Sticks slipping around in my hands

PQleyR

Platinum Member
Hello everybody! I wonder if you can help me out with a little problem I've been encountering recently. Before I start, please excuse me if I've missed threads on this subject that already exist, I did search and couldn't find any.

Basically, what's happening is that when I practise on my newly acquired practise pad (something I've not used before), I find that with my grip loose, my sticks move up and down in my hands (so the fulcrum point gets nearer the tip/butt of the stick). I think I've previously been gripping tighter in order to hold on to the sticks for this very reason. Obviously, I want to improve this aspect of my technique, but I would like to find a way to make sure I keep the fulcrum point in the right place without having to shuffle the sticks up and down in my hands to do this.

Any suggestions?
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
you could try waxing your sticks. i noticed last week at the drum store that the "sex wax" company, who for many years has made surfboard wax, now makes a wax especially for drumsticks. i've never tried it myself, but i've heard some good things about it.
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
you could try waxing your sticks. i noticed last week at the drum store that the "sex wax" company, who for many years has made surfboard wax, now makes a wax especially for drumsticks. i've never tried it myself, but i've heard some good things about it.
I've been using Zildjian Stick Wax and it's excellent. I wouldn't go without it now. My hands get sweaty after a while and this allows me to keep a very loose grip all night long, if I need to. I bought two cans for $10 and 6 mo. later, I'm maybe 1/4 of the way through the first can...after everyday use.

However, to the OP, it's no substitute for learning a proper grip, free stroke, a strong fulcrum, etc. I only use it to stay relaxed and I only put a very thin layer around the grip-end of the stick.

Whatever you do, don't start gripping harder to accommodate your practice pad. Bad news!
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
No, I quite agree. I'm loathe to use wax or anything else until I can resolve this problem (I mean, it's not as if I have trouble holding on to the sticks usually, I just grip them harder!). I'm really looking for ways to improve the way I am actually holding the sticks. Do you know of any reasons why this might be happening?
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
What I do to rectify this problem is I put some vinyl electrical tape around my sticks at a point directly in front of where I pinch them. The small ridge that the tape creates is all that I need to keep my sticks from slipping through my fingers. It even works on my Trad left hand! It's an old Drum Corps trick that I learned back in circa 1970. I feel the tape and I don't let the stick slide past it! I've been playing this way for 39 years!
 

iainp999

Junior Member
Hi there,

I don't have the same technical knowledge as others, but I had this same problem until very recently so I'll give you my experience. I have been playing for a while but only recently decided to take lessons, so I had developed bad habits.

I observed that my "other" fingers were moving away from the sticks whilst practicing rudiments, and that I was having to tighten my grip around the fulcrum point in order to maintain the stick position. However, this was having the effect of dampening the stick energy, which was no good to me!

So I have gone back to basics and did a couple of hours or rudiments going as slowly as it took in order to keep all my other fingers closer to the sticks. That seemed to do the trick! It also had the advantage of giving me the feel for bringing those fingers into play in order to control the stick, and I now have a much better "feel" for what I am playing (no pun).

Hope that helps!
Iain
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
if you don't use some kind of grip material like wax or whatever, you're going to have do something else. i wouldn't try gripping harder because that'll just create tension. i hold my sticks very loosely, but i've gotten used to climbing back up the stick with my fingers when the stick starts sliding. most of the time i don' t even notice i'm doing it anymore.
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
if you don't use some kind of grip material like wax or whatever, you're going to have do something else. i wouldn't try gripping harder because that'll just create tension. i hold my sticks very loosely, but i've gotten used to climbing back up the stick with my fingers when the stick starts sliding. most of the time i don' t even notice i'm doing it anymore.
See, it just seems to me that this is a distraction and must somehow be taking away from my playing, when it happens. It's hard enough to stay loose w/o this type of thing going on. The stick wax has eliminated this problem...my hands just stay loose and the sticks stay in place. It's a beautiful thing!
 

thelimpingtoad

Senior Member
work on your grip and don't worry about waxes or tape gimmicks.. I used to do this too. The problem is not gripping your sticks properly. Make sure your fulcrum is tight but not so tight it cuts off the stick movement. You definately need to work on keeping your fingers on the sticks too if this is the problem. A lot of drummers (myself included) have a really bad habit of letting their fingers off the stick and not making full use of their fingers to get the stick to move. another thing I see a lot is people letting the tip of their index finger off the stick. this can cause a lot of chance for the stick to move up in your hand. If you haven't had lessons to teach proper technique it will be harder to adjust it but you could always see if someone that has experience could show you the correct ways to hold your sticks... if you're not too embarrased try just asking a fellow drummer or even a music store employee (who's a drummer) to look at your grip and tell you what you're doing wrong... maybe even posting some pics of your grip on here that show how you hold them could prove helpful.

