Archive | October, 2012

The Johansson Grip

31 Oct

In 2010 I started experimenting with alternative grips based on the Burton and Fulcrum grips that used only the thumb as the front separating finger between inner and outer mallets. I wanted to hold both mallets between thumb and index finger in order to utilize the fulcrum principle with the greatest level of control. To this concept I added a variant of the Extended cross-grip’s support finger under the palm to avoid any clicking of the mallet shafts and to control the spread.  The Johansson grip requires quite thin shafts so that the separation of the shafts in the hand can be maintained. Below are two images of the grip at the interval of a second.


The Fulcrum Grip

9 Oct

The American percussionist Ed Saindon (1953 -) developed The Fulcrum grip some time during the previuos decade. It is based on the Burton grip but is characterized by giving the mallets, controlled by the fingers, freedom to move in the hand. Ed wanted to create a grip that gave the mallets the possibility to be controlled by the fingers in the same way as when playing with only one mallet in each hand where one can use the fulcrum principle from e.g. snare drum playing.

The loose grip of the Fulcrum grip makes it difficult to apply to standard rattan or wooden shaft mallets. Therefore the shafts are wrapped with racket tape to increase friction, both between shafts, and fingers and shafts, and increase shaft diameter, and also to dampen the clicking that occurs when the moving shafts hit each other in the hand. In the December 2008 issue of Percussive Notes there is an article called The Fulcrum Grip by Ed Saindon that gives a detailed introduction to the grip. At the following adress there is a video with Ed playing and demonstrating his grip:

Below are two images of the grip at the interval of a fourth. However, the mallets here do not have tape wrapped shafts.

The Extended Cross-grip

4 Oct

Brazilian percussionist and composer Ney Rosauro (1952 -) developed the extended cross-grip after encountering problems with tendons in his hands and arms using the Stevens grip for several years. Earlier he had used the Burton grip and the new grip he developed was based on the Burton grip. One of the specific features of the extended cross-grip is the use of an anchoring finger for the outer mallet: It is the ring finger that with its tip presses the outer mallet against the palm creating space between the mallet shafts in the hand. Through this technique the direct contact between the mallet shafts, and the not unusual clicking sound of the Burton grip, are avoided. At larger intervals the grip also uses a technique similar to that of the traditional grip’s method of increasing the spread with thumb and index finger. Ney Rosauro has made very nice and detailed instruction videos that teach his grip at

This is what the extended cross-grip looks like at the interval of a fourth.