I am new to this website, so if my question doesn't have the proper form please edit or comment.

(while saying holding I mean holding drumsticks with matched grip)

I play drums for several years but I am not satisfied with my drumstick holding. I have some big issues about this because I am so used to this wrong holding. My main question is: Is there a proper way of "staying" for the smallest three fingers? My left hand is pretty normal, separated but in the right hand they are all together, I cant separate them, they look like a whole part and smallest finger is always under the next finger. But actually an answer about bad holding habits and changing them would be really nice. Also some sources suggest a more general approach for holding and some are very strict. A new opinion about these approaches would be also very useful for me.


4 Answers 4


At every level, there are different schools of thought about technique--and not just about the technique itself, but how much physical technique actually matters. Even within the same group, where you'd expect people to play the same, you'll find wide variance in technique.

It might help if you could identify why you're unsatisfied with your technique. Is it simply different between your right and left? If so I'd recommend rudimental exercises that have both hands playing the exact same thing and also playing individually--if you focus on the big picture, your hands will start to become more like each other.

Instead of worrying about bad habits, I think you should forget about trying to conform to a particular technique (there are too many to pick from) and focus more on your sound. If you encounter something specific that's difficult to play and you think your technique is holding you back, find someone more experienced (maybe on this site) to watch you play and diagnose the problem.

My two cents on technique:

In general you should keep a healthy amount of contact with the stick, and shoot for a smooth, natural motion. It's ok if your bottom three fingers aren't completely snug with the stick at all times, but try to keep them as close as possible. You'll find that minimizing the gaps in your grip will help your consistency and your chops in the long run. Try to make your grip and the sticks feel pretty much the same regardless of what you're playing.


Follow the Two basic ways of holding a drumstick:

  • Traditional Grip
  • Matched Grip

Traditional Grip - One thing you need to remember is that the stick has to rest loosely on your hand. You only apply pressure on the stick at it's fulcrum(the thumb-index finger point as in the figure) to keep it from flying out as you play.

Matched Grip - Hold your stick between your thumb and the index finger at the last knuckle joint of your finger, about a quarter of the way from the back-end of your stick with the rest of the fingers curl around and lightly hold it in place. The movement is controlled by the rest of the fingers whereas the thumb-index finger acts as a pivot point to the stick.

  • 1
    Good Pictures. It should be noted that within matched grip there is german, french and what not. I've learned french grip is one of the most useful grips ever Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 22:09

If I understand correctly, you are having trouble keeping your fingers on the sticks? Honestly, there Dvd that has essentially every applicable hand technique for drum-set and it is called Weapons for the modern drummer.

This has everything from finger technique to moeller.

Basically the idea is that you do not want to let your pinky ever leave the stick because you are loosing a giant part of your muscle group in your hands - this will lead to uneconomical movements.

Some of Jojo's instructions are on YouTube, but it is highly incomplete. I would just grab the DVD.

  • Yes, this is an interesting grip which provides access to some techniques that make certain stick moves much easier. It certainly provides much more control over the dynamic range and speed. I'm trying to find more about players who use this (Tony Williams?) and how they used it in more detail. Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 20:18
  • It is called the Hinger Grip and was used by many jazz drummers, most notably Tony Williams in the recent past. Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 20:44

I control stick by pressing forefinger and thumb secure yet, comfortably. The three little fingers are always lightly cradling the stick, always being trained to "memorize" movements. Use knuckles up and all wrist and hands on snare and toms. Usethumb up on ride cymbal. All that overcomplicated stuff aside focus on mastering Vic Firth's Traditional snare drum Rudiments. Then expand paradiddles to paradiddlediddles and so on Ie rllrrl rllrrl..rlrrlr lrllrl rllrll lrrlrr...Playing as sixtuplets across entire drumset in 4/4 time. Then you pawn your drums and loose your ticket.demand control over the rudiments.

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