Get a (trad) grip?


Senior Member
I've been playing a few years now, matched grip.

If I wanted to work on traditional grip for a while what do you suggest I concentrate on?


Senior Member
Best advice I could give would be to really pay attention to your form. If you have a good teacher, ask them to show you how best to hold the stick, and rotate your wrist and arm. The biggest problem I had when I switched over to traditional grip was getting used to the idea that the stroke is a rotation, rather than an up and down motion. At least that's how I've come to understand it. Anyone else feel free to correct me. But, to conclude, focus on really getting used to the new stroke, and practice getting the form down. Speed and volume will follow once you've nailed this down.


Platinum Member
Whatever you do, practice not just one thing, but a few different things. A variety of experience and practice is more effective than one at a time.

1. Strengthen your thumb (which tends to be the weakest part of the grip at first), and develop flexibility in your elbow, to develop good rotation. Hold your left palm horizontal, face up. Place the stick pointing right, on top of your palm, but underneath your thumb. Don't bend your thumb, hold it straight. Now, kick the stick up with the right side of your palm, sending the stick up to the left. Bring the stick back into your palm using only your thumb. Bounce the stick this way, striving to allow the stick to go as far back as possible, and then returning to horizontal in the palm of your hand. This is difficult to control at first, of course, but keep at it.

2. Stand your left hand on its edge at the left edge of a practice pad, in a karate-chop style, fingers pointed out straight and together. Tuck the stick under the thumb, and, using only the thumb, bounce the stick on the pad repeatedly. Focus on getting good rebounds.

3. Time to get started on jazz independence, using trad grip. Advanced Techniques For the Modern Drummer (Chapin) or The Art of Bop Drumming (Riley) will do just fine.

4. Rudiments and technique. If your double stroke roll is already smooth, fast, and even (be honest here), then move onto rudimental applications. The All-American Drummer (Wilcoxon) is a great book of musical rudimental solos that will challenge your technique and understanding.

5. Play the stuff you already play for fun, but take it slowly and more quietly with trad grip.

6. The 8th note Accent Exercises in Syncopation, played off the left. Use controlled downstrokes and full strokes for the accents, and super quiet taps (starting from a horizontal stick angle) for the non-accented notes.

7. Moeller accent exercises, in groups of 4, 3, and 2, and then in various combinations.

8. The Texas Shuffle, and the Jazz Shuffle.

Good luck, and have fun!

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member

Wrist rotation

Make sure to get the full strokes high enough.

Same stuff, but can't be said often enough.

Not sure how far you want to go. Some use trad just for jazz, I do it 99% of the time. Moeller rim shots can be hard, some choose to stick for normal rotation instead, but if you want to use it for everything it is possible to get consistent with some work.


Gold Member
Some great advice here!

I play 99% trad for various styles of music, and the best advice I can give is to learn the grip with a teacher.

For some reason trad grip is rising in popularity, but I see too many kids learning the grip from youtube and they develop some bad habits. Make sure you learn the right way to do it, and it will be a nice skill to have.