les gestes

After having mastered these different concepts, take your first lessons or choose a path.

various ways to hold the sticks

The first catch of sticks must remain very natural. Take the sticks, rectify if the position is too bad. The match grip also known as of timbalier because of his symmetry and on account of the convenience is used whatever the played style. It allows easier displacements on the drums. In spite of that the traditonnal grip remains very appraisal of certain jazz drummers, it then gets more sensitivity and the mass muscular brought into play is more significant what makes it possible partially to rectify unbalance between the two hands.

Traditional grip

The drum when it is played while marching is inclined, the position of the left hand makes it possible to be put up with the angle of the drum. For the detail of the behaviour right hand see match grip.

Left hand

tambour main gauche

  1. Let putback the stick in the hollow which form the base of the thumb and the index. The end of the stick exceeds from 3 to 4 centimetres.
  2. Place your annular and auricular (small finger) under the stick.
  3. Pose the stick at the end of your annular (on the last or before last phalange). The stick in balance is now in the hollow of the thumb and the index and, on the annular.
  4. Pass your index and your major above the stick so that the thumb can touch the index.
  5. The thumb, the index and the major fingers must pass well above the rod because it is by them which passes energy necessary to the motion of the stick.
  6. The stroke of wrist is given by carrying out the same movement as if you turn a key in the lock of a door.

Match grip

Right and left hand

Two ways to play :

I rather play palm down to play the drums and play more vertical palm when I use the fingers a lot e.g. for the ride cymbal.

The stick stays in the hollow of the first and the second phalange of the index and between the fat of the thumb (see the bounce point). All the other fingers are around the sticks. Keep a gap between the thumb and the index.
timbalier : profiltimbalier : dessus


bounce point

The bounce point is the point on the stick which allows a maximum of free bounces. According to the type of sticks used this one will be ahead or behind of the third of the stick.
la pince

  1. Hold your hand vertical as if you shaken the hand with somebody (thumb upwards, palm of the hand on the side).
  2. The grip: hold the stick between the thumb and the last phalange of the index on the bounce point of the stick. The thumb must be well on the same level as the index, neither in front nor behind, if not the bounce point will not work.
  3. When the hand is vertical the thumb must be well with the vertical of the stick for a better control of the bounceand energy.
  4. The other fingers must be wrapped around the stick. Do not leave your hand open or do not raise your littlel finger. The stick must be held firmly but without tightness.
  5. Initially play palm of the hand on the side. The control of the thumb and the fingers is finer, then test palm down, to use the wrist.
  6. The stroke is given by a vertical movement of the wrist and by tightening the fingers.
  7. Be awre that mouvement is vertical.


various strokes

Strikes described below are not there by chance. It is a question of becoming aware that the drums are partly the study of the gesture. These exercices could be understand as warm-up exercices emphasizes the mechanical differences but also the differences of feelings, touched and sonorities. This work can jointly be made with drum books like Stick Control and the Agostini methods. Work in front of a mirror.

In all the cases the first thing not to neglect it is the impulse. The first part of the gesture, that which takes along the stick to the skin, is essential. All that will become after depends on the quality of this impulse. This one must-to be honest and tonic. It is necessary to put conviction at it.

First kind of stroke

type1 The strokes are played with the wrist. It is about a full motion, the stick starts of the high point (1), runs up against the head (2) and always goes up (3) under the action of the wrist without assistance of the bounce.

Second kind of stroke

type2 Blocking, the strokes are played with the fingers. The gesture starts of the high point (1), opened hand, the fingers are closed again, the sticks runs up against the head, the hand remains closed to block the sticks close to the head (2). This stroke is often associated with the wrist for the first part of the gesture.

Third kind of stroke

type3 It is about the bounce, the first stroke is given starting from a high point (1) the fingers maintain the natural bounce (2) of the stick on the head.

Fourth kind of stroke

type4 It is about the buzz-roll. Press and crush the stick against the head to obtain an indefinite number of very tight bounces (1). The pivot is done on the level of the elbow. The wrist remains rigid.

Fifth kind of stroke

type5 same as the first type but the stroke starts of the low point (1), is raised (2) and returns to its starting point (3).

Sixth kind of stroke

type6 First part of the Buzz-Roll. The wrist remains rigid and the fingers hold firmly the rod (1), the front armlever launches the unit (2).

Seventh kind of stroke

type7 This stroke approaches the stroke of a whip, at the beginning the front armlever launches the gesture (1), the elbow goes up while moving away on the side of the body, the wrist remained flexible accompanies this one (2) and the fingers finish while being closed again (3).

Eighth kind of stroke

type8 Fingers, wrist, front armlever and arm released of all tensions (1) can be launched starting from the shoulder (2), the fingers finish (3). It is about a very full and very powerful stroke.


first stroke

Let us take the example of the ball from basketball.
Let us observe the ball which we project towards the ground. So that it bounces it will be necessary to print to him a force with each one of its passages between our hands. If we increase the intensity of this force, the distance from its race will be larger or if we maintain this distance constant it will spend less time to return to us between the hands. Conversely if we decrease this force the ball spends more time to return to us and, the distance from its race decreases.

In this example three parameters emerge: time, space and energy.

pad The following exercises, like all the other technical exercises, must be played on the snare drum or a practice pad. And, especially, they will have to be played in front of a mirror, to take care of a perfect execution of the strokes.

Variation of the three parameters which are : time, space and energy, allow a very rich sound pallet. Always to keep in mind these three parameters to include/understand and solve some difficulties of the instrument, and for always enjoying to play.



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