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Drew Tucker
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Drew Tucker
Vibraphone Maven + Social Entrepreneur + Educator

WELcome to

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The Mallet Masterclass

THe Kung Fu

Playing mallet percussion is all about method of movement, energy conservation, ergonomics, drawing power from your entire body, and getting your mind right. That is why we call it Kung Fu.

 


The Kung Fu

From the Ground up

Success starts from the floor. If you're feet and your posture are not where they need to be, then your wrists don't stand a chance! 

  1. Posture & lower body movement
  2. Posture & upper body movement
  3. Putting it all together - Spatial Awareness
  4. Putting it all together - Adding emotion, pedaling foot position, improv

THe Kung Fu

2-mallet TECHNIQUES and theories

Where should your hands go on the mallet? Where should the fulcrum be? What fingers go where? Piston stroke? Legato stroke? lets get into it!  

  1. Hand & finger position
  2. The stroke
  3. Rebound
  4. Bill Bachman's X & Y axis theory* as it applies to the keyboard
  5. Exercises & applications

*See the book Quad Logic by Bill Bachman and published by Rowl-off Productions


THE KUNG FU

Auditions

When you audition at the highest level, the notes aren't the only thing that matters. Check out this interview with Alex Decruz (Carolina Crown Pit 2014, Stryke World 2012 - 2015) as he shares his tips for audition success. 

thoughts and theories

4 Mallets

Here I examine the benefits and drawbacks of each technique. Why do some groups and performers use a specific technique while others use a different technique? Get some perspective so you can decide which "grip" works best for you.  


The kung Fu

THe Stevens grip

 

A grip that began with Clair Omar Musser and adapted and enhanced by Leigh Howard Stevens, I go over the basics and mechanics of this popular technique, and go through some standard exercises. These videos will make you rock solid in every application from performing at your school's solo & ensemble competition getting ready to march a world class drum corps and preparing for college juries. 

  1. The Story - break down the history behind it, and get into the strengths and weaknesses of the technique. 
  2. The Kung Fu! -  We break down the physics of how to hold it, the movement and flow, otherwise known as the "Kung Fu" 
  3. Block Chords For Days - Get the wrists flowing with these chordal exercises and start getting around the board in different intervals. 
  4. Is it an Innie or an outtie? - Techniques, theories and exercises for strengthening your combination strokes. (2/3 - 1/4 or 1/3 - 2/4) 
  5. Independence - Learn to master the power in each individual mallet. 
  6. Exercises & applications

THE KUNG FU

THe Burton GRIP

A cross grip technique made popular by vibraphone virtuoso Gary Burton. This grip is most popular on Vibraphone but it is also beneficial in Marimba and in multi-percussion settings. We examine all of the variations of this technique and break down the jazz, orchestral, & marching applications. The lessons are similar to those discussed in Stevens grip but applied to Burton grip. 

  1. The Story - break down the history behind it, and get into the strengths and weaknesses of the technique. 
  2. The Kung Fu! -  We break down the physics of how to hold it, the movement and flow, otherwise known as the "Kung Fu" 
  3. Block Chords For Days - Get the wrists flowing with these chordal exercises and start getting around the board in different intervals. 
  4. Is it an Innie or an outtie? - Techniques, theories and exercises for strengthening your combination strokes. (2/3 - 1/4 or 1/3 - 2/4) 
  5. Independence - Learn to master the power in each individual mallet. 
  6. Exercises & applications

thoughts and theories

 Movement behind the Instrument

I examine different approaches to your movement behind the board, from getting from end to end, pulsing and expression. How much is too much? at what point does expressive and pulsating movements distract instead of enhance the music? 

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