very angry about these sticks

4

44Ronin

Guest
Sticks break because they are made from a natural material with grain. Get over it. Bigger sticks are not the answer.
 

Cymbalrider

Pioneer Member
Hard rock can be played with maple sticks and them not break if you play correctly. If you are having to use marching sticks, there is something wrong here. Sticks that big should give you a tremendous sound without having to play hard, that's the point of being bigger. I've played a drum set in a football stadium with 5Bs, 707s without microphones and it works just fine. Chances are, you aren't playing off the heads but rather through them which is causing the damage to heads, sticks, or anything else you hit.
 

massdrum

Member
+1 on cymbalrider's comments.

You are hitting too hard. Try to think more about finesse than athletics when drumming - it is a musical instrument, after all.
 

gish

Senior Member
Excellent post, cymbalrider. The most common causes for breaking sticks that I've noticed over the years are rimshots and hi hat placement, along with cymbalrider's post. If you hit rimshots for your snare backbeats, the stick will most likely eventually break. However, having a good, relaxed stroke will make the stick last much longer than if you simply slam the stick down with a tight grip and don't allow any rebound. As for the hats, if you play your hats too high, you'll play into the side of them instead of coming down on top. I've seen many newer players with their hats too high, which is almost like sawing your sticks against the edge. Lower your hats a bit and make sure your stick, whether its the tip or the shank, hits on top of the hats, not on the side. If this is your problem, and you get it fixed, you'll be AMAZED how much longer your sticks will last.
 

Fiery

Silver Member
Take a 2b stick with 2 to 3 grains and a 2b with 6 or more grains the 2b with more grains will last

longer It'll take longer to look at the sticks but you're sticks will last longer also.

Good luck,
Bonzolead
I've the exact opposite experience. Sticks with many grains always started splintering in a couple of hours of playing and never lasted more than a few hours after that. On the other hand, a 2B pair with some three or four grains I have at the moment have lasted me at least 40-50 playing hours and are just starting to splinter in the rimshot area.
Less grains make for a denser and heavier stick in general.

Another factor is pitch of the stick. A stick with a higher natural pitch will in general have higher moisture content, which in turn means more weight and durability.

It's really worth it to spend some ten minutes extra in the shop when buying sticks.
 

Mastershake16

Senior Member
I don't know how people go through a pair of stick in 1-2 weeks personally I think thats crazy. I've been drumming for about 5 years (I'm 14) and it may be how i was taught but I've never broken a stick, cymbal or head. Heck, I have sticks that are from my 1st year of drumming that are still in useable condition. I hit pretty hard when I'm drumming with songs too, so I chalk most stick breakings to technique although my friend has had a circular nylon tip break clean in half, so there will always be situations where its the stick but generally its not how hard you play it's your playing technique. (hopefully I'm not coming off as rude I'm just stating my idea)
 

Brundlefly

Senior Member
What is bad technique, hitting the cymbal on the edge too much hitting rim shots. Could someone clarify for me?
Since no one else did, I'll take a crack at it.

First, hitting hard isn't really a problem. True, past some point, hitting harder isn't going to make you sound louder or better, but simply swinging a stick at a drum with more velocity by itself isn't necessarily a problem. So, what are the problems? Let's look at the four most common reasons for stick a breaking.

1) Yep, sticks are made of wood and wood is imperfect. You can just happen to get a bad stick and it will break. Generally speaking a sign of weakness in the wood itself is when the stick splits down its length. However, this doesn't always mean that the stick was faulty. Just that it was used in such a way that the stick's imperfection was exposed. The less perfect your technique, the more perfect the stick needs to be in order to survive.

2) Sticks can just wear down over time. This can happen more often when your hats sit in a high position and/or cymbals are high and level. This is the way I break 99% of my sticks and it generally takes me several months of play to get one to this point. That is, I don't break them so much as they tend to wither away.

3) When a stick snaps in half, you are looking at one (or both!) of two factors. The first one is the most common: you are squeezing the stick at or just after the moment of impact. When this happens, all of the kinetic energy that was in the stick as it hit the head is left with no way to dissipate except up your arm. Your arm isn't always a sufficient outlet for this energy. When the stick is left with no way to release this energy, the stick can snap. An imperfect stick will snap in the place where it is flawed.

4) The second most common factor is known as playing through the drum. This issue is less about velocity than it is about where you visualize the playing surface to be. When you play on top of the drum, your focus is that the head is the playing surface (which it is) and that is where your stroke ends.

