Light Drumsticks

Atl MM

Junior Member
I love the sound and feel of dowel drumsticks. From the standard dowel size to the thunder rods, I prefer the weight and feel of these. The problem is I wear them out so quickly and when I pick up a regular pair of hickory sticks, my playing quality seems to go down. The hickory sticks feel so heavy and my playing gets sloppy. I was wondering if the dowel sticks were compensating for my beginner playing ability or should I always play solid drumsticks to get better with them? It is really night and day for me though. With dowel sticks, I am less sloppy, faster around the kit, less mis-hits, etc. I have tried the sold Bamboo Boso sticks and they are lighter. I prefer them over hickory, but still not as much as dowels. I also like the hex grip feel that dowel sticks have vs. round. I have also played the Acoustiks which are plastic over dowels. I did not like the feel and sound of these. I prefer all wood with no plastic. Any suggestions on solid sticks that would incorporate what I like about dowel ones. Hex grip, very light and durable? That would be great for me, I think. Thanks!
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I like the Vic Firth HD4. It's thin, I don't know what diameter stick you like, but it's really light.

You might actually try a thicker stick too. Some folks have a hard time hanging on to a small stick so they grip too tight, as Push Pull eluded to. Finding a stick that works with your hand is key. A lighter stick won't necessarily work if you can't hold on to it. The weight isn't as important as how it feels and the bounce you get out of it.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
If you want a light drumstick, try maple sticks. Vic Firth make several sizes.

Sounds like you’re used to the feel of multi-rods though, which flex more and have a slower rebound.

Perhaps find some suitable maple sticks and a practice pad, and practice clean single strokes at various speeds until you get used to the rebound. You’ll have to stop the swing higher up than with brushes or rods.

Sticks give a deeper sound on snare and toms, and allow double strokes and rolls, so its worth persevering.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
You need to ween yourself off of dowel sticks. They are more forgiving because they 'even out' the intonation (unevenness) of your strokes, and because of that they are a crutch.

Switching to regular sticks will expose your inaccuracies, but that's a good thing! It'll make you a much better player.

If standard sticks (7A, 5A or 5B) feel too heavy, buy a pair of Vic Firth Ralph Hardimon sticks and practice with those for 5 minutes every day on a practice pad. It's like a batter putting a weight on the baseball bat to warm up while on-deck. Regular sticks will suddenly feel light as a feather.


Also make sure you're using proper relaxed technique when holding the sticks. 8 on a hand is a fantastic exercise for developing good technique and ironing out your sloppiness. Many new players might shrug it off because of how boring it looks, and yet world-class drummers use this exercise daily. Watch some Youtube videos of drumlines playing it to get an idea on technique and stick heights. Use a metronome!
 

mike d

Silver Member
I'm a caveman. I don't know what dowel sticks are.
Get rid of them and use Vater Sugar Maple sticks. They have a variety of shapes and sizes. I have become fond of the recording model.
Just google "Vater Sugar Maple".
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I'm a caveman. I don't know what dowel sticks are.
Get rid of them and use Vater Sugar Maple sticks. They have a variety of shapes and sizes. I have become fond of the recording model.
Just google "Vater Sugar Maple".
These are Promark Lightning Rods, Mike. I'm sure you've seen them.

I love practicing with them and my bandmates love the reduced volume, but they are a bit of a crutch somehow. I definitely do some things better with them.

I switch to sticks a few days before a show in order to get used to them again. I prefer jazz sticks like the Vic Firth AJ3 and occasionally I'll use 7A's but the AJ3's suit me best. They're light enough to allow me to get around the kit quickly and heavy enough to generate the volume needed on stage.

I don't care for heavy or thick sticks, though. Even 5A's feel like baseball bats to me.
 

Attachments

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I can't imagine 7A's feeling heavy, but that's me.

Using a lighter and lighter stick seems to be a recipe for weak hands to my thinking.

A maple 7A really should fit the bill for you.

Me I'd be going the other way. If heavier stick exposed things you don't like, ignoring that particular area of need isn't going to help you.

A drum sounds much fuller when played with a 5A or fatter stick.
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
I like the Vic Firth HD4. It's thin, I don't know what diameter stick you like, but it's really light.

You might actually try a thicker stick too. Some folks have a hard time hanging on to a small stick so they grip too tight, as Push Pull eluded to. Finding a stick that works with your hand is key. A lighter stick won't necessarily work if you can't hold on to it. The weight isn't as important as how it feels and the bounce you get out of it.
True, I have found this is the case for me. Small sticks just don't fit in my hands well and was causing me undue tension. Lately, I have landed on Vater Maple SD9s as my stick of choice. They are pretty darn thick at .610" but they are pretty light in weight, less than some of my Hickory 5As, as well so I can still be pretty nimble with them.
 

johnjssmith

Junior Member
Maple sticks are your best bet.

How are hot rods balanced?
That's another important consideration if you like the feel of those.
See where the center of mass is (balance one on an index finger and note the point where the hot rod rests on it) and compare it to that of an average drumstick (VF 5A or whatever you have at hand).
If the center of mass on the hot rod is more forward than on the stick see if you can find a maple stick with a short taper, or, if it's more towards the back, find a stick with a long taper.
The Pro-Mark select balance line should cover all of your needs in the most common sizes.
 

RollTheBones

Junior Member
Not sure how light they are compared to whatever dowel rods are, but I use Portnoy's signature hickory Promark sticks, and they're pretty light. Before that, I was using Peart's Shira Kashi oak sticks, but the tips are about half as durable as the stick itself, so I quit using them. Heavy, heavy stick for its size.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
Any suggestions on solid sticks that would incorporate what I like about dowel ones. Hex grip, very light and durable? That would be great for me, I think.
You might try making your own drum sticks. I'm interested in seeing what you invent.
 

oldmetalhead

Junior Member
If you want light sticks that respond quickly I tried a pair of Bopworks hickory. For quick rebound they are excellent.
 
Top