Hand blisters - Is this normal?

Ive been drumming for 2 years and 4 months. I Play for atleast 1-2 hours a day somtimes even 4-6 on a weekened. Im obsessed :D. I used to get these killer blisters from playing that hurt like a bitch. It didnt stop me from drumming but I've now built up some crazy callouses. is this normal? :s

 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Who lad! Keep that up and you'll go blind!

Seriously, I agree with Abe - I've never seen someone callused to that degree from drumming. I used to have to hit hard at gigs and would sometimes get a blister on each thumb at the fulcrum point and I callused in those spots. Bear in mind that I also have a technically incorrect grip.
 

aydee

Platinum Member
Who lad! Keep that up and you'll go blind!
ROFLMAO!!! I got tears in my eyes, I'm laughing that hard... I mean loud.. I mean..aloud..aaaah thanks Pol, Iam now going to walk around all day with a silly grin on my face.


...
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Wow, that just looks wrong. I must admit, back in my drum corps days, I might've gotten the kind of calluses that are on the palm of your hand just below the little and ring fingers, but not so pronounced and they quickly went away when I stopped playing with the corps.

I agree with Aydee - you should check in with a teacher. Hopefully you can unlearn what you have learned that causes the calluses!
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I can't figure out how you're doing that mate. I checked out your playing and whilst you can probably loosen up on the stick a bit, you're far more relaxed than I was expecting considering the state of your hands.

I'd be lying if I said I've never had blisters....but your's are near epic. :)

I'll echo the call....go see a teacher and have him take a close look at your grip.
 

Fishbones

Silver Member
read up on jojo mayer and stanton moore. both have different but very effective grips on the stick. dont tense up while you're playing. just play relaxed and laid back even if thats not the style of your music.

dont hold the stick with an iron grip because you're playing metal
 

specgrade

Senior Member
Who lad! Keep that up and you'll go blind!

Seriously, I agree with Abe - I've never seen someone callused to that degree from drumming. I used to have to hit hard at gigs and would sometimes get a blister on each thumb at the fulcrum point and I callused in those spots. Bear in mind that I also have a technically incorrect grip.

Ever seen Neil Peart's hands? His wife took pictures of his blisters.

Get some tape or gloves. Don't hold the sticks so tight.
 

joeysnare

Silver Member
i used to have that exact pattern on my hand too, your holding your sticks way too tight, like a person would hold a hammer. as was said before check out jojo mayers modern weapons for the secret drummer. an change in your grip will increase your speed, dexterity, and save you a butt load on broken cymbals and skins bro.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Ever seen Neil Peart's hands? His wife took pictures of his blisters.
Clearly not. As I said, I've never seen a drummer with hands that callused before :)

Now I know that Neal Peart and Joeysnare have also been that callused. Funny thing is that nothing I saw in Mason's video looked as though it would be so rough on his hands. I'm either missing something or the vid isn't typical.

Hey Joey, isn't that Secret Weapons for the Modern Drummer and not the other war around? Not easy to be a "secret drummer" unless you're playing brushes to a ballad in a bomb shelter :)
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
Haha, modern weapons for the secret drummer. I want to be a secret drummer! No, wait, I don't really. That wouldn't be much fun at all. It just sounds cool.

Anyway, I used to get those sorts of callouses, it was a problem for me too. I used to play very hard using massive sticks (Vic Firth Rock sticks), and gripped as tight as I could for fear of dropping the sticks. I executed the stroke using my arm too much (particularly my left), and that was why I gripped harder. Now that I've developed my wrist and finger strength, and use them more than my arm, I don't need to grip so hard, I use lighter sticks, and I get less callouses. Still get some, but that's because I'm still punching above my weight in the band I'm playing in and need to get properly up to speed.

I'll add my endorsement to the Jojo DVD too. That's helped me more than anything else. Even one lesson with a good teacher would probably be an eye-opener too.
 

Thaard

Platinum Member
I had this some years ago, and I had to tape my fingers. Now, I only have 3-4 calluses, some still present from my bad-technique days.
If I remember correctly, callouses and blisters are formed because the hands are absorbing energy from the stick. What you need to do is learn how to hit the drum so most of the energy stays in the hit/stick. What I did was practice the free-stroke and the moeller. Helped a lot! You must learn to hit the drum without clutching the stick.
 

Brundlefly

Senior Member
Clearly not. As I said, I've never seen a drummer with hands that callused before :)

Now I know that Neal Peart and Joeysnare have also been that callused. Funny thing is that nothing I saw in Mason's video looked as though it would be so rough on his hands. I'm either missing something or the vid isn't typical.
In the jungle vid, watch his right hand and you can see white knuckles. He's also holding the stick far back with fingers staying wrapped around the stick at all times. All that impact energy has to go someplace. You can also see in the other vids his tendency to lay the stick into the drum to the point that it often rests on the head, a sign that he's absorbing the rebound energy. The left hand tends to bounce off and then immediately back down for a second hit that gets buried. I'd also bet that these vids aren't really the more extreme edge cases, which are probably responsible for the lion's share of damage.

Regardless, I totally agree with previous advice to focus on altering technique. I got blisters (not as badly) in my first two years when I played beyond my ability, and then once again when I restarted drums after several years off. I focused on loosening up after tendon injuries (which is what happens when your body decides that blisters aren't sending a clear enough message) and now my hands are soft as... well, soft as a computer geek's, to be perfectly honest.
 

Pkaneps

Senior Member
I've been playing about the same amount of time, and I just got my first blister. I had practice with two different bands every day this past week and a show last night and one tonight. I have a tiny patch of dead skin, not even really a blister, at the base of my index finger.
 
I agree with most of the other people who posted as well. You have a serious amount of blisters that are probably the result of holding on to the stick too tightly.

What type of sticks are you using? Do you typically play at loud volumes?

Try slowing things down for a couple of days and practice getting consistent strokes with full rebound on a single drum or pad. If I had to guess by the looks of your pictures, I think that you are holding on to the sticks too tight and doing more work than needed by choking the rebound and not letting the stick/heads much, if any, work. Therefore, all of the shock from the stick vibrations goes straight to your hands and wrists which irritates the skin surrounding the stick. Stay relaxed so that the shock can be evenly distributed throughout your entire hand and even some of your arm. Utilize rebound to do most of your work so that you don't have to force everything.

Hope this helps!
 

uniin

Gold Member
i got those / still have them (havn't gone away) since i've gone a few stick sizes up(from 5a to 2b). only in my right hand though.

its been said before. loosen your grip more. if you have to playing with earplugs just remeber yo don't have to hit your drums/cymbals hard to make a noise. plugs are there to stop your ears from being damaged. its the same with a band, if you have to smash your drums and you still can't hear yourself - tell the idiot guitarist to turn down.
 
C

Crazy8s

Guest
I've still got some callouses on my hands after 20 years. On the palm at the base of the pinkies, at the joint of the thumb, and very light ones on the bigger joint of the index finger.

I used to get real upset if I accidentally peeled them off after doing dishes or bathing, cus it meant I would have to go through the whole blister phase again. Not anymore though.
 
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