Proper Stick Grip

Any drummer will tell you that one of the most important things to perfect is your grip.  It is the basic building block of any drummer's technique.  Of course, every drummer has a slightly different grip or hand placement.  And ultimately, you have to make your own decisions on what feels comfortable.  However, there are a few basic elements that most agree on.

First there are two basic grips: matched and traditional.  The right hand grip is the same for both of these grips.  For the right hand grip, lay a drumstick in front of you and pick it up at the balance point of the stick using your index finger and thumb, with your palm facing down.  Roll the stick across your index finger so that it rests between the first and second joints, but touching the first joint.  Now curl the other fingers loosely around the stick.  Do not squeeze the stick too tightly with your fingers or thumb.  For matched grip, the left hand grip is exactly the same.  For traditional grip, the left hand is a little different.  The left hand holds the stick between the middle and ring finger, closing the index finger and the thumb over the butt of the stick.  Traditional grip allows for an angle that can sometimes improve control on complex patterns on the snare. but may also compromise power.

So, which grip is better?  Both of them...that is to say that each grip has strengths and weaknesses.  Some people use traditional grip for jazz styles and matched for rock.  Some use traditional all the time or matched all the time.  Personally, I play with matched grip all the time, but everyone is different.  The best advice I can give you is to play as much as you can experimenting with both grips and see which feels right to you.

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