I Switched to Open Hand

chillybase

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2019
Messages
321
Reaction score
179
Location
Roanoke, VA
I will preface this by saying that I'm not a great drummer. I've only been at it as a hobby for about 2-3 years worth of lessons. I do have a musical background as a guitarist and singer. I took up drums after my drummer friend and once bandmate, Todd, passed away. He was an awesome dude and one of my best friends. He played lefty and I am generally a lefty with most things. I bought one of his old kits and set it up lefty. It felt pretty natural. Over the couple of years of taking lessons, I have a problem developing my left kick foot. It would get solid for a while and then all of sudden it didn't seem to respond as well. I know we have peaks and valleys in our playing and practicing. This just seemed worse to me than that.

I have read that Homer Steinweiss had to switch his kit up because his kick foot wasn't cooperating anymore, either. So a few days ago I switched my kit to be an open hand righty kit. This is probably the best time to switch things up while COVID takes over the gigging world. Not that I gigged that much but still. I think this will open me up to be able to sit in on a kit when the time comes without having to move too many things around.

This is my kit as a lefty
IMG_0201.jpeg


This is my kit an open-handed righty
IMG_0216.jpeg


Out of the gate, I am finding that my right foot is responding better. I do have other techniques that need to be reworked and trained. I'm hoping in the long run that this will prove to be a worthy endeavor.
 

swarfrat

tympanus laqueus XV
Joined
Dec 15, 2014
Messages
5,861
Reaction score
1,030
I'm a righty that plays open handed. I tried setting up left handed because it's not super ideal for right handers,but my feet are even more handed than my hands. I didn't have a double pedal then though...hmm
 

cworrick

The BIG Bunny on the block
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2005
Messages
7,610
Reaction score
1,605
Location
Northeast Indiana
I'm just curious how you reach the floor tom sitting in front of the bass drum in your open handed setup? :scratch: :dontknow:





:laughing3:
 

jsp210

Well-Known Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2015
Messages
377
Reaction score
392
Location
Western NC
Whether you stick with the open handed setup or not it is a worthwhile endeavor to spend some time with it. Start brushing your teeth and eating with utensils using your weaker hand too. It will surely help balance your hands (and brain) and spark creativity.
 

Rich K.

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
11,852
Reaction score
1,661
Location
Savannah, GA
Open hand playing makes a lot of sense. I usually try it to break up boredom or rest my right hand in the middle of gigs for a few minutes during a song on a gig.
I have had new students that start out that way, but I usually switch them initially to the traditional way of playing because that's what I know.
If I had it to do all over again, I'd play open handed.
 

JimmySticks

Very well Known Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
1,131
Reaction score
1,123
Location
Queens NY
Whether you stick with the open handed setup or not it is a worthwhile endeavor to spend some time with it. Start brushing your teeth and eating with utensils using your weaker hand too. It will surely help balance your hands (and brain) and spark creativity.
That might be one of the coolest things I've ever heard, and I've been around awhile. I don't know if it works or if your even serious, but it's a very cool thought nonetheless!
 

chillybase

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2019
Messages
321
Reaction score
179
Location
Roanoke, VA
It is weird to be left-handed and right footed 9at least that's how it feels right now). My right foot is responding more. I imagine there are pros and cons to every setup. You definitely need to try things out to see what works. I've been trying to get my left foot to work and there's just something wrong with it.

I've made this kit as modular as I think it can be. The 14" floor tom is a rack tom with Inde mounts. The 16" floor tom in front of the kick drum can be converted to a small kick. I don't use the 18" floor tom often so it has become a table. Even with all the options, I do sometimes long for a simple, small Ludwig classic maple Downbeat in blue sparkle.
 

jsp210

Well-Known Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2015
Messages
377
Reaction score
392
Location
Western NC
That might be one of the coolest things I've ever heard, and I've been around awhile. I don't know if it works or if your even serious, but it's a very cool thought nonetheless!
I'm dead serious! Based on my experience, it accelerates the process of becoming ambidextrous on the kit. All my setups now have a floor tom and something I can ride and crash on each side.

GretschBirdseye.jpg
 

swarfrat

tympanus laqueus XV
Joined
Dec 15, 2014
Messages
5,861
Reaction score
1,030
I've actually tried to learn to write left handed. Not to switch but just to build some dexterity/independence. (But mostly because my son is left handed and has some dysgraphia. Dad's left handed writing looks about like his. Sometimes I write the notes he gets in his lunchbox from time to time left handed. He can tell.)
 

jsp210

Well-Known Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2015
Messages
377
Reaction score
392
Location
Western NC
It is weird to be left-handed and right footed 9at least that's how it feels right now). My right foot is responding more. I imagine there are pros and cons to every setup. You definitely need to try things out to see what works. I've been trying to get my left foot to work and there's just something wrong with it.

I've made this kit as modular as I think it can be. The 14" floor tom is a rack tom with Inde mounts. The 16" floor tom in front of the kick drum can be converted to a small kick. I don't use the 18" floor tom often so it has become a table. Even with all the options, I do sometimes long for a simple, small Ludwig classic maple Downbeat in blue sparkle.
There's nothing wrong with your situation of having left hand/right foot dominance. Set up both floor toms and don't look back. Just requires time to develop. Good luck!
 

shuffle

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 31, 2009
Messages
6,662
Reaction score
1,016
Location
Reno/Tahoe
Whether you stick with the open handed setup or not it is a worthwhile endeavor to spend some time with it. Start brushing your teeth and eating with utensils using your weaker hand too. It will surely help balance your hands (and brain) and spark creativity.
Been doing it for yrs!
It works!
 

RIDDIM

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
4,332
Reaction score
1,068
Location
MD
I'm dead serious! Based on my experience, it accelerates the process of becoming ambidextrous on the kit. All my setups now have a floor tom and something I can ride and crash on each side.

View attachment 456310
- I haven't put a FT on the left much, but I've been open handed with rideable cymbals on either side for years. Leads to different defaults figures/grooves, if you will, and stronger, more consistent backbeats when needed. My right side is more nuanced, but the more I develop the weaker side, the better I can function with it.
 

JimmySticks

Very well Known Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
1,131
Reaction score
1,123
Location
Queens NY
I'm dead serious! Based on my experience, it accelerates the process of becoming ambidextrous on the kit. All my setups now have a floor tom and something I can ride and crash on each side.

View attachment 456310
Well, I'll be a son of a gun.

Why didn't anyone ever tell me that when I was like 21!!!? Who knows where I'd be today? :sad7:

Alright, I'm down. I'll be spilling food all over the place for awhile, but if that's the price for better independence, than I'll pay it!!! :-D
 


Top