Grip issue

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
Most drummers deal with sweaty hands. For me it's the opposite: My hands are really dry & smooth.
With this, I find grip impossible unless I hold on tight, and that causes muscle fatigue.

I've tried Gorilla Snot (so sticky it tears my hands up), grip tape (making the stick handle too thick) as well as a rosin bag (white powder everywhere).

Vic Firth and Zildjian make a rubber gripped sticks, but both of these are expensive.

Any of you out there found a trick that might help? I'm sort of at wits end here.
 

Maverick10

Senior Member
Hey there,

I recently went through something like this. I took a break form playing for about 6 years and come back to playing in bands about 6 years ago and found i had to work on my grip again. I was losing sticks all over. That lead me down the rabbit hole on what sticks to use. I now have enough sticks across multiple brands to last me another 10 years. I don't break sticks hardly ever.

But i Digress.


I have found that same things that you had. Grip tape was too tacky, i didn't like the rosin bag because it would get every where. I tried Gorilla snot for a second. The sticks with grip on them were fine for pad work but when i got on kit it wasn't as nice. The only grip i've found that works is Tennis Racket handle grip. it's super soft, one pack can wrap three pairs of sticks and it's about $6.99 depending on color and brand you get. I didn't mind having a thicker grip on say a 5B size stick.

But the one thing that has worked without adding anything to my sticks or buying special sticks is i use lotion about ten minutes before i play. I had to find the right lotion for me that wasn't to greasy or to tacky. I keep a small travel size in my gig bag. with that i can play any sticks I want and not need grip tape or rubber gripped sticks.

Hope that helps.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Mav above seems to have covered what I was gonna say.

Thicker sticks, 5b is perfect imo.

Lotion so your hands aren't so dry. Spending money on the expensive stuff might have surprisingly good results.

Don't wash your hands too close to showtime if possible.
 

blinky

Senior Member
Like the good doctor ordered, lotion and 5b sticks, I would also recommend Vic Firth Double Glaze sticks, made as 5a and 5b. This works great for me, I have very dry hands too.
 

Maverick10

Senior Member
oh yeah, the Double Glaze are great. i have 2 pairs of the 5B and a pair of the 5A's.

What i was saying was with the tennis racket handle grip since it's a bit thicker than regular stick grips. A 5B will feel thicker like a 2B. SO you could get a pair of 5A's feeling thicker like 5B's and so on and so on.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
Something just struck me as I read this thread. I participate in a number of forums that cover a bunch of topics. One topic is shaving. One of the things that guys will do to prevent a wet razor with a smooth handle from slipping out of their hands is to rub their finger with Alum. I might suggest you do the same thing. A block of shaving alum runs about $5 or $6. Wet an end of the block and start by just rubbing some on your fingers that primarily hold the sticks and see if that works. If you still find slippage, add more to other parts of your hands. It might just do the trick without augmenting the sticks with rubber or tennis grip tape and the only thing you'll need to do is wash your hands after you are finished playing. I don't have the problem but I think this could do the trick.
 

Ronzo

Junior Member
I had a similar issue.
Tried Zildjian dip sticks (black dip) and found the dip wore out quickly.
Then I tried Zildjian Trilok Gurtu sticks and found them much better.
Not sure if the yellow dip is different than the black but it has held up very well.
Also fell in love with the change of stick diameter at the fulcrum.
They are not that much more $.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I have really dry sandpaper-y hands-and I've been using a death grip now forever. Because I tried the dipped sticks, resin, about everything but all seemed to produce a new problem. But just within the last few weeks after watching a video of Ed Soph explaining grips -I'm loosening up really nicely btw-my sticks aren't flying around or too loose which surprised me (was counterintuitive to my having to squeeze the crap out of it with two fingers mostly). I can't believe the difference in sound of drums and cymbals when I strike them and I'm not fighting my sticks so easier. Before everything was up front with a death grip with index and thumb which Ed showed me was all wrong. Doing rudiments are easier and flow easier-I'm just all giddy I finally lucked up and found something to change my death grip (a blind squirrel does find a nut every once in awhile) LOL.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I have really dry sandpaper-y hands-and I've been using a death grip now forever. Because I tried the dipped sticks, resin, about everything but all seemed to produce a new problem. But just within the last few weeks after watching a video of Ed Soph explaining grips -I'm loosening up really nicely btw-my sticks aren't flying around or too loose which surprised me (was counterintuitive to my having to squeeze the crap out of it with two fingers mostly). I can't believe the difference in sound of drums and cymbals when I strike them and I'm not fighting my sticks so easier. Before everything was up front with a death grip with index and thumb which Ed showed me was all wrong. Doing rudiments are easier and flow easier-I'm just all giddy I finally lucked up and found something to change my death grip (a blind squirrel does find a nut every once in awhile) LOL.
Right on, Art.

