Types Of Stick Grips
- Drum Sets

Types Of Stick Grips – Which One Is Yours?

Do you know, holding the drumsticks in a certain way can impact your performance? We have seen aspiring drummers running behind advanced techniques and neglecting the basic ones. If you are going to invest more time in polishing your basics then the result will be more appealing.

Just because you love an artist don’t blindly follow what they do or how they hold the drum sticks. They follow the things that are more comforting for them. So you should follow something that suits you and your style of drumming. 

There are multiple benefits associated with the way you hold the drumsticks. The correct stick grip will give you more control over the drumsticks. With maximum control in your hands, you can play the drums with more efficiency result in an endearing performance.

If you have been performing for a really long time but the technique is not right then this could be the turning point for you. Now, let us get into their types and make your drumstick grip stronger.

DrumStick Grip

There are mainly two types of stick grips i.e. matched and traditional. The matched grip is further differentiated into three more types. We will explain them to you one by one.

how to improve drumstick grip

Matched Grip

Matched grip style has been a popular style amongst a lot of drummers. Another term used for the matched grip is parallel grip. Here, the drummer holds the drumsticks in both the hands in the same manner. The use of this technique is also done in playing other percussion instruments.

The general idea of using this technique is to grip the drumsticks with the index finger and the middle finger will curl around the bottom of the stick. Make sure your thumb is on the top of the stick. Here, the palms will face downward. The end result will be the stick that moves freely and bounces after striking the instrument. By now how to hold drumsticks matched grip might be clear. Let’s get into the clearest form this grip through its types.

German Grip

In German grip, you are holding the drumsticks in such a way that your palms are parallel to the instrument. The movement of the sticks depends on the wrist so you will get to use a lot of power while playing drums. You have to fully turn your hand and then hold the sticks.

Another difference lies in the angle at which you will hold them. Place the drumsticks on the drum in a way that a 90-degree angle is formed. This will give you the perfect German grip. Yes, you will lose finesse with this but you will get the apt amount of power to play the bass drum.

German grip

French Grip

In French Grip, everything is not in your hands but fingers. Drummers who don’t like to use more power of their arms could opt for this grip. The palms of your hands will be facing each other so your drumsticks will be parallel.

You are not even going to use your wrist. Thus, this grip would provide more finesse to its user. With fingers, you cannot enforce high power stroke so it is better to use the technique for styles like jazz.

French Grip

American Grip

Last but not least in the matched grip category is the American grip. It is a combination of the German and French grip. So both the fingers and wrist will be used in this case. The angle will be changed from 90 degrees to 45 degrees. Your arms will be in a more relaxing position as compared to the German grip that makes your elbow stick out a bit.

American grip

Traditional Grip

Traditional grip technique is called so as it has been descended from the military marching drummers. While marching the snare drum was hung from the neck or one shoulder. So the drum was closer to one hip as compared to another. Also, the drum is tilted slightly. This helped the drummer in playing drums without colliding with their knees or thighs. 

With the underhand grip, it was much more comfortable to play the drums. For this, hold the drum stick with your thumb on one side and the other finger on another side. Now, move the last two fingers below the stick while the index and middle finger rest on the stick. Also, the stick must be held in an upside down position. This will give you the perfect traditional grip.

traditional grip technique

The other names used for the traditional grip are conventional grip and orthodox grip. You can also refer it as an unmatched grip as both the hands hold the stick differently. The right hand will use the overhand grip while the left one will use the underhand grip. It has been a popular grip technique in jazz drumming. You can even use it for other softer drumming styles. Be more creative while playing the drum set.

Drum Stick Recommendations

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Promark drum stick

Promark LA Special

Hickory is one of the most popular wood choice for drumsticks by professionals. The stick has high resilience, durability, responsiveness, and classic feel that every drum player loves.

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Vic Firth Drum Sticks

Vic Firth American Classic Drum Sticks

This American Classic line is a combination of tradition and Vic Firth style. With its bold design it produces fuller sound and deep back-cut tips for that intensified cymbal response.


If we go on to find the result of traditional vs matched grip then there is no specific solution to it. Each form of stick grip has its own advantages and disadvantages. So you should learn all of them. If you are aware of the different techniques then you will be able to use them according to their advantages in a different style. Don’t get scared by the thought that whether you will able to master them or not. Just give it a try.

Once you know all of them it will be easy to make a choice. We do believe that traditional grip is a bit difficult as both the hands hold the sticks differently. In the case of marching drummers or jazz drumming, it is really helpful. You won’t hurt yourself or save yourself from the strains that are caused due to use of incorrect grip technique. Also, learn them and practice thoroughly. Do share what are your thoughts on these stick grips. If you know more about them then share your views. Also, for those with queries on these techniques can send them to us through the comment section. We will try to answer them as soon as possible.

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