As a student of drumming, you have heard about fulcrums. A fulcrum is the point around which a lever turns. Fulcrums come in different forms, as you can see in Figure 1, at left.
When holding the drum stick, the fulcrum is the point that a stick turns around. The traditional view is that the fulcrum is where the fingers hold the stick. You’ll hear drummers talk about an “index finger fulcrum” where they hold the stick between the index finger and the thumb, as seen in Figure 2, at right. The idea is that the thumb and index finger create a fulcrum and the stick turns around it. The arm supports the hand and moves it around to the appropriate drum. As you can see in this image, that is exactly what happens when you use French Grip with finger technique.
However, with Moeller Technique and others, the fulcrum is not so simple. The fulcrum actually shifts locations as you play . I’ll call this a dynamic fulcrum. This doesn’t mean that you change the way you hold the stick as you play – although for most drummers this is true. A dynamic fulcrum is one that changes location during the stroke.
Baseball batters also use a dynamic fulcrum. Although the traditional view is that the fulcrum is the bottom of the stick, research into how batters actually bat finds the actual fulcrum is somewhere in the middle… nowhere near the batters hands at all. You can see the same thing in the images I took, at right. You can see that the effective fulcrum is somewhere in the middle. The traditional view is too simplistic because it only looks at the drumstick (or bat) itself. To get the real story of whats going on, you have to consider the entire system. Each joint in the body is itself a fulcrum and to understand how pressure is applied to the stick you have to consider the combined movements of all of them.