My left hand is so slow

Ikebongo

Member
I have been adjusting my grip on my stick and using more muscles in my hand to get more agility and speed but still not even close to my right.
I used to play blink 182 when I was younger so my right hand would play really fast 16ths on the hi hat it’s got like 9x more stamina then my left hand because of all my muscle development from that. I really worked out my entire arm and body when I played fast pop punk stuff.

I recently switched to left hand lead because I realized it feels more comfortable but when I play those pop punk songs to develop the same muscles - it felt like I wasn’t using any muscles - and was only using rebounds and my hand can’t go that fast. So I tightened my grip and now my muscles are so achy. I know you are supposed to be loose but my right arm and hand is so developed that I actually tense up going fast in my left, just to keep up. So I agree while playing it is great to be relaxed but you still need to build up those muscles in your arms and hands.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Tightening your grip is almost always a bad idea. Relaxation is critical to the attainment of maximum finesse, power, and speed. Your hands don't function well when they shift into death-grip mode. Natural rebound falters. Fatigue sets in quickly. Muscle and tendon inflammation follow.

Get a copy of Stick Control and start working through the exercises. Doing so with daily discipline will greatly enhance your endurance and ambidexterity. You should see progress in a matter of weeks.

Note: If you feel your overall technique needs revamping, consult a qualified instructor for guidance.
 
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C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Another point on relaxation and rebound: Play with the tips of your sticks. If you're laying into your hi-hat with the shoulder or neck of the sticks, your body has to do all the work, as bounce is all but eliminated. Clean technique makes drumming a lot less taxing.
 

mrfingers

Senior Member
I agree hat you have to develop those left grip muscles somehow. Just bouncing the stick means the stick has to hit perpendicularly and you then catch it correctly for the next perpendicular stroke...you can do that forever slowly and never improve because speeding up means you need that control even more. So you need to tense up slightly for those muscles to be able to get the control back. Eventually you can relax those muscles that have been trained for the stick control. That’s why your right hand can do things effortlessly: it’s stronger and therefore has better control. Trouble comes as the right relaxes so does your left which really can’t handle the motions at faster speeds.
 

Ikebongo

Member
I just have really shitty technique with my left hand. I’m not balanced well enough when I am playing together with both hands. I need to relax more but the stick keeps sliding all over the place in my left hand. And when I grip it different ways it hurts like carpel tunnel hurt.

I just watched a video on the moller technique and the elbow thing really really helped me. But that’s 3 strokes not 2 so I’m like kinda confused on how to play it at different speeds for like quarters 8ths and 16th notes
 

blinky

Senior Member
I just have really shitty technique with my left hand. I’m not balanced well enough when I am playing together with both hands. I need to relax more but the stick keeps sliding all over the place in my left hand. And when I grip it different ways it hurts like carpel tunnel hurt.

I just watched a video on the moller technique and the elbow thing really really helped me. But that’s 3 strokes not 2 so I’m like kinda confused on how to play it at different speeds for like quarters 8ths and 16th notes
You can use the Moeller technique in groups of 2, 3 and 4. Or even 5 I guess. But to me it sounds like you could benefit by seeing a good teacher.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Tightening your grip is almost always a bad idea. Relaxation is critical to the attainment of maximum finesse, power, and speed. Your hands don't function well when they shift into death-grip mode. Natural rebound falters. Fatigue sets in quickly. Muscle and tendon inflammation follow.

Get a copy of Stick Control and start working through the exercises. Doing so with daily discipline will greatly enhance your endurance and ambidexterity. You should see progress in a matter of weeks.

Note: If you feel your overall technique needs revamping, consult a qualified instructor for guidance.
I would work the first page of Stick Control for at least 10 minutes a day, 8th note=40, VERY high stick heights, in front of a mirror. The bigger the motions you make, the easier it will be in the beginning. Your left hand won’t be able to do small, faster motions correctly until it can do big, slow motions correctly.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I would work the first page of Stick Control for at least 10 minutes a day, 8th note=40, VERY high stick heights, in front of a mirror. The bigger the motions you make, the easier it will be in the beginning. Your left hand won’t be able to do small, faster motions correctly until it can do big, slow motions correctly.
The first page of Stick Control is perhaps the most valuable transcript of exercises in existence. The entire book is a gem, but its first page is definitely the be-all, end-all of hand conditioning. Beginners and advanced players alike should place it at the core of their rudimental work.

I like your mirror suggestion too, just as means of getting a panoramic picture of the evenness and fluidity of your strokes. It's like watching a video of your playing in real time, a good way to confirm that all is in order.
 

