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  #1  
Old 02-08-2012, 04:57 AM
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Default What size sticks should i be using?

I know this all comes down to opinion and personal preference but I wanted to see what everybody else thought. I play in a blues/rock band and after playing for a couple of years I still have a TON of questions. Based off the style that I play what sticks would you think I'm using? Here's a video of a song that I think has good soft and hard parts so help me out please! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-E70n8tv0fU
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:12 AM
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Default Re: What size sticks should i be using?

whatever size you're most comfortable with...i tend to go heavier and bigger because i like them
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:38 AM
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Default Re: What size sticks should i be using?

What style of music do you play?
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:41 AM
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Default Re: What size sticks should i be using?

This is similar to asking someone what kind of shoes or underwear should I buy. I can't see using anything differently than what you're using now, unless you're experiencing difficulties in playing. I play just about every genre of music, except metal. I'll use a variety of sticks from a 7A through a 5A. Anything bigger than this feels like a tree trunk in my hands, even though I do wear extra large gloves. I also play both traditional and matched grip. Years ago I did use some 5B sticks mostly for rock, but nothing ever larger. I might switch sticks between every couple of songs because of my hands sweating or cramping a bit and it just gives my fingers another slightly different hold on the stick. I never really bought sticks for a particular style of music, but I buy them for reasons of comfort and agility. I probably have a hundred pairs of sticks because every time I see a style that intrigues me and feels good in my hands, I'll buy them. All through my early years of instruction, my dad always had me use what he used and that was a 7A. I guess that's why I like lighter sticks.

I would say to focus on what and why you want to change and then go in that direction.

BTW, I see that you are in Philadelphia. I have a niece that works at a very prestigious law firm in the city.

Dennis
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:57 AM
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Default Re: What size sticks should i be using?

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Originally Posted by JohnnyConqueror View Post
What style of music do you play?
i play everything from jazz, to blues, to rock, to metal, to funk..... list goes on
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:11 AM
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Default Re: What size sticks should i be using?

In my experience I found it easiest to start with a 5A, just any ol' 5A. Personally I like Vic Firth but you can't go wrong with any of the other companies out there. If you find that the stick is too heavy or feels too thin in your hands then try out a different stick with the dimensions you're looking for and see how that feels. Eventually you'll develop a good idea of what you prefer in the stick department. Most online retailers and stick's websites list the dimensions of their sticks.

Based on this process I am currently using Vic Firth pink 5A's and Zoro sig's for live playing and 8AN's for rehearsal and smaller gigs. I would like to try out a stick with the 5A thickness and more length but my stick reserves are good for now.
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:18 PM
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Default Re: What size sticks should i be using?

Having watched your video, I'd say use whatever you are using now! I like your playing.

Dennis makes a good point about 'having a reason to change'.

Here's an example: after trying various models years ago, I used 7A's for a couple of years - a pretty light stick. I thought anything heavier would slow me down! But my technique was a bit suspect. I was playing a bit stiffly, and holding the sticks too tightly.

Then I got some lessons that opened up my playing a lot, and improved my technique so it became more fluid, using a lot more of the stick's natural rebound. At that point I started to think that the 7A's were too light so I tried another bunch of models, settled on a 5A and that's what I'm still playing now, 15 years later. This is for pop, rock, funk, show music, all sorts really.

It has to feel part of you, natural, alive in your hands. For me that's a 5A. For a bigger guy than me, it might be a bigger stick like a 5B.
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:33 PM
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Default Re: What size sticks should i be using?

I always have at least one pair of 5a's and 7a's. I can chose based on the gig and/or the song.
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Old 02-08-2012, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: What size sticks should i be using?

Go with 2B at the bare minimum. Preferably something like Vic Firth Signature Danny Carey sticks even. Manly men man-drummers use manly, enormous man-sticks. You know what they say about guys with big sticks...
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:01 PM
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Default Re: What size sticks should i be using?

Your choice in stick should be based on the feel and balance in your hand and determined by your playing style.

Try a bunch of different sizes and see which ones feel the best.
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  #11  
Old 02-08-2012, 04:24 PM
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Default Re: What size sticks should i be using?

I pretty much just use 5a but I've never tried anything else, that's why i was curious. I just knew that when i played bass in a band my drummer then used 5a so I didn't give it anymore thought. I may just go to the music store and play around a little bit. Thanks for the input! I'm already liking being a member of this board vs a lurker lol.
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: What size sticks should i be using?

If you've never tried them out, then how do you know you REALLY like 5As? Personally, I use vic Firth American Classic 7As. I like the light feel and my hands are kind of small. Plus I mainly play in church so it helps to keep volume down (no duct tape and glass cage /otherthreadinjoke). I do have some VF 5As that I use for louder playing.
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:39 PM
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Default Re: What size sticks should i be using?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyConqueror View Post
...I may just go to the music store and play around a little bit. Thanks for the input! I'm already liking being a member of this board vs a lurker lol.
Glad you like it here Johnny, it really is a great place.

Your experience may vary but as long as the store isn't too busy I have found that most stores will let you try the sticks before you buy. Obviously they're not going to want to crashing away with them on the kits but they should have a practice pad behind the counter for you to give them a quick test drive.

I used to like picking up a new pair of sticks every-other week when I got paid. For $5-7 I got a new drum toy and it encouraged me to practice more.
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Old 02-09-2012, 12:16 AM
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Default Re: What size sticks should i be using?

I have all kinds of sticks, BUT when I got more last week I got 5 pairs of promark 747N's and 1 5B and I have to say I really dont like the 5bs, they are heavy and thick in my opinion. Im playing Blues rock, rock, classic rock, hair metal, metal, and a little bit of other stuff. I will also use Vic's Tommy Igoe sigs, Vater studio, 5A, umm stuff on the thinner side (.550-.600 or so) and hickory.
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  #15  
Old 02-09-2012, 01:07 AM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: What size sticks should i be using?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyConqueror View Post
I know this all comes down to opinion and personal preference
Yep.....nothing more, nothing less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyConqueror View Post
but I wanted to see what everybody else thought.
Sometimes the opinions of others is the best feedback you can get. Othertimes it counts for very little at all. What sticks to use is most definitely a case for the latter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyConqueror View Post
I may just go to the music store and play around a little bit.
The very best conclusion to this question that you can hope for.
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  #16  
Old 02-09-2012, 05:19 AM
audiotech
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Default Re: What size sticks should i be using?

Quote:
Originally Posted by natdigga View Post
Go with 2B at the bare minimum. Preferably something like Vic Firth Signature Danny Carey sticks even. Manly men man-drummers use manly, enormous man-sticks. You know what they say about guys with big sticks...
Yes, they dent more drum heads, crack more cymbals and you'll end up with more physical problems, lol.

Dennis

Last edited by audiotech; 02-09-2012 at 06:32 AM.
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  #17  
Old 02-09-2012, 05:49 AM
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Default Re: What size sticks should i be using?

i did use 2bs, but i felt they were a bit too big, so then i tried a vic firth signature model (forget the drummers name) that was inbetween a 5b and 2b, didn't like it - it wasn't heavy enough, but then i found the mike mangini stick, which is surprisingly heavy, but only about as thick as a 5a, however its much longer, and for me this works.... however i am considering going back to 2bs,
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  #18  
Old 03-06-2012, 11:11 PM
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Default Re: What size sticks should i be using?

Johnny -

Drum stick preference is akin to asking what someone thinks about Ford, Chevrolet, Honda, Toyota, etc......... You are going to get a lot of answers.

I always have my students try a variety of stick sizes and brands. I keep many sticks for just that purpose. For a drummer who is an adult, it comes down to how the stick feels and responds to your individual playing. For a younger player or student, I try to fit the stick to the size and strength of the hands.

I would not use a 3S in a school concert band setting. I have had one student who is adamant about using a 3S in that very situation. The stick is inappropriate due to size and weight for her hands, as well as too heavy for the particular use. On the other end, I would not use a 7A to play metal. The sticks would not last long in that situation.

You may have to simply try a lot of different stick sizes and brands to find your ultimate stick. Mine used to be a Pro Mark 5B until the company decided to make the 5B a larger stick. I still use 5B's and 5A's more than any other stick sizes. 5A is a good universal size for most work. 5B gives you the same classic stick shape in a heavier version. Try different brands - you might find that a different brand of stick makes a lot of difference in overall feel.
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