It's Not So Rudimentary

You’ve probably formed the impression that I’m not a big fan of 'the rudiments', but there are times when they're just the thing. And there are a number of rudiments that are fabulous if not essential.  When trying to define the rudiments there’s the a bit of a dilemma. Which of the available rudiment ‘schools’ are to be included: American? Swiss? Other? All of them? So saying that we're going to look at or work on rudiments can be vague. Let's begin with the “ 40 Standard Rudiments " (the American ones -- born in Europe, BTW). That's a lot of rudiments. Chances are you play a few of these already even if you've never studied rudiments -- long roll, flam, paradiddle, ruff, and others.  Then we have the so-called Swiss rudiments. There are about 300 of them! Again, you've probably used a few (Swiss triplets anyone?) but 300? I’ve checked them out and ...  life is too short.  Other countries -- mainly in Europe -- have their own rudim

Putting Your Finger on It, Part 1 - “Regular Grip”

A lot of drum instruction focuses on hand and wrist movement. While it's important to understand these broad strokes, it's also important to look inside hand technique to see what's really going on. Each digit has a role to play in the grip and the stroke, and understanding what each finger is capable of can make a big difference in your playing. Note that this will apply to both hands if you play matched grip and the lead hand in the case of traditional grip. Peter Pointer Usually the index finger forms the fulcrum along with the thumb, with the finger wrapping around the stick or perhaps pointing downward. A good way to get your first finger working is to play free strokes (1) with just the fingertip. Hold the stick between the thumb and first finger with the back of the hand level, then play a down-up stroke using just the fingertip and the rebound. Tommy Tall Some drummers use a fulcrum between the first and second fingers, some drummers use a ‘second fin