Open-handed drumming

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Open-handed drumming refers to a method of playing a drum kit.


The method is without crossing the hands when playing the hi-hat (or ride-cymbal) and snare drum simultaneously as opposed to the more traditional way of playing drums which features crossed hands as the basic playing position.[1] When playing open-handed, left-handed (and right-footed) drummers will play the hi-hat with their left hand (instead of the right hand) and the snare with the right hand. However, in addition, setting up hi-hats and ride-cymbals on both sides of the drumkit will also help to avoid the crossing of hands which limits the range of musical options. Absolute beginners often choose this open-handed way of playing as their first and natural attempt to drumming.

A number of right cross-handed drummers experiment and are comfortable with open-handed drumming but do not always play in that configuration. Steve Smith and Deen Castronovo have used the open hand technique for the Journey song "Don't Stop Believin'".

Beginnings and development[edit]

Open handed playing was first conceived as idea with Jim Chapin's book "Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer", and Gary Chester's book "The New Breed" which emphasize on coordinated independence, leading with both hands and legs.

First drummers who started open-handed playing are musicians like Billy Cobham, Steve Upton, Lenny White who started this way of playing in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

In 2008 and 2011 Dom Famularo and Claus Hessler wrote "Open Handed Playing vol.1 and 2", which are lessons focused entirely on open-handed playing.[2]

Modern younger drummers who sport open-handed playing are Ilan Rubin, drummer of Angels & Airwaves, Josh Eppard of Coheed and Cambria and Michael "Moose" Thomas from Bullet For My Valentine.

Open-handed drummers[edit]

First proponents[edit]

Second era drummers[edit]

Modern open handed drummers[edit]


External links[edit]