Help with stick control again

Auspicious

Silver Member
I think that you are practicing too fast to learn a new motion. Try half that speed. The main goal is to get the intended motions working and repeat them until they work “automatically.”

Your German grip looks more like an American grip to me which is also OK. Use what works.
Slower ok, I'll slow it down even more and try it again today.

Thanks everyone for your comments (even those unhappy about this), I learned a good deal of things by experimenting and digging more.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Platinum Member
both grips are starting to open up more though, which is REALLY GOOD!!

I am going to go against the grain - and hopefully not start a shit show - and say that this is actually a real good tempo to be doing this at...it just needs to "evolve" and settle into your muscles. This will take a few days. I definitely would NOT go faster though. If you go faster than your muscles are able to, you will tense up, and then your brain will always think of rolls as being tense

I think that this is the perfect speed for your fingers to understand how to play with the rebound of the first stroke, and put it back in the drum strong. Slower would make the strokes separate into two separate strokes - which will also build strength - but your finger muscles are just on the cusp of "getting" how to interact with the second stroke
 

Sebenza

Member
both grips are starting to open up more though, which is REALLY GOOD!!

I am going to go against the grain - and hopefully not start a shit show - and say that this is actually a real good tempo to be doing this at...it just needs to "evolve" and settle into your muscles. This will take a few days. I definitely would NOT go faster though. If you go faster than your muscles are able to, you will tense up, and then your brain will always think of rolls as being tense

I think that this is the perfect speed for your fingers to understand how to play with the rebound of the first stroke, and put it back in the drum strong. Slower would make the strokes separate into two separate strokes - which will also build strength - but your finger muscles are just on the cusp of "getting" how to interact with the second stroke
You won't get any arguments from me, I'm not a teacher, you are. And the two sentences I highlighted in your post, clearly show your experience in dealing with these matters. I really like the way you phrased them. Even though I have very little experience in it, I suspect teaching is at least as much about motivation as it is about constructive criticism.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Platinum Member
You won't get any arguments from me, I'm not a teacher, you are. And the two sentences I highlighted in your post, clearly show your experience in dealing with these matters. I really like the way you phrased them. Even though I have very little experience in it, I suspect teaching is at least as much about motivation as it is about constructive criticism.

thanks!!

I just sort of just react to what I am seeing I guess, and have been doing it so long that tons of "tools" are in the tool box in my head. Back in t he day, the natrual reaction to fixing things was to "slow it down"...but sometimes, I feel that that is not always helpful...AND, if all we do is play slow, then that is all we are preparing our selves to do. Sometimes, you also have to push your muscles - and self - to the edge for a bit, and learn how to adapt what you learned slow to higher tempos

I think of it now as: you learn concepts slow, and then you start applying them, and adjusting them to the new tempo construct, allowing your muscles to learn how to adapt.

I got this from working with my college professor: we would work on pieces drastically slow forever, and then the performance date would come up, and he would go: "now, up to tempo"...and it never worked, because x pattern at 60bpm feels WAAAYYYY different than same pattern at 144...especailly when you were doing x pattern at 60 for 5 weeks <---muscle memory has set in

I eventually figured out that I would play it at 60 during lessons, and then push tempos on my own when the time was right
 

Auspicious

Silver Member
thanks!!

I just sort of just react to what I am seeing I guess, and have been doing it so long that tons of "tools" are in the tool box in my head. Back in t he day, the natrual reaction to fixing things was to "slow it down"...but sometimes, I feel that that is not always helpful...AND, if all we do is play slow, then that is all we are preparing our selves to do. Sometimes, you also have to push your muscles - and self - to the edge for a bit, and learn how to adapt what you learned slow to higher tempos

I think of it now as: you learn concepts slow, and then you start applying them, and adjusting them to the new tempo construct, allowing your muscles to learn how to adapt.

