is zero tension anywhere in your body...
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Thanks ncc, Bo and all! - I guess I can see both sides of the 'pillow vs no pillow' argument... Might give it a go out of curiosity...
That's pretty much how it all works out - give it a shot. If you like it, stick with it. If not, then you're not breaking any rules. In fact, there aren't really any rules....until you go study music in college, then there's all kinds of rules. And those you have to let go of before you go out and meet people to work with ;)
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I'll go ahead and be the one to throw out the polarizing, "but Neil Peart ..." haha

It's true, though; the man has very stiff form and always has. It gives him that very mechanical feel that we either love to hate or love to love (hate to love? :).

However one might feel about him does nothing to diminish the massive effect he's had on the drumming world, so to answer the original question; no, not a "must have". Just depends on what you're going for.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I can't understand why some folks are so opposed to the pillow drumming thing. There's just no two ways about it. It's beneficial if you put in a bit of time. Every surface we play on is different, and we can't rely on bounce from a drum or cymbal. We can use it, but not rely on it. Practicing on dead surfaces, or even better, surfaces that absorb energy and force us to do even more work, is good for us.

Anyway, I've never really seen a "great" drummer who didn't know how to use his wrists around the kit. My second teacher used to constantly go over the different types of strokes, and regardless if it comes from the top of the arm, or the elbow, or whatever, the wrist needs to not get locked, it just doesn't help.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
WHAT ? No way.

He might seem a little stiff but I see plenty of wrist action in his playing. See here: http://youtu.be/gGPI3VevPqI
Ha ha! I was going to post that same video as an example of how stiff he is! Just kidding ;) It's not that he doesn't use his wrists, but he does seem to have a bigger large muscle contribution to his playing when compared to most.

For the record, I'm a huge Peart fan. Okay, not nearly so much since the early '80s, but he was so good then that I can't think of anything he can do now to erase all that admiration. A big part of why I liked him so much was due to that same "stiffness" since it seemed to give him a very straight feel with very little swing. Seems to me that he was one of the first "good" rock drummers that didn't bring that old swing to the table the way so many of his contemporaries and predecessors did (Mitchell, Bonham, Palmer, et al). Not that I dislike the old swing, but against that backdrop, he seemed like a breath of fresh air.

Because of him, I don't necessarily see a relaxed form as an absolute requirement, though generally speaking, I agree it's a good default for most players.
 

BillRayDrums

Gold Member
There is a vendor at NAMM that displays steel drumsticks, meant for just the purpose ncc is talking about. I found it rather odd myself, just as I find practicing on pillows to be rather odd too. The job is to play the drums, so I practice with what I use to play the drums. I may switch around to slightly heavier sticks, or do my rudiments with brushes, but I've never gotten into the steel weights. I figure it's an argument but I would think you could do some physical damage working out like that. You're not muscle building, you're muscle coordinating, no?
Heavier sticks may build more muscles in your hands but they won't develop proper control. I always was taught "use what you use" and with that said, I use a Pro-Mark 2B hickory for everything, including light dinner jazz gigs. Stick thickness really doesn't have anything to do with volume really. I've seen guys go to gigs with 11A Combo sticks and run everyone out of the place because of the volume.

The reason I favor the thicker sticks is because I have really large hands and trying to get my mitt around anything smaller than a 5B is not gonna happen. So, a 2B fits perfectly and feels right and balanced. Conversely, I let the weight of the stick do most of the work.

In my opinion, the best way to improve your control is to exercise that control via just good solid practice habits. Spend at least 10-20 minutes a day practicing things like the four "core" strokes (Full, Tap, Down and Up) because those four positions will give you mechanical realization as to what each stroke is used for.

Gary Chaffee wrote a great series of books on the subject.
 

Winegums

Silver Member
Everything should be loose when you're playing drums besides your core which should be stiff you hold you steady. Loose wrists and a loose grip on your sticks will make faster playing easier. I've noticed as soon as I tense up I burn more energy, blister my hands and get sloppier.

It doesn't matter if you've been playing for years or only months, staying loose will help you avoid injury and play better.
 

WaitForItDrummer

Senior Member
WHAT ? No way.

He might seem a little stiff but I see plenty of wrist action in his playing. See here: http://youtu.be/gGPI3VevPqI

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Neil is s awesome in that vid, but if you compare his wrist action to Tommy Igoe's in this:
http://youtu.be/YNvhUQHUDnc

There is a huge difference...

Are we basically saying this type of wrist action comes from just practicing the basic strokes for a long time and "accepting the rebound"?


In my opinion, the best way to improve your control is to exercise that control via just good solid practice habits. Spend at least 10-20 minutes a day practicing things like the four "core" strokes (Full, Tap, Down and Up) because those four positions will give you mechanical realization as to what each stroke is used for.

Gary Chaffee wrote a great series of books on the subject.
Thanks! Sounds like solid advice. I'll give that a go too.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Everything should be loose when you're playing drums besides your core which should be stiff you hold you steady. Loose wrists and a loose grip on your sticks will make faster playing easier. I've noticed as soon as I tense up I burn more energy, blister my hands and get sloppier. It doesn't matter if you've been playing for years or only months, staying loose will help you avoid injury and play better.
Yes This !!

When I first started playing again after a long hiatus I tried using some drumstick wax.
It helped me hold on to my stick better; but I discovered that while I am playing I constantly move the sticks around in my hand. So the wax was not good for me.

(After about a year I developed a good grip again. Now I use coated sticks.

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Hiya,

Yeah, loose wrists are a must if you want to get to the next level in your playing. They help to play fast and with as little effort as possible...amongst other things.

I have a video drum lesson on stick grip below if you're interested. I talk a little about the wrists as well...

"Stick Grip" Video Drum Lesson

Hope that helps a little!

Rob
 
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