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  #1  
Old 06-05-2010, 06:28 AM
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Default Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

Hello, I'm a really hack drummer and I'm just wondering, Is it wrong for me to be using 7A's to play Led Zeppelin style hard rock? I know that Bonzo used, like, 2B's or something, but they just feel WAY too heavy for me. I've also used 5A briefly but had the same heaviness beef, so 7A seemed logical. I've been using them for a while now and I really like their feel. Will I encounter any issues resulting from this as I progress or is using a "Jazz" stick acceptable?
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Old 06-05-2010, 06:37 AM
eliRYO eliRYO is offline
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

Unless you are recording or playing live it shouldn't really matter. Even then its purely up to you. If you are wanting that "Bonham" sound then the sticks would probably be the last thing on the list of prerequisites. The drums, heads, tuning, and cymbals will have the most impact on the overall sound.

But of course, it couldn't hurt to use heavier sticks.
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Old 06-05-2010, 06:37 AM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

If there was a "right" and "wrong" about stick sizes, we wouldn't have 1,001 different types of sticks available.

The Mike Portnoy signature model is the same basic size as a typical 7A, and he plays rock and metal.
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:10 AM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
If there was a "right" and "wrong" about stick sizes, we wouldn't have 1,001 different types of sticks available.

The Mike Portnoy signature model is the same basic size as a typical 7A, and he plays rock and metal.
Thats just what I was about to say.

The only thing you may want to consider is that with heavier sticks, the added weight gives you more feel (not feel in the music, but feel meaning a better sense of where the stick is in your hand) which in turn helps overall with control.

I used to use the Mike Portnoy sticks but found that they were always feeling inaccurate, for lack of a better word, and on the advice on my teacher switched to Vic Firth 3A's. The great thing about this stick is that their only slightly thicker than an average set of 5As but are heavier. This helped with my stick control and I'm actually considering moving up to 2B's.

Just some food for thought, but the descion is up to you, and ultimately there isn't a wrong one!

cheers.

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Old 06-05-2010, 07:45 AM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

If you like 7A's, use 'em. Case closed.
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:53 AM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
If there was a "right" and "wrong" about stick sizes, we wouldn't have 1,001 different types of sticks available.
LOL - no kidding! Not to mention the custom drum stick manufacturers that let you specify exactly what you want when designing and making your drum sticks.

That being said, I'm still having a hard time finding a hickory stick that's in the 5A/5B range, 16" in length, with a shorter acorn-style tip, and a fatter shoulder. If you know of one, please let me know. LOL.....I'm being serious though.
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Old 06-05-2010, 10:07 AM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

The only main thing I would say is a problem with using thin/light sticks is that if you are really playing quite heavy stuff you will probably be punishing your stick a bit more and I find they tend to break when playing rock/metal with 7a sticks. I use either 3b sticks or 5b sticks depeding on what I'm playing genre wise.
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:51 AM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

Like others have said, there's no right or wrong. However, for me personally, I find thinner and lighter sticks give me a distinct lack of "oomph" for backbeat playing (along with the obvious durability issue), so I'm a 5B guy all the way. I need that feeling of power.
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Old 06-05-2010, 12:28 PM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

For me it's all about the genre of music I'm playing. I basically grew up with the weight and size of 7A sticks. As I progressed I started to use slightly heavier sticks in the sixties just because they felt better in my hands playing rock. Today anything goes anywhere between 7As and 5As. I am a bit spoiled by Zildjian's "Heavy Jazz" sticks which are made from laminated birch. They have a nicely balanced weight in my hands and the laminated birch helps to create a great cymbal sound.



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Old 06-05-2010, 02:30 PM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

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Originally Posted by Naigewron View Post
Like others have said, there's no right or wrong. However, for me personally, I find thinner and lighter sticks give me a distinct lack of "oomph" for backbeat playing (along with the obvious durability issue), so I'm a 5B guy all the way. I need that feeling of power.
+1. When I played rock I found 7As sounded a bit tinny. 5As seemed to give me a good balance between having a fatter drum sound and dexterity (the 2s felt like I was wielding caveman clubs). It could have been my imagination ... maybe they just felt tinny in my hand?

A lot depends on the drummer. No doubt drummers can make 7As sound rich and fat. They might break a few, though. If nothing else, using thicker sticks for rock would probably be cheaper.
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Old 06-05-2010, 03:10 PM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

As long as you aren't shredding them in 5 or 10 minutes then there's no problem. I'm quite a hard drummer, I use Zildjian Tre Cool signatures (nothing to do with being a fan of the band, although as it happens I do love Green Day) and I can break a set of them in about a week or so, and they're like playing with broomstick handles.
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Old 06-05-2010, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
If there was a "right" and "wrong" about stick sizes, we wouldn't have 1,001 different types of sticks available.

The Mike Portnoy signature model is the same basic size as a typical 7A, and he plays rock and metal.
If you're referring too the 420 model they're more of a longer 5a size I like them personally, with 7a's they're is no other stick that has a sweeter rim click IMO and the Regal-Tip 7a's sound the sweetest IMHO of course, if you did the more mellow zep tunes like "tea for one" & "what is and what should never be" I think a 7a would work perfectly but if you did tunes like "the ocean" & "Achilles last stand" well a 5b which is what Bonham used REALLY would be more suitable.

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Old 06-05-2010, 04:27 PM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

Stick weight - which usually relates to stick size - will affect how acoustic drums and cymbals sound. Imagine using chopsticks as sticks... you'd feel and hear the difference immediately. Yes, it's a wide gap between 2Bs and chopsticks, but 7As still fall inbetween.

Being such a tactile playing experience, drumming is all about personal preference and comfort level. If heavier sticks are too uncomfortable and tiring, go smaller. If 7As feel like they're 'getting away' from your hands, go bigger.

That's another thing - 7A doesn't mean 7A. Regal Tip's 7A is what I consider a true 7A, a smallish stick. But Vic Firth's 7A is about a 5A compared with other companies. That's not right or wrong, but there are differences, and it really boils down to personal preference.

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Old 06-05-2010, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

I use 7a's a lot. I use them for the quieter light to moderate Rock tunes.
I feel that the lighter sound enhances some songs.
7a's work well in small venues also.
I use a heavy Jazz wood tip stick for a heaver sound.
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Old 06-05-2010, 04:46 PM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eliRYO View Post
If you are wanting that "Bonham" sound then the sticks would probably be the last thing on the list of prerequisites. The drums, heads, tuning, and cymbals will have the most impact on the overall sound.
Those factors are certainly a crucial part of the sound. But don't forget that in most cases - and particularly with Bonham's trademark sound - recording techniques (mic placement, EQ, other effects and processing) will contribute most to the resulting drum sound. Drums rarely sound in person the way they do on recordings.

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Old 06-05-2010, 05:02 PM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

How many people in the audience would think, "He is using small sticks, His floor tom just doesn't sound as deep as Bonzo's"
Not many, I would think!
If you play the song with the groove that fits it will be fine.
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Old 06-06-2010, 05:59 AM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

Thanks guys.
Someone said that Vic Firth's 7A model runs heavier than other companies. Is that true? I use Vics and I have noticed that the Pro Mark's are very light compatibly, but I just thought that Pro Mark's were thinner than everyone else.
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  #18  
Old 06-06-2010, 06:48 AM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

Most of my 7A sticks are Vic Firths. I really couldn't say for sure if they are any heavier or lighter than other manufacturer's 7A sticks. Every pair of sticks I buy I check them to make sure that they roll true and they pretty much feel like the same weight per pair.



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  #19  
Old 06-06-2010, 06:52 AM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

I've been using 7A's for 6 years and use them for all genres. I just don't enjoy heavier sticks so really, whatever feels comfortable in your hand is what you should use.
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:55 AM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

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Originally Posted by DSCRAPRE View Post
Someone said that Vic Firth's 7A model runs heavier than other companies. Is that true?
I said that, and it's certainly the case with Regal Tip and the old Cappella 5A sticks (which were even smaller than Regal Tip's!)

There's no real standard for stick sizes, except that they're fairly relative within a given brand. AFAIK, everyone's 7A is smaller than a 5A, which is slightly smaller than a 5B, which is smaller than a 2B (for example.)

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  #21  
Old 06-07-2010, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

7 A's are fine if that is what is comfortable for you,I keep some regal tip 7's in my stick bag for a couple of fast tunes,the taper on them is thin,which makes them fast,but more breakable.I find that with big and/deep drums I feel like I have to bash to get the drums to respond and be loud when playing with a band,and they kind of bounce of of med crashes with 7 a's .Durability is an issue to but I suppose you could try oak to cut down on breakage if that is a concern.
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Old 06-08-2010, 04:52 AM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey Dangerous View Post

That being said, I'm still having a hard time finding a hickory stick that's in the 5A/5B range, 16" in length, with a shorter acorn-style tip, and a fatter shoulder. If you know of one, please let me know. LOL.....I'm being serious though.
Check out customdrumsticks.biz

They can make anything you want, and the quality (and price) is fantastic.

