Stick technique advice for a beginner please.

Oldgitonadrum

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Hi everyone.
Being new to the forum, I do hope this is the correct place for my query.
I am a beginner drummer and am experiencing a lot of difficulty in reasonable technique with the drumsticks generally, but with getting consistency between left and right hands in particular. Currently I am unable to visit a drum tutor due to COVID-isolation for medical reasons. Please can anyone spare me some advice on best options prior to being able to get out again, which could be two or three months time.
There are a couple of books I have seen mention of: 1. Stick Technique by Bill Bachman 2. Stick Technique by Jim McCarthy. The excerpt from Jim McCarthy's book looks very comprehensive but I cannot seem to find any way of buying the book. Bill Bachman's book gets good reviews but I am unsure if it would be relevant to my beginner level.
Has anyone used both books and be willing to recommend this or other books based on my beginner status?
Any other suggestions for working on my technique would also be gratefully received.
YouTube has been pretty helpful for grip and rudiments, however overwhelms me very quickly about stick technique!
Thanks all.
 

footbeat

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Teachers can do lessons remotely via Skype or Zoom. If you have a phone with a decent camera, this should be good enough for someone to take a look at how you are holding the sticks and what your strokes are doing. I just recently switched from traditional grip to match grip and worked hard to change technique in both hands to get a good match grip. I did this with help from my son's teacher, who is now my teacher. I never used books or videos as a primary source of info. A good teacher is what always came first for me, and if you see books or videos that point you toward an area of interest, ask the teacher if they or someone they know can direct you.
 

Oldgitonadrum

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Hi Footbeat and thanks for your advice. I was recommended a drum teacher by a drummer friend but despite being in contact several times, due to the pandemic we are yet to actually meet. I will get in touch and ask him whether he's OK with Skype or Zoom, then we can see if my stone-age tech can handle it! Appreciate your help.
 

Oldgitonadrum

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Hi JDA and others. Thanks for spending your time and expertise helping me.

Luckily I've been on what I hope is JDAs suggested training regime for five months+ and it seems to work generally.
Have <photo 1> 'THE book'
Have variants of <photos 2-5>
Practice with discipline about 90 mins average six days per week: Stick Control, rudiments and a beginner drum book for kit work - about one third each. Fun drumming is always done as a separate session and doesn't count as practice.
The other thing I've been doing a lot is deliberately leading and/or accenting with the weak hand - tough!

However so far none of this seems to specifically help in any meaningful way with the inconsistency between weak (L) and strong (R) hand. Maybe I just need to persevere? Or are there other methods to target just this area as a priority?

It's frustrating the daylights out me presently. Feels like a big roadblock. I don't mind putting in the work, just want to find an efficient way to work.
 

footbeat

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Regarding the deficiency of the left hand, Jacques Delecluse says in Methode de Caisse-Claire, "It is essential to remember that the left hand is generally much weaker than the right; also, we will have to spend far more time on it to endeavor, right from the beginning, to correct this common failing... We have worked on the left hand for 30 minutes. We will only do 10 minutes with the right hand."
 

Oldgitonadrum

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Regarding the deficiency of the left hand, Jacques Delecluse says in Methode de Caisse-Claire, "It is essential to remember that the left hand is generally much weaker than the right; also, we will have to spend far more time on it to endeavor, right from the beginning, to correct this common failing... We have worked on the left hand for 30 minutes. We will only do 10 minutes with the right hand."

Thanks again Footbeat.
Those sound like very wise words. I like the idea. I'm also fairly sure I'll hate doing it. But I will do it regardless.
Respect, or as Monsieur Delecluse might possibly say 'chapeau'.
 

JDA

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However so far none of this seems to specifically help in any meaningful way with the inconsistency between weak (L) and strong (R) hand.
You have to see those as two seperate entittties...One lead one Follow- (or reverse it) But two left feet dancing is a mess
two Chefs in a kitchen (is an argument) etc..... One Forward scouts One brings up "the rear"...
It's in-tandem- always
think of your left as different not weaker. (ever watch a boxer
Then reverse the exercise. Like in Stick Control..
 
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Oldgitonadrum

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Hi again JDA.
I like the analogy.
You have obviously spotted me dancing also at some point.
 

cworrick

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think of your left as different not weaker. (ever watch a boxer
Then reverse the exercise. Like in Stick Control..

Right idea, but it is possible to get the weak hand "up to par"

Reversing the exercises is a great start. I love doing and teaching it. Instead of following along this forces the weak hand to take the lead. This helps when teaching in that I can play along with the students on a pad by facing them and being a mirror for them while playing. My left stick is their right stick and my right is their left. I've worked hard to be able to do this, but it is possible and well worth it.

Another old adage I grew up with is that to get the weak hand as strong as the dominant hand it had to work 9 times as hard. That means if you are doing one handed exercises, for every 1 time with your dominant hand you did the exercise 9 times with your weak hand. This is why I make my students learn drum set patterns both "regular" and "open" handed. This makes the weak hand work a little more as well as opening up more ambidextrous options around the kit. Just check out Simon Phillips videos to see what I'm talking about.

Keep working with the metronome. Start slow with the weak leading and work up the tempo when you are comfortable. Many times reversing the hands messes with the mind more than the hands.

Good Luck!
 

Rock Salad

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Here's a suggestion I don't see any harm in. But I am no type of expert at all.
Does it really take that much strength? To me it's like bouncing a ball, I can put as little or as much strength into it as I want. The "weak" side is going to be less coordinated and will try to compensate with strength, therefore feeling weak.
Maybe try some "throw, catch" exercises without time to see how well your hands and the sticks are working together. It sure helps me. From a ready position, drop the stick and catch it on the rebound to bring it back up to ready position. Simple, painless and effective
 

ThomFloor

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However so far none of this seems to specifically help in any meaningful way with the inconsistency between weak (L) and strong (R) hand. Maybe I just need to persevere? Or are there other methods to target?
Yes persevere, check in 6 months from now.
You needto do rudiments or excercies at a pace (bpm) that your right and left are equals and only then bring them up to speed slowly. Perhaps that is only 90 bpm right now, but just keep at it.
Other methods - try doing more things in your daily life left handed.....reaching in a cupbaord, turning a wrench...and so on. Small frequent activities like that make it more equal to your right.
 

Sinclair

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Get the books and gear Joe recommended, wake up early do 25 sit ups 25 push ups, have a light breakfast some strong coffee and stay away from women on practice days.
 

jaymandude

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Regarding the deficiency of the left hand, Jacques Delecluse says in Methode de Caisse-Claire, "It is essential to remember that the left hand is generally much weaker than the right; also, we will have to spend far more time on it to endeavor, right from the beginning, to correct this common failing... We have worked on the left hand for 30 minutes. We will only do 10 minutes with the right hand."
Oui, and when we are finished we will have a nice Bourdeaux and a cigarette...
 

Drm1979

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What helped me out on building my left hand up was playing 5 and 7 stroke rolls but leading with the left hand. Practice at a comfortable tempo 1st and then slowly build up.
 


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