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In his 30-plus years of education, Bruce Becker has seen many drummers approach playing in harmful ways. It could mean developing an injury, or not being able to execute exactly what you hear in your head.
Since Bruce isn’t there in person to show you exactly what you’re doing wrong, here are three tips to help you push your technique forward:
Find that place of balance where the stick will bounce without you having to struggle or fight against it. This is how you can get the most bang for your buck, so to speak. Make it easy and take the path of least resistance. Once you find this balance point, you can play around with it.
Don’t pinch and apply too much pressure. Some drummers wedge their stick deep into their hand and end up gripping too hard. Find the balance and see if that gets you closer to the feel you’re looking for.
What comes down must also come up. Find the cycle of movement to come up and down easily, and use that element to choreograph your motions. Learn to let go, find the fanning or waving nature of the stick and wrists, and use this to your advantage. You wouldn’t want to play 16th notes from your forearm – it won’t be long before your arm starts to give out.
Every rudiment has up and down strokes. Loosen up and find the flow.
If you hold the stick where your fingers can’t move naturally with it, this creates some movement flaws that can interrupt what you’re trying to execute. Use a fulcrum wrist bounce: with the fulcrum in German position, your middle fingers helping your index fingers and thumbs and working in sync with your wrist, you can really open up the stroke.
Let your fingers follow the body of the stick with every note. Don’t let them move away from the stick, and create that harmony of movement.
Combining these three tips can really set you on the path to push forward with your technique. If you understand that up-down dynamic, get a good bounce, and reposition your sticks, it can make a huge difference.
If you liked this short video, Bruce’s Drum Technique Made Easy course is full of hundreds of tips like this, plus demos and skills you can apply to your playing right away.
An educator for over 30 years, Bruce Becker’s studies with Freddie Gruber influenced his approach to drum education. His reputation has led heavy hitters like David Garibaldi, Mark Schulman, Daniel Glass, Glen Sobel, and many more to seek his teachings. Founding member and drummer of the David Becker Tribune, Bruce has recorded and co-produced 10 critically acclaimed recordings. His 26-week online course, Drum Technique Made Easy, is available on Drumeo.
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