Pinch Pal              Pinch Pal
News & Updates

Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why do I get blisters?
A. Blisters occur more often than not because of imperfect drumstick handling technique. When held correctly, drumsticks sit between the middle and/or furthest joint of your pointer finger [away from the body] and the thumb with your remaining fingers resting gently on the stick. Blisters form when the drumstick slips to the closest joint [to the body] of your pointer finger.  To compensate, the middle, ring and pinky finger grab the stick causing a false fulcrum point, which allows the stick to rub against your pointer finger and thumb. Blisters on the palm side of the hand around the knuckles can also occur.

The Pinch Pal® is designed to prevent the drumstick from slipping, allowing the drummer to memorize the pinch pressure and fulcrum point needed for effortless finger control technique.

Q. What is the fulcrum point?
A. The fulcrum point is the spot in which the drumstick rests in your fingers. The fulcrum is approximately 1/3 down the shaft from the butt end. When balanced at the fulcrum point the stick can use maximum rebound efficiency. This is because the fulcrum provides a pivot point for the weight of the stick to bounce freely. See Fulcrum
Q. What is the Pinch Pal® made of?
A. The Pinch Pal® has been made of high quality, durable materials including a superb hardwood called rubber wood for the knob. The knob is fastened to an elastic string connected to a rugged wristband with Velcro® fasteners.
Q. How long do I need to use the Pinch Pal®?

Use the Pinch Pal® for as long as it takes for you to memorize the correct finger control technique. The more you practice with the Pinch Pal® the more quickly you will memorize and master the proper drumming technique. Play with the Pinch Pal®, then remove it and play without. You will be much more aware of where the stick rests in your fingers.

Even after you have achieved the correct technique, you can use the Pinch Pal® to continue to build speed, endurance and stamina. The sky is the limit on how much speed you can achieve. Just ask Mike Mangini.

Q. What is the recommended use for the Pinch Pal®?

Overall drumming technique begins with the snare drum. We recommend that you build your snare technique by using the free rudiment exercises included with the purchase of the Pinch Pal®, as well as the PAS International Rudiments.

It is highly recommended that you also use the Pinch Pal® while playing the drum set at all dynamic levels. More often than not, blisters occur when drummers play at loud volumes. The harder you hit the easier it is for the stick to slip in the fingers.

Q. Is the Pinch Pal® for only beginners?

The Pinch Pal® is for drummers at all levels. As an educator and a veteran player I feel that it is important to promote correct technique early on in a student’s musical journey. The Pinch Pal® provides an aid to help with this endeavor.

If you currently employ the correct finger control/fulcrum and do not suffer from blisters or pain, use the Pinch Pal®, as I do, to hone in on your technique. I use the Pinch Pal® to help solidify my technique and to try to attain the speed and stamina off Dennis Chambers, Dave Weckl or Vinnie Colaiuta.

Q. What if the Pinch Pal® breaks?

The Pinch Pal® has been tested to stand up to normal practice situations when used as directed. Care has been taken to double sew the string to the wristband, and the shrink tubing makes it difficult to separate the string from the knob. If damage occurs, LET US KNOW what happened and we will gladly replace the broken unit.

DO NOT FLING OR TWIRL THE KNOB OR PULL ON THE ELASTIC STRING. If damage occurs due to improper use, replacements will not be issued.

Q. What if I play traditional grip in my left hand? Can I still use the Pinch Pal®?

In your right hand (match grip) you can use the Pinch Pal® as described on the home page. For your left hand (traditional grip) I suggest this simple exercise:

With a traditional grip the fulcrum point and pinch is executed in between the base of the thumb and the pointer finger. Wrap the Pinch Pal® around your wrist and place the spacer where the stick would lie in a traditional grip. Simply squeeze on the knob of the Pinch Pal® with your thumb. Do this repeatedly. It will help you build the muscles needed to maximize traditional grip technique.

Q. Who developed the Pinch Pal®?
A. Steven J. Barke, B.S. Studio Music and Jazz, University of Miami 1993: performer, educator, author, composer and clinician, developed the idea a few years ago after several of his students complained of blisters and other physical pains. Recalling his own troubles with blisters as a teenager, Steve thought the Pinch Pal could be used as an aid to help memorize the correct stick handling technique that he and thousands of educators have taught for decades.