Sticking, An Introduction

Sticking markings are used to show the specific order hands are used in during a part. One very important thing that should be avoided when playing drum kit is unnecessary crossing of the arms. Sticking markings are great for preventing this. They can also show you a more logical or sensible way to play a part that you might not have thought of.

There are two variations on notating these.

The first, which is used on, is R to represent the right hand and L to represent the left hand. This is far more straight forward as it tells you literally what to play. The only downside is that it is most commonly notated for Right handed players. If you are Left handed you have to reverse what is written, so where you see R play L and vice versa.

The second uses L and F. In this case L means leading hand and F means following hand. Your Leading hand is your stronger hand, so if you are right handed it's your right. Your following hand is your weaker hand, so if you are Right handed it will be your Left hand. This can be a bit more confusing but it's advantage is that no change is needed for left handed players.

Sticking is very important as it will make your playing far more comfortable and natural. When learning a song always try and think whether the sticking you are using is the best option. Always feel free to add your own notes into a piece of music if you feel it is needed.


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