My thumbs don't have blisters!
To put this in context:
The biggest problem I've run into playing the drums is blisters on my fingers. It doesn't get better. Playing a single song in Rock Band at C2E2 triggered an outbreak. One song. I hate that. Part of the problem is I recognize I'm holding the sticks in a death grip. But the only way to break the habit is to play. And I can't play without blisters forming and then waiting for them to subside.
I've tried a variety of things. One technique was to put one of those rubber finger tips on each thumb. I still ran the risk of blisters on my other fingers, but it wasn't as bad. And it wasn't a perfect solution, as part of the thumbs were still exposed. Plus, it cost me feeling. But it was the only way I could really play for any length of time. I tried putting a band-aid on each thumb tip, but they fell off from sweat and fatigue.
I'd been experimenting with a different grip on the sticks that worked okay, but required me changing my habits. Was taking a lot of work. I went to Guitar Center and bought some stick grips. They actually made things worse, and I didn't like how much they shifted the center of gravity on the sticks.
I'm in Walgreens, and as I wander around, I'm looking at the band-aids, hoping maybe there's another design that will work better. And my eyes eventually wander to the medical tape. Maybe I just need something to stop the sticks from sliding and I can relax my grip...
...hello. What's this?
It's medical tape, but it's made of the same material as the spongee-er band-aids. You know, not the ones that are just a strip of plastic or rubber, but a little strip of thin foam.
I just stare for a few moments. I have extra 2B's, after all.
I decide to go for it. I pick up a roll and head for home.
As I cut a strip and wrap most of the shaft of the drumsticks with them (it stretches a little, so I eliminated any gaps), I muse about whether or not I want to try this. After all, if I'm wrong, I'm going to have a really rotten week.
I ultimately decide, nothing ventured, nothing gained. So I fire up Rock Band and start playing all the songs I have by Queen. I figure I'll play until my arm starts to get tired. That's the cut off -- any more than that, my hands will shake while holding my pencils and pens, and I can't have that happen right now.
A few minutes ago, I sit down at my drawing table to work on more sketches for Red Riding Hood. And as I'm working, I notice my thumbs.
Yes! I can get back to serious practicing again!
Admittedly, it's cheating. Real musicians don't do that. Then again, I never claimed I was a real musician. I had a discussion with my teacher when I learned to play the keyboard, and she commented that I was a musician.
I'm not a real musician.
"You play an instrument. That makes you a real musician."
Real musicians don't buy their shit at K-mart.
Sorry! Real musicians don't buy their GEAR at K-mart.
Mickey Dolenz told me the most important thing about playing the drums was to go with what was comfortable for you. Cheat, yes. Comfortable, yes. Fun?