Best way to hold sticks, using index finger or middle?

BigDinSD

Gold Member
I took a 20 year break, and after about a year back I'm wondering how other drummers are holding their sticks. (playing palm down, not open)

I figured I'll ask this now, as I can still change habits during this re-learning period.

I have seen great drummers cradle their stick using the index finger. However, I have also seen drummers use the middle finger. I'm assuming this since I see the end of the index finger exposed, and pointing down after tremendous rolls.

Is there an advantage to either?

I'm working on my speed through my rudiments, while NOT DROPPING the sticks (Moeller this week).

thanks!
 

John Lamb

Senior Member
there is an advantage to both. BTW - you can have the fulcrum between the thumb and index, even while the index is pointing down (which you want it to in general, but especially for loud playing) Check out Jojo Mayers DVD and he's give you some good info on different technique

Personally, I wouldn't focus on not dropping sticks unless you are marching in a parade. At the kit, all you gotta do is have them handy. The major pitfall to worrying about dropping sticks is hat it leads many many people to hold the sticks too tightly... causing far more damage and limitation than stick dropping ever could.

If you are holding the sticks loose enough, it will feel like the stick is about to fall out of your hand, even without hitting a drum. You want to hold it *just* tight enough so that it won't, and no tighter. And in the parts of the stroke that allow you to be looser, you should be looser in those parts (meaning that how tight you hold the stick will vary in the different parts of the stroke)
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Learn both. I play both ways, however I feel at the moment during the night/set/song/lick. It's like German vs American vs French grip--it shouldn't dictate what licks you pull out, but rather it's about how it makes you feel when you play...
 

BigDinSD

Gold Member
there is an advantage to both. BTW - you can have the fulcrum between the thumb and index, even while the index is pointing down (which you want it to in general, but especially for loud playing) Check out Jojo Mayers DVD and he's give you some good info on different technique

Personally, I wouldn't focus on not dropping sticks unless you are marching in a parade. At the kit, all you gotta do is have them handy. The major pitfall to worrying about dropping sticks is hat it leads many many people to hold the sticks too tightly... causing far more damage and limitation than stick dropping ever could.

If you are holding the sticks loose enough, it will feel like the stick is about to fall out of your hand, even without hitting a drum. You want to hold it *just* tight enough so that it won't, and no tighter. And in the parts of the stroke that allow you to be looser, you should be looser in those parts (meaning that how tight you hold the stick will vary in the different parts of the stroke)
Thanks for the instruction and tips John,
Yeah, I've dropped a stick here and there during my rolls around the kit.

Seems like I want them loose enough in a fulcrum, so I can utilize the ring finger and pinky to flick the stick back for speed. Problem is, the middle finger is left to solely hold the stick. I'll add the index finger for support....and just keep practicing.
 

BigDinSD

Gold Member
Learn both. I play both ways, however I feel at the moment during the night/set/song/lick. It's like German vs American vs French grip--it shouldn't dictate what licks you pull out, but rather it's about how it makes you feel when you play...
Thanks caddywumpus,

Good wisdom in learning both - can't go wrong if you know BOTH!
 
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