types of drumstick grips to learn for beginners

Types Of Drumstick Grips: Which Is Your Perfect Match?

Did you know that the way you hold the drumsticks will impact your musical performance to a great extent?

Proper grips and techniques are important and just because your favorite drummer is holding their sticks in a certain way doesn’t mean that the type of stick grip suits you! Due to their years of experience, these drummers are using advanced and sophisticated drumming techniques to make their performance better.

Following the way they hold their stick grip blindly as a beginner may only make you play poorly due to how uncomfortable it is for you; you’re forcing your hands to commit to an unfamiliar type of stick grip for hours. In a worst-case scenario, it may lead to a severe injury.

There’s nothing wrong with starting your drumming journey using a basic stick grip technique first – just take it slow and steady! Once you have a better grip over your drumstick; it’ll be much easier to play the drums.

In general, there are two types of drumstick grips: Match and Traditional grips, however, match grips also come in several variations that are considered another style of drumstick grips. 

Without further ado, here’s a guide to the perfect drum stick grip as you go about your beginner drum lessons!

5 Drumstick Grips to Learn

Matched Grip

Commonly known as a parallel grip, this is one of the most common types of grip styles amongst drummers. As the name implies, matched grip refers to the technique where the drummer holds both sticks in the same way.

When you hold the drumstick in a matched grip style, you grip the stick using your index finger. Here, the middle finger of the player automatically curls around the stick. In this technique, your palm must face the downward portion of the stick, whereas the thumb is positioned at the top.

No doubt matched grips not only allow users to have a tight grip on the drumstick but move the stick as freely as possible. Apart from drums, matched grips technique can be used to play other musical instruments.

types of drumstick grips - matched grips

German Grip

German grip is one of the three variations of the Matched grip – which got to be the most powerful one – because you are moving your sticks with your wrist, so you’re bound to use plenty of power while hitting the drums.

For you to successfully follow the German grip; you have to ensure the sticks are at a 90-degree angle to each other. Your palms are also going to have to face the ground while your wrists and forearms are going to fuel all the power.

French Grip

The second variation of the Matched grip is the French grip – the letter ‘F’ also stands for finesse and fingers; this is where you combine both of them to create this type of stick grip!

Unlike the German grip where you’re facing both palms downwards; the trick here is to have them face each other directly – in other words, parallel to each other. Zero use of arms, or even your wrists – this style is perfect for those who prioritize finesse over power.

types of drumstick grips - american grips

American Grip

The last variation of the Matched grip is the American Grip – it’s where the German and French grip merges together as one. For this stick grip style – you will have to keep your sticks at a 45-60 degree angle to each other.

Instead of having just your wrists or fingers do all the stick action; the entire strength of your arm is going to come into play! American grip makes use of the fingers, wrists, and arms equally, so it’s pretty easy to get a hold of.

Traditional Grip

The origin of the traditional grip is way back from the military marching drummers. The drum; which hangs from their neck or shoulder, is somewhat tilted – making it closer to one hip. This ensures the drummer can play the instrument smoothly without knocking into the knees or thighs.

Usually, jazz drummers are the ones using this style – for their combination works extremely well together. In the traditional style, you hold the drumstick using the underhand. Your thumb is placed on top of the stick, whereas the middle and index fingers rest on the stick. The other two fingers (the last ones) are placed below the drumstick. Basically, you have to hold the stick in an upside-down position.


Whether you’re planning to go for drum lessons for adults or get the little ones to join drum lessons for kids, learning a proper drumstick grip is one of the most important things you have to get right first! By joining a drum lesson even if you’re having a tough time figuring out the right style – your teacher will swoop in and help you out.

Our drum school and tutors are ready to develop your drumming basics in a fun environment. If you’d like to know more about the lesson content, fill in the form below and our team will get back to you soon.

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