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  #1  
Old 12-06-2007, 12:33 AM
mikei mikei is offline
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Default The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

Hello all,

After drumming 3 years, every 3 to 4 months it seems like I am using lighter sticks.

I have gone from a 5B to Bob Rock sticks (massive), to Ahead aluminum sticks to 747B super rock sticks to now the 747 Neil Peart sticks.

I am assuming that this is due to my wrists and fingers being able to control the lighter weights.

Has anyone else encountered this? I cannot be the only one. If I am, I will be the only freak on the site.

Mike
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  #2  
Old 12-06-2007, 12:58 AM
paracor paracor is offline
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

same here :) I used to play 2B and 2As before, now I play 5AExtreme (Vic firth, wonderful sticks) and 7A vic firth
I guess that as I get better I want more dynamic and more control over the sound, and also the day I realized that playing LOUD and HARD does not mean using a 5 tonn stick, it changed my life :D
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Old 12-06-2007, 01:10 AM
Joe P Joe P is offline
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

Wow this is true to me too. I think it might be because when you're starting out you just want more power, or want a bigger stick BECAUSE it's a bigger stick. But I've gone from Thomas Lang sticks (which are huge!) to 5B to 7A.
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Old 12-06-2007, 01:17 AM
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

Well I think you just begin to narrow it down to what is more comfortable. I always had several weights of sticks for different situations. I've tried long sticks and short ones, and all kinds of tips. I've narrowed it down now to anything between 15"-16" in length and around .530-.560 in diamter. I've also learned that I like a longer taper for better rebound and I prefer tips for articulation and not the big oval things. Companies keep wanting to make bigger sticks now and it's hard finding smaller ones.
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  #5  
Old 12-06-2007, 01:36 AM
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

I think it's pretty common. I lightened up over the years, too. Nowadays, I figured out a good compromise by using maple sticks, which are like having lighter weight versions of thicker sticks. I'm using a Vater Sugar Maple 5B, but it weighs the same, maybe even less, than a smaller Hickory 5A.

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  #6  
Old 12-06-2007, 01:41 AM
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

I also have slimmed down over time, I started with 5b's then X5B's and since ive gotten better and started playing jazz for about a year now I play bopworks westside
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  #7  
Old 12-06-2007, 01:49 AM
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

I think it's due to the fact that a heavier stick will sometimes be easier to control. With a lighter stick you can't always rely on it to do the work of a big stick.
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  #8  
Old 12-06-2007, 08:00 AM
paracor paracor is offline
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

or maybe we're just getting old and our old weak arms can't handle those heavy sticks :D
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  #9  
Old 12-06-2007, 03:46 PM
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

A long time ago, I used Tommy Aldridge Sigs (17" Japanese Oak) with the heavy laquer finish. They looked like the floor in my kitchen was used to cut for drumsticks. Anyways...went through some changes over the years and now a standard 5A/7A does the trick. I have been finding it a little nicer to get the tonally matched pairs from Vic...least amount of variation.
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  #10  
Old 12-09-2007, 11:12 AM
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

I started on thin Vater 5As, moved onto Pro-mark 5Bs, got slightly thinner Vater Fusions, and now play 747 Rocks, and Neil Peart sticks. I feel that my playin has evolved to the point that thinner sticks just work better.
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  #11  
Old 12-09-2007, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikei View Post
Hello all,

After drumming 3 years, every 3 to 4 months it seems like I am using lighter sticks.

I have gone from a 5B to Bob Rock sticks (massive), to Ahead aluminum sticks to 747B super rock sticks to now the 747 Neil Peart sticks.

I am assuming that this is due to my wrists and fingers being able to control the lighter weights.

Has anyone else encountered this? I cannot be the only one. If I am, I will be the only freak on the site.

Mike
Good choice on the 747s, I use the same- you can't beat white oak. You should try the (white oak) 727s too, same shape but a tad smaller and lighter.
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  #12  
Old 12-09-2007, 01:31 PM
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

I've actually gone the other way. I originally started with 5A's and then went to 7A's for a couple of years. Now I'm using a range from Regal Tip 9A's to Vater John Blackwell Signatures and 8A's and I've even brought out the 2B's for a couple of gigs where I wanted a really big sound. I basically use whatever I feel like at the time and it's usually fine. I'm not picky about sticks at all, fundamentally you should be able to play with whatever you're given.
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  #13  
Old 12-09-2007, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

Damn! When I read the thread title I assumed you were now going to be playing a little jazz maple stick. Neil Peart 747s are the heaviest stick i've ever had in my hand! You must have huge arms and understanding family/neighbours!

