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  #1  
Old 02-16-2010, 02:14 AM
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ddocimo ddocimo is offline
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Default Heavy drummer switches to jazz: What sticks should i use?

I've always been a heavy player, but i just joined my buddy's jazz quintet. What sticks should i use (keep in mind i have "A Custom" cymbals)
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:25 AM
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Default Re: Heavy drummer switches to jazz: What sticks should i use?

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Originally Posted by ddocimo View Post
I've always been a heavy player, but i just joined my buddy's jazz quintet. What sticks should i use (keep in mind i have "A Custom" cymbals)
Why change what sticks you use? If you're comfortable with what you're using now, and If your stroke is clean and you can play dynamically on the drum kit, there's really no reason to not go on playing the same sticks.

It's all in the stroke, the technique, you know.

I once knew a jazz drummer who played 2B sticks. I couldn't believe it, yet he made those baseball bats work for him in low-volume acoustic settings.

Now if you're a heavy drummer no matter what's going on then just changing to a lighter stick won't do it. You need to work on stick control, you need to work on your stroke.

Just my opinion.
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:26 AM
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Default Re: Heavy drummer switches to jazz: What sticks should i use?

7a all the way! Good luck!!! Toothpicks may also work, LOL!
Seriously, Its like my friend con struct said.
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:40 AM
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Default Re: Heavy drummer switches to jazz: What sticks should i use?

I switched to tiny 12" Vic Firth Kidsticks when I switched from rock to lounge. I don't think too many players would like that solution but I have no pride :)

A bigger challenge for me was changing from stomping on the kick pedal to feathering. I had to learn heel down. Oh, and brushes. At first they seem less exciting than sticks but they have their own appeal.

What kind of jazz does the band play? Bop and latin? Fusion and funk?
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:43 AM
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Default Re: Heavy drummer switches to jazz: What sticks should i use?

fusion and funk... KIDSTICKS?!? Did they work?
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:05 AM
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Default Re: Heavy drummer switches to jazz: What sticks should i use?

Let's not forget about maple sticks. Steamer swears by them. Of corse they are Canadian Rock Maple eh!
Fingers and Wrist dude, Fingers and Wrist!
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:49 AM
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Default Re: Heavy drummer switches to jazz: What sticks should i use?

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Originally Posted by ddocimo View Post
fusion and funk... KIDSTICKS?!? Did they work?
lol ... they take getting used to. Since they're only 12" long the balance is different and I find that if I go back to normal sticks I feel like I have these giant unwieldy logs in my hands. You need to play gently with them because if you're playing with oomph then bigger (adult) sticks provide richer tones. This was just my personal solution but if I was to make a recommendation I would go with Bob - 7As and maple. The Bill Stewart sticks are very light.

You might also find that different sticks will suit different songs.

Changing to lighter sticks will at least cut you some slack until you get used to playing with lower stick heights. After all, you can still make a fair bit of racket with 7As. In evil moments at rehearsal I can do Simon Kirke impressions with Kidsticks that are loud enough to get my bandmates covering their ears :) So, as Con struct said, the way you play is critical to keeping the volume down. Low hands and short strokes are key. I'm often only lifting my stick a few inches from the the hats/heads these days.

I've found a fair bit of adjustment is needed to retain intensity and groove while playing with lower stick heights. It's weird the first few times you finish a set without being a sweaty mess - it made me feel like I was cheating somehow :)
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:34 AM
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Default Re: Heavy drummer switches to jazz: What sticks should i use?

If you're used to a bigger stick go w/ maple. This way you can still use a larger stick and get a lighter sound out of your cymbals.
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:44 PM
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Default Re: Heavy drummer switches to jazz: What sticks should i use?

i really like the VF Peter Erskine "ride cymbal" stick. super well balanced & just great tone for Jazz. nice shoulder for louder stuff, back-beat, kicks. if volume is getting nutty, maybe even try his smaller bead version (very thin 7A size stick), that has an light, beautiful tone...especially on flat-bell cymbals.

you might also try the Jack DeJohnette stick if you are used to beefier sticks. it's a pretty stout piece of lumber.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:52 PM
DrewB76 DrewB76 is offline
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Default Re: Heavy drummer switches to jazz: What sticks should i use?

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Originally Posted by Big Foot View Post
If you're used to a bigger stick go w/ maple. This way you can still use a larger stick and get a lighter sound out of your cymbals.

That's great advice. I personally don't like maple sticks, but if you want the feel of a big stick Big Foot is totally right.


I also love the Peter Erskine Ride stick, I went through a phase where that's all I used.

Don't think though that you have to use a smaller stick though. Check out Ian Froman, he uses 5B and out Jazz's all of us.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:59 PM
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Default Re: Heavy drummer switches to jazz: What sticks should i use?

Id highly recommend the vic firth sd2 bolero. I love em for playin jazz because theyre very light yet thick.
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:31 PM
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Default Re: Heavy drummer switches to jazz: What sticks should i use?

One of the best jazz sticks are Vic Firth Peter Erskine's.
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Old 02-17-2010, 06:57 AM
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Default Re: Heavy drummer switches to jazz: What sticks should i use?

con struct definitely gave you some sound, solid advice and I "+1" his thoughts.

However, if you're just looking for recomendations for good jazz sticks, Promark's Elvin Jones sig. sticks are great - a 7A size. Also, try Ringo's sig. sticks from Promark. They're not actually jazz sticks, but they are a longer 5A (they seem thinner too, but that may just be because the extra length makes them seem that way) and may serve as a nice transition stick from the regular rock-weight sticks that you likely used as a "heavy hitter". Any jazz drummer could definitely use these if they wanted something a bit meatier than a typical 7A.
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