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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-01-2009, 09:17 PM
DrMapex's Avatar
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Arrow Left Hand Grip and Dexterity - HELP!!


Hey guys, I'm pulling my hair out here.

You have probably guessed by now that I'm a right-handed drummer suffering from speed, accuracy, stamina and grip problems with my left hand.

I do sticking exercises (LLLL, RRRR, then x8, then x12 etc etc) most days for about 10 mins, practice on my kit almost every day for between half an hour and 90 mins depending on my schedule but for as long as I've been working on this specific problem, I've seen no noticeable difference and I'm really starting to doubt that I actually possess the dexterity in my left hand to learn for example the 'flying fingers' technique for blast beats etc.

My right hand does more or less whatever I want it to, I could do with more speed, but that's like money in the music I'm in a band producing - you can never have too much - but my left feels sluggish and inaccurate and no matter what I do I always hit from like 10% upper arm, 20% elbow, 70% wrist, but I CANNOT GET MY F***ING FINGERS TO WORK!!

Is it possible to use entirely fingers/wrist (80/20) on the right hand, and from the wrist/arm on the left and still be a reasonably good drummer? In short, am I fighting a losing battle or just an incredibly long and frustrating one?

I can't figure out how to make my fingers on my left hand work! If you have ANY suggestions, PLEASE HELP!!!

Thanks

Taz
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 10-10-2009, 02:32 AM
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Re: Left Hand Grip and Dexterity - HELP!!


why don't you check your grip? how u grip your stick makes lots of difference. i use moller technique, which if u are not aware of can be found on you tube.
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:37 PM
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Re: Left Hand Grip and Dexterity - HELP!!


I'd focus more on single stroke rolls rather than the LLLL RRRR exercise, because you'll get depressed hearing how slow and sluggish the LLLL continues to sound.

The trick for me is to play singles at a very relaxed, comfortable speed and then give an extra pinch or squeeze at the fulcrum (where you're holding the sticks between the thumb and first finger) and blast away as fast as you can in a quick spurt, then return to the relaxed pace. If you keep that up for a decent period of time with alternating speeds in short bursts, you'll be amazed at the progress you make. I think the theory is your brain has to hear it fast before your hands will do it.
And because you're doing something you know how to do without thinking, you can concentrate 100% on what your left hand is doing, to make sure you're getting finger action going. I practice on a practice pad for this exercise so I can play real loud and lean into it a bit without anyone minding the noise. It's good to vary the dynamics so your fingers know what to do when you're playing softly (all fingers) and loudly (more arms and wrists). I also vary the stick sizes and shapes too, like doing a weight routine.

Good luck. Don't give up. Left hand speed for the right handed player is definitely our biggest challenge, along with left foot speed for the double bass player.
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Old 10-15-2009, 11:24 PM
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Re: Left Hand Grip and Dexterity - HELP!!


Try just using your left hand more - use it to open stuff and brush you teeth etc. You might want to use heavier sticks in your left hand as well.
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Old 12-20-2009, 10:19 PM
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Re: Left Hand Grip and Dexterity - HELP!!


Both these messages are good, but you know if you believe your hand to be slow, then it always will APPEAR that it is. Excercises as both drummers have pointed out, are the key to building speed but you must also build strength. I had an old friend, John Sadoski a jazz player out of Toronto. He used a trick when he had to get ready for a gig and had not practised for a while. You might try this. He put on a heavy gloves and an overcoat, then would go like hell for 30 to 40 minutes. He said it worked by applying resistance to his body, and when he took everything off, he had the speed and warm up he needed. You might try it with a heavy glove on your left hand. Also... your left hand will naturally be weaker if you are right handed so don't dispair, just don't beat yourself up about it.
Hope I am of some help, Christopher J
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:52 AM
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Re: Left Hand Grip and Dexterity - HELP!!


Hey Christopher, thanks for posting.

I actually use the wear-something-warm-to-warm-up technique when it's really cold (as it is now) in my practice room or I'm having difficulty limbering up when I start, so I know that to be a good technique, thanks!

A problem I face as far as the left hand dexterity is concerned is that about 6 years ago I broke my left wrist in 4 places, one of the breaks very nearly turned into what's called a compound fracture (broken bone puncturing skin). This left my wrist permanently weakened to an extent - although not severely - and the nerves and tendons were dealt damage from which they may never fully recover.

A modification of your idea involves something I saw in some crappy circular catalogue - wrist and ankle weights, usually used for jogging or the like. I see no reason that these could not be applied to drumming to build strength in respective limbs...

Thanks again for your thoughts,

Keep tubthumping!

Taz
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Old 12-21-2009, 06:17 AM
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Re: Left Hand Grip and Dexterity - HELP!!


I hope your wrist heals well. We are somewhat the same. I just had a ring finger, left hand joint replacement due to osteoarthiritis. I can't bend my ring finger and that is where, by traditional grip , the stick rests. Sometimes (and I remember I saw this manipulation by Buddy Rich, i think) I slip the rest from the ring to inbetween the middle and index finger, especially if I want some speed. You might try that. Also remember to use the bounce, a good open double stroke can be sometimes subsituted for a single stroke.
Take care of that wrist, it has to last you a lifetime.
Regards, Christopher J
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