tips for training a weak hand?

MattK

Junior Member
My left hand isn't up to par with my right when it comes to drumming, does anyone have any really good tips for training it?
 

kettles

Gold Member
Here's what I did recently and it helped a lot. I just started playing german grip not long ago and wanted to get my hands in shape.

Get your metronome out, find out the fastest tempo your RIGHT hand can play straight 8th notes (with the stick raising to about 6 inches off the pad) smoothly for 2 minutes without tensing up or experiencing any pain at all. For me it was about 170 bpm with german grip.

Next find out what your left hand's top speed is, take about 40 bpm bit off that tempo and try with your left hand. First start with one minute and if you can do it totally relaxed, try go for to two minutes. Then three minutes, four, up to five. Each minute increase requires more relaxation. You can raise the speed if you like, but I personally found sticking to one tempo (135) for a while helped my control a lot. After about a week I jumped straight to 5 minutes at 145.

If you find the two minutes easy, just go up in tempo a little, say 5bpm. the point of figuring out my right hand's fastest speed was kind of like a reference point - I knew that my left was weaker, but not a huge amount. This exercise might do with some refinement from one of the pros here ;)

Other things I do to train up my left hand is do single stroke rolls leading with the left, and put and accent at the beginning of each bar. I don't recommend an accent every beat as this might lead you to using a pumping motion which isn't really the goal.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Play open handed and ride with your left.
Play a texas shuffle (where the left hand shuffles on the snare, quarters on the ride and kick).
Your dominant hand usually plays way more notes than your backbeat hand, (because you ride with it) you need to be able to do it either way comfortably.
 

Neil

Senior Member
You can also try holding your forearm with your stronger hand and play singles, doubles, triplets etc. It'll will isolate your wrist from your forearm and help to build up the strength.
 

bonhamdrummer123

Senior Member
Play open handed and ride with your left.
Play a texas shuffle (where the left hand shuffles on the snare, quarters on the ride and kick).
Your dominant hand usually plays way more notes than your backbeat hand, (because you ride with it) you need to be able to do it either way comfortably.
I'm not saying this is a bad idea to play open handed, I've been doing it from the day I started, but FROM MY EXPERIENCE it will not get your left hand totally up to par with your right. I have always played my hats with my left, and it is still much weaker than my right, so I don't have much advice on how to develop your weak hand, as I have that same problem, but like I said in MY experience it will not by itself train your weaker hand as much as youd probably like.
 

Derek

Silver Member
Play open handed and ride with your left.
Play a texas shuffle (where the left hand shuffles on the snare, quarters on the ride and kick).
Your dominant hand usually plays way more notes than your backbeat hand, (because you ride with it) you need to be able to do it either way comfortably.
I like the Texas shuffle idea. Another one is to play a swing on the ride ( right hand) and play the last two notes of the 'triplet" between 1 and 2 and between 3 and 4 with your left hand.
 

JDavis64

Member
I would highly recommend this book for training your weak side.

http://www.amazon.com/Weaker-Side-Famularo/dp/0739051105

It focuses heavily on your weak side while still exercising your strong side to achieve balance. The book has several different exercises with straight and broken; eights, sixteenths, and flams.

I got the book about a month ago and I'm really improving my fluidity in my hands and feet.
 
C

Casper "DrPowerStroke" Paludan

Guest
I would highly recommend this book for training your weak side.

http://www.amazon.com/Weaker-Side-Famularo/dp/0739051105

It focuses heavily on your weak side while still exercising your strong side to achieve balance. The book has several different exercises with straight and broken; eights, sixteenths, and flams.

I got the book about a month ago and I'm really improving my fluidity in my hands and feet.
I study with Dom and he gave me this. I completed the entire book. It is designed for one year, 1 hour a day, every day. I did it in 18 months and I got my life out of it. honestly. Taking something huge like this on is so valuable. In order to acheive balance, you must work your weaker side more, like much more, than your stronger side, otherwise there will still be a sensation of imbalance. You will get to know your hands SO well by doing these exercises. Cant recommend it enough.

Casper
 

jivadayadasa

Senior Member
I study with Dom and he gave me this. I completed the entire book. It is designed for one year, 1 hour a day, every day. I did it in 18 months and I got my life out of it. honestly. Taking something huge like this on is so valuable. In order to acheive balance, you must work your weaker side more, like much more, than your stronger side, otherwise there will still be a sensation of imbalance. You will get to know your hands SO well by doing these exercises. Cant recommend it enough.

Casper
I met Dom a while back at a clinic here in NC; his enthusiasm is infectious and I wish I was fortunate enough (and worthy enough) to study with him.

I have put off taking on something like this for too long - now I am ready. I ordered this book and it will be here this week! Great recommendation.
 
S

SickRick

Guest
I study with Dom and he gave me this. I completed the entire book. It is designed for one year, 1 hour a day, every day.

