Using drumsticks the correct way is often misconceived by many drummers of all experience levels. It is very important to be aware of good stick technique, due mostly to the fact that drums are a very physical instrument. Poor technique can result in slowing down your progress as a drummer, forcing you to learn bad habits that are harder to break the longer you use them, and can even cause injury over time.
I will attempt to explain some simple movements and terms to remember each time you play. First, it is important to understand the fulcrum, or pivot point of the stick in each hand. Using your index finger and thumb, squeeze the stick near the balance point (somewhere near the lower/middle portion of the stick). Your thumb should be in line with the stick, while the index finger curls around the other side. Your remaining fingers should then be used for support; they should only be touching the drumstick, but never holding it. The stick should be able to pivot freely in your hand, keeping the stick in place with your fulcrum. Moving onto how to hit the drum… After properly holding the stick, turn your hands over so that the backs of your hands face up. The drumsticks should be making the shape of a pizza slice. If your sticks are ever parallel, it probably means that your hands are not in this position. Using only your wrist, bring the tip of the drumstick up so that it’s facing the ceiling, then use the same motion to accelerate the tip of the drumstick back down to the drum, allowing the stick to bounce off the drum once it hits. When your hands are properly placed over a drum, the sticks should almost be parallel with the drumhead.
These steps can help any drummer out there, and will greatly increase your performance as a musician if you are not already following them.