The 'Moeller Stroke'...What is it?
Tommy William Hanson
Forum Comments Below
To focus on a specific issue ... what would be the result if someone were to ask a drummer (who has had some lessons), to describe exactly what the 'moeller stroke' is and how the technique aids in rendering a 'roll with one-hand'?
Would most answer this question with a description, consisting of (roughly) the same generic information? Read comments chosen from a number of drum forums ... (just below). Following are a few random comments (paraphrases), archived on the Internet...
EXCERPTS FROM INTERNET FORUMS...
The Moeller Stroke (what is it?)
After hitting the drum, pull back with the wrist ... this returns the stick to its original position |
Hold the drumstick straight up in your hand and pitch it down on the drum bringing your hand back to the straight up position |
The Moeller technique is a whip stroke |
It's one stroke, one upstroke, a tap and then one full stroke (all in a continuous whip-like motion |
There are two strokes…one is wrist and the other stroke bounces |
You have to learn the snap movement, which bounces the stick back to the beginning of the cycle |
After striking the drum, let the stick bounce higher than from where you pitched the stick down. |
The Moeller stroke is where the stick is pulled up and it hits the snare as it 'flicks' (it's an up stroke with an accent) |
Just play one stroke and get three, out of it |
The Moeller stroke is always started low and the stick is "whipped" back up to the half or full stroke position and then back down to the drum |
The finger motion in 'the Moeller' is not easy to explain |
Some of the above is near correct ... that is, similar references are found in Moeller's writings concerning the school of drumming Moeller describes. But, what about some of the other comments? They do not seem to portray techniques from Moeller's book at all! And if this is so, why are they associated with Moeller's name?
If the above comments are so varied, what picture of the 'Moeller stroke' does one come away with?
And speaking of pictures, Moeller was able to demonstrate (with moving picture stills), (and with 1920s technology), how a drum was played in times past. He accomplished his task, impressively well, it would seem. Even though they are from the mid 1920s, the book's pictures are worth a thousand words.
Those who have seen or actually have 'The Moeller Book', know that Moeller accompanied the book's text with pictures showing the specific motions of the techniques described. It is not arctic ice clear, however, as to which picture sequence (in the book) shows the 'Moeller stroke'!
It seems, unfortunately, that students think that they don't have to read about Moeller's ideas in his book. Many times one can get good advice from local teachers, but definitely not always. Having a self-instructor manual ('the Moeller book'), is not a bad place to begin for many circumstances.
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