A lot of players don't actually play this way. Instead, their minds are focused on swinging through the drum like a baseball player swings through the ball. When you do this, the stick is left with nowhere to rebound after impact and can snap as your arm continues traveling downward, past the impact point. It also makes your drums sound quieter and more dead because you are also damping the head for a micro second after impact. A good indicator that you are doing this is that you have dents or pits in your heads. Another one is that you are snapping your sticks toward the tip.


If you have these problems in your playing, the bad news is that it can take a concerted effort and a lot of time to work them out. The good news, however, is that these adjustments will also lead to huge improvements in your speed, endurance, sound and capability.
 

The Big Beat

Senior Member
ok, update, 3s sticks are working amazing, i love them, and i put a new head on the snare, tried the same scenario. i took the surviving vic firth stick and began to play the drum as i was, same patterns, same volume. i even slammed the drum as hard as i could,no broken head, no broken stick. so heres my conclusion: bad stick perhaps, and crappy pdp heads.
 

drumhammerer

Silver Member
Yeah, I used to use those vic firth rock sticks, and I found they tend to splinter pretty quickly. Maybe it's just the diameter to length ratio or something. I find the pro-mark hickory 2b's to be a great heavy stick. They tend to wear down over time, rather than split.

I can't believe some of you guys have never broken a stick. However, I probably wouldn't either if I only hit cymbals on the top, and no rimshots. But, I find with heavier music, hitting the cymbals only on the top just doesn't cut it for me. And I agree with all of the points Brundlefly made, as alot of those are true in my case.
 

bonzolead

Platinum Member
I've the exact opposite experience. Sticks with many grains always started splintering in a couple of hours of playing and never lasted more than a few hours after that. On the other hand, a 2B pair with some three or four grains I have at the moment have lasted me at least 40-50 playing hours and are just starting to splinter in the rimshot area.
Less grains make for a denser and heavier stick in general.

Another factor is pitch of the stick. A stick with a higher natural pitch will in general have higher moisture content, which in turn means more weight and durability.

It's really worth it to spend some ten minutes extra in the shop when buying sticks.
Weird I've never heard of that I get on average about 3 months out of sticks. more grains might have more splinters but the crack won't. travel down the middle of the stick as with thicker grains.......Just my experience.

Heavier and density is with the wood not grains just as a oak stick is going to be heavier and more dense then say a hickory stick of the same dimensions.

Also it's all about you're playing I can take any wood stick and break-em if I want
too. Just slam the ride bell it will break em everytime LOL but who want too do that with this ecomony. LOL

Bonzolead
 

veggo32

Silver Member
Yeah, I used to use those vic firth rock sticks, and I found they tend to splinter pretty quickly. Maybe it's just the diameter to length ratio or something. I find the pro-mark hickory 2b's to be a great heavy stick. They tend to wear down over time, rather than split.

I can't believe some of you guys have never broken a stick. However, I probably wouldn't either if I only hit cymbals on the top, and no rimshots. But, I find with heavier music, hitting the cymbals only on the top just doesn't cut it for me. And I agree with all of the points Brundlefly made, as alot of those are true in my case.


There's a difference b/w hitting and pounding your cymbals. Also there is a difference with how you hit your cymbals (ie: the stroke) I don't hit my cymbals on the top and my sticks last as long as my tips don't wear out.
 

Leadfoot

Senior Member
This reminds me of an instructor I had when I was young who told me when I had a similar problem, "the target for the tip of your stick is the drumhead, not the floor beneath it." He was right, who knew?
As for the aluminum sticks, they do snap.
 

drumhammerer

Silver Member
There's a difference b/w hitting and pounding your cymbals. Also there is a difference with how you hit your cymbals (ie: the stroke) I don't hit my cymbals on the top and my sticks last as long as my tips don't wear out.
True, but if you're hitting the edge of a cymbal, and your not wearing sticks down, then you must barely be hitting those things. It amazes me how many people think they hit hard, but in reality they really don't. You may be getting volume, but you're not hitting hard. When playing heavier music, you're gonna hit harder to put on a show and the emotion of the music makes you do it as well; at least when playing live. Now, in practice or recording, good techniques are easier to stick to, but wearing down sticks is just a factor of playing heavy music, and I'm okay with that. Sure, we'd all love to have perfect technique and not bash equipment, but when you're playing live and getting into a song, that stuff tends to go out the window.
 

veggo32

Silver Member
True, but if you're hitting the edge of a cymbal, and your not wearing sticks down, then you must barely be hitting those things. It amazes me how many people think they hit hard, but in reality they really don't. You may be getting volume, but you're not hitting hard. When playing heavier music, you're gonna hit harder to put on a show and the emotion of the music makes you do it as well; at least when playing live. Now, in practice or recording, good techniques are easier to stick to, but wearing down sticks is just a factor of playing heavy music, and I'm okay with that. Sure, we'd all love to have perfect technique and not bash equipment, but when you're playing live and getting into a song, that stuff tends to go out the window.


