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grip problem

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  • grip problem

    hey, i got jojo mayers dvd and i watched all of it, but i find my biggest problem to improving would be my grip. i am holding it right, but it slides out as i play. i notice that expecially when im playin on my kit, my hand ends up on the bottom of the stick.

    are there any exercises or tips to improve my grip. i feel i can have the right tension, but i dont think it is constant when i play (jojo mayer talks alot about that too)

  • #2
    Ok, I really should let some expert player answer this, but until they do, I can tell you that when i started, i had the same problem. Two things then changed..I built up callouses on my fingers, and in those places I dont have callouses, I have blisters, which I tape down with athletic tape. Both of these, alone or in tandem, have helped to keep the sticks in place!

    you can also try taping the shaft of the drum stick, and i think there are drummers gloves avaliable, if the problem arises because of sweat....
    TD9+6v with Diamond Electronic pads, and cowbell.
    ATH-50m headphones, VEX packs
    not to mention keyboards, guitars, basses, and cats


    • #3
      i tried taping my sticks with some grip tape, and it helped quite a bit, but i feel im just covering up my problem instead of fixing it.


      • #4
        Grip exercise

        I played the drums extensively in Jr. High & High School (19 years ago). I am starting up again, finally. I would suggest getting a small "grip" ball or something. . .kind of squishy. If you live in the USA they have tons of them in sports stores or cutesy specialty shops. They are sold as stress relievers. An older tennis ball would do the same thing. Try squeezing it with one hand for about 5-10 seconds and repeat about 5 times, then do the other hand. I Do this once a day. What this does is build up your grip-strength. If you keep your forearm tensed, like you're mad or about to throw a punch (not a good idea for a drummer, trust me), you will build up your wrist strength also.

        Doing that will allow you to keep your proper grip tension during your playing because it won't be difficult for your stronger hands to keep steady.

        Okay - now let's listen while the experience drummers tell you what they do!



        • #5
          thats a good idea. i plan on pickin one up next time im out. but i dont think im short on grip strength.... i think i just havent learned the right way. ive played for about 6 years and when i learned, i never thought about how i held the sticks. so i think the loose grip is kinda built into me. now that im looking to learn more techniques, it seems to be problematic.


          • #6
            Would it be possible for you to shoot some video of your playing? That might help us all diagnose the trouble.

            The only other thing I can recommend is trying Vater grip tape:
            Shop for the Vater Grip Tape Black and receive free shipping on your order and the guaranteed lowest price.

            I recently gave that stuff a try and have been extremely happy with it. Much better than other grip tapes I've tried in the past, and much more comfortable than gloves.
            >>>See my E-kit here<<<

            >>>See my A-kit here<<<


            • #7
              I'm an old guy and I've had artheritis for the past 30 years. It got so bad that I was dropping a dozen sticks a night. I have used the squishy ball technique and I believe it really helps. Onther thing I discovered was using the right size sticks for my strength level, grip, and the way I play. It takes a lot of fooling around and some cash to figure it out. I tried all sizes and several different brands. For me Vader 5-A works the best. It may be different for you. I wrapped my sticks for years, then I discovered that the rubber coated sticks (Vader) stuck to my hand like glue. The rubber would wear off after a couple weeks of 5 night gigs, so I started coating them with the rubber dip available in the paint dept of most hardware stores. Same stuff as the factory coating and a lot cheaper if you are working an e-kit, because the wood sticks last so much longer than the rubber wrap. Recently I have switched to Vader's "glitter" sticks, because the plastic wrap on the stick works as well as the rubber but does not dry out my skin like the rubber does.

              As for technique, I was taught that the index finger is the backstop and the thumb is the muscle used to hold the stick agaist the backstop. I use the ball to build up the thumb muscles. When I play, the stick is held between the index and thumb with the other fingers lightly against the bottom of the stick. All my gigs are 4 to 6 hours so I concentrate on keeping my shoulders and arms loose, pushing slightly into the cymbal with my wrist and pulling back with my elbow. This causes a "snaking" or ecliptical motion. This allows the muscles to open and close and not tighten up during a fast song. Less muscle fatigue means less dropped sticks. This is all my experiences and opinion, keep notes on what you do for a while and see what works for you.

              By the way, this year I'm dropping maybe one stick a week out of 25 hours on stage.
              Last edited by drumslinger50; 06-27-08, 02:31 AM.


