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How to Select Drumsticks
How to select your drumsticks. Choose Drumstick sizes, and more.
Learn how to pick drumsticks from a whole slew of choices.
Selecting your Drumsticks may be more involved than you think.
1)First off, what type of band will you be playing in primarily? This will help you select the correct size. If it's a heavy metal band or a marching band, you'll need thicker drumsticks to withstand the heavy abuse they will take.
Drumsticks come in all different sizes.
Larger drumsticks sizes are normally a 5B or 2B size (2B is larger) and will usually last much longer than thinner sticks. If you play in a jazz band or light volumed pop band, you will want to go with a smaller stick size.
Either a 7A (very thin) or a 5A (standard) will suffice. Of course, if you play many styles, you may find that a 5B is the most suited for you because a 5B drumstick is versatile.
Of course there are also custom drumstick sizes that vary due to the artist's individual custom specifications (found under "signature drumsticks").
2) Are your drumsticks straight? When you get ready to choose / purchase new drumsticks from a store, it is important to roll them. Do this by putting them on a flat countertop and gently rolling them.
If they wobble, you may want to select another pair. While a slight wobble won't really hurt anything, you will notice the feel of greatly warped drumsticks in your hand. Avoid those at all costs.
3)What type of tips for the drumsticks? In the old days, there were only wood tip drumsticks.
The problem was that they often chipped and spintered away with wear. So a gentleman by the
name of Joe Calato developed a nylon tip for drumsticks that are now one of the standards in drumming.
4)Will you be playing hard? Soft? Medium volume? This also helps determine the right drumsticks when trying to pick the right pair.
The harder you play, the beefier the stick you need to absorb the shock and abuse they will receive. If you're playing in a quieter setting, smaller/lighter drumsticks give you just that right touch.
5)How do the drumsticks feel? This is one of the most important questions about drumsticks and probably one of the main determiners in how drummers go about buying drumsticks. There are many different drumstick sizes so it can be difficult to choose. Ultimately, we want them to feel good in our hands. Drumsticks become a part of us when we play. They are an extension of your limbs and they much "feel" right or we won't be comfortable behind the drums.
6)Varnished or Lacquered? If you sweat a lot, you may want to buy drumsticks that don't have a
slippery coating on them. Drummers that sweat profusely tend to even sand their sticks down with sandpaper so that it helps them get a better grip. Otherwise, varnished sticks not only look good but they tend to give the average drummer a nice subtle gripping feel. There are also rubber grip models in different drumstick sizes.
7)What type of wood for your drumsticks? There are advantages and disadvantages to various wood types for drumsticks.
The most common are Maple, Hickory, and Oak. Some lighter-weight maple sticks
tend to snap a little easier so many drummers don't like them. Oak or Hickory on the other hand are a bit more sturdy and widely accepted as reliable and able to hold up to long term, rigorous drumming.
Novelty drumsticks - If you want to try something a little different, check out some of the unique
drumsticks on the market like college team drumsticks, glow in the dark or illuminated drumsticks
or even custom, personalized drum sticks with your name or band's name on them.