For new drummers, blisters on the hands are a widespread and rather irritating issue.
They can show up on the inside of the thumb, the soft part of the fingers, and just about anywhere else the stick makes contact and friction.
Though annoying, these types of blisters from drumming must be dealt with, as they will form to calluses eventually.
As a quick disclaimer – I am not, nor do intend to portray a health professional; this is my personal experience from playing the drums.
Dealing with blisters from playing the drums
Fighting through the pain is one way to deal with blisters. My twelve-year-old self most likely did just this. I would advise that if you do continue to play with blisters, be sure to keep your hands always clean, as infections can quickly arise from blistered hands.
If your blisters are swollen and haven’t burst, you can use an ice cube to relieve some of the pressure.
While I can’t necessarily advocate for “popping” the blister, this is most likely the option I would take when I was younger. If you decide to drain your blister, be sure to wash your hands first, disinfecting the area, and only use a sterilized needle.
Poke a small hole into the blister and have a tissue ready to absorb the fluid. Be sure to wash your hands once again after.
Use a bandage and cover the now-drained blister. You can return to playing now, but don’t push yourself if the pain is too much. The dressing should absorb a lot of the friction and provide support while you play.
If you find the irritation to be detrimental to performance, I would consider using medical tape or trying out a pair of drum gloves.
As you continue to grow and practice drumming, you’ll slowly build calluses on your hands. For the most part, they won’t bug you and will toughen your hands up for drumming.
I’ve been playing the drums for twenty years. In that time, I’ve built up a handful of calluses on my hands. One stubborn callus on my left hand always cracks and bleeds during tours.
I think the main culprit is playing drums in warm clubs night after night. The sweat on the hands creates more friction than usual on the callus, causing it to crack.
In a pinch, my solution is to use gaffers tape, but sports tape would more effectively do the job. I have tried drum gloves, but they’re not for me.
All drummers will suffer from blisters at some point. Don’t get frustrated; get some bandages, and keep playing. Blisters are completely normal.
If you fight through it, they’ll stop altogether.
Drummers aren’t the only ones who fight through blisters either. Ask your guitar player about blisters. I’d argue they have a tougher time.