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  #1  
Old 07-13-2018, 08:07 AM
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Default Aches in my hand

So I posted a thread awhile back dealing with impact pain when I'm hitting the drums. I have tendonitis in both wrists so I'm always looking for ways to decrease pain and soreness. Usually what that has happened is that I hit liter. I've been good with this for a long time now, but, as of late I've been feeling like my drums are sounding kind of thin because of my hitting liter. So I've been trying different sticks of heavier weights. I've used a 5b forever but I've narrowed it down to 2 different sticks, the Zildjian 2b or the Ahead 5b. But with both sticks I different issues. With the Zildjians my right wrist still aches and is sore. With the Aheads I feel more strain and discomfort up in my thumb above the wrist. I get no wrist soreness with the Aheads, and I get no thumb strain and discomfort with the Zildjians (this is all in my right hand by the way). The Aheads are actually heavier then the Zildjians even though they are smaller.

So what I'm trying to determine is which is worse in the long run, the wrist or thumb issue? Meaning which has the most potential to turn into a debilitating problem? Because that will determine which stick I use.

I thought I would throw it out there to see what you guys think.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:01 AM
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Default Re: Aches in my hand

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Originally Posted by drummingman View Post
So I posted a thread awhile back dealing with impact pain when I'm hitting the drums. I have tendonitis in both wrists so I'm always looking for ways to decrease pain and soreness. Usually what that has happened is that I hit liter. I've been good with this for a long time now, but, as of late I've been feeling like my drums are sounding kind of thin because of my hitting liter. So I've been trying different sticks of heavier weights. I've used a 5b forever but I've narrowed it down to 2 different sticks, the Zildjian 2b or the Ahead 5b. But with both sticks I different issues. With the Zildjians my right wrist still aches and is sore. With the Aheads I feel more strain and discomfort up in my thumb above the wrist. I get no wrist soreness with the Aheads, and I get no thumb strain and discomfort with the Zildjians (this is all in my right hand by the way). The Aheads are actually heavier then the Zildjians even though they are smaller.

So what I'm trying to determine is which is worse in the long run, the wrist or thumb issue? Meaning which has the most potential to turn into a debilitating problem? Because that will determine which stick I use.

I thought I would throw it out there to see what you guys think.
]

So what happened to the ZILDJIAN ANTIVIBES, you tried them out?
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:22 AM
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Default Re: Aches in my hand

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Originally Posted by Les Ismore View Post
]

So what happened to the ZILDJIAN ANTIVIBES, you tried them out?
I did. Used them for awhile. But the rubber plug on the ends kept getting cought on my leg, shirt, etc. That would almost make them fly out of my hands all the time. I even put tape over the rubber plugs but in my stick bag if it gets hot it melts off and does not stay on and then the end of the sticks are all funky and sticky. So sadly they did not work out for me.
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Old 07-13-2018, 12:19 PM
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Default Re: Aches in my hand

Have you ever tried open handed drumming? It's playing controlling the stick in the back of the hand so it gives your thumb a rest. Or the first 30 seconds of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IM_g2l2jXHA&t=29s

Without seeing how you hold a stick, it's difficult to offer a solution for your wrist problem other than rest. You could try weightlifting wrist straps

https://www.amazon.co.uk/AQF-Weight-.../dp/B01NAKWZ93

Totally unrelated to drumming I know but I never lift weights without them and they are a really cheap option to protect your wrists.
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Last edited by mikyok; 07-13-2018 at 01:01 PM.
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  #5  
Old 07-13-2018, 02:00 PM
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Default Re: Aches in my hand

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Originally Posted by drummingman View Post
So I've been trying different sticks of heavier weights. I've used a 5b forever but I've narrowed it down to 2 different sticks, the Zildjian 2b or the Ahead 5b.
Go lighter and longer! You don't even have to use traditional drumsticks to practice (with an injury), any light thin stick will do, just make sure it's long and light, that way it won't be heavy yet the length will still give a good tone, especially on the snare.

But before you do anything, are you sure it's drumming that's causing the problem? Reason why I ask is I had the exact same issue. I later realised it wasn't drumming that was doing it, drumming was merely exposing the problem, which had it's root cause elsewhere. The problem wasn't evident from the root cause! Weird.

What was happening was that I was straining my wrists lifting heavy furniture for a period of time, lifting in a way that was putting stress on my wrists. My wrists were fine until I went home and played drums then I would feel something, tension, twitching etc. It happened right after I played drums so logically I thought drumming was giving me these issues (not that I had these issues before). Playing less drums didn't really help, it was not until I stopped the underlying cause (lifting furniture the wrong way) that the problem went away, playing more/less drums didn't make a difference.

