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Watch the Controlled Stroke online guitar lesson by Danny Gottlieb from Master Class Drum Lessons

This segment deals with a method of going from soft to loud and loud to soft dynamics with total control and relaxation. There are two main strokes used; a down stroke and an up stroke. Again, it comes from Joe Morello and George Lawrence Stone's natural approach. There is no tension, just positioning of the hands to control the dynamics. The down stroke allows you to throw the stick down and stop at a lower level position, allowing for a complete change in dynamics with control. The up stroke allows you to gently move the stick from a low position back up to a louder dynamic level with complete control, with no tension. It is different from making a preparatory stroke as an "up – down motion". This is a preparatory stroke, and if you were to stop the stick before making the loud sound, the stick would be back in a Full stroke position. For practice purposes, we are using these two dynamics-loud and soft, but in reality, you can use this level control system to play dynamics at any volume.

Major Points:
1. Down Stroke: start at Full stroke position: throw stick down and instead of accepting the rebound, stop at the new, lower position
2. Up stroke: Make a stroke from the lower position (without a wind up, or preparatory stroke - no lifting!), and then gently follow the stick back and bring it up to the full stroke position
3. There should be no tension when you bring the stick back to the full stroke position
4. There should be no tension when you stop the sick at the lower level by not accepting the rebound

Practice Exercises:
1. These five exercises illustrate both the down stroke and the up stroke
2. Exercise one contains four loud strokes, followed by four soft strokes
3. Exercise two is a paradiddle with the accent on the first beat
4. Exercise three is the bossa nova rhythm in single strokes
5. Exercise four is the Brazilian Bossa Nova rhythm in double strokes
6. Exercise five is the Brazilian Bossa Nova rhythm in a paradiddle sticking

Study tips:
1. You will note that in addition to the right and left hand stick markings listed under each exercise, hand position markings are also included.
2. F=Full stroke
3. T=tap, or half stroke
4. D=Down stroke
5. U= Upstroke
6. Use a mirror to watch hand positions. Make sure each stroke is accurate and controlled
7. Practice slowly at first, using a metronome for accuracy and to gauge progress
8. Recite the stroke names aloud as you make each stroke ("Right, Down, tap", etc)
9. You can play exercises 3-4-5 back to back without stopping
10. Use George Lawrence Stone's "Accents and Rebounds", or Joe's Master Studies Vol. 1 and 2 for further study