Game, set & Matched

Rhythm - - BEAT! -

Con­grat­u­la­tions on a great mag, I’m ab­so­lutely new to it and to be hon­est un­til a cou­ple of months ago I didn’t even know Rhythm ex­isted! I’m 19 years old and my bril­liant drum teacher told me there’s this magazine about drums, and it’s got lessons in it! So, I tracked it down (and then had to track down an ex­ter­nal DVD drive be­cause my lit­tle lap­top doesn’t have one) – but it’s been worth the ef­fort be­cause the lessons are re­ally help­ing my play­ing loads.

I do how­ever have one ques­tion. I’ve been play­ing for 10 years and I’ve mostly been play­ing pop, funk and jazz stuff so I seem to have nat­u­rally grav­i­tated to­wards play­ing with tra­di­tional grip. This has been fine un­til I re­cently, hav­ing started Uni, was re­cruited into a rock/metal band. Now, I’m strug­gling with get­ting my hand/ fin­ger tech­nique right for play­ing quite fast metal grooves, quickly and with the en­ergy re­quired! Do you have any ad­vice?

Tom Howard, via email

Wel­come aboard, Tom–we’ re glad to have you as part of our Rhythm fam­ily! We’ ve writ­ten much on the sub­ject of grip in the magazine be­fore, and I’ m sure we’ ll re­turn to it in de­tail at some point too. But the long and the short of it is that while tra­di­tional grip is great for the nu­ances of jazz, it sim­ply isn’ t in­tended to be used in the way heavy-hit­ting rock­ers re­quire. There are of course some amaz­ingly fast ex­po­nents of tra­di­tional grip like Jo jo Mayer, but the com­bi­na­tion of power, speed and an even-handed sound and ap­proach re­quired in heav­ier rock styles re­ally calls for matched grip. We doubt that Nir­vana’ sf lammed in­tro to‘ Smells Like Teen Spirit’ would have worked if Dave Gr ohl used tra­di­tional grip, for ex­am­ple. So there’ s no way around it Tom–it might be time to get to grips with matched!

Good luck with your progress as a drum­mer and I hope you have suc­cess with your new metal-lean­ing band mates! Have an Evans Level 360 head on us and some new Pro mark sticks with which to play matched !- CBu

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