Keith Carlock Technique Workshop
“My approach to hand technique is to let the stick rebound by itself. I play more finger technique than anything else — the little strokes are all finger. I’m not playing the down stroke, stopping it, and lifting it back up. It’s basically a bounce. I’m pulling the sound out of the drum instead of digging in. I really think about the rebound and try to stay relaxed.
“In the left hand, I use the fingers for little notes, like ghost notes [Fig. 1], but with a little whip motion in the wrist and the fingers I can get more power for accents. To get even more power for backbeats, I can use the arm like a whip [Fig. 2] — I’m still letting the stick bounce though. Then I’m catching it in my fingers because there are usually going to be some ghost notes after it. I have this thing where the momentum of that first stroke is allowing the stick to bounce, and I catch and dribble it with the fingers. I’m never really grabbing onto the stick.
“With the right hand, I use the thumb-up approach, French grip, I think it’s called [Fig. 3]. The fulcrum is between my index finger and thumb. I use the same vibe with finger strokes on the cymbal and hi-hat. As I get louder, I start to use more wrist and then arm [Fig. 4]. I’m really not hitting harder — it’s the velocity behind the weight.”