I might have to look for that wax the next time i'm at the drum shop because that might help with my "throwing sticks at the guitarist" problem... ever couple of weeks i end up throwing a stick at the other band members... oops!
 
T

TFITTING942

Guest
One question I have is are you using a stick that is too thin for the size of your hand? I used to use Promark 747's and they would do the same thing but I stayed with them. I recently switched to a larger 5b size stick and it totally eleiminated that problem. I can actually hold them with less pressure and they don't move in my hand at all. I thought they would add too much volume to my playing but that didn't happen at all. I have large hands and I realize I need a large stick to hold them correctly....it only too 20 years to figure out but...
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
The stick size thing is an interesting thought. I used to use Vic Firth Rock size sticks, which are pretty massive, but I switched to 5As when I joined a new band and suddenly had to play a lot faster than I was used to. I have normal-sized hands but long, thin fingers, so maybe that's something I could try.

limpingtoad, I've seen a lot of drummers leave the index finger off the stick (when using second finger fulcrum), including John Bonham, so is that really a problem?
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
I definitely had an issue w/ sticks being too small in diameter, myself. It took me a while to figure out that I needed a fatter stick, but without the weight. I used to play 5A and have been very happy w/ the VF SD9 stick, so far. Definitely easier to hang on to and I'm more relaxed while playing.
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
That's sort of what Jojo Mayer's sticks are like, isn't it? 5B size, 5A weight.
Yes, but they're really short...roughly 15.5". I didn't like that all of the weight was in the hands and since they're painted sticks, VF never made the same pair twice. I couldn't use them since I could never get a consistent weight from pair-to-pair.
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
I don't think I'd get on so well with those either, I think I'd prefer a 5B weighted stick if it was 5B sized. Easier to play louder as well, which is something I may be trying to hard to do with 5As at the moment.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
when I practise on my newly acquired practise pad (something I've not used before), I find that with my grip loose, my sticks move up and down in my hands (so the fulcrum point gets nearer the tip/butt of the stick)

Any suggestions?
One way to solve the problem would be to quit the practice pad :)
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
Oh, but I only just got it! I've actually really enjoyed playing on a surface with so much rebound, I'm sure it's already benefited my technique.

It's quite possible I'd experience the sticks slipping on the snare too, but I've been practising more with the pad because it's more convenient and I don't have to go to such lengths to hear a metronome!
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Hehehe, sure, they are good things. I live in a block of flats without soundproofing and need a pad for when I want to have some drumming fun when not with the band. I bought a new kit the other day, tuned it up and checked the tuning. Then I thought I'd have a quick play just to check how the tunings would work in a playing context, I use tiny, super-light sticks and play gently. I was told to keep the noise down by the woman upstairs within 1 minute - no exaggeration. That's around 1pm on a Sunday.

I've never had your problem, though, and I have a weak, technically-incorrect grip. I get right foot slippage when playing hand/foot patterns at home while tapping the floor. My foot keeps creeping up the carpet, away from me.
 
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defregano

Member
keep practicing with your looser grip and you should get better at it. the tape idea is a good one. that way you know if your hand has slipped up right away and you can adjust.

also, theres a lot of talk about the fulcrum and someone mentioned keeping the other fingers on the stick. I truly believe that the pinky and ring finger are just as important as the fulcrum. its so important to keep them on the stick at all times. the stick has to be balanced throughout the whole hand. when the back fingers arent doing their job...the thumb and index have to do the work for them...this adds too much tension to your fulcrum grip.
 

intheruff

Senior Member
The wax will keep the sticks where they need so might better concentrate on the music you're making. Because of the improved grip, in time those infintisimal muscles in your fingers will develop and the problem will be resolved. Think of the wax as a tool... not a gimmick. Try it... it'll work!
 
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