Band give aways /Burner sticks

Dj magic d

Senior Member
I gig on a regular basis in bars and clubs, and I'm always approached by patrons or "fans" looking for drumsticks as show souvenirs. For some reason, people believe they are entitled to one of my sticks(or both) just because they are in attendance. And by attending I mean showing up to a bar with no cover charge. After years of doing this, I find this incredibly irritating and one of the major annoyances of playing in bars, clubs, or venues where alcohol is served. Some of my friends who are drummers in other bands have shared similar experiences and been labelled as rude, arrogant, or general a**holes just because they didn't offer this token item. I don't wish to reflect bad on the artist I perform with, but at the same time, he isn't providing me with drumsticks to give away either. Its funny how quick people are to point out on social media how unfavorable a drummer is...just because he didn't immediately give in and may have said "no". I'm curious how any of you approach this, and very much interested in your feedback.
As of late, I've been getting the cheapest sticks possible, using them for a few songs(so they show wear), and then setting them aside. At the end of the night, I have a stash of "burners". If I'm approached, and depending on their attitude, I'll use these. I also have to hide my sticks in between sets, since I've seen people come up and attempt to take one out of my stick bag which is around the floor tom or ones resting on the snare. Oddly enough, this practice seems to be of little concern to bar staff, especially if said patron is an attractive young female.
Are there any other suggestions you road veterans might offer?
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Wow, I've never had this problem. I like your idea of buying some super-cheap sticks and giving those away. I guess I play places that are so tight in terms of where I set up, it would be really difficult for someone to slip by and grab something.

I saw a band play one time, and the drummer was selling his used drum sticks for several bucks a piece. You could always do that. :) I don't think I've had anyone ask for a drum stick in years, and I was so broke back then, I'd say, "I can't. I only have two." Sad thing is, I was telling the truth. Heck, I didn't even own a stick bag the first 10 years of playing.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Unless you're on the level of being sponsored with unlimited amounts of sticks I don't think you should feel any obligation.

Feel free to give some away to a young kid who it would really mean a lot to, though.
 

KEEF

Senior Member
I've usually got old sticks that are too chipped to use (but not broken) so I give those away on the very rare occasion I get asked.
 

Dj magic d

Senior Member
I could take that approach, I'd just have to get really good at hiding the extras that I always bring. Well, if a stick winds up going out in the audience/dance floor area(because I've dropped it)...its fair game for them. I've never had anyone offer to give it back at that point, since it was my error...
I WILL go out of my way to give one to a kid, especially if they have a musical interest...that I'm cool with.
 

ottog1979

Senior Member
I store up my chipped-thin sticks at home and specifically bring them to day-gigs and other gigs where I know there will be kids. Then, I give them away to kids. They're usually thrilled.

No adult has ever asked me for sticks at a gig and I play about 35+/- a year now for the last 5 years or so.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Went to see Psychostick with a group of friends. The drummer threw out a stick and one of my friends caught it. We all signed it and gave it back to him. Seemed appropriate considering the band.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
For me, it has less to do with whether the sticks are cheap or free for me, as with their usability. I never carry enough sticks that I can hand out ones that are still good. I've had signature sticks from a few companies, and will hand out broken or end-of-life sticks (that are no longer good to me) to fans or local crew who ask. Occasionally I'll hand out a usable or even new stick or pair, but it has to be a special recipient such as somebody's child who's learning drums. I also send a fresh, personally autographed pair for charity auctions (along with a used drumhead signed by Al.)

Bermuda
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
People saying nasty things on social media because you don't give your hard earn things away isn't anything to lose sleep over.

I saw Tool last week and I'm offended Danny Carey didn't throw a stick in my direction. Totally ruined the gig ;). See how silly it sounds!
 

Xeno

Member
I used to throw the sticks I used during the show out into the crowd, but that was back in the 80's..when things were relatively cheap. Now $10 a pair for Japanese oak sticks? I'll use them until they splinter.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
People saying nasty things on social media because you don't give your hard earn things away isn't anything to lose sleep over.
They think they know, but they don't know... and they don't know that they don't know.

Ya know?

Bermuda
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
My very first gig was a school Christmas 6th Form concert in 1983. I had one cymbal and knew nothing. I also had one pair of sticks, they were painted yellow and had a black nylon tip, I used them for years. As part of the “show” at the end of our two songs I threw them into the audience. Don’t ask me how I managed the accuracy, especially as I was being dazzled by stage lighting, but they landed in the laps of the friends who I’d pre arranged it with and my sticks were subsequently and secretly returned to me and gave many more months of service.

