Quiet gigs but with a good feel - which 'stick'?

@bermuda - Have you tried or heard of Headhunters sticks? They make something that I think might be worth a look. Here’s the link.

I wonder how those tips affect the feel? My main issue is playability, not just volume. I can play quietly, it just sounds and feels bad. A lot of holding-back for a poor result. It's not good for me, or the band.
 
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How about vic firth practice tips on the sticks of your choice? You might have to glue them on but I think those should do the job.
The rubber ones? That will reduce the head attack, but probably won't get much sound from the cymbals. In most songs, my hats or ride are the pulse. One of our blues songs is pretty slow, they'd lose the tempo if they can't hear that pulse.
 
I followed this thread before Christmas and respect you just turning the next one down. One of my regular gigs involves doing whole sets on just snare and brushes, so I tried to make the point that it's a good challenge trying to convey the same rhythms, intensity etc at very low dynamics. That said, there are lines which get crossed where it just feels like a different instrument and not what we're about. I used to turn down cajon gigs but was going try one on a few weeks ago to see if I could make it work.. I did end up backtracking on that, used a small kit and brushes instead as I wanted to enjoy playing. It's a fair enough decision to make it something you enjoy, or say no.
 
I followed this thread before Christmas and respect you just turning the next one down. One of my regular gigs involves doing whole sets on just snare and brushes, so I tried to make the point that it's a good challenge trying to convey the same rhythms, intensity etc at very low dynamics. That said, there are lines which get crossed where it just feels like a different instrument and not what we're about. I used to turn down cajon gigs but was going try one on a few weeks ago to see if I could make it work.. I did end up backtracking on that, used a small kit and brushes instead as I wanted to enjoy playing. It's a fair enough decision to make it something you enjoy, or say no.
Exactly! Most of my band's music can't be served below a certain level of rhythmic energy. Having a kit doesn't work, and dumbing it down with brushes on a snare is just as bad. I definitely didn't enjoy grappling with a kit the first time, and I wouldn't enjoy forcing different parts and textures on the music just for volume considerations. If the band wants to go all acoustic, that might make a good argument for me to pare down my rig. But then the band is no longer the same. Most of the songs would suffer without electric guitar sounds.

What it really boils down to is, regular bands should not be playing inside this room. They have an outdoor patio that would be fine in terms of more volume, but it does get pretty chilly at night during the winter and nobody sits out there.

But I absolutely stand by my decision to to not do a gig where 1) I'm not having at least a decent time, and 2) not helping the band sound good.
 
Vic firth SD-4 works for me. Good balance, rim click in either direction, good cymbal definition and if you need more beef, turn the 2-4 stick around
 
I'm envisioning something like the Headhunter with the tube sticking out the end of a wood stick in your left (snare) hand, and a jazz ride stick in your right.

It's worth considering that to your audience the attack and volume is relative. If the loudest thing they hear is a rimshot pop with a brush, that will be "loud" to them. They're not comparing you to Van Halen, they're comparing you to you five minutes ago. It's a theory.
 
Once again, I don't think there's a stick light enough for volume considerations, that won't also compromise the sound, playability, and feel of the drums. That in turn compromises the sound of the band. We're a blues/rock band booked into an acoustically inappropriate venue. I'm not willing to change the band's sound & vibe just to play there.

If the band wanted to go acoustic and change (or eliminate) some songs, that might lend itself to a snare & brushes. But they want to sound like they sound, which I understand and agree. Just not in that room with me on a kit.

They're playing Friday sans drummer, we'll see how that goes.
 
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Once again, I don't think there's a stick light enough for volume considerations, that won't also compromise the sound, playability, and feel of the drums. That in turn compromises the sound of the band. We're a blues/rock band booked into an acoustically inappropriate venue. I'm not willing to change the band's sound & vibe just to play there.

If the band wanted to go acoustic and change (or eliminate) some songs, that might lend itself to a snare & brushes. But they want to sound like they sound, which I understand and agree. Just not in that room with me on a kit.

They're playing Friday sans drummer, we'll see how that goes.
the only stick i ever played that was honest to the tone of the drums but ept the volume down where the Steve Smith signiture rutes by vic firth i think. i dont know if they make them anymore? They had a short bamboo end but they werent like rods. they really did play at a quieter volume without changing the sound of the drums.
 
Steve Smith signiture rutes by vic firth i think. i dont know if they make them anymore?
Not currently a signature model, but they do have several rutes models. There's,a light gauge with birch dowels, so maybe not as 'light' as bamboo, but a possibility. Thanks!
 
Vic Firth Echo sticks. The feel is weird, but they’re the absolute quietest stick you’ll ever play
+1 on the Vic Firth Echos. I have a pair of American Custom SD5 Echos and they took a wee bit of getting used to, very fat where you hold them but tiny tip. But they are quick, light, and rebound nicely. The only thing I don't like so much is that they don't sound great on my crash & ride unless I hit part way up the stick very near the edge of the cymbal. All in all, I love them. I put some O-rings in front and behind where my index finger rests and can hold them extremely loose without losing them or having them move out of position.
 
+1 on the Vic Firth Echos. I have a pair of American Custom SD5 Echos and they took a wee bit of getting used to, very fat where you hold them but tiny tip. But they are quick, light, and rebound nicely. The only thing I don't like so much is that they don't sound great on my crash & ride unless I hit part way up the stick very near the edge of the cymbal. All in all, I love them. I put some O-rings in front and behind where my index finger rests and can hold them extremely loose without losing them or having them move out of position.

Yeah, they definitely are too light for jazz ride playing, for instance
 
I play everything i do with SD-4’s, from weight of stick playing to loud. I warm up with blasticks and sometime play first song with them on “dinner sets”.
 
I'm late to the party here, but I would say the Bopworks Birdland is the best quiet stick. I play a lot of restaurant gigs where a jazz trio (piano/bass/drums) is sometimes too loud! I find that I can use my "normal" motions on drums and cymbals and everything is much quietier. Also, the now discontinued Pro Mark Jazz Cafe MJZ-7 is great. It's basically a Vic Firth AJ6 but made with maple so it's extra light and delicate. I have an extra pair or two.....Bermuda send me a PM if interested.
 
@bermuda: I don't think it has been posted in this thread but, instead of other sticks, did you ever consider RTOM Black Hole or Evans dB One heads (and maybe silent cymbals) for these kind of gigs? It sure will impact the feel and sound quality but the volume does drop.
I use the Evans heads and cymbals for band practice at the guitar player's house and they are fine for that.
 
I play everything i do with SD-4’s, from weight of stick playing to loud. I warm up with blasticks and sometime play first song with them on “dinner sets”.
Why "the first song"?
At our last gig, the pub was packed with customers all chattering loudly - the band leader started with one of our most rocking songs and half of them promptly left. (I'd have started off with gentle stuff and gradually cranked up the energy)
 
While I wouldn't say they replace the feel and touch of actual drumsticks, I wanted to chime in and suggest checking out the Dem'Sticks line of products. Some of the products are along the lines of Hot Rods and Vic Firth Rutes, but they've been my go to option for that type of "bundle" stick. The Africa Fans are also awesome, but more of a brush/stick hybrid. A lot of bigger drum companies have started doing similar things, so apologies if this is redundant!

https://www.demsticks.com/
 
@bermuda My lightest sticks are the VF Echo and the Meinl Nano sticks. I keep them in my percussion bag all the time. I would definitely recommend the Meinl Nano, if you haven't already. They are about 3/8" diameter and 17.5" long. VF used to offer a 3/8" timbale stick (which I have), but I think it has been disc.

Here's a video of them in use:
 
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