Holding the Sticks

Skwerly

Senior Member
Every (or almost every) video I find on the net tells me I should hold the sticks about 1/3 of the way down so that I’m on the fulcrum, which completely makes sense, and is how I hold them for the most part.

But every really good and quick solo drummer I see seems to be holding them at the very end, just letting them flop about. Am I seeing them wrong or is there a trick I’m unaware of? I am trying to increase skill and speed and really want to hold the drum stick correctly.

Which way is fastest for you guys? Any preference?
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
The fulcrum is not a predetermined position on the stick. The fulcrum is the point at which the stick pivots. This point can certainly change depending on the grip, the stick, the hand holding the stick etc etc. If I'm playing quieter I'll often move the fulcrum point further up the stick. This gives me better control over smaller movements. If I'm bashing away then the fulcrum point moves further back up the stick to allow for more 'pivot'. When playing traditional grip I have a different fulcrum point on my left hand than what I do on my right.

A good understanding of the fulcrum, in my humble opinion, is more important than what grip you use. If you're struggling with this, I highly advise getting a few lessons. It's a difficult concept to explain via the written word, but quite easy to show by way of visual example.
 

Skwerly

Senior Member
Thanks! I am *highly* considering lessons. I have been an active, gigging drummer for years and years and am not bad, but it's time to get to the next level and actually understand what I'm doing, I feel haha.

Once i get my new kit i'll have two of them and can leave one set up in the garage finally. I'll have me a go at some technique, me thinks.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
There are many correct ways to hold the stick, and they can be very different. For instance, I don't hold the stick 1/3 the way down, in fact I hold it so the butt of the stick doesn't extend past my wrist joint. But that's my way and not necessarily the best for you. The size of your hands, the force you use, the music you play, and many other things, all factor in to your grip. Learning to work a drumstick is a lifelong effort, and there are many different equally effective approaches. I think that most teachers would agree that playing from the fingers and wrist rather than playing from the elbow and shoulder is preferable, but if you do hardcore metal, then you probably need to use the elbow....Then you have Alex Luce (a member here who wrote a book, "How to Beat a Drum") whose stroke originates from the larger muscles like the shoulder and elbow. His technique works great for him and looks good too. Different strokes for sure. Whatever you like, as long as it is not detrimental, is what you will likely end up doing. There is no "one" right way.

It's a very personal thing, stick grip, and you have to research all the different grips and use what feels most right to you. One rule of thumb...don't let the stick transfer the vibrations to your hands, try and let the stick vibrate to absorb the shock. This means don't put a death squeeze on your sticks, you could do damage to your hands longterm.

I think how you work a stick is easily as important as any other thing you can study in the course of learning drumset. In other words, it's crucial to your sound, your touch, and the ease with which you can translate the sounds and ideas in your head to the drumset.
 
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