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  #1  
Old 08-20-2012, 08:53 PM
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mmulcahy1 mmulcahy1 is offline
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Default How long do your sticks last?

I'm just curious here because I seem to only get about 12 to 14 hours of playing time out of a pair of sticks before they look like a mini beaver got to them - crunch, crunch crunch.

I've used Vic FIrth, Promark, Vater, Zildjian and a lot of other brand names as well as some "no-name" sticks and seem to get the same results.

Anybody got any ideas for me?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 08-20-2012, 08:54 PM
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Naigewron Naigewron is offline
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Default Re: How long do your sticks last?

Depends on my energy level, but my rimshots chew through sticks pretty quickly. If a stick lasts me three rehearsals, I'm pretty happy.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:52 PM
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Default Re: How long do your sticks last?

I get about a year out of a brick of VF 5bn
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  #4  
Old 08-20-2012, 11:22 PM
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Default Re: How long do your sticks last?

About 6-8 months per pair that get about 8-10 hours per week of time on them.
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  #5  
Old 08-20-2012, 11:49 PM
cp84 cp84 is offline
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Default Re: How long do your sticks last?

i play about 15 - 20 hours a week at the moment and my current sticks have lasted over a year. vic firth sd2 boleros. they are the perfect stick for me.
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  #6  
Old 08-20-2012, 11:56 PM
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Default Re: How long do your sticks last?

Stick selection:
Maple sticks in a much bigger size than you normally play. Maple "dents" instead of splintering. If you simply switch to the same size stick in maple, you will probably feel like you have to hit harder and you will break just as many sticks, but playing a bigger size but lighter weight stick will balance that out. I switched from 5A or X5A to the SD9 Driver and I will never go back to hickory sticks. Maple also absorbs the shock better, so your hands and wrists will thank you.

Technique/gear:
If you play 90% rimshots then I would recommend a snare hoop that doesn't eat sticks, like an S-Hoop (your wrists will also thank you later). You can also adjust the height of your hi-hat so that you aren't slicing away at the edge of the hats all of the time.

Intensity:
If you play at 100% volume even though 75% would work, then tone down the intensity a bit and also learn to "look" like you are really wailing on the drums while you are really not hitting that hard. If you get more efficiency then you will do less work but have the same intensity. Mic'ed drums can be turned up, but if you are already hitting everything as hard as possible you will only hurt yourself and you will go through more sticks, heads, and cymbals than you need to.

Cost of doing business:
Stick wear down and break, it's part of the cost of being a drummer. ;)
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:06 AM
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Default Re: How long do your sticks last?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BradGunnerSGT View Post
..If you play at 100% volume even though 75% would work, then tone down the intensity a bit and also learn to "look" like you are really wailing on the drums while you are really not hitting that hard...
I burst out laughing when I read this, because I do this exact thing (It is too embarassing to admit it though.) Glad to hear someone else does something that seems so silly. Why do we care to look like we're hitting harder than we are? Maybe because the song demands it? Or, the audience expects it? Possibly because our bandmates are used to it?
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  #8  
Old 08-21-2012, 12:19 AM
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Default Re: How long do your sticks last?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmacc View Post
About 6-8 months per pair that get about 8-10 hours per week of time on them.
This ^^. Even when I do play really hard, a good pair of sticks, though they get chewed, can last 3-4 months. I had a pair of Pro-Mark 5B's or something like that, I practically tried every day to break them, and they lasted 3 months.
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  #9  
Old 08-21-2012, 01:46 AM
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Default Re: How long do your sticks last?

[quote=BradGunnerSGT

Technique/gear:
If you play 90% rimshots then I would recommend a snare hoop that doesn't eat sticks, like an S-Hoop (your wrists will also thank you later). You can also adjust the height of your hi-hat so that you aren't slicing away at the edge of the hats all of the time.
[/QUOTE]

It's my hi-hat that chews my sticks. Rims shots on the snare (or the occasional screw up on a tom) don't really do much of anything to my sticks - a small dent or two, but no biggie.

I have my hi-hat and snare levels right where I need them. If I lower my hats any, my left hand gets in the way of my right. I really try to hit the hats in a more vertical manner than at an angle, too.

I've only used hickory sticks in the past. I actually have a pair of maple that I bought to try and just haven't gotten to them yet. Maybe now's the time to try 'em out, huh?
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  #10  
Old 08-22-2012, 01:34 AM
HatedRonnie HatedRonnie is offline
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Default Re: How long do your sticks last?

I am still on my first set of sticks (few months) and they still look good, lil dented but still good. Zildjian 7b maple
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  #11  
Old 08-23-2012, 06:20 AM
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Default Re: How long do your sticks last?

Promark Japanese White Oak 2B sticks last me several months of nonstop usage before they get worn down and I feel the need to replace them. A lot of what I do comes from my fingers and wrists, which is probably why I've never broken a stick in my life.
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  #12  
Old 08-23-2012, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: How long do your sticks last?

I use VF 5a's they last me between 6 months to 2 years depending on the pair and what i'm playing at the time. If you are only getting a a few hours out of your sticks it's time to re-evaluate your technique.
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  #13  
Old 08-23-2012, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: How long do your sticks last?

I finally retired my last pair of VF 55As two weeks ago after ~10 months. One of the tips is really chipped, but aside from that they're still usable. The pair of 5As I used before that lasted almost as long. 10-20 hours per week on the kit.

Before those two pair, I was going through sticks MUCH more frequently (days/weeks). Two things changed: I started taking lessons, and I switched hihats (14" New Beats to 13" Paiste Sig. Sound Edge). I think both changes had a part... The Paistes have a higher profile and rounder edges which seem to take less of a toll on sticks.
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