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Thread: Questions about Grip & Dave Weckl

  1. #1

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    Default Questions about Grip & Dave Weckl

    I've been practicing rudiments for a while now, but I'm scared that my grip is "wrong," and it scares me to think that I'm just building up wrong muscle memory.

    Like 5 years from now I'm going to have damaged hands or wrists. Or someone is going to come along, and say oh man you're doing it all wrong. Look how much energy you're wasting!

    I think the only think that's clear to me is to stay relaxed, and not get stiff. Got that. I take a long breath before i start the rudiments, start slow, an pick up speed.

    But how I should actually hold the sticks is all very confusing, and if I'm doing it wrong, it's like building a skyscraper on an unstable base.

    For example.

    From 30 seconds onto about 1:05 in the following video he explains that the palm must be face down, and they even put a picture where the palm is sideways and put a big X on it.



    <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/GUPu9yA_-7Q&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/GUPu9yA_-7Q&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>



    Now, in this video down here, you can see him playing with his palm facing sideways.

    <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/053bC81Lcv4&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/053bC81Lcv4&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>


    Why is that?

    Is it because of fingers? Is that the difference?

    When he's palm sideways he's using his fingers, and then later on he changed his technique to be more wrist flavored?

    I mean, when I'm playing on a kit, keeping time with my right hand it'll be with the palm facing sideways, and very loose with my middle and thumb doing a lot of work, and my wrist finishing the job. My left hand on the other hand (usually on the snare) will be palm facing down.

    Now, immediately when I switch to do a roll the left will switch to be more like the right albeit a lot less efficiently. (Is that normal? Will my left hand ever be as proficient as my right?)

    What about my grip? Is it really that wrong to have my palm facing sideways? That wrist motion comes more naturally to me than the palm facing down one.



    P.S. Do you guys know any good Drum tuners that come with a metronome function? I'm on a budget.

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Questions about Grip & Dave Weckl

    Welcome to Drum Chat Zagi.

    I wouldn't worry so much about all of this. Think of it this way: Dave Weckl is one of the greatest drummers of his time. He plays one way. Carter Beauford is another terrific drummer who has had great success. He plays another way (swiss grip). Dennis Chambers, another of our world's finest drummers, plays with a more rigid grip. They all have somewhat different approaches and yet they all have reached great levels of success on their instrument.

    There are many ways to skin a cat. In my opinion analyzation can at times be counter-productive. I'm sorry if I'm not addressing your question very specifically but I just see a trend recently with younger guys taking this stuff apart to the enth degree and sometimes I think it goes too far. Everybody thinks their an expert on how to hold drumsticks. Tuning is the same way.

    I'm an older guy. I just started playing and never looked back, and I've done it all. Yes, I looked at my grip. It looked like everyone else's. Then I forgot about it. Later, when I was looking for more advanced methods, I got into more finger control and some Moeller ideas but this is advanced stuff. More often I see drummers try to tackle a lot of this stuff from the beginning and it's just confusing the hell out of them.

    Choose a grip that is comfortable with you and is somewhere in the range of what's considered acceptable by most pro drummers and then LET IT GO. Spend your precious time building a drumming vocabulary (chops) and learning how to groove REAL hard. You'll be a major success. I guarantee you!
    - Tom

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  3. #3
    Larrysperf Guest

    Default Re: Questions about Grip & Dave Weckl

    Ditto

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Questions about Grip & Dave Weckl

    What happened to my videos ?


    Well take my word for it, he's doing exactly what he said not to do in the second one.

    See, Drummer, the problem is that the only consistent thing I've seen people say is a no-no is being rigid and "grasping" the stick instead of holding it loosely. Besides that, everyone has their own way.


    Are there any specific things that will eventually lead to wrist damage or "bad habits"?
    Last edited by Zagi; 05-28-2010 at 05:16 PM.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Questions about Grip & Dave Weckl

    My short recommendation - check out Jojo Mayer's DVD on technique.

