Getting a consistent rimshot with traditional grip


Silver Member
Does anyone have good advice about how to get consistent left-handed rimshots? It seems like I am rolling the dice every time I try to play one. There is nothing more frustrating then going for a powerful rimshot and instead getting a weak (and sometimes painful) rimclick!


Platinum Member
Convenient rimshot position = result of snare tilt & snare height & throne height. All that has to come together.

Maybe you find the following thread interesting:
Switching between tradish and matched

I see a problem coming for me. I'm switching between trad & matched all the time. I haven't a full drumkit ATM, just practicing on pads (hitting the snare is too loud for me, I would always put a pad on top of it). When I'm focusing on one grip for some time during a practice I would adjust the snare tilt. Or have a perfectly flat angle which works equally well (but not optimum) for both grips. I imagine having a full kit one day... Switching grips might turn out a problem. If you go either-or the kit can be adjusted just perfectly for one of those grips.


Silver Member

Thank you for the great advice! I am feeling inspired to try tilting my snare a little more to see if that helps.

Once I get this down, I am going to post a video here of the exercise that I am working on that originally inspired me to ask the question, so you can critique it.


Platinum Member
I have always found that it is the adjustment of the snare on the stand that allows you to get the most from Trad grip.

I play matched grip when I play Rock. I set up that snare differently on the stand for matched.

Ted T

After checking your positioning as the previous posters said, practice it just like you would another stroke. Practice one handed accented patterns with your left hand involving different stick heights, and play all accents as rim shots. Play many rim shots in a row, then practice throwing incorporating them into pieces or licks that you alread play.

I just imagine that I am cool and can hit rimshots with my traditional grip no problems. Works out alright.


Silver Member
"I just imagine that I am cool and can hit rimshots with my traditional grip no problems. Works out alright."

That is awesome Ted, I am going to try that out.

By the way guys, just checked Roy Haynes out last night at the Kennedy Center. In addition to being generally inspiring, he played some of the NASTIEST, traditional grip rimshots I have heard in my life!


Junior Member
Couple of things helped me:

Instead of moving left hand in rigid vertical motion, I prefer to slightly flick my wrist in a "whipping" motion. It's a very tiny whipping movement that's sort of like Moeller but maybe 1% of that motion. Everybody's hand geometry is a different so this "tip" may make things worse for you. In my case, it helped. Another bonus is that it's less impact stress on the arm.

I echo what somebody else said about moving your grip up closer to the middle of the stick. Stick is easier to control that way. If my hand is too far back, the rim shots are inconsistent. I did notice a video of Keith Carlock and he really holds his left hand way back on the end of the stick and I'm not sure how he pulls that off. Dave Weckl used to hold the left stick like that but he moved his grip closer to the fulcrum balance point (Freddie Gruber school of thought).

Lastly, the height of the snare is critical. If the snare drum is even 1/2" too high, I start getting more rimclicks. Make sure to use those memory locks to get exact repeatable settings on the snare stand height.


Platinum Member
I think especially with trad grip, your snare angle will definitely be the main factor. Hell, I play matched almost all the time, and I still tilt my snare away and in towards the center of the kit. Not as extreme as trad players, like the Buddy example above, but it's a noticeable tilt. I've always had trouble playing powerful rim shots on kits where the snare is angled steeply towards the drummer. I like to play down into my drums, not forward into them. Really helps put power into my rim shots, and additionally, I just like all my drums angled in towards the center of the kit. It seems to make sense to me when I think about getting around the kit in fast fills and what not.