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  #1  
Old 04-23-2013, 11:15 PM
LKD123 LKD123 is offline
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Default How to improve the left hand.

I played with my right on top for 8 years now. Over the years i've noticed my left hand sucks.
Was wondering if anyone knew of any good exercises to improve; firstly my left hand and bring it up to speed with my right and just to improve the general speed of my playing. As i like to play alot of punk/ska/reggae and at the moment i can't keep up.

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 04-23-2013, 11:20 PM
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Markadiddle Markadiddle is offline
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Default Re: How to improve the left hand.

I don't exactly know what you mean by "playing with your right hand on top". Are you talking about trying to now practice playing open handed?
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  #3  
Old 04-23-2013, 11:24 PM
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Anduin Anduin is offline
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Default Re: How to improve the left hand.

Put your right hand in your pocket and leave it there. All day. All the time.

Eat with your left. Open doors with your left. Put keys in locks with your left. Use your mouse with your left. Type with your left.

And on the drums, practice things that use more left than right, or at least use both the same. Which is code for practise, practise, practise!
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:25 PM
LKD123 LKD123 is offline
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Default Re: How to improve the left hand.

I was merely just noting my playing method, I wouldn't rule out playing open handed if it helped. It was just a general passing comment.
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  #5  
Old 04-23-2013, 11:26 PM
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Arky Arky is offline
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Default Re: How to improve the left hand.

Use the 'search' function, search for 'left hand', 'weak hand', 'left hand issues' or something similar and you'll find tons of existing threads with good info to read. This topic is discussed regularly.
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  #6  
Old 04-23-2013, 11:29 PM
LKD123 LKD123 is offline
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Default Re: How to improve the left hand.

Thanks for the help. i will do.
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  #7  
Old 04-23-2013, 11:42 PM
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Default Re: How to improve the left hand.

I once taught a guy who was left handed and I had to turn the kit around and teach him on a left handed kit. It was an eye opener and I recommend it if you want to strengthen your weak hand and how you think about your drumming when leading with the weak hand.

Try it out.

TJ @ www.britchops.co.uk
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  #8  
Old 04-24-2013, 07:22 AM
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Default Re: How to improve the left hand.

Get the book Stick Control and work on it religiously. Practice rudiments. Do the 2-50 exercise as often as you can.
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  #9  
Old 04-25-2013, 06:00 AM
Brian Brian is online now
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Default Re: How to improve the left hand.

Become left-handed. I think that is ultimately the best answer (and probably the least desirable) ;)
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  #10  
Old 04-25-2013, 11:31 AM
EvilDrummer EvilDrummer is offline
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Default Re: How to improve the left hand.

The reason why your left is weaker is not because you are right handed but because you don't practice it as much as the right hand. Practice all your exercises leading with the left as much or more than the right.
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  #11  
Old 04-25-2013, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: How to improve the left hand.

One thing I did was play through the "Funky Primer" book left handed/footed in order to put miles on that side of my body. It made a big difference for sure and some new coordination (independence?) was also a bonus.
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  #12  
Old 05-03-2013, 09:37 PM
poekoelan poekoelan is offline
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Default Re: How to improve the left hand.

I'm in the same boat, here's what I'm doing and it's been working well: I went through "Stick Control" and circled all the exercises that have the majority of the strokes played by the left hand. I practice these almost every day and I do it with double bass too. It got to the point after a month or so that I'm making up my own exercises based on ones in that book.

I'm still not quite where I want to be, but I have noticed a significant improvement on my left hand and left foot by doing this.
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  #13  
Old 05-05-2013, 07:41 PM
Brian Brian is online now
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Default Re: How to improve the left hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by poekoelan View Post
I'm in the same boat, here's what I'm doing and it's been working well: I went through "Stick Control" and circled all the exercises that have the majority of the strokes played by the left hand. I practice these almost every day and I do it with double bass too. It got to the point after a month or so that I'm making up my own exercises based on ones in that book.