              • #8
                well i have some videos of me playin up on youtube. i think those will probably show it just as good any other video. if u look close u can see my sticks start out in the right spot, but pretty soon my hand is on the end of the stick.

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdpahbKd_IQ sum 41-fat lip

                just realized that the camera moved up so u cant see much on that one. heres another one

                Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube.
                Last edited by maddog24; 06-27-08, 10:17 AM.


                • #9
                  What size sticks are you using? I like 7A. But I bought a pair of 5A to try out. I found the length and weight of the 5A made them move around in my hands as I tryed to find a comfortable grip.
                  TD-11, TD-3, PDX-8 (4X), PD-8 (2X), KD-7, CY-5, CY-8 (3X), Simmons DA2005, Zildjian Dip 7A.


                  • #10
                    i dont actually remember what i use lol bought these a long time ago. i guess i should probably take some time to look into a good pair of sticks for me. if i remember right, i went out and bought the fattest heaviest stick i could find in my small local drum shop. I bought these a while ago (right as i started playing again) i didnt like the light sticks cuz it felt like i couldnt play as fast because my hand speed was so slow (compared to what it used to be). but now my hand speed is back, so im goin stick shoppin!


                    • #11
                      To me it looks like you are starting out holding them too far toward the back of the stick. From there, you are fighting an uphill battle with centrifugal force.

                      Your front fingers on each hand should be just behind the fulcrum point....meaning if you hold the stick with just your index finger and thumb, and pointing the stick upward then letting it drop, it falls and bounces a little. On most Vic Firth sticks, for me, the fulcrum point is my index finger placed right between the "H" in FIRTH and the "flag".
                      I find that if I hold the stick any further back than that, I get the scenario of sliding sticks that you describe....especially on heavy-hitting songs.


                      • #12
                        Thanks for posting the vids. I wish I could say they make the problem obvious, but unfortunately they don't. I agree with Colquhoun that you might want to start out choking up on the stick just a bit. But, I tend to grip toward the end of my sticks sometimes and don't have the grip trouble you're reporting.

                        It sounds like you've been playing with the same pair of sticks for a while. It could just be that the sweat and oils from your hands have built up over time and the sticks have gotten slippery. Go do your stick shopping, experiment with some different models and try out various grip tapes. I have to think you'll stumble onto some combination that will cure your troubles.

                        Best of luck.
                        >>>See my E-kit here<<<

                        >>>See my A-kit here<<<


                        • #13
                          I never really had the problem you mention. What I did do in the past, was playing 5B sticks which are more heavy than 5A's. I thought back than that if I can get decent technique with them, I'll certainly have decent technique with 5A's as well...

                          If you problem really is that you loose them because of strenght, try playing for a while with bigger sticks. Another option might be this: http://www.powerball-europe.com/

                          'lectric drumma
                          Roland TD-20, Hart Dynamics 7.6, 2 x PD-7, extra PD-7 and Hart Snare laying around, Vic Firth Dave Weckl signature sticks, Axis A-longboards double pedal, Sony MDR-CD780 headphones and not enough inputs.


                          • #14
                            i think my problem is i never learned how to hold them. i have the strength i think, but when i play, it just doesnt enter my mind how im holding the sticks. i am also really bad at double stroke rolls. i can't play them with high stick height. usually the sticks bounce a couple inches from the drum. and when i watch jojo's dvd, he can do them with the doubles bouncing extremely high, which makes it much more powerful. any ideas on how i could relearn how to hold them?.

                            i also went stick shopping. i was using really heavy sticks...(rock n) and i got some 5A's. they still rotate and slide around. i plan on getting vater stick wrap, but like i said earlier, i think thats just covering up the problem. I still have horrible double strokes with the grip tape.

                            exercises or something would be much appreciated.

                            Thanks for all the help so far


                            • #15
                              Take a stick in the back, hit a pad and let the stick bounce back (don't force anything, just let the stick bounce bakc). You'll see that the stick doesn't come up that far. Now move your hand a bit forward on the stick and do the same thing. The moment you feel where the stick comes up the easiest and the highest, th&#225;t's the place you should hold the stick. Always remember, when playing, let the stick do the work.

                              'lectric drumma
                              Roland TD-20, Hart Dynamics 7.6, 2 x PD-7, extra PD-7 and Hart Snare laying around, Vic Firth Dave Weckl signature sticks, Axis A-longboards double pedal, Sony MDR-CD780 headphones and not enough inputs.