So proud to have been featured
on the cover of Drums Etc!
See the video lesson series HERE:
“How you move is how you groove!”
Technique is the ‘how’ of what you do, and in drumming this is the study of MOVEMENT. Movement is the key to drumming, the key to unlock your signature sound. Drumming at its best is a dance, an effortless flow, and our personal sound is the echo of our movement. To sound consistent, relaxed, and flowing, we must move in the same ways. The Technique String is about moving better to sound better; effortlessly, and without tension.
A great metaphor for life is the procedure for using airplane oxygen masks. Before the plane takes off, we are instructed that “in the event of an emergency, first use the oxygen mask on yourself before assisting others.” When we take care of ourselves first, we can be a great help to others. In my discovering of these techniques, it was in helping myself first to get out of some very bad habits I had learned being self taught up until that point. I realized that even though I could play something correctly on paper, I had to get the movement right first to unlock the sound.
I did not invent the parts of the technique string, but I saw the connection in everything I have learned from my teachers that lead to the most freedom, and discarded the complexity.I noticed that any challenges with grooves, rudiments, and getting around the kit, can be found in one of these six areas. All six parts flow into, and affect one another. Simplicity can be deceptive; this is still a lifetime of studying the basics. Just as in martial arts and many teaching traditions around the world, let’s take time to go back and trace the lineage of where these techniques came from. All roads will lead to three great teachers: Billy Gladstone for the fingers, George Lawrence Stone for the wrists, and Sanford Moeller for the arms. (All three concepts apply equally to the feet as well, so the technique string is for the entire body) These three iconic educators set the standard for covering the entire range of motion on the drumset.
“Complexity is the enemy of expression.”
Using these six techniques I found I could break down any challenge I was having on the kit, and simplify any rudiment. But remember, SIMPLE does not mean EASY! There is still many hours of focused, hard, and never ending practice ahead. BUT, I have taken away any ceilings preventing me from breaking through to my true potential. It is called the technique string because all the areas tie together and affect one another; you can’t have some without the others. Let’s go in depth to all six areas, and see how they work together to create a strong whole.
STANCE and STATE
Our STANCE is the Natural Position. What’s the root word of Natural? You guessed it, NATURE! We want to work with nature, not against. This is basically sitting in a relaxed strong position, hands hanging down, back straight, scanning the body for any tension,while feeling the strength in our core.
Our STATE is how we feel in our mindset going in, being present, focused, and full of energy! The best way is through breathing. Take a few deep breathes, and be aware of this as you practice and play. Now we’re ready!
THE TECHNIQUE STRING
1) THE FREESTROKE
Harness the power of rebound. Let the stick work for you by coming up on its own!
2) THE MOELLER STROKE
Moving our arms in an arch of a whipping motion creates a huge sound with relaxed intensity. By staying loose, the power is created by momentum.
3) PULLOUTS AND CONTROL STROKES
By stealing taps before and after the accents, you are working less!
4) PUMPING MOTION
This creates a continuous cycle of notes harnessing the energy created by the moeller whip.
5) THE LONG ROLL
As the fingers catch the rebound, we can get two strokes for the price of one.
6) PUMPING MOTION WITH DOUBLE TAPS
Turning each tap into a double opens up many more possibilities!
Notice in your movements how these techniques all contribute to giving you maximum potential for your ideas to come out and shine. The goal is always to get you to sound more like YOU! Work on your weaknesses, make it a DAILY practice, and have fun!
%d bloggers like this: