When you watch great drummers perform stick tricks it almost feels like it’s a kind of magic. However, tricks are essentially just a lot of practice made perfect. You can start with some of the easier tricks that are not at all that hard to do but will give great flare to your performance.
Easier stick tricks involve flips, twirls, and spins that will help you show off and interact with the audience. Each requires some time to get down but it’s very much learnable.
We put up this list of five easy drumstick tricks which you can play and practice, so without further ado, here we go:
1. Fake spin
This is one of the oldest and easiest tricks there is, but that doesn’t mean it will ever be boring or look bad.
If you practice it, you can use it anytime and you can be sure it will always look great and it will always leave the audience wanting for more.
To do this trick properly you need to place your drumstick between your index finger and middle finger. When you have placed your stick in position, at about a half of the stick, you start moving your finger up and down, making the stick move in circles.
That circular motion will have a visual effect as if you are spinning the stick between your finger, even though essentially you are just twirling the stick around without any movement between the fingers.
You should practice this trick until you can do it smoothly and perfectly as it’s a base of other tricks and you can use it together with many other tricks. Also, when you perfect this trick you can use it all the time while playing, as it will not affect your ability to play anything, because you’re just twirling your stick in between the kicks.
You can also do this trick in different hand positions, making it appear as if you’re spinning the stick around your hand when you’re essentially doing the same trick with the hand positioned differently.
2. Fake spin 2
As in the original fake spin, you take your sticks, but this time you place them in between your index finger and your thumb, and voila! You got yourself a brand new trick that looks awesome.
This trick is essentially the same as the previous fake spin, but it looks as if you’re doing two completely different amazing tricks and everyone in the audience will be amazed at your skill.
For this trick, you take the stick in between your index finger and your thumb and you twirl it so the stick top makes circular motions in the air. And that’s it.
Of course, you can add more bling to it if you practice enough so you can confidently do this trick with your hand high in the air, in between the kicks while you play.
3. The Toss
This one is really self-explanatory – you take your sticks and you toss them. That simple.
When you do it in the middle of the song, you will get everyone amazed and that’s really everything you want to do.
To successfully do this trick, you should take your stick as you would properly hold it, towards the end of the stick, and push its bottom with your little finger over your index finger, essentially making the stick make a full circle in the air, and grabbing it again when it completes the circle.
You shouldn’t be tossing the stick too far or too high (well, you can try later on to get the stick higher, but too far is not going to work) and the stick should be doing the forward flip – staying in place and rotating around its axis.
This is a really easy trick to do, but it does need a little bit of practice to be done properly. Once you’ve mastered it, you will have no problem tossing your sticks in the middle of the song, combined with other tricks.
4. The Twirl
This trick will take you some time to get it to perfection, and it can be used while playing, but it is sure to definitely wow your audience and fellow drummers too.
With the twirl, we are getting to the more complex tricks you can get to do. In this trick, you will essentially shuffle the stick through all your fingers successively, making it appear as if the sticks are twirling around your hand.
To do this trick properly, you need to hold the stick in your hand and start when you have an upbeat from the kick. Then, you should rotate the stick around its axis around your fingers successively, so that the stick goes in between your index and middle finger, then over the middle finger to the third finger, and so on.
When you get to the little finger you continue the motion to naturally bring the stick back to your index finger and thumb where you take it and it’s back in your hand.
It does sound complex, but with the help of this video, you will get to the point of what needs to be done.
When perfected, it can be used together with the other tricks to give your performance the bling it needed.
5. The Slide
And last, but not least – the Slide.
This trick is one of the most attractive tricks you can do because you essentially don’t do anything, and the stick just keeps on moving and that’s just so cool.
For this trick, you take your stick with your index finger and thumb and turn your palm upside down, so the palm is looking upwards. When you do that, you just spin the stick with your finger that is holding it and let it spin on your open palm from one or few turns, and voila: you got yourself a great trick.
This trick can be a bit complicated but when you eventually get to do it properly every time, you will be able to complement it with other tricks and make yourself so cool behind those drums.
Make Sure to Practice Before Using These
As you’ve probably seen by now practice is not only for doing tricks but for mastering every aspect possible on the drums. As with any instrument, practice is key!
Regardless of whether you’re just practicing these little tricks or practicing for hours daily to further progress your skill level, you are sure to break a new plateau if you continue to do so.
Learning these tricks will not only impress people and make them think you’re a great and natural talent, but it will also allow you to perfect the more complicated tricks. Everything is unlocked with further practice and patience.
The Importance of Proper Form
Proper form playing is not only good for your playing but also your physical condition. It helps you play more accurately and for an extended period.
Lacking proper form due to these tricks and making it more interesting for the crowd can only cost you more stamina while playing if you go overboard. It’s okay to show off every once in a while but do not go overboard and cost your performance.
You’ve seen how many drummers perform these tricks while managing to keep on time and play the entire song but trust me, it can take more a lot more effort than necessary. While these tricks are cute, nothing beats good old-fashioned high-quality drumming!
Admittedly, these tricks won’t improve your playing in any way possible, but this isn’t about the precision or the quality of your drumming, it’s just for showing off. And it’s great! Sure, everybody remembers that Jimi Hendrix was the great guitarist, but when he did the trick of playing behind his back or playing with his teeth, that’s what everyone is still talking about 50 years after.
Tricks that are on this list are simple and you should have no problem mastering them, but as with anything you need to practice them regularly if you want to use them during your performances!