left hand strengthening: the next step?

bonhamdrummer123

Senior Member
I have just been doing 16th note patterns with the majority of the strokes being with the left hand at 40 bmp. I'm not sure if this is the best way to get comfortable with the weak hand, but I do a heck of a lot of strokes every day so I think it could pay off, so that might be something you could do.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
There are many ways to strengthen the left hand. I find playing a left hand lead shuffle pattern is extremely beneficial.
 

steviebrutal

Junior Member
Hey all, first post on these forums so I want to extend a friendly hello and a thanks in advance for any guidance you can offer me.

I've been playing the drumkit for about 9 years now, with some degree of layoff over the last 1-2 years. Recently I have been listening to alot of stuff from drummers like Jost Nickel, Dave Dicenso, and Jojo Mayer -- all guys with incredible hands. I got to play around with Dave a little during my time at Berklee; he is an absolute monster, but I always remember one thing he commented on about my playing that has been bothering me ever since,

"Dude you are a beast on those grooves, but without that left hand in the same shape as your right -- you are always gonna be playing catch up."

He had me playing some Gadd-inspired linear grooves while he played polyrhythms over my time. I always thought he meant that my ghost notes were inconsistent or something. But I don't think I ever understood what he truly meant until I started practicing rudiment-based solos a few years ago. My left hand is so weak and looks significantly different from my right hand from a technical perspective. It makes it very hard to construct solos/fills because of this. I can hack my way through basic stickings, but its still not very clean.

My question to you all is: Do you have any tips/exercises for strengthening my left hand?

My current routine before I sit down at my kit is to play about 20-30 mins of rudiments with a metronome on my snare or my practice pad. I start with singles, then doubles, then paradiddles, then paradiddlediddles, flam paradiddles, flam taps too. I have preprogrammed click tracks that speed up incrementally by 2 bpm every 2 minutes. Once my wrists/fingers are warm I move to the kit to start moving the rudiments around to different sound sources while mixing and matching sticking patterns.

So I am not one of those drummers that never plays rudiments; in fact I have been practicing them for about 3-4 years now. Are there certain sticking patterns that would be better suited for left hand strengthening exercises? Is it just a matter of leading with my left hand 50% of the time (which I currently do anyways)?

I want to bring my playing to the next level especially in terms of solo from a rudimental perspective (new stickings, accents, etc). Thanks for any help you can offer guys!
 
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