Still, if you keep on moving through lighter sticks as you progress, you've got plenty of weight choices left to go through.
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  #14  
Old 12-09-2007, 03:13 PM
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

Denser sticks (heavier not bigger) are where it's at. I went from using 5b's to the Mangini stick. It's like a super 5A but very dense and stiff. Not the best stick for the jazzer, probably, but the dense sticks tend to be easier to control when flying around the kit.

I can play faster with a denser stick, even on the pad.
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  #15  
Old 12-18-2007, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

I think overall it's a combination of what others' have said about becoming better at stick control plus finding out over the year(s) what is comfortable in your hands.

With that said, I have progressed rather slowly (in stick type) over the past decade... went from 5B to 5A, up to a longer power 5A and now down thinner with a Vater Recording or VF Dave Weckl Evo.

When I was in drum corps.... forget it! LOL Those were tree trunks :)
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  #16  
Old 12-26-2007, 03:34 AM
yammiefan yammiefan is offline
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

I started with 2Bs (too heavy), soon moved to 5Bs and 5As, then tried the Steve Gadd and Ian Wallace sticks (too thin) before settling on Zildjian's Bob Breithaupt model, which I believe are now the General Orchestral model. They're light (gotta love that maple) but thick, so my hands stay nice and relaxed, and have a round bead so I get a consistent attack on my ride. So yes, I've moved to lighter sticks, but they're still very thick.
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  #17  
Old 12-26-2007, 03:38 AM
Mediocrefunkybeat
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

I really want to get some maple sticks, but I know I'll shred them within minutes. I have a tendency to go for the extreme dynamics; quiet to a very loud rimshot. I'd probably break the maples, which is a shame. I may have to get some for the challenge of playing with less force and more subtlety.
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  #18  
Old 02-18-2008, 06:51 PM
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

I keep progressing toward lighter and lighter sticks...though not exactly thinner. I love Vic Firth 5A American Classic but the tips shred far too fast. I was excited to find out that the American Heritage 5A was the same exact stick, just made from rock maple as opposed to hickory. I just started using them a few days ago and so far, I'm very happy.

Shouldn't a maple stick be more durable than hickory? That was my thought - get a lighter stick but with the diameter of 5A, and the durability of maple...the best of all worlds for me.

Anyhow, I found that after getting tendonitis, heavier sticks would cause more fatigue, so I quit practicing rudiments w/ marching sticks and tried to find the lightest stick possible. So far, so good.
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  #19  
Old 02-24-2008, 03:03 AM
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

i use a Vic Firth 3A which is a nice beefy stick without being too unwieldy in size and weight. my son uses a Pro Mark 747 Rock and they feel like toothpicks when i try to use them.

i've used so many damn stick models over the years i could make a list a mile long. but the 3A have been a constant for the last 18 years or so.
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  #20  
Old 02-24-2008, 03:14 AM
Tylerdrums109 Tylerdrums109 is offline
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

I'm pretty new to drums...only a year under my belt but don't let that make u think less of my playing lol...I've done a alot in that year and as ive progressed from simple 4/4 rock beats to more complicate things like paradiddle grooves and all sorts of kool patterns and licks.... I've used heavier sticks...i went from 5A to extreme 5A...then to 5bn..now im on 2Bs and i love em...for me heavier sticks just feel better.....maybe its my still inexperience that makes me prefer heavier sticks...or maybe its all just what feels best to your hands...either way its all personal preference and that changes
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  #21  
Old 02-26-2008, 05:27 PM
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

Back when I started I was a Firth 5B guy for years. Then I went up a notch in diameter and found myself comfortable with the 2B, Firth Rock and SD1 (maple) models for a while. Now for the past maybe 10 years I've settled on what I suppose may be a compromise between the two which is a 5B diameter stick but with more length. I think the first one that I got hooked on was the Zildjian super 5B, I think they may have been the first to offer such an animal. Nowadays I've been switching between Vic Firth Extreme 5B and Vater Power 5B which are about the same diameter (.605 and .610) and length (16 1/2). The vics are more controlable, and more focused sounding with an acorn style tip. The vaters have a bit more meat at the end, a shorter taper and a bigger rounder tip for a bit more power and bigger sound. Also for softer dynamics there's always a pair of Firth SD9 in the bag which are a similar diameter but made out of maple.
In summary I think it's best to find a comfortable diameter first and then build from there in terms of length, density, taper and tip shape.
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  #22  
Old 02-26-2008, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

