When I was in college I starting having more and more problems with my left hand. As I remember describing it, I would always say “I feel like I have a “hitch” in my stroke. Even at slow speeds my left hand lacked the smoothness and evenness of my right hand, which caused my strokes to sound clunky and uneven. In an effort to to fix this problem I started focusing on left hand heavy exercises and was over-critical of what my left hand was doing. All of the is was starting to work a little bit, but it wasn’t until I came to the realization that I needed to think outside of the box that I got the results that I was aiming for.
I noticed that since I’m right handed, I do everything with my right hand (naturally). By doing this, my right hand automatically has better movement, flexibility and control than my left hand. Basically, I’m “practicing” all day with my right hand and neglecting my left hand and then trying to make it up with 30 minutes of concentrated practice on a pad. It was at this point that I realized that I needed to give my left hand the same advantage that my right hand has had all of my life….extended daily use.
From that point on I began doing everything with my left and that I normally did with my right hand. I used my left hand to eat, brush my teeth, unlock the door, shake people’s hand , hi-five, one armed pushups, etc. (ok, I may be exaggerating about the pushups but you get the idea.) By using my left hand for daily activities I was in-turn strengthening my hand and giving it more mobility, flexibility and control.
Moving it one step further, to really make these efforts effective, I applied the same principal to the drum set. I took every groove and exercise that was “right hand lead” and I made it “left hand lead”, plus, I practiced my left hand twice as long as I did my right. If I did 15 minutes of right hand lead rudiments, I would do 30 mins of left hand lead rudiments, etc.
The last thing that aI did to give my left hand (and left side) the best advantage was to set up my drum set completely left handed. Although tough at first, this helped my left side improve tremendously…and fast! If you’re going to attempt this, please remember to take it SLOW so that you can give your body a chance to learn what limbs are supposed to bedoing what. Don’t let you ego get in the way of your progress. Take it slow, relax and let the progress happen naturally.
I hope that some of these exercises help you in your struggle to strengthen your weak hand. I know it’s not easy; trust me, I’ve been there too (and always will be) but with some hard work and lot of patience you can get your weak hand up to speed with your dominant hand.