Different Type of Stick Grips
Learning the right way to hold your drumsticks is one of the most often neglected aspects of drumming. When you play drums, the stick should become a part of you, and not an accessory. To achieve this, you must start with the way you hold your sticks. It is important to determine the correct grip style early on, so you do not end up hurting yourself. Your practice will improve your skill; however, holding your stick in different ways will increase your drumming productivity by offering more bounce, movement, and control.
This article is designed to show the three main types of stick grips used today. Each has their own advantages and tricks, so it is important for drummers to explore all styles, and become comfortable with them.
The most popular style is the Matched Grip. With this, both hands hold the stick the same way. Matched grip is very popular with all styles of drumming, and can be applied in more than just the drum kit. Timpani, mallets, and other percussion instruments use the matched grip as well. It allows for fast movement around the kit, and offers maximum control.
This grip is played with your palms facing downward. Notice how every finger tip is lightly rested on the drumstick. Make sure you do not grip the stick too tightly, or you will limit its rebound. It is debated which finger is used to grip the stick. Some will use their thumb and index finger; others will use their thumb and middle finger. Both are fine, as long as you chose one early and stick to it.
You may see a lot of jazz drummers using this style, for it is extremely popular with that style. With this, you hold the stick with your palms facing up, gripping the stick from underneath. This gives you a whole new feel of the stick. It allows for quick strokes, and better dynamic control; Perfect for brushes. One problem with this grip is moving it around the drum kit. With a bigger drum kit, you may find it hard to move quickly around the toms, and with the angle of the stick in your hands, hitting cymbals can be tricky.
To achieve this grip, simply start by sticking your first two fingers out, with your thumb sticking straight up. Then simply place your stick between your thumb, and your other fingers like this:
After the stick is in place, simply close your top two fingers gently on the top of the stick.
This technique is not as popular, but is still used a lot. It offers speed and endurance, with a totally different feel than any other grip. The French grip uses your fingers to control your stick because you do not use your wrists as much, you will save a lot of energy. Using your fingers can be a great plus however, it does have its minuses. You may find it hard to get enough power in some of your strokes.
Notice how the stick is very loose in the hand. It’s a good idea to use your index finger and thumb to pinch the stick. The other fingers will act as a spring on the stick.