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  #1  
Old 07-27-2009, 10:57 PM
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Default Sticks slipping around in my hands

Hello everybody! I wonder if you can help me out with a little problem I've been encountering recently. Before I start, please excuse me if I've missed threads on this subject that already exist, I did search and couldn't find any.

Basically, what's happening is that when I practise on my newly acquired practise pad (something I've not used before), I find that with my grip loose, my sticks move up and down in my hands (so the fulcrum point gets nearer the tip/butt of the stick). I think I've previously been gripping tighter in order to hold on to the sticks for this very reason. Obviously, I want to improve this aspect of my technique, but I would like to find a way to make sure I keep the fulcrum point in the right place without having to shuffle the sticks up and down in my hands to do this.

Any suggestions?
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Old 07-27-2009, 11:30 PM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

you could try waxing your sticks. i noticed last week at the drum store that the "sex wax" company, who for many years has made surfboard wax, now makes a wax especially for drumsticks. i've never tried it myself, but i've heard some good things about it.
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Old 07-27-2009, 11:38 PM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

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you could try waxing your sticks. i noticed last week at the drum store that the "sex wax" company, who for many years has made surfboard wax, now makes a wax especially for drumsticks. i've never tried it myself, but i've heard some good things about it.
I've been using Zildjian Stick Wax and it's excellent. I wouldn't go without it now. My hands get sweaty after a while and this allows me to keep a very loose grip all night long, if I need to. I bought two cans for $10 and 6 mo. later, I'm maybe 1/4 of the way through the first can...after everyday use.

However, to the OP, it's no substitute for learning a proper grip, free stroke, a strong fulcrum, etc. I only use it to stay relaxed and I only put a very thin layer around the grip-end of the stick.

Whatever you do, don't start gripping harder to accommodate your practice pad. Bad news!
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Old 07-27-2009, 11:41 PM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

No, I quite agree. I'm loathe to use wax or anything else until I can resolve this problem (I mean, it's not as if I have trouble holding on to the sticks usually, I just grip them harder!). I'm really looking for ways to improve the way I am actually holding the sticks. Do you know of any reasons why this might be happening?
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:25 AM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

What I do to rectify this problem is I put some vinyl electrical tape around my sticks at a point directly in front of where I pinch them. The small ridge that the tape creates is all that I need to keep my sticks from slipping through my fingers. It even works on my Trad left hand! It's an old Drum Corps trick that I learned back in circa 1970. I feel the tape and I don't let the stick slide past it! I've been playing this way for 39 years!
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:32 PM
iainp999 iainp999 is offline
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

Hi there,

I don't have the same technical knowledge as others, but I had this same problem until very recently so I'll give you my experience. I have been playing for a while but only recently decided to take lessons, so I had developed bad habits.

I observed that my "other" fingers were moving away from the sticks whilst practicing rudiments, and that I was having to tighten my grip around the fulcrum point in order to maintain the stick position. However, this was having the effect of dampening the stick energy, which was no good to me!

So I have gone back to basics and did a couple of hours or rudiments going as slowly as it took in order to keep all my other fingers closer to the sticks. That seemed to do the trick! It also had the advantage of giving me the feel for bringing those fingers into play in order to control the stick, and I now have a much better "feel" for what I am playing (no pun).

Hope that helps!
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

if you don't use some kind of grip material like wax or whatever, you're going to have do something else. i wouldn't try gripping harder because that'll just create tension. i hold my sticks very loosely, but i've gotten used to climbing back up the stick with my fingers when the stick starts sliding. most of the time i don' t even notice i'm doing it anymore.
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

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Originally Posted by dairyairman View Post
if you don't use some kind of grip material like wax or whatever, you're going to have do something else. i wouldn't try gripping harder because that'll just create tension. i hold my sticks very loosely, but i've gotten used to climbing back up the stick with my fingers when the stick starts sliding. most of the time i don' t even notice i'm doing it anymore.
See, it just seems to me that this is a distraction and must somehow be taking away from my playing, when it happens. It's hard enough to stay loose w/o this type of thing going on. The stick wax has eliminated this problem...my hands just stay loose and the sticks stay in place. It's a beautiful thing!
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

work on your grip and don't worry about waxes or tape gimmicks.. I used to do this too. The problem is not gripping your sticks properly. Make sure your fulcrum is tight but not so tight it cuts off the stick movement. You definately need to work on keeping your fingers on the sticks too if this is the problem. A lot of drummers (myself included) have a really bad habit of letting their fingers off the stick and not making full use of their fingers to get the stick to move. another thing I see a lot is people letting the tip of their index finger off the stick. this can cause a lot of chance for the stick to move up in your hand. If you haven't had lessons to teach proper technique it will be harder to adjust it but you could always see if someone that has experience could show you the correct ways to hold your sticks... if you're not too embarrased try just asking a fellow drummer or even a music store employee (who's a drummer) to look at your grip and tell you what you're doing wrong... maybe even posting some pics of your grip on here that show how you hold them could prove helpful.

