Thread wrapped grip
The most delicate, precise motions of your conducting are focused at the point where your first finger and thumb grip the baton. If this position is not secure, the rest of your hand will probably not be relaxed. I have found that if the base of the shaft feels slippery, conductors tend to "pinch" with their thumb and first finger in order to regain a sense of control. This can create tension in the fingers, hand and even wrist. In order to prevent this tension, I like to add about 3/4" of nylon thread to the base of the shaft. This added thread gives your fingers just enough texture to provide a secure grip that does not feel slippery. An added benefit of the thread is that it tends to focus your attention toward the smaller hinge motions of your fingers. By using these gestures more, your conducting will become more expressive and can relieve the strain of depending primarily on the motions of your shoulder and elbow.
If you would like a longer or shorter amount of thread than the standard 3/4", let me know and I will gladly custom wrap the perfect length of thread to fit your hand position.
As you consider the thread options below, be aware that the two-tone threads with gold or silver provide a little more texture than the solid color threads.