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Formless Method 12-27-2012 12:17 PM

Stick Preferences and why
 
I like my stick to be fatter so I don't have to tighten my grip to much to hold it. If I use a stick with slightly less girth than my hand makes when it is relaxed I barely have to use any muscle to grip it which makes everything looser and feel better. I guess it's why I like fat pens to write with. Using all those tiny muscles to write and grip a skinny pen or pencil hurts after a while.

I like my stick to have a long taper so when the stick strikes an object the stick gives slightly (maybe a millimeter or so) which takes any extra vibration out of it and also makes the stick bounce back off of the drum very fast because in theory it should give a little then straighten back out throwing itself back off the drum. Feels very nice and aids a drummer who uses rebound. Short tapered sticks are so rigid feeling that when I use them I feel like my hand is being electrocuted. Long tapered feels like a nice ride in a cadiliac.

Nylon tips for their response and sound on cymbals (don't have to work as hard to get the ride sounds out of cymbals).

I like them to be around 16 inches or shorter. Very long sticks feel unbalanced and awkward.

My stick at this moment which fits what I explained is Regal Tip 5A. They are similar to Joe Morrelos Pro Mark sig sticks which is what I played before I moved to Regal

Anybody else a stick nut like me?

Mad About Drums 12-27-2012 12:21 PM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
This topic has been discussed many times around here, there's even a sticky thread for it...

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39

Read on my friend :)

Midnite Zephyr 12-27-2012 04:11 PM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
I've never analysed my stick choice so much. It'd be nice to have enough cash to try everything to find out what I like. I think I like a long 5A, as far as I know. Maybe I would like something better for some unknown reason. Am I looking for something? Hard to say... Maybe there is something unknown to me that I haven't even considered yet.

I am kinda going back and forth on the ProMark 747 hickory and the VF 5AN extreme. I like that extra length. I even hold the sticks at the very ends sometimes, all loosey-goosey at times. I like nylon tips for the same reason as you. They are a little different on these two stick styles. The VF has a shorter taper and a smaller tip, and the PM has a long taper and a bigger tip. It's hard to say which sticks suit me better.

Forgot to mention that on the practice pad I just use the standard Vic Firth 5A wood tip sticks. They feel just fine in my hand. I guess I've been playing 5A diameter for so long that anything else just feels weird. I played 5B for awhile, but I switched to 5A about 20 years ago when I started playing faster. There are a few reasons: 1. they're always available no matter where you go 2. I don't break cymbals anymore 3. the sticks are heavy enough to play anything I've ever needed to play - fast, slow, heavy, light 4. I don't ever get blisters anymore even using just bare sticks with no grip stuff 5. The stores sell these VF sticks in the $5 bargain bucket with the store name branded onto them. The ones I have are branded with Professional Drum Shop on them, but I saw the exact same sticks in Sam Ash too that obviously say Sam Ash on it. I'm sure quite a few stores buy these 5A sticks from Vic Firth and have their company name put on them.

mikel 12-27-2012 04:22 PM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
Vic Firth 8D.
In the past I always used 5Bs but I found that as I relaxed more, and used less arm movement, the 5Bs felt dead and rigid.

To me the 8Ds feel light and almost whippy. I feel the heads and cymbals more, and my wrists don't get tired after a long session. An added bonus is they are slightly quieter, as I am a hard hitter so in this volume sensitive era I can still play hard.

Formless Method 12-27-2012 05:03 PM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mad About Drums (Post 1089791)
This topic has been discussed many times around here, there's even a sticky thread for it...

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39

Read on my friend :)

Not really what I was looking for but thanks.

Will Brown 12-27-2012 10:23 PM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
I don't really have a single specific preference. I have a whole bunch of different sticks that I use depending on the volume required and I often change between songs. If I'm playing a heavier number I tend to use a 5b, but my only problem with 5b sticks is the weight they can throw into your cymbals if your not careful, plus they present a challenge with regards to dynamics. I really do like the vic firth extreme 5a as they do not present the same problems of a 5b, but have more meat to them than the 5a, so they're great live.

Having said all that I don't think that as an all-round stick there is one better than the vic firth 5a, which I always seem to go back to.

