For drummers we know the fulcrum as an important fundamental concept of our technique. The balance point in our hand where the stick pivots and we allow the stick to bounce and rebound. It is a point we learn to control in many ways and can be produced in a variety of locations using the thumb and first finger, second finger and even different joints in the fingers. This is not so much a technical look at the fulcrum as it is an exploration into the roll this point plays in our music.
The fulcrum is crucial to understanding grip. The different grips we use, matched, traditional, variations that include German, French, Hinger, Moeller technique all create fulcrum, or point where the stick balances and has leverage at different points in our hands and fingers.
While it is the tip, shoulder or butt of the stick or mallet that contacts the instrument being struck, it is the relationship our hand and fingers have with the stick that cause the resulting action to be felt.
I’d like to offer another thought to ponder. The fulcrum is the point of contact with our instrument and the sounds we create. It’s our embouchure. Like a trumpet player buzzing the lips and feeling the mouthpiece or a sax player and the relationship to the gap and reed. This is where we feel the connection between ourselves and the instrument we are striking. We hold in our hand a stick or mallet and we feel. We know the moment of contact. We have a realization between our intention and that which happened at point of contact. A synchronicity if you will. We are at one with music; both the strike and that which we strike. We form a union.
The vibration is felt in our fingers and the resulting sound of impact is heard. The fulcrum is a point of magic. It is where we pinch, strain, relax, flow, roll, buzz, diddle. It is the point where our soul is physically connected to the act. Thanks for reading.