I will admit it publicly: I am addicted to drum pad work. For the past few years, I have been obsessively working on the Moeller technique. This technique has been the secret to speed, power, control, and endurance for many top professional drummers.
The Moeller Method Secrets Drum DVD (affiliate link) is a great place to start learning about this technique or refresh yourself on the basics.
The instructor, Mike Michalkow, is very clear and detailed in his explanations and demonstrations.He starts off by discussing arm pain and fatigue. He constantly brings up the importance of using a mirror while practicing.
His approach to holding a drum stick was simple and to the point. Obviously, there are there are hundreds of ways to grip a stick. I actually read in Modern Drummer Magazine that there are over 200 ways to hold a drumstick. In the case of learning and practicing, I believe it’s important to stick with one. His approach to the traditional grip was also simple and to the point. Overall, he favors matched grip, which I believe is more practical for most drummers.
I found the slow motion demonstrations funny because it sounds like the drum is making a bomb sound when it is struck. The most inspiring part of the video for me, was Mike Michalkow’s, “Paradiddle Madness” solo. When I met Mike at the 2011 Winter NAMM Show, we had a good laugh about the “bomb” sound on this DVD.
This is a wonderful course that thoroughly goes into the details of what I like to call contemporary drumming technique. In addition, it moves at a very good pace with the opportunity to watch everything in slow motion.
If I were starting all over again (ideally), I would start out with learning and mastering the material on this video. I would practice on a drum pad for a year and take my time mastering the material.
I am a big believer in constantly going back to the basics. I think it’s a great video for me to view periodically and practice along with. After initially watching it, I felt refreshed on the basics and learned a few new things, such as:
- The single stroke roll warm-up exercise that goes from French grip to American grip to German grip, back to American and back to French grip.
- The finger strengthening exercises.
- New approaches to fills.
Be sure to check out the Moeller Method Secrets Drum DVD (affiliate link).