Weighted drumsticks / BD beaters for practice

timmdrum

Silver Member
A current thread about changes to ProMark's offerings has me thinking about having to break a 25 year habit that's probably silly... So for about that length of time, I've played the 808 nylon model - great rebound, round tip aided consistency in tone, width between 5A and 5B. I get the same from the 707 nylon which I recently switched to, being a 5A width, trying to lower volume a bit (I don't think it worked, haha). My thing was, I got the oak sticks for practice because they last a little longer and they're a little heavier, and I played gigs with the hickory model. My feeling was that the slightly heavier stick was a little bit of a muscle booster that would be advantageous on gig day, using the slightly lighter stick with the same dimensions (kinda like jogging with light ankle weights, then running a road race without them).

Now, ProMark is discontinuing nearly all the 707 and 808 models- and all with the nylon tips that I prefer (I hate that wood tips get dented/chipped so easily)- and I don't dig any of their current offerings. Have any of you used any sort of weighted stick, or weights that can be added on (anything other than using a bigger stick size), for rehearsal purposes? How about the same with BD beaters? Am I being silly about this oak/hickory thing? Was the weight difference not enough to matter?
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
I used to warm up with Ralph Hardimon marching sticks on a pad before getting on the kit. It's the equivalent of a baseball player using a weighted doughnut on his bat while at the on-deck circle.

Marching sticks are a little chunky to play on the kit, but on the pad they work great.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
My non-teacher thoughts on the subject:

I dont advise using a different stick to practice with than to play with. It's different. That means balance, weight, everything. When you practice with your tool, you become proficient with that tool. If you practice with a different tool, you become proficient with that particular tool. I understand not every scenario works like this, but for me it does with drumming.

As for ankle weights, it depends. If the weight securely straps to your lower leg and stays there then I see no issue with using ankle weights. If the weight is loose and sits on top of your foot it's a no-no. In this instance, when you pick your foot up, the force of gravity and the weight push/pull downward on your foot and ankle. Its like slowly trying to pull your foot off each time you step/pick up your foot. I learned this the hard way.

The difference between the two is the bigger stick is a completely different stick while the weight is just a weight. You still use your same pedal.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
My non-teacher thoughts on the subject:

I dont advise using a different stick to practice with than to play with. It's different. That means balance, weight, everything. When you practice with your tool, you become proficient with that tool. If you practice with a different tool, you become proficient with that particular tool. I understand not every scenario works like this, but for me it does with drumming.

As for ankle weights, it depends. If the weight securely straps to your lower leg and stays there then I see no issue with using ankle weights. If the weight is loose and sits on top of your foot it's a no-no. In this instance, when you pick your foot up, the force of gravity and the weight push/pull downward on your foot and ankle. Its like slowly trying to pull your foot off each time you step/pick up your foot. I learned this the hard way.

The difference between the two is the bigger stick is a completely different stick while the weight is just a weight. You still use your same pedal.
I feel I should reiterate that I only used the heavier oak version of the same model for practice/rehearsals, so the dimensions were the same. Only the weight was slightly different. Even the balance felt the same. My muscle memory was never affected. What I realize I may have only imagined is that using the lighter hickory version for gigs helped me make it through the night.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
I used to warm up with Ralph Hardimon marching sticks on a pad before getting on the kit. It's the equivalent of a baseball player using a weighted doughnut on his bat while at the on-deck circle.

Marching sticks are a little chunky to play on the kit, but on the pad they work great.
I used to do the same. I think a short time with marching sticks to help get the blood moving was ok. I wouldn't use a bigger model of stick for practice and then suddenly use something radically different for gigs.
 

newoldie

Silver Member
Consider Rick Dior's practice sticks. Watch this video.
In addition to being the best overall drum teacher on the Internet IMO, he is also a wood worker and makes his own high quality practice sticks for sale.
You will buy 1 pair for life, as they will last forever for their purpose.
I had considered them last year, and finally cut loose several months ago and haven't stopped using them daily. Well worth the money.

What makes these work is they are the same thickness as regular sticks, but weigh more due to the various woods' densities.

 

timmdrum

Silver Member
Consider Rick Dior's practice sticks. Watch this video.
In addition to being the best overall drum teacher on the Internet IMO, he is also a wood worker and makes his own high quality practice sticks for sale.
You will buy 1 pair for life, as they will last forever for their purpose.
I had considered them last year, and finally cut loose several months ago and haven't stopped using them daily. Well worth the money.

What makes these work is they are the same thickness as regular sticks, but weigh more due to the various woods' densities.

I don't think I can afford those! 😳
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
I just discovered the Extended Play series from Vater; anyone used them? I might try practicing with the EP version and gig with the regular 3A. I won't get much weight difference, but maybe the durability factor will win me.
 

spelman

Senior Member
T
I just discovered the Extended Play series from Vater; anyone used them? I might try practicing with the EP version and gig with the regular 3A. I won't get much weight difference, but maybe the durability factor will win me.
Tama has an oak stick with nylon tips, available in 5a. (£ 6.90 on Thomann).
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I think it's fine. I rely mostly on different surfaces, but I have marching sticks and even though I have a main stick use a lot of different ones for different things.

I have e.g. all the Pustjens stcks and most of them are made from heavier woods. I was considering setting up a shop and start making the Colaiuta sticks that are my main sticks from different woods.
 

philrudd

Senior Member
I think I'm lucky in that I play with a few different bands and use different set ups for each band, including different sticks. In the course of a week I'll have rehearsed with all three and used three different weights of sticks in doing so.

I think the variety has helped my technique, in that I find myself 'boiling down' the way I hold and use the sticks to a method that works for all weights and sizes; there are always small variances, but I've found certain grips and movements will work regardless of the stick or drum.

In summation I'd say adaptability is more important than 'weight training' with the sticks. One area where it's helped out is with tension - I'm more nervous about some gigs than others (for whatever reason), but by improving my technique, it's easier to overcome tight muscles.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I think it’s a terrible idea to only practice/gig with 1 kind of stick. What kind of technique can you build that way? You make yourself into a hothouse orchid by doing that. I have at least 6 different stick types I practice with. Totally different weights, lengths, balance, etc..

Just my not-remotely-humble opinion lol
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
I think it’s a terrible idea to only practice/gig with 1 kind of stick. What kind of technique can you build that way? You make yourself into a hothouse orchid by doing that. I have at least 6 different stick types I practice with. Totally different weights, lengths, balance, etc..

Just my not-remotely-humble opinion lol
I do have some thinner jazz sticks I use when necessary, also ProMark Hot Rods and Broomsticks, and the Vater... um, plastic kinda-rods, kinda-brushes with the wood handles, for quieter situations. I've simply found that the 808s and 707s suited nearly every musical situation I've ever been in. 🤷‍♂️
 

Cmdr. Ross

Silver Member
I used to warm up with Ralph Hardimon marching sticks on a pad before getting on the kit. It's the equivalent of a baseball player using a weighted doughnut on his bat while at the on-deck circle.

Marching sticks are a little chunky to play on the kit, but on the pad they work great.
Ditto.
I rock the Thomas Lang signature "logs" on the pad, then hit the 5b maple sticks for the kit. It's been my go-to routine for a while & I love it.
 
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