Re: Breaking sticks left and right...
No actually my tips dont wear out, and I play all types of music. I prefer jazz, but jazz in my neck of the woods does not offer many gigs as does diner dance music (boring) or rock. The gig and the need dictates what I play!
Anyway, here is my suggestion, if you can find someone in your local that is a seasoned professional on drumset, not your everyday music teacher, but one who understands the approach to the set, sit in with him/her for an 1/2 to 1 hour and let him or her study your approach. You know it could just be a simple height adjustment, or a tip on the individual stroke. Without actually seeing, it is hard to provide positive feedback. Take a look at Jim Chapins approach instructions, not so much his independance instructions, but how he shows the stick doing the work with you in control producing the same volume and attack as compared to other ways.
Breaking sticks I still do but not at an alarming rate.
Back sometime ago when I was in a hard rock group, I hit pretty hard, broke sticks left and right, even the fiberglass metal sticks ( hated them)! What I found was the angle I was hitting at and adjusted accordingly. Every wood stick has a grain pattern, hit the grain at an offset angle, you get breakage down the grain. Almost like those karate board breakage demonstrations. They break along the grain, flip the grain around, and they bust knuckles. I think you see my point. I also practiced more control using some of the same approaches the great jazz musicians used, then combined their approach to what I was doing. It reduced breakage by quit a bit. Even when playing rim shots. I would love to show you my current bag of sticks with all the rim shot marks. But the sticks are still whole, even with the shafts being narrowed down, yet the changes I made to my angle allowed me to gain more control really reduced my breakage, yet increased my power, volume and attack when needed, while maintaining the same sticks. The neat thing was it benefitted both grips!
By your description I would bet a little tweek would make all the differnce in the world. The key is geting someone that is schooled enough on approach and can see yours. This is the difficult part.
finnhiggins - what can I say but great mature comment! Keep up the good work!