How To Hold Drumsticks Safely – Everything You Need To Know

Drumsticks are a very important tool used in music. They are also quite tricky to master. If you want to play drums well, you should practice holding them correctly.

How To Hold Drumsticks

There are several ways to hold drumsticks which we will be uncovering within this article.

The Different Ways Of Holding Drumsticks

Playing the drums is not a simple task and this is a fact only known by the musicians who spent many hours learning to master the instrument and who have had plenty of experience.

From an outsider’s perspective, playing the drums looks simply like hitting sticks on an instrument, yet it is much more than this.

When it comes to playing, you need to know how to hold your drumsticks correctly. The best way to learn is to know of the different ways of holding and the different grips which can be used.

Matched Grip

This grip is commonly used when you are playing with another drummer or when you are practicing alone.

It is also the most common grip used by drummers. When using matched grip, you use both hands simultaneously.

You put one hand on the bottom part of the stick, both of your hands matching this same position.

To get into this position, first place your right hand on the lower portion of the drumstick with your thumb resting opposite your index finger.

Mirror this with the left hand for it to become “matched”.

Now that you have placed your two hands together, you can begin striking the drumhead.

German Grip

Another popular grip is called German Grip. This is a great grip for beginners because it allows them to develop their coordination skills.

In this grip, hold the stick at a balance point using your thumb and index finger.

From here, you can curl your other fingers around the bottom of the stick.

Now we know how to hold, you need to know how to position the arms.

The sticks held both need to form a 90 degree angle and your elbows need to be stuck out (think of this like the wings of a chicken) when playing.

French Grip

Next we have the French Grip. This way of holding a drumstick is unique, however highly appreciated.

Grip the stick with your thumb on top and index finger below.

By using this grip, all your power will be going onto your fingers when drumming instead of your wrists.

From here, position your hands holding the sticks so that they are side by side above the drum, turning your palms inward.

Remember to keep your elbows tucked in, use your fingers instead of your wrists to hit the drum and use your middle, pinky and ring finger for support.

American Grip

How To Hold Drumsticks (2)

The American Grip is another favorite which has similarities to some mentioned above.

For this grip, have your index finger pointed forward and curl the finger in towards you. This will create a small space for your drumstick to sit in.

Place the drumstick in the curled finger and place your thumb on top of the stick to further support this grip.

You may find it helpful to practice this position without your drumstick in hand. With a curled index finger and hovering thumb, this position almost looks like a hand getting ready to pull a trigger.

Once the stick feels comfortable between the index finger and the thumb, hold your thumb securely on the stick before allowing the rest of your fingers to grip around.

This grip should look the same for both hands.

When drumming, make sure to hit with a wrist and finger motion.

Traditional Grip

The final grip we have to talk about is the Traditional Grip.

This grip is not always used in general drumming and can be difficult to master straight away as either hand holds the drumstick differently.

This is a grip you would use for playing drums in a jazz band or in drum lines.

To master this grip, hold out your left hand palm up and place the stick at a slant against your thumb and index finger.

Your thumb should be curled over the bottom of the drumstick whilst the top half of the stick should lay flat beside your index finger.

Next allow your thumb to completely curl round, gripping the stick and raise your index finger to allow the inside of the finger to touch the stick.

You should next allow your middle finger to rest on the side of the stick and have the rest of the finger under the stick.

For the right hand, simply use an overhand grip to hold the drumstick (like the other matched positions above). Preferably, you will be using your dominant hand for this grip.

If you are left handed, use the overhand grip on this hand and the Traditional Grip using your right hand.

You should be using your wrist to strike the drums.

Always Hold Your Drumsticks Correctly

Above, we have taught you how to hold drumsticks correctly but you should keep in mind that these are not simple suggestions.

There is such a thing as holding your drumstick wrong and the only way to avoid that is to follow these specific grips.

For example, many people could hold the drumstick with the correct finger coordination and grip but hold it too tightly and strike the drum wrong.

Because of this, you are immediately at risk of breaking your drumsticks.

Be sure to always hold your drumsticks correctly to prevent any damage to your equipment as well as to avoid hurting yourself.

Final Thoughts

Drummers often struggle when trying to play their instruments.

They might even get frustrated because they don’t know what to do to improve their skills. The good news is that there are some techniques that can help you become a better drummer.

In this article, we have taught you some basic tips on how to correctly hold your sticks to improve as a musician.

It is hoped that you found this information useful and will grow from this new knowledge.