What is Drumming In All Directions?
There’s a question drummers ask at some point, usually in the heat of battle!
You’re grooving hard, really getting into the music and… an idea pops into your head. Maybe it’s a cool fill or change of groove. Whatever it is, you go for it- but your limbs tangle in confusion and the whole thing backfires! That’s when the question drops like a nasty taunt: “How the (bleep) do I achieve total freedom at the kit?”
OK, maybe you didn’t phrase it that way, but what drummer hasn’t been frustrated by lack of facility and freedom? Or more specifically: all-limb freedom. That’s when our four limbs work harmoniously together to execute anything we want while playing. It’s a tall order, but shouldn’t we be able to work towards that goal? What gets in the way?
Reason 1: A drummer’s training is hands first, feet second. That’s obvious, but often there’s little thought given to using the same techniques for both limb sets. I’m referring to the natural motion techniques of Stone and Moeller. Freestroke and Moeller technique are about making relaxed throwing motions with stick or beater and using the rebound energy for multiple strokes. The beauty of all limbs using these same techniques is that it equalizes them within a framework of fluid, relaxed movement.
Reason 2: There’s a gap in our limb training. It’s really a deficiency in the training of limb motions. Did you know there are 50 ways our four limbs combine into alternating motions? Every motion is important but as drummers, we often master a few at the expense of others.
Perhaps you see the problem? We can’t build proper coordination with vital pieces missing over a foundation of tension! That’s why I wrote Drumming In All Directions. It’s my answer to the drummer’s question. Let’s rephrase it just a bit- “How do we achieve creative freedom at the kit?”
Traditional coordination methods are a valuable tool, but they don’t address the basic problems. They approach all-limb freedom by coordinating patterns. If a drummer hasn’t integrated natural motion techniques into their playing or trained their limbs with the 50 basic motions, the result can be overall tension and limbs burdened with juggling patterns. The experience is one of fragmentation- coordination becomes a math problem, figuring point-by-point how one pattern plays against another. That’s counterproductive to developing all-limb freedom!
Drumming In All Directions is a new kind of training system. It offers a more fundamental, integrative approach to all-limb freedom by using natural motion techniques to coordinate limb motions, not patterns.
The key to DID is the Limb Matrix- a progressive ordering of the 50 limb motion combinations. This includes motions played with time keeping ostinatos to cover all the ways we play drums! The limb motions are developed by a series of workout routines and groove solos, each based on a unique rhythm-melody. These elemental figures occur in all music, no matter the style.
The result? By combining fundamental limb motions with figures basic to drumming, you’re reflexes will be sharpened and tuned. You’ll develop the proper muscle memory and playing experience for a solid coordination technique. You’ll achieve a new freedom of expression that really is drumming in all directions!
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