Wrist pain/hitting too hard

Liebe zeit

Silver Member
Damnit! I'm getting a proper pain in the right wrist during some practice sessions lately. It's when I play with the band. I'm pretty sure it's me hitting much harder, trying to play through the ride (a 22" A Zildj) so I can hear it above the band (a constant issue for me).

I'm going to not practice today, except maybe on a pillow. And try to switch to French grip on the ride (it's German that ends up with pain), but it's so hard to consciously remember to do a thing like that.
 

Arky

Platinum Member
I never had band practice, let alone as a drummer. But isn't the drums usually the loudest instrument in a band? The general opinion/recommendation is that everybody is supposed to adjust to the drums and their natural volume. Any other instrument (my guess is your band is using electric/electronic instruments, and the singer has some mics with adjustable amplification at the mixing board or elsewhere) has to be blended in to get a good and reasonable band sound.

I wouldn't sacrifice technique for volume. I say don't even try to make up for other band members/instruments being too loud, that's not the proper way to solve this problem. In the worst of cases put up some microphones on your drums and have them amplified, but don't adjust your playing/technique by hitting harder.
 

Duracell

Senior Member
Odd. Usually I have more trouble keeping my volumes down rather than up. Last recording I made of band practice I was playing way too loud compared to my bandmates.

Do you ever record your sessions to hear how your volume compares to the other's?

That being said. I don't think you should ever get real pain from drumming. Muscle soreness after a long, high volume session is to be expected. But it should fade quite quickly. Pain indicates a lack of technique. The type of grip shouldn't matter either.
 

Liebe zeit

Silver Member
I think you're quite possibly right about technique. I lack finger technique to some extent and am aiming to develop that as part of a plan to raise my ceiling, tempo-wise. Having said that, I've been playing my band's tunes for ages and not had problems until recently. I have, however, been playing A LOT in the past couple of months.
 

SticksEasy

Senior Member
Yes, it is definately technique. Fatigue is completely normal, but there shouldn't be any real dicomfort. Don't chalk it up to lack of finger technique. I'm holding the stick tightly at all time, and I use no finger technique at all (except the mandatory use of them to take advantage of rebound like any drummer.) My technique is 95% wrists, only even using arm for the rare sluggish song my band plays.

I practice German grip at home with rudiments, but when I'm playing with the band I always use French. Each time I hit my snare drum in the groove, It's a rib rattling rim-shot. It's difficult to hit the drum too hard because your sticks absorb so much of the shock, and if you're hitting your stuff that hard, you'll most likely feel it in your shoulder before your wrists - I still have long practice sessions and gigs where my shoulders feel tight after playing.

It's really difficult to make a proper diagnosis what causes your pain without seeing you play. Post a youtube video if possible. Let's see them chops.
 

wsabol

Gold Member
Do you practice outside or something? Otherwise, I think everyone needs to turn the volume down during your practice, there is no good reason you should have to play that loud all the time.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Drums are naturally really loud instruments - you don't have to hit that hard to make an almighty racket.

Chances are that if you're hitting hard enough to hurt you're hitting hard enough to choke the drums. You may well find that you can scale back the power a tad and be even louder.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Good hands technique plays a major role, it is true, however, working with the sticks as opposed to do everything with the hands is important, using a combination of wrist, and fingers and holding your sticks at the fulcrum point (the point on the sticks which offer the best balance) can achieve a lot of power, without excessive imput from your hands. tuning is also a factor, choose a head combo which will naturally makes your sound powerful, you can always release the throttle if needed. To play loud doesn't necessarry mean playing with a forceful manner, a relaxed approach focused on working with the sticks and a tuning which enhance powerful playing is more desirable, you'll be surprised how much power will come out of these tubs with minimal effort, thus, reducing pain and fatigue, but gaining in stamina, accuracy and feel.
 

PDL

Senior Member
Ok I've watched the video and you seem to be playing more with your forearms than your wrists. Possibly if your wrists are held higher above the cymbals and you play more with your arms then the stiffer wrist must be taking some of the shock, i'm guessing.

Have a sesion keeping your elbows lower, don't more your forearmas as much and use your wrists more and see how that pans out. If you are using German really really use your fingers to bounce the sticks back also.

Personally I don't think you are hitting the kit that hard to make your wrists ache, I have always used German and really hammer the kit and have never had wrist problems. I did have blister problems using French in my first 12 months then my drum teacher told me to move to German.

Let me know how you get on.
 

Daisy

Senior Member
If I can throw this in ...

My right wrist aches, and starts to tingle sometimes too, if it's bent upwards ie not in line with my forearm - usually when I get lazy on the hi hats, my elbow and forearm drop forward and in so my wrist is bent upwards. I noticed that when you play the hats and right crash your hand is in line with your forearm, but when you play the ride your wrist is bent up all the time ... or that's how it looks in the video. If you're getting this problem mainly playing the ride (if I understand you) ... perhaps you could try straightening out your wrist?

