How to Hold a Drum Stick (An Actual Paper I Wrote for English Class)
I wrote this drumming related paper at 10:53 PM on April 3rd for an English class I have at 8:00 AM April 4th. Procrastination, thy name is JABB.
If you’re like me, you will be strolling along one day, minding your own business when all of a sudden you will be hit with an earth-shattering realization. “I don’t know the best way to hold a pair of drumsticks!”You will scream to the sky, most likely in a public place where loud noises are frowned upon – could be a library, possibly a funeral, maybe in a crowded restroom. To avoid the above scenario the only possible defense is a good offense. You need to learn how to hold a pair of drumsticks before the socially ostracizing event occurs. I have produced this piece of literature to help combat the effects of not knowing how to hold a pair of drumsticks. However! it is not a substitute for proper instruction with a professional drumstick holder (a.k.a. drummer.) If your drumstick holding worries persist, please contact your local Guitar Center and explain your situation to the guy in the room with the big wooden circles (a.k.a. drums) he will be able to help.
To begin we must identify what a drumstick is. A drum stick is a stick that is made to hit drums. Now that we have that covered we can, wait! I forgot to explain the anatomy of a drum stick. A drum stick is comprised of four parts. The bottom fat part is called the butt. The length of the stick from the butt to the taper is called the shaft. As stated before, the taper is the part of the stick where the stick starts getting skinnier. At the end of the taper (or shoulder as it’s also called) there is a little bead of wood (or plastic) this is called the tip.
You might be asking “where do I grip the stick?”The answer is “at the fulcrum.”The fulcrum is the sweet spot of the stick where the weight distribution is perfect for making the motions you will need to play the drums. Problem is, the fulcrum isn’t marked on most sticks. Not to worry! I can help you find the fulcrum! The fulcrum is usually three or four inches up the stick (starting from the butt) so you’ll want to start there. Grip the stick lightly between the thumb and the first joint of your middle finger. Then, hold it parallel to your playing surface (make sure it’s something hard so the stick will bounce) and begin to dribble the stick with the other hand like you would a basket ball. From there you can very easily deduce where the fulcrum is as you adjust the grip. The object is to find the position where the stick bounces most freely. once you’ve done that you can either memorize or mark the sweet spot so you don’t have to do this exercise to find it a second time.
Now that we know where the fulcrum is we shall work on the actual grip itself. Once again grip the stick at the fulcrum between the thumb and the first joint of the middle finger. From here let all your other fingers curl around and gently grip the stick. The pinky and ring finger should follow the example of the middle finger and curve under the stick and help support it from the bottom. The index finger should rest gently on top of the stick and will act as a guide to control the bounce of the stick.
Now that all the fingers are in place turn your hand palm up. Your stick should NOT pointing straight out from your wrist. This is a very unnatural position and the butt will get in the way when you try and bend your wrist. Instead the stick should lay diagonally across the palm of your hand. The butt of the stick should rest on the padded part of the palm about two inches underneath the base of the pinky. While keeping the butt of the stick in contact with that padded area grip the fulcrum that you found earlier with the same grip discussed earlier. Now turn your hand over so that your palm faces down. To check the angle we are going to use a clock metaphor so bear with me. Imagine your hand is the center of the clock. It the stick is correctly seated in your right hand then the stick should be pointing somewhere roughly between 10 and 11 o’clock. If in your left it should point roughly between 1 and 2 o’clock. All in order? Good.
Now pick up the other stick and copy the grip in your other hand. Congrats! you now know how to hold a stick in German grip in both hands! This should be sufficient to prevent awkward and over dramatic screams about your lack of drumming knowledge in public places. Next time we will cover how to operate a bass drum pedal (so as to prevent heart attacks at age 40.5.) So until then remember, drumming is good for your health! Except your ears.
Please place bets as to what you think my paper will earn when graded. The winner will receive bragging rights and a warm fuzzy feeling.