Try this test; touch your ring finger with your thumb on each hand. What's your middle finger doing?
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Old 07-13-2018, 03:38 PM
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Default Re: Aches in my hand

Try maple drum sticks. While there is the issue that maple sticks tend to break a bit more quickly for hard hitters than hickory, they don't transfer nearly as much shock back through the stick as hickory does. I use two basic sticks most of the time these days for my drumming, mainly because of volume considerations where I play:

Vater Manhattan 7As (hickory)
Vic Firth SD4 Combo (maple)

There is a big difference with how much shock comes back into my hands and how it affects them after I've been playing if I'm using the hickory Vaters as opposed to the maple Vic Firths. I notice it because I'm on the wrong side of 45 years old and arthritis runs in my family.

That's just an idea though.
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:11 PM
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Default Re: Aches in my hand

If you grip the stick like a hammer handle...meaning the stick is pressed against your palm...bad. There are many different ways to work the drumstick. The important thing IMO, no matter what method is used, is that the fingers arrest all the shock. The stick should not touch your palm. If it is, it's transferring shock. That's really bad. But if you suspend your sticks away from your palm using your fingers, your fingers act like shock absorbers. Get your stick off your palm, if you are doing this.
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Old 07-13-2018, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: Aches in my hand

Look at the VF "extreme" series sticks. From what I can tell they are the same size as the standards of each number, except for about an extra inch or so of length which gives them more top-weight... For me it makes things a bit easier to play as the momentum is easier to swing around somehow. I get more out of the same effort as if I was using a bigger size stick.
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: Aches in my hand

I found that Zildjian sticks were much worse at transmitting vibrations to my hands. I loved their feel but after about twenty minutes of playing my hands would be numb from the constant vibration passing into my hands. I agree with the Extreme lengths of Vic Firths. I rarely if ever have the same problems with Vics.
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: Aches in my hand

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
If you grip the stick like a hammer handle...meaning the stick is pressed against your palm...bad. There are many different ways to work the drumstick. The important thing IMO, no matter what method is used, is that the fingers arrest all the shock. The stick should not touch your palm. If it is, it's transferring shock. That's really bad. But if you suspend your sticks away from your palm using your fingers, your fingers act like shock absorbers. Get your stick off your palm, if you are doing this.
+1 all of this. When I - at long last, after many years of drumming - finally learned how to start relaxing my grip, it was amazing how all the little aches and pains of my wrists and fingers melted away.

Technique, technique, TECHNIQUE! (And this is coming from a guy who still sports crappy technique. But I'm learning.)
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  #11  
Old 07-13-2018, 10:28 PM
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Default Re: Aches in my hand

Maple sticks are too light and make me hit to hard to get volume. Anything beyond 16' are too long and make my wrist hurt as well. I also keep my grip as loose as possible all the time.
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  #12  
Old 07-13-2018, 10:54 PM
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Default Re: Aches in my hand

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I also keep my grip as loose as possible all the time.
You say that, but my thumb only hurts like that when I grip the stick too hard. It can happen without even thinking about it. We might not know the reason yet, but it's highly unlikely your thumb would hurt from proper loose grip and flowing play style.
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  #13  
Old 07-14-2018, 12:19 AM
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Default Re: Aches in my hand

Post a video of your playing.
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  #14  
Old 07-14-2018, 08:56 AM
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Default Re: Aches in my hand

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Post a video of your playing.
https://youtu.be/OKwMyXl3Y6k

If it looks like I'm holding my little finger out on my right hand at times I'm not. I broke my finger as a kid and it healed back that way. So it looks like it's sticking out a little. Just wanted to mention that in case someone noticed.
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Old 07-14-2018, 11:10 AM
Swissward Flamtacles Swissward Flamtacles is offline
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Default Re: Aches in my hand

I also feel like my wrist and hand is too stiff especially when I try to play loosely while watching out for correct timing and dynamics.

So just a guess but it looks like your accents come from the arm but that your fingers are also pushing a bit. Maybe you can try letting everything come from the dropping / throwing of the under arm and try to leave your hand completely supple (also a good exercise without sticks because you can watch if your hand is really loose and doesn't move on its own). This might also bring some more tone and volume back.

