Mini-lesson: How to hold a drumstick

So I was randomly inspired to write a little post about a problem that seems to be rather common among drummers. Now, I’ve been playing the drums on-and-off since the age of 10 or 11, and I’m currently studying music in a conservatory, with the drums being my main instrument. I’ve learned many a thing in the 18 months or so that I’ve been studying, and I felt like sharing a tiny bit of that.

If you are a drummer reading this by any chance, I’d like for you to grab a drumstick and hold it the way you normally hold it. Twist your hand around and examine your grip from every angle possible. What does it look like?

Chances are it looks roughly like this:

dav

That grip is sure to cause problems in the long run. Not only does it make playing rudiments inefficient, but worst case scenario, you’ll do irreparable damage to your wrists, especially if you tend to twist them at a horizontal angle. I used to play with a grip that was very similar to the one pictured above, but I learned a new grip courtesy of my drum teacher that’s at least less likely to destroy your wrist.

The new grip I learned is pictured below:

dav

As you can see, there are a number of differences. The index finger isn’t “conjoined” to the other three fingers, but rather, it rests separated from them with the tip lightly touching the stick. The rest of the fingers are more relaxed overall. When combined with vertical movement of the wrist rather than horizontal, this grip will benefit your playing in ways you probably couldn’t have imagined. Rudiments especially will be less agonizing to play.

Granted, there are a few other types of grips out there, but this is the one I learned. And the important thing is that you hold the stick with a more relaxed hand.

Learning a new grip will understandably take a while when you’ve been playing with one specific grip, possibly for years, but trust me – you’ll be doing yourself and your drumming a number of favors if you just get rid of that death grip.

That concludes today’s mini-lesson. Chances are I’ll be making more of these in the future, that is if I can think of something people could potentially benefit from learning.

Anyway, see you!

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