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How to hold drum sticks for beginners: best tips to start

It's crucial for beginning drummers to understand the appropriate way to grip their drumsticks. A lack of this process will result in mediocre technique, negative habits, and a slower rate of learning.

You may play with better control and efficiency and get the biggest rebound by using the right grip. The longer you put off learning how to grip the sticks, the longer it will take you to become a better drummer.

Traditional and matched grips are the two most common grips used by drummers today.Let’s see them together. Le’s see them together.

Traditional grip

The military bands are responsible for the traditional grip. Drummers in military marching bands commonly wear their snare drum on their sides, thus the term "side drum" for the instrument.

The traditional grip was created to make playing the side drum simpler, but it also functions on a regular drum kit. It involves holding the left-hand drumstick between the thumb and index finger.

How to grip drumsticks using the traditional grip

- 1 Your "off" hand should be palm up.

- 2 In between the thumb and index finger, place the stick: On your non-dominant hand, place the drumstick in the "crook" between your thumb and index finger. You should align your hand such that it roughly supports the drumstick at this point after sliding it up and down until you discover its general balancing point.

- 3 Wrap the stick around your thumb and index finger: Your thumb should easily sit on top of the stick after being bent. After that, extend your index finger and place it such that the inside of the finger touches the stick.

- 4 Your middle fingertip should be resting on the stick's side: Bring your middle finger up the stick's outside edge until it hits the stick at the second or third knuckle's underside.

- 5 Under the stick, tuck the remaining fingers: Bring your ring and pinky fingers over to the stick next. Place the little finger underneath the ring finger for support and place the stick on the middle finger's knuckle or the ring finger's cuticle.

- 6 With your other hand, adopt a matched grip: Your off hand is prepared for action! All that's left to do is grasp the second stick overhand with your dominant hand, just like you would with any of the matched grips described below.

Matched grips

The fact that both hands grasp the drumsticks in the same manner gives the matched grip its name. Holding each stick near its middle causes it to bounce off the drum head or cymbal, which is how this grip type performs best.

A matched grip is used by the majority of drummers nowadays, and it may be the main skill you learn in your very first drum lesson. The matching grip comes in American, German, and French versions.

American grip

American grip is often the easiest grip style for beginners to start with. This technique is adaptable, very simple to master, and provides a good balance of force and control, making it an excellent fit for practically any drummer and virtually every musical genre.

- 1 Put your index finger up: Raise one hand, bending the wrist so the palm faces downward and the index finger is parallel to the ground in front of you.

- 2 Your index finger should be bent: Your index finger should be bent slightly at the second and third joints so that the tip is about parallel to the edge of your palm.

- 3 Put your index finger below your drumstick: Insert the drumstick inside the pocket your index finger has created by curling up. Your index finger should snugly encircle the drumstick so that it seems like it is pulling a trigger.

- 4 Look for the balancing point: As playing the drums, you want your sticks to "spring" or "bounce" a little when they contact the drum head; they should naturally bounce off the drum head and land back on it numerous times.

- 5 Put your thumb on the drumstick's side: Your thumb doesn't need to apply a lot of force. Its sole purpose is to keep the stick in position while playing and add a little more control.

- 6 Wrap the remaining three fingers around the drumstick: These fingers should give adequate support but not prevent the stick from rebounding back from the drum head when you strike it, so avoid gripping too firmly.

- 7 For the opposite hand, repeat the previous procedures.

- 8 Use a wrist and finger motion to strike: Flex your wrist to raise and lower the drumstick as you strike the drum. Keep your palms pointing down and almost parallel to the ground. Your wrists and fingers should be responsible for the majority of the drumming motion.

German grip

Sometimes, to give the drummer more force, the standard American grip is modified with the German grip. The German grip is all about force, making it ideal for energetic classical compositions, marching bands, and strong rock drumming.

German grip is less suitable for jazz drumming, technical rock drumming, etc. since you could find it a bit difficult to control your drumming during short, complicated sections.

- 1 As with the American Grip, grab at the equilibrium point.

- 2 Put your palms parallel to the surface of the drum: Turn your hands so that the flats of your palms are toward the drum surface after you have a firm grip on the drumstick.

- 3 As a support, use your middle fingers: Your middle fingers should be snugly supported by the stick if you curl them underneath it.

- 4 Bend out your elbows: Allowing your elbows to flex outward while using the German grip will make it simpler to obtain the power and control you'll need to play effectively.

- 5 Use a wrist motion to strike.

French grip

The French grip is another variety of matching grip. Because it primarily employs the fingers to force each drum stroke rather than the wrists, this kind of matching grip is a little different.

French grip is also a fantastic option for drumming styles that call for finesse, such as jazz, technical rock, and some styles of technical "Drumline" music.

However, the French grip can be a poor choice for the loud, strong drumming required by hard rock, heavy metal, and other genres since the fingers don't have as much strength as the wrist.

- 1 As with the American Grip, grab at the equilibrium point.

- 2 Turn your hands so that the palms are facing one another: Your palms should have their flat sides pointing up and down (perpendicular to the floor). Your hands should be facing one another, but they don't have to be touching.

- 3 As a support, use your middle, ring, and pinky fingers: These fingers will support your sticks as you play, enabling you to maintain control over them. Due to the French grip's greater reliance on finger strength than the other matching grips, this is especially crucial.

- 4 Bend your elbows in.

- 5 Use your fingers to strike: The majority of the force for the drum strikes should come from utilizing the fingers to strike with the sticks, not from twisting your wrists or moving your forearms or shoulders. However, some wrist movement will likely be inevitable.

How to hold drum sticks for beginners - Conclusion

Right now, you don't have to decide which grip you'll use for the future of your drumming career. Your inspirations, interests, and playing style will inevitably evolve over time.

There is no ideal grip; each grip has its advantages and disadvantages. However, as a drummer, you'll benefit from recognizing these advantages and disadvantages over time.

If you liked this post and would want to read more tips for your music career and general information about the music industry, please visit our blog section.

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Written by CalypsoRoom Editorial Team
The CalypsoRoom Editorial Team is a skilled and diverse group of writers, researchers, and industry specialists who have access to Calypso's data and information in order to give you broad knowledge about the music industry as well as helpful advice to help you manage your music and dancing career.

Updated January 2023


How to hold drum sticks for beginners: best tips to start

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