Using your weak hand in everyday situations (brushing teeth, combing hair..etc) help?

Phat_Rolls

Senior Member
Hello,

I've been trying to develop my weak hand so I decided to go ahead and use it in everyday situations. When I make dinner I stir with my weak (left) hand, I comb my hair with it, brush my teeth - I even switched my mouse at work to the left side.

My thought is that it might help a little bit because it will fine-tune muscles that were rarely used before - which will help in drumming. Part of me also thinks that this is too much effort for too little gain because these motions don't simulate sticking motions, so I might not be going very far with this.

What do you think? Does this actually help develop your weaker hand for drumming?
 

jonescrusher

Pioneer Member
Re: Using your weak hand in everyday situations (brushing teeth, combing hair..etc) h

In a word, no. As you say any improvement you might make in being able to brush your teeth with your left hand will have absolutely no effect on improving the strength and control when drumming with that hand.

It's a question that is discussed often here, and it's always surprising to see some people recommend it. It's faintly absurd. Use the time you'd otherwise be wasting on the practice pad concentrating on your weaker hand. The finger exercise that jojo Mayer describes on his DVD is excellent in improving performance.
 

Phat_Rolls

Senior Member
Re: Using your weak hand in everyday situations (brushing teeth, combing hair..etc) h

In a word, no. As you say any improvement you might make in being able to brush your teeth with your left hand will have absolutely no effect on improving the strength and control when drumming with that hand.

It's a question that is discussed often here, and it's always surprising to see some people recommend it. It's faintly absurd. Use the time you'd otherwise be wasting on the practice pad concentrating on your weaker hand. The finger exercise that jojo Mayer describes on his DVD is excellent in improving performance.

I'm not sure I see the idea as absurd. I can see both sides of the coin.

The more you use your weak hand, the more you develop muscles and dexterity. To me it seems something like a football player working out in the gym. His motions in the gym don't really translate to the motions on the field, but if he never worked out in the gym he would be a far worse football player. The gym helped him develop the strength and the stamina to become a better player on the field.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Re: Using your weak hand in everyday situations (brushing teeth, combing hair..etc) h

"The Weaker Side," by Dom Famularo and Stephane Chamberland.
52 pages of exercises to help the left hand and the left foot.
Inside the front page it says, Achieving Technical Balance.
I bought it and have used it and it does help and I'm an old dog, so give it a try.

I think its at amazon dot com
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Re: Using your weak hand in everyday situations (brushing teeth, combing hair..etc) h

I repair cars for a living (we all can't be pro drummers) I try and use my weak hand while using hand tools at work as much as possible. Whenever I think of it. It has helped my drumming considerably. I started doing this a few years ago.
 

jonescrusher

Pioneer Member
Re: Using your weak hand in everyday situations (brushing teeth, combing hair..etc) h

I'm not sure I see the idea as absurd. I can see both sides of the coin.

The more you use your weak hand, the more you develop muscles and dexterity. To me it seems something like a football player working out in the gym. His motions in the gym don't really translate to the motions on the field, but if he never worked out in the gym he would be a far worse football player. The gym helped him develop the strength and the stamina to become a better player on the field.


But the strength and stamina that brushing your teeth or using the mouse with the weaker hand would develop would only give you more strength and stamina in your tooth brushing or mouse moving technique. The results would be negligable to non-existent. Gruntersdad's suggestion will bring the development you need. But ambidextrous oral hygiene could well be worth the effort in itself.
 

jonescrusher

Pioneer Member
Re: Using your weak hand in everyday situations (brushing teeth, combing hair..etc) h

It has helped my drumming considerably.


Any specifics?
I don't mean to be overly harsh on the idea, but from personal experience I know that things like this can act as a distraction from commiting to organised and concentrated practice. Even five minutes good practice on weak hand exercises a day would quickly provide good development.
By all means go with it, it's harmless, just pointless.
 

Ben Tormey

Senior Member
Re: Using your weak hand in everyday situations (brushing teeth, combing hair..etc) h

But ambidextrous oral hygiene could well be worth the effort in itself.

