Blast/Grind beats?

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masonvonritchie
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Post Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:03 pm

So I'm trying to improve my blast beats but one thing is standing in my way... I can't hold the stick right so that my fingers are working more than my wrists. I've heard all the top metal drummers say that when you go faster to use less wrist and more fingers. Maybe I'm just retarded but I can't get my hand to work that way. Any input?
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Post Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:55 pm

Well, one thing that might be holding you back is the head you use on your snare.

Is it too loose?
Is it not tight enough for a good bounce?

I use an Aquarian Hi-Energy snare head which gives exelent bounce, but not excelent sound for very many other things besides the steady snare beat or blasting.

I have a semi-good technique for blasting, but I use mostly all wrist with little finger motions. I simply cant figure it out, so I improvise.

but that doesent mean you should do it this way.
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masonvonritchie
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Post Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:21 pm

I actually use the exact same head and I tighten the hell out it. I don't know.. I've been using mostly wrist/arms for those beats but it wears me out kinda fast... Faster than it should if I were doing it more correctly. Practice makes perfect, right?
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Post Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:13 pm

There's really no quick way to increase your efficiency for blast/grind beats. All the pros that are playing that type of stuff (Bittner, Hoglan, Lombardo, etc) will all tell you the same thing: Start slowly, focusing on technique, then build up your speed as you go. Patience, young one. ;)
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masonvonritchie
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Post Wed Oct 11, 2006 8:05 am

screamkevin wrote:There's really no quick way to increase your efficiency for blast/grind beats. All the pros that are playing that type of stuff (Bittner, Hoglan, Lombardo, etc) will all tell you the same thing: Start slowly, focusing on technique, then build up your speed as you go. Patience, young one. ;)


You're absolutely right! But I want to get the technique right so I don't spend hours and hours practicing it the wrong way. Do ya feeeeel me? :D
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Post Wed Oct 11, 2006 9:14 am

Try tightening your snare up so that you get a good bounce, as in a post above. You don't want it so tight that the head goes dead, but you want a really nice bounce. Also, you may want to check out different techniques for grip and playing, like the Gladstone technique or the Moeller technique. They can teach you how to get the action that you're looking for.
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Post Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:26 pm

Practice your blast beats on a pillow. Because there's no bounce, it developes your speed quicker. Make sure you're playing clean and your tech is right first though. Don't want to have to go back and fix something you thought you had down. Try playing to "Carbombs and Conversations" by Embrace the End. That song has a bunch of blast beats and is wicked fun to play to.
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Post Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:52 pm

I've only recently become fast with blasts.Perhaps I should rephrase and say I have better stamina as well.There is two main ways in which you can play a blast beat and not loose endurance or injure yourself.One is straight wrist...no bending and don't move your fingers.Just let your wrist move up and down.The other is the finger method.Basically you throw the stick out and pull back with your fingers.picture trying to clap your right hand with your right fingers.That style of motion while holding the stick.For me I use my wrists.But its something I adapted to when playing bounce beats.
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Post Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:08 am

The Moeller technique for blast beats??

That's an interesting concept. :?

Check out George Kollias' website.

http://www.georgekollias.com

He gives lessons on playing this type of stuff, as well as notated exercises for getting into the frame of mind when it comes to changing regular style beats into a blast. Also check out stuff by the band Nile. George plays with them now.

I agree that patience, perseverance, and practice are the only ways to develop any technique. I've never heard Chris Adler or Dave Lombardo play a blast beat in my life. Some of Slayer's older stuff does get fast, but nowhere near THAT fast.
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Post Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:12 am

Like everyone else has said, tighten up your snare head. Practicing on a pillow will help too.

I'm sure you've heard of Derek Roddy. His method of getting faster is not starting slow and building up. He says to start at the fastest speed that your weakest limb can play and build from there.

I used to blast using all wrists. I stopped playing metal for a while and when I got back into blasting I had to relearn it so I learned the finger version as well. I just pinch the stick between my thumb and forefinger at the balance point and use the other three fingers to slap the stick as it bounces off the head. It's mostly reaction timing and being consistant in how hard you push back against the stick. Wrist blasting I think is a little harder because you don't use the bounce back as much, but it is louder and easier to go into a tom fill.

And your feet should be blazing fast and on time without you having to think about it at all. That will help you concentrate on your hands more.
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Post Thu Oct 12, 2006 5:28 am

I don't normally play blast beats and this may be crap advice. But when I saw Cannibal Corpse (sp?) and when he plays some his blast beats he actually switches hands. Right hand to snare and left to hi-hats. When I asked him why in Atlanta he said because blast beats are so fast the right hand hits harder for better definition.....

I'm sure a bouncier head would be good to. I use Evans inverted dot heads and they sound great for all kinds of stuff and bounce nicely....
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Post Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:05 am

the best way to do it is find the center of balance on your stick, and go from there but the problem is, its not an arm motion, its in the wrist and fingers. especially the fingers, you can switch it up by using fingers and your wrists... i mean if your playing a gravity blast, that might take some time cause thats up to 250 bpms.


check you tube im pretty sure they have instructional videos...
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Post Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:21 am

i know many good 'death/black metal' drummers that blast using the gladstone technique and incorporate more wrists when they grind. i asked mike mangini about his approach - which is all wrists! essentially, some people are built in a way that enables their hands to move quickly from the wrists. that works for him, and he sounds amazing. personally, i'll never be able to move like that from the wrist so i blast using the gladstone technique, and that's been working for me. i'd recommend trying different approaches and combinations of wrists and fingers. they're all valid and can all be developed to impressive speeds. you will most likely end up using the same method you use when you practice a fast single stroke roll.
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masonvonritchie
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Post Thu Oct 12, 2006 4:25 pm

thanks guys you've been really helpful. seeing how I'm right handed, i have trouble making my left hand do what my right is doing. i'm sure i'm not the only one with this problem... but some of those techniques i can do well with my right but i can't get my left to do at all. maybe i'm just retarded... :roll:
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Post Fri Oct 13, 2006 4:13 pm

I've been playing in Black/Death Metal bands for the last 8years now and have recently begun a band thats sole focus is on blastfilled audio-violence.
Our songs are upwards of 230bpm with i think 32nd note rolling (right leading) blast-beats, I found working around with the moeller technique was good for training my right hand to lead with strong accents on the 1's to give some sense of timing to the song while the left kept consistant, I dont actually use the Moeller when Im playing though it helped my blasts in the long run by becoming a more fluid movement.

best way to work on your blasting technique is to sit there with a practise pad tapping away exchanging hands from left to right for hours and hours... Making sure you are using equal amount of arm-wrist-finger technique on both sides rather than using the left as a slave, that was my great fault for ages and now ive been un-learning it for the past while. it gets f@%ing tedious but in the long run it pays off for blasting aswell as all within your general playing.

One thing to remember when you blast is to keep real loose (muscle-wise) the more relaxed your body is the better you are and will be playing and you wont damage yourself or grow a weirdass muscle in your elbow like i did...

Suprisingly enough I find when im blasting I get into much the same "zen-mode" as with the whole groove-in-the pocket kinda deal with funkier drumming... I love it

I hope thats of some use.
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