BREAKING STICKS

finnhiggins

GONE MUCH TOO EARLY!!!
Re: Breaking sticks left and right...

Kevinm said:
You seem to not to accept someone telling you it's your technique! I don't know how many times drrummers keep breaking cymblas and gear until they fianlly realize a small change in their technique and how they apprach has preserved the life of their equipment.
...

I am done with this thread!
Good job too, I doubt you'll be missed. You may play jazz exclusively, but for anybody who plays rock music then you expect to break sticks. I've never broken a cymbal or a drumhead (one bass drum head aside) but I've broken a hell of a lot of sticks.

And yes. Vic Firth's sticks are crapola, and always have been. They break way too quickly. Every other brand I've tried has been vastly superior. In order of strength, in my experience:

1) Promark
2) Johnny Rabb
3) Vater
4) Regal Tip
5) Zildjian
6) Vic Firth (and a distant 6th at that!)

I don't like the feel of Promark - too dense, too much shock up the stick for me. Plus the weight feels a bit "forward" in the stick for my tastes. Johnny Rabb aren't available anymore. So these days, I play Vater.
 

Kevinm

Member
Re: Breaking sticks left and right...

No actually my tips dont wear out, and I play all types of music. I prefer jazz, but jazz in my neck of the woods does not offer many gigs as does diner dance music (boring) or rock. The gig and the need dictates what I play!
Anyway, here is my suggestion, if you can find someone in your local that is a seasoned professional on drumset, not your everyday music teacher, but one who understands the approach to the set, sit in with him/her for an 1/2 to 1 hour and let him or her study your approach. You know it could just be a simple height adjustment, or a tip on the individual stroke. Without actually seeing, it is hard to provide positive feedback. Take a look at Jim Chapins approach instructions, not so much his independance instructions, but how he shows the stick doing the work with you in control producing the same volume and attack as compared to other ways.
Breaking sticks I still do but not at an alarming rate.
Back sometime ago when I was in a hard rock group, I hit pretty hard, broke sticks left and right, even the fiberglass metal sticks ( hated them)! What I found was the angle I was hitting at and adjusted accordingly. Every wood stick has a grain pattern, hit the grain at an offset angle, you get breakage down the grain. Almost like those karate board breakage demonstrations. They break along the grain, flip the grain around, and they bust knuckles. I think you see my point. I also practiced more control using some of the same approaches the great jazz musicians used, then combined their approach to what I was doing. It reduced breakage by quit a bit. Even when playing rim shots. I would love to show you my current bag of sticks with all the rim shot marks. But the sticks are still whole, even with the shafts being narrowed down, yet the changes I made to my angle allowed me to gain more control really reduced my breakage, yet increased my power, volume and attack when needed, while maintaining the same sticks. The neat thing was it benefitted both grips!
By your description I would bet a little tweek would make all the differnce in the world. The key is geting someone that is schooled enough on approach and can see yours. This is the difficult part.
Good Luck!

finnhiggins - what can I say but great mature comment! Keep up the good work!
 

Garvin

Pioneer Member
Re: Breaking sticks left and right...

aahznightsky said:
I've totaled three pairs of sticks so far on my new drumset since I got it, probably around two months back. Is that too often? I use vic firth 5B's, and I'm thinking I've trying Vater to see if they're more durable ... either their 5B or the Josh Freese signature

what do you think? Am I breaking (they don't actually break, they just fray and split to impossible-to-play degrees) these things too often and I should try tougher sticks? I know there was a thread a while back about vic firth losing quality and stuff ....

My sticks
I'm a kit player, but was playing percussion for a group a while back with a killin' drummer. This kid frayed his sticks exactly like it sounds you do. He had great technique and all that, I noticed that the fray originated where he struck the hi-hat. It was just how he played, but he went through a pair of sticks a week and is to this day one of the greatest drummers I have ever seen, or played with. I agree, it's better to break the sticks than your drums/cymbals. Just try to get an endorsement ASAP.

