My favorite sticks

Cmdr. Ross

Silver Member
I bought a pair of the Vinnie Paul sig's and found them to be a bit unbalanced. They're very forward heavy and even on a practice pad they're weird.
I'll stick to the Thomas Lang sig's for pad work & the On-Stage 5b maples (with Sex Wax for grip) for the kit.

Update:
The On Stage maple sticks left more wood slivers on my rug than a logging site. Cheap sticks are cheap quality and I learned from this the hard way.
Ahead 5a & 5b's are the stick of choice at my house. I'll use the cheapies at a gig & let the wood fly! :devilish:
 
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iCe

Silver Member
Last posted here in October 2020 and ofcourse things have changed... again... haha

Been using the Vater 5B maple sticks for some time and eventually felt that those weren't the right ones. Felt a bit 'off' in my hands. Thought i wanted a thinner stick and a bit more weight, so tried the Vic Firth 5A's for a while. Those weren't the right ones either, so switched back to the maple 5B's and yup... those felt better.
Still after some time i felt i was missing something and discovered the SD9 maple stick.

Was going for the Vater stick, but since those were sold out i thought i give the Vic Firth SD9 Maple a spin. Haven't regretted it since!
Basically a maple 5B that is slighty thicker and longer (5B diameter = .595" | 1.51cm / length = 16" | 40.64cm, the SD9 diameter = .610" | 1.55cm / length = 16.25" | 41.28cm)

It just feels right and i'm loving the extra length. Doesn't seem a lot, but it feels like a huge improvement. It also has a different tip (oval instead of acorn) and that gives a tad brighter sound on cymbals without overpowering. With hickory sticks i found that cymbals sound to 'harsh' and 'pingy', but this is just perfect. Toms and snare also sound a bit fuller and louder, meaning i can hit a bit less hard.

I do find the 'official' name amusing, because I've never used a stick with such a long name!
Vic Firth Rock Maple American Custom SD9 Driver

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roncadillac

Member
Man, I'm still on these Sound Percussion wood tip 7a's. Been at least 10 years now, maybe longer. They are super cheap, they are very consistent both in weight and shape, they are almost perfectly balanced in the center, they feel really nice, and they last as long as any big name stick I've ever used. The vater Manhattan 7a and the Zildjian 7a are both also nice and what I use in the very rare situation that I need an 'emergency pair of sticks' because they are readily available locally but I just buy 1 brick of x4 pairs of the SP 7a's which lasts me a year to a year and a half.

I've been playing 7a's for so long that even 5a's feel heavy in the hand.
 

riotgrrrl

Member
My hands are smaller and thinner than most drummers, so I'd actually like some stick suggestions if anyone is willing to humor me. I haven't really strayed from 5As since it is what I started learning on like most drummers, and I play on a budget. I'm mainly into punk, rock, old school thrash, and EDM, and I currently use Pro Mark Classic Attack 5A oaks with oval tip, and I love the feel of them. Should I try switching to a different size though?
 

Al Strange

Platinum Member
My hands are smaller and thinner than most drummers, so I'd actually like some stick suggestions if anyone is willing to humor me. I haven't really strayed from 5As since it is what I started learning on like most drummers, and I play on a budget. I'm mainly into punk, rock, old school thrash, and EDM, and I currently use Pro Mark Classic Attack 5A oaks with oval tip, and I love the feel of them. Should I try switching to a different size though?
Vater Fusion is a lovely stick (available in both nylon and wood tip) between a 5A and 5B…check em out!:)(y)
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
My hands are smaller and thinner than most drummers, so I'd actually like some stick suggestions if anyone is willing to humor me. I haven't really strayed from 5As since it is what I started learning on like most drummers, and I play on a budget. I'm mainly into punk, rock, old school thrash, and EDM, and I currently use Pro Mark Classic Attack 5A oaks with oval tip, and I love the feel of them. Should I try switching to a different size though?

love the style choices...near and dear to my heart!!!

might want to try 7As as well? I can't play with anything smaller than a 3A b/c I am real used to having marching sized sticks in my hands due to my job. It took me a while to get used to the 3A,s but I like them now...and I feel like the oval tip would make them feel a bit better...get a beefier sound out of the ride cymbal
 

riotgrrrl

Member
Vater Fusion is a lovely stick (available in both nylon and wood tip) between a 5A and 5B…check em out!:)(y)
I've heard good things about Vater, I'll look into them sometime, thanks!

love the style choices...near and dear to my heart!!!

might want to try 7As as well? I can't play with anything smaller than a 3A b/c I am real used to having marching sized sticks in my hands due to my job. It took me a while to get used to the 3A,s but I like them now...and I feel like the oval tip would make them feel a bit better...get a beefier sound out of the ride cymbal

Thank you! I will definitely give those sizes a try.

