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Old 04-15-2012, 01:03 AM
Nanoux Nanoux is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Posts: 3
Default Beginner with a left hand issues.

Hello Fellas, i'm currently starting to learn to play the drums but i have a little problem that i don't know if it's normal. If it's not i'd like to hear some suggestions or tips to improve my learning experience.

When i was 7 years i broke my left elbow kinda bad (i'm 23 now) my arm is now ''ok'' but it has a slightly different position compared to my right arm when at rest,and it's half an inch more separated of my torso too. I can do pretty much anything with my arms but my left arm is much weaker than my right arm. For example, i've been practicing single strokes with my right arm at 130 bpm for 5 minutes, a walk in the park, but when i use my left hand.. at 3 mins and a half it's already burning and the movements are not as natural! Also, i was analizing and comparing my hand movements when i do the strokes and i realized that my right strokes go up and down perfectly, but i noticed that when i stroke with the left hand it kinda does an eliptical movement, which i think is the reason of the poor performance.

I was wondering if anyone has a similar case and what i could do to get over this problem. I've been practicing on a DW smart practice pad. Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-15-2012, 01:24 AM
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B-squared B-squared is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Colorado, USA
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Default Re: Beginner with a left hand issues.

Try some exercises before you play. Here are a couple my drum teacher taught me years ago:

First. take both sticks in one hand, grasping them in the center like you are holding a dumbbell. Then turn your wrist one way, then the other like you are operating a doorknob. Use the momentum of the sticks to stretch your wrist muscles as you continue to turn your wrist back and forth.

Then, to really stretch out, split the sticks out to where there is just enough room to grab them. Then do the same exercise. It should kind of look like oscillating helicopter blades. The key is to use the rotational momentum of the sticks to stretch your wrist muscles.

Also, try icing your wrists after you practice. After you cool them down, you can try soaking them in hot water, but wait at least 24 hours before you apply any heat.

Remember, drumming requires more athletic movement than other instruments. The great drummer Chick Webb started playing at the recommendation of his doctor to help him with spinal tuberculosis.
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Old 04-15-2012, 02:31 AM
rdb rdb is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Cambridge, MA, USA
Posts: 252
Default Re: Beginner with a left hand issues.

I have the exact same problem (minus the injury), and I've been working on it for quite some time now. I expect it's a life-long effort. I could write a whole lot about what I've observed in my hands and what I'm working on, but really, based on my experience, the best advice I can offer is the following 3 points:

1. Work with a good instructor.
2. Work with a good instructor.
3. See points 1 and 2.

Really! Given that you're in the Dominican Republic, you may have some trouble finding a good instructor, but if you have decent Internet access, there are many great instructors who can help you via Skype. Good luck,

-- Bobby
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:37 AM
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Cameo Cameo is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Sweden
Posts: 993
Default Re: Beginner with a left hand issues.

Mike Mangini, current drummer for Dream Theater, has a exercise for building speed and strength. Minimum 90 minutes nonstop at low tempo, just single strokes. You'll definitely notice a difference.

Doing it slower and more focused improves your playing!
Hope that it helps.
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:49 PM
Drumolator Drumolator is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: central Louisiana
Posts: 2,784
Default Re: Beginner with a left hand issues.

When I play exercises from books, or rudiments, I always start with my weak hand. I also try to make all strokes even. Good luck.
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:38 PM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 21,139
Default Re: Beginner with a left hand issues.

I've had no injuries like you and it took me 9 years to get my left hand to be able to play what my right hand can. My point is that EVERYONE struggles with the weak hand issue, injured or not.

Your injuries may not even be affecting you like you think. It could just be the natural fact that your weak hand isn't as developed as your strong hand, just like uninjured drummers.

Of course it could be your injuries.

I focused and focused on my weak hand for years to get it up to speed. Not that I worked it every day or anything, a few hours a week, and a lot of steering wheel practice. But over time, I did put in my share of focused effort.

I've focused on my weak hand for so long, that my weak hand is cleaner sounding than my strong hand, even though my strong hand still has a little more endurance and my right arm is still faster than my left arm in getting around the kit. Funny, I worked on my weak hand for a long time, now I realize that my weak arm needs work too in getting around the kit as easily as my right. It never ends lol.

I have to say, when you do start to approach equality between hands....it's soooo satisfying....OMG. After all that focused work, I now feel as though I am at ground zero, ready to really learn. I feel as if I had completed all the preliminaries necessary to start really learning the drumset. Now it's time to tackle the rudiments.
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:39 PM
Nanoux Nanoux is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Posts: 3
Default Re: Beginner with a left hand issues.

thanks everybody! these tips seem quite helpful, im getting ready to practice as i read :) i'll let you know how it goes in a few weeks :D thanks again!
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