Promark sticks - clickier than others?

Ruok

Silver Member
Maybe it’s my imagination, but when I watch a drum video and I see the drummer using Promark sticks, the cymbals seems to have a more pleasant clicky type sound. Am I nuts, or is there something to this? I have bought only a couple of pairs of Promark sticks my entire life and they were oak sticks, which I realized that I don’t like. I’m assuming that the majority of drummers in these videos are using mostly hickory or maple. So what do you think? I’m hoping I am not nuts. 🤪
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I play with AHEAD sticks now but used Promark for many years before switching. I can't say I ever detected the enhanced "clicky" sound you describe, but I can state that I always held a high opinion of Promark's quality. My first stick, when I started taking lessons on a Remo practice pad as a kid, was the Promark 2S, a tree trunk designed for rudimental work. As I advanced as a drummer, the Promark Hickory 5B became my stick of choice. I switched to AHEAD because I prefer their superior shock absorption and overall feel.

The Promark oak sticks you sampled are extremely stiff. Hickory is a softer wood yet is still very durable. If you're curious about Promark, give a hickory stick a try.
 
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Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I went through a period where I was buying similar/same models from several manufacturers trying to find my perfect stick.

What I found was Vater sticks seemed the stiffest/heaviest, Pro Mark the lightest, with Vic Firth in-between. But with that discovery I don't recall any of them sounding any different. The only exception that stands out IS a pair of Pro Mark oak sticks. Those are super bright and clicky-sounding, because they are so dense and they're finished to a much smoother finish. But hickory to hickory? I suppose a difference is possible, but I don't recall actually hearing one.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
To my hands, ProMark sticks are the most forward weighted of all the brands. It could explain the clickiness. The shoulder of the stick is stiffer and would make a more pronounced attack. Just a theory.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I went through a period where I was buying similar/same models from several manufacturers trying to find my perfect stick.

What I found was Vater sticks seemed the stiffest/heaviest, Pro Mark the lightest, with Vic Firth in-between. But with that discovery I don't recall any of them sounding any different. The only exception that stands out IS a pair of Pro Mark oak sticks. Those are super bright and clicky-sounding, because they are so dense and they're finished to a much smoother finish. But hickory to hickory? I suppose a difference is possible, but I don't recall actually hearing one.
Oak likely sounds brighter because it's extremely dense and stiff. The result is a more durable stick at the expense of flexibility. The absence of flexibility means that your hands and wrists absorb a lot of shock. I like a stick that provides maximum shock absorption. That's why I use AHEAD.
 

SYMBOLIC DEATH

Senior Member
Could the clickier sticks have had nylon tips, and you didn't notice it? That's the only thing I could think of that could have caused it. It could also be a mic and eq issue because you aren't hearing the natural/live tone of what's being played, it's been shaped by the mics and eq settings.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
To my hands, ProMark sticks are the most forward weighted of all the brands. It could explain the clickiness. The shoulder of the stick is stiffer and would make a more pronounced attack. Just a theory.
Back when I used Promark, I noticed their forward-weightiness as well. They have since developed Rebound and Forward models. Rebound options have long tapers and are thus back-weighted. Forward options have short tapers and are thus forward-weighted. I haven't tried either, as I no longer use wood, but I like long tapers that provide maximum rebound. The AHEAD 5B Light Rock is my ideal design.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
I used Pro Mark Oak 5Bs for about a year before realizing that they were the source of the pain I was experiencing in my hands. Sometimes it felt like an electric shock in my left wrist. Going back to non-oak sticks immediately solved the issue.

GeeDeeEmm
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I used Pro Mark Oak 5Bs for about a year before realizing that they were the source of the pain I was experiencing in my hands. Sometimes it felt like an electric shock in my left wrist. Going back to non-oak sticks immediately solved the issue.

GeeDeeEmm
Precisely. Oak is ideal for staircases, not for drumsticks. Neal Peart used Promark oaks for decades and ended up with severe tendonitis that never resolved itself. I wouldn't be surprised if his sticks contributed to that condition.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
If vibrations make it to the palm...not good. Fingers are supposed to absorb the shock. Does the stick matter if the fingers absorb the shock? if the technique is optimal, I'm saying no, but that's just a guess.

My opinion, when the fingers pass the vibrations on to the palm is where the problems start.
 

SYMBOLIC DEATH

Senior Member
What I don't like about oak sticks, disregarding how they feel, is they generally don't give any warning signs that they are about to break. I can remember using them 25+ years ago, playing along, then suddenly I'm only holding the end and the front half of the stick is no longer there. They just explode when they break.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
What I don't like about oak sticks, disregarding how they feel, is they generally don't give any warning signs that they are about to break. I can remember using them 25+ years ago, playing along, then suddenly I'm only holding the end and the front half of the stick is no longer there. They just explode when they break.
Agreed. I vividly recall a stick that sheared off so cleanly on a grain line the resulting stick would have made Dracula run and hide. And that stick was nearly brand new. In addition to not being comfortable that fear of unexpected breakage has kept me from ever seriously considering using oak sticks.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
If vibrations make it to the palm...not good. Fingers are supposed to absorb the shock. Does the stick matter if the fingers absorb the shock? if the technique is optimal, I'm saying no, but that's just a guess.

