I'm left-handed person that went to a right-handed teacher in order to learn some drumming. I'm being told that we'll be playing open-handed on a RH setup in future (I had no point, what does it mean on that moment). I agreed and we started.

Almost 2 years in, I am able to play some not really hard drum solos. Progressing isn't easy, but it is progressing.

However, when it came to drum-kit, I was playing usual "cross-hands" on that setup. Teacher said that he decided to go on this way. I did my own research and found all this info about LH setup.

What if my progress will be faster and more natural if I switch to LH setup? My teacher recommended staying with the RH-crossed way. But I wanted to give it a try, and took a break to test it on my electronic drumset at home.

Now I'm relearning everything from scratch with LH-setup. I cannot say it feels super-easy, but it definitely goes faster than RH kit learning. But it could be just overall experience, not setup. I'm still in the testing stage, and I feel, that it's time to choose.

There are many opinions on the Internet and I couldn't find one definitive answer.

I'll be playing at home only, so there is no "that guy on shared kit" pro-reason of a RH kit.

Found one interesting material about teaching drums for a LH people.

"Also, once a student has established his kit setup it should not be changed as this can also create problems".

Is it worth switching now? Or should I just relax and go on with RH setup?

  • 2
    I'm a left-handed guitar player (for a LONG time) but I think I have relevant advice: go righty! Your progress depends a lot more on your practicing than your handedness as you start out and you will regret it for the rest of your life if you choose the less popular handedness. Quite aside from the fact that I'll see 400 guitars and only a handful will be lefty, I can't easily sit in with other players if I'm invited. This has prevented me from strutting my stuff countless times. You'll be so much happier if you don't have to rearrange a kit to play on it.
    – S. Imp
    Commented May 29, 2019 at 22:10
  • The classic example of a left handed player on a right handed kit is Ringo Starr. The theoretical mismatch led to him playing idiosyncratic fills. Commented May 28, 2021 at 5:16

4 Answers 4


All said and done, a drummer should be able to lead with either hand. Rolling across toms, for instance, on a r.h. kit, is far easier for a r.h. drummer - or one who can lead with r.h. Vice versa for l.h. of course. The open/close is a different situation.

If you are never going to play on another kit (probably r.h.) then there's no problem setting up l.h. and re-learning that way. There are far more l.h. drummers who play r.h. kits, funnily enough, than the opposite. Wonder why?

As a drummer, your r.h. and l.h should be as good as each other, as should your feet/legs. It's really up to you; right now, I have two l.h. drum students, who are obviously left hand orientated, but playing on r.h. kits. I feel that by favouring the weaker hand (wrist and arm more than hand, really), they will eventually become ambidextrous, and be even better for it.Have spoken to a couple of other drum teachers who whole heartedly agree.

  • Yeah, seems like going on with RH is an optimal solution at the moment. But regarding favouring the weaker hand... Why then all righties are not playing on LH sets? Just because they've been taught RH way right from the beginning? :) Plus no one wants to mess with kit moving? :)
    – globox
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 14:02
  • 1
    Tim is right. If you were playing on the house kit (e.g. at the famous viper room in los angeles), you'd have to rearrange the kit from its standard configuration. This takes time and is a nuisance for the house sound guys (who can be really pissy). Also, imagine a band invited you to sit in for one song. Are you going to reverse the kit?
    – S. Imp
    Commented May 29, 2019 at 22:14

Stay as you are. Both hands do clever things in drumming. Setting a kit up 'backwards' is just a nuisance, for you and everyone else! There's a political argument that the world must adapt to your left-handedness, not you to it. In many cases it's valid. But there's really no point in invoking it for drumming.


In my experience i prefer left hand on right hand kits, if you don’t have the limb independence especially. For normal rock beats and such, not so much difference. When you begin moving on to ghost notes and other intricate styles, that left hand dominance really shows. You more or less drone out on with your high hats or ride, and can concentrate on being more articulate with your left. Hope this helps.


Despite suggestions in comments, after learning several new things on set, I decided to stay LH. God, it feels so much more comfortable. But it was still helpful to see other people POV :)

  • 1
    Please return in 5 yrs and tell us that it was the right decision then.
    – Tim
    Commented Jun 2, 2019 at 6:18

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