Happy to hear; you'll benefit hugely for the stuff you like to play. That death grip was holding you back, so huge step!
 

Maverick10

Senior Member
Awesome. I agree working on your grip from a technical aspect def helps. It help me when i got back into playing when i was having muscle fatigue and pain. Alot of that was playing against 3 loud amps unmicd so i was slamming.

now i just use the lotion to keep my hands from cracking and being dry. Which also helps grip the sticks better with my looser grip.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I did a series on using Plastic-Dip, the tool handle grip material. Dip the sticks in the can, hang them tip up until they dry, and play on. They worked fine for me and lasted forever. If you want to re-do them, just peel off the old stuff. This can will do a ton of sticks.

 
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RickP

Gold Member
My hands don’t sweat and I have found sticks with heavy lacquer are best for allowing me to relax my grip and avoid cramping from gripping the stick too hard .
Regal Tip’s finish is ideal for me and I have been using their sticks for about ten years now . I dally in other sticks but always come back to Regal Tip .
the new Vic Firth Double Glaze models work well for me . If Vic Firth offered the Peter Erskine Big Band stock in double glaze I would be buying bricks of them .
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
Regal Tip’s finish is ideal for me and I have been using their sticks for about ten years now . I dally in other sticks but always come back to Regal Tip .
The new Vic Firth Double Glaze models work well for me . If Vic Firth offered the Peter Erskine Big Band stock in double glaze I would be buying bricks of them.
Thanks for all the replies! I have a lot to think about here.
I've been a fan of Regal's for a long time, but are hard to come by. Many stores don't carry them & I'm not about to order online a stick I haven't felt in my hands.
I'll check out the double glaze. I hadn't heard of those before.
 

Frosticles

Silver Member
I cured this problem a couple of years ago now. I bought some Gig Grips which did work but were slightly uncomfortable & used to twist. When I broke one I thought Elastic Bands would do the same job. I tried them & have never looked back. Your sticks don't slip, Can hold them a lot looser lessening cramping issues & the best thing......... £1.00 for 100 :)

Untitled by Kevin Frost, on Flickr
Untitled by Kevin Frost, on Flickr
Untitled by Kevin Frost, on Flickr
 

SYMBOLIC DEATH

Senior Member
What if you break a stick? Can you drop the stick easily and get a replacement? Obviously not one with another band on it.
I ask because you are possibly the only person I've run into that use something like that?
 

Chunkaway

Silver Member
I have had good luck with surf wax. Zildjian's stick wax is a bit too tacky for me, so I use Sex Wax Surf Wax. It isn't too tacky and it is cheap.
 

newoldie

Silver Member
The cheapest and best grip enhancer I've found is Gulfwax Paraffin Wax- $6.00 for 4 blocks of this stuff!!! Just rub a little on the sticks and it will help the grip w/out being too tacky, sticky or abrasive to the skin. I keep 1 block in the accessory bag, 1 in the practice room, 1 in my car, 1 in the living room- whew, never out of it but have used it non-stop for several years now. https://www.truevalue.com/household-paraffin-wax-1-lb
 

Frosticles

Silver Member
What if you break a stick? Can you drop the stick easily and get a replacement? Obviously not one with another band on it.
I ask because you are possibly the only person I've run into that use something like that?
Yes. have only had the need to do it once but easy :)
 

BonsaiMagpie

Junior Member
I played a gig at -3 Celsius in a bar which kept the door open for smokers, idiots. My hands were so cold and so smooth the only way i could hold sticks was to spit on my hands and rub it in. It's not the nicest thing to do, or the most hygenic, but in a pinch in can really give you some stick grip.
It's the same as licking your thumb when you can't make your fingers snap.
 
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