Drumming motions

Being a drummer, I've taken special interest in drummers’ and percussionists' interaction with their instrument. Percussionists are musicians with highly specialised movements, and they are also expected to perform the same rhythmic pattern under varying circumstances (meaning different surfaces, mallets etc.)

Difficult or fast sequences can be played with much less effort if the rebound of the drumstick can be used. (For example; Think of letting a rubber ball drop to the ground. Because it bounces back, you don't have to pick it up, and so little energy is used). Depending on the circumstances one can, however, assume that there might be a trade-off between close control of the drumstick and very relaxed playing.

In this gif a professional player is playing single strokes at a slow tempo. The hand is leading the drumstick up in preparation for the stroke, and after the hit the stick bounces up and falls back towards the drumhead before the next stroke is initiated.

Recorded motion data from a professional player. The points are markers attached to the shoulder, elbow, wrist (red), hand (green), and stick (blue). Note that the tip of the drumstick is lagging behind, pointing down before the actual downstroke is initiated.