How to choose your sticks!
When choosing your drumsticks, whether it be your first time or your one hundred and first time, you first have to think about what you need them to do for you, and your music.
At the end of the day the most important thing when it comes to playing is your sound. Your choice of drum sticks is the first decision that you will make when creating your music, so naturally it has to be a good one!
Things to consider when purchasing drumsticks
What style of music are you playing? – are you playing light music, for example orchestral snare drum, or are you the lead player in a junk percussion group, beating the hell out of your dustbin lids! It’s important to select the right thickness when buying drumsticks, so that the weight of your playing is matched with the style of music.
What tips do you need? – there are two types of tips that you can get when purchasing drumsticks, wood tip or nylon tip. Wooden tips will sound smoother in styles such as jazz however nylon tips last longer and are especially good for rock or metal drumming.
How do the sticks “feel”? – if you feel uncomfortable playing with your sticks, it will be reflected in your music! Try out a friend’s drumstick and be sure to make sure your sticks feel comfortable in your hand and that you are able to get a firm grip when playing, after all dropping your stick is just embarrassing!
Do you need extra grip? – some sticks get slippy when wet, which makes hot gigs a challenge for keeping hold of them! This problem can be avoided by using grip aids, for example grip tape, drumming gloves, wax or simply choosing a pair of sticks that are not as heavily varnished.
To sum up
There are many models, sizes and manufacturers of drumsticks out there, and the only guaranteed way of choosing the best pair for your needs is to try them out for yourself, but for now a good place to start is with a pair of Vic Firth American Classic® Hickory Drumsticks as pictured below.
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