I'm new to drumming. I've looked at a lot of videos about stick gripping, including American Grip, German Grip, Traditional Grip, etc. Nothing I've come across has mentioned holding the sticks with only two fingers.

I find that if I hold the stick with just the thumb and 1st finger I have superior rebound, with a little help from my palm. When holding the sticks "correctly", the other three fingers just get in the way, stifling the bounce.

Can I get away with a 2-finger grip?

  • I found this site to have a useful link for holding the sticks. Maybe you will find it helpful as well. freedrumlessons.com/drum-lessons/holding-the-drumsticks.php Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 1:56
  • I started researching grips after being self-taught on a two-finger grip because after I built my practice schedule long enough, I started getting a lot of fatigue in my thumb. After changing grips I found more comfort and better tone. So while there's no grip police who are going to come get you, I think you'll find if you expand your grip like in Jack's answer, you'll gain more than one benefit. Commented Nov 26, 2016 at 21:04

2 Answers 2


No you cannot get away with a two finger grip. You have 5 fingers , and you use them all. Try this three finger grip to start, once you feel it you will understand how to use the other 2 fingers to assist things. You mentioned letting the stick move more easily with two fingers, and the others getting in the way. Here's what I suggest you try. For a stick to move freely more than one time for your physical input you need to have a fulcrum the stick can pivot over, and rebound. This is how drummers create rolls.I use the first crack of my middle finger for the fulcrum and place it beneath the stick to support the sticks weight. I use the flat of the thumb and the first crack of the index finger on opposite sides of the stick to guide the stick as it pivots over the middle finger fulcrum. A little experimentation will show you that if you change the angle of the wrist from flat to a downward angle your fingers will naturally change pressure and release the stick a little and if you are playing eighth notes at 120 bpm and bend the wrist a little the stick will start rolling all by itself. Pivoting over the fulcrum. This is the method shown to me 45 years ago by the jazz drummer Louis Bellson and his teacher Murray Spivak. Give it a try, lots of drummers have had success with it.

  • This is great grip advice. It doesn't necessarily explain why the grip described is objectively better than a beginner's intuitive thumb and index (or middle) finger grip. Commented Nov 26, 2016 at 21:02

You might be able to get away with a two-finger grip at the start, I was taught the press roll using a two finger grip. But if you want to continue you need to change. You might get enhanced rebound using only two-fingers but you are sacrificing a large amount of control.This is something you will notice very much when you start developing speed, all five fingers come in handy when your trying to do a quaver roll at 240 bpm for a prolonged amount of time.

Your three others fingers might get in the way but remember that they don't have to always be in contact with the stick, it would be optimal for them to be hovering just a centimeter from the stick so as you have the same rebound as you would have with just the index finger and thumb but also have the control you need coming from your other three fingers.

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