Can we play the drums with our hands? It’s possible! Drummers like Benny Greb or Tommy Aldridge can prove this with their wild rhythms. But to get more bang out of your kit some tools are necessary – namely drumsticks, the drummer’s best friend. However, with more than 300 different models available, choosing the right ones can be quite complicated. We hope this article will shed some light.
“I just wanna play”
Don‘t have any specific requirements on shape and length (yet), want versatile and durable drumsticks which allow you to move without difficulty? You should therefore consider a 5A model, or the slightly heftier 5B rods. The Vic Firth 5A model is of excellent quality, with a pleasant grip. Actually, many experienced pros come back to these standard models after testing dozens of other drumsticks. Here is an overview of all 5A drumsticks.
“I hit like a lumberjack!”
Do you play loudly and heavily to show your guitarist who is boss in the rehearsal studio? Before it’s too late and your fingers start bleeding you should consider some heavier sticks. The recommended sticks for heavy-hitters are labelled 2B, or to put it more simply, “rock” sticks. When it comes to wooden sticks, Vic Firth is always the trusted brand.
“I’m a modern drummer, wood is outdated”
For those who love to play on pots and pans and don’t want the typical “timbre” (pardon the pun) and irregularity of wooden sticks, we recommend sticks with a Nylon head, for example the great ProMark Dave Lombardo Signature Stick or the ProMark 5AN.
“My sticks are amazing but a little too short”
You’ve finally found “your” sticks but you have the feeling that they are too short because, for example, you don’t like to sit too close to your tubs. Many manufacturers offer longer versions of their classics, Vater calls them “Power” and Vic Firth calls them “Extreme”, the 5A variant.
“I’m a delicate drummer”
You have rather small hands or you just wanna play at a lower volume? Or you’re on of those drummers who has to deal with a sensitive singer who jumps at every snare hit, or your band’s sheet music goes flying every time you start playing? If so, it’s time to put the 2Bs away and try some lighter models. Most brands call them 7As.
“I’m looking for something a bit different”
Brushes, like the Vic Firth Heritage model, are an absolute classic for broadening your sound palette. A pair of brushes in your bag of sticks always makes a good impression on your colleagues, even before a single stroke. If traditional brushes aren’t your thing and you’re looking for a unique sound try the Vic Firth Dreadlocks. Take for example Jojo Mayer who produces amazing electronic sounds with these brushes!
Hot Rods, available in different sizes, colours and materials are a softer alternative to regular drumsticks.
You have drumsticks but you don’t want the hassle of carrying around a practice pad? Two small rubber balls called Vic Firth Universal Practice Tips allow you to practice anywhere with an amazing feel. You can also use them with your drums to produce new sounds!
There’s nothing better than a selection of different sticks, brushes and special effects. To keep them handy and organised we recommend carrying them in a stick bag. For less than ten euros you will find a quality product called the Millenium Classic Stick Bag. The manufacturer Ahead developed a very practical upright case which can also be fixed to your floor tom.
We also recommend this set of sticks (with case included), which allows beginners to try various models.
Have you heard of the Woodpicker?
The Woodpicker is a drumstick search engine. It filters the results according to your specifications: length, punch, diameter, brand, and artist!