Need Some help with tension and pain in my hands

KeziaColton

New member
Hey
so ive been playing drums for 4 years now
and im starting to get really serious about it.
My only problem is ive hit a point where my drumming is getting affected by this issue i have with my hands
what happens is im fine when im playing my softer stuff
but as soon as I start picking up speed and doing my more intense fills and rolls, my hands start to get really tense.
they start locking up and they get really sore, and once this happens i can no longer play at my full talent.
the only thing that seems to help is if i take a 5 minute break
thats fine when im practising but its a real pain when im writing with my band or practising a full set of songs.
I already tried moving from 7a vic firth to 5a and that has seemed to prolong the time till my hands start to get sore.
I dont know ive looked and looked and im kind of lost so any advice or help would be awesome
thanks
 

SGarrett

New member
Do you stretch your fingers? Are you pinching and/or squeezing really tightly? How relaxed are you when you play? How much do you practice?
 

stephenchong

New member
I have a similar problem. When i speed up, my shoulders kinda rise higher ? And my whole body stiffens up. You should try to work on your pace when you practice. Start from slow to fast, while keeping your body relaxed all the time. Don't make the habit of stiffening up your body when you start one fast speeds. If you have this habit, then kick it ! :)
 

llllarry

New member
stephenchong":edaauwg3 said:
I have a similar problem. When i speed up, my shoulders kinda rise higher ? And my whole body stiffens up. You should try to work on your pace when you practice. Start from slow to fast, while keeping your body relaxed all the time. Don't make the habit of stiffening up your body when you start one fast speeds. If you have this habit, then kick it ! :)
My drum teacher is all over me when I stiffen up and my shoulders raise up. Definitely not a good habit to get into.
 

peripsy

New member
I have a lot of friends with the same problem.My opinion is that you should work out your technique.Sticks should be your friends and for that reason you must learn how to take advantage of the rebound.You must start to watch and practice multiple hand and feet techniques so you can choose what is the most comfortable for you.If you want my opinion jojo mayers new dvd "secret weapons for the modern drummer "is the best choice.I was playing 9 years without paying attention in techniques such as "french grip" or "moeller stroke" but the last two years i found my chops around 260bpm.The most important thing is my endurance .With this things I find it more comfortable to play.You should try this ...hope i help you.
 

Caldera

New member
I've had a similar problem for quite a while. I was always really stiff whenever I played, whether it was rehearsal or an actual concert (only at school, I'm not in my own personal band yet, lol). There was one time I remember the director just came up to me and said "You need to loosen up and look more confident." So since then I worked on it, and I've gotten better lately. I feel like I've loosened up since then. It took a while though. But I guess it's something all drummers encounter at least once in their lifetime, especially when they start out.

And I've had a little bit of the hand problem as well. With me it feels like the bottoms of my thumbs and fingers sorta cramp up when I'm playing speedy riffs, or like if I'm doing a jazzy beat with the ride cymbal. It usually feels like it when I do lots of double strokes. And also, when I use the bass drum a lot, the joint at my foot and leg gets a bit sore, and I don't know if there's a way to work with that or if it just comes with the territory. So yeah, you aren't the only one, lol.
 

DrumsPlus

New member
Hey guy,

Listen to all these guys about tensing up. I did it a few weeks ago without thinking about it during a recording and had a tendon pop in my wrist. Make sure you are warming up and letting your fingers do the work for you. Relax, if you get tight, try to ease up a bit.

Good luck..
 

GBaker

New member
I actually had the same problem, and even worst, I finished with a cast due to a heavy tendonitis.

It is not a matter of the stick size dude, is the emphasize you put to preventing this things, and if you are taking seriously your instrument, you should also take seriously injured prevention, because it’s real!

Before playing, warm up! Because you are playing an instrument it doesn’t mean you are not using your muscles and tendons! First, stretch for 5 minutes your arms, wrist, and fingers (slowly) and them start playing in a practice pad or snare softly, going from wrist technique to finger technique. Warm up to drum; do not drum to warm up!

Always avoid tension. This is the main cause of injuries, due to muscle and tendons fatigue. Before running, you need to walk first. Start your rolls slowly and gradually, work up your speed, BUT whenever you start to feel tension, STOP! and go back to the point your muscles were relaxed. This will not also prevent you from injuries, but it will improve you endurance, speed, and power. Always play relaxed and loose. If you feel any pain, STOP right there and take a break! Sore is the alarm of your body that something is going wrong!

Finally, always take a 15 minute break after a long session of practice (1 or 2 hours). Let your body rest…your muscles and tendons will thank you!
 

Nick Cetrone

New member
yup...its all about comfort. even during your meekest licks.

don't forget to stretch, yeah hands too.

quit sleeping with your hands under your pillow. (was a hard one for me to kick)

i like to take a 5 minute breather outside about every hour
 

LeJayk

New member
SGarrett":3dayciqz said:
Nick Cetrone":3dayciqz said:
quit sleeping with your hands under your pillow. (was a hard one for me to kick)
That caught my eye. Why do you say that?
Maybe it puts extra strain on your body? Its an interesting idea though. Gonna try that out myself.

Also, it doesnt do your wrists much good if you play alot of First Person Shooter games involving a mouse. I'm gonna have to stop, because my wrists ache after playing for a while :(
 

Alan_

New member
practice playing at higher volumes on your practice pad. if you're just playing medium/low volume when practicing alone, your hand muscles are not going to be trained to play at higher volumes when playing kit with others. Also, don't tense up. You need to build endurance slowly, it's not gonna be an instant thing. if your hands hurt, take a moment to stretch your muscles. RELAX RELAX RELAX.
 

Bloomdrums

New member
in order to avoid hand and arm pain:

1) do not grip the sticks like you are attempting to strangle the life out of them... ie relax
2) use your wrists, arms, and fingers in a harmonious way in which they work together, not against each other.
3) use a commonly accepted gripping technique that makes anatomical sense...you can look this up in a million places.
4) stretch before AND after playing
5) if you feel yourself tensing up (and you are not in the middle of a paying gig) IMMEDIATELY STOP PLAYING and figure out why you are tense, where you are tense and how to avoid that next time.
 

KeziaColton

New member
Hey thanks for all the help
Ive taken all of your advice and used it towards my drumming style and ive seen some drastic improvements.
I put myself on a stretch program that I use before and after I drum.
I also put myself on a warm up routine.
Ive also toned it down a bit.
and learned to relax alot more when drumming.
Interesting thing though was that I also went to the doctor
they did some tests and informed me that I had developed a repeated stress injury in both my hands.
Im on some anti- inflamitory medication and my hands arent near as bad.

So thanks for all the suggestions.
 

Crash101

New member
yeah im gonna have to go with everyone else and say RELAX, it'll make you sound better, youll have more fun, and you wont get sore

the best drummers to watch are the ones sitting back having a good time
 
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