I'm no expert. Just a thought from my own experience.
 

Liebe zeit

Silver Member
Drums are naturally really loud instruments - you don't have to hit that hard to make an almighty racket.
Mostly the pain is in my right wrist, and it's from hitting the ride cymbal, not a drum.

Have a sesion keeping your elbows lower, don't more your forearmas as much and use your wrists more and see how that pans out. If you are using German really really use your fingers to bounce the sticks back also.
Lowering my elbows doesn't sound feasible, but I could raise my ride cymbal.

Thanks folks
 

BradGunnerSGT

Silver Member
Video-wise, this is all I have http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyJoh1ERFsE&feature=youtu.be

I'm only 2 years into this part of my drumming journey so a lot has changed for me even since April, like I'm about 40% faster on that groove and don't do the pinky thing any more :D

The one that gets my wrist up is a 130bpm four on the floor dance type groove, with me banging away on the ride
Have you tried a more relaxed Moeller-type stroke when playing faster tempos? You get two taps for the price of one. :)
 

TheBob

Member
Mostly the pain is in my right wrist, and it's from hitting the ride cymbal, not a drum.

Lowering my elbows doesn't sound feasible, but I could raise my ride cymbal.

Thanks folks
Are you still experiencing the wrist pain? Find anything that alleviates it?
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Curious, most folks I know of tend to pretty exclusively use a French grip on the ride even if they use German on the drums. In one of his videos, Thomas Pridgen mentioned rotating his wrists to change up between variations of either and that if he stuck with one exclusively, he would expect to develop tendonitis. Unless your ride is in an odd place and you're really working to reach it, a relaxed French grip with your forearm parallel to the ground should work.

Maybe work on some push/pull stuff to get used to snapping the stick into the cymbal.

I'm also one of those folks who has to work at not playing too loud. Long ago I learned to pull the stick off the drum/cymbal from some good drummers, which tends to let them make more noise that driving the stick into them. So now that I'm playing smaller gigs, I have to work on my technique to get almost ghostnote levels on things like double shuffles instead of snapping the stick and making too much noise.

The other thing might be larger diameter but not necessarily heavier sticks. Like the Vic Firth Boleros which are like 2Bs, but are lightweight maple and don't transmit a lot of shock.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Do you practice outside or something? Otherwise, I think everyone needs to turn the volume down during your practice, there is no good reason you should have to play that loud all the time.
Ditto....why would you be fighting your band for volume during practice. Tell you mates to turn it down at least to arena level.
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
What you are hearing in rehearsal isn't necessarily what the band sounds like.
You might not hear the ride cutting through, but from the front of the band (ie. the imaginary stage) it may well be cutting through just fine, just your not hearing it because the sound from PA's and your drums, are being forced forwards.

Might be best, if practicable, to get your drums miked up, and include a monitor speaker for you. Then the drums go through the PA, and all the sound levels of the individual parts of the drums can be tweaked. You can play lighter....all the sound levels can be stabilised.

But again, even then, a monitor helps, but don't expect the band from where your sat to sound the same as they do out front.

I've asked once or twice at gigs over the years "are you sure I'm heard out there"...."yeah bright and sweet"....

Acoustics is a mysterious science...

Oh, and if your pain is from the playing the ride cymbal, maybe it's positioning that's the problem rather than your playing. Ergonomics is what it's all about. If you can lose a tom, or move the kit around somewhat, I can't see the video so make some assumptions, get the ride down lower and more forward of you....it used to kill my arms playing out right and up above the toms....so I got a decent boom arm stand, brought the cymbal around to the left, and lowered it to almost level with the toms.....helped immensely....now I just hold my arm out forward with very little elevation. Also means my ride is right next to my crash...helps as I'm not naturally the fastest, yet the music we play is lightning fast.

Try changing your sticks/your ride cymbal....perhaps it's that which contributes to the sound not cutting through (if indeed it doesn't)....though there are experts on here who no doubt would say I'm talking crap (because I probably am)

:)
 
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Zickos

Gold Member
If you are playing drums in a band and you can't be heard then either they are too loud or you need to be miked. I went to hear a friend of mine play who is in a metal band (guitar, bass, keyboard and drums). He was the only one not amplified. I could see all these neat things he was doing but I never heard any of it over the rest of the band. Actually, I couldn't hear much of it because it was all a jumble. Tell your mates to turn it down in rehearsal.

Remember also, it is not how hard you hit, but how you hit hard. Simple Moehler techniques help you get more sound out of your drums and cymbals by letting the sticks to the work and saving your joints. Check them out with a good teacher.
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
A few observations:
If you can't hear your ride well in rehearsal, your band most definitely needs to turn down. One of the first thing young players need to get over is the fantasy the loud is hell is cool and real rock n roll.

Second, work on your free stroke, it takes a ton of work out of your hands.
 
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