NerfLad 12-27-2012 11:27 PM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
Vic Firth Maple SD2. It's fatter than a 2B; nice thick shoulder and short taper, but as light as a 5A. Great for my big hands. Nice balance too, I use it for pad work. It's my only stick, really. It has a nice small ball tip that plays down into a cone and it sounds sweet on cymbals from the first stroke through the end of its life. I've only broken it a few times, but it doesn't chip apart like hickory. It looks more and more ragged and suddenly breaks in half very cleanly. Usually I play the tips down to a nub before the stick breaks. I love this stick.

/warm and fuzzies

Odd-Arne Oseberg 12-27-2012 11:38 PM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
Colaiuta signature sticks.

When I first started drumming I got some signature sticks from my favourite drummers as well as an assorted hickory and maple selection froom several brands. Some frinds also gave me some of their slightly used sticks to try. The Vinnie sticks are what I ended up with, though I have a few other lighter sticks in my bag as well.

It's very close to an American Classic 5B, but I just like it better.

Bretton 12-27-2012 11:48 PM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
Vater Punisher Nylon Tip.

Hard player, like me some fat sticks, these are right between 5B and 2B. 2Bs slow me down just ever so slightly, but 5Bs could use some more power.

Nylon ball tip is nice and bright on my ride cymbals

SticksEasy 12-28-2012 12:10 AM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
I'm pretty comfy with a few stick models. Vater's 5B sticks. I also dig Zildjian's 5B sticks, and Brooks Wackerman signature models. I liked the Matt Sorum signatures also. But I think Vater's 5B are my favorite models.

audiotech 12-28-2012 12:28 AM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
I like a lot of sticks in and around the size of 5As, but nothing heavier than a 5B. The sticks have to feel great in my hands and sound particularly good on my ride cymbals, most of the barrel tip sticks fit this criteria. Some of my favorites are the Steve Gadd and Evolution and I just got a bunch of ProMark 727 wooden tip sticks to also try out. For the past several years I'm exclusively into wooden tips, but still have my nylon tip sticks in bags of their own just in case I find myself in the land of the lost, lol.

I also play 7As pretty regularly depending on the style of music.

Dennis

bobdadruma 12-28-2012 12:34 AM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
I have played every major brand of stick over the years.
I like Vic Firth AH5A wood tip maple, AS5A wood tip hickory. (round tips)
Maple for jazz and light Rock. Hickory for harder music.
Vick's sticks are well made, matched and balanced.
The wood tips last a long time, even the maple.

I also like Vater Manhattan 7A nylon tips. They are thin and heavy.

deltdrum 12-28-2012 12:44 AM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
I love playing with SD1's. Gives the snare a fat chunky sound, and also lets me be lazy and pull double stroke rolls easily. Also sounds good on the bell.

The Vater (or Promark?) Fatbacks are sweet too. I used them more before my current hard-hitting loud band.

tard 12-28-2012 02:32 AM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
Vick Firth 5bn. 5b because it fits me perfect, any thinner I seem to drop them any thicker and they feel too big, nylon because they are more durable, they are crisper on the hats and rides plus there is greater definition in sound when alternating between shoulder and tip. Vic's because they last me longer than any other brand I have tried.

Formless Method 12-28-2012 02:46 AM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tard (Post 1090201)
Vick Firth 5bn. 5b because it fits me perfect, any thinner I seem to drop them any thicker and they feel too big, nylon because they are more durable, they are crisper on the hats and rides plus there is greater definition in sound when alternating between shoulder and tip. Vic's because they last me longer than any other brand I have tried.

Very true about the nylon tips. The nylon really makes my cymbals sing with a lot less effort plus it never chips. I use to play wood tips but when I started playing a lot of low key dynamic stuff at weddings, private parties etc the nylon let me drop the volume real low while still making the cymbals sing just as good.

slowrocker 12-28-2012 02:46 AM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
I use 5a sticks. Right now it is Vic firth. I like vater fusions sticks though.

Formless Method 12-28-2012 03:17 AM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
Also i have never understood why drummers switch sticks all through gigs. I am not knocking that if you do that but to me sticking with one stick allows your body and mind to fine tune itself and make the little adjustments subconciously while playing if you stick to one stick long enough. Granted that it is the right stick for you. I am open to having my mind changed. At one point I played with a hard rock band and went to marching sticks. Destroyed my cymbals and heads etc. I was younger and dumber :)

Another thing is my sticks are super slim near the tips because they are long tapered. I have been playing with the same sticks for 4 months and they are fine. I play soft and hard when the music calls for it. here is an example,itsnot long http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BqIUqRCdfQ never had one break on me. Maybe its the way I play who knows

Drumolator 12-28-2012 04:27 AM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
I prefer a stick in between a 5A and a 5B. With Vater that includes the Fusion and H220 models (and others). With Vic Firth that includes the 55A, which seems to be the easiest one for me to find in local stores. I also prefer a short taper, 16 inch length, and hickory. I do not know why, except that those are the sticks that feel the best in my hands. Peace and goodwill.

