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I have been using traditional grip when I play jazz vibes....And I have been I alone? I use it because it doesn't cause any blisters and pain and I find it to be very controllable. My high schools marching band makes us use stevens grip which I can't imagine playing chords with...However at the same time I can't imagine playing marching band music with traditional grip! It seems to me that nobody talks about this grip on the site. Is there a reason?


Marie-Noëlle Sat, 06/23/2012 - 09:30

Surely guys will comment soon on this. You will surely find some answers to your question in all the posts we did about grips. You'll find them here:
Good luck! :o)

drslg Sat, 06/23/2012 - 16:11

In reply to by Marie-Noëlle

Too bad there is nothing on traditional grip there xD Hence my posting

tonymiceli Sat, 06/23/2012 - 19:04

i don't know of any vibe jazz players that use the traditional grip.

doesn't mean you shouldn't.

search for theodore milkov on the site here. he's playing marimba but he's using the trad grip. and he's a monster!

BarryK Sun, 06/24/2012 - 20:03

In reply to by BarryK

Andrei Pushkarev Two-voice Invention#1 in C major by J. S. Bach (inspired by Bill Evans)

Andrei Pushkarev Two-voice Invention #4 in d minor by J. S. Bach (inspired by Oscar Peterson)

Andrei Pushkarev Two-voice Invention #8 in F major by J. S. Bach (inspired by Oscar Peterson)


Babu Mon, 06/25/2012 - 04:42

In reply to by BarryK

Hi Barry,
nice you gave thoses links, I tried yesterday to join them with the video I posted, but they were rejected, don't know why.
He is a really fantastic player and a technical monster. And the traditionnal grip clearly isn't an issue for him !

Patrice Sun, 06/24/2012 - 04:44

Hi drslg (what a funny name !)
Thanks for your question. It's very important.
IMHO both grips are their qualities and defaults.
To make a long story short ...
Traditional grip for me is not adapted to four mallets jazz vibes, but ok though. Why ? ..... A lack of flow. It's ok to play some kind of marching band stuff, but when comes the times to play like a piano player, with comping, spread and close voicings uptempo you realize that you have to question about changing.
Stevens's grip is ok. It allows a great autonomy of each four mallets and allows you to go on really cool harmonic territories, spread and large.
To me Burton grip is ideal .... but it's to me.
Why ?
One thing is crucial for jazz vibes. And what it is ?
Very often, I see people playing vibes like the xylophone. It's ok but when comes the time when you realize than metal bars allow you to phrase and curve a melodic line ... that change everything in your mind.
Burton grip allows you to get a huge range of expressions and dynamics in your play. You can play heavy bop lines as well as soft strokes. You can damp and "massaging the line " to get the expression of a singer or a trumpet player within a perfect flowing of your four mallets.

And what the f... of blisters and pain ! They disappear after one week or two of intense playing. My two forefingers get calluses for years now ...

Hope I help a bit.