Correct Stick Placement for Playing the Hi-Hat Cymbals and Snare Drum

Getting Started in Drum Lessons

The three most played instruments in our modern drum-set are

  • The Hi-Hat
  • Bass Drum
  • Snare Drum

Today we will be focusing on our hands as we explore the do’s and do not’s of stick/arm/wrist placement when playing these instruments. These concepts are things we focus on with our students at our Winnipeg Music School

The concept is basic. If you put 2 sticks on the snare drum you’d put the right stick on the right half and your left stick on the left half. You’d do this with the hi-hat cymbals as well. But once we split these up, placing the right stick on the hi-hat cymbals and the left hand on the snare drum, there is a tendency to go too far. Some just move the stick tip to the center of each instrument while others will go farther. The end result is the hands bashing into each other, fingers being smashed by sticks and hands being tangled up when we go to do fills. Some people fix this by going farther across and some do it by over spreading. In the video below, I show you the middle ground that will serve you the rest of your life no matter what kind of music you play. I also do a little bit on ‘open handed playing’ where we don’t cross over and, instead, use our left hand on the hi-hat cymbals and our right hand on the snare drum. It has many advantages that we will explore later.

as always, if you have any questions or topics you want me to cover, feel free to email me at