My problem was then that the bounces were all over the place, so it took me to small control exercises to find a better positioning of the fingers, elbow, fulcrum and so on.



Maybe you can find some ideas in these videos!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9exxKp_vA-k
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ct_TKdIc0Hc maybe just skip to 12:40
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  #16  
Old 07-14-2018, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: Aches in my hand

Quote:
Originally Posted by drummingman View Post
https://youtu.be/OKwMyXl3Y6k

If it looks like I'm holding my little finger out on my right hand at times I'm not. I broke my finger as a kid and it healed back that way. So it looks like it's sticking out a little. Just wanted to mention that in case someone noticed.
Well it wasn't what I was expecting to see. It looks like your stick is indeed suspended off your palm, and you're not relying on your elbow for every hit.

So I have nothing.
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Old 07-14-2018, 06:54 PM
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Default Re: Aches in my hand

Okay so in the video I see something. First I'll state that apparently musically it's working for you because your playing was nice! What I'm going to talk about is geared towards your thumb pains and aches you're talking about. Basically I think you should work on a little more control...

It looks to me like your grip is a little too loose, which is the opposite problem from what we all assumed.

Watch when you hit the snare drum for example. Because your fulcrum is your middle finger, when you point the stick down to hit something your thumb moves to the top of the stick and becomes a "pushing" digit for that stroke, and basically your other fingers are moving way out of the way. On other parts of the kit it looks like your stick is almost flailing around your fulcrum and again your thumb is actually doing a lot more than you'd imagine at first glance, especially for certain notes.

What we want to work on then is getting those other fingers besides your fulcrum finger in closer to the stick so that your stick is more under finger control and your wrist movements can tighten up as well since you don't have to "flap" so much due to how far your stick travels around the fulcrum currently.

I hope that makes sense, and feel free to have me clarify something! You DO still want a "loose" grip, but there needs to be a balance where it's not so loose that you lose some finger-based control. This video doesn't really show fast one handed strings of notes, but the stuff I'm talking about would also inherently make you better at this stuff. These were skills I honed down so I could play long shows of punk style notes without getting sore or tired. Gotta do some finger control work!

Lastly, nice song choice. Testament are local boys around here. Got their start a few towns over from me. Again, good playing too.
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Old 07-14-2018, 07:26 PM
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Default Re: Aches in my hand

It looks like your grip is very loose but all the pressure in your grip is at the fulcrum.


This video I found seems to be useful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oV9FqZfZMk0&t=246s
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:32 AM
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Default Re: Aches in my hand

Your wrists aren't straight. You are mostly thumbs up, but your wrist is bent downwards kinda like a limp handshake. The wrist isn't really meant to bend that way. The shock from the impact of the stick stops at the bend of your wrist instead of traveling down your forearm.

Here is a test. Hold your hand like you are gonna shake hands. Now make a fist. It should feel like nothing. Now bend your hand down while still making a fist. You should feel tension in your thumb and forearm. You can repeat this test with your hand in any position and feel the tension from the wrist being bent. This plus repeated impact shock equals pain.

I am in now way endorsing a grip position. I am endorsing, however, straight wrists.
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Old 07-15-2018, 05:27 AM
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Default Re: Aches in my hand

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Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post
Your wrists aren't straight. You are mostly thumbs up, but your wrist is bent downwards kinda like a limp handshake. The wrist isn't really meant to bend that way. The shock from the impact of the stick stops at the bend of your wrist instead of traveling down your forearm.

Here is a test. Hold your hand like you are gonna shake hands. Now make a fist. It should feel like nothing. Now bend your hand down while still making a fist. You should feel tension in your thumb and forearm. You can repeat this test with your hand in any position and feel the tension from the wrist being bent. This plus repeated impact shock equals pain.

I am in now way endorsing a grip position. I am endorsing, however, straight wrists.
This nails it. Great test!

To the OP: learn to do full strokes in slow motion, while keeping the stick in the first crease of your index finger, and your thumb. Imagine a long pin stuck through the center of your thumb nail, going through the stick, and coming out in the middle of the first knuckle of your index finger.
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  #21  
Old 07-16-2018, 08:34 PM
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Default Re: Aches in my hand

Nice playing! I was definitely wrong, you do seem to play very relaxed (surprisingly so for that kind of music, too).

Dr. Watso's advice sounds good to me. Listen to him! And let us know if it helps.
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  #22  
Old 07-16-2018, 10:54 PM
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Default Re: Aches in my hand

Thanks all for the replies! And thanks for the kind words on my playing!
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