The Mighty Full Stroke!
Welcome back everyone! Now that we’ve got the drum set up correctly and we can grip the sticks without falling over. Let’s start hitting the drum and making some noise!
THERE ARE FOUR BASIC STROKE TYPES:
- Full Stroke
- Down Stroke
- Tap Stroke
- Up Stroke
We will be focusing mainly on the Full stroke for most of our lessons in the beginning. It is the most important stroke type and used in roughly 90% of what we will be playing.
Full stroke Definition (according to PAO)
“A motion that starts above our wrist and ends above our wrist after striking the drum.”
How to Accomplish this task:
- Place the sticks in the center of the head 1″ apart
- Pick the stick tips up above your wrist.
- When the stick tips are raised it should be about a 45 degree angle, or just about sternum level.
Now STOP! Double check your grip. Constant contact without pressure. Breathe.
And Game On. Proceed!
Imagine that each stick tip has a bouncy ball on the end. We want to use the energy in the downward motion, in conjunction with gravity, to bounce the sticks back up to the exact same place we started. If we don’t give enough energy to the stick, it won’t bounce back up high enough. If we give it too much energy, the stick will bounce back up too high. It will hit you in the face, in all probability blinding you for life… So remember – get the stroke right, or you’ll go blind! Fact!
Probably the toughest part of the stroke is using the proper amount of energy, but also making sure that the grip doesn’t change. The stroke becomes much easier if we let all of our fingers off of the stick… BUT THIS ISN’T CORRECT.
Let’s make sure to get great sounds – a good full stroke has a round sound that bounces easily, but isn’t heavy and overbearing, or too light. You’ll generally be able to connect the way that it looks with the way that it sounds at this point:
The Goldilocks Guide to Sound
- Heavy sound = Gorilla grip, too much energy (blindness), stick doesn’t come back up
- Light sound = Fingers off the stick, stick doesn’t bounce all the way back up
- Good sound = The clouds open up and light shines upon you from above… Pretty Sweet!
Check out the Full explanation and demonstration of this stroke type here:
Now that you understand all of the Basics of setting up, proper grip, stance and full stroke, Lets start playing some exercises!Percussion Academy Online offers literally HUNDREDS of videos that work on just the full stroke. The best place to start is “8 on a Hand”… simple and easy to sound great. Check out our YouTube channel for this exercise and many more:
If you’re curious about these videos or anything discussed in this post, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll respond as quickly as possible (although we here at PAO are not liable for debilitating blindness caused by bad full strokes, so don’t ask!).
THANKS FOR CHECKING US OUT AND HAPPY DRUMMING!
MORE GREAT LESSONS COMING SOON! AND IF YOU’RE NOT A BEGINNER, WE WILL HAVE LOTS OF LESSONS FOR YOU AS WELL. IT TAKES A WHILE TO CREATE AN ENTIRE 5 YEARS WORTH OF CURRICULUM, SO BE PATIENT YOUNG JEDI!