Strengthening your hands

Vetis

New member
Alright my friends, I just got a practice pad for christmas and have been working on a few things that i have been neglecting. I realized one night at practice that I have almost NO control over my hands when it comes to doing fills or intricate tom work. I cant believe I went so long without working on my hand-work.

So now i'm practicing atleast an hour a day on paradiddles and double strokes, trying to work myself up to a good speed while doing it acurately.

My problem is that my left hand gets tired relatively quickly and I was curious to know if it is just something I have to work through, or if im doing something wrong.

AND!! In your experience, have you found a hand-strengthening method that you think works? If so..PLEASE...help me out.

Thanks!!
-Sean
 

soliddrummer

New member
Sean,

First off, this is a VERY common occurrence among right-handed drummers everywhere. It's a matter of really working that left hand. Sometimes even practicing in the early stages more intensively with your left than with your right, to even them out.

Strengthening your hands - wow, that's a topic I'm sure everyone and their mom's dog is going to have an opinion on. What works for me is:

1. BIGGER STICKS - I usually use 5A's when playing so I practice with VIC FIRTH Thomas Lang Signature sticks, which makes everything harder because the sticks are beefier, thereby strengthening your hands. Practice singles, doubles, and then double that from 50 - 250 bpm. There you have a roll, folks. IF you can go faster, by all means Mike Mangini, do it! ;)

2. CHOKING UP - I also choke way up on the stick, right near the tip, and use all fingers to move the bulk of the stick upwards at a high rate of speed, increasing the weight on my fingers, strenghtening them. (I'm from the school of thought that doesn't want carpal tunnel at the age of 30 so I use only fingers)

3. STICKWEIGHTS - Includes a variation of choking up on the stick, you can place them in differing places on the stick for differing weight resistance. you can buy these little beauties from PROMARK.

http://www.promark.com/products/view.cf ... cf5bc4daaa

They are also useful for double-kick strenghening.

4. ENDURANCE PRACTICING - Depending on the style of music you play, it can be challenging keeping good technique and delivering a loud, consistent sound if that's what you're after. One tip I have heard and have put into practice is that when you feel your grip start to tighten because you are getting tired, just choke up a little on the stick and you will have more leverage. So practice it before it ever becomes an issue in a live or recording situation.

Hope that helps!
 

Dale

New member
Vetis":3uqsazra said:
Alright my friends, I just got a practice pad for christmas and have been working on a few things that i have been neglecting. I realized one night at practice that I have almost NO control over my hands when it comes to doing fills or intricate tom work. I cant believe I went so long without working on my hand-work.

So now i'm practicing atleast an hour a day on paradiddles and double strokes, trying to work myself up to a good speed while doing it acurately.

My problem is that my left hand gets tired relatively quickly and I was curious to know if it is just something I have to work through, or if im doing something wrong.

AND!! In your experience, have you found a hand-strengthening method that you think works? If so..PLEASE...help me out.

Thanks!!
-Sean
Hi Vetis.

My first piece of advice is that you might like to concentrate on working through the patterns slowly with a metronome set to about 50 bpm. Speed will come in time, but first it is important to focus on accuracy. Later as your speed and strength increases you will be very glad you focused on this aspect of playing.

As for patterns to build a weak hand, there are many. You can begin simply by playing patterns such as...

Capital, or uppercase letters represent accents.

rLLL rLLL rLLL rLLL

rLL rLL rLL rLL rLL rLL

LlLl LlLl LlLl LlLl (concentrating on the weak hand only)

lllL rrrR lllL rrrR

Or if you want to get really into it, you can try one of my more fun warm ups. Play this over a samba or paradiddle pattern with the feet.

RLRR LRLL RRRR LLLL RRRR RRRR LLLL LLLL RRRL LLRR LLRL RLRL LLLR RRRL RRLL RLRL [repeat]

The above is purely for strength and to begin you can accent each note. As you gain more confidence you can try playing the sequence pianisimo and accent every third note, or any other notes you choose. For example, every fifth, second, seventh note etc. Or what I do is take a note out, thereby making the pattern odd. Above there is 16 4 note groupings, but remove just one note from anywhere within the pattern and you have 15 four note groupings and one three note grouping. If you fool around with it you'll have great fun.

I hope this helps a bit.

Also check out books such as Master Studies, by Joe Morello. Or the ever great and useful Stick Control, by George Lawrence Stone.


Good luck.
 
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