Getting off to a Great Start:
Part II: The Left Hand Traditional Grip

by: Mark Wessels and Jeff Queen

left1.jpg (2357 bytes)

Step 1: Start with the left hand down to the side fully relaxed.

Note that the hand has no tension and there is a natural curve to the fingers and wrist.

left2.jpg (2196 bytes)

Step Two:
Place the stick in the "V" of the palm and thumb 2-4 inches from the butt of the stick.  Nothing should have changed other than you are now holding a stick in your hand. Notice that the fingers and wrist are still very relaxed as they hold the stick.

left3.jpg (2850 bytes)

Step 3: Place the pad of the thumb on the first knuckle of your index finger.  Keep the middle finger relaxed and on the stick, the ring and pinky finger are just relaxed underneath the stick.

Notice the wrist curve is still the same as when we stared.

left4.jpg (3711 bytes)

Step 4: Bend at your elbow keeping the shoulder relaxed and put the stick into playing position.  The stick should be resting just below the cuticle of the ring finger (in between the first knuckle and where the fingernail ends).

The wrist is still very relaxed and there is no tension in the fingers.

Left Hand Detail
These next pictures show the detail of the grip

left5.jpg (2070 bytes)
Notice that the index, ring and pinky finger have the same relaxed curve to them, keep them parallel.  The middle finger is just relaxed on the stick.

left6.jpg (5010 bytes)See here how there are no gaps in the fingers.  The thumb has a relaxed curve as it touching the first knuckle of the index finger. 

Again, everything is totally relaxed and the wrist still has the natural curve to it.

left7.jpg (2651 bytes)
See here how the thumb is on the first knuckle and on the "top" of the stick.  You want your palm to be almost perpendicular to the playing position (90 degrees).  Note also that the wrist still has the same curve to it as when we started.

They say a picture's worth a thousand words...

Click on the thumbnail for a full-sized pic!

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