Hand /practicing problems.


Senior Member
G'day to all my fellow drummer "mates" from around the world especially from here in Melbourne Australia! :).Happy halloween to me yanky mates! :).My problems are: 1 -physical i.e. my rh gets sore&tired even when using 7A sticks,
i DONT both play fast or hard fastest tempo would be "Whipping Post" by The Allman Brothers Band or if that's considered slow "superstition" by Stevie Wonder.I've gotta stop for a minute or more until the pain goes away in my rh hand.The other problem (no 2) is:i can NEVER hear what i'm playing/practicing along to whenever i'm attempting&trying to learn new unfamiliar material for an audition or if i've got a gig&i'm rehearsing for it.I DONT have/own either:Ipod, monitors, nor have headphones only my smartphone.Problem no 3_ HOW &WHAT do i practice along to (excercises) to play along to a "click"?,
Having never been shown how to or told to (more to the point having the discipline&motivation to),ANY advice/help/suggestions?.
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#1, hard to say. Are you letting the stick bounce and using the rebound to bring the stick up, or is it a manual action each time? Gripping too tight?

For #2, for a cheaper option see if you can fit earmuffs over earphones running from the phone. Like these: https://www.bunnings.com.au/unisafe-high-performance-ear-muffs_p5823110
In-ear earphones would probably work better. These are my regular choice which I would use if I didn't have a set of in-ear-monitors(IEM) already:
Otherwise, you can get something like the Vic Firth SIH1 which combines the two, or shell out for proper IEMs.

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Your fellow countryman has the points down, pretty much.

1) I may be a bit wrong, but it sounds like you might more or less be self taught.

A long as a student is ready for it, drum lessons are a lot of technique work and exercises. It easily takes a couple of years for most to start really getting the bouncing and relaxation thing down. It's a life long pursuit, though. Working and refining the most essential part, a basic free storke, is sometthing that should be worked on daily for the rest of your life. Having to play stuff that's a bit beyond our current comfort level that's just how it is, that's life, but when we practice we do it at a speed and level we can control.

Sticks shouldn't matter much, but there is actually a tendency to grup lighter thinner sticks harder than bigger ones. I don't subscribe the the lighter sticks for beginners thing at all, rather I think of it more like pencils in school.

There are such things as big and light though such as e.g. the SD2 Bolero. A very popular stick. Nice big radius, but made from maple and very well balanced for traditional technique.

2) For ears. Yeah, if all you have are some basic non isolation buds the cheapest way is to get some muffs at a hardware store and put over them. IEMs don't have to be expensive, though. Plenty of "unknown" Chinese and Taiwanese brands making stuff that works just fine.

3) Working with a metronome is a wide topic as we really use it for anything.

If I was to explain the fundamnetals part of someone's training it's all about reading and counting. How that is done depends on the student, what works and what they can handle.

The point is to read and count and play with good relazed technique. Making it feel and sound good, Then we get creative using just one hand, different stickings, playing on different drums and then we might start adding simple foot ostinatos to it.

We addition we work on styles and skills fitting their needs and interests, but usually in a simplified manner. Song structure, dynamics, fills and variations.

Most of us have a tendency to rush om fills and transitions, so working on sections like that and whole songs focused on the parts we struggle is a good idea. It all has to work and flow together. So working at a super slow tempo where we are totally comfortable and gradually increase the speed is a concept that works for everything and feel it just as you would in the "actual" tempo.

If working slow is hard or demotivating, try to focus on what you're actally trying to accomplish. Play music, get absorbed in it.

Do it routinely and things will improve. Have realistic expectations and enjoy the journey.

No matter our economic situation it's good to at least try getting a couple of lessons for basic technique and if you can't go regularly, for whatever reason, do it once in a while.


Senior Member
^^ I agree, you might want to try a larger diameter stick. I've heard this from several players. I myself play with 7A's but I'm always being sure I don't death grip them. I guess you could also try a drumming glove (or heck, even a bicycling glove) to take up the extra real estate in your hand. The glove would also take up some of the vibration. Where exactly is the pain in your hand at?


Senior Member
G'day, I won't add much to what has already been said - however, when I came back to drumming a couple of years ago after 40 years of not playing I thought lighter sticks would be the go because I figured they would be easier on me as I was 62. I used 7A's for a while. However, it was sort of the opposite. It was harder on my hands. From reading comments on DW I went and bought larger diameter sticks and find them better. I use large diameter Maple sticks a lot now and although soft are light to use.
The other thing I would mention is that it might be worth getting your hand checked by a physiotherapist or similar. I developed significant pain in my left thumb a year ago and it hurt after playing. I persevered but after it didn't go away I had scans and it was revealed I had severe arthritis in my thumb.Whilst I can't do anything about it I at least know what I'm dealing with and can manage it with anti inflammatories if needed. I suggest it won't be the same with you as I suspect you are a lot younger- but it may be an injury and with some treatment may be manageable.
Hope this helps. By the way, hope you pick a winner in the big race today.


Senior Member
The pain is in the palm of my rh,
Could it (pain) be carpal tunnel syndrome?.
I'm a combination of self-taught&have had drum lessons,
I no longer practice "fly dots on paper". In other words I don't practice nor work on rudimentary drumming or exercise books,
As fwiw/inho/inho,
I'm NOT auditioning for a fusion/jazz gig,
Nor exercise books!,
I'm auditioning for cover bands:blues, rnb&soul.In my most recent one I played both too busy, not in time&my rh was red roar,
Couldn't wait until the audition's over.I do have&use SD2's &have Vater Bebop, 5A , Regal Tip 8A, Ludwig 2A.Funny , strange, weird thing is before I gave up for the 2nd time I was using 2B's&3S's&other marching sticks&similar sized sticks although I occasionally dropped sticks I neither ever experienced the current problem in my rh.

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
On using a metronome to work on time there are three basic ways.

1) Letting it play different parts of the subdividsion e.g.
- Only 2 & 4
- only ands
- offeat 16ths
- just one 16th like, just the a, which is probably the hardest.

2) Muting it for a certain amount of time, like 1 bar w/sound, 1 bar silent and vary or extend those periods. Most software metronomes have a "training" feature like that.

3) One click pr. bar or two bars. etc. This can be modified, randomized, whatever.

I mostly use the Pro Metronome app which has most functions and is easy to use.
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Senior Member
Bonzodownunder, I had a similar pain in my left using trad grip- pain radiated from my ring finger thru my palm. Ice helps. I'm using matched grip to give that finger a break.
I would use a fatter stick and in your case change your grip in a way that doesn't give you pain. For ex. If you use your 2middle fingers for leverage, hook the butt of the stick with your little pinkie for a change; sometimes play with your index finger on top(actually not that weird) which stretches that nerve/tendons and bounce the stick a bit more. Meantime put ice on your palm for 10-20 sec. at a time, 10 times to make it feel better. Won't cure it, but feels good.
It might just be a vibration problem and a grip change might help that also.
Good luck.