I'm still not quite where I want to be, but I have noticed a significant improvement on my left hand and left foot by doing this.
Great suggestion. There are definitely exercises in the stick control book that naturally emphasize equal hands more than others..those are the ones to really attack, imo. I think that's what you are saying.

Also, I know it sounds tedious, but just practicing each finger motion, wrist motion, arm motion slowly and very controlled with consistent pressure can make a huge difference.

For example, many years ago I made it a point to practice operating each finger independently on each hand. Fox:, flipping the bird with the left ring-finger while not moving any other fingers, was very difficult and a little painful at first. But once you get it going, it's a great strengthening exercise.

Drum sticks or away from the kit/pad, there's lots of possibilities.
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  #14  
Old 05-05-2013, 07:58 PM
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Default Re: How to improve the left hand.

Get out your copy of Stick Control and work on pages 8, 9, 10, and 23 every day, playing the exercises leading with the left two or three times longer than the ones leading with the right.
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  #15  
Old 05-05-2013, 08:09 PM
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Midnite Zephyr Midnite Zephyr is offline
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Default Re: How to improve the left hand.

I like to use analogy a lot, but think of it this way, if you are weight lifting dumbbells, are you going to lift 25lbs with your right arm and 15lbs with your left arm standing in front of a mirror? Nope. But, I think you know this already, which is why you are asking this question.

You just have to use it more any way that you can. Not only does the arm itself need more conditioning, but so do the neurological connections in your brain, which is why you need to put "miles" on that side of the body as Bachman suggested. That'd be my take on it. I need to get in some more miles myself.
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  #16  
Old 09-19-2013, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: How to improve the left hand.

There are certain rudiment combinations that force you to shift lead hands- mid-pattern.
Adding your own accents to these exercises will build up your weak hand in no time.
Simple example:

GREAT EXERCISE FOR BUILDING LEFT HAND:
Paradiddle/6Stroke Roll: Start paradiddle at 1 count. Start 6 stroke roll at 4 count. Back to paradiddle at 1 count.
With this pattern, your lead hand changes on every 1 count. Build this up to speed and add it to your exercise routine. You WILL get faster.

That's just one idea.
For more training on the topic of building insanely powerful HAND SPEED quickly, go here:
http://www.kjrias.com/drummers-hand-training-package

For a stockpile of drum fill ideas, check out this youtube channel:
http://www.youtube.com/user/KJRias

To build insanely powerful FOOT SPEED quickly, try this training pack:
http://www.kjrias.com/the-kick-fills-package
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  #17  
Old 09-19-2013, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: How to improve the left hand.

FWIW, I've been practicing the basic rudiments (singles, doubles, diddles) leading with my left (weak) hand and have already noticed an improvement after only a few weeks.
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  #18  
Old 09-19-2013, 08:11 PM
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Default Re: How to improve the left hand.

Actually what started it all for me was Gospel drumming and noticing how those drummers would always have a hand diddling on the snare when doing fills. Then one day I came across a member here by the name of David Floegel and this video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soTj56luZHU

Doing this exercise slow is fine, it's when you started to speed up the diddle on the left hand is when it became tricky. Gospel drumming, this video and more like it have opened a new door into drumming for me.

Or like this video here by Adam Tuminaro who is an awesome drummer and teacher. These kind of triplet fills are what inspired me to work on my left hand as you can see there are a lot of diddles on the left hand.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVHG-_0NF-A

I'm now trying to do triplets on just my left hand and trying to work on continuous diddles on my left hand.
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  #19  
Old 09-19-2013, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: How to improve the left hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KJ-Rias View Post
For more training on the topic of building insanely powerful HAND SPEED quickly, go here:
kjrias.com/drummers-hand-training-package

To build insanely powerful FOOT SPEED quickly, try this training pack:
kjrias.com/the-kick-fills-package
Although the suggested packages may be topic-appropriate, note that there is a cost associated with each. It is definitely an advertisement, but I'll leave it to the reader to decide whether this constitutes spam.

