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  #1  
Old 02-16-2009, 11:35 AM
Big_Philly
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Default For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

A simple question: when do you decide it's time to throw a pair of sticks away (or do whatever it is you do with the sticks you don't use anymore)?
When you break a stick discarding it is an obvious choice, but I rarely break sticks. I have broken two or three sticks in 12 years of drumming, most of them being several months old.

I myself get rid of the sticks I use when the tip of the stick begins to fall apart. It's barely noticeable, but when the tip of a stick gets really edgy and splintered I sometimes feel some of my cymbals don't sound the same. I also think it might wear heads faster than what is desirable.

So when do you throw away your sticks?
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  #2  
Old 02-16-2009, 11:51 AM
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Naigewron Naigewron is offline
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

Well, I do break sticks, but I suppose the obvious answer is that you should throw them out when they no longer feel and/or sound good to you. If you pick up a new stick and notice that it feels or sounds a lot better than the one you're using, it might be time to switch.
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  #3  
Old 02-16-2009, 02:26 PM
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

Sticks & SHINY cymbals are my weaknesses...sad I know.

Of course when the tips are damaged that's it, but I like to use new sticks almost every gig/rehearsal.

And of course, cymbals must not just be clean, the must be shiny...like new. IT'S THE LAW. in my sad world anyway.
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  #4  
Old 02-16-2009, 02:31 PM
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

I've got tons of splintered tipped sticks lying around in my drum room. I found that I actually like the attack of this one particular Vic Firth 7A on my rides, but I only have the one, so I end up using a different 7A, either a Zildjian, or Vater (those are my most matched pairs these days) with my left hand. Every now and then it gets kidnapped by my son and I find it a few days later under a couch.

Anyway, I don't hit insanely hard, and actually don't really "break" sticks unless I'm playing outdoor gigs... Go figure.
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  #5  
Old 02-17-2009, 12:49 AM
bybee5150 bybee5150 is offline
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

I have fallen into the category where I don't break sticks, but I break or fray the tips of the sticks, which at this point I have had to flip the stick and play with the butt end, or throw the stick away. A simple solution for me was going from a pro-mark 747 Neil Peart signature stick to a 5A Ahead stick with a medium taper. I love this stick as if a tip breaks but the shaft is solid, I remove the tip and replace it for a fraction of the cost. I also love the stick as it is consistently straight. Although the stick is more to buy intially, durability wise they have tended to hold up better for me, saving me money in the long run.
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  #6  
Old 02-18-2009, 02:34 AM
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Trip McNealy Trip McNealy is offline
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

Same as others, when the tip gets slightly "splintery" or chipped.. alternatively the taper of sticks start to get chewed up a little from swiping the cymbals.. when I start seeing a little more than usual "saw dust' around my throne it's time to toss them.

A good tip from Todd Sucherman is to try Maple sticks since the tips and shoulders don't wear out nor splinter as quick as Hickory sticks... they just snap and then you know it's time for a new stick! I'm going to be trying some soon once I find a suitable pair.
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  #7  
Old 02-18-2009, 10:21 AM
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip McNealy View Post
A good tip from Todd Sucherman is to try Maple sticks since the tips and shoulders don't wear out nor splinter as quick as Hickory sticks... they just snap and then you know it's time for a new stick! I'm going to be trying some soon once I find a suitable pair.
Yeah, but I prefer my sticks not to snap. Murphy's law implies that they'll snap at a very inappropriate time, which has happened to me once. One of the three sticks I snapped was a maple one. I broke it on an e-kit. Go figure...
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  #8  
Old 02-18-2009, 03:52 PM
stabmasterarson stabmasterarson is offline
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

what happens with me is I wear the shoulders of the stick down like a beaver on the hats and cymbals, then eventually the tip splinters down the stick and breaks. I use promark 5bn sticks, and I can't get a pair to last longer than 3 weeks if I play them every day. I play thrash./deathmetal so maybe I am just hitting the sticks on objects more so they wear down faster than a lot of people
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  #9  
Old 02-18-2009, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

I haven't broken a hickory stick after my first year of playing (but I did destroy three maple sticks within two days...). When the tip of the stick starts splintering, I can still use it for practice and rehearsals, but I like to whip out a pristine pair for gigs.
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  #10  
Old 02-18-2009, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

Usually, I have one stick of the pair gets chipped or something which is really disappointing.
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  #11  
Old 02-18-2009, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

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Originally Posted by Wavelength View Post
I haven't broken a hickory stick after my first year of playing (but I did destroy three maple sticks within two days...).
Really?
Wow, I've been using the same pair of maple SD10 Swingers for 4 months.
They're in great shape!
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  #12  
Old 02-18-2009, 09:13 PM
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

I toss mine when the shoulders get splintery (hickory) or when they get whittled to where they feel smaller than a 5A on the front end (oak- I use ProMark 808's, slightly thicker than a 5A). I get about 6 months out of a set of 4 (i play w/2 [obviously] and keep 2 handy as spares, and switch them out frequently so that 1 pair doesn't get more worn than the other), but I only play a couple of times a week. I now have a practice kit at the house, so that's gonna change. :)
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  #13  
Old 02-18-2009, 09:18 PM
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

For practice, I play 'til they break, but I only use sticks in good condition for performances.

I have, however, been thrashing with some Ahead sticks lately, and I just don't wanna play anything else. They're holding up great, too.
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  #14  
Old 02-18-2009, 11:54 PM
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

I too give them up when the tips are gone.