RickP

Gold Member
Try this exercise R = Right Hand L= Left Hand
Sixteenth notes at quarter note at 60 BPM

RLLL RLLL LLLL LLLL - do this 50 times daily for two weeks then increase the tempo and repeat and keep going .

Pickup Joe Morello’s Masters Studies and do the Stone Killer exercises - follow his instructions .
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
Honestly, what I've been doing the past month or two to build up my left hand, is to play the grooves out of New Breed where you're on the hi-hat with your left hand, so the open handed 16th note grooves. I keep to the first couple melody pages so I don't get caught up in more complex foot work, but that's been going pretty well for me. Every session, I start at 72, and go to 100 bpm. I don't always make it through at 100 bpm, but I am making it through more and more.
 
It also helps to start using your left in every day situations: mousing on your computer, opening doors, brushing your teeth, etc. If your right hand is doing all that stuff, it's going to be way stronger and more agile than your left.
 

Noisy

Well-known member
Something that helped my left hand was shown in a Rob Brown YouTube, though I think it wasn’t specifically for left hand development. He suggested keeping your arms by your sides my placing a drumstick between your arm and your body (stick direction at 12 and 6 o’clock). Hold it near your biceps. If your arm moved away from the body, the stick falls.

This would be used when you are using the practice pad and playing single stroke type exercises. For me, because my left hand was weak, I would bend my elbow and get my shoulder involved in order to “help” my slow left hand. With the drum stick under my arm, touching my body, and trying to keep my shoulder relaxed, I was able to actually exercise my left hand without the unwanted assistance.

Rob Brown also has a lesson specifically on left hand development on YouTube. Also, it sounds like you may need a doctor’s advice on your pain.
 

rebonn

Senior Member
The best exercise for strength for me is on the corner of the bed for instance or pad with big heavy sticks doing a swing type 2 note burst, da domp. The first note being a sorta grace note and the second a regular beat. You can do one hand or both at a time, perhaps putting them in between each practice pattern. I think you'll quickly see and feel what I mean by doing this. It's good for the kick as well.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
The best exercise for strength for me is on the corner of the bed for instance or pad with big heavy sticks doing a swing type 2 note burst, da domp. The first note being a sorta grace note and the second a regular beat. You can do one hand or both at a time, perhaps putting them in between each practice pattern. I think you'll quickly see and feel what I mean by doing this. It's good for the kick as well.
That’s the Irish Spring exercise. It will give you great doubles if you do it slowly and deliberately for months.
 

mattgallettidrums

Junior Member
Do you have a teacher? If not, you should look into getting a professional to look at it. Happy to help if you want to send a PM, but any good teacher can probably help out!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I don't know if this will help at all, but here it is anyway. This exercise was very helpful to me to gain lots more equality in my weak hand:

Play a full on shuffle pattern with just the weak hand on the snare....with a sharply accented backbeat...or rimshot. That's it. The sharply accented backbeat is the killer.

That really brought my left up to speed. I did it to hi hat chicks or sometimes a metronome.

One of my goals was to be able to play the jazz ride pattern as convincingly with my weak hand, as my strong hand. This exercise helped that lots.

Another thing I used to do wrong was, playing matched grip, I was using 2 different techniques with my hands. On my strong hand, my thumb joint would flex. On my weak hand, my thumb was kept super stiff. So after realizing that, I analyzed and changed my technique in my weak hand to be the same as I was using with my strong hand. Done by simple observation. Working the above exercise, the muscles in my weak hand would burn as it gradually came up to the level as my strong hand.

I concentrated on my weak side for a good 10 years. To the point where my strong side needs some attention. Which is where I am now.
 
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planoranger

Junior Member
I concentrated on my weak side for a good 10 years. To the point where my strong side needs some attention. Which is where I am now.
That's the main argument against working on just the weaker hand alone. Personally, I feel that all exercises should be done with both hands.
For my money, the absolute best (and simplest) exercise is the timeless "8-on-each". Simply...8 proper strokes (using loose, correct technique) with your right hand followed by 8 proper strokes (using loose, correct technique) with your left hand. Using a metronome helps you track your progress.
I would do it at a slow tempo...something like 16th notes with 1/4 note = 60 bpm, and then build from there as the weaker hand "catches up to" the stronger hand.

That is the very first thing I do when I sit down to practice before doing anything else. Every. Single. Time.

The real benefit of this is you can use your strong hand as a "check" against your weaker hand. Do they sound the same? Do they look the same?...and so on. Then, once the weaker hand matches the stronger hand, you can continue this to advance BOTH hands at the same rate. Neither hand is neglected.

And...of course...as others have said....NOTHING beats having a good teacher.
 
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