I play the drums 2-3 times a week at my church services. Each service is about two hours long and I alternate between loud, medium-tempo to slow, steady stuff for extended periods. Recently, I've noticed pain in my hands while doing rim-shots as well as shoulder/back pain that can last for a while afterward. I didn't have this issue a few months ago, so I'm wondering if this is a result of bad technique or something (I'm semi self-taught). Are there any stretches or warm-ups I should be doing or specific pitfalls to avoid when playing for long stretches of time?

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    How exactly do you play the drums? I have never played drums before, but I think this question will help other answerers
    – MilkyWay90
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 22:15
  • In reference to b3ko's answer below, I tend to slouch forward a bit due to bad posture and a low snare. I think this may be part of the issue, but I'll be sure to seek out a second opinion. Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 1:45

1 Answer 1


I had bad posture for awhile and would often have tightness in my shoulders, back pain, and eventually developed tendinitis. I took a break from playing and when I started back up I raised the snare drum while keeping almost everything else the same. I raised it to the point that if I slouched down at all I would only hit the rim of the snare. This acted as a good reminder to sit up straight. For years after making that change I never had any other issues.

While this help me, please note that you could have other issues and might want to get some advice from a drummer that is familiar with your playing or at least can watch you play to see what may be wrong. Seeing a physical therapist or doctor couldn't hurt either. I saw a wrist specialist when I was having issues and he mentioned that what we eat, how much sleep we get and our overall health play a big part in how our bodies respond to overuse. Not welcome news for a college student rocker. Some other life style changes may be in order as well and I did make some life style changes.

Good luck.

  • Thanks for the response! I hadn't considered my posture at all! I share the set with another drummer who is around 4 inches taller than me, (and is actually in a similar boat some days :\ ) and I've noticed that we've had the snare pretty low recently as the result of a new set-up. This is definitely something we should discuss. Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 1:43

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