I do know certain jazz drummers around town who like that sound, or have been known to file tips back on to sticks to prolong their lives and save money.

Otherwise, the shafts end up getting worn down a little from rimshots, at which point I give them away to other band members: so they can play cowbell during my prolonged drum solos.
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  #15  
Old 02-19-2009, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

With me, the shaft just gets all dented, but not chipped. The shoulders do chip off a little bit but I generally have pretty thick cymbals (i.e., cymbals that don't cut through your stick like a knife) and on top of that I strike my cymbals at a fairly flat angle. As long as the damage on shoulder & shaft doesn't affect the feel of the stick I will continue to play them. So far, since I started paying attention to this, the tips of my sticks have always been the first to get damaged to a point where I toss 'em away.
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  #16  
Old 02-23-2009, 08:23 PM
Ekim Ekim is offline
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

I don't even chip sticks much anymore.

I play the Steve Smith Vic Firths a lot. The barrel tips usually start cracking before anything else.

I toss them in the trash if the barrel has any chunks come off. I figure the rougher surface will be harder on my heads, so out they go!
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  #17  
Old 02-27-2009, 09:22 AM
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

So many of you are commenting on tip damage that I'm wondering why you don't switch to nylons...?
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  #18  
Old 02-27-2009, 09:59 AM
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

I don't know, actually. It just feels wrong.
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  #19  
Old 02-27-2009, 11:38 AM
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

My sticks dont break. They just look like they get chewed on by a large dog everyday. The get more & more grotty, and then simply fall apart and wither away rather than break.

I always induct a new pair as the first pair is on its last legs. So its always 2 working pairs. An ugly pair & a really ugly pair

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  #20  
Old 03-06-2009, 03:00 AM
Ekim Ekim is offline
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

timmdrum: I despise the pingy sound of nylon tips on rides.
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  #21  
Old 03-06-2009, 03:05 AM
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

At this point in time I've never broken a stick :-) and thats a good 5 years or so of hard playing, so usually i play them down till they either sound like turd on the drums, or their just about to break, and i usually keep a pair or two of good sticks around too
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  #22  
Old 03-09-2009, 06:04 AM
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Art Vandelay Art Vandelay is offline
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_Philly View Post
A simple question: when do you decide it's time to throw a pair of sticks away (or do whatever it is you do with the sticks you don't use anymore)?
When you break a stick discarding it is an obvious choice, but I rarely break sticks. I have broken two or three sticks in 12 years of drumming, most of them being several months old.

I myself get rid of the sticks I use when the tip of the stick begins to fall apart. It's barely noticeable, but when the tip of a stick gets really edgy and splintered I sometimes feel some of my cymbals don't sound the same. I also think it might wear heads faster than what is desirable.

So when do you throw away your sticks?
I rarely break sticks, and if I do it's because I've used a stick for way too long. My sticks splinter about half way down from doing rimshots, and they also taper and deteriorate around the shoulder. Once the splintering gets out of control I toss the sticks, anyone have any good recommendations for sticks that dont splinter as much? Recently I had a pair of promark 5a n's split and splinter in the middle like mad. I'm using some no namers now that are pitch matched nicely and are holding up well.
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  #23  
Old 03-09-2009, 06:15 AM
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

Wow... 12 years??? and you've broken 3 sticks? That's incredible.

I break sticks left and right but that's just because I like the lighter sticks, but I'm a HEAVY hitter. I am trying to find a midway point though, because 2 pairs of steve jordans a week aint cheap for a 16 year old.

But even though I do break them, I would say when they became unbalanced from eachother, or like you said when the tip is worn down too much.
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  #24  
Old 03-09-2009, 06:21 AM
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

i break sticks pretty often. Most of the sticks i own right now are broken and bound with duck tape to hold together. I need to get some more pairs, but its hard to get out to the closest store.
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  #25  
Old 03-09-2009, 07:53 PM
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

When the tip has chipped off a bit, or when it's had enough of the rimshots!!
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  #26  
Old 03-09-2009, 08:16 PM
Aleks192 Aleks192 is offline
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

I love ProMark 707's but the round tip is very susceptible to breaking off on one side leaving a flat....and the flat makes little to no sound on drums.....I used Vater 7A's extensively for a while, and they lasted well, I would replace them when I've chipped one side of the shoulder flat, or they started feeling spongy from flexing.......My last practice I broke 3 VF 5A's within an hour....it was bizarre, I've never done that before, they were the strongest sticks I had!
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  #27  
Old 03-09-2009, 08:24 PM
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

When one of the sticks is a different weight than the other, producing a different sound.

My sticks splinter towards the middle because of rimshots and I hate it! it's sooooo annoying!
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  #28  
Old 03-10-2009, 05:01 AM
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Default Re: For those who don't (or rarely) break sticks

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Originally Posted by Art Vandelay View Post
I rarely break sticks, and if I do it's because I've used a stick for way too long. My sticks splinter about half way down from doing rimshots, and they also taper and deteriorate around the shoulder. Once the splintering gets out of control I toss the sticks, anyone have any good recommendations for sticks that dont splinter as much? Recently I had a pair of promark 5a n's split and splinter in the middle like mad. I'm using some no namers now that are pitch matched nicely and are holding up well.
Well I spoke too soon, one of my no-name sticks exploded in my hand today and I had to finish a song with a little nub lol
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