The Moeller method is also known as the Moeller technique. What is it? Who is moeller? Who did he play for? Let me tell you as much as I can about a man whom I’ve never met, nor have I ever seen play.
Do I have your attention yet? To quote Mr. Dom Famularo, “Sanford Augustus Moeller did not invent this stroke, he simply observed many of the top drummers of his time and noticed they were all using a whipping motion which created a fluid motion and relaxed sound, the key thing that moeller noticed is that power comes from motion, not muscular force.” Samford Moeller popularized this method among many top drummers up until his death in 1960.
I’ve learned the Moeller method from master drummers such as Jim Chapin who was Sanford Moeller’s best student, Dom Famularo, and John Fischer. I use the technique in my playing all the time and continue to study and improve on it. I hope you will do the same. Are you ready for the secrets?
Have you ever cracked a whip before? You should it’s fun. Find a friend who lives on ranch, pick up a whip, and start cracking. It’s a good time. But seriously, the whip is the secret to the moeller technique. Watch the video to see me demonstrating the whipping motion. You will hear the stick whipping through the air and that is where the power is generated.
You can imagine how powerful the stroke will be when it strikes a cymbal or a drum. The moeller method is broke down into three strokes, the full moeller, the half moeller and the low moeller. Let’s begin with the low moeller. Start with the tip of the stick on your drum, raise your wrist slightly and whip from that position.
Notice that power comes from motion, not muscular force. The grip is important. Keep the back of the stick in the fleshy part of your hand for padding. This is a powerful stroke, and you don’t want the stick to hit you in your joints or other less padded parts of the hand.
Put the tip of the stick on the drum again and raise your arm level with the ground. Try the whipping motion from that position. If you are trying it, I bet you aren’t getting the full power of the stroke. I see this in a lot of the students that I teach the half moeller to. Let me show you why.
Start with no sticks in your hands. Start with your arm up, level to the ground and let in naturally fall. Your hand will hit your leg. A lot of students raise the arm and bring it down in a forced manner. Just let the hand fall naturally and whip with your wrist.
The last stroke is the full moeller, this is the king of the power strokes. The full moeller is similar to the half moeller in the sense that you are going to raise your hand up, but you are going to keep going higher over your head. As you raise your hand up the stick will follow. You’ll notice the stick will be upside down as it rises above your face and then flip rightside up as you whip the stick downward.
If you’d like more information about this drum technique, Dom Famularo has a great book entitled “It’s Your Move: Motions and Emotions” also check out Jim Chapin’s video “Speed, Power, Control, and Endurance”
Drumeo is a step-by-step instructional program designed to help you get started with the basics and progress into an advanced drummer easily. It covers a wide variety of genres like rock, jazz and blues and lessons are broken down by topic.