You are singing a different tune now, earlier in the thread you said you can't believe some drummers haven't broken a stick , now your saying that wearing down a stick is invevitable. No one said it isn't inevitable its imminent. Most are made of wood and they wear, fact of life.


Regarding technique during practice, recording and live. there really should be no difference. Ok a live setting may induce you to play a tad harder but it shouldn't be night and day b/w practice and live. Technique and stuff should not go out the window.....

"but when you're playing live and getting into a song, that stuff tends to go out the window"

Your technique should not go out the window when your playing live, if it does then you are not practicing effiiciently. It sounds like your playing to songs the whole time and ignoring the fundamentals such as dynamics, stick height, rudiments etc.
Disciplined drummers play at approx. the same volume regardless of the application, (live, practice, recording.)
If your kit is mic'd properly in a live setting you don't need to bash to be heard.
I always use a monitor, so if the stage is loud on a particular night, I can still hear kick snare etc. maintaining my normal volume level. I don't have to bury my kick drum to be heard.
 

drumhammerer

Silver Member
You are singing a different tune now, earlier in the thread you said you can't believe some drummers haven't broken a stick , now your saying that wearing down a stick is invevitable. No one said it isn't inevitable its imminent. Most are made of wood and they wear, fact of life.


Regarding technique during practice, recording and live. there really should be no difference. Ok a live setting may induce you to play a tad harder but it shouldn't be night and day b/w practice and live. Technique and stuff should not go out the window.....

"but when you're playing live and getting into a song, that stuff tends to go out the window"

Your technique should not go out the window when your playing live, if it does then you are not practicing effiiciently. It sounds like your playing to songs the whole time and ignoring the fundamentals such as dynamics, stick height, rudiments etc.
Disciplined drummers play at approx. the same volume regardless of the application, (live, practice, recording.)
If your kit is mic'd properly in a live setting you don't need to bash to be heard.
I always use a monitor, so if the stage is loud on a particular night, I can still hear kick snare etc. maintaining my normal volume level. I don't have to bury my kick drum to be heard.
How is that contradictory? The reason I said I couldn't believe that some people haven't broken sticks is because of the inevitability of sticks wearing down, at least when hitting the edges of cymbals, regardless of hitting them hard.

I agree that technique should be consistent regardless of playing situations, but we're not all Steve Smith. You did make a point that rings true about proper kit miking. If you're playing high end clubs all the time, your gonna get great sound, and hear everything great. But, some of the places I play have poor sound systems, or no system at all. In those cases you have to hit harder or you won't be heard. You may have a poor stage mix with no monitors, and 2 half stacks on either side, and it will feel like you are playing under water. In those cases my technique doesn't go out the window, it just gets altered. In all of this I'm referring to playing heavy rock/metal. If you're playing pop, country, jazz or something lighter, these points don't apply, because it's much easier applying "technique" when the stage volume is lower and you can hear everything better.

You're damn right I'm playing to songs all the time! That's what rock n roll is all about. Songs, showmanship, and driving the band. I do agree with the dynamic aspects, as I am perfectly capable of dynamics. Rudiments? Are you a jazz player or something? Rudiments have no place in the kind of music I'm talking about IMO. Do you think John Bonham was worried about technique and rudiments playing all of those arenas with Zep?
No, he had to simplify his playing and concentrate on having adequate volume in a loud environment, and putting on a show, not wether or not he was breaking sticks or cymbals, and denting up drumheads. I also agree you don't have to bash to be heard, but sometimes you just feel like it when the adrenaline is pumping.
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
idk. i think i play right, i mean, ive never been corrected on my technique by my teachers. Maybe i just hit too hard. Not really sure though
If you go through heads, my guess is that yes, you probably hit too hard, but more specifically, you hit at too steep an angle. Are your drums very angled towards you? When the stick hits the drum, it should be pretty close to parallell to the drum head.
 
Last edited:

The Big Beat

Senior Member
If you go through heads, my guess is that yes, you probably hit too hard, but more specifically, you hit at too steep an angle. Are your drums very angled towards you? When the stick hits the drum, it should be pretty close to parallell to the drum head.
mmmm. nooo, my drums arent at a very steep angle towards me, just my rack tom at like oh jeez idk like 70 degrees? and i dont hit at a steep angle either
 

veggo32

Silver Member
How is that contradictory? The reason I said I couldn't believe that some people haven't broken sticks is because of the inevitability of sticks wearing down, at least when hitting the edges of cymbals, regardless of hitting them hard.

