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Old Yesterday, 03:16 AM
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micsmi52003 micsmi52003 is offline
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Default Having trouble with right stick hand...suggestions please?

First, I know I may need to be seen by my physician, and your opinions I know aren't those of a medical professional. I've played drums a little over 25 years. Out of those 25 I've been away from drumming for a little over 8 years. I'm glad to be back. The problem I'm having is some pain in the palm of my right hand when playing a song with straight eighth's on the hat or ride. At the start of a song it's no problem, but midway through it's difficult to hold a good grip on the stick. I'm not sure if this is a fatigue issue having been away, or a larger problem. I'm even wondering if it could be technique? The pain is hard to explain, but it's the palm...maybe even the wrist. I just notice discomfort, and I feel I don't have good stick control as a result. It can be challenging to maintain stick control at that point. Just curious is anyone else has experienced this after a long break from the drums. I hope this will not impact my ability to start performing again. I appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.
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Old Yesterday, 03:26 AM
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Hollywood Jim Hollywood Jim is offline
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Default Re: Having trouble with right stick hand...suggestions please?

What do you do to make a living?
Do you work for long hours typing on a computer keyboard?
Or do you use a hammer for several hours a day?
Or?

It sounds to me like you have carpel tunnel in your right hand. Good news is, it usually can be fixed.


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Old Yesterday, 04:04 AM
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micsmi52003 micsmi52003 is offline
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Default Re: Having trouble with right stick hand...suggestions please?

I'm at a computer all day. I've never considered carpel tunnel, and may need to read up a bit on it, or be seen for it. I appreciate your response Jim. The more I think about it...it seems to be more of an issue when I switch over to my ride as well. I keep my ride flat over my bass drum, and floor tom, and may need to try positioning as well. I'm just curious if anyone has ever experienced this. I can't be alone on it.
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Old Yesterday, 04:12 AM
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Hollywood Jim Hollywood Jim is offline
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Default Re: Having trouble with right stick hand...suggestions please?

My guess is carpel tunnel. Keyboard users are very susceptible to it. If it is carpel tunnel you need to get some help with your hand position and your keyboard quickly before it gets worse.

And yes repositioning your drum kit can help. It sounds like when you play your drums and your hand is in the same position as when you are using the keyboard, you get pain. ie. a low ride cymbal.

I hope you can fix this. Good luck to you.


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Old Yesterday, 01:47 PM
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No Way Jose No Way Jose is offline
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Default Re: Having trouble with right stick hand...suggestions please?

You have been away from drums for a while. Maybe you have to build up strength and stamina in your hands and arms. Work slowly, practice every day, eat more protein, see if the problem disappears.
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Old Yesterday, 11:45 PM
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John Lamb John Lamb is offline
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Default Re: Having trouble with right stick hand...suggestions please?

You are describing the symptoms of a repetitive motion injury. This is one of the major reasons I wrote Anatomy of Drumming, and there is a chapter in it specifically about this.

To make a long story short, yes it is a technique issue. Very common - as in over 50% of professional musicians will run into career-threatening injuries of this type. (Or higher. Some legit studies are showing up to 70%. It is a hidden epidemic because if you tell your band leader or MD you may miss some shows unexpectedly, your job is at serious risk. Ergo, nobody talks openly about it.

The solution is two-fold: One fix the misuse problem. Not just at the drums be behind the computer as well. Posture makes a HUGE HUGE difference. It modifies how the rest of the body get's used, and poor posture can create a lot of unneeded tension.

You will also want to find a chiropractor or massage therapist who specializes in repetitive strain injury. That last part is important because many do not. Most Docs in the hospital will be worse than no help - likely misdiagnosing the problem to start with, and giving extreme solutions (surgery!) if they get it right (or even if still wrong :o... lots of horror stores abound. This is a blind spot in modern hospital medicine, I'm afraid, but this is changing.) Look for someone who is expert in "myofascial release".

The goal here is to release the tension on the system. Combined with stopping the offending movement, this is a tried-and-true recipe that works in most cases.


It may be carpal tunnel, especially if you feel weirdness only on the thumb side of your hand, but if not, it is something very similar in form and function (tendonitis, thoracic outlet, tendonosis all have very similar symptoms). The problem is not in your hand/wrist but in your arm/torso. Swimming is great, if you can make time for it. Easy overhead strokes just to loosen up and stretch out your arms.


The good news is that when you come out, you will play better than ever and with more ease than ever.
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