If you are new to drumming, the first question that probably comes to your mind when approaching a kit is how to properly hold the drum sticks.
Luckily, we have you covered.
The first is the traditional grip. The traditional grip is the oldest of all grips, and has been used by military drummers for over a century.
While it is most common in drum lines involving snares, it has also been popularized by drummers such as All That Remains’ drummer Jason Costa and Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones, as well as in jazz drumming as a whole.
The traditional drumming grip technique is a hybrid grip, as it involves two separate grips at once. The right hand adopts an over grip style and the left hand adopts an under grip style. This style is extremely beneficial for dynamic drumming, as the left under grip hand is perfect for grace notes, making techniques such as the ghost drag note easily accessible.
This is in part the reason that traditional grip is so popular in jazz, as it allows the best of both worlds of grips at once. However, the downside is that this grip takes a bit more time to learn than the matched grip because of the difference in each hands required stroking technique.
To use a traditional grip, take your right hand and curl your middle finger and forefinger around the stick towards your palm. Drape your thumb over the top of the stick. These are the three finger used to grip in an overhand styled. With your left hand, curl your thumb over the top of the stick and cradle it with your forefinger. Turn your palm towards the ceiling. This is the underhand grip.
The second most basic form of drum stick grip is the matched grip. The matched grip, just as its name entails, is a method of holding the sticks in which both hands grip the same. This means that if you use an overhand American grip with your right hand, your left hand will use the exact same grip type. This drum stick grip is extremely beneficial to faster paced drumming styles such as heavy metal because there is no need to alter technique to accommodate a second grip type.
The first is the French grip, in which your palms face one another. In this grip style, your fingers work the stick.
The second common matched grip is the German grip. In the German grip, your palms are parallel to the drum heads. The wrist is the main tool that works the sticks.
The third matched grip form is the American grip. The American grip adopts itself from both the French and German grips. Both palms are roughly diagonal, at about forty five degrees, and both the wrist and the fingers are used to work the drum sticks.
Now that you know the drum stick grip techniques types, take your time to choose which feels most comfortable to you. Once you find the perfect grip, play away!
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