Stick Technique by Jim McCarthy Review

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Stick Technique

Visiting can be a jolting experience. What do I mean by that? Simply put, the website is fantastically awful. Web visitors can look forward to having their senses assaulted with a rainbow of clashing colors, blinking graphics, annoying animations, and worst of all... over-the-top ad copy. It pretty much has it all.

Now, usually I recommend that people keep a safe distance from businesses that are represented by websites that look like they were designed by a kid using Microsoft Paint ®, but in this case I’ll make an exception. When reviewing this course we discovered that, despite the awful website, the actual course was well thought-out and well-presented.

The author of this eBook training package is Jim McCarthy, an Australian drummer, percussionist, and teacher with almost 20 years of drumming experience. He holds a degree in percussion, and has played in all sorts of bands and orchestras. Jim has also published a separate video drumming course that we've reviewed titled Begin Drumming.

Jim McCarthy created the Stick Technique course because he felt there was a need for a learning program that primarily focused on the basics and instilled good habits in beginning drummers. In reality, this mini-course is one of the few that do indeed focus primarily on stick technique.


Components of Jim McCarthy’s Stick Technique:

Stick Technique eBook:

The Stick Technique course was first written in 1998 and is now in its 2nd edition (2007). Having never seen the 1st edition, we aren’t able to comment on what’s changed between editions.

[Stick Technique] ...contains a load of solid information and practical advice at a fair price…throw in a free video consultation with Jim himself and you’ve got more than your $37 worth.

The eBook itself is an 106-page .pdf and is the heart of the course. It contains over 200 photos and illustrations. The photos are black/white, but we assume that’s to keep the file size of the eBook down. Regardless, the photos are good quality and do an excellent job of illustrating the positions and exercises contained in the text.

The eBook is divided into 6 sections. Jim starts the course by explaining the principles of good stick technique and talks about the drummer’s systems of movement, how to position your body, different grip types, etc. Later, he talks about the types of strokes, how you use your fingers, stroke heights and drumming dynamics. Jim is very good at explaining not just what to do but why you should do things a particular way and how the mechanics of the hand, arm, and drumsticks should work together. Section 3 gives you a variety of essential rudiments for drummers to master and other exercises. The 4th section is all about the actual drum kit… how to set it up properly and how to move efficiently around the kit.  Section 5 teaches a lot of fun tips and tricks to get different sounds out of your drum set as well as techniques for visual effect and showmanship, such as twirling, spinning, and backsticking. The last section in the eBook deals with practicing and gives some hints on the best way to practice and prepare for real performances. This course is perfect for drummers that want to start out on the right foot and get good habits ingrained into their playing.

The eBook itself was very well done, though the course could be even more useful if there were some accompanying videos to demonstrate some of the more difficult exercises instead of just photographs and diagrams.


Probably the biggest bonus included with this course is a free drumming technique consultation with Jim himself. After working through the course and exercises, you can upload a video of yourself playing drums using any video-sharing site and Jim McCarthy with examine it and give you feedback and constructive criticism on what you need to change and what to do to get better.

In the’s bonus content membership area, you’ll also receive 3 videos done by Jim McCarthy on how to work on basis drum rudiments such as the flam, how to properly use natural rebounding in your drumming technique and several exercises to build important drumming muscles. The video resolution isn’t the best, but still presents the lessons adequately. Combined, the video lessons are almost 30 minutes long. These teaching videos can be downloaded to your computer or watched online.

On Stick Technique’s website it states that “These three videos are just the start of the amazing collection of bonus videos that will be available to you as a stick technique student.” Unfortunately, in the months that that statement has been online nothing has changed in the member’s area which is too bad.

The last bonus is a rudimental snare drum solo .pdf that Jim put together as an exercise.


On his main website Mr. McCarthy includes 2 ways of contacting him. The first is his email address and the second is live Skype chat. This is great since you can ask Jim any questions you want before buying the Stick Technique course. Be aware though that it can be a mite difficult for North Americans to time when Jim is online with the Australian time zone difference.

Ordering Information

Payments are exclusively handled through PayPal, a popular online payment processor. With PayPal you can fund your purchase through your existing balance, major credit cards, or e-checks.

 As advertised on Stick Technique’s website, all Stick Technique members are entitled to a 56-day unlimited money-back guarantee if they aren’t completely happy with their purchase.


Jim McCarthy’s Stick Technique course is great for a beginner or intermediate that want to revisit the basics and develop good drumming habits right from the get-go. It contains a load of solid information and practical advice at a fair price…throw in a free video consultation with Jim himself and you’ve got more than your $37 worth.

While great at what it does, this course should definitely be used alongside a reputable drum lesson course such as Learn and Master Drums or the Drumming System.

Official Stick Technique Website

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Publisher: Jim McCarthy (Self Published)


Price: $37.00

Suitable For: Beginners-Intermediates

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