Monday, September 26, 2011


Start by standing away from the drum, sticks in hand, and arms relaxed at the side. The
arms should feel like a heavy, dead weight. While maintaining a relaxed, heavy weight
from the shoulder through the elbow, lift the left forearm. The elbow shouldn’t move
from where it was while relaxing the arms at the side, and the forearm should be nearly
parallel to the ground, with the hand being just below the elbow. The wrist joint should
be locked so as to not have a broken wrist. Rotate the forearm counter-clockwise
While maintaining a relaxed, heavy weight from the shoulder through the elbow, lift the
right forearm. The elbow shouldn’t move from where it was while relaxing the arms at
the side, and the forearm should be nearly parallel to the ground, with the hand being just
below the elbow. The wrist joint should be locked so as to not have a broken wrist. Turn
the thumb toward the ground so that the back of the hand is nearly flat. Moving the
elbow away from the body slightly, bring the bead of the right stick in toward the bead of
the left stick, reaching a ½ inch away from the left bead (as you move your elbow away
from your torso, don’t let the wrist break).

In this position, walk up to the drum and put the beads over the center of the head. If the
beads aren’t a ½ inch above the head, adjust the stand/carrier so the drum meets the beads
with the proper distance between the two. Each stick should be a two finger-width
distance from the rim (this can vary depending on the bead style of the stick being used).
From here, the “V” position of the sticks should be at about a 90 degree angle. In a
horizontal sense, the right and left fulcrums should be aligned. Using traditional grip
means that the left hand will actually be lower than the right hand, because the left is
mostly under the stick whereas the right hand is mostly on top of the stick.
It is absolutely imperative to use these guidelines in order to have a perfectly symmetrical
look and sound. If the fulcrums aren’t aligned, if the beads aren’t in the center of the
head, and if the two finger-width angles of the sticks aren’t accurate, the sound CANNOT
be produced similarly from hand to hand.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Technique: How to hold a pair of drum sticks

This is taken from Northcoast Academy's 2012 Battery Percussion program.

Right Hand Grip
Start by holding the right hand palm up, fingers together and thumb
open (creating an “L”). Place the stick across the hand so that 1/3rd of
the way up the stick, the shaft lies on the middle knuckle of the index
finger. Next, the shaft near the blade of the hand should contact the
palm about a ½ inch below the pinky knuckle. From here, curl the
fingers around the stick and follow that by pulling the thumb into the
stick, effectively closing the hand. As you look at your grip, your thumb
should be just slightly to the left of parallel with the shaft of the stick.
The space between the thumb and index should be minimal, if there is
any space at all. The back of the stick should never slide into the crease
in the middle of the palm near the wrist at any time.

Left Hand Grip
Start by holding out the left hand, as if shaking someone else’s left
hand. Place the stick as far back into the pressure point between the
thumb and index finger as it can go; squeeze the thumb toward the
hand, gripping the stick. The stick should be gripped at this point 1/3rd
of the way up the stick. Curl the index finger on top of the stick, and
place the thumb on the index finger. The thumb should contact the
index finger either on the 3rd knuckle or between the middle and 3rd
knuckles. The index finger (from tip to middle knuckle) should be just
about perpendicular to the thumb (The position of the index fingers and
thumbs of both the right and left hands should be nearly identical, with
the exception of the space between the thumb and hand). Next, curl the
middle finger next to the stick in the same manner as the index, with
the tip of the finger sitting on top of the stick (the middle finger should
never be used to produce a stroke). The ring finger should be curled
under the stick and support it from underneath, with the stick sitting
between the 3rd knuckle the cuticle. The pinky curls in next to the ring
finger and is always relaxed. Looking at the grip palm down, there
should be little or no space between each finger.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

2011 Howl-O-Scream Monster Stomp Rehearsal

Experience the revamping of a classic - vampires have come to the monster stomp party, and they are dying to have a good time. Witches, skeletons and beasts join them in Busch Gardens' high powered musical "rockstravaganza." This show contains adult themes. Parental supervision is advised.

Reminds me of this.

Monday, September 5, 2011

WGI Partners with Dayton Through 2019

Good news for us WGI fans who reside in Ohio. World Championships will remain in Dayton through 2019. Here's the full press release:

WGI Sport of the Arts along with the Dayton/Montgomery County Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Greene County Convention & Visitors Bureau held a press conference at the Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball game on Monday evening, August 29th to announce that WGI has committed to keeping the World Championship events in the Greater Dayton area.

The festivities were kicked off by a performance from the Centerville High School Drumline. President & CEO of the Dayton/Montgomery County CVB, Jacquelyn Y. Powell stated, “We were pleased to work with our hospitality partners to put together what we felt was a creative and competitive bid to present to WGI. We are thrilled that WGI has voted to continue to host their World Championship events in Dayton through 2019. Additionally, we are extremely proud to be affiliated with an organization as outstanding as WGI. We applaud their commitment to excellence, to youth around the world, to education, to creativity and freedom of expression through the unification of pageantry and the performing arts. WGI fosters growth and leadership skills, teamwork, individuality, healthy recreation, educational and cultural opportunities that enrich not only the participants, but all of our lives.”

“WGI is proud to call Dayton our home,” said WGI Director of Operations Bart Woodley. “The Dayton community always makes our competing ensembles feel welcome and special. There is always a special buzz in the air when it is WGI time. The Convention and Visitors Bureau has been instrumental in helping this event become a community wide affair.”

Mr. Woodley also added, “The staff at the University of Dayton Arena, Wright State University’s Nutter Center, the Dayton Convention Center and James Trent Arena are extremely helpful and take great pride in their facility. Those staff members are committed to providing a quality experience for our 10,000 young performers who passing through them each year."