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Starting My 6 Yr Old Lefty On Drums.

Discussion in 'Drums' started by Bryson, Aug 14, 2003.

  1. Bryson

    Bryson Guest

    I'm gonna get my son a drumset. He's left handed, and I wonder if I should set the kit up for left or right handed playing.

    Are any of you left handers playing right hand kits?
    If so, have you any regrets?

  2. tmix

    tmix Guest

    I am naturally left handed, but learned to do most things right handed as a child. Back in the late 50s and 60s when I was in school it was a "righthanders world".
    Over time I tried setting up the kit both ways and can play them either way pretty comfortably.
    I ended up setting up my kit in a right handed (open handed) set up playing both sticks the same and have stuck with it.
    One of the main benifits for me doing it this way is I play a lot of Festivals and multi group sessions that often use the same backline stage set up with drums and it was a hassle to have to move things constantly.
    My suggestion is to see if there is any big difference in your childs coordination / comfort level playing one way or another. If not, then set up right handed.
  3. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member

    I actually began playing a kit right handed.... worked for years with bands like that through the early 70's.......... but i switched to left handed and from there never looked back.

    I think it's great if a lefty can play right handed - it helps in situations like Tom mentions..... so i can still kick righty if i sit in with an old band i used to work with - or at a jam session........

    But - i am never - was never - as relaxed playing right handed as i am playing left handed......

    Tom - maybe this is an area where you are actually ambidexterous........

    Certain things i am forced to do (and i mean by who i am - not environment) right handed - my parents were great about embracing my lefthandedness - my mom actually told my 1st grade teacher off for trying to "fix" me - so they bought me left handed baseball mitts - yet i can't throw with my left hand - so i play ball right handed - can bat either way just as easy -

    I play guitar - and had a lefty when i was learning - but i ended up playing righty and it just feels "more right" (NPI)......

    Has your child taken any lessons? If not - i suggest he should - actually i would reccomend he take lessons for a while before he gets a kit.... and then let him set the drums up himself - see which way he goes........

    Good luck,

  4. In a perfect world, I would tell you to buy two kits and set them up side-by-side and get him to learn drumming ambidexterously because it would make his limb independence stellar. However, the best thing to do is set them up both ways and let him decide which feels best.
    Please take special care in finding a drum instructor for your son. Take the time to find somebody who has experience, patience, rapport, and makes the lessons/playing fun. Do you play yourself- playing music with your kids can be a great way to develop depth in the relationship (as long as you don't punish them for missing the changes). David
  5. Bryson

    Bryson Guest

    Heh, I used to punish my dad for missing changes.

    Drums was my first love, but I ended up more serious about guitar, and that's my main inst now.
    I'm kinda hoping he'll go with a righty kit so that I can play it too, but of course I'll let him decide.
    I've a left handed friend who plays a right handed kit, but he hits the snare with his right, and the hat/cymbs with his left hand......and he uses right handed traditional grip (it looks very unique him playing the cymbs/hat with a trad. grip).
    I never knew this, but a friend recently told me that Ringo is left handed (and of course plays a right kit), and he leads his fills with his left hand.

    Thanks for the input folks.
  6. dymaxian

    dymaxian Guest

    Hrm... which way is left-handed and which is right-handed?

    You mean the hi-hat on the left, crossing the right hand over to hit it? To me, this puts the LEFT hand in the stronger position because it's the left hand on the snare that does 90% of the accents and hard hitting.

    Left or right handed is a matter of perspective.

    I'm left handed, and I play both drums and bass guitar the way most right handed people do. I've been asked why I don't play a lefty bass, and my reply is 'I DO play a lefty bass- all you right-handers are the ones I don't understand. Your LEFT HAND is doing the fret-work, which is a LOT more complex than what the right is doing. I'd think you'd want your stronger hand on the frets.'


    As far as what's comfortable, it's your kids set, he'll set it up his own way eventually. Try different things with him, see what he says. It'll be easier on him in the long run if he learns to play a 'right-handed' kit setup, just because sitting in at a random jam session doesnt mean kit rearrangement. Just let him know that his own kit is HIS setup, and can be whatever he wants.

    It's a great excuse to spend some time with your kid, too - rearrange the kit a few times and hours of fun can be had. ;)

    Good luck!
  7. chrisperra

    chrisperra Active Member

    i teach 30 students a week, about 1/4 of them are left handed. for me, to save 10 minutes out of a half hour lesson switching the kit around for a 10 year old every lesson, i just had them start open handed on a right handed kit.

    if they have serious trouble picking things up i switch it to left handed and see if that helps. 98% of them have no problems at all.

    if you start from scratch you'll never know the difference.

    the only thing to pay attention too is stickings for fills around a right handed kit. this can get confusing if they want to lead with their right hand.

    chris perra
  8. Bryson

    Bryson Guest

    What's "open handed"?
  9. Treena Foster

    Treena Foster Active Member

    I hope you're serious, open handed is a term used by drummers that refers to not crossing over.

    Example.......usually a drummer hits the hihat with his right hand crossed over his left hand. The left hand is used to hit the snare.


    :h: Treena
  10. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member


    you got it nice lady............

    When i first began playing a kit it was open handed......... the 2 most difficult parts for me were rounding the drums (running down the toms because my left hand wanted to lead) and developing my right foot to work with my left hand.

    It took a while - and then finally i ended up switching to a left handed set up - much more comfortable - although the extra work i did with my right foot pays off with some the ability to come up with some nice high hat work as well as double bass pedal work..........

    I am now in the process of incorporating a second high hat with a remote that i will play open handed - this will let me get a little bit more "funky" with the things i do.
  11. Treena Foster

    Treena Foster Active Member

    Rod, I bet you have a monster Kick foot! You know I'm a bass player that plays drums.......a little . :D

    My favorite drummers are the ones who are left handed but they play right "open handed"..... hihat with the left hand and snare with the right.

    I have had the privelage to work with two drummers in the past who both used this style. Man these guys were monsters with the finky patterns they could play.

    Practice, practice.........

    :h: Treena
  12. Bryson

    Bryson Guest

    That's what I thought it meant, but wasn't totally sure, since either way, all drummers will play both crossed and open in most tunes. So I guess it refers to playing the hi-hat (not the cable operated remote one).
  13. Bryson

    Bryson Guest

    Who pays for that extra ten?
  14. chrisperra

    chrisperra Active Member

    the student....

    chris perra

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