How much does stick size affect the ability to play fast?

alexson

Well-known member
Yes, stick size matters. It allows us to get into a position to generate power. Many professional drummers love the thickness of a 5B in the hand.
 

Al Strange

Well-known member
It’s that old chestnut of finding the right stick for you? I prefer VF STL’s for playing hard rock, my favourite genre, but also have other sticks from 7A to 2B for lighter styles (e.g. Vater Fusion nylon tips are beautifully in the 5A/5B range for poppier stuff). My speed doesn’t really change if I’m using lighter sticks…though I’m no speed merchant and don’t focus on that so much as improving my control.:unsure:
 

Old PIT Guy

Well-known member
Some of the fastest guys you'll hear play with relatively large sticks - 2b class. And then there are players just as fast with pencils. So I'd say stick size has very little to do - in general - with speed.
 

Old PIT Guy

Well-known member
It’s that old chestnut of finding the right stick for you? I prefer VF STL’s for playing hard rock, my favourite genre, but also have other sticks from 7A to 2B for lighter styles (e.g. Vater Fusion nylon tips are beautifully in the 5A/5B range for poppier stuff). My speed doesn’t really change if I’m using lighter sticks…though I’m no speed merchant and don’t focus on that so much as improving my control.:unsure:

For years I'd settle on a particular stick and stay with it, convinced that changing would set me back in time (by adjusting to something new). And that made me recall I had the same attitude about learning another instrument -- that the time spent with it would take away from drumming time. Then my brain fully formed, rather late I might add, and I realized the opposite was true.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
Generally, more mass requires more energy to control. So I would put hand size as a factor. Other factors include dynamics, music genre, and endurance requirements (how long or how frequent is speed being applied?). And what good is speed with a smaller stick if the stick breaks on a rimshot?

Note to DW: My absence over the last 6 weeks has been due to a relocation to stay with aging mother. No practice space. No playing opportunities. If I'm not careful, I may forget what drums I own!
 

TMe

Senior Member
I’ve been playing 5bs exclusively for a few years now, and today I decided to try some 5as just for fun, and I found that I was able to play faster with less effort.
I can get more speed out of 7A's than 5B's, but... I do that by using using more finger control and less rebound with the thinner sticks, so my hands tire more quickly, and the sound is a bit thin so I grip the sticks more firmly and hit harder, which also makes my hands tire more quickly.

I've found that if I use big sticks (parade sticks) on the practice pad, I can stay more relaxed and play with more rebound. That transfers to my playing with smaller sticks and improves my playing. If I use thin sticks on the practice pad, I get better numbers (higher metronome settings) initially, but then I don't make a lot of progress and any increased speed doesn't transfer when I go back to bigger sticks.

On the kit, it's really more dependant on the desired sound or feel than the desired tempo.
 
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rhumbagirl

Senior Member
FYI: You're a right handed, traditional grip, jazz player who plays a Pearl Reference kit with Pearl rack.
Ah the signature! At least it's not a mile long LOL.

Seriously, I haven't played the Pearl kit in about 3 yrs, but my relocation has put me within a half day's drive of the storage unit it's stored in, so it may happen soon. Non-climate controlled so I'm weary of what I may find upon return.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Wait a minute Steph you have a Pearl Reference kit locked up in a dungeon with no climate control-say it isn’t so- that’s a helluva Pearl thing? Damn that about makes me cry-being a caretaker you need an outlet more than ever. I was a care taker for my Mom and my crazy aunt a few years- my prayers are with you. Don’t let the stress kill you. It nearly killed me snd my marriage truth be told. I hope your experience is better.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
Wait a minute Steph you have a Pearl Reference kit locked up in a dungeon with no climate control-say it isn’t so- that’s a helluva Pearl thing? Damn that about makes me cry-being a caretaker you need an outlet more than ever. I was a care taker for my Mom and my crazy aunt a few years- my prayers are with you. Don’t let the stress kill you. It nearly killed me snd my marriage truth be told. I hope your experience is better.
It'll just be another lesson learned. But it's my nicest and most professional kit. I'd feel comfortable taking the call with it to be honest.

I'm in Mobile, Alabama, so hoping the opportunities to play open up. I have family here who have connections, so maybe something will happen LOL. (I'm thinking Mobile is perfectly situated to serve both Pensecola and New Orleans areas)
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
That’s a similar situation to how and where my Gretsch kit from the 80s has been for the past 15 years.
My mother has dry storage in the attic of her house, but it's very hot up there. Probably 20% hotter than outside temperature. Quesiton: would it be better for the drums to be dry hot times 20%, or humid hot from puddled water?
 

beet

Well-known member
My mother has dry storage in the attic of her house, but it's very hot up there. Probably 20% hotter than outside temperature. Quesiton: would it be better for the drums to be dry hot times 20%, or humid hot from puddled water?
To protect against humidity, some have used thick plastic bags and used a vacuum cleaner to vacuum out excess air. Desiccant packs are needed and are added before hand to further reduce moisture. The desiccant packs exposed to air need to be heated to remove stored moisture. Then, they are ready to absorb moisture. They need to be arranged so that if they absorb moisture and become wet with that moisture that they are not touching the drum, or that collected moisture won’t drip off and fall on the drum. Search around for more info.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Quesiton: would it be better for the drums to be dry hot times 20%, or humid hot from puddled water?
Being that California and Alabama are both next to giant salt water bodies, I would think dry would be better for the metal parts at least.

If you havent been to NO you should go. It's a musical heaven. As a jazz person, you should love it.
 

RobRoyMcCoy

Active member
I found that 5B sticks sounded better on my drums and cymbals that the 7A and 5A that I compared them to. I did not factor in the bead shape or material, but that is why I use 5B now.

The 7A feels like a pencil now, I am have relatively small hands.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Yeah look at the speed DCI guys are playing at, and they're playing with Ralph Hardimon logs.

but they are also playing on head surfaces that are tuned tighter than a drum set head, and those heads give way more rebound....
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
I think stick weight, or weight + length, doesn't affect speed per se, but affects the relation between speed and volume. Bigger sticks will be harder to play fast AND quieter.
I could be wrong, but come on; what are the chances of that?
 

Arjun Diwaker

Well-known member
I’ve been playing 5bs exclusively for a few years now, and today I decided to try some 5as just for fun, and I found that I was able to play faster with less effort.

The downside was that I didn’t feel as in control as I do with 5bs. However, I believe that this was simply due to the fact that I have become well acquainted with 5bs.


My question is, how much of a factor do you guys think stick size plays in regards to speed?
Playing faster was more comfortable for me with 5as so I’m considering just using 5as exclusively from now on. On the other hand, many metal and fusion drummers use thick sticks (5b+) and still manage to play fast, so maybe I should just stick to 5Bs and just continue to gradually work my speed up.
technically in my view when u switch to a slightly lighter stick , your speed remains the same but you prolong your endurance compared with the heavier stick. In my case when i switched from 5bs to fake 2bs ( lesser weight) i could prolong 300 bpm with a bit of training for a minute constantly . Of course im stilll working on it but yea this is the effect sticks have when switching.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
Phrasing.
For the entire thread.
All I can think of is the TMI episode of South Park.
That is all, please continue with your adult conversation.
 
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