off to a Great Start:
Learning the Grip
by: Mark Wessels and Jeff Queen
If you're just beginning to play the drums, this is the place to start! I'll explain the basic snare grip in detail and give you some pictures to look at when you can't understand what I'm saying (which happens often, according to my wife).
The Right Hand Grip:
First, set the proper hand & forearm position:
Without the sticks, let your right arm hang loosely at your side, then lift your hand, palm side down. Keep your shoulder and elbow relaxed and close to your body. Think of your arm as being in an "L" - with the forearm perpendicular to the upper arm. The hands should be an extension of the forearm. Now, let's put the the stick in the hand:
Step ONE: Find a point on the stick that is about one third of the way between the butt and the tip. Grasp the stick between the 1st and 2nd knuckle of the index finger and the "meaty" part of the thumb. Pretend that I hammered a nail through the second joint of your index finger, through the stick & it came out through your thumbnail. I know it's a very gross thought, but it's one that highlights how the stick PIVOTS on this point that we call a "FULCRUM." Watch that you don't let the stick roll down to the tip of the index finger - this will not provide a strong enough fulcrum for that serious MTV drumming style!
Step TWO: The shaft of the stick should fit in the heel of the hand, with about an inch sticking out from the edge of the palm. Make sure that the stick doesn't gravitate to the center of the palm (along the "lifeline").
Step THREE: Wrap the fingers loosely around the stick. All of the back three fingers should touch the stick, but don't squeeze it. Squeezing the stick only produces tension that will make it difficult to play drum rolls or really fast single stroke rolls later.
FOUR: If you're going to use the "MATCHED" grip
(which this author recommends for beginning to intermediate level
students), simply grip the left stick the same as the right. Now,
put the bead of the sticks in the center of the head at a 90 degree
angle (playing off center produces a thin sound). Usually, when students
don't have a 90 degree angle, it points to bigger problems with the
grip or arm position.
If you liked this article, please visit Mark Wessels' website: