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  #1  
Old 04-05-2013, 01:33 AM
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Default Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

I'm looking for a pair of thin drumsticks, thinner than 7A. I'm not even sure if they make them. I am forced to use lighter sticks in this one room I play in on a regular basis. I use 7A's but I would like an even lighter stick, if possible. Rods are out of the question. So are brushes, which I use on a few songs, but couldn't do a whole night with them. Anybody know of a thinner stick than a 7A? I'm wondering how thin they get.

On a different note, the drumstick size designations seriously needs to be brought more up to date.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:44 AM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

Depends on which company's 7A you're talking about! For example, Vic Firth's 7A has a typical 5A feel to it, not a light stick at all. Their thinner sticks are in the America Jazz series. The old Cappella 7A was a very small stick, I don't know if the resurrected Acappella stick co. has a version of it. I'd say Regal Tip 7A is what most of us consider to be normal, and it's thinner and shorter than Vic Firth's. They also offer the Combo, which is thinner still, but an inch longer. the grip is small but the feel/throw is big.

I agree that there needs to be some standardization in stick models. If a company wants something in-between, they should make up a new name for that particular stick.

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Old 04-05-2013, 02:04 AM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Depends on which company's 7A you're talking about! For example, Vic Firth's 7A has a typical 5A feel to it, not a light stick at all. Their thinner sticks are in the America Jazz series. The old Cappella 7A was a very small stick, I don't know if the resurrected Acappella stick co. has a version of it. I'd say Regal Tip 7A is what most of us consider to be normal, and it's thinner and shorter than Vic Firth's. They also offer the Combo, which is thinner still, but an inch longer. the grip is small but the feel/throw is big.

I agree that there needs to be some standardization in stick models. If a company wants something in-between, they should make up a new name for that particular stick.

Bermuda
Ditto this. I have Regal Tip 7A and they are small
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:10 AM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

Thanks Jon and Grunt. I do use VF 7A. Even though the tone of the drum sounds thinner with a lighter stick from where I'm sitting, the recording sounds otherwise. I swear when listening to the playbacks, it sounds like I'm hitting my drums with at least a medium amount of force when in actuality, I am very lightly tapping to blend in with the volume. It's a very reflective room. People are the only soft surface in there so when it's crowded, I can use my 5B's. I still can't hit too hard though, but I don't have to stifle myself as much. We are well liked in this room because we all are very volume conscious. People need to hear their conversations, bartenders need to hear their orders, people are eating dinner there in the beginning. I often get complimented that my volume is very appropriate there.

I never heard of Acappella before. Would you say that any of the sticks in the VF America Jazz Series are thinner than Regal Tip 7A's?
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:27 AM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

You might check out the VF Peter Erskine Original. It's 0.525" (vs 0.540" for a VF 7A) with a very small tip. It's a half inch longer than the 7A (16" vs 15.5") but that's an easy fix if it's a problem. Should be able to keep the volume down with one of those.
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:29 AM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

0.525. Now there's something I can use. Thanks Mike, there's a starting point. It's like I have to take a set of calipers with me stick shopping.
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:39 AM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

The thinnest stick I know of is the Vic Firth AJ5.

It's .490 diameter. A seriously thin stick.
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:15 AM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

I use the AJ5 as my "light" stick, but it's also a long stick. It is thinner than Firth's 7A, but longer. In fact, it's very close to regal Tip's Combo stick, but wod tip only.

But I like the AJ5 for most local playing where I don't need a lot of volume.

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Old 04-05-2013, 03:57 AM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
It's like I have to take a set of calipers with me stick shopping.
Maybe not a caliper but you could compare the stick to a Vic 5a. I use a 8AN as my practice stick. L = 16" | Dia. = .540". I like the extra length as it doesn't affect my grip.
You might also look into a maple stick, same diameter but less volume.
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:24 AM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

I like the VF AJ1 stick, as well, Larry. It has a larger diameter at the butt than 7A, but has an extremely long taper down to a small acorn tip, giving it a lighter shank than most 7As. The overall weight of the stick is very light, and the thin shank gives it a very light touch.

My hands don't like an extremely small diameter stick, so this one has worked well for me when I need something light.
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:58 AM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

This may be radical thinking for some, but here goes. It is easier to control a stick that is thicker, in the same way kids use fat crayons and pencils. Many think thinner, when what they want is quieter. It takes more stick control to play softer and still be accurate than to play loud. Therefor, I recommend a stick like the Vic Firth SD2 bolero for softer work. It is lighter, being maple, has a small round bead for good rebound and good articulation, yet has a thick enough shaft to allow good control and feel. Clean playing as a soft level is about control, not volume. Volume is a by product of good control.
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:28 AM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

I like a thicker stick too for my hand size, and I can play super quiet with 5B's if I have to, but I really have to tap a little too lightly for my comfort. So why not use a lighter stick. Perhaps I will try maple too, they are lighter. I don't like maple for a heavy stick because they break faster than any stick I played. Maple's grain is not stringy like hickory. Maple probably would work better here because I'm tapping most of the night.

I find that I prefer the tradeoff of a thinner stick in my hand because I don't have to use as much volume control because the drum just does not project with the same oomph as with a larger stick. It's a less tense way for me to play when I can hit at a certain stick height. And we're only talking about a 3 inch stick height even with the 7A. With a 5A I have to lower it even more. That extra bit of height makes all the difference.

Thanks for all the recommendations. I will give them all a try to see which fits best.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:19 AM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

I know what you mean about maple. I was very excited about maple sticks twenty years ago, but I just couldn't live with their breakage characteristics. Not only did I break them more often (I almost never break a hickory stick), but when they went, they went all the way and just snapped off. Too bad, because I liked everything else about them.

I agree that control is most important, and I generally use quite a heavy stick no matter what dynamic I'm playing. But there is no denying that a light stick speaks with a different voice and brings a different quality out of drums and especially cymbals.

Good luck on your search, Larry. If you like the feel of a fatter stick in your hand but need a lighter touch on the drum, I think you will like the VF Jazz sticks.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:59 AM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

Yea and 7A's are OK, but I want to experiment with something even lighter. I wasn't sure if a lighter stick than 7A was even made. Like I've been playing this room for a year and a half and I'm just now looking into lighter sticks. It's the only place I use 7A's. You do sacrifice a bit of drum tone with a lighter stick but from my recordings, I can't tell. I can only tell as I'm playing. Out in the audience I can't believe how hard it sounds like I'm hitting when I am actually holding back like 75% of how I would normally play.

So ID, who IS that girl in your avi? Do you know her personally? Is that you behind the drums?
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:41 PM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

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So ID, who IS that girl in your avi? Do you know her personally? Is that you behind the drums?
Haha, that's Grace Potter. No, and I wish!!

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Old 04-05-2013, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

Well, there’s always Blasticks, Hotrods, etc. They’ll help keep the volume down, but there’re not strictly sticks, so they feel a bit different.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:07 PM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

With all due respect Anduin, the rod bundles, and I really can't help it, but they make me projectile vomit. It's not pretty. I just won't use them, the same way that I won't play a cajon on a gig. If I can't have a bass drum, I'd rather play bass guitar.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

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...the rod bundles, and I really can't help it, but they make me projectile vomit. It's not pretty.
Projectile vomiting not pretty!? Say it ain’t so! Try eating something colourful first for a more aesthetically-pleasing effect.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

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With all due respect Anduin, the rod bundles, and I really can't help it, but they make me projectile vomit. It's not pretty. I just won't use them, the same way that I won't play a cajon on a gig. If I can't have a bass drum, I'd rather play bass guitar.
I feel the same way.

I used to be in a band that was doomed from the start but the lead singer always wanted me to play a cajon because 'so and so' played one. I'm really burned out on hearing them especially since everyone seems to do the exact same thing on them.

I have a couple rods but rarely use them. And it's never because I need to play lighter. It's for a specific effect. There's nothing like using an actual stick.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:06 PM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

I can handle the rods on drums OK I guess, I still don't like them...but it's the cymbal tones they make that make me want to hurl them at something.

I am not a percussionist. I can't/won't do congas. I don't want to hit anything with my hands. If I can't use sticks and some footpedals, I'm not there.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:20 PM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

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I can handle the rods on drums OK I guess, I still don't like them...but it's the cymbal tones they make that make me want to hurl them at something.

I am not a percussionist. I can't/won't do congas. I don't want to hit anything with my hands. If I can't use sticks and some footpedals, I'm not there.
I once recorded an entire album for a singer/songwriter using nothing but hotrods (and the occasional brushes) at his behest. He wanted to go for a "quiet sound, like MTV Unplugged." I hated the sound of those recordings and told him I felt most of the songs would be better served with sticks, but he wasn't interested.

Later, I made a home recording of one of the songs - just a quick cover-type recording - using regular sticks, and let him listen. He finally saw what I was talking about. But it was too late.

I don't mind hotrods and such for specialty sounds, but I don't like them for "playing quietly" either.
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:15 AM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

I used to go into Billy Hyde's and seek out the lightest drum sticks in the shop to compensate for the fact that I was trying to adjust to lounge and light jazz with rock klutz hands. I started with Vic Firth Kid Sticks - I actually managed to get used to them but not recommended for adults (though they were high quality for what they were).

I tried dozens of 7As and easily the best extra light 7A I've tried were the Zildjian Artist Series Bill Stewart signature 7As. Didn't see them in the shop for a year before it shut down. Not sure if they're still being made .... I probably should be writing to Zildjian about it.

In anticipation of my fave sticks being phased out (according to Murphy's Law) I'm currently acclimatising to Boso 7A bamboo sticks, which are so light that they require adjustment even after using the Bill Stewarts.

Apart from hoping to get set with a stick that won't get phased out 5 minutes after I form a bond with it, a good thing about bamboo is it's very hard and tough and the bead seems to be staying firm for longer than hickory. The downside is it doesn't draw some of the rich deeper tones from the drums and ride, so a better bet for sensible drummers (haha) would be the light Boso Strata 5As, which have a bit more weight behind them.

Not sure if the $14.50 is expensive for you. Even with the shipping costs to Oz they were a tad cheaper than the sticks in Hydes.
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Old 04-06-2013, 02:21 AM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

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Not sure if the $14.50 is expensive for you. Even with the shipping costs to Oz they were a tad cheaper than the sticks in Hydes.
If I add sticks on to an online order with no shipping charge, I can get them for $7 or so. Bought locally they are $10-$12 usually. I'd like to try those Boso sticks, but can't bring myself to pay $14.50 plus shipping. Especially until I see how they hold up. I know bamboo is hard, but hardness isn't the only factor in durability.

I'm hoping to see them in shops before too long, but nothing so far.
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Old 04-07-2013, 01:08 AM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

I have had one maple stick break on me ever.

Vater has the Bebop 500 and 525, which are traditional 16" long sticks in .500 and .525 inch diameter, in both hickory & sugar maple. That might be right up your alliey.
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Old 04-07-2013, 01:32 AM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

Here are from left to right Regal Tip 7A, Zildjian 7A Dip, and Vic Firth Peter Erskine
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:37 AM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

Have you thought about timbale sticks?
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:51 AM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

The Bopworks Birdland is tiny...
http://www.bopworks.net/bopworks-birdland-model/
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

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Have you thought about timbale sticks?
Actually, I didn't know they made dedicated timbale sticks. I would absolutely consider a timbale stick, and every other thin stick offering, and see which one is best for me. I don't even know what timbale sticks look like, or how they are shaped. I'll google them. The Peter Erskine stick looks kind of thick to me, but I do like the tip.

Thanks John for the pic....Hey are you still Mayor? Can you be both Administrator and Mayor? I need some clarification your excellency.
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

You are welcome. I didn't mention those three sticks are within mm of being the same diameter. As far as being Mayor, since I have gotten a gold watch and a kiss good bye I guess I still am. Titles mean nothing though, let's talk cash.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:42 AM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

Timbale sticks are just straight. No true handle or tip. Here are Vic Firth's offering:
http://www.vicfirth.com/products/worldclassic.php
They come in sizes as thin as .440".
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:42 AM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

Hmmm like playing with 2 butt ends. No, I'd need a tip for my ride and hats, so I guess timbale sticks are out. But thanks anyway. Now I know there are timbale sticks.
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:51 AM
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Default Re: Is there a thinner hickory stick than a 7A?

Check out the Pro Mark 7A, its quite a bit smaller than the 7A's from VF or Vater. .512" diameter, 15 3/8" long, and most likely easy to find in stock at most drum shops. Not sure if you'll like the tip, though; I know a few drummers that can't stand Pro Mark's tips.

http://promark.com/pmProductDetail.P...ry_7A_Wood_Tip
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