Informal Motion


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Informal Motion
All versions of informal motion incorporate some type of whipping motion, perhaps the most well known of which is exemplified by Moeller Motion, the system that Sanford Moeller described in his book, The Moeller Book (1925).

Because the primary motion is based on a whipping action, informal motion doesn’t equate stroke length to dynamics, allowing accents to be produced using relatively short strokes. This makes it less suited to musical situations that involve multiple dynamic levels, but does lend itself well to pulling out accents at high speed, as well as generating multiple notes with a single stroke. For these reasons informal motion offers a very efficient way of playing which translateswell to the environment of drum set.

The Strokes
As part of our study of informal motion, we will be looking at four different strokes:

The Moeller Stroke
There are three basic versions of the Moeller stroke:
    1.    The Low Moeller
    2.    The Half Moeller
    3.    The Full Moeller

Each one is characterised by the specific combination of wrist, elbow and shoulder movement used to articulate the stroke, as well as distance the stick travels in order to produce the sound.

All three versions of the stroke start in the low position, produce an accented note before finishing in either the low or high positions.

In addition, because of the nature of all Moeller strokes (that is, they are based on a whipping motion) they can be used as the basis for compound motions, which enable the production of multiple sounds for a single stroke. This is one of the things that makes the Moeller system so efficient.

We will look at the following versions of the Low Moeller and Half Moeller strokes:

    1.    End low (produces one note)
    2.    End low with additional strike on the upward part of the motion (produces two notes)
    3.    End high (produces one note)
    4.    End high with additional strike on the upward part of the motion (produces two notes)

The Tap Stroke
This is the same stroke as used in the formal system. That is, it starts in the low position (15˚) and ends low position (15˚) producing a ghost note.

The Free Stroke
This is similar to the full stroke used in the formal system. The stroke starts in the high position (90˚) and ends in the high position (90˚) creating an accent and preparing you to play another accent.