You could wield two brushes at once, and cut the time spent cleaning your teeth in half. This would free up more time for practice!?
 

drumhead61

Gold Member
Re: Using your weak hand in everyday situations (brushing teeth, combing hair..etc) h

Hey, when I was active in martial arts the typical thing was to always start off with the left in our practice simply because most individuals were/are right handers...it never hurts training your mind to think in terms of using your left hand on a more regular basis simply because it will build strength and stamina in your weaker side...I believe that if you continue on with the path you are choosing you will find that the trade off will be worth your efforts and you will see improvement in a wonderful way.

Hello,

I've been trying to develop my weak hand so I decided to go ahead and use it in everyday situations. When I make dinner I stir with my weak (left) hand, I comb my hair with it, brush my teeth - I even switched my mouse at work to the left side.

My thought is that it might help a little bit because it will fine-tune muscles that were rarely used before - which will help in drumming. Part of me also thinks that this is too much effort for too little gain because these motions don't simulate sticking motions, so I might not be going very far with this.

What do you think? Does this actually help develop your weaker hand for drumming?
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Re: Using your weak hand in everyday situations (brushing teeth, combing hair..etc) h

Any specifics?
I don't mean to be overly harsh on the idea, but from personal experience I know that things like this can act as a distraction from commiting to organised and concentrated practice. Even five minutes good practice on weak hand exercises a day would quickly provide good development.
By all means go with it, it's harmless, just pointless.
My right hand is my weak hand and I set my kit up right handed. The first thing that I noticed is that my hand/eye coordination improved. My right hand feels more confident than it ever had in the past. I don't mishit as much as I used to. I don't get fatigued as often as I used to. I noticed that I can ride better and more accurately, accents , etc. My jazz rides are much easier to do. I can do a one handed roll with my right hand much easer. I switched from the American grip to the French grip and I learned it quickly without pain. In general I noticed a better feeling while playing. I feel balanced. I didn't only do it for drumming. I play tennis and I was looking for a way to switch hit my swing. It also helps me at work. You can't always get your left hand to where you have to work. I'm glad that I started doing it. I work with tools all day, so why not do it. I'm there and I can. We all clean our teeth every day (I hope!)
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Re: Using your weak hand in everyday situations (brushing teeth, combing hair..etc) h

It's not the muscle stamina or strength that it benefits, but the neuron firings that it causes designates more "brain space" for the left arm/fingers. It makes us more comfortable with the neglected side and less awkward. While it won't improve your single stroke roll speed, it will make it easier to get over the mental hurdle of placing the left sticking on dominant beats. I recommend it to my students who are having problems playing "left hand lead", and I've seen it work time and time again.
 

TheGroceryman

Silver Member
Re: Using your weak hand in everyday situations (brushing teeth, combing hair..etc) h

It's not the muscle stamina or strength that it benefits, but the neuron firings that it causes designates more "brain space" for the left arm/fingers. It makes us more comfortable with the neglected side and less awkward. While it won't improve your single stroke roll speed, it will make it easier to get over the mental hurdle of placing the left sticking on dominant beats. I recommend it to my students who are having problems playing "left hand lead", and I've seen it work time and time again.

hmm...thats interesting cause i always wondered why it was so hard to do left hand lead, just doing straight singles, i can hardly do 16ths at 120bpm with my left hand leading. but my left hand isnt the only problem, my right seems to not like being on the off beat. it just feels so unnatural. i never thought the beat your hands are hitting (the off beat as opposed to the down beat) would matter. but i have been using my left hand a lot, and every time i sit a computer i always use my left hand now, it just feels better, ha.
 

Phat_Rolls

Senior Member
Re: Using your weak hand in everyday situations (brushing teeth, combing hair..etc) h

Since I switched my mouse over to the left and started doing everything with my left, I definitely feel more comfortable on that side. Of course it could all be in my head - and if it is - who cares! Placebos work too! ;)

I just wanted your guy's opinion. The more I think about it, the more I think - how could it not help.
 

murphinelli

Senior Member
Re: Using your weak hand in everyday situations (brushing teeth, combing hair..etc) h

Since I switched my mouse over to the left and started doing everything with my left, I definitely feel more comfortable on that side. Of course it could all be in my head - and if it is - who cares! Placebos work too! ;)

I just wanted your guy's opinion. The more I think about it, the more I think - how could it not help.

