Got a question for y’all about drumsticks

MaxwellMiky

New member
What do you guys prefer out of your drumsticks? I understand different sizes and weights are better for certain styles of drumming, but I don’t know what stick best suits it’s respective style. Does anyone have a favorite “works in any situation stick” or is it best to have a variety of sticks? Thanks for sharing your input, if this question is even worth your time.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
time to make a quick trip to your music store and try every size. there are only 4/5 standard sizes so you’ll be out of there pretty quickly, but i like 5A because it does everything, 5B if i’m feeling different a particular day. i like funk and 60s r&b so a forward balance stick like the pro mark firegrain forward is really nice. different to a standard mid weighted stick, but not for everyone. an acquired taste? perhaps
 

Chris Whitten

Well-known member
I have a variety.
In the end the biggest decision driver is playability, sound and endurance.
Thicker, heavier sticks usually last longer, but may produce a thuddier drum and harsh cymbal sound. They may be also more tiring to use.
Very thin sticks sometimes break more easily, produce thinner, weedier drum sounds and feel too light in the hand.
It's all subjective and personal.
I mostly use three different models. I arrived at them by buying several different models every few months that seemed like they would work, then distilling it down to the ones I actually preferred to use over time and with experimentation.
 
Last edited:

Mighty_Joker

Silver Member
I use the Vic Firth Persimmon SCS1 for my snare drum work (link). I love the wood, the weight, the tip, and the over all sound and feel of them. I play a mixture of concert and rudimental repertoire on a Pearl Philharmonic, and these are the best sticks I have ever used for that.

For the kit, I generally use Vic Firth American Classic 5As, though I also enjoy the round tipped AS5As.

I suppose for me, it's a mixture of the weight, the tip, the wood, and the durability. I've always used Vic Firths and have never found reason to switch. The SCS1s are my favourite stick, but I'd never use it on a kit.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I have my own stick made for me which works out cheaper than buying them from a store, I use that for most of my playing. I have some really heavy sticks that are wooden tip copies of Regal Tip quantum 9000s mainly for pad work and go all the way down to the VF Gadds.

More so with the lighter sticks you use them when you really have to keep the noise down. A lot of my gigs are at places where you go in blind so preparing for every eventuality is a good habit to get into
 

mrfingers

Senior Member
I use Regal tip 5A for trad grip/blues and VAter Dejonnet 5A, white, 16.25” and VF 5A 16.25” fusion/gospel for matched grip rock. None of the 5As are the same diameter and only the Regals are more butt weighted.
 

pocket player

Junior Member
Hey max, good question ; i think the most obvious feedback would be what ever stick feels and sounds the best to you, use it.
But i think there are other things that come into play. which we can investigate alot more.
Like : Can i get better downward momentum with a little heavier stick ?
how the stick size effects my grip & hand speed ?
Different sticks for different sounding music and volume ?
How sticks effects drum & cymbal sounds ?

I often wonder if drum stick co's. design sticks with these sort of things in mind.

but without going over board about this ,i think ,it is good to experiment with different sticks, and you will come up with what works for you.

Good luck NY Guy
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Well I think everyone has covered some bases but it's nice to have different size sticks with different style tips-because they all sound and play different on drums and cymbals. 5A are often go to but I like a heavier stick for classic rock-sound great on tom fills (meatier), if a quite venue 7A, I like VF Gadd sticks because of tip, but my Buddy Rich sticks sound best of any on my cymbals (ride and hats). I hate rutes/hotrods because they sound terrible on recording.-but are fun to play. If you go with brushes there is another whole ball of wax.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I've played 7a, AJ5, 5A, 5B, and 2A before.

These days, I play Vic Firth 7A, nylon tip, with stick wrap. They are perfect for me.
 

RickP

Gold Member
I have never settled in one particular model stick for all the things I play . Regal Tip is my preferred brand Mai my because of the finish they apply to the stick . I have used a number of their models over the years and liked them for periods of time. I do like maple sticks for a few reasons -1) I can use a larger diameter stick without it feeling heavy 2) They soak up the stick shock better 3) I am not a stick breaker so durability is not an issue .
Sadly Regal Tip has had some struggles getting sticks out ( They have an online shop where you can buy direct but some of the models I like are usually out of stock ).

I recently had Jeff Rich of Rich Custom sticks reproduce the wonderful Regal Tip Billy Martin ( formerly Bob Gatzen) model stick for me .

