Your snare hand/arm

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
First, a rant. I was at at an open mic blues jam last night. I know the drummer, good guy. No consideration with the kit though. The throne and hi hat...the heights couldn't be adjusted. No toms at all, a 2 piece. The throne was too low and the snare was too high. The snare drum stand at it's lowest put the snare up near my navel, which is not where I like it. A throne adjustment would have fixed it, but no. It felt funny to me to have to hold my left arm in mid air to be able to clear the rim of the snare drum. I ended up tilting the snare drum towards me way more than I like it to get the rim near me low enough. At least I was able to do that. The bass drum beater was hitting about 2" below the BD rim, way too high for that drum so it wasn't really putting out. The pedal spring was too slack and I had to work 3x as hard to make the bass drum sound how I like it. So my shin muscles were burning pretty quickly. I had to go to heel up which I'd rather not do for shuffles. I don't have the fine control like I do with heel down. He had Sonor drums so my drum key wouldn't work. I just think that's highly inconsiderate for a shared set and won't be attending that jam anymore. I really just needed the throne adjustment. I don't feel that is asking too much. <end rant>

Normally, I rest my snare wrist on my thigh. So my snare is slightly above the top of my thigh, not up near my navel. That few inches makes a big difference.

I like resting, or at least touching, the bottom of my wrist on my thigh for rimshot consistency mainly, plus it feels more natural to me.

I was curious how many (matched grip) guys rest their wrist on their thigh playing snare and how many hold their snare arm in mid air while playing snare.

I'm trying to see if there is a preferred way of holding the main snare arm that the majority of guys use, just for curiosity's sake.
 
Last edited:

8Mile

Platinum Member
I think about this stuff a lot. I have a certain position and height that I like my snare in to get rimshots comfortable and consistent. But I've been trying to get better at making it work with any drum set, since I often have to play other people's drums and I want to be able to play well on any drums. I'm tall enough that the problem is usually someone's snare drum is too low. If I can't easily make adjustments, I just live with the fact I'm not going to be playing rimshots, because it's just not physically possible at that point. If the snare is too high, I don't like it, it's never comfortable, but I can adjust to get by for a few songs.

If I am playing my own drums set up the way I like, I don't actually rest my wrist on my thigh—I lift my arm up for most backbeats—but I do like the snare set up so that it pretty much bottoms out at a rimshot. I feel like this gives me a better chance at avoiding the worst-case scenario: hitting only the rim.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I'm in between Uncle Larry. My snare height, and I did this on purpose, is the same height as my RealFeel pad sitting on my knees. My thighs are basically parallel with the floor, maybe a bit above. This puts the top of the rim about an inch above my leg. My stand doesn't go perfectly flat, it's off maybe 2 degrees, but I still notice it. So my snare points downward at the 12oclock position.

I don't rest my hands on my legs. I don't hold my hands up too high either.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I use to keep my snare lower and rest arm on leg but comments of bad technique and etiquette I raised my snare up to belly button. I do think it drew my arm in too close to body and restricted my arm movements. But because it's so high I have to do like Larry and angle my snare towards me so it was a bit too much. Now I'm about belt high and it feels good. I think my snare too low and resting my arm kept my arm to immobile and drawn into my body.

Hey did I mention that it tended to keep my arm too drawn in and restrict my movements ROFL. I wish I had I've been drinking a lot as an excuse but sadly no. Like a broken record. Actually I've noted I've told the same story more than once in looking over old threads on DW-mostly the same story with some minor differences I note-arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! What's really odd is memories you don't believe till someone tells the same story and you realize that it wasn't a dream after all but a real event. From about 73'-80' is a fog in my memory banks. I don't remember standing in a fire but apparently a bunch of women (standing in line to use the restroom at one of my old room mates wedding party) told my wife the last time they'd seen me I was standing in a fire. I'm like WTH??? Wait a minute I think I've told this story too-dagnabit.
 
Last edited:

beatdat

Senior Member
Refusing to let another drummer change at least the throne, snare and hi-hat is some passive-aggressive BS, and part of me hopes in these instances that said drummer breaks or loses something during their set so they can be given a taste of their own medicine... petty, for sure, but how else are these people going to learn?

That kind of attitude really annoys me, especially when the kit is a backline. It takes me all of five minutes to adjust a full kit to my liking, and would take about a minute to adjust just the throne, hi-hat and snare. Not wanting others to sound as good as they can probably stems from some deep rooted insecurities.

Hand position is similar to some of you in that it "rests" just above my thigh. But the determining height is such that, in my "ready" position, the stick is angled slightly down towards the drumhead and the tip is resting just above it - everything else (throne height, snare drum height, etc.) is based around that.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Refusing to let another drummer change at least the throne, snare and hi-hat is some passive-aggressive BS, and part of me hopes in these instances that said drummer breaks or loses something during their set so they can be given a taste of their own medicine... petty, for sure, but how else are these people going to learn?
I don't think it's intentional with him. I think it's a bit of obliviousness.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I do not like to hit or touch my leg with my snare hand, so it is up high enough to accomodate that, but it is not "navel" high. I guess I have never felt like I was holding my arms in the air.

Years ago, when Neil Peart put out his video about setting the drums up to your body style, I tore my set apart and completely redid it. When I am on my stool, the stool height puts my upper legs at about 10 degrees below parallel to the floor. Then my upper arms just hang comfortably at my sides, and my fore arms come comfortably out, and probably about 20 degrees below parallel with the ground. That puts my snare right above my legs in a good position to play. I don't tilt my snare. I play rim shots 95% of the time. It also allows me to turn over to traditional grip when I want to, and have the drum high enough for that as well.

