Rudimental Drumming

The Rudimental Drumming Message Board
It is currently Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:21 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:22 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 11:32 am
Posts: 235
Location: Rockport, MA
Quote:
• The Moeller flop has nothing in common with rudimental champions of history.


So I want to take this in a slightly different direction. I'm wondering about the influence of jazz figures in DCI and drum and bugle corps. A good number of key figures in jazz drumming incorporated Moeller, or modified versions of it in their playing. Gene Krupa, Philly Joe Jones, Alan Dawson (who taught Tony Williams) to name a few, as well as more contemporary funk/fusion players. My question is this; more toward Ken Mazur, but certainly anyone else who would be an authority on say, the rudimental technique of Sturtze or Les Parks and Bobby Thompson.

Many of these players conceived and executed phrases using Moeller technique. Some of them derived these phrases right out of rudimental literature, from fife and drum scores to Wilcoxon. So finding their way back into a pure rudimental tradition doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility.

If (and I'm not saying they are) phrases from mainstream jazz (big band, be-bop and post bop) make it back into rudimental literature, what is carried over? If a phrase has syncopated accents, they could certainly be played without using Moeller. If a phrase is fully swung (spang-a-lang or dot-cut), it too could be played with a more controlled technique and at least be true to the notation- and possibly be better incorporated into a corp setting. But what about phrases that were conceived using a bouncing technique? Or partially swung, like in a New Orleans style? The technique used to play this in their pure form is, for lack of a better term, 'greasy'.

My questions are:

    Should 'greasy' phrases be allowed in rudimental tradition? This is not a rhetorical question.

    If so, can a controlled technique like Sturze authentically play them in their pure form?

    If, not does the phrase need to be truncated or quantized in order to fit the rudimental tradition?

    Are there some boundaries that 'traditional' rudimental playing shouldn't cross, even if it's completely confined to snare playing (no bizarre color guard/dance/performance art)?

Again, I'm not being rhetorical. If there are some styles of phrasing that should be left out in order to maintain excellence in at least one strong tradition, then so be it. I'm just wondering where the boundary lies.

_________________
John Whittaker
N.A.R.D. Member 10078


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 4:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:07 am
Posts: 43
http://usard.org/annual-con/usard-conve ... e-son.html

Ken,

Thank you for your interest and questions concerning some of the techniques I have used throughout the years to be successful in competitions and winning various percussion performance, teaching, and adjudication positions. You seem to have a perception that I am a big proponent of Moeller which I do not share. I view Moeller as one of many tools that I use in the toolbox to express certain passages of music. I tend to use what I would consider a "Modified Moeller" technique specifically when I need to perform a quick inverted motion on rudiments such as Inverted Flam taps, Pataflaflas, etc. I have also used Modified Moeller when performing fast singles with accents or when trying to create flow and feel in a jazz ride pattern. Much of my background is similar to yours having grown up under the teaching techniques of Bobby Thompson, Marty Hurley, Sons of Liberty/Blessed Sacrament. Where my experiences depart from yours lies primarily with my exposure to Moeller Techniques I developed while marching with The High Drum Dynasty of The Bayonne Bridgemen. I would dispute your claim that Moeller technique has not been successful as the Bridgemen immediately dispel your claim. I was also exposed to more Moeller while working on my Masters and Doctorate Degrees at The University of North Texas while studying drum set with the Legendary Ed Soph. Admittedly Moeller does have limitations in consistency and uniformity but when mastered correctly the benefits are significant enough to learn the technique and add it to the tool box of options. It is my hopes that you can better understand and appreciate from this explanation concepts that are different from yours. I also hope the attached video will clarify when and how I use these techniques. The video is of a recent performance at the USARD convention April 18 2015 in Danbury Connecticut. I encourage you to perform at this event and share your talents and thoughts with the community as other leaders have done (Rick Beckham, John Wooton, Dominick Cuccia, Jeff Queen, Brian Peteony , Mark Reilly, etc) In your letter you asked what have I done to give back to the art. I do not feel it is appropriate to beat my chest and list everything I have done. My body of work speaks for itself and doesn't require 24 pages of rant. Since you asked I will answer generally speaking by saying that I have always had a servant's heart as exemplified by the lessons I have learned in my faith, a desire to receive joy from giving, which is why I judge, serve my country, serve in ministry projects etc. In this particular performance at USARD I chose not to receive any fee from USARD or my company endorsements. I paid for the registration and membership for my son and I in order that I could be a student attending all of the presentations. I paid two nights hotel and transportation. In return, I received great joy from sharing my performance with the attendees and met many new friends, and it wasn't about how many ticks or flubbed visuals I had. I'm looking forward to developing some of the techniques I learned from others. I enjoyed many of the performances, especially Jeff Queen's, The Cuccia Family, Jack Murray and Joe Fontana, The Connecticut Patriots, and The Old Guard Alumni group who I greatly respect. I look forward to your performance and presentation next year at USARD. If you would like the respect you seem to crave then be the change you would like to see and follow the footsteps of the Leaders who have already performed at events such as USARD. It is time to quit living in the past or through 24 page rants. Quite simply, it is time to put up or shut up. I hope you will be a contributor and I look forward to your performance next year at USARD.

