The right grip

last updated 2023-12-30

A hand, looking goose-like, loosely holding a drumstick before whipping it down to the drumhead
A hand, looking goose-like, loosely holding a drumstick before whipping it down to the drumhead

I come from a musical family, so growing up I learned to play many different instruments from guitar to drums to scratching vinyl. Later in life, I watched a violin-centric movie and decided I must learn, and took lessons.

For each new instrument, strange in my hands, my grip would inevitably be tight. That tight grip prevented fluid movement and forced errors. Once I could find familiarity and comfort in the shape and motion would my grip relax, and I would be able to keep tempo, play fluidly, and even improvise.

Finding the right grip is movement towards mastery, to becoming an expert. Whether literal (playing music, chopping vegetables, rock climbing) or metaphor (writing fiction, managing a junior teammate, trusting your colleagues, raising a child) the vice grip simply will not do.

Instead, find whatever the hell the drummer in the picture is doing. Let's call it the "gentle, confident goose grip."

Compiled 2024-2-14