I agree that technique should be consistent regardless of playing situations, but we're not all Steve Smith. You did make a point that rings true about proper kit miking. If you're playing high end clubs all the time, your gonna get great sound, and hear everything great. But, some of the places I play have poor sound systems, or no system at all. In those cases you have to hit harder or you won't be heard. You may have a poor stage mix with no monitors, and 2 half stacks on either side, and it will feel like you are playing under water. In those cases my technique doesn't go out the window, it just gets altered. In all of this I'm referring to playing heavy rock/metal. If you're playing pop, country, jazz or something lighter, these points don't apply, because it's much easier applying "technique" when the stage volume is lower and you can hear everything better.

You're damn right I'm playing to songs all the time! That's what rock n roll is all about. Songs, showmanship, and driving the band. I do agree with the dynamic aspects, as I am perfectly capable of dynamics. Rudiments? Are you a jazz player or something? Rudiments have no place in the kind of music I'm talking about IMO. Do you think John Bonham was worried about technique and rudiments playing all of those arenas with Zep?
No, he had to simplify his playing and concentrate on having adequate volume in a loud environment, and putting on a show, not wether or not he was breaking sticks or cymbals, and denting up drumheads. I also agree you don't have to bash to be heard, but sometimes you just feel like it when the adrenaline is pumping.

No, I'm not a jazz drummer, wish I was though I would be a better drummer today.
I play ethnic (greek specifically). On an average night we'll flip about 10 different time signatures.
Jazz is not the only genre where you have to know your rudiments. I don't know all of them but I have an arsenal of rudiments that I have built in to my playing. ie: single stroke, double, paradiddle, 5 stroke, 6 stroke 7 stroke 9 stroke etc. For me and the music I play these seem to help me get where I want to go and some. I wish I had the time to learn all the rudiments, but I don't have the time I work for a living.
I find it hard to believe that one can become a good drummer without practicing and utilizing rudiments in their playing, there's no way it can be done.



This statement makes me doubt that you even play drums. wow.

"Do you think John Bonham was worried about technique and rudiments playing all of those arenas with Zep?
No, he had to simplify his playing and concentrate on having adequate volume"


NO, I don't think he was worried about technique and rudiments. The reason he wasn't worried is because he knew his rudiments and had great technique. To some it may seem that Bonhams playing was trivial (some that don't know about drumming) but it wasn't, it was very focused and premeditated for the most part. Its just that he was so great that it looked like he was just banging away aimlessly but he wasn't.
 

drumhammerer

Silver Member
No, I'm not a jazz drummer, wish I was though I would be a better drummer today.
I play ethnic (greek specifically). On an average night we'll flip about 10 different time signatures.
Jazz is not the only genre where you have to know your rudiments. I don't know all of them but I have an arsenal of rudiments that I have built in to my playing. ie: single stroke, double, paradiddle, 5 stroke, 6 stroke 7 stroke 9 stroke etc. For me and the music I play these seem to help me get where I want to go and some. I wish I had the time to learn all the rudiments, but I don't have the time I work for a living.
I find it hard to believe that one can become a good drummer without practicing and utilizing rudiments in their playing, there's no way it can be done.



This statement makes me doubt that you even play drums. wow.

"Do you think John Bonham was worried about technique and rudiments playing all of those arenas with Zep?
No, he had to simplify his playing and concentrate on having adequate volume"


NO, I don't think he was worried about technique and rudiments. The reason he wasn't worried is because he knew his rudiments and had great technique. To some it may seem that Bonhams playing was trivial (some that don't know about drumming) but it wasn't, it was very focused and premeditated for the most part. Its just that he was so great that it looked like he was just banging away aimlessly but he wasn't.
You doubt I even play drums? Man , what a typical technique snob response. You guys are all the same. You criticize everyone that doesn't play just the same way you do, and doesn't know every rudiment, or god forbid, plays with power. I've been playing drums for 27 years, and you know what? I don't know one stinkin' rudiment, and I can play plenty of odd time signatures and different styles of music. You know, some people really can play without knowing rudiments or practicing 10 hours a day. It's called feel and listening, and natural ability. Hey, if you wanna throw all your rudiments into your playing, there's nothing wrong with that. But, don't act like if you don't or can't do that stuff, that you couldn't possibly know what you're doing. All you really need is good influences, desire, good ears, and lots of practice. BTW Bonham didn't use rudiments because you couldn't hear them in the audience in arenas. Also, nobody cared, minus a couple of drummers in the crowd, and they had no place in the music he was playing. If you're playing ethnic music, then you can obviously use rudiments and all that, since you're not playing with extreme volume, and the music lends itself more to that.
 
Top