Jeff Prosperie
Section Leader and Principal Drummer, Hellcats
DCI, WGI, PAS Adjudicator
Former Percussion Caption Head Phantom Regiment
Triple Crown World Champion Snare Drummer


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:39 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2003 4:17 pm
Posts: 4829
Location: Princeton Tx
Maybe this is a good time for people to discuss what they think is the Moeller technique.

After receiving a brief tutorial about the Moeller Grip from a man who was a direct student of Gus Moeller, I can say categorically that many people today in drum corps misuse and misapply the term. In fact it bothers me to hear people misapply the term. The Moeller Grip drove the technique, not the other way around, and the grip didn't just define the left hand, it also defined the right hand in a way to mimic the same turning motion of the left, with no thumb support. If you had to play all day, as did the Civil War drummers who were expected to begin at 5am with Reveille, Breakfast Call, First Duty, etc, and then play a steady beat for the next 8hrs to keep men on pace with a 20-mile day march, then dinner call, last day orders, Taps, then the Moeller Grip makes sense. But the grip is VERY limiting when it comes to rhythm complexity.

Usually when people say Moeller Technique, they are referring to what I have always called the Whiplash motion, where the arm can mimic a bullwhip and snap the stick after the arm travels in a wave like motion. Matched grip is ideal for the whiplash motion, while the traditional grip left hand expends more energy during a whiplash motion (the awkward grip of the trad left has to be overcome). People who refer to a more loose grip, required to play on the concrete-like kevlar heads in order to decrease tendonitis and other arm injuries, as the Moeller Technique are using the term incorrectly.

_________________
"If rudimental drumming were easy..."


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:25 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:31 am
Posts: 50
RIck,

Jim Chapin, who studied directly with Moeller, certainly talks a lot about this Whiplash motion as if it is very much a part of the Moeller technique. That motion is definitely what people attribute to Moeller now. I guess I don't understand how that is incorrect.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:43 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 2486


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 5:53 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2003 4:17 pm
Posts: 4829
Location: Princeton Tx
NateSilv wrote:
RIck,

Jim Chapin, who studied directly with Moeller, certainly talks a lot about this Whiplash motion as if it is very much a part of the Moeller technique. That motion is definitely what people attribute to Moeller now. I guess I don't understand how that is incorrect.


Chapin took and ran with the whiplash motion part of the Moeller, but his grip was far from Moeller.

_________________
"If rudimental drumming were easy..."


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 8:33 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:31 am
Posts: 50
For you to suggest that you have a better understanding of the grip than Jim Chapin due to your "brief conversation" with someone about it is not something I'm going to be able to have a debate about. You should definitely go into a lot more detail, though (videos would be great!)

My point still stands --- when people, like Jeff, accredit this whiplash motion to Moeller, they are NOT misusing the term. I don't hear any DCI group claiming they use a 100% Moeller technique. We're just arguing semantics now, so whatever.

Honestly, RIck, I think very highly of your skills and would love to see you explaining this type of thing on video. I've watched a lot of Moeller videos and I don't think any of them describe it the way you do (the drumset players, especially, describe it like Chapin does).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 9:43 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 2486


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:00 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2003 4:17 pm
Posts: 4829
Location: Princeton Tx
NateSilv wrote:
For you to suggest that you have a better understanding of the grip than Jim Chapin due to your "brief conversation" with someone about it is not something I'm going to be able to have a debate about. You should definitely go into a lot more detail, though (videos would be great!)

My point still stands --- when people, like Jeff, accredit this whiplash motion to Moeller, they are NOT misusing the term. I don't hear any DCI group claiming they use a 100% Moeller technique. We're just arguing semantics now, so whatever.

