The Pocket Queen: Wrist Techniques and Endurance Training for Drummers

+ This lesson is presented courtesy of The Pocket Queen’s course on Soundfly, Moving at Your Own Tempo. Sign up and learn how to harness your inner groove and your outer authenticity.

Thanks to one of her first music teachers, Ray Fransen, The Pocket Queen learned the importance of practicing good hand and wrist technique at a young age.

Fransen showed her how to generate the power needed to play how she wanted to and taught her strategies for building and maintaining performance endurance so she could continue playing for years and years to come.

In this video lesson, taken directly from her Soundfly course, Moving at Your Own Tempo, she explores a few key components of her early education, which in particular helped to shape a longstanding commitment to wrist and hand exercises that support longevity and endurance in drumming.

Let’s dive in!

Economy of Motion

Powerful playing doesn’t need to be tiring. By cutting out unnecessary movement, PQ is able to direct her energy where it really counts. Thus, she has the performance stamina needed to put her best foot forward throughout the entirety of any show or recording session.

+ Learn more on Flypaper: “The Pocket Queen: What Is Pocket? (Video).”

Stick Technique

There’s more than one way to hold a drumstick and different grips work best in different situations. She expands on this throughout her course, but let’s quickly revisit what PQ just covered in the video above.

Here’s another look at a demonstration from the video:


She holds the stick tightly between her thumb and index finger with the other three fingers resting lightly. Gripping the stick in this manner allows PQ to create a sort of lever motion that is particularly useful when playing something fast.

Here’s what that looks like:


And here’s how that looks and sounds with a little more context:

Benefits of Technique and Physical Awareness

Maintaining good physical habits will allow you to have a longer, more fruitful career in general. To prolong your ability to comfortably play your instrument it can be wise to adopt practices like yoga, meditation, or the Alexander Technique.

Really, the key here is to be conscious of your body both at and away from the drum kit. Be aware of the areas where you tend to carry unnecessary tension. Notice which muscles you engage when you play your instrument and check in on your posture regularly.

Try PQ’s warm-up exercise.

Toward the end of the video, PQ demonstrates a simple warm-up activity featuring an open-close-open double-stroke roll. Go ahead and give it a shot now. Drumsticks and a snare are ideal tools for this activity, but in a pinch, a tabletop and a pair of pencils will do.

Try to match PQ’s posture and technique, knowing you may need to make slight adjustments based on your own body. Feel free to revisit the end of the video if you’d like to follow along with PQ.

If you’re already a subscriber, let us know what you come up with on Soundfly’s community Discord!

Keep on Grooving…

Continue your learning with hundreds of lessons on songwriting, mixing, recording and production, composing, beat making, and more on Soundfly, with artist-led courses by Kimbra, Com TruiseJlinKiefer, RJD2, and our new The Pocket Queen: Moving at Your Own Tempo.

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