The importance of mastering the fundamentals of drumming or any other kind of musical instrument can never be emphasised enough.
As you already know from your basic drum lessons – you must know how to hold the drumsticks properly, so you have great control over the musical instrument and enjoy the drumming experience completely. Only then can you draw out the full potential of the musical instrument!
There are many ways to hold your drumsticks – you just need to find out which works for you best. There’s the American-style grip, traditional grip, and French grip. The choice of style is yours as long as you manage to master the technique correctly.
However, this time – we have a specific style to teach you folks – the German Grip!
Just remember that it’s the drumstick which determines the quality of the sound. Holding them incorrectly will not only result in sloppy sounds – but may even lead to terrible wrist pain.
Now, if you don’t want any of that to happen – it’s time you learn how to hold them properly! Let’s have a look at the five essential steps:
1. Grab the stick at the middle point
While American-style grip has been the most common variant of drumstick holding technique, most players switch their style to German grip for additional advantages.
Note that the German grip is only a variation of American grip. But, it is widely used for bass drums and timpani. Find the balance point and grab the stick at the centre!
2. Your palm must be parallel to the drum surface
Once you got a perfect grip on the drumstick, the next step is to make your palm parallel to the drum surface.
Your palm must be fully extended – not one sign of a clenched fist or even slightly curled fingers. Basically, it’s how you manage to turn your palm in a way that the flats of your palm are parallel to the drum surface.
Most of the drums are roughly parallel to the floor, making it compulsory for the player to turn their hands and let their palms face the floor. As for bass drums which are set up in a vertical position – you’ll have to turn your palms, so they’re facing sideways.
That said, don’t forget about the placement of the grips themselves! The sticks should be at a 90-degree angle, facing each other.
3. Use your middle finger
Out of all your fingers – your middle finger is the most important one of them all in the German-style grip! The pinky and ring fingers are not that important.
Now, what you need to do next is place your middle finger beneath the drumstick.
You can either curl all your fingers underneath the stick to get a better grip or keep the last two fingers loose.
4. Bend your elbows
If you are using the drumsticks on a horizontally set up instrument, your palms will most likely run parallel to the ground.
When you turn your hands, your elbow will automatically bend outwards. If your elbows are bending outwards – don’t push them in.
The trick here is to let your elbows bend outward – that way, you’re gaining more power and control over your drumsticks! Yes, you’re one step closer to becoming a rockstar.
5. Hit with your wrist
It’s all about your wrist motion! Have your wrist turn downward and be ready to hit against the drum using a striking motion.
Like a ball, what you’re trying to achieve here is a good ‘bounce’. Don’t use your fingers, arms or shoulders – only focus on your wrist. Just make some adjustments to your grip position until the right sound pops up.
And there you go – that’s all you’ve got to do to master the German-style grip. Then, you can challenge yourself into learning the rest of the grip styles! To speed up the learning process – you could always sign up for advanced drum lessons too.