Honestly, RIck, I think very highly of your skills and would love to see you explaining this type of thing on video. I've watched a lot of Moeller videos and I don't think any of them describe it the way you do (the drumset players, especially, describe it like Chapin does).


Chapin as a set drummer, not a rudimental drummer. The so=called Moeller grip was actually a grip used by Civil War drummers during the CW. Moeller went around and interviewed many CW rudimental drummers to find out about the grip that was used during those long marches.

_________________
"If rudimental drumming were easy..."


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 8:36 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 2486
Looks like someone is taking advantage of Moeller technique:



Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2015 7:23 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:07 am
Posts: 43
Rudimental drummers frequent this site to gain knowledge, to be entertained, and even for camaraderie. I have learned several things from this thread and share some thoughts as follows:


It is amazing to me how an individual can enter a discussion with their mind already so made up that there seems no possibility to learn from, or consider, a view point other than their own. Accompany that mindset with a blatant attitude of childish disrespect then the result would certainly become one of irrelevancy, dismissal, and lack of growth. It has been my experience that individuals who posses such characteristics typically do not last long in our activity as a performer, clinician, writer, adjudicator, staff person, designer, or instructor. Probably the only work for such an individual would be a solo act in small local venues. Sadly the talent or knowledge they could have contributed for the greater good is dismissed due to lack of mutual respect and tact as they fade into the shadows of irrelevancy and are quickly dismissed by current leaders in the community as a side show oddity. This thread has been a great teaching tool for my children regarding such concepts and for that I am thankful for such a clear lesson.

To a certain degree art (drumming) should speak for itself; therefore I have attached a performance link below for your consideration/entertainment/discussion. The solo is approximately 7 minutes long and in that performance you will see what you are willing to see through the lens of your predetermined prejudices or the possibilities of the open mind perspective. I guess some may see a heavy laden Moeller approach and be able to determine the social/political perspectives of the performer as well as the quality of his character, his lack of intelligence, and the quality and incompetency of his friends. One may even be able to determine if he is a coward who is hell bent on ruining the activity we all love. As ridiculous as that may sound, sadly that may be a reality for some. Others may see a performer selflessly sharing a free performance as a gift representing his Country and the Army, to a room full of fellow drummers who communicate back through standing ovation as well as a compliment from the president of that organization for an “Outstanding” performance. Those two responses are severally different. We are all entitled to our own opinion; however, the way you communicate that opinion will greatly determine its effectiveness. Certainly if someone has a different opinion they can effectively share it through performances at events like USARD, DCA, youtube videos, and respectful intelligent discussions. This will increase the relevancy and validity of that point of view. Performers at USARD, DCA, DCI, PAS, etc demonstrate courage when performing in front of a knowledgeable audience and that should be respected. I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE INDIVIDUALS WITH A PERSPECTIVE THEY WOULD LIKE TO SHARE FOR THE GREATER GOOD TO WORK UP A PRESENTATION AND SUBMIT FOR INVITATION TO THESE ORGANIZATIONS. Otherwise the “Man in the Arena” speech by Theodore Roosevelt comes to mind. (If you are unfamiliar with this speech please look it up, it is worth your time). Perhaps performance presentations are not your desire or strength but you excel in respectful analytical discussion, great....we need and value that too. If all you have is selfish venom for the purpose of self gratification, then two quotes quickly come to mind:

Matthew 7:6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.”

George Bernard Shaw: “Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.”


For reasons stated above I will not engage in discussion with disrespectful people and I encourage others to do the same. Rick has selflessly provided us a site to learn, be entertained, and gain camaraderie. I ask that we focus back to that mission and be the change we would like to see. I really hate to see this forum become irrelevant and a mockery of the next generation of drummers. It seems I frequent this site much less now than I used to because the content and relevancy seems to be fading and is sometimes honestly not worth my personal time. I write these thoughts to hopefully inspire myself and others to re-commit to the possibilities of this forum.

