Check Out the Grip

We talk about grips a lot. I think mine is the best. Right? I should shouldn't I?

Check out Mike's. I think in anyone else's hands this grip would have so many problems. But Mike makes it sound like the best grip in the world. He uses a pick up system to play, keep that in mind. I would imagine it's hard to bang hard on the instrument with that grip.

Here are 5 great vibe players who all have different grips.


David Friedman uses the Burton grip, however I think he uses it in a unique way that most Burton players don't use.

Anyway check out the image!

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Access: Anonymous


1 palyer is missing in the´s your and your unique grip :)

ahhhhh! but i'm not one of my most favorite players!!! i'm way down on my list! :-)

and guess what. victor feldman uses my grip!!! i think he stole it from me by coming to the future and going back in time.

Tal vez haya visto los antigüos "Quick and Dirty videos", me encantaban !!!

The last video i have posted was about Mike's grip.
In this particuliar video he does something I never saw before : Burton grip on left hand and his grip on right hand ! Worth check it ....

Could be the skin got sore and needed a break. This happened to me once or twice, only to almost immediately raise blisters on my auxiliary grip fingers.

Huh, that's fascinating. I haven't checked out a lot of videos of Mike's playing, so I never noticed his grip. To Tony's point about volume, am I right in assuming Mike doesn't need/want a lot of volume for chords anyway? I think this goes to the mallet dropping thing, he seems to use two when he wants to play more intricate lines that cut through.

Perhaps this is starting a different thread, but I've been thinking about mallet dropping lately: I only ever held four when I was learning vibes, even through college. But in the last year or so I started playing with two when faced with fast tempos I couldn't quite handle & the extra mallets I wasn't really using for the lines I was playing sorta got in the way. Once I started soloing with two I realized even on slower tempos I play differently. Quicker ornamentation started to come out & I seemed to phrase more like a horn player. I'll have to spend some more time on it, but I'm not sure yet whether this means I'm a mallet dropper at heart (like some of my favorite players) or I just need to shed harder so I can play those phrases & faster tempos with four in my hands (like some other of my favorite players can).

this is a very individual thing. i think you as a player have to collect opinions and then make your own decision.

i think hold four, and get better and better at doing the things you can do with 2. just my opinion. mike would disagree.

also interested that the guy with a fairly weak grip is the guy who develops pick ups for the vibes. and you know what mike might say his grip is not weak. i know guys who play with the stevens grip and see it's as strong as burton, but i disagree. so at some point it's a like a priest and a rabbi arguing over who's religion is right. right? after all they both might say whoever doesn't believe in their religion is going to hell. same thing here, at some point i just stop with the arguments. i say this is my opinion and you and do your thing. remember i also say my 5 favorite vibe players ALL PLAY WITH A DIFFERENT grip. so screw grips. pick yours and learn to play your ass off, then it won't matter at all. no one will say that bobby hutcherson should have used 4 mallets, or gray should have played with two.

but again, i think you should hold 4 all the time :-)

All fair enough. It's fascinating how many different grips work for people. The first vibes player I listened to & tried to emulate was Gary, & as a younger player I only played with two when my grip wasn't strong enough yet for what I was trying to do. So playing with two mallets felt like a sign of weakness for me; it took me some time and checking out Milt & Bobby to get over that and realize two mallets can be a choice. Thanks for your thoughts; I'll keep working on my 4 mallet dexterity, but not be too hard on myself when I want to play 2 sometimes. :P

i tried to emulate gary's grip also! my problem was i saw the wrong grip. i saw two fingers between the sticks and i went home and tried to play like gary thinking he had two fingers there! and i was wrong! :-)

haha that'll do it!

I am a dedicated "mallet dropper" and I think some pieces are easier with 2 mallets. I think it is a question of which grip fits the particular sticking of the piece. If the piece is a melody line without chords then sometimes 2 mallets is better for the sticking choices However, sometimes a melody line without chords is easier and the sticking works better using 4 mallets. Depends on the piece.

I agree! certainly fine to be a 'mallet dropper'.
Whatever gets the job done, right?

Here's a video from a gig I did recently. This is totally acoustic. No pick-ups in use and no mics either. Heavy mallets too (Innovative Percussion Anders Åstrand medium hard vibes mallets). They add a lot of heavy body to my sound.

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wow that's cool you play with that grip!
and you sound good! I've seen other vidoes of yours and I like the way you play!

Thanks for your comment and likewise, Tony.
Here's the little story:
I first met Mike in Copenhagen - my hometown - back in the early eighties.
A friend of mine was making an interview with him for the national radio and asked me if I wanted to say hi. Being a shy young aspiring musician it felt quite overwhelming at the time, but I managed to say hello and ask Mike how he held his mallets. He shared his technique with me right there on stage in the world famous Jazzclub Montmartre (which was kind of my second home mostly playing latin percussion with local funk and fusion bands).
I went straight home and sold my old set of Premier vibes plus my xylophone in order to scrape enough money together to order the Deagan Commander II set I play on in the video. That whole summer I practised four mallet sticking patterns endlessly on a tree stump in our garden determined to master the technique. I guess it was advantageous for me that I never played with four mallets before this short but life changing "masterclass".

Que linda historia!
Me encantó como tocás, ya me subscribí en tu canal de Youtube!