    I believe the palms down method is considered German grip; the palm-sideways technique is referred to as French grip; and of course, the in-between version of that is American grip.

    The point of learning the different grips is to focus on certain aspects of playing - German grip is a wrist-based stroke, French grip is more of a finger stroke, and one could argue that American grip is neither - more like a "door-knob-turning" stroke. (Be careful with that one, almost messed up my whole technique!)

    But the point of learning ONE of the ways is for practice - in performance, anything goes. Learn as many techniques as you want and do what feels comfortable. If you are worrying about future physical problems, sticking to one, singular, uncomfortable technique is definitely a way to do that. They all have benefits, its just a matter of whether they work for you.

    I've even seen Elvin Jones onstage holding his stick with a fist, pounding away. Technique is just the means to one end - making music. Follow the rules that seem right for you.
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  6. #6

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    Default Re: Questions about Grip & Dave Weckl

    Dave Weckle has a way of holding the stick more between thumb and middle finger than thumb and index finger. The index finger is more of a guide for the stick. This is a technique that works really well for me. I don't know if it is a good thing in the long run, but it feels good for right now.

    Petter
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  7. #7

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    Default Re: Questions about Grip & Dave Weckl

    Quote Originally Posted by Zagi View Post

    Now, immediately when I switch to do a roll the left will switch to be more like the right albeit a lot less efficiently. (Is that normal? Will my left hand ever be as proficient as my right?)
    It take practice, i got to the point where my left hand is better than my right at times .. So now im working on evening them out because there is stuff i can do naturally with my left hand that i cant do with my right.
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  8. #8

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    Default Re: Questions about Grip & Dave Weckl

    It's a great thing I found this thread, because Zagi's concerns pretty much echo mine! More specifically, it's about learning by oneself and risking practicing wrong and developing hard to get rid of bad habits from the beginning. The thing that concerns me the most is the risk of setting myself up for injuries and not even know it before it's too late. On a lot of drumming sites , I keep hearing about terrible cases of Carpel Tunnel and the like due to some type of bad grip (and it didn't become apparent until it was too late). Now, a lot of you are brushing this away as not something to be overly concerned about...I just want to confirm this one more time: REALLY? If this isn't the path to unknowingly injuring oneself, can I ask what people speculate happened to the ones that DID get injured like this?

    Now I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I think this question is pretty related so I'll just post it here. Do you guys think it's very recommended to get a teacher, just at the waay beginning stages, to get the BASICS down? Things like grip, posture, basic tips, etc. After you get the basics down (and thereby eliminating the risk for a bad grip), then you can do whatever you want? Do you guys think it would be worth it to get lessons in this fashion? (since it is difficult to find a good teacher, and I AM a mostly self-directed learner...) Or would it better off to just self-teach from the beginning, since these issues shouldn't really be overly-concerning?

    PS: love this forum!!
    Last edited by gleipnir; 06-24-2010 at 05:31 PM.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Questions about Grip & Dave Weckl

    Welcome to Drum Chat gleipnir!

    I would be one of those people who would recommend a drum teacher. I spent too much time with my grip being wrong, and it was seriously holding back my abilities. Then, when I found a good teacher, it has taken about 6 months to break the habits that I had built up. I have finally understood about how to create the fulcrum across my index finger, and I am really progressing in my ability to control the bounce with my fingers. Little by little, my speed is picking up now. It's not that you couldn't figure things out in time, but IMHO, why not have a guide to help you find your way a little faster.
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  10. #10

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    Default Re: Questions about Grip & Dave Weckl

    Quote Originally Posted by gleipnir View Post
    On a lot of drumming sites , I keep hearing about terrible cases of Carpel Tunnel and the like due to some type of bad grip (and it didn't become apparent until it was too late). Now, a lot of you are brushing this away as not something to be overly concerned about...I just want to confirm this one more time: REALLY? If this isn't the path to unknowingly injuring oneself, can I ask what people speculate happened to the ones that DID get injured like this?
    This reminds me of when I have been prescribed an antibiotic or something and I go online to see what the side effects are. Of course you then hear about all the terrible things that happen to people like paralysis or eye trouble and so on and so on. Enough to scare you from ever taking any drug ever again. But what you don't hear is the comparison of how many millions have successfully taken these drugs without any problems at all.

