What Type of “Stick Grip” Should I Use?

different gripsThe most common — and popular question I hear from beginner drummers always involves drum sticks. A lot of drummers make the mistake of watching their favorite drummers and believing that the key to their skill is within the specific grip that they are using.

Some drummers see their favorite drummer playing with a traditional grip and automatically make themselves believe that in order to play like that drummer, they need to adopt the traditional grip no matter how absurd it feels to their hands.

Stick Grips Are All About Comfort

First off, let’s get this out in the open and clear as day; there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ grip.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong, plain and simple. They aren’t meant to look fancy, or to impress anyone. They are meant for you to perform at your best, and to do this you need to be comfortable.

A sprinter can’t run a good one hundred meter race with an anchor tied to their ankle. Likewise, a drummer can’t play a good steady rhythm with an uncomfortable grip. Both are for the same reason; it feels unnatural.

When you look for a drum grip, try out different styles. See which feel most natural in your grip. If you like the way a matched grip feels then a matched grip is the stick grip for you. Likewise, if you feel an American grip is comfortable then an American grip is the type of stick grip you should use.

Trying Different Kinds Of Grips

Stick grips, when utilized properly, all achieve the same goal; proper mobility of the wrist and proper balance of power. If you feel that a German grip is too rigid and stiff for you, try a different grip.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different grips for different styles, either. If you find that that same German grip was actually more comfortable for blues drumming than any other grip, then adopt that grip you your blues playing.

Think about it; guitarists use varied styles of picking. Some are more comfortable for certain pieces for some guitarists than they are for others. Does that mean any of the guitarists, so long as they are playing the same note and following the same rhythm, are wrong for their picking choice? No. The same goes for drummers. Don’t let yourself play with an uncomfortable grip for any extended period of time. When you aren’t comfortable, your body tried to compensate.

Play With Comfort

Whether you are aware of it at the moment or not, the rest of your body is going to be trying to make up for the discomfort in your grip. This can lead to strains and many other nasty playing related injuries. These will force you to take time away from your kit, so don’t risk it.

So now that you know stick grip is all about preference, there is one thing to keep in mind; don’t make up your own grips. The grips used in music are used for a reason. This is because they work and are proven safe. Your made up stick grip isn’t proven and can cause injury, so be safe. Choose a grip that suits you best, and soon you will see an improvement in your drums playing.

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