Anthony Amodeo 12-28-2012 04:32 AM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
played many sticks over the years .......many

this is the best stick I have ever picked up and I will use them for as long as they are in production

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM6xhnCitqw

Anon La Ply 12-28-2012 05:09 AM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JayJohnson777 (Post 1090226)
Also i have never understood why drummers switch sticks all through gigs. I am not knocking that if you do that but to me sticking with one stick allows your body and mind to fine tune itself and make the little adjustments subconciously while playing if you stick to one stick long enough.

I tend to stick with one type of stick for a gig (apart from brushes and mallets) but I can understand players using a different feel and sound for different songs, though if everything's going through a PA I can't imagine any difference being noticeable to anyone but the drummer and bass.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Gvdadrummasum (Post 1090269)
played many sticks over the years .......many

this is the best stick I have ever picked up and I will use them for as long as they are in production

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM6xhnCitqw

I have the Erskine Zildjian sticks with the tiny round bead (as opposed to the Ride Stick's larger acorn bead) and I don't find them comfortable or nice on the rebound. Have you tried both, Ant? Comparison?

I like very light sticks and recently fell in love with the Firth American Jazz AJ2 sticks, which is heavier than anything I've used for years but is so well balanced that playing quietly is easy. They are as thick as a 5A in the hands which is very comfortable, but the pronounced taper and small bead makes them far lighter and more articulate than 5As.

For an extra light stick I very much like the Zildjian Billy Stewart sticks.

None of these would survive a rock gig with everything cranked to 11.

Anthony Amodeo 12-28-2012 05:11 AM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Anon La Ply (Post 1090287)
Have you tried both, Ant? Comparison?.

have not tried the Zildjian model.....only his 3 Vic models and I find the Ride Stick most desirable

did not even know he ever played Zil sticks

8Mile 12-28-2012 05:29 AM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
I play Vic Firth 5A sticks. They work for me in any style of music. I just like the feel and balance of Vic Firth sticks, in any size.

Anon La Ply 12-28-2012 05:42 AM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gvdadrummasum (Post 1090289)
have not tried the Zildjian model.....only his 3 Vic models and I find the Ride Stick most desirable

did not even know he ever played Zil sticks

Sorry Ant, might have screwed up. The name's worn off. Might be Denis Chambers. Apologies to Pete E, if misrepresented.

B-squared 12-28-2012 05:50 AM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JayJohnson777 (Post 1090226)
Also i have never understood why drummers switch sticks all through gigs.

I take it you're not a golfer. My stick bag has a lot of different brands, sizes, and types of sticks. (5A, 7A, signature, nylon tip, wood tip, timpani, Zildjian, Vic Firth, Vater to name a few). I use them to get different sounds I like for different songs. I would not try to get out of the rough with a 3 iron, and I wouldn't play a hard rocking song with 7A nylon tips. Unlike my golf bag, I am not limited to 14 sticks.

alparrott 12-28-2012 06:14 AM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
I have been on a long, strange journey over the last 25 years... to find a stick I really, truly, 100% like. I think I am just about there.

I need a stick about 5B diameter but with a medium taper, and preferably a stretch stick. I like the Vic Firth X5B for this. If I am playing a wood tip, I prefer it to be blended into the stick, like the Buddy or Gavin sticks, which seem to chip less quickly than do normal sticks. Otherwise, I stick with nylon for durability. I like something grippy (like Vic Grip or Pro-Mark's Pro-Grip), because otherwise my hands tire out from deathgripping the stick; but the Zildjian Dip gives me horrible blisters.

I have played Vic, Pro-Mark, Regal Tip, Zildjian, Ludwig, Slingerland, Hot Sticks, Vater, RimShot, and a few other brands not mentioned here. In terms of build and consistency I have been happiest with Vic Firth.

If Vic Firth made a Buddy Rich type stick with Vic Grip on it, I'd be 100% happy. As it is, I like my X5ANVGs.

