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  #1  
Old 02-16-2015, 05:29 PM
Patz Patz is offline
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Default hands getting beat up

I've been playing since '06 but I'm fairly new to gigging and full band practices and the intensity that comes with it. Been at it about 8 months. As we get better and better at the material and I play with more enthusiasm, I'm noticing my hands are really taking a beating. Blisters, sore fingers, a broken knuckle a few months back, and lately it's just been cuts and splits. One thumb seems to split every so often, and last night the other finally split. My index finger was opened up recently, and I have several little gashes from hitting the rims. It's starting to get pretty annoying. I even hit myself in the ear twice last night, but that's just my own fault for getting too loose..lol

Some of it might just be the weather getting more dry and I need to keep lotion on them, but is this normal? I also play on as many as 3 different kits in the same week, so i'm constantly having to adjust heights and things. I probably also have crap technique.

I think this is just mostly me complaining that my fingers hurt. Can I do that? Just complain to empathetic ears who may or may not validate my feelings with their own feelings or stories?
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  #2  
Old 02-16-2015, 05:56 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

For the dry chapped skin on your index finger and thumb, use some nice generic lotion daily. I use Burt's Bees fragrance free Shea Butter and Vitamin E lotion.

For the soreness that comes with impact, I recommend working on technique.

For the bashing of knuckles into rims, I recommend Bob Newhart.
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Old 02-16-2015, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

Some of the splitting could be the weather. I don't know. I have never had an issue with that.

Sounds like you are playing really hard. What kind of music and what size stick?
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Old 02-16-2015, 06:21 PM
Matt Bo Eder
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

For me it seems normal. But I also found that I was dehydrated most of the time. If you actually drink the correct amount of water on a daily basis, it really helps. Of course, the weather is not helping you if you're inside a heated house, or cool air conditioning - both work to dry out your skin. The one thing I've noticed to help is preventative stuff - stay hydrated, and lotion your hands when you're not playing and resting (I can't play with lotion on my hands). I do own a nice pair of golfing gloves that are really thin leather, and that helps if I'm playing particularly hard this time of year.

But to help you heal right now, get some of that NuSkin stuff and brush it on where your fingers have split. It'll sting like hell, but it creates skin and helps to keep those open scars from getting infected or splitting more. It smells like KrazyGlue - and it probably is ;)
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Old 02-16-2015, 06:23 PM
Patz Patz is offline
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

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Originally Posted by Bull View Post
Some of the splitting could be the weather. I don't know. I have never had an issue with that.

Sounds like you are playing really hard. What kind of music and what size stick?
VF American Classic, 5BN. It's hard rock covers like ACDC, and a lot of originals that are hard rock. We've been described as Southern Metal. I was thinking about all this earlier today and I feel like with the original drum parts I've created, I'm actually starting to find my own sound. Something I like to do is create a sense of urgency in some of my parts by keeping time on the ride bell probably more often than most people do. I've been breaking sticks more often and I guess maybe some of the aching can be attributed to the jarring impact on the bell. I tried to be a bit less aggressive on it last night, and it seemed to be better. I didn't break any sticks for the first time in a month or so. I'm a pretty energetic player overall though. Big accents, deep tom strikes, etc. I don't like the sound of heavy music with a light touch on the kit. I like to be the machine behind the machine, so to speak. I'm really just kinda having this epiphany as I type this post..lol. It was suggested that maybe I need a bigger stick to avoid breakage, but I have very small hands for a guy of 6'0/215 and I think I'd end up doing ore damage to the kit with a heavier stick anyway.
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  #6  
Old 02-16-2015, 06:28 PM
Patz Patz is offline
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

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Originally Posted by Matt Bo Eder View Post
For me it seems normal. But I also found that I was dehydrated most of the time. If you actually drink the correct amount of water on a daily basis, it really helps. Of course, the weather is not helping you if you're inside a heated house, or cool air conditioning - both work to dry out your skin. The one thing I've noticed to help is preventative stuff - stay hydrated, and lotion your hands when you're not playing and resting (I can't play with lotion on my hands). I do own a nice pair of golfing gloves that are really thin leather, and that helps if I'm playing particularly hard this time of year.

But to help you heal right now, get some of that NuSkin stuff and brush it on where your fingers have split. It'll sting like hell, but it creates skin and helps to keep those open scars from getting infected or splitting more. It smells like KrazyGlue - and it probably is ;)
I stay hydrated pretty well. And I used new skin on a ripped callus the size of a dime due to pull-ups a few years ago and the pain ranked right up there with my burst appendix and spinal taps. I started to sweat instantly. Clearly it was designed for smaller wounds..LOL

At the moment I'm about to lotion. I put some neosporin on the cuts about an hour ago.
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  #7  
Old 02-16-2015, 06:37 PM
Patz Patz is offline
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

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Originally Posted by KamaK View Post

For the bashing of knuckles into rims, I recommend Bob Newhart.
I know I sound like a douche saying it, but I don't have the patience to work on technique much. I know like 3 rudiments and I hold the sticks wrong half the time. It's not in my nature for meticulous training on things like that. After 35 years of being me, I've stopped beating myself up over it and it removed a lot of stress from my life. I've learned to delegate some things that aren't my strengths. I probably do need to be more conscious of when I have a death grip on the sticks.

I wish I could stop the rim hits. It's not as bad as it was though. I think part of it is just constantly adjusting muscle memory to different kit spacing and snare heights. As much as I try, it's never gonna be identical. On my cheap practice kit (a Gammon..LOL) I have one tom that drifts back and forth and I'm constantly having to pull it back with my snare hand when I have a couple free beats.
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  #8  
Old 02-16-2015, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

Well... behave

... and your hands won't get beaten up :)

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  #9  
Old 02-16-2015, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

I was a college baseball pitcher and there are two ways to aid blistered fingers:

1) Dip it in pickle juice.
2) Is gross and I recommend trying #1 first. (if you haven't figured it yet, out PM me)

That being said, I'd examine my grip and technique. I had this problem when I first started playing and I realized I was gripping the sticks way to tight and bashing on the drums. I haven't had that problem in many years now. Taping your sticks or wearing gloves are options but I personally don't like to do either of those.
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  #10  
Old 02-16-2015, 06:42 PM
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

I am all for powerful drumming. I play with large sticks and let the sticks do some of the work.Try not to grip too tight. 5Bs are big enough for most people to rock out with.

There is a point where the drum won't get any louder.Look for that spot and don't waste your energy swinging harder than that. Don't play through the drum. Make sure you bring the stick up after the strike. That is hard on the hands AND it kills the tone and volume. I have a friend who plays extremely hard and "through" the drum. He is always complaining about his hands.

play hard but relaxed.
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  #11  
Old 02-16-2015, 07:33 PM
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

Throughout highschool I was in concert band, jazz band, pep band, marching band, played on the varsity tennis team, and worked on a farm. Needless to say my wrists are now shot. I find that the best thing that works for me is ice. Especially after a gig. Once you've done that just do everything you can to take it easy to let your muscles and tendons cool down. This way you can avoid those painful cortizone shots. And its been said already but I'll go ahead and say it too. Technique will do a lot for you. Check out Jojo Mayer's DVD on hand technique. It did wonders for me. It doesn't have to be much. Just a small change in the way you hold or throw your stick can work wonders.
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  #12  
Old 02-16-2015, 08:02 PM
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gdmoore28 gdmoore28 is offline
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patz View Post
After 35 years of being me, I've stopped beating myself up over it and it removed a lot of stress from my life.
I love this. It's taken me a long, long time, too. Still work at it.

To the original issue, though: keep playing loud and sounding like you, but do it smart. Turn those 5Bs around and use the butt to play the loud stuff. You'll be surprised at how much more volume you will get for the same effort.

But, better yet, play louder with less effort. After 50 years of playing, I've found that it is very easy to play very loud and with great energy by simply adjusting technique. I stopped beating myself up years ago by learning how t o use the inertia and weight of the stick to get the volume I want. There are too many small techniques involved in this process to explain them all, but look into holding the stick further back (more weight to the front), playing the heads at a flatter angle (more tip area hitting the head at a flatter angle), and using your wrist to whip the stick into the head at the last possible moment.

You will need to do a lot of exploration, but hey, it's drumming, and it's fun.

GeeDeeEmm
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  #13  
Old 02-16-2015, 10:57 PM
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

I would think after 9 years of playing you would have watched some videos or something to improve your technique. There is nothing macho about beating up your hands playing the drums. If you feel like you don't want to try to change then this thread and the advice is a waste of time. don't mean to sound harsh or cold, but what are you trying to find here.? Good luck.
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  #14  
Old 02-17-2015, 03:42 AM
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

You sound like the kind of drummer who could use a set of drummers gloves and a video of your technique (you're doing something wrong if you're hurting yourself). Personally speaking my sticks are all wrapped with the same wrap used to wrap tennis rackets. It cuts down on drops, the blister factor and softens the blow to the joints.
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  #15  
Old 02-17-2015, 05:29 PM
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

Cracked hands due to dry skin I can understand. Blisters, broken knuckles, sore fingers...that's a different ballgame. I think I can say with confidence that you're doing something really wrong.

I can understand not wanting to take the time to learn technique. It can seem like a giant pain. What I would be more concerned with is how much longer I could play the drums, or how much forced downtime I would have due to injury.

You could probably play with even more volume if you learned some basic stick technique. Imagine more volume with less effort and no injuries. I don't care how much you love being you, that sounds like a win/win/win to me. It's well worth the time spent!

Find a teacher.
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  #16  
Old 02-18-2015, 04:09 AM
Patz Patz is offline
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
I would think after 9 years of playing you would have watched some videos or something to improve your technique. There is nothing macho about beating up your hands playing the drums. If you feel like you don't want to try to change then this thread and the advice is a waste of time. don't mean to sound harsh or cold, but what are you trying to find here.? Good luck.
I don't find it macho. I find it annoying. I didn't say i wouldn't work on it at all...just that trying to perfect it isn't something i feel the need to achieve. I honestly don't think my technique is that bad, but it's probably not great. I've never given it much thought. I try to hit my marks and be more efficient if i'm not doing it well. Or maybe I'm flailing around like an octopus..who knows? I was mostly just curious if this was normal. It might just be the kits I'm playing on. It doesn't seem to happen with my Renown. I get a lot more bang for my buck out of a strike. Maybe I'm pushing too hard on the less responsive kits.

I'll just keep up the lotion and maybe look for some gloves I guess if it doesn't improve.

Edit..I think it might really be an increased intensity as I'm trying to get some sound of the cheaper drums. I'm gonna try to be more conscious of it and see how that goes.

And I'll check on my technique.
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  #17  
Old 02-18-2015, 09:46 AM
COE_drummer COE_drummer is offline
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

Just comes with the gigging territory, man! Once your stick accuracy gets insane good, you will notice less and less blistering, but honestly if you are playing heavily especially in a live setting, it will happen on occasion. I suggest working on your accuracy and technique and you will notice that it will happen less and less. It never happens to me anymore, but let me tell ya that when I first started out, it used to quite a bit. Just work on your wrist technique and practice those rudiments every single day, man and you'll be alright :)

Last edited by COE_drummer; 02-18-2015 at 09:50 AM. Reason: typo
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  #18  
Old 02-18-2015, 09:52 AM
COE_drummer COE_drummer is offline
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
I would think after 9 years of playing you would have watched some videos or something to improve your technique. There is nothing macho about beating up your hands playing the drums. If you feel like you don't want to try to change then this thread and the advice is a waste of time. don't mean to sound harsh or cold, but what are you trying to find here.? Good luck.
hey man, cool it. we need to be supportive of other musicians and HELP them, no matter how long they have been playing. he is having problems with his stick technique, that is what is obviously causing the issue. So, instead of downing the dude, be supportive and offer steps on how to help him improve his technique. Having an attitude helps no one. Remember, there is always something to learn and I guarantee you were once green in this area too. We all were at one point. Help people who ask you questions instead of putting them down.