Casper
In my copy of the book it says 30 minutes a day or 15 or even 7,5 minutes. Does Dom recommend something different in his private lessons?

Great book btw.
 
Play 'The other way round' if you are right handed setup the kit left handed, and vice-versa. Possibly destroy you ego for a few hours, but suprisingly I found my left foot was pretty good the kick ( how did that happen, especially as I cannot pay double pedal ) however my left hand appears to be playing a different song the rest of my body, have to work on that.
 

JoeLackey

Senior Member
Go watch some videos on YouTube of Travis Orbin. That's where I got my inspiration. Notice he plays open handed, or uses the left side of his body just as much as his right. To work on your left side, learn to play open handed (normal setup. play left hand on hi-hat and right hand on snare). Eventually, you'll get used to it and you'll like it. You can also put your ride to the left of the hi-hat. Get creative.
 

Witterings

Silver Member
Whilst I've been able to play paradiddles / double stroke rolls of a sort in the past I've spent a lot of time recently going through the Benny Greb routine on his DVD and 4, 2, 1ing his excercises. I'd never really played Flams before and using the 4, 2, 1 system with them and double stokes literally it almost forces you to HAVE to play them with the right technique and in the last 2 / 3 weeks I've noticed that I'm now holding the stick in my left hand the same way as I do the right hand and I've seen a massive difference in my whole hand, wrist / arm movement and it now appears to be moving the same way as my right has for many years without thinking about it.
Because also I've believed it's not about brute force and if you get the correct technique the speed will come I've also spent a lot of time looking at my left hand and how the little finger and the one next to it in comparison to my right and realised it's those fingers that control the stick when it bounces, I've done paradiddles and RRLLRLRR LLRRLRLL excercise using just my fingers to make the stick bounce as opposed to arm and wrist, I've also practiced RLRLRRRR LRLRLLLL and again it's hugely helped. In excercises I've also started putting some of the double strokes on a Tom instead of the snare, again as it's harder it forces you to play it properly using your fingers or you don't get a proper bounce and it sounds like you're just hitting it once.
I keep promising myself I'll remember to play open handed as well and always forget !!!
 

intheruff

Senior Member
The books and exercises are great and necessary, but for some fun try learning 'Whipping Post's' (Allman Brothers) polyrhythmic ostinato that makes up the looping backbeat groove. Your weak hand (brain) will benefit greatly!
 

jungle

Member
Whilst I've been able to play paradiddles / double stroke rolls of a sort in the past I've spent a lot of time recently going through the Benny Greb routine on his DVD and 4, 2, 1ing his excercises. I'd never really played Flams before and using the 4, 2, 1 system with them and double stokes literally it almost forces you to HAVE to play them with the right technique and in the last 2 / 3 weeks I've noticed that I'm now holding the stick in my left hand the same way as I do the right hand and I've seen a massive difference in my whole hand, wrist / arm movement and it now appears to be moving the same way as my right has for many years without thinking about it.
Because also I've believed it's not about brute force and if you get the correct technique the speed will come I've also spent a lot of time looking at my left hand and how the little finger and the one next to it in comparison to my right and realised it's those fingers that control the stick when it bounces, I've done paradiddles and RRLLRLRR LLRRLRLL excercise using just my fingers to make the stick bounce as opposed to arm and wrist, I've also practiced RLRLRRRR LRLRLLLL and again it's hugely helped. In excercises I've also started putting some of the double strokes on a Tom instead of the snare, again as it's harder it forces you to play it properly using your fingers or you don't get a proper bounce and it sounds like you're just hitting it once.
I keep promising myself I'll remember to play open handed as well and always forget !!!
what are 4, 2, 1ing his excercises.?
 

ChipJohns

Senior Member
Another take is to, just improve!

If you could make your weak hand as strong as your Strong hand would you do it? Yes!

If the exercise that made your weak hand as strong as your strong hand also made your strong hand twice as strong would you not do it due to lack of balance? NO! There is nothing wrong with having a so called Weak side. There are not too many drummers who have equal sides. The main point is that both your hands can do what you want them to do..

Do not, forsake your strong side on behalf of having better balance of strength. Just work on making both sides stronger...! Constantly improve so that you can do new things... and old things better. This is what it's all about.

..IMHO..
 

bigd

Silver Member
Usually this can happen because your left is physically weaker they your dominant right hand if you are right handed. Start squeezing a putty pad between your fingers to get the muscles to strengthen. Also start doing some bucks like drum corps players use to help strengthen your hands and the muscle between your thumb and index finger. Good luck!!!
 

Witterings

Silver Member
what are 4, 2, 1ing his excercises.?
Repeating the same excercise 4 times, then twice then once before you do the next pattern, it really helps when you're then playing to easliy go form one pattern to another fluently and also really helps with the concentration and reading so works the mind especially when doing the 1's
 
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