I knew/know waaayyy to many guys my age now who can't play b/c of physical issues either in their backs or wrists due to the snare being too low, and I wanted to avoid that. The biggest change I have to make sometimes with my students is that they have their stool too high, and snare to low, and are almost bending over to play the snare...it just hurts my body looking at it
 

TMe

Senior Member
I don't play rim shots anymore, but when I did... I set the snare drum so that every time I hit a rim shot, the heel of my palm would very lightly touch my leg. I found having that bit of touch helped keep my rim shots consistent. But the resting position was a little higher.

What kills me about a non-adjustable throne is what happens with my legs and balance.

Keep in mind that a heavier drummer may need to lock up his throne, so it won't be adjustable, or a broke drummer may have a broke throne that won't adjust anymore.
 
Last edited:

WhoIsTony?

Member
do your thing uncle L

I've heard you play enough to know that your feel, approach, and ideas are ALWAYS appropriate .

I don't care if your hands are in your pockets ... keep sounding like that and I'm a listener

only moron drummers listen with their eyes to another drummer.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
I guess I missed the video. Was there a video? Something we could watch without sound? Something we could listen to with our eyes. Dude WTF??
Did you take offense to a completely innocuous non specifically directed opinion from a complete stranger ?

I’ve heard Larry play numerous times over probably a decade.

the man is a veteran ... a humble veteran... but a veteran no doubt

my point is ... no other musician on the planet cares if you rest your hand between backbeats if you sound and feel great aside from drummers

drummers overthink EVERYTHING when it comes to other drummers

it’s humorous to me

appologies if you found a personal attack in my words
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Thanks for the kind words Tony and for chiming in. It's always good to hear your perspective.

Much respect.
 
So was it not possible to adjust the throne because it's defunct or because the guy didn't want any changes? If it's the second one, that's pretty ridiculous because that means he's picky about the height when playing himself but other players can't take the 10 seconds to adjust the throne?! It's not like that interrupts the whole jam session.
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
I was watching a drummer from the band "we five" they had a hit back in the day called "when I woke up this morning." Anyway his snare was tilted towards his right and he'd play a back beat and then let the stick roll across the drum between back beats. I asked him about it and he said that was how he kept time. So the rolling of the stick kept his time together. Kinda strange but it did work for him.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
First, a rant. I was at at an open mic blues jam last night. I know the drummer, good guy. No consideration with the kit though. The throne and hi hat...the heights couldn't be adjusted. No toms at all, a 2 piece. The throne was too low and the snare was too high. The snare drum stand at it's lowest put the snare up near my navel, which is not where I like it. A throne adjustment would have fixed it, but no. It felt funny to me to have to hold my left arm in mid air to be able to clear the rim of the snare drum. I ended up tilting the snare drum towards me way more than I like it to get the rim near me low enough. At least I was able to do that. The bass drum beater was hitting about 2" below the BD rim, way too high for that drum so it wasn't really putting out. The pedal spring was too slack and I had to work 3x as hard to make the bass drum sound how I like it. So my shin muscles were burning pretty quickly. I had to go to heel up which I'd rather not do for shuffles. I don't have the fine control like I do with heel down. He had Sonor drums so my drum key wouldn't work. I just think that's highly inconsiderate for a shared set and won't be attending that jam anymore. I really just needed the throne adjustment. I don't feel that is asking too much. <end rant>

Normally, I rest my snare wrist on my thigh. So my snare is slightly above the top of my thigh, not up near my navel. That few inches makes a big difference.

I like resting, or at least touching, the bottom of my wrist on my thigh for rimshot consistency mainly, plus it feels more natural to me.

I was curious how many (matched grip) guys rest their wrist on their thigh playing snare and how many hold their snare arm in mid air while playing snare.

I'm trying to see if there is a preferred way of holding the main snare arm that the majority of guys use, just for curiosity's sake.
I play both traditional and matched. Regardless of which I am playing, I don't rest either of my arms on anything. Frankly, when I sit behind someone else's kit and my left hand hits my thigh when I hit the snare, especially on a rim shot, that makes me nuts. To me, that just means my thigh is getting in the way of my being able to freely play the drum. But, to be fair, everyone sets up their drums to suit them. Lots of different shapes ans sizes out there. It's an open mic. You're playing someone else's kit. I don't like people messing with my set up. My son plays bass and sometimes has his friends over to jam. He's had two different drummers play my kit. The first one didn't really touch much and I was easily able to move things back where they were. Heights of things were unchanged. The second guy changed everything. I was pissed. It took me a while to get everthing back to where I like them. When I go to an open mic I expect to have to play the drums essentially the way they are set up. I might adjust the throne height but I'll usually just leave everything else and deal with it.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
It was not a spindle or hydraulic. It was a smooth tube with a memory lock. I looked at it and didn't want to touch it.

Beings that he is a drummer himself...I don't get it. I provided a set for years at an open mic and knew guys would want to adjust throne height, the snare angle, cymbal height and the hi hat so I made it easy to do so. No adjusting rack toms though.

Plus he had all Sonor hardware which is a learning curve. So I left it as is, shut up and I played. Thanked him for the use of his set and stuck around and helped load and carry gear. But yea, I don't want to go back.
 

J-Boogie

Gold Member
The kit I play on at practice had been adjusted between practices. I had to real quickly try to get the heights right for me. Got them pretty close and played all night. Next day my knees were sore, like they were gona give out mid step at times, awful feeling. Now I get exactly why I am as anal about my set up as I am, I need to be or Im going to strain something.

While out of town, I played a few days on a buddies kit. Snare height and throne height were off for me. When I got back in town I noticed my thighs were purple from me hitting myself while playing.

Yup, Im gona stay the annoying, everythings gotta be just right drummer I always was, I require it to avoid injury.
 
Top