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Why Drummers Should Lead With Their Weaker Hand

Simon Phillips  /  Oct 7, 2022

Drummers often have a stronger side and a weaker side. It can take a lifetime to develop both sides at an equal level. 

Among other things, Simon Phillips is known for his ability to lead with both his left and right hand, and it’s opened up many more musical opportunities in his playing.

“I sounded different. Leading with the left made me play things differently.”

In this quick tip video, Simon talks about why he started strengthening his left hand at the age of 18 and how being an ambidextrous drummer has helped him become the powerhouse he is today.

Why should you learn to lead with your weaker hand?

  • You’ll build control and confidence – so even if you’re leading with your stronger hand, your weaker hand will sound more consistent with rolls, fills, and ghost notes.
  • You’ll have many more options for orchestrations (as in, the sounds and patterns you can create).
  • You’ll have more options for where you can position different pieces of your drum kit.
  • If you keep the groove on the hi-hats with your left hand, for example, your right hand will be free to move around the toms.

Give it a shot and balance out your playing!

Don’t miss Simon’s “Developing Freedom With Double Bass” course, which goes over balance and independence between hands and feet. Get a free 7-day trial to Drumeo to access the goods!

Simon Phillips has been a household name in the drumming community for decades. Known for his incredible groove, virtuosic chops, and iconic drum sound, he has been one of the most prolific musicians of his generation. Simon has performed with Toto, Jeff Beck, Hiromi, Pete Townshend, Judas Priest, with his own group, Protocol, and as a session drummer with countless more artists. Beyond his drumming prowess, Simon is also an accomplished producer and audio engineer. In this role, his depth of studio knowledge and distinct musical sensibility has served an entire new generation of musical artists.

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