How To Hold Drumsticks

Learning the Fundamentals


Learning how to hold the drumsticks correctly is one of the most important elements of playing the drums. In fact, it is the first thing to consider before anything else. A good stick grip will allow you to develop good playing techniques and make the best possible progress on the instrument.

Unfortunately a lot of players wait until it’s too late before they start looking at the way they hold their sticks – when bad habits have formed and/or injury sets in. Please don’t be one of them because many things that you as a drummer should be able to do, simply won’t work with a bad grip. The right grip, however, gives you more control, more speed, more endurance, and most importantly a better sound.

Okay, so instead of me writing a long winded article that could potentially bore you to tears here is a great video from Canadian drum educator Mike Michalcow, that will teach you the basics of holding the drum sticks.

Matched Grip Vs. Traditional Grip

The two grips that you will see most often are matched grip and traditional grip. Matched grip being when you hold both sticks the same way and traditional grip being when you hold the left stick with an underhand grip. Drummers love to debate which is best but they really are just wasting their time. Neither is ‘BEST’. There are examples of players who have taken both to incredible levels so it’s not the grip, it’s the drummer (YOU) that matters. If you want to play one way or the other, then go for it. If you want to mix and match, then go for it. It’s up to you and how far you are willing to take it.

If you look at some of the top players including Jojo Mayer, Thomas Lang, Gavin Harrison and Keith Carlock you’ll notice that they all work the sticks in a slightly different way. The most important thing to remember here is that you should have a comfortable grip that allows you to build your technique to it’s full potential with relaxation and good feel.

Now Kill It!

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