Stick supply. When is yours "low?"

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
So I've been pondering something, for like years...
As many of you know I once held a job as Artist Relations Manager for Regal Tip Drumsticks. It's the only "real" job I've ever had, and I was with the company from 2004-2007 and left to pursue playing full-time.

During my time artists would call me personally to order sticks when they would run out. When I say "run out," I mean RUN OUT. Like, only 2 or 3 pair left. Now depending on the day, or time of year, orders can get backed up. It wasn't uncommon for 10 artist order to be sitting on my desk at a time due to the limited shipping hours in a day, matched with all of the other job responsibilities. This means that it could take anywhere from 1 to 5 days for an order to get shipped to the artist. In some situations it would take even longer if we were out of stock of a particular model.

This is something that stayed with me, and as a result anytime I am running low on sticks or heads I make sure to put my order in while I still have enough stock to last me a bit. I'll order 48 pairs of sticks, and once I crack open that last 12, I know it's time to order again. But that's the thing, I wait until I have a dozen left to call up and get more. If my order is delayed by a week, or more, no big deal. I'm not in danger of running out. And if I was in that danger, I have no problem taking a quick trip to my local drum shop and grabbing a couple pair to hold me over.

This is a practice that many others don't seem to have.
I know a lot of people that will play with broken chunks of stick while they panic over their order that hasn't arrived yet. Why wouldn't you just go to the store and grab something to hold you over?

So I ask you, my drum family. When are you "running low?" and if you order online or direct from a company, do you wait it out if there is a delay, or just hit a store to hold you over?
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
When I can no longer make an acceptable pair from my leftovers I go to the store. I only play at home anymore so I don't need a brick a month (or whatever it came out to). I used AHEADs for a while also so that wasnt really a concern as long as I had 2 pair.
 

drumnut87

Well-known member
when im running low of the stick company im currently endorsing, i resort to the backup sticks from the previous company i was with to ensure i have a full stickbag while i place an order for more from my chosen company and wait for them to turn up :)
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I only buy 2-3 pairs at a time, but I'm VERY picky about the weight/feel of my sticks—so much so that I'll only buy in person after playing each pair they have on a pad. Typically I'll only like 2 or 3 pairs out of an entire brick, and sometimes I don't like any of them. And I'm talking about variations within the same stick model, which can vary quite a bit in weight or balance due to moisture content or other inconsistencies.

In short, I've never bought a brick and I never will. Too great of a chance that I won't like the majority of them.
 

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
When I can no longer make an acceptable pair from my leftovers I go to the store. I only play at home anymore so I don't need a brick a month (or whatever it came out to). I used AHEADs for a while also so that wasnt really a concern as long as I had 2 pair.

I did, for a number of years, endorse Ahead drumsticks. 12 pair would last me an entire year. I would call them to reorder when I got down to 3 pair, lol. Only once did I call in a panic of "I have no sticks." I was doing 10 days of rehearsals for a tour and due to a manufacturing defect I broke 10 pairs of sticks in those 10 days. Leaving me only 1 pair to start a 3 month tour with. They corrected the defect and drop shipped a box to one of the venues we were playing a few days later.
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
6 pair minimum on the shelf, 4 more pair in the stick bag. When I gig I keep 3 sticks in the stick bag, 3 in a holder mounted on the hi-hat stand and the "in use" pair. *This doesn't count the 1 or 2 pair that are always in the trunk every vehicle.

I'll buy a brick's worth or two, depending if it's "off season" for the band or not. I don't break 'em as much as I used to. The more worn out sticks become band practice sticks and eventually fire pit kindling. Like TK421, I prefer to test them in person. Amazon had an incredible price on Vic Firth bricks in '19 so I ordered a couple. Only a couple duds in the whole batch and they were relegated to practice room duty/auxiliary percussion duty straight away.
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
I'll buy 2-3 pairs at a time and wait until I'm on the last pair before buying more. I don't go through sticks that quickly...which is weird because I play like an ape.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
since 2007 I have not been low but I don't gig so not much data acquired here.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I only buy 2-3 pairs at a time, but I'm VERY picky about the weight/feel of my sticks—so much so that I'll only buy in person after playing each pair they have on a pad. Typically I'll only like 2 or 3 pairs out of an entire brick, and sometimes I don't like any of them. And I'm talking about variations within the same stick model, which can vary quite a bit in weight or balance due to moisture content or other inconsistencies.

In short, I've never bought a brick and I never will. Too great of a chance that I won't like the majority of them.

I am picky this way with my concert and marching sticks, but set sticks are going to be completely mismatched the minute I hit a cymbal or rim shot, so I do't worry about it with them

I run with about 5 pairs on rotation at any time - Vic Firth 3 A's...a pair of sticks lasts me about 6-8 months: 10-12 hours of use a week; metal, punk, rock, country, rockabilly; rim shots all the time; I have never broken a stick "on purpose" by being destructive. My sticks wear down with legit use
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Back when I was playing all the time, yes, I ordered sticks in boxes of 12. Usually two boxes at a time.
When I would re-order? I think if I got down to about a half box, it was time to order more.

Now that I don't play as much, I'm happy to have two good pairs on hand, and just replace them as I go.

I usually don't go to stores for sticks anymore, because most stores only carry the basics, plus a bunch of signature models of whoever is popular that day. So they rarely have Zildjian Super 5As in stock. So I have no choice but to order from Sweetwater or Amazon.
 

KEEF

Senior Member
I like to have 3 pairs on the go and rotate them so they all wear evenly - on the very odd occasion one breaks or an even rarer occasion I drop one mid song, the next one I grab has much the same feel to it. I have an awesome collection of 'whitttled' sticks that I keep thinking I'll find a use for.....
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
If I drop below 5 pair then I buy more. But I keep sticks in various places, some in the car, only two pair is at my kit. I like to buy them at the local music store so I can see them first. If the store has a sale on sticks then I buy a few more pairs.
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
I like to have six pairs of Vic 5B's. When I'm down to 2 pair I'm hoping for a gas station within the next few miles.
 

sumdrumguy

Senior Member
As none of the local stores keep what I play in stock, I usually order by the brick. Pre-covid, I would order a couple of bricks in early Spring. Go into the busy season well stocked. Reorder when I pass the halfway mark of the last brick.
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
I'm of the mind that I don't let things get "down to the wire" and then panic when I didn't do my part to manage my supply.
When I'm down to 6 pairs, I'll order more. As I'm not at the pro level, I don't go through them with the urgency of those playing gigs week in and week out.
but I do keep myself stocked up to be prepared.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
About 2 bricks/8 pairs, that will last me ages but I'll get in touch with Darren at Pellwood and order another 5 bricks
 

Bull

Gold Member
For years, I played ProMark 2S. Sometimes they weren't available ANYWHERE for months. I would buy a brick whenever I could find them. I have since moved to Vater Rocks and can get them anywhere at anytime. It's much easier this way.
 

Rock Salad

Junior Member
When I retire a pair, I buy a new pair. Ez.
I guess that was kind of vague for a guy who works for a stick company, excuse me? I keep a pair and a spare pair plus singles spares of whichever 3 types of sticks I am carrying in my bag. The Birdlands are a special order, and I'll order when I retire the third to the last pair. Hopefully that maintains the pair and spare in my bag.

I guess that might be cutting it close if I were an endorser. I turn my L stick around butt way anyway; I don't really need fancy matched sticks for the sonic butchery I work.
 
Top