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How to hold a



People may often not look into this aspect of drumming, some may feel like it doesn’t matter how you hold a drumstick, but it is a very important thing to get right especially when starting out playing the drums. 


Changing the way you hold a stick becomes a lot more difficult if you have been drumming for a long time. 

Holding a drumstick incorrectly for a long period of time can cause RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury).   Your hands and wrists may be under lots more pressure and stress if the sticks are held incorrectly.  Therefore it is important to learn how to hold the drumstick correctly. 


Drummers can always improve on their skills on the drum kit.  But holding drumsticks correctly and being able to change between the three techniques will allow you to be more energy efficient as well as increasing control, bounce and versatility.


Matched Grip


This is the most common grip for drummers.  It offers full control, power and speed around the drum kit. 

Take the stick and hold it with your palm facing down placing your thumb on the side of the stick with the index finger placed on top. 


The other three fingers support the stick from underneath.  It is very important NOT to grip the stick too tight (RSI risk!), but then not too loosely so the stick falls from your fingers. 


Matched grip


French Grip


The less popular grip is the French Grip.  However it is still used a lot when switching from power to agility for example.  This grip mainly uses the fingers to move the stick.  The wrists are not used as much, which means you will save energy, but you will lack the power.  It is great for fast passages such as single stroke rolls. 


To hold the stick, pinch and pivot the stick with the thumb and the index finger.  Then use the remaining three fingers to act as a spring and to support the stick. 


French grip


All three grips are great to use in drumming.  It is always down to personal preference when it comes to holding the drumstick.  But these three grips will ensure that you will get off to a great start with your drumming helping you to save energy, move comfortably around the kit, have full control and help prevent the risk of RSI!!


Also switching between all three of these grips is a great way to help towards your drumming development.  More options will become available to you such as switching from power to speed comfortably and in a controlled way.


I hope this has helped all those who are new to drumming and also some players with more experience.  Try them out and see which grip works best for you!