As far as the tired old rants about “emotion” blah blah blah......that I have read for a decade now used as ammunition to prove some point, perhaps a bit of perspective and context may help. The emotion comment has been used out of context and twisted. The truth of the matter is that those who are relevant in the DCI activity (Instructors/Designers/Judges) work together to determine the evaluation criteria. Certainly as the activity evolves the evaluation process will change as well. The stake holders mentioned above have determined that effect should be evaluated as Intellectual, Aesthetic, and Emotional for a more entertaining product. The overuse of one type of effect creates a lack of depth/variety for the program (obviously). That was the context of the comment. These are not my thoughts but rather the contents of the GE sheet as developed by those actively relevant in the activity. I do not deal with these sheets because I judge field percussion and not GE; however, part of the criteria of my sheet deals with depth and range as it relates to technical and expressive/musical qualities. Certainly excellence is excellence as we evaluate the what and the how, but occasionally an emotional element of expressiveness occurs when the technique/writing/clarity/communication/tuning, etc all click in a moment of time and the “goosebumps” rise and tears swell. I have had the honor and privilege to evaluate such performances and you know it when you see it. If you don’t THEN YOU SHOULD NEVER BE A JUDGE” A great judge as told to me by my mentor Dennis DeLucia as he learned from Dr. Baggs ,....”A great judge has the ability to recognize a great performance when it occurs and the courage to reward accordingly” I feel sorry for those individuals who cannot acknowledge, experience, and give credit to the emotional element when it occurs.

It has even been said on this forum by an uninformed poster that I take away points for those who do not perform Moeller. The statement in itself is pure ignorance since that would be impossible as our current system has not “taken away” points for 32 years since 1983, before some of you were born. A performance starts with zero and as the evaluation progresses the adjudicator rewards/adds points and matches the achievement levels observed with the criteria of the sheet and the consistency of the criteria being demonstrated according to what box the performance most closely matches. The judge then assigns a number according to the rating (correct box with National perspective) and ranking (other groups in the contest, spreads, value of a tenth etc) all done in real time through a digital recorder and then discussed in critique after the show with the corps instructors/designers. The judge assumes the role of either “Teacher, Counselor, Critic”, or a combination thereof when speaking with the groups on the recording and in critique depending on the maturity and experience level of what that unit needs. Of course I would reward groups who demonstrate more depth, range of technical and musical qualities. I would reward even more if it is in conjunction with the simultaneous presentation of the three demands of “physical, environmental, and musical” layering of demands the community has agreed to be evaluated by. That is what I am hired to do, regardless of my own beliefs. If you don’t like the criteria then become relevant enough to have a voice of influence. If you can’t demonstrate that your product or ideas are better through tact and respectful discussion or performance presentation then you will become what some would call an “irrelevant curmudgeon” as we have so sadly seen. DCI/WGI is not the only activity you can use as a vehicle to express your style and techniques. Create or join a fife and drum corps. Create or join a drum line battle group, Soundsport group etc. Create or join a non-competitive/exhibition All Age DCA Drum Corps. Your imagination is your only limit. Use your imagination to create and contribute instead of creating ways to belittle the next generation. It’s simply not very becoming to do so. Put out videos that will encourage the next generation to play the way you believe to be best or would like to see. Perform at USARD, youtube etc.

Sadly, I recently posted a video on FB encouraging the next generation (in this case my 13 year old son). The video was of my son playing a solo. Sadly, some individuals named William Bennett and Joseph Middleman used this video to belittle the young performer and tout their own accomplishments when they were his age. So very sad and classless. Not sure who these people are but seemingly they lack the courage to even use their real names. Furthermore, they used my unfortunate recent incident with the axe to somehow say it was “Karma”. Class Act for sure, NOT...simply pathetic.

I believe each day is a new day for us to learn, change our attitudes, ask for and receive grace and forgiveness, to change our hearts (repent), and to become a positive contributor even if your views are very different from mine. I would love to see this happen on this forum. Imagine how much we could all learn, be entertained and gain camaraderie. Be the change you want to see.

Thanks for reading my thoughts and I hope it is of some benefit.

The solo starts at 7:15 and if you search hard enough you will find ticks, flubbed visuals, etc. This solo expressed what I wanted to share with that audience at that moment in time and did not serve as a competition vehicle which perhaps may have been structured differently. I hope you enjoy.


http://usard.org/annual-con/usard-conve ... e-son.html

Jeff Prosperie


Last edited by JeffPros on Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:23 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 3:57 pm
Posts: 137
Location: Shelton, CT
Jeff and son, excellent presentation … enjoyed it immensely. As an aside, Billy McGrath and I drummed together in the service and as recently as a year ago.

Eddie



USMC Drum & Bugle Corps ('69-'70)
"The Commandant's Own"
Washington, DC


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group