Anybody have that 'magic touch'?

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I'd be pretty bummed out if I had to buy a new pair of sticks every time I play drums. Monetarily speaking, that"s as bad as a smoking habit.
 

drum4fun27302

Gold Member
I used to play really light and sticks used to last for years. Now I hit much harder and it feels SO GOOD!!! Gets me deep within the pocket. So for me, technique as nothing to do with it. Just that it feels good and gives me a workout (no need to run ).
So for me, there is no "magic touch" .
 

oldrockdrummer

Senior Member
I very seldom break a stick just wear them out on snare rim shoots and high hat.never break a head I get about a year out of tom heads and about 6 months snare they just get to the point that they wont tune to my liking. I wouldn't call it a magic touch just good technique
 

Chunky

Silver Member
Oddtime74

I wouldn't worry too much. If you like rimshots then don't compromise your playing because you're worried you're doing it wrong if the sticks chew or break. You're hitting metal with wood. Something has to give and it won't be the metal...

You probably weren't doing it wrong.

As for playing softer, again, do what feels right to you. I practise whatever style at the volume I think is appropriot to that. Need more kit ambience to fill the groove? I play softer.
I need comouter like precision and smack, I play loud.

Even with my kit miked up if I play softer it just sounds like loud, soft hit drums and I get hackey looks from the band for playing innappropriotly.

Get the sound you need for the job. One dynamic, quiet or loud does not work for everything.

And let go of the mysticsl belief in not snapping sticks. It means nothing, you're no less a player for a piece of wood snapping off a metal rim.

More expensive mind! Haha
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
I usually chew mine up and chip the tips away long before they break as well. But sometimes, on occasion, they just break........and technique has little to do with it. It's little more than the price you pay for continually bashing a piece of wood against a piece of metal.

Sure, excessive and continual damage to anything almost always means that something needs to be reassesed. But sometimes, things just break and doesn't necessarily point to any fault of the player. Anyone who believes that as an absolute is kidding themselves....pure and simple. My biggest gripe every time these types of threads rear their heads, is that absolutes tend to get tossed around and a "one size fits all" line of thought seems to take over.

So just to ensure a little balance here. Simply put if you're breaking sticks everytime you sit down to play it's well worth double checking what you're doing, because I'll guarantee something can be done to reduce it. If you break a stick once in a blue moon, then just grab another one and move on. Sometimes it just happens and things break.....it doesn't necessarily mean you need to strip your entire technique apart because you read on a drum forum that you're doing it wrong. As always, context is everything.
Yup. I use maple sticks and I have to take them out of circulation because they start to splinter and peel where I play rimshots (hickory tends to chip into sawdust) and I don't want to risk getting a splinter when I turn them around to play cross-sticks, etc. Steel is harder than maple. Duh. Interestingly, this usually happens long before the tips chip. That said, sometimes they just go. Usually around the same area, and it usually takes many, many months of playing before they do.

My technique is fine and I don't really play all that hard. The odd broken stick doesn't concern me, and I wouldn't get on a student's case about it. Blisters, tendonitis, cramping, premature fatigue etc. These are better indicators of mechanical problems.

Of course, if you're constantly smashing equipment into smithereens you may be:

1) Using the wrong equipment

OR

2) Possessed of more money than brains.
 
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JohnnySomersett

Senior Member
I play pretty hard but I've only ever broken sticks when I tried going down to 7a sticks. Never broken a 5a that was a decent make (promark oak for me)...just worn them out. Never ever broke a drumhead - but then I mostly use 2 ply heads anyway.

you can hit hard and right and not break sticks - it's a combination of hard hitting and bad technique that will destroy a good stick.

never cracked a cymbal either. Obviously I'm quite lucky.




*tempting fate now ain't I !? I'll probably break loads of stuff now!
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
Nothing screams ROCK AND ROLL like a stick splintering into shards...

Seriously...I used to go through Maple sticks like, Jeez, like they were made out of glass.

Moved onto hickory a few weeks back but they're really heavy 5bs

Got some oak ones and they're like a dream come true.

I do hit hard, and have a really bad technique no doubt...couldn't give a monkeys to be honest. Seems to work for us.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
I used to break about 5 every band jam. and i was going threw cymbals FAST.. got pricy so i did a few things to fix it. starting with buying better sticks. I was buying 24 packs of no name sticks and i could break 4 in a song. after switching to vater/zildjian/vic firth they last much longer... I'm not putting my sticks threw the head as hard as i can anymore too which added some life.

I found the tips were wearing out so now i have nylon... sometimes a tip will shatter or fall off but I havn't not broke a stick in months now. a cymbal in years. or a skin in years for that matter.
 

ggmerino

Senior Member
Only broken a couple of sticks when I started playing and I hit pretty hard. Lots of chips and dents on the tips and shoulder though. I think three things in decreasing order of importance explain it:

(1) learned early on to snap my strikes and let the stick rebound (almost no follow-through). This gets a really nice un-muffled and loud sound out of the drum or cymbal. Most people I see break sticks and cymbals have a BIG follow-through and feel obliged to play even harder as they essentially muffle their own strikes.

(2) I don't do too many rim shots- only when I need that extra crack.

(3) I realized early that good hickory sticks (Vic Firth and Vater) last a lot longer than the cheapos.
 

drummer-russ

Gold Member
Not a hard hitter and only need to replace sticks because of wear on the shoulder or the tip breaking up. I go through about 1 pair every 1-2 months of playing 10-12 hours a week. Once I start gigging again I expect to wear them out faster. Funny thing, I was just at an audition this past weekend and two of the band members at seperate times asked if I have a background in jazz. They asked becaue they thought I was a soft player. Never really played jazz but my first drum teacher was a jazz drummer from new orleans. But I think it has more to do with paying attention to using the bounce a la Dave Weckl. The way my first teacher taught me, when I was very yound, ,was for me to focus on the rebound and not the push. Sort of playing away from the drum. I have always watched that in drummers and feel like that is an indicator of good technique.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
Of course, if you're constantly smashing equipment into smithereens you may be:

1) Using the wrong equipment

OR

2) Possessed of more money than brains.
OR

3) More than likely, suffering from bad technique.

Dennis
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
I similarly don't break things. I use Firth SD4 sticks which are thin maple and they go soft and dead long before they're in danger of breaking. And I can keep up with some reasonably loud situations.

Interesting that the other converted/dual purpose guitar players here are in the same boat. I wonder if it's because to get fairly proficient on guitar you have to be able to balance down and up strokes without a preference for either. And so guitar players tend to naturally snap the stick back up. Whereas unschooled drum only folks may develop the habit of driving the stick into things.

A lot of the good long term drummers I know who are getting into the 50+ range are reworking their technique to extend their playing lifetimes. Maybe they used clean loose technique for a few things previously and laid into the drums for the sound that gets most of the rest of the time. But now they're feeling the effects of that are are working to get sound production they like out of gentler technique.
 

TColumbia37

Silver Member
Interesting that the other converted/dual purpose guitar players here are in the same boat. I wonder if it's because to get fairly proficient on guitar you have to be able to balance down and up strokes without a preference for either. And so guitar players tend to naturally snap the stick back up. Whereas unschooled drum only folks may develop the habit of driving the stick into things..
I never really thought about that, though I can confidently say that guitar playing has helped me learn and understand drums better than I would have, otherwise.
 
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