Here's the big secret to getting the best TONE out of your drums and cymbals: The best way to hit a drum is with a consistent striking motion in which the stick comes into contact with the head at as close to a parallel angle as possible. This allows for several things:
a. Efficiency is improved: There is less travel distance for the arms, and you can relax by keeping your left arm down. Also, you'll get a much better and a more user-friendly rebound out of your stick.
b. Consistency is improved.
c. The sound is greatly improved, because the stick is not glancing downward at or off the head or cymbal.
d. You'll be amazed at how much simpler it is to move around the kit.
f. Playing loud and performing accents are more a function of velocity and strength than that of stick and arm height alone.
Remember: Keep your shoulders down, arms relatively close to your sides, and always try to be aware of your breathing and general state of relaxation. You'll find that your beat will start to open up a bit as a result.