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The Natural Grip is just a term I came up with to describe my approach to holding the drumstick. I simply start with the most relaxed, ergonomic position my body can be in, with no contortion or rotation of the arm, wrist or fingers. I believe The Natural Grip is the most basic, fundamental way to hold a drumstick and should be the building block for all other grips and fulcrum positions.

There's really no secret to The Natural Grip. The key is simple: don't contort your body in order to hold the drumstick ... which we've all probably done at some point.

Let's get back to basics!


Let your arms hang down at your side ... like you would while walking down the street ... totally relaxed. Take a drumstick and slide the stick into the opening in one of your relaxed hands which is still hanging down at your side. Gently and slowly begin closing the fingers around the drumstick ... applying just enough pressure so that the drumstick won't fall to the ground. Remember ... only the minimum amount of pressure. Now raise your forearm to a horizontal position, horizontal to the floor, so that you are ready to strike the drum/cymbal. Notice the openness of the grip and the relaxed state of your hand. THAT is THE grip ... if you want to be the most relaxed you can be with the most natural way to hold a drumstick.

It doesn't get any simpler than that! By all means, experiment and see what works best for you. There's nothing wrong with other grips or fulcrums! Each of us are unique and our bodies are all slightly different. Find out where your "natural position" is and work from there. If you are experiencing tension or fatigue in your grip (fingers, hands, arms) to getting back to basics and start with The Natural Grip ... then build from there.

Bart Elliott

Bart Elliott is a degreed professional musician currently residing in Nashville, Tennessee. His 40 years in the music industry, over 100 albums to his credit, as well as his understanding of contemporary and classical music, makes him a complete and skilled master musician. A highly sought after drummer and percussionist, both live and in the studio, Bart is widely known as a top music educator, visual artist, consultant and gifted teacher, appearing as a guest artist and clinician throughout the USA and abroad.

Bart Elliott is the founder and sole proprietor of DrummerCafe.com — established in December 1996.

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