In this lesson you will learn how to correctly hold your drum sticks.

1. Firstly, find the balance point of the stick by balancing it on your hand as shown (tip: start with your stronger hand):

Find the Balance Point

Note: On Vic Firth sticks, the balance point is often located between the two red dots, see below:

Balance Point Close Up

2. To allow the stick to move freely in your hand, hold it lightly between your thumb and the first knuckle of your fore finger:

Thumb and Forefinger

This is your fulcrum (the point at which the stick will pivot in your hand). By gripping at the balance point of the stick, you will only have to use minimal energy to make the stick bounce.

3. The remaining fingers grip loosely around the stick:

Fingers

Fingers Close

4. The stick should look roughly like this in your hand (notice that it passes through the hand at an angle and that the palm is facing down):

Holding the Stick

There should also be a gap between your thumb and forefinger – this stops you from gripping the stick too tightly.

Notice also, that the stick protrudes from the back of the hand about 4 to 5 centimetres when you grip at the balance point (depending on the size of your hands this value may be higher or lower).

Stick Out

Note: While you are playing, the stick is likely to slip back and forth in your hand, try and remember to keep checking whether you are gripping at the balance point and adjust when necessary. It is also very important to ensure that your palm remains facing down while you are playing (unless you are playing the ride cymbal, which calls for a slightly different technique).

5. This should be your relaxed “ready” position (notice that the hands are symmetrical and the angle between them is roughly 90 degrees):

Relaxed Ready Position

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