Last edited by COE_drummer; 02-18-2015 at 10:09 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-18-2015, 09:58 AM
COE_drummer COE_drummer is offline
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patz View Post
I don't find it macho. I find it annoying. I didn't say i wouldn't work on it at all...just that trying to perfect it isn't something i feel the need to achieve. I honestly don't think my technique is that bad, but it's probably not great. I've never given it much thought. I try to hit my marks and be more efficient if i'm not doing it well. Or maybe I'm flailing around like an octopus..who knows? I was mostly just curious if this was normal. It might just be the kits I'm playing on. It doesn't seem to happen with my Renown. I get a lot more bang for my buck out of a strike. Maybe I'm pushing too hard on the less responsive kits.

I'll just keep up the lotion and maybe look for some gloves I guess if it doesn't improve.

Edit..I think it might really be an increased intensity as I'm trying to get some sound of the cheaper drums. I'm gonna try to be more conscious of it and see how that goes.

And I'll check on my technique.
hey man, just ignore the . . . people . . . on here who don't remember what it was like to ask a simple question and get kicked in the head for it. i would take a drummer that knows NOTHING over someone who can play like a god, but has a massive ego so bad, I can smell it through the post. with a bad attitude, you are only half a musician, and that is all those people will ever be. your problem is quite simply in your stick-handling technique and accuracy. Let me assure you that hand damage like you are describing is NOT normal, but I can show you some very simple exersises that are not time-consuming and if they are done everyday, they will DRASTICALLY improve the hand damage :)

Last edited by COE_drummer; 02-18-2015 at 02:10 PM. Reason: typo
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  #20  
Old 02-18-2015, 06:36 PM
Patz Patz is offline
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

Quote:
Originally Posted by COE_drummer View Post
hey man, just ignore the . . . people . . . on here who don't remember what it was like to ask a simple question and get kicked in the head for it. i would take a drummer that knows NOTHING over someone who can play like a god, but has a massive ego so bad, I can smell it through the post. with a bad attitude, you are only half a musician, and that is all those people will ever be. your problem is quite simply in your stick-handling technique and accuracy. Let me assure you that hand damage like you are describing is NOT normal, but I can show you some very simple exersises that are not time-consuming and if they are done everyday, they will DRASTICALLY improve the hand damage :)
I appreciate your defense for me and your advice. I didn't take him too harshly though. I've been on forums long enough to know people behave differently behind a keybaord. And in his defense, he did toss in a disclaimer near the end..lol

I've been playing for 9 years but I don't practice technique much. I've always just wanted to PLAY, and that generally works for me. If I'm doing a cover or hear a fill that I want to use, I can generally figure it out and get a little skill increase along the way. I do on occasion bust out the metronome to work on a double bass gallop or some triplets or a certain fill I want to learn for a song, but just practicing rudiments or stuff like that only makes me want to play drums less.

I tell ya what though..that broken knuckle taught me to be more aware of where my left hand is in relation to the snare rim..LOL.

I'm game for some simple techniques I can be mindful of if you have any specific links. I'm not opposed to "practice" practice as long as it's something I can work into my increasingly rare opportunities to play at home outside of band practice. I don't have any cockpit view videos of me playing to share.

Thanks!

Last edited by Patz; 02-18-2015 at 07:08 PM.
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  #21  
Old 02-18-2015, 09:43 PM
Boomka Boomka is offline
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patz View Post
I've been playing for 9 years but I don't practice technique much. I've always just wanted to PLAY, and that generally works for me.
This approach has brought you "blisters, sore fingers, a broken knuckle..."

If that's "generally work(ing) for you" then carry on with your method. If not, seek another.

Quote:
I'm game for some simple techniques I can be mindful of if you have any specific links.
Having good technique is quite simple. There is, however, a long and sometimes difficult road to obtain it. A couple of "links" aren't what you need. Get professional help.

Quote:
I'm not opposed to "practice" practice as long as it's something I can work into my increasingly rare opportunities to play at home outside of band practice.
So, you're not opposed to doing the necessary work to improve your technique as long as you don't really have to put much time or effort into it.

Enjoy your blisters, sore fingers and broken knuckles.
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  #22  
Old 02-19-2015, 08:05 PM
Mic T Mic T is offline
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

I had the same problem when I first started playing years ago. I'd get blisters and break alot of sticks. The sticks I used were large too, which doesn't help.

