Lower Left Hand

discuss snare drumming technique

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JennCor Offline
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Lower Left Hand

Posted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:52 pm



Hey guys. I was wondering if anyone could help me with my full extension in my left hand (traditional grip). I have done many stretches and tried to stretch my wrist as far as it can go without hurting myself. I have been trying to strengthen and stretch the range of my left hand for awhile now. I never seem to be able to exactly match my right hand. When I try to loosen up on the stick my fingers start to let go and I don't keep the traditional fulcrum with my left hand. I also don't feel the same rebound in the stick as my right hand and I dont think I am choking up on the stick. I hope I can fix this because it is affecting my sound quality, accents, and more. Thank you!


Snare Playa Offline
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Re: Lower Left Hand

Posted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:14 am



Just hold it in the vertical position and feel the stretch, be sure to play your wight in a hand in vertical stick heights.
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JennCor Offline
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Re: Lower Left Hand

Posted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:55 am



Okay thanks! Is there any specific length I should do this for?


schorsquatch Offline
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Re: Lower Left Hand

Posted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:55 pm



I read this, and typed. Then I erased what I typed and read it again. Then I did it again.

I just don't understand the context: this just seems so specific, and so, well, non-musical. I'm processing the questions about "playing faster" better than I'm wrapping my mind around this. It almost seems like you are trying to put your left stick in the vertical, and hold it there, like some kind of visual. That will always require you to rotate around the elbow. The only occurrence of this that springs to mind, its really specific, is the Michigan State Series, where the snare drummers actually let the stick ride up the thumb (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBrylTyXRCE, it's fast, but look at 1:00)

What I find is that you have to rely on the wrist strength to start the upstroke, but for the top part of the stroke the stick is in motion... it reaches the top of the stroke and then your spring (the thumb and index finger) stop the upward motion and start the acceleration back down. So the strength and flexibility come from your index finger and thumb, not your wrist.

Could you post of video of yourself playing so we can actually take a look? Also, if you post the passage you are trying to achieve this. I'm just not getting it. Mind blown.
Without a metronome its not drumming, its just hacking.


JennCor Offline
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Re: Lower Left Hand

Posted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:47 pm



Thanks for the reply!
I'm not trying to do any kind of visual or anything like that. I am just trying to get my left hand to match the right hand on full strokes and accents.


schorsquatch Offline
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Re: Lower Left Hand

Posted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 1:11 pm



JennCor wrote:Thanks for the reply!
I'm not trying to do any kind of visual or anything like that. I am just trying to get my left hand to match the right hand on full strokes and accents.

Okay... this is really about legato, and feeling out the full range of stick motion while playing. The stick has to be moving, otherwise the spring can't work. If you can't get the legato going, then nothing else really matters. Grab your pad and a mirror.

As dumb and formulaic as this sounds, really you need to hit your basics and play with double stops (to compare stick heights). Please use a mirror. I would also do 1 measure of 8s on the right, 1 measure of 8s on the left, then 2 measures of alternating 16th notes, repeat. Work that at all different heights, not just full vertical. Start slow and go faster too. For general playing, you have to master heights and tempo.

You will find that you probably lack the strength to play both high and fast... that's why we practice to develop those skills. You will also feel burning in your left hand as the muscles work. That's okay. If anything, you will want to stretch out the fingers to stay loose and work the lactic acid out. BUTTTT.... the lynchpin is not extra wrist rotation, its having strength and control of your spring (index and thumb).

One last word of warning... do not succumb to the temptation to disengage your index finger and let the thumb do all the work. That's bad: no strength and no control.
Without a metronome its not drumming, its just hacking.


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