How did you pick your favorite sticks?

Drumolator

Platinum Member
After over 50 years of playing drum set, I like a stick in between a 5A and a 5B, which Vic Firth calls a 55A. Pro Mark has the Select Balance .580, which is perfect for me. LA Backbeat has that size too. At the church where I now play, I use a 5A stick to help me keep the volume down. Peace and goodwill.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
VF 5b all day. Works for everything without being puny and it's sold at every music shop/will never be discontinued.

Sometimes the "signature sticks" will get discontinued, are hard to find or change their designs. Not a big fan.
 

Peedy

Senior Member
Cool! Are you also switching for dynamic effect within the song?
As a for instance, my preferred stick’s tips don’t rebound as well off the hi hats. So I’ll switch to a pair with round tips if the song’s beat requires a HH groove.

Pete
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Been using Vater Fusions for years, then couldn't find them locally, so went with the Los Angeles 5A. Not too wild about those, so tried the Recording series and Mike Johnston signature series. Didn't like any of them either. The Vater Recording is a surprisingly light stick, but doesn't hold up well at all. Nothing like the other Vater models. I came across Vic Firth Extreme 5A and gave them a try. They don't hold up like Vater, but they feel light and have a long taper. They hurt way less on a practice pad than Vater 5A. I decided to try the standard 5A and those feel great too. Way lighter than Vater. Sadly, my Vater sticks last 3 to 4x as long, but I'm stuck on Vic Firth for their feel.
 
Yeah...it was sometime before Christmas 2019...so well after D'Addario screwed up bought Pro Mark.
I have to say, my experience has been different from yours, in recent years, but I am still disappointed that the finish they use is inconsistent, at best. That's not the case with Firth, Zildjian, and Vater I've found. Last year I bought two pairs of 5B and the finish felt gritty and chalky. I didn't bother to send them back to Cascio, or Pro Mark. Gradually have moved away to Vater.
 

planoranger

Junior Member
I have to say, my experience has been different from yours, in recent years, but I am still disappointed that the finish they use is inconsistent, at best. That's not the case with Firth, Zildjian, and Vater I've found. Last year I bought two pairs of 5B and the finish felt gritty and chalky. I didn't bother to send them back to Cascio, or Pro Mark. Gradually have moved away to Vater.
Wow!!! It's almost like we're talking about two different companies!! It seems you don't have a problem with vibration while I do. Even though I'm not crazy about the lacquer Pro Mark uses (takes too long to heat up for my taste), I've never actually had a problem with it like you do.

Well, as the say, especially in Drum Forums, "Different strokes for different folks"
 
I use Promark 5Bs
I needed a drumstick that didn't break easily, due to my hard hitting and playing.
Its my favorite because of the weight, density, and the sound it produces.
I suggest everyone getting some promark sticks they'll last you months lol
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
I started with Regal 5A nylon and after many years hovered around a slightly larger style but never as large as a 5B. I've standardized on VF 5A nylon, but whenever I'm feeling like I want the best, I go for the Weckl Evolutions. I find they are just perfect.

Those are the standards, but I have a bunch of different heavier sticks to get a different groove feel. The Gavin Harrison sticks are not my favorite, but I can hammer some good ideas into my head while working with them.

Very light sticks, anything below 8D is just not good for me in any way.

Odd sticks for odd concepts.
 
Wow!!! It's almost like we're talking about two different companies!! It seems you don't have a problem with vibration while I do. Even though I'm not crazy about the lacquer Pro Mark uses (takes too long to heat up for my taste), I've never actually had a problem with it like you do.

Well, as the say, especially in Drum Forums, "Different strokes for different folks"
Really is crazy, isn't it. But it's ultimately about having fun! Forget want pair of sticks I used earlier tonight...too busy enjoying myself. 😊
 

Local Oaf

Well-known member
VF 5b all day. Works for everything without being puny and it's sold at every music shop/will never be discontinued.

Sometimes the "signature sticks" will get discontinued, are hard to find or change their designs. Not a big fan.
Yeah, I’m considering stocking up on the Charlie Wattses just in case.
 

Ransan

Senior Member
SD1s starting out/growing up for obvious reasons. When I went and found my own pair I wanted something top heavy with less girth.
I got a pair of Promark 7a nylon tips in Japanese oak and been hooked for 20 some odd years. Though through later stages in high school I loved the red VF timbale sticks for attack.
I would flip them with the natural finish striking so I wouldn’t paint dot the cymbals/heads red.
Nonetheless still PM 7as are what I buy.
 
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iCe

Senior Member
I think that after years of using different brands, models and sizes i'm about to settle on my fav type/size etc. Perhaps a TL;DR story is going to unfold after this, so for the punchline skip to the end haha.

When i started drumming around 1999 i used 5A's and 5B's from different companies. I remember most of them being Vic Firth, but i also got some Ayotte sticks (shop i went to sold those and was an Ayotte dealer). I remember also having a pair of Vater Cesar Zuiderwijk signature sticks which were really light and made of maple (cracked them in a week or so). I went back and forth between wood and nylon tips, but eventually settled on nylon tips because i always chipped of the tip for some reason. Anyone remember the Johnny Rabb sticks? Still have a pair of Rhythm Saw sticks and lot of fun!