I might have to look for that wax the next time i'm at the drum shop because that might help with my "throwing sticks at the guitarist" problem... ever couple of weeks i end up throwing a stick at the other band members... oops!
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

One question I have is are you using a stick that is too thin for the size of your hand? I used to use Promark 747's and they would do the same thing but I stayed with them. I recently switched to a larger 5b size stick and it totally eleiminated that problem. I can actually hold them with less pressure and they don't move in my hand at all. I thought they would add too much volume to my playing but that didn't happen at all. I have large hands and I realize I need a large stick to hold them correctly....it only too 20 years to figure out but...
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

The stick size thing is an interesting thought. I used to use Vic Firth Rock size sticks, which are pretty massive, but I switched to 5As when I joined a new band and suddenly had to play a lot faster than I was used to. I have normal-sized hands but long, thin fingers, so maybe that's something I could try.

limpingtoad, I've seen a lot of drummers leave the index finger off the stick (when using second finger fulcrum), including John Bonham, so is that really a problem?
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Old 07-28-2009, 11:10 PM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

I definitely had an issue w/ sticks being too small in diameter, myself. It took me a while to figure out that I needed a fatter stick, but without the weight. I used to play 5A and have been very happy w/ the VF SD9 stick, so far. Definitely easier to hang on to and I'm more relaxed while playing.
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:21 AM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

That's sort of what Jojo Mayer's sticks are like, isn't it? 5B size, 5A weight.
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Old 07-29-2009, 03:35 AM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

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Originally Posted by PQleyR View Post
That's sort of what Jojo Mayer's sticks are like, isn't it? 5B size, 5A weight.
Yes, but they're really short...roughly 15.5". I didn't like that all of the weight was in the hands and since they're painted sticks, VF never made the same pair twice. I couldn't use them since I could never get a consistent weight from pair-to-pair.
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Old 07-29-2009, 01:07 PM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

I don't think I'd get on so well with those either, I think I'd prefer a 5B weighted stick if it was 5B sized. Easier to play louder as well, which is something I may be trying to hard to do with 5As at the moment.
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Old 07-29-2009, 01:29 PM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

Quote:
Originally Posted by PQleyR View Post
when I practise on my newly acquired practise pad (something I've not used before), I find that with my grip loose, my sticks move up and down in my hands (so the fulcrum point gets nearer the tip/butt of the stick)

Any suggestions?
One way to solve the problem would be to quit the practice pad :)
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Old 07-30-2009, 12:51 AM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

Oh, but I only just got it! I've actually really enjoyed playing on a surface with so much rebound, I'm sure it's already benefited my technique.

It's quite possible I'd experience the sticks slipping on the snare too, but I've been practising more with the pad because it's more convenient and I don't have to go to such lengths to hear a metronome!
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:23 AM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

Hehehe, sure, they are good things. I live in a block of flats without soundproofing and need a pad for when I want to have some drumming fun when not with the band. I bought a new kit the other day, tuned it up and checked the tuning. Then I thought I'd have a quick play just to check how the tunings would work in a playing context, I use tiny, super-light sticks and play gently. I was told to keep the noise down by the woman upstairs within 1 minute - no exaggeration. That's around 1pm on a Sunday.

I've never had your problem, though, and I have a weak, technically-incorrect grip. I get right foot slippage when playing hand/foot patterns at home while tapping the floor. My foot keeps creeping up the carpet, away from me.

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Old 07-30-2009, 09:36 AM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

keep practicing with your looser grip and you should get better at it. the tape idea is a good one. that way you know if your hand has slipped up right away and you can adjust.

also, theres a lot of talk about the fulcrum and someone mentioned keeping the other fingers on the stick. I truly believe that the pinky and ring finger are just as important as the fulcrum. its so important to keep them on the stick at all times. the stick has to be balanced throughout the whole hand. when the back fingers arent doing their job...the thumb and index have to do the work for them...this adds too much tension to your fulcrum grip.
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Old 08-08-2009, 04:35 PM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

The wax will keep the sticks where they need so might better concentrate on the music you're making. Because of the improved grip, in time those infintisimal muscles in your fingers will develop and the problem will be resolved. Think of the wax as a tool... not a gimmick. Try it... it'll work!
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Old 08-08-2009, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

Super Glue... I started using this and now have no problems dropping sticks... It makes it hard getting dressed and brushing my teeth and stuff...

