Are you experiencing discomfort or pain when playing the drums? It's not uncommon for beginner drummers to experience this, but there's no need to worry! We can address these minor aches and pains before they become more frequent groans. It's normally just a case of understanding the importance of good posture, good technique, and an ergonomic drum set-up. Drumming should be fun, and staying fit and healthy is key to that goal. We are here to help!
One of the main benefits of taking drum lessons is the ability to quickly identify areas of your technique that may be leading to injury. Playing the drums should not hurt you. If it does, it is normally a break-down in grip, posture, or foot pedal technique. Our free video on these subjects will give you some helpful insight into developing your playing style to stay healthy and build control.
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Taking care of your hands.
Your hands should not bleed when you are playing the drums. This is completely avoidable by refining how you are holding your stick. If you follow the instructions in this free video, the worst-case scenario would be the occasional callus, and only if you play for many hours a week. Even that becomes less common over time. The key to controlled, dynamic, and comfortable drumming is holding the stick lightly. If you are experiencing discomfort in your hands, you may be holding the stick too tight. If you are regularly breaking sticks, this is also a sign that your grip may be too tight. When playing the drums and cymbals, working with the stick's natural rebound will help you avoid stress injuries, and we discuss this in our videos.
Neck and shoulder health.
Neck or shoulder pain is often a result of bad posture or a drum set-up that is not ergonomic. In our free video on posture, we show you how to set your drum seat according to your overall body height and stress the importance of sitting up straight on your lumbar spine. If you slouch by relaxing the lower back muscles, you will feel eventual discomfort in your lower back and neck. It may feel uncomfortable or even unnatural to sit up straight in the early days of drumming, but it is absolutely worth persevering. Sitting up straight will not only save your lower back and neck from stress but also facilitates better control of your arms and legs. Also, bear in mind that your drum set ergonomics can play a role. For example, even with good posture, if your drums and cymbals are set too low, too high, too close, or far away, you could be forcing yourself into an unnatural playing position. Our video on positioning your drums will help you find the right balance.
What about the hip?
If you are experiencing tenderness in the hip, this can be from sitting too high or too low on your drum seat and can also occur when you are hovering on the bass drum or hi-hat pedals. Let's talk about seat height first. Hopefully, you have invested in a comfortable, height-adjustable seat or throne, as they are often called. As Simon states in the posture video, the seat is your most important equipment item. A cheap model will not offer you the support you will need and are usually an after-thought for most beginner drummers. Don't skimp here, as your back health depends on it! Seat height is subjective, but we recommend that your thigh's angle is level with the ground as a general guideline. When you are playing the pedals, it is advisable to have your feet touching the footplate at all times. If you hover by raising either of your feet too high and off the footplate, you can put pressure on your hip, even with an appropriate seat height.
Feet and ankles.
Again, having an appropriate seat height can help alleviate any discomfort in your feet or ankles, but paying attention to the bass drum and hi-hat pedal technique is equally important. In our video on bass drum technique, we discuss the heel-up and heel-down techniques that can improve your control and give you comfort and support at the same time. If you are finding that your shin is hurting due to playing the bass drum or hi-hat pedals, this might be down to your technique, and using a heel-up technique can help, as outlined in our bass drum technique video.
We are here to help.
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