Stick change suggestions

Stefan Brodsky

Senior Member
After a recent jam session, where among 3 drummers, I nonetheless got some significant playing time, my right hand was pretty sore the next day: in my ring finger and palm. I do have what one MD said was the start of Dupuytren's contracture, though the degree of bend in that digit isn't that great-yet. This finger was also broken in the late 80s playing basketball. There are some remedies, which we will look into, including Xiaflex injections, which can help break up the hard tissue at the base of the finger where it meets the palm. Currently, I have a V-shaped callous there, which may or may not be Dupuytren's. The other part of this equation is stick selection. Have been playing some Vater Sugar Maple Fusions over the past few months. I'm thinking however, that maybe I need to switch to a Hickory version of that stick, or perhaps go to a 5B or something close to it? I like the Vaters because they leave more moisture in their woods, which is quite helpful, particularly in dryer climates. I'm thinking the larger/heavier stick might help absorb more shock and prevent soreness. Any thoughts?


Platinum Member
A friend of mine turned me on to Cooper Groove sticks. I purchased 4 pair and used them this past Sunday.

It took about 10 minutes into our first show before they started to feel good in my hands. I must say I was skeptical at first and they are more expensive that the regular sticks. They seem very well made and balanced.

I'm sure they are not for everyone but maybe worth a shot for your hands.
I bought the red dipped sticks but moving forward to save a couple of dollars I will go with the natural finish.

I have been playing drums for 50 years and tried many sticks over the years.


  • cooper.jpg
    40.5 KB · Views: 194


Platinum Member
If you like Vater and you already like one of their sticks I'd suggest trying out both of your ideas; get the hickory Fusion and also try a bigger stick made out of maple like a 5B or SD9. That way you can dial in whether or not your hands will respond better to more weight or more mass.


Platinum Member
I found maple sticks are too light for some playing situations (they also break easier). Perhaps you were having to hit too damn hard playing on stage at a jam.
The hickory stick would help a lot. Some hand fatigue might also improve with a larger diameter stick too.


Senior Member
You could also try some stick wrap - it will provide some cushioning for the hands but also will increase the diameter of the stick a bit. I use it myself.

mike d

Silver Member
I have a bunch of hand problems from injuries and getting old. ;)
I HIGHLY recommend ProMark Stick Rapp. I'm kind of a minimalist guy and hate doing extra stuff (like wrapping my sticks), but it works so great for me that now I really hate playing without it. I also use Vater Fusion Sugar Maples and recently started using Vater Sugar Maple 8A's (slightly smaller dia. but I'm using Rapp on those too, and don't really notice). Fantastic feel, but maybe slightly lower volume than Fusion or 5A.


Silver Member
In my experience, hickory is worse for transferring shock to the hands than maple. With that said, I agree with others that a larger, heavier stick would allow you to let the stick do more of the work for you if you are hitting fairly hard with the maple sticks.


Platinum Member
I recently bought almost every stick Los Cabos offers.

with plenty of experimentation I have come to multiple conclusions.

Obviously lighter sticks are faster, heavier sticks are louder.
Lighter sticks keep my endurance up and heavy sticks make me tired faster.

On the flip side.. when playing with LOUD guitar amps, I hit WAY harder with light sticks to get the same sound trying to hear myself and gas my hands out, where as I can relax more with a heavy stick.

I try to pick the lightest stick that I can still hear myself, or the heaviest stick that I can play relaxed but still up to speed.

Heavier and harder sticks transfer more shock. I am using pretty light sticks and just trusting that I am playing good even if I can't hear myself. I know when I play solo it is good.

If you play live with mics light sticks won't be an issue either.

Los cabos has maple, hickory and red hickory... I find the red hickory last forever but transfer a bit more shock being a hard wood.

then you have things like intense sticks, or stick length to worry about, and tip type... Wood tips are a bit more forgiving, and I prefer around a 16 inch stick. the 16.5 sticks are really front heavy and I end up working harder.

my hands usually don't feel great after a 2 hour practice session the following day too. (I go 100% the whole time though practicing blast beats and fast rudiments at loud volumes)

I'd buy a pair of thick sticks, thin sticks, and maybe try a few different woods and see the difference... It was a pretty cool learning experience and has made a big difference in my drumming.

Also i find my doubles are MUCH cleaner with heavier sticks with a thicker taper. I find the 3A and 5B are some of my go to's. but the PM1 or Power Maple really allows me to fly with ease.

Stefan Brodsky

Senior Member
Re: Stick change suggestions UPDATE

Went ahead and tried the Vater Fusions in Hickory and a pair of Vater 5B Sugar Maples as well. No problems, at least after multiple 40+min practice sessions. I try and rotate these, and even work in a pair of Sugar Maple Fusions, I had been playing exclusively before I got hurt. I'm comfortable with all three, though I still lean toward latter. Also saw my hand doc-who said I did the right thing recovery-wise: ice, rest and anti-inflammatories. He also said there's no need to address things further now, which is good news. Thinking back on the jam session, the house kit was a Pearl Export with Pinstripe heads, that were kind of dead, and crash cymbals that were very flat. Definitely not the way I would have had them set up. I suspect these might have contributed to the injury.