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Blog overview

5 tips for left-handed drummers

Team Soundbrenner, in Music lessons
Apr 18, 2023 | min read

Drumming As A Leftie

Are you a musician like me who happens to use their left hand dominantly while the rest of the world (90% of the population) uses their right hand? Left-handed people often get the short end of the stick when it comes to the tools available for them to use comfortably in the world, and certain instruments can provide a challenge for us as well. 

The same thing goes for the world of drumming in particular. Since most drummers are right-handed, they typically arrange their drum sets in a way that may not be easy for left-handed drummers to adapt to if they want to play on the same setup.

The good thing is that drumming as a leftie is not impossible, and there are plenty of left-handed drummers out there who have found major success, including names like Dominic Howard from Muse and Phil Collins.

If you’re down for a fun challenge, you may find that drumming as a leftie will give you even more exciting musical moments than you would have expected! 

The 5 Best Tips:

Tip 1: Practice with a metronome

Left-Handed Drummers

Whether you’re a lefty or a righty, keeping rhythm is always an important priority.

A metronome helps you develop a sense of rhythm and tempo so you can perform your music with accuracy and precision. If you are just starting out and want to improve your sense of rhythm while singing and playing, a tool like the Soundbrenner Core can help. It can slow you down and play at a more reasonable speed until you get the hang of it, and then gradually increase the tempo.

Designed for musicians by musicians, this vibrating metronome will help you revolutionize your practice sessions by making sure you stay on beat all the time!

Additionally, the Soundbrenner core has an inbuilt vibrating metronome, contact tuner, dB meter and smartphone functions, making it any musician’s ultimate practice companion.

Learning the rhythm section by section at a slow speed helps you concentrate on the intricacies of the beat. The trick is to do things slowly and in baby steps. This way, you can keep the beat under your control and avoid making any mistakes.

Keep in mind that haste makes waste. Don’t rush through learning the rhythm; instead, spend some time perfecting it at each tempo level.

Tip 2: Know The Best Setup For Lefties

Most people set up drum kits for right-handed individuals, so left-handed drummers need to set up a mirrored kit. To avoid feeling uncomfortable and playing awkwardly on a right-handed kit, it’s important for lefties to plan and communicate their needs well in advance.

If you are practising and recording on your own kit in your own home studio, there won’t be much issue at all. But when you collaborate with the right-handed people of the world, you want to know what you will be dealing with in advance.

Tip 3: Connect With Other Lefty Drummers 

An effective way to collaborate and stay in your comfortable left-handed world is to connect with other drummers that have the mirrored setup as well. Not only can you benefit from sharing a kit, but you could swap tips and tricks for lefties in the game that could help your music career in the long run.

Tip 4: Try Open-Handed Drumming 

An example of a trick you can use as a lefty who drums are to play with the open-handed technique, which actually has several other benefits aside from being accessible to left-handed drummers. Playing this way involves not crossing your hands when you play the hi-hat, ride cymbal, or snare drum.

A lot of drummers shy away from the open-handed technique, but many right and left-handed folks who are seasoned agree that open-handed drumming has perks that make it well worth learning. Some say that playing open-handed just feels instinctively right to do. 

Tip 5: Use The Kick More In Fills

A small trick that can help left-handed players to play more comfortably on a kit is to use the kick more when they perform fills instead of using their hands, which can make for smoother transitions for your body and for the sound of the music as well. 

Left-Handed Drummers

Bonus Tip: Study The Best Left-Handed Drummers

Connecting with other left-handed drummers may be a challenge to do since lefties are hard to find in the first place, but you could always head to Google and Youtube for the inside scoop on some of the most renowned musicians out there who mastered the skill. 

Celebrity musicians can often teach valuable skills just by performing, doing interviews, and provided behind the scenes material for their fans. Studying the great musicians that paved the way before us is always a great idea, no matter what instrument you play or what your dominant hand is.

Yona Marie Music authors this post, offering a wealth of useful tips for music makers worldwide who seek knowledge and experience in the industry. At Soundbrenner, we are committed to helping musicians stay focused on what truly matters: their music. By creating innovative devices, such as Soundbrenner Pulse and Core, our goal is to deliver the best possible practice experience for musicians. Click here to find out more.

Got a question about Soundbrenner wearables? Reach out to us at [email protected], we’re happy to help!

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