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I've been playing drums for a while and there's something bothering me. I've watched a lot of "how to hold your drumsticks properly" videos for the 'matched grip' style (the one i use) to try to improve my 'matched grip'. I try to be relaxed and not apply too much force when holding my drumsticks, but when i start to play a little bit faster, they start to move in my hands. My thumb and index finger are being used to find the fulcrum point but from time to time i have to move my index finger to find the fulcrum point again.

Do i have to put more force when i'm holding my sticks? I've watched a lot of videos on youtube but they seem all the same to me when it comes do the matched grip...i've tried the traditional grip too..should i invest more time and effort on improving it?

Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks!

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

There is some certain uncertainty that makes it difficult to answer this question. The easiest solution would be to record yourself while speeding on a practice pad.

I had a similar problem when I was a beginner and the problem was that I tend to make a rotation and some forward translation while I was hitting the drums. The net effect of course is that stick gains some momentum forward and tends to slip out of your hand.

So you need to make sure that your index finger is not slipping under your thumb which creates a forward motion. The idea of a fulcrum point is to make the stick bounce in a steady motion such that you can bring it back (in theory by just applying some torque with your grip fingers)

I recommend anything JoJo Mayer says :) Especially, the Moeller technique description should clarify your concerns and pay attention for an alternative fulcrum grip with two middle fingers.

Speaking of who, use Jim Chapin's books. They have been very useful to me.

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Hmm....that's really different...I've only known the fulcrum point with the thumb and index finger...i'll definitely check this out at home... But could you explain what you said before? About the "rotation and foward translation"? And which Jim Chapin books do you recommend? I'm really inexperienced when it comes to drum theory and techniques...are they too complex? – Joao Victor Aug 15 '13 at 12:04
@JoaoVictor Suppose you are holding with index and thumb only. Then you perform a hit movement by pushing your thumb forward and your index finger slides below the thumb. Do it without holding a stick, you'll see what I mean. If that is performed incorrectly the thumb pushes the stick forward sliding over the index finger. So in the next stroke you will be holding the stick at a slightly further point to the butt of the stick. Is that a little clearer? – user1306 Aug 15 '13 at 12:46
Ohh...i got it. And what about the books? Which ones do you recommend? – Joao Victor Aug 15 '13 at 12:47
@JoaoVictor Oh, sorry. This one has kind of a biblical value among drummers. It's not exactly a tricks/chops book. But if you persevere, most of the chops you loved before start to look trivial after a few months and you realize what those subtle drummers are actually doing. Obviously there is a matter of taste involved. But I nevertheless recommend it incorporating in your practices. – user1306 Aug 15 '13 at 12:54
@JoaoVictor Another classic is Ted Reed's syncopation book. The typical use of it is to fix 3 limbs playing a certain pattern and read off the syncopation exercise with the fourth limb. It's mindboggling at times :) I remember being very angry to this book but immensely helpful. – user1306 Aug 15 '13 at 12:59

Drum sticks are basically 'sticks'!!!! Instructing new students in the Art of Stick Fighting, I find that new students most often act as though a 'stick' is a 'club' - They hang on to it like there is no tomorrow and bang it against your stick as hard as they can. After you explain to them that your stick is there to help them, and that there really is no need to flog it unmercifully, they begin to relax. Tension is usually equated with power, speed, or force. This is an unfortunate assumption.If you are more relaxed you will have more speed. If you are relaxed you will have more control. If you are relaxed you will have more accuracy. If you are relaxed you will have more energy, and power. The phrase 'float like a butterfly, sting like a bee' comes to mind. You only need the power at the moment of the 'strike'. With drum 'sticks', we need to learn that if you allow it, the 'stick' will bounce up again without you doing anything other than initiating the first 'strike'. The art is in controlling the bounce by not stifling it. Let the 'stick' do the work. Allow the wrist to do what it does naturally. Do not grip the 'stick'. Do not let it go. The 'stick'must be able to move, that's what 'sticks' do. You have but to guide, and thus control it's action.

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It's ok if the stick moves. It's supposed to. What you are experiencing is called "Stick Creep" We all get it. Over time you learn to make little mico adjustments. I saw Tommy Igoe say If your stick is not moving you are griping too hard. He demonstrated in a constent flow of 1/8 notes with his right hand how the stick actually rotates in his hands. Meaning the "logo" of the stick spins.

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