I also enjoy a well-made maple stick. I like the SD1s pretty well - a big, light stick. There used to be a company called HeadHunters that made great maple sticks with grip grooves. They went underground/out of business many moons ago. Quite sad... I really dug their sticks. At one point I had two stick bags full of them!

Souljacker 12-28-2012 06:20 AM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
I've been having the problem lately of changing between a lot of my sticks (different sizes). 7A Vaters, 5A Pro Marks, Bill Bruford Sigs, Mike Portnoy Sigs, 5B size sticks.

It's been messing up my sense of fulcrum so I really need to find one size that suits best now. Probably between 7A and 5A. I like the MP Signature stick. Light but has a bit of chubbiness not on 7A sticks.

Love the Brufords, great rebound for accents. However, their extremely small size poses a problem with grip I find, in my hands.

drumdruid 12-28-2012 11:09 AM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
Vic Firth Classic American ( metal version)
It's 17" long which is exactly the length from my elbow to the tip of my fingers.
It was an enlightening experience to play for the first time with these sticks.
I'm a tall guy with long arms and here for the first time i could wield the kind of stroke and dynamic that had previously been not that easy and i can sit back from the kit, and play far more relaxed.
Simon

audiotech 12-28-2012 01:06 PM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JayJohnson777 (Post 1090226)
Also i have never understood why drummers switch sticks all through gigs.

The main reasons I do is to get a fresh dry stick in my hands. Another reason is to fit the type of music I play and a third reason is to give my 60 year old hands the ability to hold and play different weight and configured sticks, it's sort of a revitalization process for my hands when sitting behind a kit for three, four or more hours.

http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n...C_0151-1-1.jpg

Dennis

BacteriumFendYoke 12-28-2012 01:21 PM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
I've never been happy with a pair of sticks. Not completely. In my ideal World, I'd make them myself and experiment.

Right now I'm playing Vic Firth Maples of some kind. I can't even remember what they are! I like the size and lightness that maple sticks give me - now most hickory sticks just feel too heavy. I don't have big hands but my hands do get fatigued when I play sticks that are too thin so something just shy of a 5A is about right.

Years ago, I found a pair of Vic Firth 7As that were just perfect. It was just the one pair that I really liked. Sadly, I've never found another pair like it.

Mad About Drums 12-28-2012 01:42 PM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
Over the years I've played with many different type of sticks made of oak, hickory and maple.

I went through many brands too, Pro-Mark, Vic Firth, Regal Tip, Vater, Zildjian, Tama...

The sticks I've used for a considerable length of time are:

Pro-Mark 707 (oak)
Pro-Mark 3A (oak)
Tama 5B (oak)
Zildjian 3A (hickory)
Vater Fusion (maple)
Vic Firth Peter Erskine Signature (small round tip) (hickory)
Vic Firth 5A (hickory)
Vic Firth SD1 General (maple), a great practice stick.
Vic Firth SD2 Bolero (maple)
Vic Firth SD9 Driver (maple)

Currently using the SD2 and SD9 depending on the style

I would like to try the Vic Firth SD5 Echo (maple)

Anon La Ply 12-28-2012 01:44 PM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by audiotech (Post 1090386)
The main reasons I do is to get a fresh dry stick in my hands. Another reason is to fit the type of music I play and a third reason is to give my 60 year old hands the ability to hold and play different weight and configured sticks, it's sort of a revitalization process for my hands when sitting behind a kit for three, four or more hours.

Dennis, your level of organisation is inspirational!

Odd-Arne Oseberg 12-28-2012 04:52 PM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
I agree with the one stick philosphy, to a certain degree.

The Vinnie stick is my main drumset stick. I can also use it for marching no problem.

It's not always right in an orchestra, though. There I need choices for the best results.

It's also not the best choice for certain low volume situations.

