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Is Mike Mangini ambidextrous

  • Is Mike Mangini ambidextrous
    March 18, 2014 - 3:14pm

    Hi, i have been wondering if Mike Mangini is ambidextrous. I can usually tell if a drummer is right or left handed by their kit set up or the way they play, but with Mike i just can't say. Maybe he's not ambidextrous but because he is such a great drummer it seems he's achieved it.

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fb_norman_ottley's picture
on March 18, 2014 - 3:14pm

Hi, i have been wondering if Mike Mangini is ambidextrous. I can usually tell if a drummer is right or left handed by their kit set up or the way they play, but with Mike i just can't say. Maybe he's not ambidextrous but because he is such a great drummer it seems he's achieved it.

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MrDrum's picture

This is from a modern drummer interview with Mike in 1999...

The metamorphosis from a regular kit happened when I forced myself to train all of my limbs. I put the ride cymbal on my left side like Simon Phillips, who was also an inspiration. In fact, there are several drummers who have influenced me – Ringo Starr, Bobby Colomby, Danny Seraphine, Buddy Rich, John Bonham, Neil Peart, and Terry Bozzio. I took pieces of what they did and made them my own.

It was in my teenage years that I started using my left hand to lead. But I was in my twenties before I started leading with my left foot. It took me about four years to get the left side of my body equal to my right. So now my right foot can step on a remote cable hi-hat that connects to a left-handed hi-hat, and the left foot can play kick drum – or vice versa. This allows me to stay on the left hi-hat using the left kick drum for most of the verses, because the A Custom hats that I have positioned there have a warmer sound. I typically play chorus sections of tunes on the brighter Zildjian K/Z hats because they bite more. Most melodies rise for the chorus, so using differently pitched cymbals helps to support that. Mainly, though, I didn’t want to not be able to do this because my body couldn’t do it; that was unacceptable. I knew that I could be more musical by training my body to be able to do certain things.

fb_norman_ottley's picture

Thank you mrdrum, that was very informative.