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  #1  
Old 07-16-2009, 10:17 PM
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Nick G. Nick G. is offline
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Default simple stick question

could someone explain to me the # + letter of a drumstick?

e.g. 5a, 5b, 7a, 8b etc

i generally use 7a, idk why though

is it the length/width??

or maybe weight?


so for a REALLY stupid question :D
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  #2  
Old 07-16-2009, 10:50 PM
audiotech
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Default Re: simple stick question

Usually as the number signifies the thickness and the weight of the stick. As the stick number decreases, the stick is gets heavier. Such as the 7 is lighter than the 5 and the 5 is lighter than a 2.

The letter suffix goes way back and in a nut shell the "A" means orchestral and also good for big bands. The "B" signifies band work, great for rock, pop and fusion. The "S" means street applications, drum corps and marching bands.

I usually use a #7A or a #5A, depending on what I'm playing.

That's basically my understanding.

Dennis
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  #3  
Old 07-16-2009, 10:53 PM
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Default Re: simple stick question

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiotech View Post
Usually as the number signifies the thickness and the weight of the stick. As the stick number decreases, the stick is gets heavier. Such as the 7 is lighter than the 5 and the 5 is lighter than a 2.

The letter suffix goes way back and in a nut shell the "A" means orchestral and also good for big bands. The "B" signifies band work, great for rock, pop and fusion. The "S" means street applications, drum corps and marching bands.

I usually use a #7A or a #5A, depending on what I'm playing.

That's basically my understanding.

Dennis
ok thanks thats great

ive been using 7a's for rock/funk type music
ill try out some 7b's thanks for the insight

have u got any suggestions on make/type of stick???
:D
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  #4  
Old 07-17-2009, 03:47 AM
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Default Re: simple stick question

I don't think anyone makes 7B's. And in general, a sticks with the same label from different manufacturers will vary in size, weight, length and balance/feel. It's just a general rule that 7A will be a thin stick, 5A medium thin, 5B medium thick and 2B thick.
Everything else varies greatly between manufacturers. For example Vic Firth 3A and 1A are the same thickness but different length, and so on.
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  #5  
Old 07-17-2009, 07:22 AM
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Default Re: simple stick question

Also you will notice jazz sticks made by vic firth generally have a "j'' in it, such as AJ6 or AJ2. I believe as the numbers get higher, the stick gets lighter, or the tip gets smaller. I know for a fact that AJ6 has the smallest tip (excellent stick w/ tons of rebound).


For the signature sticks, you will notice it generally has the drummers initials. Also, "N" means nylon tipped ( i.e. 5BN)
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  #6  
Old 07-17-2009, 07:24 AM
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Default Re: simple stick question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiery View Post
I don't think anyone makes 7B's. And in general, a sticks with the same label from different manufacturers will vary in size, weight, length and balance/feel. It's just a general rule that 7A will be a thin stick, 5A medium thin, 5B medium thick and 2B thick.
Everything else varies greatly between manufacturers. For example Vic Firth 3A and 1A are the same thickness but different length, and so on.
A good example is to look at Regal Tips. Many of those sticks are Extremley light, but the same size as vics or pro marks.
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  #7  
Old 07-17-2009, 10:14 PM
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Default Re: simple stick question

I had long ago resigned myself to accepting that stick naming/numbering was almost completely arbitrary, although audiotech did a nice job of explaining the genesis of some of the more common names. I didn't know that.

Here's the thing: I, like many drummers, get a lot of drummy junk mail and one of these catalog adverts comes from Cascio/Interstate music.com and in it there are all kinds of sticks by all the big makers. The best part is that it gives you diameter, length and a picture of the taper and tip so you can see if it's acorn, bead, etc. I keep that little rag handy. For example, who knew that a Promark 747 was essentially a 5A but longer? (I think that's right but I haven't memorized it, you get the idea, tho).

Get one of these adverts to help decrypt and cross-reference these diabolical stick naming conventions.
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  #8  
Old 07-17-2009, 11:14 PM
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Default Re: simple stick question

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiotech View Post
Usually as the number signifies the thickness and the weight of the stick. As the stick number decreases, the stick is gets heavier. Such as the 7 is lighter than the 5 and the 5 is lighter than a 2.

The letter suffix goes way back and in a nut shell the "A" means orchestral and also good for big bands. The "B" signifies band work, great for rock, pop and fusion. The "S" means street applications, drum corps and marching bands.

I usually use a #7A or a #5A, depending on what I'm playing.

That's basically my understanding.

Dennis
And then some wise-crack stick maker goes out on a limb and throws the whole model out of whack by making 8A (my favorite size) thicker and slightly longer than most 7A models.
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  #9  
Old 07-21-2009, 03:43 AM
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Default Re: simple stick question

I had no idea Thanks Audiotech!
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  #10  
Old 07-21-2009, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: simple stick question

Really, the whole numbering system needs to be discarded and replaced with a system that people can actually determine what they're getting. For instance:

Wood: Hickory
Finish: satin (or lacquer or raw etc)
Length: 16"
Diameter: .5"
Weight: 35 grams
Tip: wood acorn
Forward weighted (or balanced or back weighted)


If I had a stick company, that's the way I'd do it.
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  #11  
Old 07-21-2009, 09:46 PM
audiotech
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Default Re: simple stick question

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Really, the whole numbering system needs to be discarded and replaced with a system that people can actually determine what they're getting. For instance:

Wood: Hickory
Finish: satin (or lacquer or raw etc)
Length: 16"
Diameter: .5"
Weight: 35 grams
Tip: wood acorn
Forward weighted (or balanced or back weighted)


If I had a stick company, that's the way I'd do it.
That's a lot of information to print on every little stick, lol.

I know, bad humor.
Dennis
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  #12  
Old 07-21-2009, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: simple stick question

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiotech View Post
Usually as the number signifies the thickness and the weight of the stick. As the stick number decreases, the stick is gets heavier. Such as the 7 is lighter than the 5 and the 5 is lighter than a 2.

The letter suffix goes way back and in a nut shell the "A" means orchestral and also good for big bands. The "B" signifies band work, great for rock, pop and fusion. The "S" means street applications, drum corps and marching bands.

I usually use a #7A or a #5A, depending on what I'm playing.

That's basically my understanding.

Dennis
That is correct on how the basic names came up way back when.

However, as noted, the naming process has becoming fairly arbitrary over the years.
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  #13  
Old 07-21-2009, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: simple stick question

Then you have companies like Vater who use their own naming convention, entirely. The Starbucks of stick manufacturers.

"Hi, I need a Vater 5A."

"Oh, you mean a 'Los Angeles'"

"Sure, if that's a 5A?"

"Well, we have the Fusion, Session, and Manhattans in, too."

"Ugh..."
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