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Thread: How fluid are you?

  1. #1

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    Default How fluid are you?

    My drum teacher talked to me about this the other day.
    He said half of my technical skill and speed seemed to come from what I'd practiced, and the other half came from my fluidity with my body when applied to the kit. Like, when I went from snare to tom, I moved my arm upwards, without moving my wrist. He said that a lot of his other students just moved into it with all of their body, making it inefficient and sloppy. He also told me that I used my fingers a lot more than other students in striking the drum, mainly due to my push pull.
    Anyway, looking at all advanced techniques, they mainly seem to be based around getting parts of your body you wouldn't normally use and incorporating it into your playing. Moeller is based around the arm and back muscles, for example.
    Seeing the exercise thread made me think; how fluid are you when playing? Are you robotic? Are you loose? Do you have control over your body, or when you go to play different parts of the kit, do you go into different positions? How much of your body do you use whilst playing? Just the hands and feet, or arms, legs, chest, back...how do you play, basically?
    Today, on Ethel The Frog...

  2. #2

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    Excellent observations ETF. I'd be very interested to hear what our more experienced players have to say, beyond the usual comments about being relaxed behind the kit. Being athletic in my younger days (Did that just make me sound old? It sure sounded like it too me! ), I have a tendency to utilize my whole body behind the kit. Having said that, though, I also realize that it is about conditioning, and challenging the body to move the way I want it to. I'm sure my fluidity will increase as I progress.
    Quoting gonefishin: Just have some bacon with ya when you go pick her up..........youre an instant chick magnet.


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  3. #3

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    I learned moeller today and sat behind my snare drum with the practice pad on for an hour, speeding up to levels I was more comfortable with. I was amazed by the fact that my entire upper body was working so in sync with itself; fingers, back muscles, arms...everything was just going like a machine.
    Today, on Ethel The Frog...

  4. #4

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    A lot of the fluidity of a player comes from the style of music played. Moeller is very pronounced with drummers like Steve Smith, Stewart Copeland, Kenny Arnoff because they involve every bit of their kits in their playing. Fine jazz players like Tony Williams, Bill Stewart, Harvey Mason are extremely fluid but do not show it as much...again for what they are playing. I've noticed that when I play, my motions aren't as demonstrative as they would be were I playing heavy Rock. I have an economoy of overt arm movement and use my wrists much more. Again, it's determined by what I play. One of the Latin charts my band plays is "Mas Que Nada"...a well written big band arrangement. With this, I use more arm/shoulder motion as I use the drums, cymbals, cow bell as inclusively. So, what I think ETF has learned is how to incorporate what she has used naturally into the disipline of Moeller Technique. This is one reason why I have always encouraged study with a good teacher...there is so much to know and learn.
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  5. #5

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    I have said many times that fluditity is very important to being a good player. But not just in motion as you are discribing here . I mean fluid movement thru the music you are playing too many muscians of all kinds play choppy, drummers are really bad but not the only ones doing this . When i make a mistake i try to keep the fluditity and get back in without disrupting the flow of the music and most of the time no one knows but me . I am not a show boat type drummer and I play laid back type music so my goal is to blend into the music seamlessly ! Hope this makes sense !

  6. #6

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    Well it depends on how many beers I have had, oh thats not what you mean?

    Come on I could not pass it up.

    I was taught the Moeller method 30 years ago. it has proven to be one of the major keys to fluidity for me. using my fingers, wrist and arms together to minimize the amount of physical movement needed to play.

    I here many players that sound like they are stopping and starting all the time. Very choppy and it detracts from the music, unless of course that is how it is supposed to sound.

    I try to keep everything moving. the real trick is to learn to push it or pull it or be right on top, whatever the tune calls for and keep the groove happening at the same time.
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  7. #7

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    Great Thread Ethyl! I would say I am very relaxed. I do pay attention to my body as I am playing. If I feel a little tense, I just relax. The Moeller is really effective. I got into a discussion with my band last night of how to keep your body relaxed when playing. Think about how much strength we put in our hands and feet. Also, keeping the shoulders relaxed. Deep breathing is really good exercise.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by bassist learning drums View Post
    Deep breathing is really good exercise.
    Unless you happen to be in a smoke filled bar!!!
    Quoting gonefishin: Just have some bacon with ya when you go pick her up..........youre an instant chick magnet.


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  9. #9

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    at a gig a couple nights ago i was told by some members of the audience i was the wildest looking drummer they had ever seen, the drummers from the other band have no idea how i can look so crazy and be so tight. i didn't know how fluid that makes me, i don't hurt myself or my instrument and im fairly relaxed, i just look crazy.
    play till the day i die. it makes more sense that way.

    "You should set up your drums around the toilet. You know you must use it everyday and lets be realistic, nothing better is going on when your sitting on there. Why not take care of business and play the drums." silver dragon sound

  10. #10

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    All right, thanks for the responses guys.
    It's good to hear that you're all relaxed when playing as well, because it's the key to playing well.

    also. made me laugh a little.

    Quote Originally Posted by fiacovaz View Post
    So, what I think ETF has learned is how to incorporate what she -
    He.
    roflwaffles.
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by pastor_bob View Post
    Unless you happen to be in a smoke filled bar!!!
    Oh, I forgot California is one of a few non smoking states!

  12. #12

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    I notice if I'm playing something familliar it's smooth and effortless. If it's unusual or different I become more mechanical and less relaxed. Ultimately experience creates fluidity in my opinion.

  13. #13

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    I here many players that sound like they are stopping and starting all the time. Very choppy and it detracts from the music, unless of course that is how it is supposed to sound.
    I hear this alot too, usually when a fill is thrown into the mix. I hear alot of drummers who can keep a good beat, but when it comes time to insert a fill, they try to throw in as many strokes as they can and loose all sense of time. The fill itself is not in time which causes the downbeat to come back in at the wrong place. Counting is extremely important and can vastly improve your "fluidity". If you don't play with a metronome you should have a subcontious one ticking in your head at all times.

  14. #14

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    When practicing I will use every square inch of my drum kit. My main kit is a six piece kit with a double base pedal. The double base pedal just came into the picture about four or five months ago, although not really necessary, but something I thought I should know how to play.

    I feel pretty limber and relaxed behind the kit and still fairly fluid, maybe not quite as fluid as I was 30 or 40 years ago, lol.

    Dennis

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