Monday, 20 March 2017
The most important technique a drummer must understand, is how to hold the drumsticks. Drum stick grip is very important and many drummers still fail to hold the drum sticks correctly. When holding the sticks correctly you are able to have maximum control over guiding your hands and striking your drum set correctly. The better grip you have the better output you will have in how your drums will push out sound. The quicker you learn how to hold the drum sticks the quicker you will learn to play the drums and soon you’ll be on your way to rolling the drum sticks in your hands like a pro!
To help understand the various methods that are popular, we have compiled information from two useful articles.
The most popular style is the Matched Grip. With this, both hands hold the stick the same way. Matched grip is very popular with all styles of drumming, and can be applied in more than just the drum kit. Timpani, mallets, and other percussion instruments use the matched grip as well. It allows for fast movement around the kit, and offers maximum control. This grip is played with your palms facing downward. Make sure you do not grip the stick too tightly, or you will limit its’ rebound. It is debated which finger is used to grip the stick. Some will use their thumb and index finger; others will use their thumb and middle finger. Both are fine, as long as you chose one early and stick to it!
The next grip we will look at is called the Traditional Grip. You may see a lot of jazz drummers using this style, for it is extremely popular with that style. With this, you hold the stick with your palms facing up, gripping the stick from underneath. This gives you a whole new feel of the stick. It allows for quick strokes, and better dynamic control; Perfect for brushes and brooms. One problem with this grip is moving it around the drum kit. With a bigger drum kit, you may find it hard to move quickly around the toms, and with the angle of the stick in your hands, hitting cymbals can be tricky.
There is a few different type of drum stick grips. All drum stick grips differ from each other depending on the angle and degree of rotation. Typically you have an Germanian Grip, an American Grip and a French Grip
Germanian Grip is also very common for rock drumming and corps drumming. It involves holding your stick at the fulcrum point (balance point) with your thumb and index finger. What makes this grip unique is the angle in which you play with your sticks. Place your sticks on the snare drum, and try to make a 90 degree angle with them. When you find this angle, you will notice your elbows may point out a little.
American Grip entails having your elbows out and your sticks at a 90 degree angle. You will notice your sticks cutting an angle down to 45 degrees or so. This is the most common style of drumming, mainly because it feels the most comfortable. This grip is very common for rock drumming and corps drumming.
French Grip is different from American and Germanian grips. Let your arms relax and bring your sticks together so they are almost parallel. The French grip is different because the way you are holding your sticks changes from palms down, to palms up. This means you can achieve more speed by using your fingers. The only down side to this is the lack of power you will get from your strokes.
Be sure to try out every one of these techniques. It is always good to learn all types of stick grips. Each grip is different and have their own benefits. Learning both matched grip and traditional grips will help you have better control and feel for the drum sticks. It will also better your performance when playing certain types of music or achieving certain types of songs as each type of grip achieves different types of sound when striking the drum. A great way to practice these different stick grips, is by incorporating them into your next drum practice.
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