Keep Rockin'
 

RudimentalDrummer

Pioneer Member
Re: Breaking sticks left and right...

aahznightsky said:
STICKS ARE DESIGNED TO BREAK. Otherwise your other gear would when you hit them! By the sounds of your tuning preferences in the other thread, you might be a jazz drummer. If that's the case, you most likely don't play a third as many rimshots as I do and your tips wear out before the shaft of your sticks splinter out. My tips don't wear out because my shafts do before they have a chance to.

If you could point out what on earth could be wrong with my technique, that'd be one thing. Otherwise, there's the simple fact that when I switched stick companies from one that has been getting a large number of complaints to a company that hasn't, my sticks don't break half as fast.
Anyway, I do hell lots of Rim Shots on 16 notes accenting/speed and around the kit these days for 3 weeks continuously in my 2 hrs practice each day. I notice my Drum Sticks had chips/splinster on the shaft....and I'm just wondering when it will break besides just some small dents/markings on the shaft...I guess that's normal. I had never broken any sticks before...but it seems like it will at the rate I'm doing it now.

PS: - Hope you don't mind me saying something... bro aahznightsky. You are good maybe even very good in your drumming and I know it...but you are also a very arrogrant drummer...hahahahaha...don't do it here lah ! .... though I believed that it's "A Priviledge To Be Snobblish" - that is also the kind of person I used to be....anyway cheers and no hard feelings
 

phoenix

Junior Member
How often to you break sticks?

It seems like for every hour or two of playing, I break at least one stick. I have a box of about 25 broken sticks. Granted I'm using some pretty cheap sticks so that's probably why. I like to play loud, but nothing crazy.. probably typical for anyone that plays rock/metal. How about everyone else?
 

CraigG

Senior Member
Re: How often to you break sticks?

phoenix said:
It seems like for every hour or two of playing, I break at least one stick. I have a box of about 25 broken sticks. Granted I'm using some pretty cheap sticks so that's probably why. I like to play loud, but nothing crazy.. probably typical for anyone that plays rock/metal. How about everyone else?
I have been using one pair for the last month, and they are a cheap pair also. I probably don't play as long as others (usually an hour split between the practice pad and the kit)
Also, I'm not a "hard hitter". I practice hitting the center of each drum, and hitting the cymbals "correctly" Since I am a beginner, I probably practice technique more than anything else (technique meaning hitting the center of the drum, etc.), and play at a slower rate/speed than alot of people.
 
T

Thinshells

Guest
Re: How often to you break sticks?

CraigG said:
I have been using one pair for the last month, and they are a cheap pair also. I probably don't play as long as others (usually an hour split between the practice pad and the kit)
Also, I'm not a "hard hitter". I practice hitting the center of each drum, and hitting the cymbals "correctly" Since I am a beginner, I probably practice technique more than anything else (technique meaning hitting the center of the drum, etc.), and play at a slower rate/speed than alot of people.
I found a publicity stills of you and your band back in the day.

 

rendezvous_drummer

Pioneer Member
Re: How often to you break sticks?

Me too, i've been using very cheap 2.00 bucks and they last me a few hours, BUT, i made the best switch of my life (other than switching from a 4 piece drum set to a 5 piece) and that was to use Vater sticks. Most durable sticks i've ever played!
 
S

Stu_Strib

Guest
Re: Breaking sticks left and right...

My experience is a stick is a stick is a stick (as long is it is from one of the major manufacturers). If you are breaking sticks, then you are 'beating' a drum and not 'playing' it.

Sticks should wear out at the shoulder (drumset, highhat) and the tip. Usually when you ride the ride a lot, the laquer on the tip wears through and you 'flat-spot' the bead, which gives it a different sound.

Flat out breaking a stick is just evil drumming!

For all you metal heads out there, you don't think Country music, or Jazz music has moments of constant high volume rim shots? Rim shots on a snare dont' break sticks. I would say I could whittle through the shoulder of a stick and break it faster at a funk show than I would ever break a stick at a rock gig.

