Sticking with sticks or switching sticks

Not sure if this has been a topic yet... I don't have a single stick model that I use all the time. Since I rarely break sticks, I have a bunch of good and pretty varied sticks that accumulated over the years. Using different ones seems to have been a pretty good (unintentional) exercise - not like "developing muscles with 2B sticks" but I feel like I learned a bit about motions, balance, sound, grip and such things by having to adapt to different sticks.
Or do you feel like you should just work on such things with one or two pairs of sticks that you use all the time?
 

Al Strange

Well-known member
Not sure if this has been a topic yet... I don't have a single stick model that I use all the time. Since I rarely break sticks, I have a bunch of good and pretty varied sticks that accumulated over the years. Using different ones seems to have been a pretty good (unintentional) exercise - not like "developing muscles with 2B sticks" but I feel like I learned a bit about motions, balance, sound, grip and such things by having to adapt to different sticks.
Or do you feel like you should just work on such things with one or two pairs of sticks that you use all the time?
I’ve accumulated a variety of sizes/models over the years but nothing feels better than my VF STL’s...I feel like I can play to my max with these...my other sticks feel like knitting needles in comparison. That’s not to say I can’t play with the lighter sizes, I sat in for an indie pop/rock band for a charity gig a few years back and playing 5B’s was a better fit for that playing situation...and felt more comfortable to me as a result. I avoid indie pop/rock bands now... :unsure: ;)
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
My Vic Firth 5AN are my standby's, they are what I do about 80% of my playing on, whether jamming on my set, doing most of my recordings, or playing my rock shows.

However, I also have other sticks that I use for a lot of purposes. When padding out I use Vic Firth MS2 sticks, which are marching sticks and much thicker/heavier. For doing "serious" recordings I use these no-longer in production pair of Promark Ringo Starr signature sticks, they're similar to 5A's in width but the fat tips make the ride sound beefier and not quite as pingy. And since most of my gigs are in small venues, I use sticks like Vic Firth AJ2's and AJ6's with tiny beads for lower volume. I also use those sticks for musicals if I want to be quiet.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I not too long ago volentold a pair of Vater 5As they were going to run pad duty for a while. I needed the VF HD4s for the kit. They feel weird right now. Not sure if I'm gonna keep the slightly bigger/heavier pair for the pad or not.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
I don't switch sizes often. But I'll switch designs and nylon vs wood tip. . .I've been stuck on 2b's since 1983. I did like the 747 hickorys off and on. And sometimes a 5a/5b. But, basically ALL of my sticks now are some variety of a 2b.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
For a long time I used one stick all the time-- VF SD11 Slammers. Now I switch all the time, to whatever makes it easiest to play and get a sound in the situation. Of course the pandemic is still raging in the US, so "the situation" is home, practicing. Mostly VF Combo, Bopworks Birdland or Memphis, Regal 7A; lately Vater Bebop 500.
 

Justinhub2003

Well-known member
I have more sticks than I should have. I generally tend to buy at least 2 pair every time Im in a music store.

But that said for me, its all about what I'm feeling that day.

My favorite stick is the Vic Firth Benny Greb Signature stick.. But for some reason I tend to break those sticks way more than any other stick. I Also like Mat Garska's signature stick.

But in my experience Pro Mark Sticks seem to last the longest for me. So I have Carl Palmer signature sticks that just refuse to ever break and I love them. Same for their forward 5A And 5B sticks.
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
Used 5a's forever..thought at one point I was developing carpal tunnel as I had to grip the sticks to tightly. Switched to zildjian vinnies and my problem vanished. Current fave is Vic Firth 5b's
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
Spend a little more time on and you'll find them
Ha! You're right 😄

I've been playing for at least an hour daily for the last six years so I've made up for a lot of lost time. My playing has improved so much in that time that I think my needs have changed alongside my development, hence the continued search for the perfect drumstick.
 

dwsabianguy

Senior Member
I'm constantly switching sticks because I still can't find one stick that I really truly love. It's so dang hard to find gloss finish sticks, and the typical satin finish just doesn't stay in my hands very well. Last time I ordered some Regal Tips they took months to arrive and weren't particularly straight. And Capella don't exist anymore.

Jeff Rich made me some gloss finish 5As. Fingers crossed.
 

Alex Luce

Pro Drummer
Used 5a's forever..thought at one point I was developing carpal tunnel as I had to grip the sticks to tightly. Switched to zildjian vinnies and my problem vanished. Current fave is Vic Firth 5b's
I do agree that the right pair of sticks can make or break you, especially in a certain playing situation. My goto is Vic Firth 5As, but when I play in my AC/DC tribute band I have to use 5Bs...the 5As feel too light. If I had to use 5As I would be working way too hard to achieve the same sound.
I also play snare drum in a pipe band, and use pipe band drum sticks—which are big but really tapered toward the tip—and it totally works for that type of music. If I had to use marching sticks with the pipe band it would be extremely difficult to achieve the same kind of sound and feel.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I used to spend way too much time thinking about sticks and pretending they were some magic that might make my hands do what I want if I just got the "ideal" stick for my situation. I bought all kinds of them and tried them all... The reality I settled into is that I'm just focusing on something that doesn't matter all that much and I'm better served just getting something in the "middle" and something that so common and available I'll never have to worry or adjust much if I get forced to use something else.

Now I just use standard 5b. It works for everything if you just have some control, and honestly the biggest problem you can get yourself into is a stick that's too light so you're doing too much work.

My advice is not to worry about it.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
For my genre(s), the vast majority of songs are covered by VF 5A, with 5B running a distant second.

When ever I go to the shop, I pick up $50 worth of the usual, plus one pair of something odd. Coolrods, brushes, mallets, SD1's, 7B's, etc. Roughly twice a year, I get to try out something new and unusual.

I'd consider switching brands if my local shop started stocking something else.
 
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