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Dennis Chambers on Billy's Open Handed Playing

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Dennis Chambers on Billy's Open Handed Playing

Call me stupid, because I never thought of it this way, but Dennis said the way Billy plays is really the correct way to play, I play left and right handed, I tend to switch up sometimes, now when I play right handed it is mostly 98 percent trad grip, and when I play left it is 100 percent match. But to think about what Billy started is really the correct way to play fro the git go, is mind boggling. So check out what Dennis has to say, you too Billy when you come online.

http://mixonline.com/ai/video/dennis_grip/

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Hear, hear!

Leading left, on a right-handed kit
or leading right, on a left-handed kit
makes sense and being able to do
both might be even better.

Thanks to Billy Cobham!!

Don't stop!!

Regards,



geek


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Pete

To the father of us, all - Billy Cobham!
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Pros and cons, Spanky. What I like about the idea of leading with the left hand is not having to cross over and being able to sit square and balanced behind the kit. What I don't like about leading with the left hand is having to remove your right hand from the snare to crash a cymbal. Generally the crash cymbals are set up to the right side as drum fills are played and you mainly crash with that hand.

Now I set up my kits to where I crash from either hand, but I mainly crash with the right and I don't like the idea of having to remove my snare hand away from that part of the instrument most of the time.

I personally believe I have the best of both worlds when I play my double bass kit because I set up reverse position with the hi hat on the right side while keeping the pedal on the left via a cable. Thus I am able to play open handed while still leading with the right hand. Plus I've learned to do fills from right to left.

This works great for me when I play this setup.

Pics to come later.

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D. Slam wrote:Pros and cons, Spanky. What I like about the idea of leading with the left hand is not having to cross over and being able to sit square and balanced behind the kit. What I don't like about leading with the left hand is having to remove your right hand from the snare to crash a cymbal. Generally the crash cymbals are set up to the right side as drum fills are played and you mainly crash with that hand.

Now I set up my kits to where I crash from either hand, but I mainly crash with the right and I don't like the idea of having to remove my snare hand away from that part of the instrument most of the time.

I personally believe I have the best of both worlds when I play my double bass kit because I set up reverse position with the hi hat on the right side while keeping the pedal on the left via a cable. Thus I am able to play open handed while still leading with the right hand. Plus I've learned to do fills from right to left.

This works great for me when I play this setup.

Pics to come later.
Yeah Don, I also heard a guy talking about losing notes on the hi hat, to uncross and play fills. Same thing as leaving the snare with the right hand, when playing open, something is going to get sacrificed.

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I'm a bit confused on that one, Spanky. If you do a fill or a drum roll, there are no hands to play the hi hat whatever hand you lead with, cross or no cross... You're using both hands to play the fill, so I totally am missing the point here. And even if you want to do fills with the right hand across the kit as Dennis was talking about, you can switch by leading with the left exactly as he demonstrated, which is what I do anyway.

But yeah, there are sacrifices on both sides. It's all a matter of what you're willing to sacrifice. I've been playing right hand lead for forty three years. It does me absolutely no good to switch now, and I have not the years left nor the patience to do so.

Best to you in your quest. cheers

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I find it also interesting how traditional grip was used by means of practicality; the slant of a marching drum having the arm angle as such. When you really think about it playing traditional on a drum kit makes no real sense unless your snare is at a slant for traditional.

It seems to me then, playing traditional on a snare that is positionally flat is not practical yet greats like Tony Williams played very strong using traditional on a near flat snare....so does Steve Smith. Personally, I find myself playing both and my snare is almost, not quite, at a flat position.

Trad for jazz or music with a subtle feel
Match for heavier musical styles

rac

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Yes, Rac, good points. I use both also and I find that I have a bit more control over the more finesse kind of playing with traditional grip. I can get get good power out of it also but truthfully not as much as when I use a matched grip. I can also get around the kit a bit better with a matched grip. But I also have a better feeling of "laying" a back beat when I use traditional. Truthfully though, I often times find myself wondering if these things are actually the case or just in my head. scratch

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Truthfully though, I often times find myself wondering if these things are actually the case or just in my head.
D

If you're from the 60s' - 70s' era, most drum instructors taught using traditional. I've had an instructor literally slap my left wrist (w/ a metal marching band stick) demanding I keep a trad position when practicing on a pad in a flat position!! I was there to just learn rudimental notations and not support his inflated ego. Lol!

