Gretsch Grand Prix New Co-owner!


My daughter Kelli is in percussion in school band and we've decided to get her private drum lessons. What better drums to learn on than Gretsch? I brought the kit up from my folks' house and set them up in the living room for her to practice on. They are Booneville, Arkansas-built, from about the mid-eighties. I originally wanted a blonde maple kit, but got a good deal on the black nitron finish. The bass is 14X24, 16X18 floor tom, 10X14 and 9X13 tenor toms and a nice nickel-plated 6X14 20 lug brass snare. I still have the original Floating Action pedal, but I got a Gretsch Giant that matches the high-hat footpad. The cymbals are 1966 Avedis Zildjians from my old Ludwig Hollywoods. They're 20" medium ride, 18" rock crash and 15" new beat hi-hats.


Kelli at two with her CB700s.


The CB throne was too tall for her, so she's using a metal popcorn bucket as a storage throne!


Congrats! That kit is a freakin’ weapon! Does that little sweetie of yours feel like that kit occupies its own zip code? Thems is some big’uns.


Getting her Keirh Moon on!

Rock on, Kelli!


So cool!

Sam, when I saw these pic's it made me think of you and my Grand Daughter in French Lick at the Hoosier Daddy Roundup.


Kelli is left-handed, but we thought it would be better for her to learn on a right-hand set-up. Most kits she's going to encounter in jazz clinics, on stage, etc. are going to be set for right-hand players. Anyway, it worked for Sir Ringo!


Kelli, home after her first drum lesson. She couldn't wait to practice!


Let her play left handed if she is left handed. It's easy to switch drums around.


She's decided to play right-hand set-up. Her instructor discussed it with her and she said it felt fine r-h.


Another part of figuring out that equation is knowing if she’s right- or left-footed. The dominant foot should be the bass drum foot. If it’s opposite of her dominant hand, (ala Ringo), it’s no issue to learn to play open-handed, especially this early on. In fact, it tends to even out one’s technique between their hands. It’s not about convenience using house kits, it’s about stacking the deck the most in her favor to play her best and progress to the best degree.

What a magical spot in a young musician’s timeline. It’s magnificent that you both get to share it.


Kelli seems to be right-foot dominant. I had her do several experiments (without telling her what it was about), such as climbing steps and stepping on a coin, and each time she stepped off with the right foot. Curiously, her younger sister Cori, who is also left-handed, did the same tests, only favoring her left foot!


Yessir, opposing dominant appendages are more common than one might think.

The good news is that if she’d prefer, she can just play a right-handed kit open-handed, meaning using her left hand on her hihat, with the ride cymbal also placed on that side of the kit, to be able to play the busier parts (or at least what are the busier parts in most popular music) with her dominant hand while still having the ease of control and power of her dominant foot playing the bass drum. Win-win, a true thing of beauty. Gotta love it!

In case it may be useful too you and her, Ringo has had a lot to say about playing a righty kit and having opposing dominant appendages. It’s all over the inter web. Of course, he chose to play the top half right-handed as well but he said it was just because that was the only way he’d ever seen people play. Open-handed or not, of course neither is “wrong”. Just gets down to what she has an easier time doing. Best of luck to her.


So cool!

Sam, when I saw these pic's it made me think of you and my Grand Daughter in French Lick at the Hoosier Daddy Roundup.

– Suprdave

Ah, li’l Josephine. Stole my heart. Her up there playing was just the cutest thing ever.<3

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