I got this from working with my college professor: we would work on pieces drastically slow forever, and then the performance date would come up, and he would go: "now, up to tempo"...and it never worked, because x pattern at 60bpm feels WAAAYYYY different than same pattern at 144...especailly when you were doing x pattern at 60 for 5 weeks <---muscle memory has set in

I eventually figured out that I would play it at 60 during lessons, and then push tempos on my own when the time was right
Thanks for the previous support, glad to see an observation of improvement there.

I noticed that in the jazz music I listen to, it's all or nothing. The slow pieces with brushes.. you can fall asleep behind the kit during the long bass solos of LaFaro or Goméz. Then the next song is fairly fast with plenty of fills.. all the drumming is happening at fast tempo, fast comping, fast tradings, etc.

-->it's all or nothing at all.

I like the example with your teacher, playing thing faster and sooner will be required soon enough.. otherwise.. I will never be able to play the faster tunes.

(What is soon enough is another question I can't answer yet.)
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
both grips are starting to open up more though, which is REALLY GOOD!!

I am going to go against the grain - and hopefully not start a shit show - and say that this is actually a real good tempo to be doing this at...it just needs to "evolve" and settle into your muscles. This will take a few days. I definitely would NOT go faster though. If you go faster than your muscles are able to, you will tense up, and then your brain will always think of rolls as being tense

I think that this is the perfect speed for your fingers to understand how to play with the rebound of the first stroke, and put it back in the drum strong. Slower would make the strokes separate into two separate strokes - which will also build strength - but your finger muscles are just on the cusp of "getting" how to interact with the second stroke

I'm late to this discussion, and I won't go against this advice... But I do think it would really help the OP to explore throw-catch, at super slow speed, in order to build the necessary wrist and finger coordination and motion. All due respect to Xstr8, but I'm skeptical that this will "evolve" sufficiently, without directly working on it. With my students, we learn throw-catch very slowly, stopping the stick completely, after the throw, but before the catch, and returning to the starting position after each catch. I don't think I've ever had a student whose doubles just "evolved", even after months of reps.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Platinum Member
I'm late to this discussion, and I won't go against this advice... But I do think it would really help the OP to explore throw-catch, at super slow speed, in order to build the necessary wrist and finger coordination and motion. All due respect to Xstr8, but I'm skeptical that this will "evolve" sufficiently, without directly working on it. With my students, we learn throw-catch very slowly, stopping the stick completely, after the throw, but before the catch, and returning to the starting position after each catch. I don't think I've ever had a student whose doubles just "evolved", even after months of reps.

no offense taken

I do the same thing when they are first starting as well...but if we never increase the tempo, they never learn to combine the throw catch into the "one motion" you use to play faster open doubles. And for me, the period of time between beginning slow tempo, and starting to add speed is usually about 3-6 months, so it is not like we do it slow for a day, and then just run.

I think by "evolving", I mean the process of failing a bunch, and then "getting it" it a few times, and then repeating that process until the "getting it" happens more than the fail. Again, a process that takes some time, and good mental analyzation and focus.

I think Auspicious has been doing some of that over the past few months too, so you did miss some of that early advice.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
I do think it would really help the OP to explore throw-catch, at super slow speed, in order to build the necessary wrist and finger coordination and motion.

I couldn't agree more. In fact, I dare say that OP should start right at square one and learn proper free-strokes at full heights and slow speeds until he has a good handle on them. Then, and only then, should he start playing faster and lower, incorporate his fingers, and work on doubles, triples, other motions, etc.

I'm of the belief that good technique (I don't care what grip you play), starts with clean free strokes - if you don't have those, not much else (aside from maybe Moeller whipping strokes) will come easily - I think you have to learn to open up your hands before you can do anything else.

That said, there are a couple of motions, like high speed doubles and high speed buzz rolls that should be learned at high speed, but I also believe you first need a clean line in your motions that proper free-strokes lead to in order to learn them.

