JK Drum Solutions: Drum Set Instruction, Transcriptions and Educational Podcasts
Drum Set Education Resources

A Clarification On 'Finger Control'

   The short of it: If you want to develop 'finger control' learn to not actively utilize your fingers against the stick. Many refer 'finger control' like a novelty catch-phrase but rarely intimate what it really means - leaving most to think pushing the stick around with the fingers is what gives you control of dynamics or speed. It does not. 'Finger control' doesn't really involve moving the stick directly with your fingers UNLESS you are playing tympani which is played differently.

   For what I know now that I wish they told me then: the back two or three fingers form a loose curl around the back of the stick and allow the stick to throttle between the palm and the finger tips. These fingers should never grip the stick. If you want faster or quiet dynamic control you will close the diameter of the loose curl around the stick.

   Also, DO NOT try to develop a bounce roll by merely thrusting the fingers in to the stick to bring it toward the drum as some erroneously teach. You cannot develop a single or double stroke roll by nudging fingers in to the stick. Won't work. Don't do it. Work from the wrist and let the stick develop momentum from that, moderating the gap of those back, curled fingers around the stick...the wider the width, the more the stick will move.

   To get an idea of how the position of the loose curl works, hold the sticks so they are pointed at the ceiling and throttle the stick in your hand like you are using a paddle ball allowing the back of the stick to rattle between the palm and fingers.

   Thoughts? Comments? Criticisms? I'm open to read your thoughts!