Ed's Upcoming Percussive Notes Article on "The Fulcrum Grip"

Check out Ed's next article on the 'Fulcrum Grip', he's been developing this for years and years!

Here's a video of the Fulcrum Grip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOPiaGrQJZo

The link next to 'visit' will take you to Ed's website.

The Fulcrum Grip article is below.


Hello everyone,

This article will be appearing in the December issue of Percussive Notes, a bi-quarterly magazine published by the Percussive Arts Society. Some of my past PN articles can be viewed on my website (under the Music Education section). There's also a short videoclip about the grip on my website (also under the Music Education section). I also talk about the grip from my clinic at PASIC 2006 in Austin, Texas. To view that, go to YouTube (Part 1 of the PASIC 2006 clinic).

I'm still working on the grip and it is becoming more and more natural in my playing. I think it has enabled me to make more efficient use of all four mallets and definitely has allowed me to play with a lot looser grip. If anyone has any questions about the grip, feel free to email me at edsaindon@comcast.net




I've seen that video on your site. Though I couldn't apply it (:o), it looks very clear and precise!


ed, gosh back in the last 90's you did a concert at the elkhart jazz festival. At that time we spoke very breifly after you show with jeff hamilton, then again walking on the street. AT that time you were incorporating the use of rubber bands on your wrist and hands in order to hold the mallets in and gain independence .. seems like that period of your play might have been a development of what is now ...



You're exactly right. The rubber bands allowed me to start to use the fingers to manipulate the mallets. It was the start of what I'm doing today. It's still evolving as I work on it, but it's getting easier and more natural the more time I devote to it.

I was in North Dakota a few weeks ago and had a great time hanging out with Mike. He's a great guy and we go way back. We did some of my tunes at the clinic. Mike played drums and sounded terrific. He's so musical and listens. A real team player. He had the guys from his band play as well and they did a great job.

Keep in touch,


ed, thanks for the response. i must very much agree that Mike is just an all around great human being. we was my mentor there in north dakota. He introduced me to your playing and your teaching concepts. Your many articles over the years in the PAS journal has played a vital role in my playing. Ive been in Oregon since 98, left ND in 94...

jah bless


ed, i was checking out the video from pasic. you mention that you have seen many students develop hand problems. i have had tendonitious and carpul tunnel since 1987. i continue to battle with it from day to day, however since the original injury i have instinctively made similiar changes with my grip, which enabled me to keep performing and recording.


Hi Thomas,

Sorry to hear about your bout with tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome, but also glad to hear that you worked around it and are still playing.

It's usually caused by too much hand tension and overdoing it hence the name "overuse syndrome". Many students at Berklee tend to get something like that when midterms and finals are coming up and start playing 8 hours a day without any breaks. Another cause of it is playing too loud and with too much force in order to be heard in a band.

As I mentioned in the article, the common rotation motion of the inside mallet mallet is also a major cause of problems. My advice is to try to play as relaxed and loose as possible and to take breaks especially when practicing. Try to avoid playing continously loud and with constant force. Warming up also is helpful. Start out slow when beginning to play. And above all, try to keep a loose grip on the mallets as much as possible.


ed, you are so right ... all the situations you speak about.. i was right there, ive always been addicted to practicing. for years i would spend every hour in the practice room. Also most of the situations i was playing in live, either crappy miking, or bad monitors always had me slaming the mallets on the instrument. i had to take a couple years off to playing all together due to back problems and hand problems. but came back on the scene in portland via a nice chamber ensemble. this was unfortunately short lived. and now moved away from the portland scene. im currently hustling some solo vibe gigs in the area, maybe a duo situation with a bassist...




Is a wonderful musician, as well as composer, Bob and Kris and I were lucky enough to back him up at our Day of Perc. in ND. His charts are like beautiful paintings, rich harmonies and gorgeous melodies. You need to pick up Key Play and Depth of Emotion. that is if you haven't already bought them. It is always a highlight to see and hear Ed, but to play with him is amazing, and an honor. We go way back, actually to 1978. Man, that should make you feel like a kid at heart. The best to you.

Mike Blake


ya im addicted to our little monster.. very nice to see you on the site also. we should talk via phone soon ..