Game, set & Matched
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