Beginner - some questions Left or Right handed?

Post drum lessons here! Share your talents, give some tips, or get new tips and learn to play new stuff!

Moderator: Moderators

Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:54 pm

Post Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:44 pm

I've been playing guitar.. I like to home record and (used drum machine etc for that).
however - I want to play everything I record.

I picked up a DM5 (was a good deal - though kinda disapointed with the hi hat) it seems to work well to learn on.

My question - Is there a difference in playing L or R handed?
I'm left handed and (play guitar right handed as does my son).

The reason I ask - The lessons I see on youtube show - taping the high hat with the right hand - and the hit on the snare
(For like a basic rock pattern) with the left hand. I can do this (okay) but it feels better and I do much better tapping
the hi hat (closed tap) with my left hand and hitting snare with my right. (It also tends to work more fluid with my left
hand doing the fast taps on the hi hat while my right foot does the bass beat.

I fear if I learn it my way - that down the road - something might be harder (like moving around the kit for fills)?

Is there Left or Right? a right and wrong way? or what ever feels best.
User avatar
groove master
groove master
Posts: 2432
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 6:13 pm
Location: Lexington, KY

Post Wed Mar 12, 2008 6:09 pm

The way that you call 'my way' is called open-handed, or not crossing your arms. Lots of respected, professional drummers play like that.
It's perfectly fine to learn like that. Some left-handed drummers just play open-handed on a right-handed set up (snare is left-most), or you could even play close-handed on a left-handed set-up (snare is right-most).

Theres really no "wrong" technique as long as it works for you and doesn't cause damage to you.
drumming adept
drumming adept
Posts: 394
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:40 pm

Post Wed Mar 12, 2008 6:35 pm

I'm lefty and play a right-handed kit. My uncle is a righty and he taught me to play so it was just "how" I was shown. This was at 7-8 years old. As I got older and learned more and more I play open-handed as it feels more natural being that I'm a lefty.

Try and go at it both ways, it'll only help you more in the long run.
Sonor Performer/ZXT Titaniums/DW 9000/Sonor+Pearl Hardware
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:54 pm

Post Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:59 pm

ah - so there is a left and right hand setups - I had no idea... normally a lefty setup would be reversed from what we see as norm then.

Intresting. I setup the DM5 according to their documention. I suppose to could reverse a few things and try it again... but the reason I wanted to play guitar right handed - is so you can play any guitar... kinda nice to set down at a right handed drum set and play too. So I'll probably keep it setup this way...
but knowing I can play "open handed" I'll go with that... trying to get cross handed down later once I get the coordination thing going.

Also - is there any guide lines for setting up the bass pedal? Mine came from MF (was on sale 25.00) for a starter - looks amazing for 25.00 bucks. - seems to work well, but I've been tweaking adjustments without any knowledge... is there some sort of tension measurement or stock settings? I have a lot of what I'd call 'bouce back" where the pedal head seems to slap/bounce (and not in a good way as it's very quick) as it makes contact.

I find if I'm in sox and really side my foot forward - I can minimize it... but I don't like the sound it the double hit.

(I do like the intentional double beat hit) this is different and very quick - more like a unwanted vibration.

One more question - when doing fills - is there any way that it should be learned - like right hand - leading to the fill drums to the right? Any great place to learn some of the basics? Currently - I'm playing beats on a drum machine and playing along. I also love the start of Rush's "Mystic Rythm" song - so I set up some electronic sounds that are very close and (cool as it sounds - it's quite easy to play).
User avatar
drumming adept
drumming adept
Posts: 374
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:21 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Post Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:58 pm

nydubber wrote:Try and go at it both ways, it'll only help you more in the long run.

User avatar
drumming adept
drumming adept
Posts: 144
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 4:25 pm
Location: Canada

Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:15 am

as for the problem left or right setup, i have been playing a five years. i am left handed but i started right handed and played this way for 4 years. just recently i learned that i could easily relearn playing open handed. since i now have knowledge of both it has really helped me. for you i would say try playing both with equal time spent leading with each hand. as for your pedal problem, don't fight the bounce back. if you have it too tight either loosen it or let it rebound naturally with trying to "burry it" in the head. if you burry the beater in the head you loose a lot of resonance and tone. for setting pedals just have it set so it feels good to you. have so it's not too tight and not too loose. i know that sounds vague but that's really as specific as i can get.
Sonor Force 3007
Saluda Cymbals (14" Diamond Hi Hats, 16" Diamond Fast Crash, 17" Protoype Crash, 20"Earthworks Dry Ride)
Iron Cobra Pedals
DW hardware
User avatar
drumming adept
drumming adept
Posts: 156
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:09 pm
Location: Birmingham, UK

Post Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:04 am

Right handed, cross sticking. Learning to play open handed at the moment though, for the reasons that it'll increase my independance, and open up the kit to me a bit more. Mostly the independance though. My left side is severely under-trained.
User avatar
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 7:08 am
Location: Australia

Post Wed Apr 16, 2008 2:05 am

I play open handed, but i endeavour to also learn to play cross-hand, to give me some more flexibility in my playing style.

Check out my example video!

<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

User avatar
session drummer
session drummer
Posts: 907
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 11:41 pm
Location: New Jersey(Suburbs of Philadelphia)

Post Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:05 am

I'm lefty and play a right-handed kit.

Me too, but I have more coordination with crossing over than I do with open-playing.

Whatever feels best...If I felt better playing open, I would.

I wish I would have started out playing open.

I vote for open
User avatar
drumming adept
drumming adept
Posts: 444
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2006 2:32 pm
Location: Kansas City

Post Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:22 pm ... ularo.html has lot's of great educational videos, but I think you should at least watch dom famularo's video on open handed playing.

My left hand sucks. I have a real hard time doing anything leading with my left hand. But my left hand has a lot more feel and touch than my right. So, I'm kind of stuck playing cross handed. But if I could re-wind world history 20 years I would go back and stop 9-11 from ever happening and learn to play open handed.

I'm practicing a lot with left hand leads and playing open handed but as of right now, My left hand sounds weak as the lead on the hi-hat, and my right hand can't play ghost notes to save it's life. But I think that open handed playing opens the drum set up for a player and everyone should do it.
My Gear:

Shine Defenition Series Drum Set
Shine Mike Johnston Signature Snare
Saluda Cymbals == friend me and say hi

Drumming is Fun!
drumming adept
drumming adept
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 6:37 am
Location: New York, NY

Post Mon Apr 21, 2008 6:39 am

do whatever works... honestly if you can play open handed on a right handed kit go with it... I wish i could.

It opens up a lot of options that playing "normal" (ie. crossing over for the hi-hat) doesn't allow, such as opening your hands up to move around the toms while keeping time on the hi-hat (if you move your ride over to the hi-hat side too... you're good to go.

Just ask Simon Phillips... or Mike Bordin (Faith No more).
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2008 12:58 am

Post Wed Apr 23, 2008 1:38 am

Right handed
<a href="">.</a><a href="">.</a><a href="">.</a><a href="">.</a>