Wrist pain from electronic drums?

Cann_Man28

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Hello friends! I have a roland td-11 kit, with all mesh heads, and the "nicer" ride cymbal. I used to practice on it for 4 to 6 hours a week. After a few years, I started developing pain at the base of my thumb on my left hand (I am lefty and play left hand lead). That pain travels up my arm to my elbow. I started playing that kit less and less, and the pain subsided. During the pandemic I had a chance to play an acoustic kit around 10 to 12 hours a week and the pain never returned (I kept that up for 10 weeks). I had to go back to my electric kit and after a few hours the pain started again.

Now my electric kit is collecting dust and I have a practice pad and a keyboard set up in my practice space instead of the td kit. Has anyone else ever had this experience? I think it's the shock travelling up the stick from the rubber cymbal, but I can't be sure. Anyone go through this and find out how to mitigate it?
 

richiegarcia4

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Yes, it is the shock. They make special anti-shock sticks for e-kits which helps a bit. Make sure your hands are warmed up before you play (even just soaking them in hot water). Ice when you're done playing.
When I had my e-kit, I replaced the cymbals with low volume cymbals.
 

electrodrummer

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Get maple sticks.
If you're using hickory or even oak they don't flex as well, so transmit vibes.

Flex: maple > hickory > oak

And use as thin as is comfy for your finger length / hand size.

You don't need specialist expensive sticks. Cheap maples are fine. (I get brick of pairs for £20 delivered here in the UK)

(been hitting pads since the mid-80s and my wrists still work :) )

---

(There's a also subtle issue with mesh heads - often people hold the sticks tighter to deal with/control the additional bounce)
 
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jazzerone

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A lot of e-drum players simply hit too hard --- this is one of the dynamics issues between e-drums and acoustics. Generally speaking, if you play the rubber cymbals on e-drums with the same force dynamics as on acoustics, you can develop hand and wrist issues. Mesh drum pads have helped with this, but cymbals are still made of that unforgiving rubber.

As others have said, changing sticks and stretching before and after playing can help, but also pay attention to how hard you're hitting.
 

jptrickster

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Lv’d playing them had to give them up , Absolutely killed my right wrist especially the rubber pies, they were murder especially cause I couldn’t hear them very well made me play even harder. J1 spot on , I could’nt master the switch to finessed soft touch from ham fisted gorilla grip technique
 

tarocco

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Taking some time to getting the settings for each pad right can help, that way you don't feel the need to hit really hard. A lot of the issues people have with edrums could be helped with careful calibration of each pad to your playing style. Keeping the cymbals loose can also help a lot. I haven't tried them but Zildjian anti-vibe sticks are supposed to help: https://zildjian.com/5a-anti-vibe-drumsticks.html
 

wolfereeno

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Odds are you are playing too hard. It's too simplistic and obvious to say just turn them up. That might be part of it but there are deeper factors.

The pad sensitivity settings for one but also compression or EQ in or out of the box.

If the drums are compressed with a lot of Limiter then you can keep hitting harder and you won't get more volume. That can make you over hit because the volume is not proportional to your efforts. You can also use Compression to make the sound seem louder but that's just in relation to other sounds. And that's again not allowing the volume to be linearly proportional to your hitting strength.

The sensitivity of pads and settings of the module or your vsts etc could do the same thing. Maybe do a factory reset and just start over with the settings.

Also perhaps get better headphones. Maybe closed ear ones.

Plus all the obvious stuff - technique, sticks, loosen up....
 
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