And Finn, can you honestly say that a Pro-Mark SD1 is any better, or even different, than a Vic-Firth SD1?

I'll use any brand of the major manufacturers. More importantly the one I think is the best is the one that would like to sponsor me (banned smiley here)
 

jangus

Silver Member
Re: Breaking sticks left and right...

Actually I would usually fray my VF 5Bs until they were pretty much useless as well. Its normal for those sticks I suppose. I would play them until all sides the bead were chipped off. I never had one actually break though. I've been using Pro-Mark Japanese Oak 5As and they seem to be very durable. I recommend.
 

CraigG

Senior Member
Re: How often to you break sticks?

Thinshells said:
I found a publicity stills of you and your band back in the day.

LOL Yeah, that was when I was playing my tongue. I wanted to broaden my horizons, so I took up drums. Dang, I thought all that promo material had been destroyed....
 

RudimentalDrummer

Pioneer Member
Re: Breaking sticks left and right...

Stu_Strib said:
If you are breaking sticks, then you are 'beating' a drum and not 'playing' it.

Rim shots on a snare dont' break sticks.
)
With proper Rim-Shot Techniques...YES...it shouldn't break the stick and I agree on this.

Even Accenting & Ghosting - In accenting rim-shot even when you do a multiple Rim-shot in 16th notes accenting....it should not break when using correct techniques as I found out.

With techniques, you don't really wack hard to get a loud sound...it's how you hit it. As a matter of fact...Accenting sound most beautiful & smooth, when the accented rim-shot is lifted slightly above snare and you actually don't need to hit it real hard to get the accent (the correct way). For those who is still trying to acquire the skills on accenting (like me when I first started) ... it is indeed normal to hit rim-shot harder initially...but through time & practice. One will know that the best Accenting Exercises on rim-shot is never to hit hard on Rims ...technically also it is really wrong to do accenting hitting real hard (at the same time of course we need to control the ghost notes as soft as possible)....that's the reason why drumming needs lots of practice and stick control is not easy.
 

brittc89

Pioneer Member
Re: Breaking sticks left and right...

I break a lot of sticks, and really it for me comes down to the style of playing. I use a lot of shots and heavy playing when I play most styles of music, excluding small combo stuff, but it shouldnt bother you to break sticks. If you practice enough, theyre bound to break.
 

brittc89

Pioneer Member
Re: Breaking sticks left and right...

Stu_Strib said:
My experience is a stick is a stick is a stick (as long is it is from one of the major manufacturers). If you are breaking sticks, then you are 'beating' a drum and not 'playing' it.

Sticks should wear out at the shoulder (drumset, highhat) and the tip. Usually when you ride the ride a lot, the laquer on the tip wears through and you 'flat-spot' the bead, which gives it a different sound.

Flat out breaking a stick is just evil drumming!

For all you metal heads out there, you don't think Country music, or Jazz music has moments of constant high volume rim shots? Rim shots on a snare dont' break sticks. I would say I could whittle through the shoulder of a stick and break it faster at a funk show than I would ever break a stick at a rock gig.

And Finn, can you honestly say that a Pro-Mark SD1 is any better, or even different, than a Vic-Firth SD1?

I'll use any brand of the major manufacturers. More importantly the one I think is the best is the one that would like to sponsor me (banned smiley here)
I have to respectfully disagree. Rimshots have to take a toll on sticks. You cant get a correct rim shot sound unless your stick is hitting the rim, which I absolutely guarentee will wear through a sick faster than a hi-hat or normal storke on a drum excluding the rim. Also, jazz music does not incorporate near the power and rimshots as rock and metal in almost every instance. If your using as many rimshots in jazz as in heavy metal, your wading, if not over, the edge of being stylistically incorrect.
 
D

da cheese walks

Guest
Re: Breaking sticks left and right...

i honestly play really really hard...doin loadsa rimshots and just going really hard...i use a lot of ride and a lot of groovey,funky 16th notes on the hi-hat...but i use Aria 7As.....beautiful!!i go through about a pair a month....its amazing how such a thin stick can take so much of a beating!!
 