That has happened to my recently, I picked up a pair of 5As and they feel so much better than whatever I used to play with. My snare sounds more responsive as well for some reason, and it feels like I can play faster and with more control.
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  #23  
Old 03-06-2008, 08:25 PM
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

I think it depends on your style, and the style of the music you play. I have found myself switching througout my career, but not always getting lighter. There have been times, for instance, when I switched from playing a lot of jazz to rock, and started using heavier sticks. I also think it's good to be able to play with a variety of sticks, based on how you feel. Right now, I use:

SD2 for classical snare
5A for loud rock (depends on venue)
7A for softer rock (depends on venue)
Peter Erskine signature series for musicals
AJ4 for jazz
Ralph Hardimon signature for marching snare

So, we're talking a HUGE variety. It helps to be able to play with all these different styles of sticks. It is, to a lesser extent, like knowing your rudiments. Knowing how to control different sticks enables you to use the best stick for a playing situation, which can REALLY matter at times (musicals, etc).
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  #24  
Old 04-02-2008, 06:50 AM
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

It's almost like playing on different kit's or different sounds on an electric kit.
A lighter stick changes the way you play. If I ever pick up 2Bs I'll start playing strait ahead ac/dc style. 7As and Buddy Rich (or something like) starts flowing. But there's now way I can play live funk/rock with anything lighter than 5As. Mostly 5As- super 5B's.
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Old 04-05-2008, 03:35 PM
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

Mmmm.....I use Pro-Mark 2B nylon tips (Oak), and have done for years and years. Anything lighter or smaller just feels wrong in my hands and i haven't got pots of money to go out and buy loads of different types to carry out some experimentations.

However, i find them extremely comfortable and durable and i'm able to play full on metal or spoon out on something jazzy with equal ease. Lighter sticks feel like they'd last 2 minutes playing the harder stuff i play, so I've always tended to steer clear.
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Old 04-05-2008, 03:39 PM
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

I've done the same. From 5B to 5A to 7A then to sugar maple 5B now to 5A. Seem pretty happy there. The size of regular 5A but with the weight of 7A.
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  #27  
Old 04-06-2008, 10:27 PM
HenryHimself HenryHimself is offline
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

I started off with some 5As, I then went to some 2As or 2Bs (Can't remember) then back to 5As and now I use 7A Ahead Aluminium Sticks which are very good, they last forever, I just occasionally have to buy some new plastic covers for them. I reccommend!
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  #28  
Old 04-07-2008, 02:15 PM
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

Yep, sort of the same here, I started on 2Bs went through oak 747s to hickory 5Bs but have very recently landed on my perfect stick - the maple Vic Firth SD9. Lighter than the 5B but also a fair bit thicker, which is a great combination... there are so many sticks these days it's a joy when you find THE stick - it really moved my playing on.
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  #29  
Old 04-12-2008, 10:23 AM
matthew matthew is offline
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Default Re: The better I get, the lighter sticks I use. Is this common?

I think stick sizes are more to do with the music you play than how talented you are.

for one thing the diametre of the stick can be independent to the heaviness.

i started on 7a sticks when i was 12 because they fit my hand, then i went to 5a sticks as i got bigger physically.

then i got into extreme metal drumming and i was curious as to why a lot of fast drummers used big stick, it seemed illogical, but i tried it out and i found that often with bigger sticks the fulcrum, or centre of mass, is further back in the stick with the bigger sticks meaning that the stick rebounds back up by itseld moreso. meaning that you just have to throw it back down and not have to lift it up, meaning you can go faster and play extreme drums,

but then you can get light sticks that do this too.

currently i use what i consider light sticks that are also big because they fit nice in my hand. i use vic firth bolero sd2. i play mainly jazz stuff though, so i guess you should just buy all sorts of sticks and try them each out for a couple weeks then change back to a new pair and see how different they feel.
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