I use oval since its best for my style of playing I think, and I like the fit and feel of nylon tips on them too. I agree with you, they sound awesome on a ride, and definitely a china for our preferred styles. Nylon tips on ovals just feel smooth and well suited to me, especially since I'm still perfecting my precision and coordination. I feel they have better control than ball tips for the way I play. Since we play similar stuff, how do you usually use them?

For punk and always for EDM I use nylon. Better clarity and more legato against all the open chords of punk, making my hits clearer. And of course, for EDM that speaks for itself. When playing rock and thrash though I love just using classic/wood tip. You get such an organic sound and when laying down a tom and bass roll especially with a crash or two in the pocket. I love the ringing warmth I get and I feel it suits the stlye nicely. Still learning, though.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
Thank you! I will definitely give those sizes a try.

I use oval since its best for my style of playing I think, and I like the fit and feel of nylon tips on them too. I agree with you, they sound awesome on a ride, and definitely a china for our preferred styles. Nylon tips on ovals just feel smooth and well suited to me, especially since I'm still perfecting my precision and coordination. I feel they have better control than ball tips for the way I play. Since we play similar stuff, how do you usually use them?

For punk and always for EDM I use nylon. Better clarity and more legato against all the open chords of punk, making my hits clearer. And of course, for EDM that speaks for itself. When playing rock and thrash though I love just using classic/wood tip. You get such an organic sound and when laying down a tom and bass roll especially with a crash or two in the pocket. I love the ringing warmth I get and I feel it suits the stlye nicely. Still learning, though.

yeah, I prefer completely rounded tips first, and then oval or even acorn if I can't get round.

I hate the thin pointy tips on traditional "A" sticks...mostly the way they feel. It makes it feel like the stick is broken...

I can't do nylon though. It leaves too much residue in the cymbal grooves, and they almost always break on me.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
yeah, I prefer completely rounded tips first, and then oval or even acorn if I can't get round.

I hate the thin pointy tips on traditional "A" sticks...mostly the way they feel. It makes it feel like the stick is broken...
Same. I like the consistency when playing even moderately aggressive music. I've rarely had the need to coax different tones out of a ride cymbal by adjusting the tip-to-cymbal angle. If I played jazz, maybe I would. I also feel they rebound better, all else equal.
I can't do nylon though. It leaves too much residue in the cymbal grooves,
:unsure: In 30+ years of playing nylon nearly exclusively, I've never noticed this. Please elaborate. :)
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
:unsure: In 30+ years of playing nylon nearly exclusively, I've never noticed this. Please elaborate. :)

back in the 80's, whenever I used nylon tipped sticks - Regal Tip...probably 5A's - they would leave little white marks of plastic on the ride cymbal, and I would have to scrape them out with my thumbnail after a while. I also did not like the feel of them.

I have not tried any since then because I have no need to, but when the kids use them on the school cymbals, I still sometimes see those marks.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
back in the 80's, whenever I used nylon tipped sticks - Regal Tip...probably 5A's - they would leave little white marks of plastic on the ride cymbal, and I would have to scrape them out with my thumbnail after a while. I also did not like the feel of them.

I have not tried any since then because I have no need to, but when the kids use them on the school cymbals, I still sometimes see those marks.
I can only presume ProMark uses a different formula of nylon that doesn't leave the marks. 🤷‍♂️:) Leaving plastic on the cymbal would mean losing plastic from the tips, and none of mine have ever become pitted/misshapen.
 

SomeBadDrummer

Platinum Member
love the style choices...near and dear to my heart!!!

might want to try 7As as well? I can't play with anything smaller than a 3A b/c I am real used to having marching sized sticks in my hands due to my job. It took me a while to get used to the 3A,s but I like them now...and I feel like the oval tip would make them feel a bit better...get a beefier sound out of the ride cymbal
I don't recall the size or brand I think Promark (it's been like 40 years lol), but I played snare drum in our marching corps used headless sticks which were not quite as large in diameter as Vic Firth PBS1 bag pipe band sticks, but close. We wrapped them with white electrical tape before each performance. Not sure how we did it, those things were heavy and massive.