I've used the model stick I had them do (they got it perfect on the first try) for about a year now, and I couldn't be happier--and I haven't even thought about "sticks" which is a miracle.
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Old 06-08-2010, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

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Originally Posted by eamesuser View Post
7 A's are fine if that is what is comfortable for you,I keep some regal tip 7's in my stick bag for a couple of fast tunes,the taper on them is thin,which makes them fast,but more breakable.I find that with big and/deep drums I feel like I have to bash to get the drums to respond and be loud when playing with a band,and they kind of bounce of of med crashes with 7 a's .Durability is an issue to but I suppose you could try oak to cut down on breakage if that is a concern.
I keep 7a Regal-Tip's in my stick bag also but for the opposite reason I like doing slow,softer tunes with them, Like in my previous post I love the rim click they produce and they have that jazzy ride sound & feel also. call me crazy but the fast tunes we do I use Vater 3a's which has turned out too be my Favorite BIG stick LOL.

Keep Swattin'
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Old 06-09-2010, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

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Originally Posted by DSCRAPRE View Post
Hello, I'm a really hack drummer and I'm just wondering, Is it wrong for me to be using 7A's to play Led Zeppelin style hard rock? I know that Bonzo used, like, 2B's or something, but they just feel WAY too heavy for me. I've also used 5A briefly but had the same heaviness beef, so 7A seemed logical. I've been using them for a while now and I really like their feel. Will I encounter any issues resulting from this as I progress or is using a "Jazz" stick acceptable?
Nope, I use Vic Firth 8ds and the only difference in the length. If you need a heavier sound, use the butt ends. The 7a is a great drumstick!


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Old 06-09-2010, 04:12 PM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

I'm a big fan of 7A butt-ends. I chop off the tips so they don't dig into my hands and that's about as good as is gets right there... except for some 3As, 5As or 5Bs (not butt-ends)! I'm easy.
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

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Originally Posted by bonzolead View Post
I keep 7a Regal-Tip's in my stick bag also but for the opposite reason I like doing slow,softer tunes with them
That's interesting. I keep a pair of Regal 7As in my bag too. Not for slower or softer tunes but when we do L.A. Woman (at Billy Idol speed). After swinging 5Bs, I can get through that song with the smaller and lighter sticks without slopping up the fills, etc.

Damn that song is fast.
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:32 PM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

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That's interesting. I keep a pair of Regal 7As in my bag too. Not for slower or softer tunes but when we do L.A. Woman (at Billy Idol speed). After swinging 5Bs, I can get through that song with the smaller and lighter sticks without slopping up the fills, etc.

Damn that song is fast.
LA Woman is a fun tune too jam, I know you do the Billy Idol version but do you still do the calypso break in the middle of the song? That's my fav. part of the tune and with a Regal-Tip 7a the rim click sounds that much sweeter LOL, just curious wood or nylon?

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Old 06-09-2010, 05:15 PM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

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Originally Posted by bonzolead View Post
LA Woman is a fun tune too jam, I know you do the Billy Idol version but do you still do the calypso break in the middle of the song? That's my fav. part of the tune and with a Regal-Tip 7a the rim click sounds that much sweeter LOL, just curious wood or nylon?

Bonzolead
Yes the super fast and almost ridiculous Billy Idol version has the calypso break in the middle. Instead of rim clicks I play the syncopated pattern on the ride bell and off and on beat accents on the high hat with a couple of trips down the toms to my little china for the fills. It sounds a little more rock. When I used to do it with the rim clicks on the snare hoop nobody could hear it over the din or even the vocals for that matter.

Everytime I play that song, I think to myself, "It's too friggin' fast!"

Playing it with 7As helps.
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Old 06-09-2010, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

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Originally Posted by TTNW View Post
Yes the super fast and almost ridiculous Billy Idol version has the calypso break in the middle. Instead of rim clicks I play the syncopated pattern on the ride bell and off and on beat accents on the high hat with a couple of trips down the toms to my little china for the fills. It sounds a little more rock. When I used to do it with the rim clicks on the snare hoop nobody could hear it over the din or even the vocals for that matter.

Everytime I play that song, I think to myself, "It's too friggin' fast!"

