Heavy sticks

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
The right stick is important, that's why we have so many choices, but size is often just as much about comfort and volume. Want a bigger lighter stick, you go with maple.

Though the 5Bish Colaiuta stick is my main one I use a lot of different sticks.

Sometimes I'm required to play really soft, but a heavy type grove, then I go with a lighter stick for sure. Most of the time that's either a Erskine Big Band or in extreme cases Ride stick for me.

I also have really small sticks made og sandalwood that are really hevay. Don't use them on the kit, but they're great for e.g. doubling trumpets in the symphony. It's more about sound and just how that specific part i played.

There are different schools, but if you play a lot of different stuff and very dinamically diferent situations I would think you'd at least have the choice of a lighter stick, too.

Now weight is only one thing.

Tips are mostly about sound.

If you're a Moeller type player, you most likely want something a bit more front heavy.
 

thebarak

Senior Member
I still have nightmares about my 2B period. It was the 70s and the horrible guitars were getting louder and louder, and I was breaking 2Bs and getting blisters, while losing most of my technique and skills as a result. It took a long sabbatical for me to remember how to be a drummer.

The difference in volume between throwing your shoulder behind a death blow from a 2B and barely moving your fingers to get a strike from a lightweight stick is not really that much. It is not twice as loud/half as loud. It is a smaller difference. I now feel that if you need to get really loud, use a sound system, rather than get too physical and using large heavy sticks.

I will admit though that I have recently gone to the other extreme and now I am a fairly quiet drummer, very pleased to be using a "Zildjian Bill Stewart Signature Stick" that I would have considered to be a toothpick back in the day.

It seems to take a light stick to bring out the music. 2Bs can turn you into a caveman and also injure your hands over time. Much of the time when drummers have sore hands they are using heavy sticks and low-tuned damped heads. As Bozzio once said, it's like "hitting your hands with a hammer".
 

williamsbclontz

Silver Member
I think a big part of determining stick size is how big are you yourself. Take a look at Jojo Mayer, he's a pretty small dude, and his signature stick is tiny. Then take a look at Abraham Laborial, the guy is huge and his stick feels more like a small club. If you have bigger hands then you might be more comfortable using bigger sticks, and then thickness is really just up to personal preference.

As for me, I use a 5a that's slightly longer. I used to use bigger sticks, but honestly they didn't feel as comfortable to me. I would never say you can do more with small sticks though, because look at drumline players, their sticks are huge and they play pretty crazy stuff. For me, I get the perfect volume, length, and feel with my sticks. Just play with what is comfortable
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I learned on 2B sticks when I was a kid and they felt gigantic. Then I got into the marching scene and everything was 3S sized. But on drum set, I've always used a variation on the 5A. If I needed extra weight I'd play with the butt ends.

I'm currently going through all my 5A's so I can start trying the Vic Firth 55A (?) which is a slightly heavier 5A because I think I need a bit more weight. But as I keep playing with my regular 5A's, they do the job as well.

I get using a bigger stick (I have some 5B pairs that I rarely use) but I've never needed it. No one complains that's I'm not loud enough, and my kit is tuned wide-open most of the time so my technique is a combination of my hands, my sticks, and how the drums react. I'm sure if I sat in on somebody's heavily muffled kit, then I'm probably going to be hitting too hard to get the sound out (and probably damage some heads too). But when I'm on my kit that is tuned to sound best wide open and sensitive, then I'm playing at a comfortable level for me.
 

lsits

Gold Member
Well, I don't consider that I have "great" hands. Probably more like "adequate" hands. After trying out different sizes and brands of sticks, I've pretty much settled on Vic Firth 5ANs. They just "feel" right. They can easily handle 90% of the songs that I do. For the other 10%, some 7As and Hot Rods fill in the gap.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I use VF SD1's to practice my rudiments. The main benefit is that they're so big/heavy, they do not allow me to have lapses in technique. Bad technique results in immediate fail and you can't force the correct sound unless you're doing it right. The side benefit is that I'm blazingly fast when I switch back to VF 5A's.
 

loach71

Senior Member
I use VF SD1's to practice my rudiments. The main benefit is that they're so big/heavy, they do not allow me to have lapses in technique. Bad technique results in immediate fail and you can't force the correct sound unless you're doing it right. The side benefit is that I'm blazingly fast when I switch back to VF 5A's.
Using large, heavy sticks affords the drummer a feedback mechanism -- this mechanism generates pain upon the execution of bad technique much sooner that with the use of small, light sticks. When drumming hurts, change your technique before the pain turns into physical injury.
 

Mozart1220

Senior Member
This may be off subject, but I have noticed that with my cheap hats (Paiste 302) a regular stick is too harsh. But when I use the "soft" sticks (Hot rods?) the snare is too mushy. So I have a soft one in the right hand and a regular stick (5b) in the left, and that is JUST right. It's kinda cool to get two different sounds from the same cymbals if I use different hands...

I'm new to drumming so everything seems like a revelation, but I can't be the only person to do this.
 

williamsbclontz

Silver Member
Using large, heavy sticks affords the drummer a feedback mechanism -- this mechanism generates pain upon the execution of bad technique much sooner that with the use of small, light sticks. When drumming hurts, change your technique before the pain turns into physical injury.
Some drummers use heavier sticks to practice on a pad with sometimes, almost like weights. The idea is your hands get stronger, but I think they emphasize that you need to be careful and not use them too much because damaging your hands is a lot easier to do with heavier sticks.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
This may be off subject, but I have noticed that with my cheap hats (Paiste 302) a regular stick is too harsh. But when I use the "soft" sticks (Hot rods?) the snare is too mushy. So I have a soft one in the right hand and a regular stick (5b) in the left, and that is JUST right. It's kinda cool to get two different sounds from the same cymbals if I use different hands...

I'm new to drumming so everything seems like a revelation, but I can't be the only person to do this.
There are no rules in drums. Do whatever you want to achieve the sound you desire.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
Some drummers use heavier sticks to practice on a pad with sometimes, almost like weights. The idea is your hands get stronger, but I think they emphasize that you need to be careful and not use them too much because damaging your hands is a lot easier to do with heavier sticks.
I use heavy sticks and light sticks for pad work. shorter, longer. I like to work with everything so I don't have any surprises when I sit down at a kit.

I mostly practice with what I play with to have a familiar feel, but I have improved alot practicing with large sticks lately
 
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