@:-)

Seriously,though... I did the same thing as TFITTING942. I too used 747's (way before Neal started using them!) and switched to 5b's. I loathed using a bigger stick because I have smaller hands. However, I found a lot of things going on. It not only fixed this problem, but, I also found my entire technique getting better... I find the sticks are actually easier for me to control!


Quote:
Originally Posted by TFITTING942 View Post
One question I have is are you using a stick that is too thin for the size of your hand? I used to use Promark 747's and they would do the same thing but I stayed with them. I recently switched to a larger 5b size stick and it totally eleiminated that problem. I can actually hold them with less pressure and they don't move in my hand at all. I thought they would add too much volume to my playing but that didn't happen at all. I have large hands and I realize I need a large stick to hold them correctly....it only too 20 years to figure out but...
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:21 AM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

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Originally Posted by defregano View Post
also, theres a lot of talk about the fulcrum and someone mentioned keeping the other fingers on the stick. I truly believe that the pinky and ring finger are just as important as the fulcrum. its so important to keep them on the stick at all times. the stick has to be balanced throughout the whole hand. when the back fingers arent doing their job...the thumb and index have to do the work for them...this adds too much tension to your fulcrum grip.
I agree, back fingers are really important. It's the back fingers that are made for gripping and squeezing, the thumb in combination with the forefinger is used for dexterity work, not strength. I always hold my sticks as loose as possible, but when it's really hot and they get too slippery, I grip a bit harder with my pinky and ring fingers only, never squeezing with the front fingers. This keeps everything relaxed enough and injury-free.
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Old 08-09-2009, 06:00 AM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

For someone to say that stick slipping problems are exclusively because of incorrect stick grip or technique, in my opinion, is not correct. I practice a lot...and after a lot of practice, I can match grips with most concrete workers. But there are still times when there's something different in my metabolism or body chemicals that make it impossible to get a good hold on the sticks. Then most times when I'm not experiencing the problem, even I begin to doubt that it was real...until it happens again. And it's happened so many times intermittently that I have no doubt at all it's real. It's a big enough issue to be addressed definitely, because what happens is that a player is using muscles in a weird way to hold on to the stick when it's trying to fly out of your hand. Not only does it compromise your playing and any benefits of practice, I believe it could be a major contributor to hand problems that a player wouldn't have to be having. Sticky stuff is good and can create a whole new level of control and precision, but I've only messed around on my own so far and appreciate any suggestions. Tried to get the sexwax- is it discontinued? Maybe I wasn't looking in the right place...Is anyone feelin me on the body chemical thing- like your hands are just too dry or something? Bless the drumming brotherhood.
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Old 08-09-2009, 06:10 AM
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  #24  
Old 08-09-2009, 03:21 PM
jameswadewilson jameswadewilson is offline
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

When I was playing snare in marching band at a tiny high school 30 years ago I had no problem with gripping my sticks and never dropped one. The music teacher was a trumpet player so I never learned proper technique and held the sticks too tight.

A couple of years ago I started taking lessons and learned to relax my grip and started dropping my sticks all of the time. This went on for a month or so and is much better now.

I seem to have the opposite experience of most, I find that the longer I play in a particular practice or rehearsal session the less the sticks want to slip. A little moisture from a little sweat seems to make them a bit tackier. When starting to play I'll actually breathe on them like fogging glasses to get this effect.

I'm using Vic Firth 5As I think, I've worn off all of the ink. I play quiet jazz and loud rock and don't really have the slippage problem any more when the sticks are a little moist.
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:33 PM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

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Originally Posted by jameswadewilson View Post
When starting to play I'll actually breathe on them like fogging glasses to get this effect.
Good idea! I'll have to try that at my next band practice. (I'm always throwing a stick at my guitarist)
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Old 08-12-2009, 02:14 AM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

...i will not make immature comments...
...i will not make immature comments...
...i will not make immature comments...

....i will NOT make immature comments...
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Old 08-12-2009, 03:02 AM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

After watching Jojo Mayer's DVD a couple of years ago I went on a serious left hand strengthening bender and was committing at least 6-8 hours a week on the practice pad outside of my regular practice routine and any band work. If I was in front of the TV with my wife, I was on the pad, Sitting shotgun in the car? on the practice pad. This drove her batty by the way.