Playing it with 7As helps.
That's a cool way of jammin' that part of the song & on the "too friggin' fast matter" you're the Drummer you can always change that without notice LOL, myself i've always been partial too nylon tip sticks & the Regel-Tip 7a's NT make a sweet ride sound IMO very light & jazzy.

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Old 06-09-2010, 07:26 PM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

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Originally Posted by bonzolead View Post
That's a cool way of jammin' that part of the song & on the "too friggin' fast matter" you're the Drummer you can always change that without notice LOL, myself i've always been partial too nylon tip sticks & the Regel-Tip 7a's NT make a sweet ride sound IMO very light & jazzy.

Keep Swattin'
Bonzolead
That's funny. You're probably right but before we even call that song out the guitar player is like.. .. "You know we're going to do this fast, right?"

I just go with it but it's a workout.

As far as the OP goes, I would say you certainly can rock your kit with 7As, even as light as the Regals, but you have to dig into your ride more and play the shoulders of the sticks more or if everybody is turned up loud, then you'll struggle.

My dirty little stick secret is that I like the Zildjian 5B dips. I peel the black dip coating off and tape them up with baseball bat tape. The tips are large acorns and they have the perfect balance for me with the heavier butt ends because of the tape and they last a long time.
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Old 06-10-2010, 07:28 AM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

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Originally Posted by KarlCrafton View Post
Check out customdrumsticks.biz

They can make anything you want, and the quality (and price) is fantastic.

I've used the model stick I had them do (they got it perfect on the first try) for about a year now, and I couldn't be happier--and I haven't even thought about "sticks" which is a miracle.
Thanks for the recommendation Karl. I checked out their site a few times a while back and considered placing an order but wasn't sure about the quality of their end product. It's great to get a good review from someone who actually uses (and likes) their sticks.
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Old 06-10-2010, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

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Originally Posted by Mikey Dangerous View Post
That being said, I'm still having a hard time finding a hickory stick that's in the 5A/5B range, 16" in length, with a shorter acorn-style tip, and a fatter shoulder. If you know of one, please let me know. LOL.....I'm being serious though.
Vater Josh Freese's H-220 comes close, but it has an oval tip. Also Vic Firth 55A, V. F. Nicko McBrain signature and V. F. Lenny White signature stick come close to your description.
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  #33  
Old 06-10-2010, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

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Originally Posted by Mikey Dangerous View Post
That being said, I'm still having a hard time finding a hickory stick that's in the 5A/5B range, 16" in length, with a shorter acorn-style tip, and a fatter shoulder. If you know of one, please let me know. LOL.....I'm being serious though.
The Zildjian Vinnie Colaiuta signature stick comes to mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bonzolead View Post
If you're referring too the 420 model they're more of a longer 5a
Portnoy handed me a 420 at a DT gig a few years back. I'd say it is closer to a 7A than a 5A, but, as Bermuda said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
That's another thing - 7A doesn't mean 7A. Regal Tip's 7A is what I consider a true 7A, a smallish stick. But Vic Firth's 7A is about a 5A compared with other companies.

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Not all 7A and 5As are equal, so comparing if often semantics.
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:46 PM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
The Zildjian Vinnie Colaiuta signature stick comes to mind.


Portnoy handed me a 420 at a DT gig a few years back. I'd say it is closer to a 7A than a 5A, but, as Bermuda said:

Not all 7A and 5As are equal, so comparing if often semantics.
I'm referring too Regal-Tip 7a's which are true(the first 7a's I ever played in the 70's) 7a's in my book. 420's are considerably larger I play with them also.

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  #35  
Old 06-24-2010, 02:52 AM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

I don't think anyone will even notice. I had a sound guy tell me to try lighter sticks for smaller gigs the other day because the singer's mic was picking up my snare...jerk...

Personally I prefer lighter sticks. The thinner one just feel more comfortable in my hands. The only drawback is that they tend to get shorter as they get thinner.

A Vic Firth 7A is .540" that's a little thinner than the average 5A. Portnoy's signature sticks 420's are 0.531 which I suppose is like a 7A. I think I might pick up a pair...
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:47 PM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

I use firth 7AN with vic grip these days. They feel better in my old beat up hands but I also use them in 5AN as well occasionally.
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: Is it "wrong" to use 7A sticks for rock?

I've been using Pro-Mark 5A's as of late - they seem to be a bit smaller / lighter than Vic Firth and Vater 5A's... Not quite in 7A territory - but not too heavy either.

You could try those... I find 7A's tend to die a quick death when used for heavier stuff with lots of rim-shots.
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