In my opinion, you can alleviate this problem by holding the sticks more loosely in your hands, using your wrists for power rather than your forearms.
You might lose a few sticks at first while you're playing. Just have some extras nearby and hope you don't nail your guitar player too badly in the process.
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  #23  
Old 02-19-2015, 08:11 PM
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newoldie newoldie is offline
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

You might want to consider lightly coating the sticks with Zildjian cymbal wax or a similar product. If you use this when you first start warming up, the grip will be easier on your hands and the friction that's sometimes caused by the stick moving around will be more comfortably eased as the pressure you need is less to control the sticks.
John Riley suggests this on his "Master Drummer" DVD.
I've used the wax from time to time and keep it in my gig bag.
Its very light w/no smell, easy to wash off but a good product to improve your initial grip without needing so much pressure on the sticks.
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  #24  
Old 02-20-2015, 01:52 PM
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mikyok mikyok is offline
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CI0rSX7Jg-I

It's hard to master but it's rewarding. I used to play hard rock it made it so easy and way less tiring.

Technique really opens doors and unlocks your full potential. If you're holding on too tight you're going to wreck your arms not just your hands.

Carpal tunnel and tendonitis to name just a couple. A friend of mine retired after he got dystonia in his right arm and couldn't grip a stick after 15mins so it's really important to take care of your self.

I'm against any kind of grip on a drumstick, friction slows you down and gives you blisters!
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  #25  
Old 02-23-2015, 12:49 AM
Patz Patz is offline
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomka View Post
This approach has brought you "blisters, sore fingers, a broken knuckle..."

If that's "generally work(ing) for you" then carry on with your method. If not, seek another.



Having good technique is quite simple. There is, however, a long and sometimes difficult road to obtain it. A couple of "links" aren't what you need. Get professional help.



So, you're not opposed to doing the necessary work to improve your technique as long as you don't really have to put much time or effort into it.

Enjoy your blisters, sore fingers and broken knuckles.
Thank you Mr. "I twist everyone's words on the Internet and use multi quote to put more emphasis on my points so I can sound awesome".

There's one on every forum.
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  #26  
Old 02-23-2015, 12:51 AM
Patz Patz is offline
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

Quote:
Originally Posted by newoldie View Post
You might want to consider lightly coating the sticks with Zildjian cymbal wax or a similar product. If you use this when you first start warming up, the grip will be easier on your hands and the friction that's sometimes caused by the stick moving around will be more comfortably eased as the pressure you need is less to control the sticks.
John Riley suggests this on his "Master Drummer" DVD.
I've used the wax from time to time and keep it in my gig bag.
Its very light w/no smell, easy to wash off but a good product to improve your initial grip without needing so much pressure on the sticks.
thanks! I'll check it out.
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  #27  
Old 02-23-2015, 12:58 AM
Patz Patz is offline
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikyok View Post
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CI0rSX7Jg-I

It's hard to master but it's rewarding. I used to play hard rock it made it so easy and way less tiring.

Technique really opens doors and unlocks your full potential. If you're holding on too tight you're going to wreck your arms not just your hands.

Carpal tunnel and tendonitis to name just a couple. A friend of mine retired after he got dystonia in his right arm and couldn't grip a stick after 15mins so it's really important to take care of your self.

I'm against any kind of grip on a drumstick, friction slows you down and gives you blisters!
thanks for the link. I've heard of the Moeller but never looked into it. I used to try to work on a pad at my desk while on the phone, but after I worked up Hot For Teacher, my co-workers had had enough..lol
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  #28  
Old 02-23-2015, 01:04 AM
Patz Patz is offline
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Default Re: hands getting beat up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mic T View Post
I had the same problem when I first started playing years ago. I'd get blisters and break alot of sticks. The sticks I used were large too, which doesn't help.

In my opinion, you can alleviate this problem by holding the sticks more loosely in your hands, using your wrists for power rather than your forearms.
You might lose a few sticks at first while you're playing. Just have some extras nearby and hope you don't nail your guitar player too badly in the process.
I played a lot more loosely before joining this band. I think I may have tightened up a bit more after dropping a few sticks, which combined with increased attack on the cheap kit has led me to go into a death grip at times. I catch myself doing it here and there. I guess it's a combination of things I need to be more conscious of. What's the saying?..Recognizing you have a problem is the first step.
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