- Change your gear
- Change your grip
Being able to make drumsticks last longer is a big deal of course because this can save quite a lot of money. A pair of good quality drumsticks sets you back anywhere from $10 to $15 depending on make and model. So breaking drumsticks regularly is gonna get pretty costly pretty soon. Certainly if you play a lot. Money you could also spend on oh, I don’t, a complete Drumming System and maybe some Premium Online Drum Lessons?
But surely there are other options, right? Yes. You could trade your passion for rock drumming for bossa nova. No? Not an option? How about playing only electric drum kits from now on? Also a big ass NO WAY?!
Well then basically you’re left with the first two options. And I think you should use them both. Coincidentally they both start with a G. This might be an indication of how much money you will save by changing these:
First we’ll look at gear because this is probably the easiest one for most of us.
Snare drum hoops
If you play rimshots on triple flanged hoops, trade them for die cast or even better yet, S hoops. Your drumsticks will last a lot longer already. The sound is different, correct, but you can try switching to a more lively snare if desired. I personally like the more focused sound of a die cast hoop on most snares anyway. And your rimclicks will sound better on a die cast hoop so that’s a bonus.
Tilt your crashes just a little bit towards you. This might feel weird at first but you’ll get used to it really quickly, trust me. The bonus here is you’ll save some crashes as well so more money to spend elsewhere……
Bring your hi hat down a little if it’s set up pretty high. If you bring it down the angle at which you strike it will become smaller so your sticks will get less of a beating. And your hi hat will love it as well. It won’t break and it will sound better to boot!
Maybe it’s time to change sticks. If you are a hard hitter you might want to switch from 5A to 5B or maybe even go to 2B or even heavier with a Virgil Donati or Thomas Lang signature stick. These feel like broom sticks to me personally so I only use 2B for pad work every now and then. But you may dig it. I can’t really say those guys play poorly with them.. 😛
The second option will require a different kind of effort: changing your grip. Huh? What? But I don’t have blisters or sharp acute pains in my fingers, thumb, wrist, lower arm, or anywhere else. I just break a lot of sticks. Mmmkaaayyy.. Let me explain why then, aside from the fact that you want to be playing pain free for decades to come..
Why change Grip?
The idea behind of breaking or using a lot of sticks is the fact that the energy isn’t transferred correctly from arm/hand to instrument via drumstick.
If you learn how to accept the rebound and play with it insteads of against it you won’t be damaging your body, your sticks, or the instrument you’re playing on.
This simply means waaaaay less tension building up and as a result sticks breaking a lot less frequently.
Won’t changing Grip cost me a lot of time and effort?
I’ve done this myself because I got blisters and calluses and more of that gnarly bad grip drumming stuff. But I have to say, it’s not that bad. Yes it took me a few months to get fully accustomed to it, but that wasn’t as hard as it sounds.
It’s not like you can’t play for a certain amount of time or something, sure you can and you should. Especially if you have gigs, don’t try to do everything 100% differently from day 1.
Practicing and Playing/Performing
This is one of the reasons why there is a difference between playing and practicing.
You practice technical issues consciously by keeping in mind that the goal is to finally be able to apply this in playing subconsciously.
Btw. I still have a tendency to grip the stick with the left hand a little too tightly when I play rimshots. I’d like to modify that slightly but that’s more of an aesthetics thing really. It doesn’t bother me in playing, and it still sounds good. But I’m sure I can get some mileage out of this modification so I want to change that.
Wanna learn more about Grip?
If you want to learn more about Grip, it’s one of the 24 CORE Principles in my 3D Drumming System. You get an incredible amount of information for a very modest price if I may say so.
After getting the 3D Drumming System you may also opt for the Premium Membership. This will give you access to all video lessons, combinations, additions and variations of the content and Systems in 3D etc. You will also get access to the Premium Courses such as Double Bass Drumming, Odd Time Signatures, Sub 5 about drumming in Quintuplets and many, many more. Now at a very, very interesting price per month for life, and you can cancel anytime you want. Looking back at how much time (and money) I could have saved had there have been such a system back then, this would have been my choice 100%.
But you can also start for free by applying for the Free Membership. This will give you access to the basic information about Grip, Setup and Ergonomics, a sample of L1.1 of the 3D Drumming System, other blog lessons etc.
Hope to see you on the inside!
About the Author
Music and drumming have pretty much dominated my life for the last twenty five years. I enjoy every facet of it, and I intend to keep doing so for many more years to come.
Fan of music since 1981
Drummer since 1989
Teacher since 1993
Professional musician since 1996
Composer since 2002
Owner of Skillz Drum Academy since 2011
Author since 2014
Blogger since 2018