Wrist stiffens up when going too fast


Hey guys I know your probably aware that when you play a certain beat to fast your wrist may stiffen up, this is the case for my left wrist because it obviously has not been playing as much as my right wrist but I would love to get it just as fast or close to my right hands speed, and I almost can do it but I notice my left wrist is sooo stiff and much less relaxed then my right wrist.

I'm wondering if you guys have tips on how to relax your left wrist and still reach some pretty fast tempos, is it just something that happens over time? like do you keep doing your excersices and it gradually relaxes? or is my grip kinda lously, I notice it's a little different from my right hand but not too much, I do my doubles, rolls and such a little different on my left hand it's like more with my fingers, where as my right hand uses more wrist action, and gets a more balanced sound and feel.

Also i'd like to add that my right hand comes up way higher after the hit on the drum, my left dosn't come up to much when I hit the drum it kinda keeps a small distance from the drum at high speeds.


Warm up and stretch before you start playing. This should help.

It will take some time to get your weaker hand on par with your strong hand so you will need to be patient.
Try using a pillow or something with little rebound and practice your rudiments - singles, doubles & Paradiddles, using a metronome. Start out slow to get the technique right with your left hand & gradually increase the tempo.


Platinum Member
Boy, I read that thread title and had to check to see what kind of forum I was on! (/rimshot)

As with many other activities involving wrist motions and impacts of any kind, the trick is to let your wrist be loose until the split-second prior to impact, and then snap it. Making sure your grip is spot on and you are involving the full extent of stick rebound possible is also important. But ultimately, it takes study and practice to learn. If you haven't got a teacher, even just three or four lessons involving grip and stroke (there we go, back in the gutter!) could be a major step in the right direction for you in this respect.


Senior Member
Personally, based on my experience, I think it's critical to develop the full rebounding free stroke (for me, at least, this is surprisingly difficult with my weak hand), and to do that, an instructor is your best friend.


Platinum Member
Hahahahahaha :p Thanks for the tip, and I do have a drum teacher I should speak with him later today when I go to drum lessons.

Absolutely! If he's worth his salt this is a very good topic for you two to work on together. There's also tons of videos and tutorials on the web discussing different techniques for grip, stroke, and bounce. Take YouTube with a grain of salt, though, because not everyone on YouTube is a good teacher (or a good drummer).

EDIT: I seem to have salt on the mind, huh?


Junior Member
Terry Bozzio plays his stick with a grip that has his thumb just at the flag on the logo. This allows him to use his middle, ring and pinky finger to control the stick, and he can snap it to get the volume he wants, as well as control. This grip also allows for you to hold the stick with your whole hand, for the harder rock applications. You'll also notice that your wrists are in a more natural position; as opposed to having the back of your hand on top, it's at a more natural angle and therefore more relaxed. Try to find the point on your stick that is about an inch or so behind the center of balance. This will allow you to use the rebound to your advantage more, and give you really good control without wearing your wrists out. It does take a little time to master, but the benefits are phenomenal. I try to utilize that method most of the time when I play, and it has helped me greatly.