Left or right hand for snare drum?


What is the best or most common way for right handed beginner, left or right hand for snare drum?

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I recommend everyone be able to play either way. If the student is left-handed, they should probably start playing left-handed first, and the reverse is true if they are right-handed.


Platinum Member
Most common is left hand snare, right hand hi hat/ride cymbal.

This is not a rule, or necessity even. Drums are modular, you can play them anyway you want. That being said, the above is what probably 99% of rightys play.

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Yes, left is the most common or traditional, but not crossing hands(so called "open handed") gets more and more common.


Senior Member
Whatever is most comfortable.

No Way Jose

Silver Member
I practice and play both ways but for the usual 4/4 time rock or country beats I play snare with my left hand and hi hat with my right.


Well-known member
also believe in - and teach - using both hands equally.

I let my students start with which ever hand is most comfortable, and then a few months in, I challenge them to switch


Junior Member
If I were learning to play from scratch with what I know now about playing the drums I'd learn how to play open handed. That would allow me to play with my right hand on the snare but I'd also learn to play with my left on the snare as well. Doing both strengthens the amount of independence you can exhibit at the kit, which just makes all sorts of things so much easier. Unfortunately I'm an old fart and it would take me too much pain and suffering to learn open handed playing. Watch Carter Beauford of the Dave Matthews Band. He's insane and plays open handed. Many others as well.


Senior Member
Your preferred hand or the one you write with. Most natural. I do suggest learning to lead with both left and right hand, it will pay off later that your limbs are much more independent from each other

Fred D

Pioneer Member
With the drum set being a little over a hundred years old it's a new born compared to other instruments. That said tradition is a blink of an eye. Be versed with both hands. Look up Simon Phillips on you tube.


Well-known member
It all depends on if you have a right or left handed snare drum. ;)

When I had to start all over, I really wish I had focused more on playing open handed (right hand on snare), as a mentor had taught me, but the whole left side of my body was slower to recover and I wanted to get back into it ASAP.
Open handed is a great way to develop your left hand which is typically weaker for a right handed individual. As others have said, learn both.

Edit: I didn't see MntnMan62's post above. But, yeah, what he said. (y)