I know from past posts that the OP is reluctant to get a teacher, and I've been reluctant to say anything about it since, but I would implore him to reconsider getting a qualified teacher. I was at one point in the same boat and of the same mindset as he is, and I now kick myself because of the bad habits I developed without having proper guidance and the time I wasted having to correct them.

OP, do yourself a favour, and find a good teacher. I don't know if it's hubris, the notion that learning how to drum is easy, or being a cheapskate in general that drives your reluctance to do so, but I'm willing to bet that if you don't, you'll be still be here next year asking similar questions and having seen little progress in your playing. If, one the other hand, you do find a good teacher, by this time next year he or she will have you playing far better than you are now. Either way, good luck!
 

Sebenza

Member
After watching the vid a few times more, there's something I notice though...his fulcrum between index and thumb starts out rather relaxed but about 5 or 6 bars in, you can see it becoming really tight. This coincides with his fulcrum sliding up the stick...towards the end of his playthrough in german grip, you can see his grip has moved a good 2 inches up the stick.

So that makes me think it's a fulcrum issue first. I think beatdat might be right here...
I think you have to learn to open up your hands before you can do anything else
 

Sebenza

Member
I know from past posts that the OP is reluctant to get a teacher, and I've been reluctant to say anything about it since, but I would implore him to reconsider getting a qualified teacher. I was at one point in the same boat and of the same mindset as he is, and I now kick myself because of the bad habits I developed without having proper guidance and the time I wasted having to correct them.

OP, do yourself a favour, and find a good teacher. I don't know if it's hubris, the notion that learning how to drum is easy, or being a cheapskate in general that drives your reluctance to do so, but I'm willing to bet that if you don't, you'll be still be here next year asking similar questions and having seen little progress in your playing. If, one the other hand, you do find a good teacher, by this time next year he or she will have you playing far better than you are now. Either way, good luck!
I've wrestled with the same thoughts, but Auspicious clearly has his reasons for doing things his way. I'm in no position to keep questioning him about it, and so I'd rather try to help him in whatever limited way I can offer.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
I've wrestled with the same thoughts, but Auspicious clearly has his reasons for doing things his way. I'm in no position to keep questioning him about it, and so I'd rather try to help him in whatever limited way I can offer.

I get it. I avoided it for a long time for all of the reasons I mentioned. But, here's the thing, there's a nuance to drumming (particularly the free stroke) that, sure, a video can show you what to do, people on the internet can tell you what to do, but, unless you're one of the lucky few (I know I wasn't), only a good teacher can guide you on in your progress. There is, I believe, a fine line between good, clean technique that will allow you to play better, longer and faster without injury, and bad technique that will hamper your progress if not lead to injury. Sometimes it's just a matter of slightly moving your thumb or turning your wrist a bit that's the difference between the two, but, being ignorant (in the true sense of the word, that is, "without knowledge") of what that may be, it's almost impossible to figure out on your own without developing bad habits or hampering your progress in the interim. And that's one (of the many) things a good teacher can show you quickly and easily.
 

Auspicious

Silver Member
@beet I practiced the sheet of exercises today for a good 20 minutes at least, non stop, various speeds, switching from French, American and German, and focusing on keeping the fingers always on the stick like suggested by Todd and trying to loosen things up.

By thinking about keeping the fingers on the stick all the time and repeating the exercise, something is happening, it will work soon.

I'll work on the sheet this week and publish another video next weekend for analysis.

****
I read the various recommendations and not a single person has a different way of teaching, I might learn from 1 person and come here for analysis, expect other people to tell me that the technique is not right or to do something else. On every forum, any subject it's the same thing but I don't mind very much, It's like digging for gold or precious gems, fun with the process, 100% freedom.

I am having fun playing the drums everyday, everything is fine, there is no such thing as being annoyed by the time it takes to learn a process. The second it becomes a job or homework it's game over for me.
 

