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Thread: One weird hand!!

  1. #1

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    Default One weird hand!!

    Hello all, I've been reading the forum for a bit now and everyone seems pretty helpful, so I thought I would see if anyone can give me any advice.

    I've only been learning to drum for a month now, but have been a guitarist for 18 years and a bass player for 14 in gigging and touring bands. This has given me the opportunity to have a bash about every now and then.

    I am left handed (but play guitar and bass righty), but pretty much every time I have got on a kit, it is set up right handed. This means I would play open handed - hats with the left and snare with the right.

    Since starting out (properly-ish) in December, I have been working on the basics - holding sticks right, rudiments, working with a metronome - slow to fast. I seem to be progressing, but have noticed a problem (by the way, I am on the lookout for a good teacher - I know this is probably the best way to fix it):

    When I hit with my left (snare, tom, cymbal or practice pad), I hit straight and can get pretty fast with singles, doubles paradiddles etc. but my right is a different story: I have no control, which I know will come with slow to fast practice developing muscle memory, but as well as this, I can't hit straight!! My hand seems to twist outwards as I move to hit which results in the stick sort of "swirling" around on the surface of whatever I am hitting - there is no clean up/down motion. It's more up/down/squiggle about a bit/back up!!

    Will rudiments practiced slowly fix this - really breaking down the motion, or is there something else that could help? I have even started doing singles and doubles with just the right but holding the right hand with my left to get a better motion!!

    Any suggestions? Is this just me, or is it common because it is a pretty new motion/action for the hand and wrist?

    Thanks for any help in advance guys.

    PS - sorry for the War and Peace post. Especially as it's my first!!!

  2. #2

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    Default Re: One weird hand!!

    im thinking that you should break down your motion ,, start very slow and correctly, make very sure your hitting it right ,up and down very slowly until its right. then speed up a little , before you know it you'll be fine.

  3. #3

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    Also, try gripping the stick a bit more loosely and using your pinky and ring finger to articulate it, rather than your whole wrist.

  4. #4

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    Welcome to Drum Chat rmjjjt! I am certainly glad to see that after 18 years, you've finally come to your senses and started playig the drums.

    My guess, since you have been using your right hand in a strumming motion for the past 18 years, is that a slight sideways motion has become very natural. It will take some time to reprogram the movement to drumming, and don't worry that you will lose the motion necessary for strumming. You will simply be learning task specific motions. As has been said, slow down your movements - even excruciatingly slow if necessary - until you can achieve the necessary up and down motion. Once the motion is feeling better, you can speed it up. Don't worry, it will come.

    Again, welcome!
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  5. #5

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    Thanks for your comments guys - I think you've confirmed what I thought, but I guess it was worth checking - I wanted to avoid developing a bad habit while I find a teacher.

    Ok, practice pad and metronome it is then!!

    Oh, pastor_bob, I came to my senses the first time I heard James Brown many, many moons ago!! It's just never been practical to have a kit (electric or acoustic) in the house. Now I can, it was too good an opportunity to miss.

    Thanks again guys!!
    "Playing guitar, that's all great and everything, but hitting stuff - awesooooooooooooome". Chad Smith.

  6. #6

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    I have one additional thought - when you set up your set to play open handed, how do you have your snare drum angled? I've noticed that a lot of drummers that play traditional grip instead of matched actually tilt their snare drums away from them because it matches the angle of their wrist better. Maybe play around with changing the angle of the snare so that the lowest side faces your right hand, or maybe even slightly away from you like traditional grip players.
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  7. #7

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    Now I have my own kit, it is set up like a kosher left handed kit - hats on the right, toms round to the left etc.

    Sorry, I should have been clear - I was only playing open before because they weren't my kits - just having a bash about and I don't think I've ever played a gig where the drummer was a lefty (in any band on the bill).

    My snare is angled towards me slightly towards me, but to be honest this weird action happens no matter what I hit - drum, pad, table, people!! I only noticed it when I was hitting on the practice pad the other day.

    But thanks for the advice - I had a bit of a bad session when I got in earlier today. Re-arranged the kit a bit (when I first got it, I just threw it up because I couldn't wait to play and it stayed pretty much in that set up). After doing this, I felt a bit more comfortable and natural.
    "Playing guitar, that's all great and everything, but hitting stuff - awesooooooooooooome". Chad Smith.

  8. #8

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    Glad to hear you're working it out rmjjjt.
    Quoting gonefishin: Just have some bacon with ya when you go pick her up..........youre an instant chick magnet.


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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmjjjt View Post

    PS - sorry for the War and Peace post. Especially as it's my first!!!
    Thats OK, we will try and keep the tarring and feathering to a minimum.....

    Quote Originally Posted by pastor_bob View Post
    Welcome to Drum Chat rmjjjt! I am certainly glad to see that after 18 years, you've finally come to your senses and started playig the drums.

