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In this lesson we look at how to cross stick. Another name for the cross stick is rimtap. This can be used in many different styles from Rock to Latin to Jazz, and essentially you are doing the same thing in each style. Basically what you're trying to imitate is the high pitch of a Clave.

To cross stick, place the back end (butt end) of the stick 1 inch from the left side of the drum. This is where the stick will pivot from - never let this back end actually leave the drum. From here tap the right side of the rim with the shoulder of the stick. There should be about 3 inches of stick hanging over the rim of the right hand side of the drum. You will need to change position slightly for each stick and each drum.

If there is too much stick hanging over the edge, the rimtap will be too deep. If there is too little, the rimtap will sound weak and thin. You want the full, thick and high pitched "clock" sound.

Make sure the palm is on the drum (this will help mute unwanted overtones and harmonics), and also make sure the finger tips make contact with the drum when the stick does (this will further mute overtones).

The cross stick is usually written as an X note head on the snare line. Here is an example within a Latin American beat.




Quarter Note Rock Beats Linear Beats 1 Grooving On 2 Snares
8th Note Rock Beats Linear Beats 2 7/4 Beats
Busier Rock Beats The Funky Cowbell Beat 7 Stroke Roll Hihat Grooves
Bass Doubles In Beats Paradiddles In Beats Half Time Shuffle
Rock Shuffle Tasty Linear Drum Rhythms Fast Bass Drums
Hihat Gliss Adding The Left Hand Hihat Ghost Notes 1
Cross Sticking Expanding Drum Beats 1 Ghost Notes 2
Cymbal Choking Expanding Drum Beats 2