Traditional vs. Matched

by Karl
The Age old question: Traditional Grip vs. Matched Grip. Which is better?

I’m sure this has been debated and explored countless times by Marching Percussionists and Drumset Drummers alike.  But for the sake of giving the Marching Percussion activity something of value, let’s keep it within the Marching arts and not debate on how traditional grip can be useful for Jazz drummers on Drum Kit.  I also want to give the Marching Percussion activity value by exploring this topic with a unique perspective; my own 😉

1004The funny thing is, I am a quadplayer and I have pretty much only used matched grip exclusively throughout my entire Percussion career.  But when I became a High School Percussion Caption head, I taught my Snare Drummers to use (you guessed it) traditional grip! LOL! So why did a lifetime matched grip user and Quadplayer like myself, teach my Snareline how to use Traditional grip?

But, don’t you have more power using matched grip?  Isn’t it more practical when transitioning between all the instruments (with the exception of Cymbals) in the drumline since everyone utilizes pretty much the same grip?  The days of the sling drums are over, so why do we still employ this grip when modern harnesses pretty much eliminate this need?  What about some of those Vanguard and Darthmouth HS Snarelines that have shown how to break tradition and standards by using matched grip? Plus…I’m a FREAKIN’ QUAD DRUMMER!

Well, I think it comes down to this: Being superficial and following the industry standard.  LOL

I mean, traditional grip does look good and it creates a kind of visual variety that sets it apart from every other section in the Ensemble.  And yeah; everyone does it!

I really think it just comes down to one simple answer: choice.  We all have a choice on what grip we want to use and it’s simply a matter of preference. Besides, you obviously can still do most, if not all the things you can do with matched grip.  Who are we to judge each other on our choices and what grip we want to use, what Car we want to drive or what clothes we want to wear?  I think the most important thing in deciding which grip works best for you is; use the grip as efficiently as you possibly can and execute it to the best of your ability.

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