In the 80's my go to stick was Billy Cobham 808's with wood tip which were discontinued long ago :(.

Today my stick choice is VF 7AN American Classic nylon tip.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
I can only presume ProMark uses a different formula of nylon that doesn't leave the marks. 🤷‍♂️:) Leaving plastic on the cymbal would mean losing plastic from the tips, and none of mine have ever become pitted/misshapen.

yeah...I don't know about modern sticks b/c I don't use them, and don't really know anyone in my circles here that do either now that I think about it....
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
I don't recall the size or brand I think Promark (it's been like 40 years lol), but I played snare drum in our marching corps used headless sticks which were not quite as large in diameter as Vic Firth PBS1 bag pipe band sticks, but close. We wrapped them with white electrical tape before each performance. Not sure how we did it, those things were heavy and massive.

those were ProMark DC-10's...I still have mine from back then in my "Master Stick Collection"...what were they thinking? But tons of people used those. I played quads back then, and we had (horrible) mallets, so I only used the DC-10's to chop out with. They are sort of a "kitschy" joke now in marching circles...those and the old North marching drums were ...just....rough

when my kids are complaining about their sticks or other equipment breaking etc. I pull out the DC-10's and go :" hey, at least you didn't have to use these"
 

SomeBadDrummer

Platinum Member
those were ProMark DC-10's...I still have mine from back then in my "Master Stick Collection"...what were they thinking? But tons of people used those. I played quads back then, and we had (horrible) mallets, so I only used the DC-10's to chop out with. They are sort of a "kitschy" joke now in marching circles...those and the old North marching drums were ...just....rough

when my kids are complaining about their sticks or other equipment breaking etc. I pull out the DC-10's and go :" hey, at least you didn't have to use these"
That's them, the DC10's! man those things were massive and heavy, glad I was young and strong and it didn't really matter. I wish I had a pair of them for my collection, can't even find a marching stick without a tip online now...
 

ColdFusion

Active Member
For whatever reasons I spent my shedding years using Vic Firth 5A and 5B sticks. Mostly this was coincidental. I think I preferred the way VF felt over Vater. I wasn’t particularly discerning when I started out.
I’ve become very familiar, and rather fond of the Firths and I think I can finally describe my impressions of these popular stick sizes.

The 5A Hickory are dense and strong. They are what I’d call ‘medium thin’. They are pretty fast in the hand, but are arguably too heavy for combo jazz. The tips are not huge but you can find more elegant sticks for your light jazz playing. Electric fusion is a good niche for the 5A, as they can be wielded with finesse, but also carry the density and weight to really ‘pop’ those fusiony accents.

After getting used to the feel and throw of the 5As, the 5B hickories felt pretty thick and awkward in my hand. But I’m glad I put in the time to get used to this larger size. I’ve gotten into fusion metal, and I needed something heavy enough to cut through amplified distorted instruments.
The 5Bs will really give you a workout, especially if you are trying to play with the same speed and touch as with the 5As. But it’s worth it, the extra hickory weight smashes through those cymbals and digs fat notes out of the toms. Sometimes fast isn’t enough. Sometimes you need heavy. Keeping in mind, this is "fusion heavy", not "rock heavy", lol.

The Dave Weckl Evolution sticks are designated a 5A Hickory, but they are a hair thinner and lighter than the standard 5A. This makes them a little more challenging to pull rebound, and they feel more diminutive in the hand, especially out past the balance point. I do appreciate the tip design on the Evos. It’s a similar shape to the tip on the standard 5A, but it’s about 30-40% shorter. This makes for a ‘squarish’ tip that, with the increased sectional density, gives me a fatter sounding note when I’m playing around the kit.
I’m not a fan of marketing-sounding phrases, but I might tell another drummer that the Weckl Evos are designed for an “advanced player”.

Just as a point of reference, I’ve recently tried out the 5A Pro Mark Firegrain sticks. Compared to the Firth 5A they felt chunky/stubby and top heavy. They are the same length as the VF, but I can’t really feel the taper like I can with the Vics. The Firths seem to be a more ‘sensitive’ instrument, the tip on the Pro Marks is about 30% longer than the VF and round and bulbous.

Thumbnail #1: L to R, 5B, 5A, Evo, Firegrain 5A5A5BEvo.jpg5As.jpg
Thumbnail #2: L to R, 5A and another 5A after a couple years of shredding on a V-kit. :cool:
 
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