RudimentalDrummer

Pioneer Member
Re: Breaking sticks left and right...

brittc89 said:
I have to respectfully disagree.

You cant get a correct rim shot sound unless your stick is hitting the rim,

wear through a sick faster than a hi-hat. Also,

jazz music does not incorporate near the power and rimshots as rock and metal in almost every instance. If your using as many rimshots in jazz as in heavy metal, your wading, if not over, the edge of being stylistically incorrect.
My opinion based on what I'm being taught by my Instructor.

Yes you are absolutely correct..in that a Rim shot means hitting on the Rims....but getting a loud sound using a Rim_shot...doesn't means full-force hitting the sticks real hard on the rim. In techniques, Loud doesn't means hitting with great force.

I am not so sure about wearing sticks from Hi-hats. Techniques taught to me in accenting Hi-Hats is - When you accent the Hi-Hat...you hit the Hi-Hat with the shaft of the sticks FLAT-DOWN like parallel, and ghost hi-hat using tips which is just merely lifting up the sticks after the accent....a natural motion...So therefore wearing of sticks in hitting hi-hat is few.

Yes jazz music does not incorporate near the power and rimshots as rock and metal in almost every instance.

But I think ... in jazz they too uses quite a lot of rim-shot & ghosting played in a very nice & soothing manner based on the techniques on Accenting I describe as above.

PS: Honestly I do not know if drummers who play very heavy Metal or Rock have to really Use Full-Strength to do a Rim-Shot as the Music is different...but my Instructor always remind me and watch my sticking whenever I do a Fast Rim Shot Accenting in Stick Control Exercises and it has to be really consistent in overall loudness (as it sound good & smooth) when blends with the soft ghosting in an entire exercises. He always tells me...In drumming, playing loud is a technique and it doesn't means you have to wack the drums real hard..cause every drummer here in my country knows that my instructor is exceptionally particular over drum techniques. Many a times when I do accenting he has to tell me "Your sticks is too high and you are hitting too hard on the Rims"...Oooops so...I have to be on my toes always.
 

Drummin_Dan

Member
Re: Breaking sticks left and right...

And to think you can spend $50 for a die-casy hoop only to end up shredding sticks faster. Rim shots must've been guitarists ideas for making drummers get poor faster. We're just stupid enough to actually like the sound. If I play more funk style or Jazz, rim shots are less loud. Rock music, I have to get a huge crack or it's weak.
 

RudimentalDrummer

Pioneer Member
Re: Breaking sticks left and right...

da cheese walks said:
i use Aria 7As.....beautiful!!i !
Hi...you just reminded me of Aria. I have seen Drum Kit under the Brand Name "Aria" some 28 years ago....Today I have not seen it in my country anymore....
 

RudimentalDrummer

Pioneer Member
Re: Breaking sticks left and right...

brittc89 said:
I break a lot of sticks, and really it for me comes down to the style of playing. I use a lot of shots and heavy playing when I play most styles of music, excluding small combo stuff, but it shouldnt bother you to break sticks. If you practice enough, theyre bound to break.
Yes so true...we shouldn't bother about sticks breaking. Afterall they are mean't to be broken though I had never broken one before, chipped & dented sticks I had plenty etc. If sticks don't break, chipped or get dented or damaged in any way...Vic, Vater and many other companies will go bust in no time...kekekeke...They are probably make not to last too long.

As a matter of fact, I love to use my drum sticks that are very seasoned....like with chips somewhere on the shaft or dents...and never never use Brand New Sticks. I really feel good as others will probably view me as "A Very Hardworking Drummer" ..... and I hope not otherwise as "Boy this guy really torture his Kit"...kekekeke... I always have a sense of accomplishment when New sticks get damaged somehow...It really means I am really working very hard on my drumming nowadays and feel good deep inside.

Cheers everyone.
 
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