Breaking Sticks-Suggestions?


Senior Member
Hi Everyone,

I have a bit of a problem with breaking drum sticks, a very expensive habit unfortunately. Vic Firth wont return my request for sponsorship and "crap-ton" of sticks.

I have been playing for 10+ years, been through drumlines, drum teachers, jazz bands, rock bands, percussion ensembles, etc. Consistently, over the years I have been very good at breaking sticks. In a big jam out session or a fun show, I can break a brand new pair of Vic's Hickory 5b's in a matter of a few songs. Although, I'm not always smashing the drums, the sticks wear out quickly. I use the moeller whip technique and rim shot quit a bit(I hit hard, doesn't help), but I was curious if any of you have any wisdom on diminishing steak breakage.

I got my hands onto the Vic Grip sticks. They are HUGE. I haven't juxtapositioned them with 2b sticks, but I'm sure they are 2bs at least. No breakage with those sticks of course(great sticks all together). Although, id hate to live with that as the answer.

My only guess is that the hi hat eats away at the top end of the stick, and it eventually breaks apart.

Could it be my hand technique? How I hit the cymbals? Stick tip type? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Mike T.


Senior Member
i find that they last a lot longer if i avoid hitting the snare as hard as i can with the rimshot bit (hitting the rim/snare head), but it's hard because i like that crack. otherwise, i just move to a bigger stick but they feel like clubs in my hands haha.

Senior Member
Your stick breakage could be due to a number of things...the hats for sure eat away at your sticks, the amount of rimshots you do, the thickness of you cymbals, how hard you hit, and how hard you hit accents. also, the thickens of your sticks. If you use 2b's, those are pretty thick, but sometimes the really thick sticks chip and fall-apart really easily. The thing i noticed with vic firth sticks is that sometimes they split and chip really easily, especially the tips. I have been looking into Ahead sticks, which to my knowledge, are pretty much aluminum bodied with plastic membranes. I do not know a whole lot about them except, that they cost more than wood sticks, but last much longer aswell. You might want to look into them.


Senior Member
I used to snap a LOT of sticks when i first started, i once bought a brand new pair of sticks, took them home, and they had snapped within the first five minutes of playing! and that was on an electric kit, now a year later im playing on a fully acoustic kit and have been using the same few pairs of sticks for months now, and i practice a LOT more aswell. I believe its due to my looser grip on the sticks, but since youve been playing for ten years and been though drum lines i doubt its that! haha
But i switched to vater "blazer" sticks, made with sugar maple, theyre a bit thicker than regular 5b's but i find that more comfortable, theyre dinting but not chipping away, and i have been realy thrashing at my kit lately, hopefully they will last me another few months...
I highly recommend them sticks !


If you are breaking sticks all the time you are doing something wrong. Video tape yourself and look carefully at it. When does your stick break. On a cymbal, hi-hat,snare. I think you are just hitting too hard. When my band practices, we all wear headphones. We have the perfect mix in our ears. We don't need to try and play over top of each other. The amps are just there for the mic feeds into the board. I vary rarely break sticks. I usually wear them thin from the hat before I break them. I have many skinny necked drums sticks hanging around. :)


Senior Member
Hey all,

Thank you for the responses!

Ill have to go ahead and try those sticks you guys mentioned to me. So far these Vic Grips are holding up really well. They feel great, and have a great aesthetic to them. I would suggest them to any of you who want to use bigger sticks.


I play in both situations. With amps blaring, or mixed headphones. I break em just about the same.

Looks like im just going to have to use beefy sticks, and stop buying cigarettes. :)

I will have to try hitting the hi hat at a different angle. I think that would help quit a bit.

I found an interview with Gavin Harrison. Apparently he use to break 7-10 sticks to a show, then he switched sticks and now only breaks 3- 5 or something like that. Ive seen Danny Carey(in person) break his snare in less than 20 minutes, two times in a row.

Crazy stuff. I don't even know how to do any of that. I'm not as cool as I thought. Ha.


Gold Member
Do you have a teacher? You should have someone take a look at your technique.
You shouldn't be blowing through sticks.


Gold Member
If you're looking for actual stick suggestions, you could look into a harder denser wood.

There's a company, customdrumstix, that makes custom drumsticks available in all the normal woods in addition to purpleheart and jatoba. Purpleheart is a fair amount harder than hickory, and jatoba is A LOT harder. Costs a bit more but it's something to look into.


Senior Member
Hey guys,

I always buy hickory. I do love me some rimshots. It is pretty common in my playing.

I'll have to check out the "custom drum stix" company. That sounds awesome. I've never head of those woods either, definitely need to check it out.

Ive spent years in drumline and in instruction. My stick technique adapts a lot of things from the Moeller Technique and Jim Chapin. I'm no jo jo mayor or anything, but Im not so sure it is a stick technique problem(not meant in a cocky way). I might just be a hard hitter? Although, I know I still have MANY things to learn.

Im usually split between the sides and the top. It all depends on what kind of sound I want. If I want an articulate clean sound, I will do that. If I am like looking for that sloshy sound then I do the latter.

If any of you guys care to(im not plugging anything). You can check out how I am playing, and give me any tips on technique or what not. I figured since this is based around how I hit the cymbals and my stick technique, I might as well post a visual. If you dont feel like watching the whole thing(I wouldnt), then you can just go to 2:50. Thats a pretty good spot, its only a few seconds of a clip.

Thanks for your responses!!!