In the world of music, there are certain seemingly insignificant actions that musicians end up doing that are directly tied to their skill. Be it humming tunes in the shower that sound extraordinary for a vocalist, to the random harmonics of a guitarist. These are all just a sign of the skill of a musician. And one such trick that is performed by musicians, namely drummers, is the drumstick spin in their hands. Let us discuss that today.
The drums are one of the most popularly played instruments today in the world of music, especially in the less electronically focused industry of music. And drummers have been seen pulling off the action of spinning their drumsticks in their hands for years now.
But how do they pull this technique off? Is this just sleight of hand? Well, it is a bit more complicated than that. But to turn a long story short, yes, it is not that complicated of a technique to pull off or learn – but mastering it is a completely different thing. That is where it will make or break it for most people.
Weird as it may sound at first, but there are actually various different ways that a drummer can pull off spinning a drumstick. It can be done in one fell swoop without hesitating, but it can also be done in portions. We will now look at a few of these approaches.
Like a Police Baton
This can be achieved by placing the drumstick between the middle finger and index finger. This one is probably considered the simplest of the techniques we will be looking at today. Place the center of the drumstick at the lower end of the gap between your index and middle. The stick should rest at the middle, down, touching the end of the space between the two fingers.
Now alternate the space between your fingers, and keep the stick moving in a slightly rotating motion. By moving them alternatingly like a pendulum, going upwards and downwards. As it does so, the trickiest part comes in now. As you are using the muscles between the two fingers to move the stick up and down, you’ll have to keep it going sideways too.
To do this, move the two fingers in such a way that the drumstick tends to move up and down, and also sideways. So much so that the shape it ends up creating looks like the number “8”, or the infinity symbol! Due to gravity, this motion will eventually end when your fingers cannot fight the natural forces and the stick comes to rest. Start over again, and keep practicing this to get it done.
Index finger to thumb catch
It’s slightly less complicated, but in reality – probably trickier to pull off. Grab the stick by hooking your index finger around the stick, and grip the stick with the pad of your thumb. Wrap the three other fingers around the drumstick below as you would if you were playing the drumstick.
Pinch the drumstick momentarily between the index and thumb as it already was, and use the other three fingers, namely the middle to sort of “flick” the stick in an upward motion. It will cause the stick to roll over from between the index and thumb to the middle and the index. As the motion continues, you need to now catch it with the thumb.
Before the motion ends, use your thumb to take over the stick and roll it back into its original position. Now return to the state it was at before, and repeat this process. Surely, it may sound more difficult to pull off, and maybe it is. But this one is considered much more impressive amongst drummers to be able to pull off.
Spinning with all four fingers
This one is extremely simple, and many people have already been doing it for years using pens and pencils without even realizing it. Use your grip from the previous technique to start off.
Place the drumstick between our thumb and your index. As you do this, use your thumb to “flick” the drumstick in a downward motion. It should rotate and move away towards your middle finger. Now let the stick slide between your middle and index from your index and thumb.
Do this rotating motion again to rotate it towards your middle finger and ring finger, and as the drumstick rotates, just like before, catch it between your middle and ring. Lastly, do this one more time, to make the stick rotate in a way that it moves onto your pinky and your ring.
Now that you have run out of fingers to keep the motion repeating, you have to reverse directions. When the stick reaches your pinky, instead of letting the rotations occur on the palm-side of your hand, make them continue in the same clockwise motion but at the back of your hand. This way, you can use your pinky to keep the drumstick going upward and let the middle finger catch it.
After catching it successfully, the middle finger and index finger can do the rotation one more time to make the stick go back into its original position of being between the index and the thumb.
We understand if this technique was not the easiest to explain, and in reality, it can be rather confusing. Try to have patience with this technique if you are trying to pull it off. As difficult as it may seem at first, it’s a worthy technique or trick to learn.
Was this article helpful to you? We hope we have been able to help you understand how spinning a drumstick is possible by drummers and alike. What may seem like a sleight of hand or trick at first is simply a lot of practice and proficiency of the fingers. Happy drumming and drumstick spinning!
You Can Also Read: How To Hold Drumsticks