Now offcourse I don't just play with regular sticks. There are tons of other things in my bag.

tezzerii 12-28-2012 11:10 PM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
Many years ago I tried a pair of Regal nylon-tip sticks, and I absolutely loved them, they were like the Rolls-Royce of sticks for me.
However, they were expensive, and so I carried on with cheaper stuff, until some time ago when I figured, I'm fed up of sticks breaking and wearing out quick, I'll try those Regals again. Well, I also tried others like Vick Firth and Vater, and they're good sticks, but I stuck with the Regal! They were just like I remembered, they just feel right, and I drop them a lot less than other sticks!
I tried the Jazz, (like a 7a), and the Rock, but the one was too light, the other a little tiring to the hands. Finally, I found the "JC" model on their website, which is just right!! (no. I'm not Goldilocks.) Only trouble is, the shops don't stock them so I have to order a bunch.
I pretty much use them for most things (except when you need beaters or hot rods etc), altho I do have a pair of Aquarian black sticks for the odd "heavy" song, but they're hard on the hands!!
- Terry

Drum-El 12-29-2012 06:49 AM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
VF Weckl Evolutions or regular 5A if I can't find them. I've tried changing sticks before over the years and always come back to this.

Midnite Zephyr 06-29-2013 11:54 AM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by alparrott (Post 1090299)
I need a stick about 5B diameter but with a medium taper, and preferably a stretch stick. I like the Vic Firth X5B for this.

If Vic Firth made a Buddy Rich type stick with Vic Grip on it, I'd be 100% happy. As it is, I like my X5ANVGs.

You mean the X5BNVGs, don't you? Because I play the X5AN w/o the VG. Just today I bought a pair of 55As and used them for my gig this evening. They were wood tip and they were an excellent stick. The diameter of the stick is .580; right betwen a 5A and 5B diameter. The length is standard, but that's alright because my new kit has power toms and I have to angle them a little more. I think I may make this stick my main players. They just felt right!

Dre25 06-29-2013 12:22 PM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
I used to play with big sticks.. Now using vater recording. Much easier to play faster, quieter and if I need the volume I can just hit harder and hold them closer to the butt..

Chunky 06-29-2013 02:26 PM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
I think I've settled on the stick size I like. I used to use 2B's after about my first year of playing where I found my size however, I went to music college and the drum teacher who was an old jazz guy hated the fact I used slightly thicker sticks and forced me to use smaller ones and that my playing would be better for it.
I spent the next 11-12 years or so trying every kind of smaller stick out there and I admit I found some I quite liked but, never thought I found 'my' stick.

I went into the drum centre on day not too long ago and they didn't have my sticks in so I thought 'ah what the hell' and got some 2B's for a laugh and guess what? They were perfect!

They just fit my hands nicely, I can feel them, I don't really have trouble playing quietly at all with them.
It annoys me that I was so influenced by someone else just out of respect and now I have the confidence and experience to say these are the sticks for me, don't tell me I'm wrong.

How can someone else tell you what works best for your body? We have completely different builds let alone styles...

So yeah, Vater 2B's nylon tips for me at the moment but I will try other 2B's and wood types etc.


Anyone else had an experience like this?

brady 06-29-2013 05:14 PM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
I've had a few favorite sticks over the years.

I've gone from 5A to 7A to 8D to quite a few signature sticks in between those sizes.

It took me a while to figure out that I don't have to work as hard with a fatter stick. Right now, I'm using the VF Peter Erskine Big Band Stick. It has a pretty beefy shaft and a long taper. They have an excellent response; I can actually play with much less effort compared to other sticks I've tried.

My other favorite, my #2 stick is the VF AJ6. Slightly bigger than a 7A; it has a very tiny tip that sounds just beautiful on cymbals. I actually use this stick primarily in jazz but when I need to bring up the volume I switch to the Big Band sticks. Nothing sounds quite like those AJ6's.

alparrott 06-29-2013 05:40 PM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Midnite Zephyr (Post 1156268)
You mean the X5BNVGs, don't you? Because I play the X5AN w/o the VG. Just today I bought a pair of 55As and used them for my gig this evening. They were wood tip and they were an excellent stick. The diameter of the stick is .580; right betwen a 5A and 5B diameter. The length is standard, but that's alright because my new kit has power toms and I have to angle them a little more. I think I may make this stick my main players. They just felt right!

Yep, you're right, typo.

Recently I've been using the Aaron Spears sticks, a little slimmer, no grip of course, but they feel great.

Now when I go back to a "regular length" stick the balance feels terribly off and the reach feels stunted, like I'm playing with a pencil or something.

Smoke 06-29-2013 05:47 PM

Re: Your stick preferences and why.
 
If I could only choose two, I'd use the VF American Jazz AJ5 and the VF Peter Erskine Ride.

Occasionally, I'll use the Zildjian Heavy Jazz stick - laminated and HEAVY, though very tough and sound like a nylon tip or maybe even harder.


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