Hot rods -- durability

CreeplyTuna

Silver Member
They aren't meant to be played hard, so durability shouldn't be too much of an issue.

I've got a pair of these, and they're very nice. Hot Rods are medium sized, where Thunder Rods are larger and Cool Rods are small.

I can't imagine needing Cool Rods, and if you need Thunder Rods you might as well buy a pair of regular drumsticks.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
The problem comes when you have people playing rimshots and crashing cymbals or playing hats with the "shoulder" of the hot rods. That's how they get chopped up and destroyed quickly--being used foolishly. I've had the same pair for 10+ years. There's no good reason for them to get mangled like I see other drummers' pairs do. If you're going to play "like that," use sticks for goodness sakes!
 

porter

Platinum Member
The problem comes when you have people playing rimshots and crashing cymbals or playing hats with the "shoulder" of the hot rods. That's how they get chopped up and destroyed quickly--being used foolishly. I've had the same pair for 10+ years. There's no good reason for them to get mangled like I see other drummers' pairs do. If you're going to play "like that," use sticks for goodness sakes!
I mean, you could use the little rubber sleeve on most rods. I thought that's what they were for (as well as keeping the rute together).

I accidentally bought some Cool Rods a couple years ago and I swear I can't find any use for them. Much happier with my Vic Firth Rute and my Vater Acousticks, though I don't use Acousticks that often outside of local gigs and the Rutes even less. Acousticks are very durable, though, since the traditional dowel part has an additional paneling of nylon on the outside.
 

rpt50

Member
The problem comes when you have people playing rimshots and crashing cymbals or playing hats with the "shoulder" of the hot rods. That's how they get chopped up and destroyed quickly--being used foolishly. I've had the same pair for 10+ years. There's no good reason for them to get mangled like I see other drummers' pairs do. If you're going to play "like that," use sticks for goodness sakes!
Hey man, no need to talk about people being foolish! I was just asking, and I'm not even a drummer myself. My 16 year old son, who is very experienced and gigs regularly with a classic rock band in clubs around Atlanta, was asked to accompany an acoustic guitarist in a dinner club/bar. We set up a little kit with a cajon, snare, HH and cymbal. Three hours later when the show ended, there was major damage to the hot rods, with quite a few rods missing. He had never used hot rods before, so I guess he was clearly doing something wrong. When he is only making $80-100 a show, obviously you don't want to be spending $17 every show for sticks. What should he do to correct the problem? Is it just a matter of making sure the hats are always hit in that little wrapper area? Or is there a more durable choice than hot rods, or some good way to muffle sticks?
 

Dutch

Senior Member
Hey man, no need to talk about people being foolish! I was just asking, and I'm not even a drummer myself. My 16 year old son, who is very experienced and gigs regularly with a classic rock band in clubs around Atlanta, was asked to accompany an acoustic guitarist in a dinner club/bar. We set up a little kit with a cajon, snare, HH and cymbal. Three hours later when the show ended, there was major damage to the hot rods, with quite a few rods missing. He had never used hot rods before, so I guess he was clearly doing something wrong. When he is only making $80-100 a show, obviously you don't want to be spending $17 every show for sticks. What should he do to correct the problem? Is it just a matter of making sure the hats are always hit in that little wrapper area? Or is there a more durable choice than hot rods, or some good way to muffle sticks?
You may want your son to try Flix Stix. They are like rods but made of plastic, so can take a proper beating. They are a bit dearer than rods but will last, so worth checking out.

Dutch
 

MileHighDrummer

Senior Member
There are several different options he can try. Two I use in combination with HotRods are the Flix Sticks which come in several versions with and without tips and AcouSticks. Both are far more durable than HotRods.
 

dbshorter

Senior Member
I also find that I go through Hot Rods pretty quickly. The problem is that I want to be able to play them just as hard but have them not be as loud, but they don't really work that way. Regal Tip makes these plastic brush-type sticks called Flares that I find work pretty well. It takes a bit of getting used to and feels a bit different, but they're much more durable and have the same effect.
 

Shedboyxx

Silver Member
There's no getting around rods wearing out in some way no matter what brand you get.

I use the Firth Birch Tala wands and love them because of the sound and feel - which change after a couple or more rods break. So it's a consumable.

However there are some threads/tutorials out there on how to make your own from store bought dowels. I've seen these DIY's on message boards (somewhere) and probably there is a YouTube vid somewhere.

Same thing as brushes if you use them aggressively which by the way I don't feel there's an issue with doing. As long as you aren't just adjusting for volume then you are going for sound. That might wear through some rods/brush type implements fast. If this is a volume only issue, make sure that playing lightly with sticks is in your hands as a tool as well as switching to rods or brushes.

Jim
 

Shedboyxx

Silver Member
BTW: I find that I get great sounds by playing light rim shots whether on snare or toms. Light being the operative work here.

Also for dinner club/cajon/light volume gigs I recommend the thinnest cymbals you can get. They speak without having to hit them very hard. I have an Agop Jazz crash that works great as well as a couple others.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I get the smallest dowels, "cool rods", then I re-enforce them with a good deal of electrical tape, pulled tight. I tape them in two places, at the tips (but not the tip itself), and lower at the "shoulder" part where they get chewed up from crashing cymbals.

This also eliminates the way the rods tend to splay out away from each other, gives the stick more bounce, and adds weight for better tone on the toms. Still way quieter even when you go at it pretty good.

That's the thing, sometimes I need to play at a lower volume, but I really just want to rock out and use more energy than maybe I have to. Rods are a nice in-between for me, in small rooms.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
When he is only making $80-100 a show, obviously you don't want to be spending $17 every show for sticks. What should he do to correct the problem?
Make your own. Buy the dowels from a craft store, cut them to the length you want them, wrap them with electric tape to keep them in "shape." Maybe even secure the last 1" of the butt end with some wood glue to keep the inside dowels from slipping out. They seem pretty cheap to make that way, plus you can customize their lengths, experiment with different diameters, you name it! A lot of times the DIY route is a whole heck of a lot cheaper than the store-bought route. I make my own marimba mallets for $6 for a set of 4 (which usually will cost around $50-100) and I made my gong mallet for $12. If I ever needed another pair of rods in the future, I would for SURE make my own. $17 per pair is ridiculous!
 

rtliquid

Senior Member
I use flixstix, and find them superb. The drummer for david gray uses them and gives them a right beating live too.
+1 on the flixstix. I use the blue ones with the tips. You can't beat the versatility (good hih-hat and ride definition) and durability.
 

rpt50

Member
Just to follow up on this thread, my son played another acoustic gig last night using the same setup as before, but this time he tried the Tala bamboo wands (Vic Firth). Other than some marking, no appreciable wear after 3.5 hours, so it would appear that they are substantially more durable than the Hot Rods.

I'll get him to try some of the other brands mentioned if he keeps doing this kind of work.
 

johnnylaw

Senior Member
Hot Rods last me about two years. I have Lightning Rods as well, and they're both sturdier and louder.

I use the Hot Rods more than sticks as my practice space is tiny. Also, I play lower volume acoustically oriented music where the lyrics/vocals must be prominent, so the rods are beneficial in such settings.
 
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