Left Handed Drumming, Harder than Right Handed?

A left handed drumming set is simply a mirror image of a standard right-handed setup. Your hi-hat should be on the right, your right cymbal should be on the left, and your bass drum should be on the left.
Scientists have discovered that people are born with either a right-hand gene or a non-right-hand gene. Furthermore, approximately one-tenth of the world’s current population is left-handed. However, because society is oriented and designed for the majority, lefties (or southpaws as they are commonly known) frequently get the short end of the stick.

Right handed vs Left handed Drumming

Right Handed Vs Left Handed Drumming 1
Right-handed vs Left-handed Drumming

There are a few critical differences between right-handed and left-handed drumming. Most drums are designed for right-handed people, with the hi-hat on the left side of the drum set; This can make it difficult for lefties to find comfortable positions for their arms and hands. In addition, many drums have the kick drum pedal on the right side, which can be tricky for lefties to reach.

Another key difference is that most drumsticks are designed for right-handed people; This means that lefties have to hold the sticks in an awkward position, and they may not be able to produce the same sound as a right-handed drummer.

Finally, most people are right-handed, meaning lefties may feel at a disadvantage when playing with others.

This can make it difficult to find other left-handed drummers to play with, and it can be challenging to keep up with right-handed players.

Despite these challenges, there are some advantages to being a left-handed drummer. Lefties can often surprise their opponents with their unusual playing style. In addition, left-handedness can give some drummers a gift when it comes to speed and coordination.

Benefits of Left-Handed Drum Setups

Benefits Of Left Handed Drum Setups
Benefits of Left-Handed Drum Setups

The main advantage of playing a left-handed drum setup is that it will be more comfortable for anyone who does everything with their left hand. Because the hi-hat is where your dominant hand spends most of its time when drumming, Placing it on the right side of the kit makes it a little easier for left-handed drummers to play.

The same is true for the kick pedal. Lefties typically have a dominant left foot, so this allows you to add more power to your hits when the bass drum is on the left.

However, this is not a hard and fast rule. Every drummer is different; some have a dominant right foot and a dominant left hand. Playing the drums from right to left will always be easier for a left-handed person, especially in the early stages of learning.

Learn Left-handed Drumming

Learn Left Handed Drumming
Learn Left-handed Drumming

Left-handedness is a common issue for both drum teachers and students. If you’re teaching in a space with only one kit, you’ll need to rearrange the kit to accommodate your left-handed student. When it comes to patterns, it becomes a little more challenging to teach because you have to think in reverse.

Making left-handed students play on a right-handed set is a popular option for drum teachers. While this may appear cruel, most beginning drummers feel awkward at the kit regardless of which hand is dominant. As a result, lefties typically adapt just as quickly as right-handed beginners.

If a student has difficulty adapting to a right-handed setup, you could teach him to play open-handed.

It would help to exercise caution and always keep the student’s best interests in mind when teaching.

Tips for teaching Left-handed Players

Tips For Teaching Left Handed Players
Tips for teaching Left-handed Players
  • Start by having the student sit in front of the kit and observe how you play; This will help him understand how the drums are laid out and what each drum is used for.
  • Explain that some people are right-handed and some are left-handed, just like some people are left-footed and some are right-footed. Emphasize that there are no right or wrong answers regarding handedness and that everyone is different.
  • Show the student how to hold the sticks and position his arms and hands. Please pay close attention to his grip and make sure he’s holding the sticks correctly.
  • Have the student play some simple beats and patterns. You can start teaching him more complex rhythms as he becomes more comfortable with the kit.
  • Encourage the student to practice at home to get used to playing the drums from left to right.
  • Finally, remind the student that there are no wrong ways to play the drums. As long as he’s having fun and making music, that’s all that matters.

Advice for Left-Handed Drummers

Advice For Left Handed Drummers
Advice for Left-Handed Drummers

Many things in life are not designed with left-handed people in mind. Lefties are used to adapting as best they can to new situations. However, if you’re a left-handed drummer, don’t hesitate to play it the way you want it.

