Everyone starts somewhere. Pablo Picasso was not born an artist; he developed his skills through practice. Some person somewhere along the line taught Picasso about art, showed him the beauty of it, showed him how to transfer thought to canvas.
Someone opened that door for him. Music is the same exact way. We all start of small, with the most basic of lessons, and from these we can grow and expand.
The most basic drum lesson, yet one that many drummers take for granted once it is learned, is how to grip the drum stick. Drum stick grip, like every other technique you will ever learn in your lifetime, takes practice.
It takes a little while for you to develop the proper amount of force and the proper degree at which to hold the stick. Luckily, we can help start you on your path properly so that you have the means to develop those things.
First off, before we even discuss drum stick grips, you need to understand comfort. Comfort is the main factor that will affect how you play, and how efficiently you use your energy. Basically, if you choose a grip that is uncomfortable, then you will most likely play poorly.
Also, you may wind up injuring yourself as well. Pay attention to your body; it knows when it is comfortable, and when it is not. Be wary of any pains or stings, or any other signs of discomfort.
The first and most basic grip, is the over hand drum stick grip. To perform the grip, slide the drum stick against your palm with the head reaching out past your fingers. Your hand should be about three quarters of the way down the length of the stick.
Curl your index finger and middle finger around the sticks body, and let your thumb rest over the top. This is the basic over hand grip, used most commonly in styles such as heavy metal, rock and roll, and blues, among many others.
The second basic grip form is the underhanded grip. Once again, let your palm rest against the stick about three quarters of the way down. Now curl your thumb over the top of the stick, and curl your forefinger around to meet it, creating a loose ‘O’ around the stick. Next, let the stick rest between the first digit of your middle finger, and the first digit of your ring finger. Finally, turn your palm up towards the ceiling. This is the underhanded drum stick grip.
The two basic types of grip combinations are the matched grip and the traditional grip. With the matched grip, both of your hands adopt an overhanded drum stick grip. With the traditional grip, your left hand adopts an underhanded grip, while your right hand adopts an overhanded grip. Some drummers also prefer to play with both hands using underhand grips.
Now that you know how to grip the drum stick, the next step is to try out each grip and each combination of grips, and see which feels best for you. There are no right or wrong combinations so long as you are comfortable.
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