Sticks I currently have in my various stick bags :
BopWorks Mel Lewis
Vic Firth Steve Gadd
ProMark Carter McLean
Regal Tip Johnny Fay
Regal Tip 8a maple and hickory
ProMark 7a Oak
ProMark Bob Gatzen
Vic Firth Keith Carlock
Vic Firth Peter Erskine Big Band

The perfect stick for me would probably be the
Vic Firth Peter Erskine Big Band if they made it in their double glaze finish . I have asked repeatedly and have been refused multiple times , no matter how many bricks I offer to buy.

The stick that I am really liking the feel of currently is the Steve Gadd signature stick . I never thought I would like such a short stick but it plays very nicely and has enough oomph to cover some louder things I do . I also like the barrel shape tip.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
But i think there are other things that come into play. which we can investigate alot more.
Like : Can i get better downward momentum with a little heavier stick ?
how the stick size effects my grip & hand speed ?
Different sticks for different sounding music and volume ?
How sticks effects drum & cymbal sounds ?

Exactly. Sticks are more about what is workable for your hands and the volume required, than the musical style (with only a few exceptions.)

I use 3 very different weights depending on the gig: Vic Firth X5A (sort of a 2B) for touring, VF 8D (sort of a 5A) for many gigs and studio, and VF AJ5 (a light but long 7A type) for other gigs where even lower volume is required.

Why the different weights? Why don't I simply adjust my arm and hand movements for the volume at hand? Because making volume adjustments requires me to change the way I play, and those changes may be evident in my feel and speed (and not in a good way!) Basically, holding back or exerting more force affects technique. It's much smarter and easier to choose a stick better suited for the volume I need, and let it assist me so I can play more naturally.

So, why do I need heavier sticks on tour, when the drums are miked and the volume is adjustable? Actually, I don't. Over the last few tours, I've moved down to the 8D medium sized stick, and don't have to work quite so hard up there. I rarely break a sweat! So I'm using just 2 different sticks now. :)
 
Last edited:

pocket player

Junior Member
I feel the same way too about the steve gadd stick.

Funny thing , i tried the natural finish S.Gadd stick ,to prevent black stick marks, but i found it does not feel as good as the black sticks ,maybe the black paint gives it a little more momentum ?The natural sticks lack the oomph .
 

pocket player

Junior Member
Exactly. Sticks are more about what is workable for your hands and the volume required, than the musical style (with only a few exceptions.)

I use 3 very different weights depending on the gig: VicFirth X5A (sort of a 2B) for touring, VF 8D (sort of a 5A) for many gigs and studio, and VF AJ5 (a light but long 7A) for other gigs where slightly lower volume is required.

Why the different weights? Why don't I simply adjust my arm and hand movements for the volume at hand? Because making volume adjustments requires me to change the way I play, and those changes may be obvious in my feel and speed (and not in a good way!) Holding back or exerting more force affects technique. It's much smarter and easier to choose a stick better suited for the volume I need, and let it assist me so I can play more normally.

So, why do I need heavier sticks on tour, when the drums are miked and the volume is adjustable? Actually, I don't. Over the last few tours, I've moved down to the 8D medium sized stick, and don't have to work quite so hard up there. I rarely break a sweat! So I'm using just 2 different sticks now. :)
well said, we are like drumstick field Engineers !!
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
You will find a stick or a few models that you prefer, but I'm guessing that if were asked to sit down and play a set of drums, and were handed a pair of sticks, that you would do fine regardless of the model. I have more than one model of favorite, or preferred stick but have used many. If you consider the minute difference in weight, girth and length, you'll find the human hand will deal with most. But as mentioned, go to a store with many to choose from and see what "fits" best. I will say it will take longer than a visit to the store and the limited time used there to be sure. There is no rush to find the perfect pair, so take your time and don't be afraid of change. And until you are sure, don't buy a 12 pair brick, in case you wish to change.
 

Frank

Gold Member
Nothing could be more subjective than stick choice. You need to spend the energy finding what feels right for You.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I feel the same way too about the steve gadd stick.

Funny thing , i tried the natural finish S.Gadd stick ,to prevent black stick marks, but i found it does not feel as good as the black sticks ,maybe the black paint gives it a little more momentum ?The natural sticks lack the oomph .
Try the HD4. It's basically the Gadd stick. The Steve Jordan is too, only longer with a different tip. I rotate through all 3 depending on what GC has in stock. For the Steve Jordan stick, I have to cut the stick to match the length of the HD4 or it feels top heavy. The diameters and weights are close enough that my hands dont really notice a difference.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Anytime I think I found the definitive stick I will use for everything from now on, it usually only lasts a few years.

Then I'll start to think, no I need something bigger/smaller/whatever, and try a few different things.

I could certainly see myself changing again depending on the situation.
 
Top