Want to have more showmanship as a drummer? Do you crave nothing more than to entertain the crowd, impress your friends, and keep yourself busy during simpler parts? Alice Cooper is known for putting on entertaining and wild live concerts, and stick tricks help drummer Glen Sobel put on a show from behind his drum kit!
But one word of caution before you start throwing crazy flourishes into your routine: don’t do this in the wrong place or wrong song (like a sad ballad)! With great power comes great responsibility, as they say.
Glen pulls off his stick twirls by placing the stick in a ‘cigar grip’ between your index and middle finger. Use your index finger to get the momentum going (watch the video to see how he balances it and wobbles it up and down) and the stick will start turning in a circle.
The key, of course, is incorporating this into a groove. First, get used to playing a single stroke while doing a twirl in between hits. Try it with both your right and left hand. This is easiest to do in a rock groove where the hi-hat hand is playing quarter notes.
You don’t want to interrupt the flow of the groove or have stick tricks mess up your playing. Your priority should always be to play the song well, so get comfortable before you start incorporating it into your drumming with other people. Stick tricks have a time and place, so be careful – only do it when it’s warranted.
If you want to do more with your right hand – or if you’re playing playing eighth notes – you can substitute your left hand to make room for the stick trick. When your right hand is busy, your left hand can play the notes your right hand would’ve been playing.
Try this stick twirl with double and single strokes and in hand foot combinations as well. You can even get both hands twirling at once!
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