Auspicious

Silver Member
As something that may be less likely to make it no longer fun, you could intermittently performing an accent stroke using the fingers. That is to emphasize using fingers on demand and could be done while working on something that you enjoy.
I will try it.

***
The speed of my evolution is unimportant, I see it as an open university concept where the motto would be something like: "learn at your own speed". 😄 i don't know what to say.. it's America, everything can be exchanged for money or everything is related to performance.

I am really somewhere else.
 

Sebenza

Member
@Auspicious I have a few pads laying around at work and had some free time to do a quick recording of how I play a double stroke focusing on the right hand. Things might not sound as clean and even as I'd like, but I was focusing on keeping my right hand in the picture...apparently I use a lot more arm motion than I thought (which making this video pointed out to me:confused:) Anyways...I hope it provides you another perspective to look at and sorry for the crappy phone picture and background noise.

The first part is what I consider to be the prerequisite to playing the double stroke the way I approach it...a grip loose enough to let the stick rebound and pivot to almost vertical through my thumb and index fulcrum. I think that's maybe what beatdat meant with "opening the hands up"?

The second part is a roll played from slow to fast and back to demonstrate how the motions remain generally the same and only differ in how large or small they get depending on tempo. At the faster tempos the wrist gets used less and it becomes more of an arm motion, but the fingers keep doing the exact same thing.

The third part is just a 2/4 version of the exercise I posted earlier.


I would like to point out that I do not claim to have good technique or rudimental skills, but it has been enough to get me through most musical settings for over 30 years now. When I still could be called "a working musician", I've found it was all I ever needed. It worked for rolls, for flourishes on the hihats, for fast rolls around the toms, etc... The same motions wormed their way into my playing in flams as a sort of push-pull continuous motion thing too. It also doesn't rely on the surface as much, I can play them equal enough on low tuned floortoms as on the snare or hihat...just requires a bit more snap from the fingers on the more mushy surfaces.
 

Auspicious

Silver Member
@Auspicious I have a few pads laying around at work and had some free time to do a quick recording of how I play a double stroke focusing on the right hand. Things might not sound as clean and even as I'd like, but I was focusing on keeping my right hand in the picture...apparently I use a lot more arm motion than I thought (which making this video pointed out to me:confused:) Anyways...I hope it provides you another perspective to look at and sorry for the crappy phone picture and background noise.

The first part is what I consider to be the prerequisite to playing the double stroke the way I approach it...a grip loose enough to let the stick rebound and pivot to almost vertical through my thumb and index fulcrum. I think that's maybe what beatdat meant with "opening the hands up"?

The second part is a roll played from slow to fast and back to demonstrate how the motions remain generally the same and only differ in how large or small they get depending on tempo. At the faster tempos the wrist gets used less and it becomes more of an arm motion, but the fingers keep doing the exact same thing.

The third part is just a 2/4 version of the exercise I posted earlier.

I would like to point out that I do not claim to have good technique or rudimental skills, but it has been enough to get me through most musical settings for over 30 years now. When I still could be called "a working musician", I've found it was all I ever needed. It worked for rolls, for flourishes on the hihats, for fast rolls around the toms, etc... The same motions wormed their way into my playing in flams as a sort of push-pull continuous motion thing too. It also doesn't rely on the surface as much, I can play them equal enough on low tuned floortoms as on the snare or hihat...just requires a bit more snap from the fingers on the more mushy surfaces.


****

Ahh thanks for the example and the precise analysis of it. I will work on it tonight and try to nail that right hand movement, looks like a hit and catch thing more then a open close thing. Very similar to your earlier video from Mr. Knudsens.

I will try again myself to see see if I can copy what you do.

