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  #1  
Old 08-22-2006, 12:30 AM
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Will open handed playing become standard?


Open handed playing is gaining a lot of popularity and I think it opens up a lot of possibilities for moving around the kit. For those of you who do not know, open handed playing is basically grooving with your left hand on the high hat and right on the snare for a right handed player.

With this, there's no crossing so you're open to create more sounds. What do you think about shifting from the traditional playing to open handed playing? Do you think it'll ever become a reality?

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  #2  
Old 08-22-2006, 07:46 PM
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Open-handed playing is something I've been working on as well. The big hurdle keeping me from switching all the way is my left hand's current (in-)ability to play up-tempo ride cymbal patterns (jazz, samba, etc.). However, I've worked up a bunch of Afro-Cuban and Caribbean grooves, incorporating my toms and/or cowbell(s), grooves which really wouldn't have been available to me playing a more traditional crossed-hands style.

And I'm still working on that left hand of mine.

However, I seriously doubt that the open-handed style of playing is going to "become standard," or even something that the majority of drummers will incorporate into their playing. Drummers can be a really conservative lot, especially when it comes to setups and techniques. Players like Carter Beauford have given open-handed playing a lot of visibility in recent years, but it's not anything new - Billy Cobham has used that approach for decades. I agree that open-handed playing offers a great deal of flexibility that isn't available when playing crossed-hand style, but the crossed-hand style has been entrenched for decades. An open-handed approach strikes me as being a much more logical approach to moving around the kit, but that obviously doesn't mean that all drummers will see it that way.

Consider this: a quick look at various drum forums will find many drummers who have opted for traditional grip because (in their words) "it looks cool," which I think is a silly reason to adopt any technique. (BTW, please don't misunderstand what I'm saying, folks - I'm not saying that traditional grip isn't a valid technique, I'm saying that "because it looks cool" probably isn't the best basis for using any particular technique.)

Some drummers will see what open-handed playing can offer, and they'll give it a try (and possible adapt it into their playing). Others (rightly or wrongly) won't see any benefit to it, and still others simply won't care to even consider a change. That's pretty much the way it is with any particular technique, or any approach to playing a musical instrument.

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Old 08-22-2006, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Consider this: a quick look at various drum forums will find many drummers who have opted for traditional grip because (in their words) "it looks cool," which I think is a silly reason to adopt any technique.
Ive switched to taditional grip myself after seeing Steve Gadd play in clinic. I also find it handy that you can sorta "flip over" the trad grip, and do some finger tapping stuff.

On the subject of open-handed playing, I think you'll start to see more drummers doing it, (I think dom famularo recently completely switched to open handed playing) but It probably wont become the "standard." That reminds me, I need to work on my left hand myself.....

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Old 08-22-2006, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AvengedDrummer
Ive switched to taditional grip myself after seeing Steve Gadd play in clinic. I also find it handy that you can sorta "flip over" the trad grip, and do some finger tapping stuff.
Just to reiterate - it's not the grip itself I have an issue with (I grew up playing it, and even though I don't use it anymore myself, I do teach it sometimes; I currently have one or two adult students who are using it), it's the "because it looks cool" part I've read from some other drummers, that I don't get. To me, that's not too far removed from buying a blue kit instead of a red kit, thinking the blue kit will make one play better, or using a brass snare instead of a wood snare "because it (the brass) looks cool."

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Old 08-22-2006, 10:53 PM
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Although I agree with you that you shouldn't change to traditional grip just because "it looks cool" I don't think it as far fetched as you make it out to be. Showmanship is a part of being a drummer and you need to take what looks "cool" into consideration as well. It's when that becomes the main reason that it becomes a problem. Technique and sound quality should always supercede everything else. Great post though.

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Old 08-24-2006, 11:10 PM
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KInda getting back on the subject I had switched to open handed playing a while back and now I use it a lot more even though I went back to the reguler cross over.

I have my kit set up with 2 hi hats and I have started using the set on the right side a lot more and sometimes it is a lot more comfee but a lot of times I will go back to the cross over.

I say try it out if you can and see how you like it, it really will help you open up some new playing styles and grooves.
If you have any other questions about it I would be more than happy to help you with anything.

  #7  
Old 08-25-2006, 12:30 AM
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Do you ever get confused or mixed up when switching from open handed playing to regular?

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Old 08-25-2006, 12:45 AM
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I don't know if that question is directed specifically to full metal, but I'll chime in anyway.

When I was making my first attempts at open-handed playing, sometimes my hands would move, out of force of habit, towards their "usual" instruments, when I'd come out of a fill or change from one groove to another - my right hand would "want to" go to the hi-hat, and the right hand similarly would move to the snare drum. Nowadays, however, I've found that I don't have too much trouble in terms of getting crossed up between open-handed and crossed-over playing, especially if I'm familiar with the grooves in question. I seem to have broken out of the entrenched habits of "the right hand always goes here, and the left hand always goes there."

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Old 08-25-2006, 02:31 AM
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No I never really had a problem switching around at all.
I think the way I had it set up by having the hi hats on the right side was a much more naturel postion. Just think of it like when you play your ride cymbal
it is in a much more natural postion beacuse of how your arms would move when you were doing any other task you might do in day to day life.

the only thing that I would think would mess up a few people is that I mounted the toms back wards in order, and I didnt have to much trouble with it because for whatever reason over the years I had started playing from right to left instead of left to right.
If you look at the pics that have on the double bass set up you can see how I had things set up.
the only real issue that I had was I had to keep the pedal hi hat on my left side because I cant seem to make my right foot work the hi hats like I can my left foot, but if I had owned a remote with a cable I would still be using that set up but I was having to switch on some songs because I was using the foot pedal.
but other wise it is great having a hi hat right next to your ride because you can make some very neat rythums switching between the two.

  #10  
Old 08-28-2006, 10:24 PM
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Yeah, I agree. I think so many more interesting beats could be created if we came out of the "traditional" mold for right hand on hats and left on snare.

malletjazz, how did you speed the transition to making things more comfortable?

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