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Traditional/Matched Grip Discussion

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  • Traditional/Matched Grip Discussion

    My parents were always music lovers. Although they were not musicians, they did love to dance and frequented many dance halls. Naturally, the music popular with them was swing. Since early childhood, it's been the drummer that impressed me the most. I've never psycho-analyzed the reason, but it could be because as a kid, I always loved to make lots of noise and the drummer looked to be doing the same thing with various objects all around him making all sorts of wonderful noise and looking like he was having the time of his life doing it.

    Well, to make a long story even longer, I suppose that when the time came and I decided to play drums, I began with the traditional grip. As time and experience marched on I eventually ended up playing both grips (traditional & matched) as the particular peice called for and was most comfortable to me. Certain moves are awkward using a traditional grip.

    So what is my point in all this? In all of my years, every traditional-grip drummer, also would alternate. But never have I ever seen a matched-grip drummer go traditional.

    Why is this?

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    -~

  • #2
    ...every traditional-grip drummer, also would alternate. But never have I ever seen a matched-grip drummer go traditional.

    Why is this?
    I'm 90% traditional grip (TG). When I'm just straight stickin' and need a little more volume or just want to fling my arms wildly (and look cool ), I may go matched grip (MG). I use TG because I took lessons as a kid and that's how I was taught. TG also was much more common in the mid 60's when I took lessons. It is comfortable for me.
    • I'd say MG is more natural.
    • It's easier to get comfortable with.
    • It's more cool looking!
    • If you have taken the time to learn to play rolls and rudiments using MG, what would make you want to switch?


    Why not switch? If all you play is boom, chick, boom, chick and a rat ta tat tat, there would be no reason to switch. If you have gone through the trouble of learning to play rolls and rudiments using MG, again, why would you switch? To look more like Buddy R? Now many may disagree with this, but I've see some professionals switch to TG whenever they were playing the real fast and/or complex stuff. Seems like there is a bit more control with TG. The penalty is a little (or a lot depending on the player) less volume using TG.
    Kit Pic 1 Kit Pic 2 Kit Pic 3... And FOR SALE I have: 3 PD-9's, MDS-10 purple rack w/cables/pad and cym mounts. See classified posts for details or PM me.

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    • #3
      I started learning using just a snare. I played in a martching band, and TG was just what you used. TG started with old HIP martching drums. With the drum at the side of your body, it was impossible to play a matched grip. I changed over for many reasons.....speed, reach, feel and power. MG will give you more. Now if I try and go back to TG, I just can't do it.
      :rolleyes:

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      • #4
        I started playin way back when, also using the TG on a marching snare. These days I'm 90% TG still, as I find it more comfortable for most of what I play (blues, classic rock...) On some songs (like Sympathy for the Devil, and songs using conga toms) I will switch to MG, and I'm trying to use it a bit more to get more comfortable with it. But I like the TG more, and think it's cooler. I guess I'm an old fogey at heart. $^)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Marc.:
          Why is this?
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          -~
          IMHO matched is easier to learn and play for the most part...

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          \oo/_ _\oo/

          [This message has been edited by rus (edited March 29, 2001).]
          \oo/_ :mad: _\oo/

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          • #6
            I'm mached grip 100% for now. Seen a Buddy Rich tape and he plays very fast with TG. It makes me wonder if the structure of the hands lends itself to greater speed with TG. He was doing stuff with his left hand that was amazing. For stick twirling and throwing I find mached grip better suited. I should learn TG as it is a tried tested and true way of holding the sticks. Any tecnique to improve should be learned.

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            • #7
              all 5 grips are important,trad grip is better for jazz and classical,matched for rock....er see stuart copeland

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Zorro:
                For stick twirling and throwing I find mached grip better suited.
                This is important if you are a majorette or perhaps a ninja, but I'm not sure how important it may be in drumming.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Zorro:
                  For stick twirling and throwing I find mached grip better suited.
                  Originally posted by Arriguy:
                  This is important if you are a majorette or perhaps a ninja, but I'm not sure how important it may be in drumming.
                  Never, I repeat, NEVER throw or twirl a stick TG. If you must, be sure and have a medical emergency response team standing by.

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                  -~

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Marc.:
                    Never, I repeat, NEVER throw or twirl a stick TG. If you must, be sure and have a medical emergency response team standing by.

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                    -~
                    No probs with throwing a stick TG ( I play TG ALL the time), but the twirling part... always wear sunglasses when attempting...

                    Stu
                    "Fry that sound effect, Moriarty, we're having it for breakfast"

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                    • #11
                      I've seen awesome drummers play with both grips. Dave Weckl plays traditional grip. I just bought and watched his "How to Practice" video last night. I'm not sure if Dave's performance or Akira (matched grip) Jimbo's on "Independence" (another DCI VHS tape) is more spectacular/technical to watch. I'd probably have to say that Weckl's sounded better musically, though.

                      I started playing matched grip in 86' when I was 15. It was the natural mode to play in. And my drum teacher told me that MG was ideally suited for the drumkit. 'What else would I play?' I thought. A snare drum all by itself?! One can't possibly play 'Tom Sawyer' on a Snare alone!!

                      Omar Hakim describes his 'Better Way' of playing as MG in his "Express Yourself" video. It allowed him to sit up straight, breathe deeper, eliminated his hand calluses and gave him a more balanced setup. I'm glad my teacher didn't stick me w/ TG, even though he used it himself .

                      The Debate: (Copied)

                      Enough?




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                      Thank Ye,
                      Alex.
                      Thanx. Alex & me V's! http://photos.yahoo.com/flexapr

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                      • #12
                        Nice articles. Can you cite the source? I agree that Ringo was the reason that the matched grip swept across the rock scene ( and eventually all other styles) like wild fire. I was there and saw it happen before my eyes.

                        I've also heard that traditional grip is better because there are things you can do with it that you can't do with matched. I would agree with this - however, I would point out that you can hold your sticks any number of strange ways and do things you could never do with matched grip, or traditional either, for that matter.
                        I agree 100 per cent. Early in my music career I found a ways to hold my stick(s) such that it would make the girls want more. OOPS! We're talking drumming here. Sorry

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                        -~

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                        • #13
                          I learned to play the drums in a drumband, where the traditional grip was taught.

                          Nowadays,I tend to use the traditional when playing jazz and matched for anything else.

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                          • #14
                            Anyone know of any famous rock/metal drummers that play traditional grip? That is, plays traditional grip while playing rock. Obviously a lot of guys (like Bissonette) play traditional while playing jazz, but switch to matched for rock.

                            I've been trying very hard to switch to matched for rock. Hammering rim shots on 2 and 4 for hours at a time is really rought on my middle finger with traditional grip.

                            ------------------
                            Reverend Poppy
                            Reverend Poppy

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Reverend Poppy:
                              Anyone know of any famous rock/metal drummers that play traditional grip? That is, plays traditional grip while playing rock. Obviously a lot of guys (like Bissonette) play traditional while playing jazz, but switch to matched for rock.

                              I've been trying very hard to switch to matched for rock. Hammering rim shots on 2 and 4 for hours at a time is really rought on my middle finger with traditional grip.

                              Both Cozy Powell and Carl Palmer played traditional. Cozy just looked enormously powerful with traditional grip.

                              Stu
                              "Fry that sound effect, Moriarty, we're having it for breakfast"

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