***

I listened to a video from Jack Dejohnette yesterday and he explains that it's good to use the arms, arm motion.
Video @ 13.40 to 16.30
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Platinum Member
@Auspicious I have a few pads laying around at work and had some free time to do a quick recording of how I play a double stroke focusing on the right hand. Things might not sound as clean and even as I'd like, but I was focusing on keeping my right hand in the picture...apparently I use a lot more arm motion than I thought (which making this video pointed out to me:confused:) Anyways...I hope it provides you another perspective to look at and sorry for the crappy phone picture and background noise.

The first part is what I consider to be the prerequisite to playing the double stroke the way I approach it...a grip loose enough to let the stick rebound and pivot to almost vertical through my thumb and index fulcrum. I think that's maybe what beatdat meant with "opening the hands up"?

The second part is a roll played from slow to fast and back to demonstrate how the motions remain generally the same and only differ in how large or small they get depending on tempo. At the faster tempos the wrist gets used less and it becomes more of an arm motion, but the fingers keep doing the exact same thing.

The third part is just a 2/4 version of the exercise I posted earlier.


I would like to point out that I do not claim to have good technique or rudimental skills, but it has been enough to get me through most musical settings for over 30 years now. When I still could be called "a working musician", I've found it was all I ever needed. It worked for rolls, for flourishes on the hihats, for fast rolls around the toms, etc... The same motions wormed their way into my playing in flams as a sort of push-pull continuous motion thing too. It also doesn't rely on the surface as much, I can play them equal enough on low tuned floortoms as on the snare or hihat...just requires a bit more snap from the fingers on the more mushy surfaces.


ahh yes...good old "open-close-open" or slow -fast-slow...probably the single best exercise to build chops in my opinion...I do this with all of my rudiments, and the first page of exercises in Stone Stick Control to warm up, and when I am just "noodling'

we also end pretty much every drumline session with a version of this using double strokes and/or alternating strokes
 

Auspicious

Silver Member
I am practicing the exercise now, it don't feel natural, especially all the wrist motion.

I obviously can see the good results of it, it's all even and everything, but when I do it, it feels like a lot of extra motion. The wrist motion and finger activity, they don't feel entirely right with my left hand which is a different.

Just a note..
 

Sebenza

Member
I am practicing the exercise now, it don't feel natural, especially all the wrist motion.

I obviously can see the good results of it, it's all even and everything, but when I do it, it feels like a lot of extra motion. The wrist motion and finger activity, they don't feel entirely right with my left hand which is a different.

Just a note..
It's just the way I do it and it has worked for me...take from that what you will. I thought that a video would make it clearer what my comments meant. From other posters commenting on your questions, it's clear there are other ways to arrive at functioning double strokes, probably a lot better too, but I don't know them, sorry.

As far as things not feeling natural...I suspect any new motion(s) will feel that way at the start. At least for me they do, but I just try to put in the time. Some things have taken me a week to get them going, others have taken a whole lot longer and some are still struggles.
 

Auspicious

Silver Member
It's just the way I do it and it has worked for me...take from that what you will. I thought that a video would make it clearer what my comments meant. From other posters commenting on your questions, it's clear there are other ways to arrive at functioning double strokes, probably a lot better too, but I don't know them, sorry.

As far as things not feeling natural...I suspect any new motion(s) will feel that way at the start. At least for me they do, but I just try to put in the time. Some things have taken me a week to get them going, others have taken a whole lot longer and some are still struggles.
Ah yes totally the video made it very clear, thank your for taking the time to do this for me, I am sure others enjoyed it too.

I will follow your advice and continue practicing the grip and like The Dude would say: "I've got information, man. New shit has come to light."

In the last days, along with the info from this thread and your video, I watched 2 other videos about grip, one from Jack Dejohnette and one from another thread here.

Video from post #65 from Someguy01

The vic firth video was revealing and addressing some difficulties I have, it's talking about an American grip with Germani-ish or Frenish-ish features. These tips are helping me with your double exercise. I would even say it's a big deal.

We will see in a couple of days when I publish an update video, if there is an improvement.

It's fun really, fun with learning grips and tips. :)
 
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