Reason is, to some degree, is that these people come from the early jazz or having to play in marching bands even prior to that time. As we know much of the pre-jazz drummers all had their snares at that angle, thus you have the 'practical' aspect of the correct arm angled which is really natural.

It's probable to me then, that in time, traditional became vogue in that it made it 'seem' the universal method even if the snare was at a flat position. In other words, traditional really was incorrect "technically" speaking in terms of it being "practical" in playing for everyone. We've been victimized in believing that traditional is the correct method playing a snare, regardless of it's positioning. And this is where many of us find ourselves playing trad on a flat snare -I do still.

So in answering your question above I would have to say......it's a psych thing of the head. Till today I sense a subtle slapping on my left wrist when in match grip....interesting to say the least. BTW, this drum instructor, rest his soul, built a reputation to being known as a brute of a Russian. No pun intended.

rac
Wink cyclops



Last edited by Racman on Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:43 pm; edited 3 times in total

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D. Slam wrote:I'm a bit confused on that one, Spanky. If you do a fill or a drum roll, there are no hands to play the hi hat whatever hand you lead with, cross or no cross... You're using both hands to play the fill, so I totally am missing the point here. And even if you want to do fills with the right hand across the kit as Dennis was talking about, you can switch by leading with the left exactly as he demonstrated, which is what I do anyway.

But yeah, there are sacrifices on both sides. It's all a matter of what you're willing to sacrifice. I've been playing right hand lead for forty three years. It does me absolutely no good to switch now, and I have not the years left nor the patience to do so.

Best to you in your quest. cheers
Wrong words Don, I was trying to say what I saw on a video on the internet, I tried to find it to no a avail. He was talking about losing notes to uncross your hands, but with the left hand lead, your left hand can ride the hi hat without losing a note while the right hand is free to roam. And that is what he was saying.

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spanky wrote:
D. Slam wrote:I'm a bit confused on that one, Spanky. If you do a fill or a drum roll, there are no hands to play the hi hat whatever hand you lead with, cross or no cross... You're using both hands to play the fill, so I totally am missing the point here. And even if you want to do fills with the right hand across the kit as Dennis was talking about, you can switch by leading with the left exactly as he demonstrated, which is what I do anyway.

But yeah, there are sacrifices on both sides. It's all a matter of what you're willing to sacrifice. I've been playing right hand lead for forty three years. It does me absolutely no good to switch now, and I have not the years left nor the patience to do so.

Best to you in your quest. cheers
Wrong words Don, I was trying to say what I saw on a video on the internet, I tried to find it to no a avail. He was talking about losing notes to uncross your hands, but with the left hand lead, your left hand can ride the hi hat without losing a note while the right hand is free to roam. And that is what he was saying.

Right, I got That, Spanky, and Dennis demonstrated this very thing in the clip even though he leads with the right hand. As I said earlier, I do this also as one handed fills are really not much of a problem.

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Hi guys,
i started with my ride on the right and then move it quickly to my left and i'm comfortable with it except when i use my ride with my left hand and use my right hand to put an accent on my hi hat.I can do it but it's not natural for me and i think if i played my ride on the right it would be easier to use accents (at the same time) on the hi hat with my left hand...if i had more time to work on my kit,i'll add a ride on the right near my floor tom...best of both worlds!Peace Stef
ps:hope you'll understand.

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I use a right and left ride, and I want to add some hats on my right.

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Stephane and Spanky, would you think that having all those cymbals be practical on the as-usual gig situation. Would you need all that stuff?

I'm assuming then, it's a personal liking or for building that weaker hand?

rac

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Yeah it might not be practical all the time, and then it depends on what you want to do.

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Dennis forgot to add that Sandy McKee of Cold Blood also played open handed very early. So I would say Billy first and Sandy around second, of the drummers who had any prominence anyway.

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