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How to Hold Drumsticks

Aug. 1, 2023
Posted in: Drums
How to Hold Drumsticks
Instructions for holding drumsticks using Matched Grip


Music Instructor | Sage Music
How to hold drumsticks
Learn how to use the drumsticks using matched grip.

Getting started on the drums is exciting, but from your first drum lesson you'll need to know how to hold the drum sticks correctly with proper technique. Follow these easy steps to learn how.

How to hold drumsticks: Matched Grip

Time: 2 minutes
Supplies: Drumsticks

The grip you'll learn here is called "Matched Grip." Both hands are the same, they "match." So start by using your dominant hand and then repeat with the other hand, mirroring the look and feel.

1. Grip the stick with your dominant hand on the back end, with the bead pointing away from you

A closeup of the hand along the drum stick, correctly placed behind the balance point. Notice the hand placement relative to the American Flag common on Vic Firth sticks.

Pick up the stick with the bead facing away from you and with your hand comfortably behind the stick's balance point, closer to the end than the front. It's common practice to place your hand in the same spot every time you play by using the stick's identifying markings.

2. Lightly squeeze the stick between the pad of your thumb while wrapping the index finger around the stick

Your other fingers wrap around the stick as well, but the pinkie and ring fingers barely add any pressure.

3. Keep your wrists relaxed

Your wrist should stay loose and elastic to help your technique as well as to avoid injury. Also remember to keep the wrists generally straight. They should not be arched up or down, or deviated left or right.

4. Repeat the above steps with your non-dominant hand

Your hands will mirror one another in matched grip.

5. Get ready to play!

The drumsticks should start to feel like natural extensions of your arms as you get more and more comfortable. This takes time so don't be discouraged.

Get seated, after you've expertly set up your drum kit, and with both hands matching each other, you are ready to play!


Now that you can confidently pick up and hold your sticks, you’re ready to begin practicing your drum strokes!

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