Many drummers reach a point in their practice where they feel their speed is limited by their physical ability, typically because they are not following the Moeller Method. Thankfully, with the correct grip and control of your stick, you can increase your hand speed and play multiple notes per drumbeat.
Finding your drummer’s grip is vital to finding where the balance point of your stick lies. If you hold the stick too far back, the drumbeat lacks a rebound. Too far forward, and you’ll either lose the stick entirely from your hand or have a pretty unconvincing rebound.
Your balance point is where the index finger of your right hand (or left if you’re a lefty) lies beneath your stick, allowing for the most rebound off the drum.
Once you’ve found this sweet spot, you should be able to “dribble” your stick with your opposite hand to feel how well balanced the stick is in your drumming hand. Put the fleshy part of your thumb on top of the stick, and now you’ve found the Moeller Method fulcrum point.
By matching your left hand to this exact grip, you’ve mastered the Matched Grip.
If you’re interested in a more traditional grip, grips known as the Conventional Grip, Military Grip, or Jazz Grip, your left hand will need to adjust slightly. Instead of balancing the stick on your index finger, you will find your fulcrum point in the nook between your thumb and index finger. Make sure to position your left hand beneath your drumstick.
Whichever grip you decide on, the importance of finding your balance point can’t be overstated.
Three Notes, One Movement
With the grip perfected, you can now create three notes with one movement of your elbow. Do this by controlling your rebound.
Once you’ve found your fulcrum point, your remaining fingers should rest along the drumstick without gripping it or holding it fast to your palm. When your stick hits the drum, the stick should naturally rebound without the aid of these fingers. However, these fingers can limit the rebound of your stick and add a tap –– or two or three or five taps.
With the Moeller Method, there’s no need to speed up your downbeats physically.
The Whip is About Power
The Moeller Method uses a “whip” technique to power your downbeat and adjust your volume level.
As you make your downstroke, your elbow should follow your stick down. As your elbow moves up, your rebound taps occur. At the top of your upstroke, your elbow should whip back down for another strike.
The whip allows you to create a louder beat without raising your stick height. Having the proper fulcrum point to your grip, alongside the whipping movement, means you need less time to make a louder noise. The whip places power at the tip of your drumstick, allowing you to choose how audible you want your beat to be without compromising time.