Monday, October 06, 2008

I must be holding the drumsticks wrong

Yesterday, this bruise appeared on my hand and wrist:

Above: Now that's just gross

I wracked my brain trying to figure out what I'd done. I hadn't fallen, hadn't tried to catch anything heavy, hadn't smacked my forehead in response to idiocy. And yes, it does hurt a little, particularly on the bone right where the wrist meets the hand. There's only one thing it could possibly be.

It's got to be the drumsticks.

What else was I doing all weekend? Just drumming my brains out in Rock Band 2.

(This includes completing "Give It Away," btw, and nearly five-starring it. I was feeling confident until "We Got the Beat" added 10 times as many kick drums as anything else I'd played to that point.)

That still doesn't explain the bruise to my satisfaction. It's not like I've got the sticks in a death grip, pounding away on the skins as though they'd killed my parents. I hold the sticks pretty loosely between my thumb and forefinger. I hit the pads lightly, for fear of annoying the neighbors. There's just no way I'm rocking hard enough to cause bruising. But what else could it be?

Above: One more look

Not that mere injury will keep me from continuing to rock out. Rick Allen lost an arm and kept playing the drums. What kind of a wuss would I be to let a bruise stop me?


Erik said...

It'd help to see pictures of how you're holding the sticks and how you're striking the pads with them, but it seems fairly safe to say that you're doing something wrong. Generally, if your hands get injured from drumming, it's in the form or calluses and blisters on the thumb and index finger.

Mitch Krpata said...

Well, I thought I was doing it like they say to in the tutorial. The only thing I can think is that it's bouncing so much that when I strike the pads, the bottom end of the stick bounces into the base of my hand.

It's also entirely possible that this is from something else. I just cannot for the life of me imagine what.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, man, this is totally normal if you're holding the sticks correctly and "rocking out" a little hard. The bruise is from the butt end of the stick striking your palm when it 'recoils' from the pad, which it completely should. a lot of "irl" drummers will wear weightlifting gloves or some sort of fingerless, padded glove to eliminate that striking point, but it's really nothing to worry about.

One thing you might wanna try is holding the sticks farther from the 'tip end' -- that bruise is pretty long and it's making me thing you might be choking up on the sticks pretty far and allowing too much of the butt end to swing around. But either way, this is a pretty normal occurrence for people who drum more than a few minutes at a time :)

Mitch Krpata said...

Man, I love the internet. You can find out anything. Thanks, Little Danzig.

Anonymous said...

No worries, my girlfriend has recently put herself on the Rock Band Drum Training regiment so I've been hearing a lot of the same issues at home, it's kind of entertaining to see this stuff show up on one of my favorite blogs as well.

In a related point, though, I think it's great to see Rock Band introducing legitimate 'educational' elements into the game. Despite all the negatives that get tossed around by guitarists, playing Rock Band drums does develop a ton of the same skills as drumming "in real life", and I'm really interested to see how many serious drum monsters have their musical 'coming of age' experience with this game instead of an old second-hand trap kit. :)

Mitch Krpata said...

You know, I was thinking something similar. My dad had a drum kit when I was younger, and although I only ever banged around on it aimlessly, I know that the Rock Band kit does not feel anything like a real drum set. And yet, I feel like I really am learning how to play the drums thanks to this game. The combination of the visual cues with the songs I'm familiar with is helping me to play something that feels very much like the drums. I mean, one week since I tried to learn syncopation and I already seem to have it down. How long would that take if I were enrolled in traditional drum lessons?

Renato Pagnani said...

Hmmm it looks like the comment I wrote earlier tonight didn't get posted, for some reason (probably one related to my own incompetence). Oh well.

What's the best way to get a hold of you via e-mail, Mitch?


Anonymous said...

I haven't yet gotten to that level in my Rock Band injuries, but I did spend yesterday at a conference with an aching leg from going through 50 songs on drums on Sunday. I'm used to occasional twinges in RSI in my hands from long gaming sessions, but Rock Band is introducing me to new problems...

Mitch Krpata said...

Renato, your comment has convinced me to finally add my email address to the "about me" field on the blog. You can find it there now.

David, I hear that. Marathon sessions don't leave me in pain, exactly, but my leg is definitely wondering what I'm doing to it.