My opinion, when the fingers pass the vibrations on to the palm is where the problems start.
Yes, I'd hypothesize that players who experience extreme problems from shock could be gripping their sticks too tightly in the first place. Maintaining a loose grip, in fact, is at the heart of agile technique. Still, the fingers are part of the hand, so impact transmission from the fingers to the palm, wrist, and so on is physiologically possible. I've never suffered any ailments from shock. I just like the feel of a highly shock-absorbent stick. To me, the benefit might be more psychological than anything.
 

Ruok

Silver Member
Thanks for the responses so far. I went down to my basement and I found an old pair of Promark hickory 5Bs that I had forgotten about. I may have used them once or twice in the past at church. I try to stay away from larger sticks because of my own hand and wrist issues. They definitely had that forward weight that was mentioned. I tend to like that. But I need to keep it 5A and smaller, unless it’s maple. Since with maple I can use bigger sticks without too much added weight.

I don’t think the clicky sound was from nylon tips. I think I would have noticed that, but you never know. Again, maybe I’m just imagining it. Or, like someone said earlier, maybe it is just mic or recording methods used in those particular videos and may have had little or nothing to do with the sticks.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
As for the click, it makes perfect sense. Different materials make different sounds when struck together. Hickory will sound different than maple will sound different than oak will sound different than aluminium will sound different than plastic. If Promark puts some kind of special coating (or none) it will alter the sound slightly also.

Regarding oak sticks, oak has a different internal capillary structure than hickory and maple, or how it draws up water from the ground to the top. I'm of the opinion this is directly related to all the differences oak sticks have on feel and durability.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Ruok writes: "I try to stay away from larger sticks because of my own hand and wrist issues."

I don't know the nature of your wrist troubles, but you might find that a heavier stick works better for you. First, a heavier stick will absorb more impact, so your wrists won't have to. Second, a heavier stick will allow you to achieve more volume with less effort. Sure, a lighter stick will be -- well -- lighter, but it may require you to exert more energy in the long run. In the end, though, it all comes down to preference.
 

Ruok

Silver Member
Ruok writes: "I try to stay away from larger sticks because of my own hand and wrist issues."

I don't know the nature of your wrist troubles, but you might find that a heavier stick works better for you. First, a heavier stick will absorb more impact, so your wrists won't have to. Second, a heavier stick will allow you to achieve more volume with less effort. Sure, a lighter stick will be -- well -- lighter, but it may require you to exert more energy in the long run. In the end, though, it all comes down to preference.
Yes. I agree with everything you said here. My main problem has been relieved by using a palm down German grip more than just playing lighter sticks, because I was having pain in my thumb joint. Putting my thumb on top was how I have mostly been playing for decades. And I didn’t realize that my wrist had very little motion with that grip. So the past few years I have been doing mostly palm down playing and I can use heavier sticks this way too and let the sticks do more of the work. This is basically just my right hand, since I use traditional grip 99% of the time. I will use 5B sticks once in awhile. Mostly maple. Partly because my only real gig is in a church and I don’t want to be super loud anyway.

I have very weak wrists that have given me problems since I was a kid. I’m in my mid 50s now. I used to get lumps on the top of my wrists. They would come and go. I haven’t had any for decades now that I know how to keep them away.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Yes. I agree with everything you said here. My main problem has been relieved by using a palm down German grip more than just playing lighter sticks, because I was having pain in my thumb joint. Putting my thumb on top was how I have mostly been playing for decades. And I didn’t realize that my wrist had very little motion with that grip. So the past few years I have been doing mostly palm down playing and I can use heavier sticks this way too and let the sticks do more of the work. This is basically just my right hand, since I use traditional grip 99% of the time. I will use 5B sticks once in awhile. Mostly maple. Partly because my only real gig is in a church and I don’t want to be super loud anyway.

I have very weak wrists that have given me problems since I was a kid. I’m in my mid 50s now. I used to get lumps on the top of my wrists. They would come and go. I haven’t had any for decades now that I know how to keep them away.
I've used German Grip exclusively during my time as a drummer (36 years) and firmly believe it's the best method for minimizing physical stress. French Grip (thumbs up), on the other hand, places undue strain on the thumb and forces the wrist to function in a very unnatural fashion. German Grip provides optimal control and easy power. I'm glad to hear it's working for you.
 

Ruok

Silver Member
I've used German Grip exclusively during my time as a drummer (36 years) and firmly believe it's the best method for minimizing physical stress. French Grip (thumbs up), on the other hand, places undue strain on the thumb and forces the wrist to function in a very unnatural fashion. German Grip provides optimal control and easy power. I'm glad to hear it's working for you.
I can’t believe that it took me so long to change the way I play. I guess I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer. 🥴
 

Ruok

Silver Member
I was lying in bed this morning when I realized that I also have a pair of Promark Firegrain 5A rebound sticks that I bought last year. Man, my memory is awful. But I know that the majority of the videos I'm referring to (with my memory, I couldn't tell you which ones) were not the firegrain type. With all this time on my hands, I might spend some time watching Promark users do their stuff and see if there is a difference. I'm starting to really doubt myself. It's such a subtle thing, the more I think about it. Plus the cymbals and drummer all have their own personal cymbals, playing method and sound, so...
 
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