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  #1  
Old 01-10-2012, 02:35 AM
Stitch Kaboodle Stitch Kaboodle is offline
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Default Playing with the wrong sticks?

Here's something I only stumbled on recently. If you suffer from wrist pain after playing, just check if you're using the right size stick. I always liked 5a mainly because they were used by some of my idols and it seemed like a happy medium for all styles. 7a were my choice for jazz usually and anything up to 2b for pad practise. Unfortunately I noticed that for higher volume playing on the kit the 5as were causing some wrist pain. It was only when I switched to 5b that I felt the stick was doing some more of the work and easing the wear on my wrists. Obviously it's a bit trickier to play fast passages but it does feel like it takes some of the strain out of playing comfortably. It also feels like using the slightly heavier stick is going some way towards strengthening the wrist overall.

I'm no doctor so take this all with a pinch of salt, but if you find your wrists are giving you problems when you're playing at higher volumes, give it a go and see how it affects your playing.

Obviously warming up and using proper technique is also very important.

Thoughts?
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:47 AM
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GRUNTERSDAD GRUNTERSDAD is offline
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Default Re: Playing with the wrong sticks?

Practice pads are normally bad news on the wrists since they don't give much. I have also found that if I loosen the snare head a bit while practicing there is less injury to the wrist.
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:54 AM
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Default Re: Playing with the wrong sticks?

I have found the same thing. I play with much heavier sticks than I used to, and am more comfortable.
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:57 AM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: Playing with the wrong sticks?

Never had the problem. I've always used a variety of sticks depending on the gig. Even today with gigs few and far between, I still use 7A's, 5A's, 5B's and 3A's to practice with. That's not to say that I don't have preferences. I do. But I'm also confident of being able to grab any stick and not feel limited by the stick itself. If I can do it with a 7A then I can do exactly the same thing with a 3A......anything short of that is not the stick....it's me.

I've always had the mentality that I control the stick, whatever it may be......the stick doesn't control me.
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:11 AM
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Default Re: Playing with the wrong sticks?

i don't think the stick really matters
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:19 AM
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Default Re: Playing with the wrong sticks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitch Kaboodle View Post
Unfortunately I noticed that for higher volume playing on the kit the 5as were causing some wrist pain. It was only when I switched to 5b that I felt the stick was doing some more of the work and easing the wear on my wrists. Obviously it's a bit trickier to play fast passages but it does feel like it takes some of the strain out of playing comfortably.
Thoughts?
This is a very interesting point Stitch. I've never thought of it that way. After years of playing with 5a and then switching back to playing in a Metal band; I switched to 5b. The main reason was the light weight of the stick made it very difficult for me to get Z Customs to open up. These cymbals are manhole covers and the 5b works great with much less effort. On the other hand I felt my conditioning and strength was not good enough to control a heavier stick for long periods of time. The up stroke was killing me on the heavy back beats, it took a while to get used to working this size of stick again. I still use 7a & 5a for everything else.
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:04 PM
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BradGunnerSGT BradGunnerSGT is offline
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Default Re: Playing with the wrong sticks?

I agree with your suggestion of using a larger stick, but I think the issue is one of size not weight. I switched to larger maple sticks (VF SD9 Drivers) about a year ago and playing with a physically larger stick that still weighs the same as a hickory 5A is (to me) the best of both worlds. Maple seems to "dent" instead of "splinter", too, so there's that.

I got a pair of Pro-Mark 420's (the Mike Portnoy signature stick) for free as a give-away at a Sam Ash store event a while back, and I can't understand how he can hold onto those thin little golf pencils and still play so hard. My hands got tired very quickly just gripping them because they felt like they would fly out of my hands at any moment.
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: Playing with the wrong sticks?

Over the years I tried many different sticks, both for the kit and the practice pads, I came to the fact that the size of a drumstick do not resolve all the problem of power vs speed vs control and eventually pain in the case of this thread.

Nowadays I only use 2 different type of drumsticks, one for light acoustic work and one for general purpose playing. The factor which are important to me, more than the size, is the balance of a drumstick, it has to offer both power, speed, control and ease of playing, so the sticks do the work instead of the hands. :)
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:11 PM
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rmandelbaum rmandelbaum is offline
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Default Re: Playing with the wrong sticks?

I actually went the opposite way. i used to use Vic Firth Classic Rock sticks. they are big sticks. I found when i went down to 5Bs i could play a little more aggressively and get a better sound without worrying about my gear.
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  #10  
Old 01-10-2012, 06:17 PM
Stitch Kaboodle Stitch Kaboodle is offline
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Default Re: Playing with the wrong sticks?

I suppose what I'm saying is that if a stick should be an extension of your arm, the weight of the Promark 5b's works for me better than 5a. They seem to absorb the impact better also, which means that it isn't transferred to the hands as much. It does mean that things like producing a nice rim click requires totally different positioning on the snare.
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  #11  
Old 01-10-2012, 07:02 PM
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Default Re: Playing with the wrong sticks?

Yes, a bigger stick absorbs more impact.

Of course, a bigger stick also creates more impact.

A smaller stick absorbs less, but might force you play lighter. Or might not.

And end result is, pick the stick that works best for you.
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