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Charlie's Style of drumming
Posted by: marvpeck ()
Date: February 7, 2006 15:37

I've been searching for Charlie's response to why he pulls off the high hat when he plays the snare. On another board, someone posted this interview from Modern Drummer in Feb , 1990.

One thing [Jim] Keltner pointed out to Charlie was his
habit of coming off the hi-hat with his right hand
whenever he would hit a backbeat with his left. "I was
never consious of it until Jim mentioned it," Charlie
comments. "But I do it a lot. I've noticed it on
videos, and it actually annoys me to see myself doing
it. It really comes, I think, from coming down heavy
on the backbeat. I don't use that [matched] grip that
Ringo uses. I did for a few years, because I thought
it was popular. But then I was told to go back to the
other way by Ian Stewart, who used to set up my drums.
He virtually ordered me to go back to what he called
'the proper way of playing'" Charlie laughs. "So I
went back to the military grip, and I really do prefer
it, but because of the amount you ride on the hi-hat,
I suppose I got into the habit of pulling the other
stick out of the way to get a louder sound.

"I've never consiously done it, but a lot of times
when we make a record I am consiously _not_ doing it,
because sometimes you hear the beat go 'di-dit,
di-dit'" Charlie says, tapping out notes that
areslightly squeezed together. "That works on some
things, but other times you need it perfectly even
because the microphone records everything in such a
nit-picky way". [Modern Drummer, Feb. 1990]



Marv Peck

Y'all remember that rubber legged boy

Re: Charlie's Style of drumming
Date: February 7, 2006 15:40

Interesting read!

Re: Charlie's Style of drumming
Posted by: ChelseaDrugstore ()
Date: February 7, 2006 15:42

What do you think he means by the "matched" grip that Ringo uses? And then Stu'd proper way?

"...no longer shall you trudge 'cross my peaceful mind."

Re: Charlie's Style of drumming
Date: February 7, 2006 15:45

Matched grip = normal
"Proper" = Charlie's grip (the jazzy, orchestral way)

Re: Charlie's Style of drumming
Posted by: gwen ()
Date: February 7, 2006 16:05


Re: Charlie's Style of drumming
Posted by: JamesBurton ()
Date: February 9, 2006 19:15

<<Matched grip = normal
"Proper" = Charlie's grip (the jazzy, orchestral way)>>

Depends on your definition of normal. The "proper" method was in fact the most common method until a decade or so back. Never cared much for the matched grip...

"You look like a leper dressed as Sergeant Pepper"

Re: Charlie's Style of drumming
Posted by: turd ()
Date: February 9, 2006 20:31

Charlies method of holding drum sticks is the traditional military grip - used by soldier drummers who wore their drums down by their sides at an angle, (hence the word 'side-drum'). This method is universaly used by all military drummers today.
The other method of holding the sticks (gripping them the same way in both hands) is known as the 'Timpani' grip (for obvious reason) and is used by most rock drummers. It's a more natural way of holding the stick in the left hand.

It puzzles me that Charlie can say he wasn't aware of how he plays the hi-hat till it was pointed out to him and he saw it in a video - bizarre! But this method certaintly gives the rythmn a different feel that the normal 'not lifting off the hihat' approach - more driving I would say.

Re: Charlie's Style of drumming
Posted by: ChelseaDrugstore ()
Date: February 10, 2006 09:03

I watched Charlie closely for a while last night. He still doesn that lift up of course. In 81 it became most evident. his style in that tour was the only time I didn't enjoy Charlie's playing. He was like a metronome on that tour. And the lift-off made his playing sound stilted. But now he has it incorporated in his playing that you don't even notice it.
What I really noticed was this: Charlie has always done lots and lots of fills. They are quick Jazz-type fills, wqhere he is mainly just emphasizing the lead vocals. This is one fo the genius thiungs about him. The way he follows the singing. But I saw that within a 4/4 bar where you hit the snare on the 2 and 4 he will use time of the 1 and 2 beat to juts play straight in the hi-hat, then comes the first big snare whack. And in the space of the 3 and 4 beat up until the second snare whack he fills. Slides over the toms or whatever. Hits the small crash. That is a LOT of playing.
When you watch Charlie walk up front after the gig, he is a LITTLE OLD MAN!! Just a small frail old man. But put him behind those drums and he is a tiger. The way he slams down on down on that snare! I love it when he gets excited LOL. At superbowl show, at the very end of RJ he does these fils and rolls to ned the tune. He does that sitting-up like drummers do when they are trying to really hit it hard. He loks so funny at Superbowl. Just pounding, with his backside up and that jazz grip on the stix.

"...no longer shall you trudge 'cross my peaceful mind."

Re: Charlie's Style of drumming
Posted by: turd ()
Date: February 10, 2006 09:59

Yes your right - Charlie folows Micks singing and breaks to accentuate certain vocal lines. He certaintly does hit those drums hard and sometimes plays with the butt end of the stick - totaly uneccessary as they are miked up anyway, but I suppose he's just into the music.
Another feature of Charlies drumming are the ghost beats where he bounces the stick on the snare drum between those accent 2 and 4 beats.
If the Stones played with another drummer, you would notice immediately that it wasn't Charlie - his sound is very distinctive.



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