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The Great One. Buddy Rich. Don’t mess with him. He knows what’s up…¬†buuuuuuut… not so much on his explanation of why traditional grip is superior to match grip.

“You can move around the kit better.”

That’s all I hear him saying. Really, Buddy? I can move around the kit better if I use traditional grip? Why though? What about traditional grip let’s you move around the kit better? Oh wait… are you saying that YOU can move around the kit better with traditional grip? Well, sure. Traditional grip is what you use, so I’m not surprised to hear that you’re “better” when you use traditional grip. But why should I use it? Is there something inherently or objectively “better” about the traditional grip?

He never quite gets to that part. In other words, he never actually defends or backs up his statement. He just makes a statement.

Oh well. Nobody’s perfect.

Buddy Rich is known everywhere as “The World’s Greatest Drummer.” While I agree with this on most levels, I don’t necessarily look to him as my primary influence. In fact, I don’t cite him as an influence at all. That being said, this footage is SLAMMING and well worth 60 minutes of your time.


1. Buddy manages to absolutely CRAM his playing with notes, but because they are all so deep in the pocket it doesn’t sound cluttered. In other words, a transcription of his playing would seem far too busy, but it doesn’t SOUND busy because he plays it so precisely.

2. Buddy is pretty on top of the beat, compared to the band. In the big band context, the drummer is driving the hits instead of relaxing under them.

3. This band would sound significantly better with an upright bass instead of an electric bass.

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