lefthand issues, please help

KingAlbert

Junior Member
Hi, I worked a lot on my technique lately and I improved a lot. But there are 2 things that I can't get fixed.

1) When I play the freestroke, single stroke roll, the fingers of my right hand are glued to the stick. Whatever I try I cant get that control with my left hand.

2) In my right hand I have a kind of 'feel', but with the leftie the strokes remain a bit 'mechanical', I dont have a real feel.

thanks
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
This is what every drummer faces. It's simple in concept, you have to work your weak hand until it can play as good as your strong hand. There's no shortcuts, just a really long road to go down. With no shortcuts.

I've had my own journey getting my left hand equal and it's finally here. I started at least 10 years ago, but it could probably be done in 2 with many hours of focused practice. Me, I'd do them here and there, a few times a month, hence the 10 years. What I did was observed my good hand in detail...which muscles was I using, angle of palms, every detail. I realized I was using a different (worse) technique with my weak hand, which is where my imbalance stemmed from. (the physical not the mental!)

While my playing sounded even enough....I myself didn't feel the same in my weak hand as I did in my strong. I didn't feel I was a balanced machine. So it took me years of focused attention on my left hand, always comparing it to my right hand. Fold in a heaping helping of pain in the form of burning forearm muscles and there's your recipe. Today, when I play, I feel like I have 2 equal hands now.

FWIW, the exercise that really helped my left hand...I do a full on shuffle rhythm with the left hand on the snare. Now add in a really strong backbeat. This is all one handed. That was a killer for me in the beginning years. The spang-a-lang jazz ride pattern is also a good exercise for dexterity and fine control in the weak hand.

I focused on my left hand for so long, that my right hand got a little sloppy by comparison, so I had to bring my right hand up to speed after a while. That's the kind of problem that I'll gladly take. That went really fast, sharpening my strong hand. It only took a few practice sessions.
 
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KamaK

Platinum Member
I have two pieces of advice.

1: Bill Bachman's site. He straightened out a lot of things for me early on.

2: Understand that the equality of proficiency in handedness is is a perpetual exercise, and not a goal that can be achieved/accomplished. You find a new deficiency, put work into correcting it, find a new deficiency, put work into correcting it....... repeat. It's a perpetuity. By virtue of this, you'll always have a weak(er) hand, and it only needs to be strong enough so that it doesn't interfere with your creativity.
 

danondrums

Well-known member
Gary Chaffee's Technique Patterns pg. 6-7, single finger exercises - Work on the weak hand 95% or more with this exercise.
Definitely the best way to wake those fingers up.
 

Alex Sanguinetti

Silver Member
King Albert, what were you trying to do? It´s not clear to me...

Those you do look kind of WRIST strokes...Is the problem you want to play them with FINGERS and you can´t or what?

Best regards!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I'm not a pro teacher.

It seems to me that your wrist is doing most of the work, but your wrist is not moving in the best way for drumming. I'd like to see your wrists turned over more. Beings that your thumb is on top of the stick, not the side, my suggestion is to use the fingers ala French grip instead of your wrist. The way you are flexing your wrist is not the ideal wrist motion, in fact it's probably the worst way to use the wrist. Instead of the bottom of your wrist being vertical, try a 45 degree angle, stop with the sideways wrist motion, and make it so the fingers motivate the sticks mostly, with a little wrist action, as opposed to more sideways wrist action and less fingers. Your wrist is designed to operate more like a hinge, with your palms facing the floor. American grip, where your palms are on a 45 degree angle, works well too. But the vertical wrist....turn your wrists over to at least a 45 degree angle first would be THE starting point in my mind.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Nothing revolutionary here.

Your right hand does most of the work when you play.

You're right handed so you were already predisposed to doing things better with that hand.

If you want your left to be on similar level you'll have to do as much or probably much more work for that to happen.

If you feel your right hand is doing things right use that to teach your left hand. There will be some angles thta aren't right, you'll hit your pal with the butt end of the stick etc...

I've been and still am mostly a trad player, but I've work my matched grip a lot the last few years. What I've done is looking at all the motions my right hand has to do, work on different motions independently, even getting the various ride and hi-hat patterns down. Wrist, fingers, push-pull of various types, jazz ride etc... It's up to you how far you want to go, but if you want similar results for your left as your right, you'll have to put it through the same amount of quality work.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
You can work your left hand while not at the kit, doing things unrelated to drumming. Start to eat left handed, open doors left handed, brush your teeth left handed, you get the idea. The concept here is that the more you use your left hand in everyday life, the more control and comfort you will have with it. This will translate over to drumming in your ability to use the stick more naturally. It will start to feel right (no pun intended).
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
practice pad, metronome, time...... Unfortunately that is the best answer to this VERY common issue. Playing rudiments for hours helps with this. over and over, get the muscle memory down. Use a mirror in front of you to see what you are doing different. It's no different than people having a dominant hand in life. I can't hold a pen and write with my left, but if I put in the practice and time I could. 99% of the time your right hand is doing more drumming so it gets more practice.
 

KingAlbert

Junior Member
thanks for the reply's. In the video I was playing wriststrokes but i want the fingers to be glued to the stick.

I will focus on the left hand more in daily life and play the jazz ride with the left hand for some time.
 

BigMeach

Member
thanks for the reply's. In the video I was playing wriststrokes but i want the fingers to be glued to the stick.

I will focus on the left hand more in daily life and play the jazz ride with the left hand for some time.
If you want to practice having your fingers stuck to your stick, you really should practice this:
. (He has other videos on this as well, just search em)

I am telling you, if you practice this enough(can be done in french as well) you will naturally keep your fingers on the sticks without thinking about it.

Even if you don't plan to use this technique much, it'll automatically translate to fingers remaining on and in control of your stick when using other techniques.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
thanks for the reply's. In the video I was playing wriststrokes but i want the fingers to be glued to the stick.

I will focus on the left hand more in daily life and play the jazz ride with the left hand for some time.
My left hand feels 1000X better after the amount of pad work I have been doing. I do plenty of rudiments both ways and include left hand lead. It's crazy how my fingers are "glued to the stick" I had the same issue. my fingers would rest on it with my right all day and I had way more control.. my left felt like they kept having an air gap in there.

Time and practice.. dedicate 30 minutes or more every day and it will come.
 
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