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Is there a benefit to holding the stick differently with the left hand?


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  • Is there a benefit to holding the stick differently with the left hand?


    I've been playing drums for about 3 years, and I play with both hands angled downward.  I watch videos of drummers (mainly marching bands) with their left hands holding the stick differently which I don't understand.  What are the benefits to this?

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  • #2

    That became a convention because in traditional marching the snare drums are slung across one leg. The backwards left hand negotiates the funny angle more comfortably than a symmetrical hands down grip. This "traditional grip" is considered a standard and often taught as "correct" technique. It has some advantages and since kit drumming developed with the majority using this approach, is very well suited to the styles that ensued. That said, there is no right and wrong. Symmetrical "matched grip" has overwhelming musical advantages in it's neutrality. Any hand anywhere on time at the right dynamic. Course I'm biased that way.

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    • FitchFY
      FitchFY commented
      Editing a comment
      Basically what he said. "Matched" grip and "traditional" grip, at this point, is purely about visual style.

      But it DOES look cool.

  • #3

    Traditional grip was developed out of marching, because the drum was slung at an angle, making it easier to execute. On a drum kit however, in my opinion, trad is more limiting in range of motion than match grip.

    Also, trad uses only a few muscles in the hands/fingers, allowing trad to make up for the deficiencies of the weak hand, whereas match uses ten times that amount,  and because of this phenomenon, trad appears at first more difficult to learn, but is actually easier to master. Match at first seems easier to use, but is much more difficult to master.

    My $0.02

    "If you can't SAY something with your instrument, try sellin' cars."-
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    • rainrainwash3
      rainrainwash3 commented
      Editing a comment

      Thanks for the response guys.  I'm left handed and I play the tick on the high hat with my left and the snare with my right.  I'll keep using match.