Tips for Saving Your Hands as a Percussionist

As hand percussionists we all know very well that many hours spent slapping skins and wood can be painful for our hands and also if we are not careful, can also do some real damage.

Here are some tips for you that I have found can work quite well depending on the situation.

1. Play With Good Technique
This obviously goes without saying but it is so important to strive to have good technique and play your tones in the right way.

Remember too that tones are achieved differently on different drums. A slap tone on a conga is different to that of a cajon and although similar, make sure you are hitting in the right way.

2. Taping Up
A popular thing for hand percussionists to do when feeling the fatigue is to tape around the joints and tips of their fingers.

This technique can offer some good protection from your drums but make sure you do not wrap too tightly so that your circulation is restricted or you can’t bend your fingers.

A good friend of mine, percussionist Ryan Lacy has recently released a product called EucaTape which is a tape specially made for percussionists infused with eucalyptus which cools and soothes your hands.

3. Wearing Gloves
Another thing some percussionists do when practicing is to wear some type of gloves to protect their hands. The gloves should not be too think. Woolen gloves work well.

The only problem with doing this is that the sound will be changes sometimes quite drastically when wearing gloves and more importantly, you do want your hands to develop calluses and turn into percussive machines.

I hope these three tips can help you stay protected and develop as a percussionist.

Photo by Natalie Champa Jennings