Rock Drumming System

Learn How To Hold Drumsticks

Learning the right way to hold your drumsticks is one of the most often neglected aspects of drumming. When you play the drums, the stick should become a part of you, and not an accessory. To achieve this, you must start with the way you hold your sticks.   It is important to determine the correct grip style early on, so you do not end up hurting yourself, or you’re training in the long run.    Now don’t worry, if you have not been following the “correct” technique at all, it’s not the end of the world.  Any way you practice will improve your skill; however, holding your stick different ways will increase your drumming productivity by offering more bounce, movement, and control.

This article is designed to show the three main types of stick grips used today.  Each has their own advantages and tricks, so it is important for drummers to explore all styles, and become comfortable with them.     Before you start, make suer you read up on the Fulcrum Point. This is where you want to pinch your sticks for each grip. So, once you have found this point on your stick, you may use the lessons below to properly set up the right grip for you!

Matched Grip

The most popular style is the Matched Grip. With this, both hands hold the stick the same way.  Matched grip is very popular with all styles of drumming, and can be applied in more than just the drum kit. Timpani, mallets, and other percussion instruments use the matched grip as well.   It allows for fast movement around the kit, and offers maximum control. 

This grip is played with your palms facing downward.   Notice how every finger tip is lightly rested on the drumstick.  Make sure you do not grip the stick too tightly, or you will limit its’ rebound.  It is debated which finger is used to grip the stick. Some will use their thumb and index finger; others will use their thumb and middle finger.  Both are fine, as long as you chose one early and stick to it!

Traditional Grip

The next grip we will look at is called the traditional grip. You may see a lot of jazz drummers using this style, for it is extremely popular with that style. With this, you hold the stick with your palms facing up, gripping the stick from underneath.  This gives you a whole new feel of the stick.  It allows for quick strokes, and better dynamic control; Perfect for brushes and brooms.   One problem with this grip is moving it around the drum kit.  With a bigger drum kit, you may find it hard to move quickly around the toms, and with the angle of the stick in your hands, hitting cymbals can be tricky.  

To achieve this grip, simply start by sticking your first two fingers out, with your thumb sticking straight up.  Then simply place your stick between your thumb, and your other fingers like this:

After the stick is in place, simply close your top two fingers gently on the top of the stick.   The stick should be loose in your hand, like this:

French grip

Finally, there is the French grip.  This technique is not as popular, but is still used a lot.  It offers speed and endurance, with a totally different feel than any other grip.  The French grip uses your fingers to control your stick.  Because you do not use your wrists as much, you will save a lot of energy.   Using your fingers can be a great plus; however, it does have its minuses.  You may find it hard to get enough power in some of your strokes.  

Notice how the stick is very lose in the hand.  It’s a good idea to use your index finger and thumb to pinch the stick.  You want to be able to use your other fingers to act as a spring on the stick.  

How To Hold Your Drumsticks

Be sure to try out every one of these techniques.  Each grip is different and have their own benefits.  If you are educated in all styles, you will be much more attractive as a drummer.   Remember, these are not the only ways to grip your stick!  There are many varieties of these basic techniques.  These are just examples of the three most common ways to hold your drum sticks!

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