stick breakage/ technique help please! :)

davor

Senior Member
Hi all, when jamming with my band I’m finding that I’m chewing up my sticks quite frequently due to burying them into the edges of the hi-hats (rather than playing on the top). I feel I need to do this to fit in with the loud guitars etc.. Its classic rock and punk covers we do.

I’m thinking I should try play on top of the hats. Maybe I don’t need to be playing so hard into the edge and breaking sticks after say 4 or 5 rehearsals?

Any loud rock players have any advice on technique to avoid breaking sticks in this way?
 

davor

Senior Member
Bigger hats are louder.
Good point! I'm playing PST7 hats 14". Cant afford to buy more hats but my other options could be:

- use an old flea-bitten pair of 15" kruts (currently gathering dust in my cupboard)
- use my 16" crashes ( a Paiste Rude Crash/Ride and a PST7 medium ) Could be a bit extreme!
- maybe try putting the PST7 bottom hat on top?

I'll experiment with all the above at my next rehearsal. trouble with that is my band like to rattle through songs so theres not much time for me to mess around swapping hats mid-session etc etc.
 

Mustion

Senior Member
Next to burying the beater, this is a technique "problem" I didn't know I was guilty of until somebody pointed it out to me after many years of playing that way. My advice is to lower your hi hat; this will force you to raise your right arm to make space for your left, and you'll play more on top of the hat.
 
I've learned to hit the bow of the hat with the stick tip while hitting the edge with the shaft. You hit much flatter and it gives a better sound (IMO) than just hitting one or the other.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I've learned to hit the bow of the hat with the stick tip while hitting the edge with the shaft. You hit much flatter and it gives a better sound (IMO) than just hitting one or the other.
That's a pretty cool idea.

I saw a tip from I think it was Todd Sucherman where he said he uses the shoulder of the stick on the bow of the top hi hat cymbal.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Maybe some kind of viscoelastic gel in center to help distribute forces so a stick don't break as easily? Maybe the wood could be permeated with tiny magnetic bbs and a strong magnetic core-so a stick would break but wood fragments self-anneal? Or a telescopic drum stick-if tip breaks a new one will replace it like shark's teeth? No that ain't it dammit. Steel drum sticks-problem solved LOL.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
Another thing to consider, besides the right or wrong technique about how to play the hi-hat, is that a hi-hat at one moment also reaches a maximum volume..

Meaning, in most cases there is no need to really hugely smash them..

Like i said, just a thing to consider, since i have no idea if the thread starter plays like that..

This can also be considered with playing the other parts of the set btw..
 
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Morrisman

Platinum Member
I used to play hihats really loud, then after a high profile gig the sound engineer asked me why? Got me thinking. Now I play softer, crisp hihat with the tip bouncing on top of the cymbal, and concentrate on making the bass and snare louder. Sounds better, feels better, and my sticks last for years.
 

Foggie Blur

Active member
I used to be in a super loud alt metal band. I would go through 2B Tommy Lee sticks every jam.
I played really loud then and the band turned up and they played sooo loud. My ears would ring after every jam. It was a vicious eardrum cracking circle.

The last band I was in was a fusion rock band. I used 7a Manhattan sticks. I played less loud, the band was less loud and I rarely broke a stick.

If you want to save your sticks I’d suggest asking the band to just turn down and you adjust accordingly with the volume of your playing.
 

TMe

Senior Member
If you want to save your sticks I’d suggest asking the band to just turn down and you adjust accordingly with the volume of your playing.
Exactly. If you're chewing through sticks (as opposed to snapping them) and there's a pile of sawdust around your kit, it's possible you're not doing anything wrong. That's how I played when I was in a hardcore band. When I started playing in a band that wasn't screaming loud (literally), the problem went away.
 
Apart from technical ideas, ask your band members to moderately reduce volume. Then you will be able to hit lighter thus reduce stick abrasion.
If a drummer is below loud enough, it is too loud imho.

Or practice not to exert yourself in order to hear every detail of your playing, and stay relaxed instead :D
 

thebarak

Senior Member
I will second most of the above. As you will know when you play solo, it is better not to try to play at a volume that is higher than your drums and cymbals are designed for. Save your sticks, heads, hands, ears and money. If the bandmates say they can't hear you, tell them this is the loudest you want to play and invite them to turn down a bit until they can hear your improved technique at normal paying volume.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Just tilt things towards you a little bit more. I tend to chew up sticks when the edges are hitting too "right on". As others said it's not necessarily a technique issue, but is something you can improve if you want to. I play some pretty heavy rock sometimes and I'd say mine last about 15 sessions before the stick starts to feel funny because it's chipped off so much mass.

High hat stands have a little screw under them that allows you to tilt high hats, for the other cymbals it should be pretty obvious.
 
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