Gripmaster for French Grip?

JSdrums

Member
Hey Drummerworld!

I've been working on my French grip on my left hand with the Minneman finger exercise (and others) and I'm curious if anyone has supplemented their exercises with the use of a Gripmaster like the guitarists use? It seems like it might be a helpful way to sneak in some finger strengthening when away from the pad.

Thoughts?
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I actually was silly enough to get a gripmaster when I was 11 yo.

I wouldn't really advice it.

Doesn't support propper technique and puts weird strains on your hands.

If wanting to supplement, I'd stick to orthopedic balls and various CT exercises.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I tried these things about 25 years ago or so without any drumming improvement. My grip got stronger, yet the ability to play faster or longer were not improved by using these.

EASTOMMY-Durable-And-Favourable-Hand-Grip-Strengthener-Exercise-Equipment-2.jpg
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I can't see how much it helps with guitar either. If you think you need strength to play guitar there are fundamental flaws with you technique.
 

SVBJECT

Well-known member
I use quite a bit of these kinda things, but mostly as long term recovery for hand damage, and I'd say they are very good for getting you from a bad place to a normal place, but less good going beyond that. Weakness is bad, but surplus strength is not useful.

I use weights on my legs as well, sometimes, again arguable as to how good they are, Gene Hoglan and Tomas Haake I believe both use (or have used) them, I think they help me build stamina, and when I was younger, from a beginners perspective, physical confidence, you either are hitting it or not, theres none of that wobbly half tapping the kick that screams of new drummer, but again, thats overcoming a negative trait, not improving on general skill. If that makes sense.

I can't see how much it helps with guitar either. If you think you need strength to play guitar there are fundamental flaws with you technique.

My old guitarist housemate used them a lot and swore by them, he's now a session player. With guitar I think it depends more on style of music and the action on your strings and thickness - he played fast metal on a high action guitar with very thick strings, and also loved finger tapping on his fretboard, so I think in those specific cases, yes. If your talking flamenco guitar or something, probably not in the slightest.
 
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Rock Salad

Junior Member
Might be good if you don't just mindlessly mash the thing from top to bottom, instead using it for a small resistance for quick press and release?
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
No, no, no, no,no
You need to develop reflexes that can move a light object (the stick) very rapidly though the full range of motion. You must also develop the elasticity of those muscles. They need to be supple. Supple muscles can move fast for a long time without tiring.

Resistance training like this will screw with all of that and replace it with raw strength. Not what you want

Try Mike Mangini’s exercise. This will work out the right muscles in the correct manner. Notice how developed his thumb muscle is. It’s insane. :

 
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JSdrums

Member
Thanks for the insight! I was just curious for something to use in traffic or while watching a movie.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
Thanks for the insight! I was just curious for something to use in traffic or while watching a movie.
Sure thing, there are a few things that you can do. Mike’s exercise is great, also barehanded practice will improve your wrist motion faster than sticks will.
(Another Mangini trick)
 

SVBJECT

Well-known member
Thanks for the insight! I was just curious for something to use in traffic or while watching a movie.
For all the above advice, potentially from far wiser/better drummers than me, there's a lot of "absolutely not," attitude.
I can't see it would hurt though? If Arnie suddenly took up drumming, are we saying he would be at a severe disadvantage for all that raw muscle? Or just another beginner who happens to be ten times the mass of kid?
 

SVBJECT

Well-known member
Yeah man all good, I'm leaving it for myself! But my advice is: question the advice from every angle before deciding if you take it or leave it!
 

Old PIT Guy

Well-known member
I don't recall which instructor it was, but at PIT there were two in play. The first was opening and closing your hands with a motion like your hand was a talking ventriloquist doll -- fast open and close -- a flapping movement touching your fingers to your palm. You'll feel fatigue fairly quickly.

The other was holding the stick backwards behind your forearm and pumping the stick against the back of the arm using just your fingers, as if the back of your arm just below the elbow was a pad and you were tapping out singles.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
The idea is that there's so much to propper technique and by actually doing that you get plenty of conditioning.

I'm not against doing things for strengthening and taking care of the general health of your hands, but well, I've actually had one of these things for 33 years, I was just a guitar player, well sax player too back then, and I've never seen any real expert recommend them either. Both me and the bass player in my band got them as it was a new hip thng we could spend our pocket money on that just was there next to the slides and picks etc.. at the local store. It just has so little to do with playing a guitar and doesn't really tackle any of the real elements. It certainly can do harm, not just to your hands if you overdo it, but excessive pressure over propper placement is the most typical rookie mistake.

There's bunch of great exercises for strengthening and conditioning your hands and most of them don't need a gadget at all.

I actually do have lots of gadgets, but they haven't done anything for my drumming nor my guitar playing, really. I have them for other reasons.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Everyone is different-so whatever floats your boat. I use to work out with weights when I was younger to get "bigger' for football. I got sort of muscle bound where I actually couldn't move around as well (I could hike a football and take a hit though). I was strong but too bulky. I slimmed down changing my work out and maintained my strength without the bulk-it helped me a bunch (I also moved from center to defensive end with my agility and strength). Drumming takes both fast twitching muscles and endurance-so no better conditioning than actually playing the drums for prolonged periods. I warm up on the kit-just noodling around or playing rudiments. You want to build in balance rather than isolate and build certain muscles in my mind? I use to concentrate on muscle groups but I now take a more holistic approach. But that was my experience-as I said everyone is different.
 

prokofi5

Junior Member
I've heard of pro drummers promoting general fitness to improve performance, but I've never heard one recommend any of these gadgets. Away from the kit I think it's more beneficial to think of musical phrases and what to play as opposed to working on a minor increase in grip strength. Which I'm not even sure would translate into a performance gain...I wonder what an expert like @BillBachman would say.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Yeah, if you want to isolate things to work on weaknesses there's a million different things you can do with sticks in your hands that teach you everything at once.
 

Old PIT Guy

Well-known member
The idea is that there's so much to propper technique and by actually doing that you get plenty of conditioning.

I'm not against doing things for strengthening and taking care of the general health of your hands, but well, I've actually had one of these things for 33 years, I was just a guitar player, well sax player too back then, and I've never seen any real expert recommend them either. Both me and the bass player in my band got them as it was a new hip thng we could spend our pocket money on that just was there next to the slides and picks etc.. at the local store. It just has so little to do with playing a guitar and doesn't really tackle any of the real elements. It certainly can do harm, not just to your hands if you overdo it, but excessive pressure over propper placement is the most typical rookie mistake.

There's bunch of great exercises for strengthening and conditioning your hands and most of them don't need a gadget at all.

I actually do have lots of gadgets, but they haven't done anything for my drumming nor my guitar playing, really. I have them for other reasons.

The examples I gave were recommended as warm-up exercises for drumming at school when you didn't have access to a pad or drum. Like when you were waiting your turn to play in front of 20 other drummers. I don't think they were considered conditioning exercises, but I don't know - they could've been. I used them sparingly, possibly to help my nerves, before sitting down to play with guys like Enzo Tedesco or Toss Panos standing behind me.
 
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