When playing with a mirrored kit is the most convenient way to play drums, you should stick with it. You’ll make the most of your drumming and feel most at ease. The more at ease you are on the drum kit, the better your playing will be. After determining which setup will be most comfortable, a drummer should choose which setup to play.

That said, know that playing on other people’s drum setups is always challenging. If you want the freedom to play on any setup, learn to play with your open hand or your right hand.

If you’re a left-handed novice drummer, try playing a few ground beats in each configuration. Playing with your right hand may feel as uncomfortable as playing with your left hand. In this case, learning in a right-handed setup can be very beneficial.

It is generally accepted that open-handed drumming is the best solution for left-handers. Arguably, there are more open-handed drummers than drummers playing left-handed drum setups. Playing with an open hand makes it easy to adapt to any drum setup. You can also play specific patterns that other drummers can’t.

5 Best Left-Handed Drummers

Ian Paice On Stage
Ian Paice On Stage

Mike Gibbins

Mike Gibbins is best known for his work with the Bee Gees, but he also did a few stints as an independent musician. Mike Gibbins toured, recorded, and shared a life with the Bee Gees for most of his career. There are just so many great stories from the 1970s and 1980s. Unfortunately, Gibbons passed away on October 4, 2005, at 56.

Glen Graham

Glenn Graham of Blind Melon fame is also a left-handed drummer who joined the group in 1990. The band, who gained fame in the late ’80s, had already released a handful of singles before they recorded and released 1994’s “No Rain.” The title track, which includes harmonica from Graham, is about coping with a bad breakup, and singer/guitarist Rich Robinson wrote the lyrics.

Other singles from “No Rain” included “One for the Vine,” which topped the Alternative Chart, and “I Stand Alone,” which also became a hit. In 1995, the band released their breakthrough album, “Smooth.” This album helped define Alternative Rock music in the ’90s. It is also on Rolling Stone’s list of “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” This album featured the lead single, “Want Some Love.” This song topped the Pop Songs Chart and remained on the Hot 100 for seven weeks. The song also featured a music video that has become the staple of every rock band.

Phil Collins

Phil Collins started his music career with a group called Genesis. British drummer, record producer, multi-instrumentalist, and singer His Songs His writer and actor Phil His Collins set fire to the stage with his left-handed drumming technique for the song “In the Air Tonight” I got it. After a brief period, Phil left Genesis in 1969 and joined a group called The Firm. After some time in this group, Phil recorded a song called “In the Air Tonight” with John Miles and Jeff Wayne. In 1973, He released the album “The first step,” which spawned four singles, “In the air,” “I’m alive,” “You don’t know love,” and “Another day.” In 1975, He released another album, “Agnostic.”  

Ian Paice

Ian Paice was the drummer for Deep Purple. He played the famous Pearl drum kit left-handed. In 2010, he joined the short-lived Paice on The Purple One Tour. He later joined Paul Brady and the Bluesbreakers for a string of dates across Europe in 2011. In 2012, he played with the Ian Paice Canterbury Band in Japan. On October 3, 2016, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Deep Purple.

Ian Haugland

Ian Haughland is the drummer for the Swedish metal band In Flames. He joined the group in 2008, replacing the previous drummer Daniel Svensson. With In Flames, he has released five studio albums, the most recent being 2016’s “Battles.” Haughland is also a member of the side project Devilment, which features members of Cradle of Filth and Daniel Lioneye.

Left hand drummer

Final Thought

Left-handed drumming is not as easy as it looks. It takes time, practice and patience to master this skill. So, if you are left-handed, don’t be discouraged. There are plenty of great left-handed drummers who can show you the ropes. Who knows, you might even be the next great left-handed drummer.

What do you think?

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Written by Andrea

Andrea is a music lover and an experienced drummer with more than 15 years of drumming with different bands and music projects, such as Seditius and Hermano & the Marines.

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