Something strange is happening

whitecatcafe

Senior Member
to me and my hands. It seems that about a week ago, I started practicing and I noticed that my sticks felt a little lighter than usual (I used a Vic Firth 5A to be exact). It felt really weird to me so I went out and bought a pair of 5Bs, but after a few days of usage, even those felt a little light to me. So I went back to the drum store and tried a few different sticks and finally settled on the Zildjian Tony Williams Signature stick which is something like a 2B. I really like the weight, balance and dimensions. I played with those sticks all day yesterday and it felt really good! Also, I use natural rebound quite a bit in my technique for the most part, 50% me, 50% stick and physics.

So the question is, what the heck happened to me? How did I go from a 5A to a 5B and now finally a 2B? Has anybody experienced something similar?
 

Jankowske

Senior Member
Have you been practicing parts with harder, faster sticking and/or practicing more frequently?

I used to use 7As. When I got really into marching snare I started swinging corpsmasters at a pad a couple hours per day. 7As started to feel like toothpicks so I went to 5Bs and then 2Bs in no time. A couple cracked cymbals later I forced myself to use 5As and I haven't gone back. They still feel small in my hands, but it's all the stick I need so I've gotten used to it.

Sometimes tastes just randomly change, too.
 

GeoB

Gold Member
I know what you mean. In my case it really depends on what I'm doing on the job. I do quite a bit of electrical work and at times a lot of carpentry, painting, brick etc... my days of strictly doing electrical work seem to be waning. I think that my hand fatigue really contributes to what sticks feel good on any given day.

So to keep playing I have to use a few different types of sticks.

For the Pad and ONLY for the pad....
Firth MS3 (Corp Masters) for the pad which I use quite often BUT there is a laminated birch for Kevlar heads that weighs more and feels pretty good on the pad. I will have to get a set.

For the kit:

Promark 707's (5A-ish)
Promark 808 oak (5A/5B-ish)

and a Firth 3A

I really like the 3A but in a few weeks or maybe a month I'll be back on the 5B for a while then some kind of rotation will transpire and I'll be back on the 5B.

The 3A usage is sort of a new thing and I was up at a GC about a month ago (when I'm down in Virginia Beach area) and was checking out the stick selection and ran across these. I really liked that size and the round tip so I picked up a set.
 

whitecatcafe

Senior Member
Have you been practicing parts with harder, faster sticking and/or practicing more frequently?
Hmmm... now, come to think of it, there were 2 days that I practiced on a pillow, 15 minutes per session. But it was just for 2 days! Could that have been the cause?
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Here’s what is happening to you.

Some years ago a friend of mine purchased a new 1964 VW Beetle. He kept telling his friends and neighbors that he was going to get fantastic gas mileage on it.

His next door neighbor got tired of hearing about it. So the neighbor went over to the guys house, very late at night, and added some gasoline to the guys gas tank. He did this for a few days. Now the guy with the VW was really adamant about how great his miles per gallon was. He was getting phenomenal gas mileage on his new VW !

After a couple of weeks of this the next door neighbor then started to syphon some gas out of the guys gas tank late at night. So of course the guy began to lament about how bad the miles per gallon was on his new VW Beetle. Finally the neighbor fessed up on what was going on. Of course the guy with the new VW Beetle finally got the message and quit bragging.

So here is what I think is happening to you. You must have been bragging about how good you are getting at playing the drums and how hard you are practicing. And one of your friends is switching sticks on you by changing the size that is printed on your drum sticks.


.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
Without getting too much into specific technique discussions, practicing on a pillow forces your muscles to lift the stick back up. This causes more muscle engagement than required for a free stroke on a rebounding surface. It's only natural that the stick will start to feel lighter after a short time on the pillow. You've worked the forearm extensors out.

No matter the size of the stick, it should feel "heavy" in your hands.

Ditch the pillow, I used one for years and the smoothness of my playing improved once I stopped.
 

whitecatcafe

Senior Member
So here is what I think is happening to you. You must have been bragging about how good you are getting at playing the drums and how hard you are practicing. And one of your friends is switching sticks on you by changing the size that is printed on your drum sticks.
HAHAHAHA!!! Nice one!! I almost spit my drink out reading this!! HAHAHAHA
 

whitecatcafe

Senior Member
Without getting too much into specific technique discussions, practicing on a pillow forces your muscles to lift the stick back up. This causes more muscle engagement than required for a free stroke on a rebounding surface. It's only natural that the stick will start to feel lighter after a short time on the pillow. You've worked the forearm extensors out.

No matter the size of the stick, it should feel "heavy" in your hands.

Ditch the pillow, I used one for years and the smoothness of my playing improved once I stopped.
Wow... I only did like two 15 minute sessions of pillow practice..

Honestly, I didn't enjoy practicing on a pillow, it's not surprising that I didn't keep it up.

Jeff, what do you mean by "No matter the size of the stick, it should feel "heavy" in your hands"?
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
Wow... I only did like two 15 minute sessions of pillow practice..

Honestly, I didn't enjoy practicing on a pillow, it's not surprising that I didn't keep it up.

Jeff, what do you mean by "No matter the size of the stick, it should feel "heavy" in your hands"?
It's hard to describe but try this:

Grab the stick like a hammer, really tightly. Now, wave it around. It feels really light, right?

Now, be as relaxed as possible and barely hold on to the stick while waving it around as well. Odds are, if you've relaxed enough, the stick will feel heavier.

It should always feel "heavy"

Hope this helps.
 

DrumAddik

Member
How long have you been playing drums for WhiteCat?

What's happened to you is quite normal, your playing has evolved and your body feels like it now requires heavier sticks. You went through your first type of sticks thinking they were good but you tried another pair and realize they feel better and you will do this until you find that perfect pair for you. This happens to almost everybody. I started with promarks 5a and used those for the first 5 years of my playing. I thought they were the best sticks ever until as a Christmas present someone gave me a pair of Vic Firths 5b's. As soon as I tried those out I instantly knew these were the sticks for me. They felt so natural in my hand. Who knows, maybe in a couple of years I'll try something different and realize there's something better this whole time. You don't know until you try.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
Be sure to be aware of the wood.

An oak 7A feels meatier than a cheap non-descript 2B to me.

...and note that there is variance in the material a manufacturer gets their hands on for making the same stick...moisture..etc...

I also find that finish, or lack of it, can change the presence of the stick in my hand.

All obvious stuff...but worth being aware of.
 

whitecatcafe

Senior Member
Grab the stick like a hammer, really tightly. Now, wave it around. It feels really light, right? Now, be as relaxed as possible and barely hold on to the stick while waving it around as well. Odds are, if you've relaxed enough, the stick will feel heavier. It should always feel "heavy"
Aaah.. Got it. Thanks Jeff!
 

whitecatcafe

Senior Member
How long have you been playing drums for WhiteCat?
I've been playing for 6/7 years now, on and off. I had a rough few early years because I wasn't patient enough, so there were several things I've had to go back and relearn/work on. Some things developed quite nicely but other things not so much..

My playing has improved quite a bit and I've overcome quite a few barriers in technique since the beginning of this year and it has been great!
 
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