Learn The Moeller Method
Learning how to master the Moeller method, which includes the up stroke, down stroke, full stroke, and stick grips can be the most beneficial technique any drummer can learn. For those who do not know already the Moeller method is a technique that utilizes each bounce on your stick to, maximize the speed, endurance and power of your strokes. Eventually, you will be able to play faster and harder, while using less energy then ever before! This method of stick control has been around for years now, and is being taught by professionals around the world. This technique takes time and practice, so do not get down on yourself if you cannot get it right away!
*Before we start this lesson, you may want to take a few minutes to read up on the History of the Moeller method and see how it exactly came to be.
The Moeller method really focuses on stick grip. You must have proper stick grip in order to fully utilize this powerful technique. In addition to proper stick grip, the fulcrum point of your drum stick is very important. To learn these basics, check out my articles on proper stick grip and finding the fulcrum point now! When you have these concepts down, you will realize why you need to know them. The Moeller method is based around stick control and bounce so these concepts are absolutely necessary. So let’s dive in!
This method is based on stick control, so make sure you practice these exercises with both left and right hands. Leaving your weaker hand out will only cause stress in the future. The first stroke you want to learn is the full stroke. This stroke is a powerful hit in which you start with your stick vertical. Hit your stick on the drum very hard with a whipping motion – pretend you are cracking a whip. Practice straight quarter notes on a practice pad with this stroke with both left and right hands. For sheet music to guide you, check out the single stroke roll – this rudiment will help you learn each stroke more effectively.
The next stroke you want to learn is the up stroke. This is basically the opposite of the full stroke. Start only a few inches from the pad (or drum) and tap the tip of the stick on the pad and bring the stick right up to your starting position of the full stroke. This is a little trickier of a stroke since you are starting from a low position with your stick. It is best to remember that whipping motion and use it regularly. Again practice this stroke the same you did for the full stroke. When you have done this, practice both strokes together – Full stroke right to the up stroke. The best way to practice this is by playing a double stroke roll rudiment.
The last stroke you need to practice is the tap stroke. This is similar to a ghost note where you barely hit the drum that hard at all. Start from a few inches over your drum and end the same way. Practice this tap alone with a single stroke roll. Then practice this with your upstroke following it. Once you have mastered this stroke it is time to put them all together.
The Moeller method is all about feel, so try not to think too much about the height of your stick so much, instead you should worry about the feel of your stick. Starting from the top, you want to do a full stroke, followed by a tap stroke, followed by an up stroke. There are 3 strokes involve here. F T U. Start out slow with BOTH hands. Start by playing them at the same time, trying to match each motion up. Another thing to work on is making it a complete motion. Eventually you will want to be able to perform this technique fluently with each hand. You will notice how it feels like one stroke on the drum followed by two bounces. This is where you will save the most energy, by getting 3 strokes out of one. Using the bounce of the stick will give you much more control with your wrists.
Take your time with these exercises, as it will not come to you right away. Most of this is all muscle development and stick control. When you get fast with each hand you will be able to do a single stroke roll at speeds you have never thought possible! Using this method is easy; try applying it to Latin music, Punk music, Rock music, and even Jazz!
If you are looking for an instructional DVD that teaches the Moeller method in a simple, comprehensive way then you should check out Mike Michalkow's Moeller Method Secrets DVD. It is the newest/most comprehensive Moeller training system available.
By: Dave Atkinson
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