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In this video drum lesson, you’re going to learn how to take any regular drumbeat that you play and change it by playing the snare shots with cross sticking. This is a simple and effective way to dramatically change the dynamics of any beat.
The first thing you have to learn is how to play cross sticking to get the best tone from the snare drum. Start by turning your stick around so that you’re actually holding the opposite in the stick. Set it down on the snare like this, with the butt end in a few inches over the edge of the snare. The tip of the stick which is sticking at the other side of my hand should be a few inches inside the opposite edge.
Now, take a close look as to how I’m holding the stick. I don’t wrap my fingers all the way around the stick but I do make sure that they come around slightly. When I set the stick down in the snare, I want my fingers to be wrapped around just enough that they hold the bottom of the stick off the rim. You can see here when I pressed on the stick it isn’t resting on the rim.
The point here is to ensure the stick rebound slightly after each stroke. So the snare drum is able top get a better tone, if the stick just buried into the rim. It will absorb most of that sound. Let me demonstrate the difference for you now.
I’ll first play four strokes where I bury the stick into the rim and then I’ll play four when my fingers are positioned properly to allow the stick to rebound slightly.
So as you could hear, the snare drum goes with a cleaner sound when the stick is able to rebound away from the snare drum rim. Now, the first thing you want to do is practice this technique on your snare drum. Play around in a few adjustments then try to get a really clear tone. It shouldn’t take too long to master.
Once you have that we can play the beats on the provided sheet music. I’ll go through them now. As you can see the first beat is a very straight forward rock crew that acts on the 2nd line indicates a cross stick stroke. I’ll demonstrate this beat now.
The 2nd example is a little more complicated, but it’s important to realize that these beats aren’t the main part of the lesson. I’m only demonstrating how this method can fit into virtually any beat you already played. Let me play this 2nd beat for you now.
To mix things up with the 3rd example, we’re going to first play through it using cross sticking. And then I’ll sub those out for regular snare drum shots. Together this will make up with 2 bar phrase with some real dynamic changes.
And finally for the 4th example I’m going to show you, how you can use a combination of cross sticking, regular snare shots and riding the crash cymbals to really change the sound and fill the simple pattern.
I’ll first play four bars and beat number four exactly as written then I’ll sub with a cross stick shots to regular snare drum shots. And finally, I move right hand to the crash cymbal to really bring up the volume.
As you can see, we took a relatively simple beat and change it in three ways. Perhaps the dynamics style will be good for the start of this something and then as you set in reverse you can move to a regular snare drum shot. And for a louder course sound you can make the last move to the crash cymbal.
Now, this is just one example of what is possible, you could just easily move the right hand to the ride cymbal, the toms or any other voices in your drum set. Better still you could pick a completely beat to start out with and then begin to implement these dynamics changes.
The cross hand technique is one more way to change the dynamics of all your favorite beats. Take this method to your kit and have fun with it.