    !
    I agree with PB.........What took so long?



    You got some good advice so far, I think a bit more practice and you will see a difference.........just remember, practice, practice,practice. The more you do the quicker and easier things happen.

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  10. #10

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    i think when alot of people start out drumming they have one week hand (alot of times not the hand their dominant with) as did i, but just playing thing slow and paying attention to your technique should help over time. its like rudiments...you dont just start out knowing them..their sloppy in the begginning...so you practice them slow and build them up...
    Zildjian-Gretsch-Remo
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  11. #11

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    Well, you were right guys - just a quick update:

    I had a double kick pedal delivered and again (as expected) my right leg was weaker than the left. Sooooooooooooo, out came the metronome - 16ths at 60bpm on the feet (trying out paradiddles, doubles etc. with both feet). While I was doing this, I was messing about with rudiments and fills over the kit. As I got used to both legs working, I sped up the metronome...

    By the time I got up to about 120bpm, both legs were dying, but my hands seemed to be flying!! Still a long way to go, but I noticed the right hand had straightened up a lot and was playing more solidly and consistently. Came back today and singles, doubles and paradiddles (with hands) are much better - up to 120bpm. Which, compared to before is like lightning!! They're not exactly crisp, but it is a vast improvement - just the technique is miles better.

    So, what have we learned today kiddies? Slow and steady wins the race.

    Thanks again for all your input, help and advice. It is appreciated.

    Now, if any of you happen to be hot, female and live close to me, I could do with a massage on my legs!!
    "Playing guitar, that's all great and everything, but hitting stuff - awesooooooooooooome". Chad Smith.

  12. #12

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    hahah oh boy man that last part! hahah...but seriously slow and steady DOES win the race....with any instrument....glad to hear your doing better. keep it up!
    Zildjian-Gretsch-Remo
    "drumming is about time and I'm still having a good time!"

  13. #13

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    Hehe - you can't blame a guy for trying, right? :D

    I have just noticed something else - when I hit on the practice pad, I play with both sticks pointing straight to 12 o clock - ll . But when I move this to the kit, they change to something like /\ .

    I guess this is natural, but I guess it seems to me I am not practicing correctly on the pad - I can get pretty fast on the pad but my hands, grip etc change because of the different arm positions when I get on the kit. Hmmm....
    "Playing guitar, that's all great and everything, but hitting stuff - awesooooooooooooome". Chad Smith.

  14. #14

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    well for myself...when my hand are rested..they naturally fall /\....
    Zildjian-Gretsch-Remo
    "drumming is about time and I'm still having a good time!"

  15. #15

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    I have to chime in here, Im a lefty also playing righty, (closed handed) I have sorta the same problem with my right hand I notice it rotates or swivles when hitting something....Not so much the hats but when I move around to the right side of the kit....I actually prefer this, I can place my ride WAY over to the right and still get the same sticking as I would without rotating my right wrist and placing ride more in front. I notice with right handed kits more "stuff" is geared toward the right side of the kit...And having a right wrist that twists to the right can be an advantage. Having only played for 3 years now i have more control with the twist, and have better sticking when it comes to being accurate. Keep in mind I cant do ANYTHING with my right hand....not even hold a fork. For what its worth

  16. #16

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    Hmmmm. I might actually switch my kit round to righty - I guess because I'm only really beginning, I am learning quite beats and things so my right hand doesn't get to see much of the action. Maybe this will strengthen it? Either way, being able to play left and right handed can only be a bonus, can't it?
    "Playing guitar, that's all great and everything, but hitting stuff - awesooooooooooooome". Chad Smith.

  17. #17

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    Ok, so another quick update:

    I slowed down and started on rudiments again and the problem seems to have gone - just working on strengthening the right hand and getting it working with the others.

    I had my first lesson yesterday (finally) and teacher basically spent most of the time inspecting me drumming to check my technique, what I could and couldn't do etc. He said I am holding the sticks properly and my technique isn't too bad and didn't notice any swirling with my right hand - good news.

    I must say it was the best thing I have done - he gave me advice to change my kick style because I couldn't do doubles very quickly and that has already changed as well as giving me exercises (which I have spent quite a bit of time on today). I feel more confident, quicker and just overall better about drumming - he's even got my right foot working the hats constantly (when I want to) which was something I couldn't do at all before.

    So, just thought I would let you all know how right you were - there really is no substitute for a teacher.

    Thanks for your advice guys.

    "Playing guitar, that's all great and everything, but hitting stuff - awesooooooooooooome". Chad Smith.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmjjjt View Post
    I don't think I've ever played a gig where the drummer was a lefty (in any band on the bill).

    .
    Exactly why i would have just stayed with the open handed setup since you're just learning.
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