Eventually i discovered Mike Portnoy's signature stick and since i was a huge fanboy in those days i needed to get those. Really liked them, although thinner (more like a beefed up 7AN) and more lightweight than the 5AN's or 5BN's i was using. After using those for 7-10 years i wanted a beefier stick and just discovered Todd Sucherman. So... i got his signature stick and was sold! Almost the same weight, but a beefier stick due to the 5B sizes and it also had a wood tip (which i wanted because i started to dislike the sharper sound nylon tips produced). Really liked the tone on the cymbals and used these for a couple of years as well, before switching to Vater 5B Sugar Maple sticks because they were way cheaper and almost the same stick.

I joined a rockband around 2016 and the Vater 5B maple sticks didn't cut through, so i got a pair of Vic Firth 5B's again. Technique or better quality... the tips stayed intact (most of the time), but still i didn't cut through enough. Was inspired by Thomas Lang's statement that a bigger stick is easier to control, so i got a pair of 2B's and those were spot on! Really liked those and lasted for a long time!

I think early this year i was playing my kit and i started to notice that the toms didn't sing as much as i liked. It turned out the heavy 2B stick just killed a lot of tone and i still had some Vater 5B maples lying around, so gave those a spin. And think i found my perfect type of stick. These make the drums sing, have a beautiful sound on cymbals and feel like these are the sticks for me. I'm going through the (last) pair i have of them now and have 2 pairs of Wincent 5B maple sticks waiting to be used. Again, these are cheaper than the others and basically the same stick. Curious on trying them out next time!

TL;DR: 5B maple sticks because they are awesome ;)
 

dale w miller

Silver Member
What’s your favorite pair of sticks? - Vic Firth SD2 Bolero

Why is it your favorite? - It has a thick shaft, but is very light. Please do wish longer though.

How did you discover them? - An orchestral teacher I had required them. When all of the Regal Tip 3A’s I had died, I tried the SD2’s on the kit and loved them.

Looking for something longer, I’ve tried a bunch of different models recently, but none of them feel as good as the SD2’s.
 

Sonorfan

Active member
I carry four different sticks every week and switch between them as the song requires. I’m of the opinion that different sticks are better at certain things so in songs heavy in one thing or another, I switch.

Pete
I agree totally with your assessment. I play mainly Jazz, Swing, Classic, Soft Rock and yes Virginia.. Country. I carry sticks as small as 7A’ which are great when working with a vocalists.. light on ride Cymbal. For small venues wooden rods work great. For Rock I love my 16 1/4 inch, .550 diameter Los Cabos Red Hickory Jazz model. Then of course there are Brushes. I use standard weight for Jazz/Swing and VF Live Wires for Rock, Country. I don’t believe there is “one size fits all stick or brush“ unless your into one music genre’ like heavy Metal/Rock.
 

mrfingers

Senior Member
Regal Tip 5A has the perfect diameter(.580) and balance for me, especially since I change from trad to matched grip depending on the music. Other brands don’t match the taper or diameter without being heavier. And I love the Regal coating.
 

Maverick10

Senior Member
What’s your favorite pair of sticks? - Vic Firth SD2 Bolero

Why is it your favorite? - It has a thick shaft, but is very light. Please do wish longer though.

How did you discover them? - An orchestral teacher I had required them. When all of the Regal Tip 3A’s I had died, I tried the SD2’s on the kit and loved them.

Looking for something longer, I’ve tried a bunch of different models recently, but none of them feel as good as the SD2’s.
Hey there if you're not opposed to playing Vater, the Tim "Herb" Alexander sig model is almost and exact copy of the SD2's but at a 16inch length. So check them out and see if that works for you.
 

dale w miller

Silver Member
Hey there if you're not opposed to playing Vater, the Tim "Herb" Alexander sig model is almost and exact copy of the SD2's but at a 16inch length. So check them out and see if that works for you.
Thank you. I’ll check them out. Are they the same weight?

Vater’s Piccolo sticks are great and almost an exact match of the SD2’s, so I know Vater a bit.
 

Maverick10

Senior Member
Thank you. I’ll check them out. Are they the same weight?

Vater’s Piccolo sticks are great and almost an exact match of the SD2’s, so I know Vater a bit.
You're Welcome


I Think they're very close. The Vater's might be tad heavier because of the length, but not by much. I don't have the SD2's on hand. I've seen them at the Jazz Workshop i play in and very close.
 

fobz

Member
I've just always played Vic Firth. I guess it's what my teachers played and what my local store mainly stocked. But I think the main thing is to spend enough to get something made of decent wood (in other words, not 2$ from the bargain bucket), the weight, feel and balance is just totally different. I always recommend my students invest in a pair of decent sticks, they'll last them forever (or at least until they start gigging) and they'll develop much better feel than playing cheap flimsy ones.

I use 7A (for teaching), 5A and Steve Gadd signature (for gigging) because they're the right size for me...
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
I just pick em up and play to see how they feel. Ive neglected trying new sticks and have been using the same model forever. I recently tried something new and love them! I need to remember to explore options or risk missing out on something good.

When I worked at some shops back in the 90’s I saw several guys tapping sticks on their head. I asked a couple of them about it and the answer generally was...“I can hear the tone of the sticks, man.”
 
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