    So pull all of this back into drumming... there's a story for every story in drumming forums but I'd bet anything that less than 1% of drummers have any real significant problems. I've been playing all my life and have practiced and played literally thousands of hours. I've never experienced any pain due to drumming. And most of my drummer friends have not had complications either. While I don't mean to say you should be irresponsible with regard to learning, I do think that these things sometimes get overblown and put out of perspective.

    By the way, welcome to DrumChat!
    - Tom

    See the new Drum Bum Store!





    When you shop at Drum Bum or BuyGifts.com, you help with the costs of operating DrumChat.com. Please consider patronizing their fine stores. Whether you need unique music gifts for friends or just want a little something for yourself, Drum Bum is the place!

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    Buy Gifts for Drummers. And don't miss the free Drum Lessons!

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Questions about Grip & Dave Weckl

    Hey, really appreciate the insight guys! It did really open up some other perspectives for me. So for now, I think I'll start practicing away for a few weeks by myself and see how that works out first...because I'm having a really hard time finding any teacher, let alone a good one!

    Rock on, my fellow drummers!

  12. #12

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    Default Re: Questions about Grip & Dave Weckl

    I know exactly what your talking about.

    And the answer is, even drummers like Dave mature over time.

    I have both sets of Daves videos (the older mullet sporting ones and the ones he put out along with the Transition album)

    He went through some fundemental changes between the two and himself switched to from a driving thumb on top to the mouller (sp) method with more wrist action.

    So, he saw something in the style he used all through school and made him famous that could be improved by relearning a new technique.

    I don't have an answer for you, but I did have the same question when I first saw the second set of videos.

    Take this from it: Go with what ever you feel makes the most sense and work hard at it, then, if you learn a better way, start doing that instead.

    -eSmith.

    -eSmith.

  13. #13

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    Default Re: Questions about Grip & Dave Weckl

    Quote Originally Posted by drummer View Post
    Welcome to Drum Chat Zagi.

    I wouldn't worry so much about all of this. Think of it this way: Dave Weckl is one of the greatest drummers of his time. He plays one way. Carter Beauford is another terrific drummer who has had great success. He plays another way (swiss grip). Dennis Chambers, another of our world's finest drummers, plays with a more rigid grip. They all have somewhat different approaches and yet they all have reached great levels of success on their instrument.

    There are many ways to skin a cat. In my opinion analyzation can at times be counter-productive. I'm sorry if I'm not addressing your question very specifically but I just see a trend recently with younger guys taking this stuff apart to the enth degree and sometimes I think it goes too far. Everybody thinks their an expert on how to hold drumsticks. Tuning is the same way.

    I'm an older guy. I just started playing and never looked back, and I've done it all. Yes, I looked at my grip. It looked like everyone else's. Then I forgot about it. Later, when I was looking for more advanced methods, I got into more finger control and some Moeller ideas but this is advanced stuff. More often I see drummers try to tackle a lot of this stuff from the beginning and it's just confusing the hell out of them.

    Choose a grip that is comfortable with you and is somewhere in the range of what's considered acceptable by most pro drummers and then LET IT GO. Spend your precious time building a drumming vocabulary (chops) and learning how to groove REAL hard. You'll be a major success. I guarantee you!
    ++1 Excellent post. I see the same thing with young guitar players. They spend so much time analyzing every detail of what the "experts" have to say that it becomes a struggle and they end up quitting (or moving over to Bass guitar LOL). Everyone is physically different, you have to let your physical make-up decide some of those things for you.

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