Bermuda
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  #20  
Old 09-19-2013, 11:06 PM
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Dr_Watso Dr_Watso is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBachman View Post
One thing I did was play through the "Funky Primer" book left handed/footed in order to put miles on that side of my body. It made a big difference for sure and some new coordination (independence?) was also a bonus.
I love that book, and you're the first person besides myself to mention it that I've seen here. Cheers! I use that book and stick control when I'm looking for patterns to run exercises with, warming up, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Although the suggested packages may be topic-appropriate, note that there is a cost associated with each. It is definitely an advertisement, but I'll leave it to the reader to decide whether this constitutes spam.

Bermuda
Good call I think. At least it's clear that the post is relevant to the thread. The worst spam is when you can tell they didn't even bother to read what we're talking about... Just trying to generate traffic/sales.
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Last edited by Bernhard; 09-20-2013 at 08:03 AM. Reason: Edited by Arky: merging consecutive posts
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  #21  
Old 09-20-2013, 08:38 AM
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Odd-Arne Oseberg Odd-Arne Oseberg is offline
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Default Re: How to improve the left hand.

I made a decision this week for myself, being a right handed mostly traditional grip player, to set up the kits at the school where I teach lefty and play matched grip.
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  #22  
Old 09-20-2013, 07:38 PM
mymarkers mymarkers is offline
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Default Re: How to improve the left hand.

A difference in ability between hands is not much of a problem. Habits which magnify that difference over time are a concern. I think that is exactly what you are asking about.

You will definitely benefit from suggestions for work from Stick Control. As others have said, make sure you dedicate at least as much time to exercises with left hand lead as you do to the ones with right hand lead. You probably have a big enough gap to warrant practice time specifically to catch up. Just remember, that a single crash course won't lead to steady and ongoing improvement of your left hand.

A practice routine which engages and challenges both hands is a great way to address the shortcomings of the weaker hand. As others have suggested, practicing new rudiments and associated exercises will be great with this. I'd take it a step farther and look for a book with rudimental snare drum solos or marching band street beats. Two-thirds of the work might be getting your left hand up to speed, but it will feel more like a single challenge to both of them.

You can apply similar reasoning to the drum set. Find some new material you have not played before. Then try to play it both with left on a cymbal and right on snare and vice versa. Some books, like The New Breed (Gary Chester) already make you do this.

After starting primarily on the drum set, I spent several years playing a lot of keyboard (marimba, xylophone, etc.) percussion. That really helped me because many melodic lines are naturally easier to play with a left hand lead.

Finally, you could also look at Accents and Rebounds for the drummer. It's the sequel to Stick Control.It is very difficult, so I wouldn't recommend diving in right away. It is a nice progression from Stick Control and I wish I had tried it sooner. Just be warned that it's really tough. It is to Stick Control what the Japanese Super Mario 2 (Lost Levels) is to the original Super Mario Brothers.
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  #23  
Old 09-21-2013, 06:37 PM
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Default Re: How to improve the left hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
I love that book, and you're the first person besides myself to mention it that I've seen here. Cheers! I use that book and stick control when I'm looking for patterns to run exercises with, warming up, etc.
Totally agree on both books. Funky Primer is fantastic.
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Last edited by Bernhard; 09-21-2013 at 06:39 PM. Reason: Edited by Arky: quote end correction
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  #24  
Old 09-25-2013, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: How to improve the left hand.

Yeah, you almost just have to work your left hand very, very, very hard when you're practicing.

I also recommend trying to do more "everyday" things with your left that you normally do with your right, just to help strengthen it and to give your mind more focus on it.

Your body is only going to be able to do what you ask of it (because it adapts). So, work that left hand very hard, but don't be mean to it.
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