Back to the topic, even as a semi amateur pub band drummer I still get asked for sticks every now and then and some people really do seem to take offence when I refuse. Putting myself in their shoes they probably don’t realise how costly they are. And putting myself in the role of concert goer it didn’t stop me acting like a big kid and getting a stick off Johnny Dee last year or three of Pete Ray Biggin’s sticks on two occasions. Audience members also get huffed when they ask for a song and we don’t play it too, ultimately there’s probably alcohol involved and 30 seconds later they’ve forgotten all about it so there’s rarely any harm done.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Back to the topic, even as a semi amateur pub band drummer I still get asked for sticks every now and then and some people really do seem to take offence when I refuse. Putting myself in their shoes they probably don’t realise how costly they are. And putting myself in the role of concert goer it didn’t stop me acting like a big kid and getting a stick off Johnny Dee last year or three of Pete Ray Biggin’s sticks on two occasions. Audience members also get huffed when they ask for a song and we don’t play it too, ultimately there’s probably alcohol involved and 30 seconds later they’ve forgotten all about it so there’s rarely any harm done.
Sadly it's the world we live in where people try to push their luck and spit their dummy out when they don't get their own way :) Personally I think it's rude and really immature.

They're usually closely related or are the same person that decides to start a conversation with the singer in the middle of a verse because they're more important than the audience you're trying to keep on the dance floor.

If someone throws a stick in the crowd and you catch it that's totally different and they're getting free sticks if they do that.

bermuda said:
They think they know, but they don't know... and they don't know that they don't know.

Ya know?
Ignorance is bliss!
 
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BruceW

Senior Member
I only play in low level bar/club settings mostly, but I have been asked once or twice, and it was cute, the way it was done. (No, it wasn't that the person asking was cute...heh. Tho that couldn't hurt, I suppose).

I ended up getting a box of sticks as a gift that really are crappy, the tips fly off terribly easily. I keep a pair or two of these in the bag as a "just in case" now. Cuz I can't use them for anything else.
 

Channing

Member
I haven't had this happen, but the last show I played with my band, a 3 hour show at a local dive bar, I had someone approach me during a break and ask if he could sit in on drums. I was like, what? I mean, obviously we were playing a set, and I doubt he knew all the songs we were playing, especially the originals. Where do people get off asking this? I don't think it happens to guitarists, but everyone thinks they can play drums.

Then a couple days ago we were hosting a jam at a hostel, and this guy comes up to play guitar, which was fine, but then he turned his amp up twice as loud as anyone else's and started playing metal. I played along with him just to humor him and watching my bassist and guitarists faces was pretty hilarious because they had no idea what to play with what he was playing. We're indie rockers, metal is not our thing. Then he asks for a turn on drums and I let him play. I was using a cajon setup with a pedal and a hi hat, snare, crash, and ride, with a pair of hot rods instead of sticks because this was at a hostel in a residential neighborhood on a weekday and we were trying to control the volume. He just starts beating the crap out of everything and pieces of my hot rods were flying all over. I was just kind of watching like, wow.. He totally destroyed them. After we were done I asked him if he'd like to pay for them, and he said he didn't have any money, but I guess his friend felt bad for me so he gave me money for them and said the guy would just owe him.
Some people have no self awareness.. I guess this story wasn't totally related to this thread but it's similarly obnoxious to someone walking up and trying to steal sticks out of your bag.
 

trickg

Silver Member
Baltimore - what's your band's name and where are you gigging? Are you talking about shows at places like Soundstage, or smaller venues like bars and smaller clubs?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Then a couple days ago we were hosting a jam at a hostel, and this guy comes up to play guitar, which was fine, but then he turned his amp up twice as loud as anyone else's and started playing metal. I played along with him just to humor him and watching my bassist and guitarists faces was pretty hilarious because they had no idea what to play with what he was playing. We're indie rockers, metal is not our thing. Then he asks for a turn on drums and I let him play. I was using a cajon setup with a pedal and a hi hat, snare, crash, and ride, with a pair of hot rods instead of sticks because this was at a hostel in a residential neighborhood on a weekday and we were trying to control the volume. He just starts beating the crap out of everything and pieces of my hot rods were flying all over. I was just kind of watching like, wow.. He totally destroyed them. After we were done I asked him if he'd like to pay for them, and he said he didn't have any money, but I guess his friend felt bad for me so he gave me money for them and said the guy would just owe him.
Some people have no self awareness.. I guess this story wasn't totally related to this thread but it's similarly obnoxious to someone walking up and trying to steal sticks out of your bag.
Funny story. I bet a dollar that in the guys mind, he was a God.

Been there, so I can't say anything. I used to be a God too ha ha.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
I had once a girl during a show asking for a stick..

I asked her what i would get in return, since no one from the audience also gives us ever anything for free, and for some reason we ended up about her panties..The trade happened right after the show on stage, meaning she took of her pants on stage, gave me her panties and putted her pants back on..I gave her the stick and also the panties back..

I am still not very proud about that..

Another girl once wanted my towel and for that she actually made a nice drawing of myself, which i thought was nice and i still own..
 
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