Hey Phat man,

I think it's a great idea. I do it myself from time to time. And the idea of the toothbrush, eating, brushing hair, etc. with the weak hand is a good one. I've heard it recommended before. My son's lacrosse coach gave this out as homework for all the kids. And also to take 100 shots with the weak side against a wall every day. In lacrosse, the best players can pass and shoot equally well with both hands.

Hey, and don't forget Karate Kid exercises, "wax on wax off" with both hands...

It's all about developing the brain and exercising synapses/links that don't normally get it.

Kudos.
 

Ironcobra

Platinum Member
Re: Using your weak hand in everyday situations (brushing teeth, combing hair..etc) h

It's not the muscle stamina or strength that it benefits, but the neuron firings that it causes designates more "brain space" for the left arm/fingers. It makes us more comfortable with the neglected side and less awkward. While it won't improve your single stroke roll speed, it will make it easier to get over the mental hurdle of placing the left sticking on dominant beats. I recommend it to my students who are having problems playing "left hand lead", and I've seen it work time and time again.

Exactly, it's all in the brain. Everything you do with your left hand will help, I'm slowly getting better a brushing my teeth with my left hand but I'm still quite crippled.
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
Re: Using your weak hand in everyday situations (brushing teeth, combing hair..etc) h

It's not the muscle stamina or strength that it benefits, but the neuron firings that it causes designates more "brain space" for the left arm/fingers. It makes us more comfortable with the neglected side and less awkward. While it won't improve your single stroke roll speed, it will make it easier to get over the mental hurdle of placing the left sticking on dominant beats. I recommend it to my students who are having problems playing "left hand lead", and I've seen it work time and time again.

This is exactly right. Using your non-dominant hand for everyday stuff won't help you build your chops in that hand, but it will help you open your mind to using it more instinctively, which means independence will be easier to achieve.
 

Derek Roddy

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Re: Using your weak hand in everyday situations (brushing teeth, combing hair..etc) h

It's a very simple concept. Use it.....gain more control over it.
A repeating motion....such as tapping notes on a pad will not help you get around the kit.....from sound source to sound source.
For instance....for all you guys that work on your left hand on a pad.....try playing a straight run of notes.....on a different sound source each time.
Playing on a pad will not help this aspect of playing.
Use your left hand more.....and you will gain control over the motor skills to use it more efficiently.

It does work.
Cheers.
D.
 
F

fixmejesus

Guest
Re: Using your weak hand in everyday situations (brushing teeth, combing hair..etc) h

Any specifics?
I don't mean to be overly harsh on the idea, but from personal experience I know that things like this can act as a distraction from commiting to organised and concentrated practice. Even five minutes good practice on weak hand exercises a day would quickly provide good development.
By all means go with it, it's harmless, just pointless.

Jones, everyone is just like you I guess.
 

jonescrusher

Pioneer Member
Re: Using your weak hand in everyday situations (brushing teeth, combing hair..etc) h

My right hand is my weak hand and I set my kit up right handed. The first thing that I noticed is that my hand/eye coordination improved. My right hand feels more confident than it ever had in the past. I don't mishit as much as I used to. I don't get fatigued as often as I used to. I noticed that I can ride better and more accurately, accents , etc. My jazz rides are much easier to do. I can do a one handed roll with my right hand much easer. I switched from the American grip to the French grip and I learned it quickly without pain. In general I noticed a better feeling while playing. I feel balanced. I didn't only do it for drumming. I play tennis and I was looking for a way to switch hit my swing. It also helps me at work. You can't always get your left hand to where you have to work. I'm glad that I started doing it. I work with tools all day, so why not do it. I'm there and I can. We all clean our teeth every day (I hope!)

Exactly, you've readjusted your kit setup to force your weaker hand into more action - on the kit. That's the only way you'll gain control in the context of drumming. Similarly, you've adjusted with your tennis stroke, so your gains will be tennis specific. My point is that committing to weaker hand development in one activity will bring no gains in a completely unrelated activity.
 
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