Anyway when I first started, I noticed that when I would practice certain exercises from his DVD specifically the one that isolates each finger and the Fulcrum in the French grip position, the stick would spin around in my hand and I would constantly lose the balance point. My opinion is that this had everything to do with overall lack of strength in that hand which was leading to improper mechanics. Keep in mind that my right hand was fine. Over the last two years I have noticed dramatic improvement in my overall left hand strength. As far as overall control, my left is still behind my right by comparison, but once properly strengthened to a certain point the stick slippage has pretty much all together stopped. Once again a serious case for putting in the hours of practice necessary to correcting a mechanical flaw.
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Old 08-12-2009, 03:25 AM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drums&Beer View Post
After watching Jojo Mayer's DVD a couple of years ago I went on a serious left hand strengthening bender and was committing at least 6-8 hours a week on the practice pad outside of my regular practice routine and any band work. If I was in front of the TV with my wife, I was on the pad, Sitting shotgun in the car? on the practice pad. This drove her batty by the way.

Anyway when I first started, I noticed that when I would practice certain exercises from his DVD specifically the one that isolates each finger and the Fulcrum in the French grip position, the stick would spin around in my hand and I would constantly lose the balance point. My opinion is that this had everything to do with overall lack of strength in that hand which was leading to improper mechanics. Keep in mind that my right hand was fine. Over the last two years I have noticed dramatic improvement in my overall left hand strength. As far as overall control, my left is still behind my right by comparison, but once properly strengthened to a certain point the stick slippage has pretty much all together stopped. Once again a serious case for putting in the hours of practice necessary to correcting a mechanical flaw.
Ditto Drums&Beer (same thing with Jo Jo's French grip finger exercises, they are great by the way...)- I have just started playing again and my right hand was doing it. I decided to switch to matched grip just recently since I am early in the process, and at that point noticed that my left hand is doing it, but, my right hand is not!
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Old 08-12-2009, 04:43 PM
jameswadewilson jameswadewilson is offline
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

I'm still working on being able to keep a constant French grip bounce going with my left hand. I can really get the right hand going fast. With the left the stick would rotate and wander around until it would no longer bounce.

When I'm driving (by myself) I play on the center console with my left hand under my right arm opposite the way I used to play the kit. (I play open handed now) I also use a practice pad while we're watching TV at night to just keep both hands constantly bouncing and interleaved.

This is (slowly) helping! I'm able to guide rather than hold the sticks better now in both hands...well it's still ongoing... :)

My wife sure has more patience with all of this than I would!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Drums&Beer View Post
After watching Jojo Mayer's DVD a couple of years ago I went on a serious left hand strengthening bender and was committing at least 6-8 hours a week on the practice pad outside of my regular practice routine and any band work. If I was in front of the TV with my wife, I was on the pad, Sitting shotgun in the car? on the practice pad. This drove her batty by the way.

Anyway when I first started, I noticed that when I would practice certain exercises from his DVD specifically the one that isolates each finger and the Fulcrum in the French grip position, the stick would spin around in my hand and I would constantly lose the balance point. My opinion is that this had everything to do with overall lack of strength in that hand which was leading to improper mechanics. Keep in mind that my right hand was fine. Over the last two years I have noticed dramatic improvement in my overall left hand strength. As far as overall control, my left is still behind my right by comparison, but once properly strengthened to a certain point the stick slippage has pretty much all together stopped. Once again a serious case for putting in the hours of practice necessary to correcting a mechanical flaw.
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Old 08-12-2009, 05:59 PM
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Default Re: Sticks slipping around in my hands

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Originally Posted by jameswadewilson View Post
I'm still working on being able to keep a constant French grip bounce going with my left hand. I can really get the right hand going fast. With the left the stick would rotate and wander around until it would no longer bounce.

When I'm driving (by myself) I play on the center console with my left hand under my right arm opposite the way I used to play the kit. (I play open handed now) I also use a practice pad while we're watching TV at night to just keep both hands constantly bouncing and interleaved.

This is (slowly) helping! I'm able to guide rather than hold the sticks better now in both hands...well it's still ongoing... :)

My wife sure has more patience with all of this than I would!
Yeah it definitely takes a lot of time to develop. I wasn't going to say it but I too get a little left hand development in on the dash-board practice pad on my way to and from work. It can't be any worse than the people who text their buddies while driving. At least my eyes are on the road. Not only that, my commute is a straight shot with few turns. Guilty as charged, driving with 5A's.
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