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Unread 05-06-2012, 07:43 PM   #1
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Drum Stick Question

I'm wanting to try out some different kinds of sticks. So far all I've used is 7A. If I was going to buy 3 or 4 different sizes and a pair of mallets, what should I go for? Preferably not too expensive and not too huge because I have little hands. I'm looking to get a variety so I can figure out what I like.

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Unread 05-06-2012, 07:47 PM   #2
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5A seems to be the most common size I see people using. It will be thicker and slightly shorter than the 7A IIRC.
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Unread 05-06-2012, 08:32 PM   #3
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What thesteve said.

5A is what I see the majority of people using these days. I personally prefer to use 5B because I'm used to using marching sticks often so going to 5A's seems like way too big of a jump.
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Unread 05-06-2012, 08:45 PM   #4
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I like the weight of the 5B over the 5A. Of course, I only dabble on the drums. I definitely play slower with the 5Bs, but that forces me to focus more on what I've doing. When I play with 5As or 7As, I just feel like the sticks are distractingly light.
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Unread 05-06-2012, 08:57 PM   #5
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5A and 5B are pretty standard for drum set. 2B is popular with rock and are a little thicker. On a non-standard level, I use Vic Firth's Steve Jordan signature stick. It's thin like a 7A, but it's got more reach. The 7A is primarily a jazz stick. You may also want to get a thicker pair of marching sticks. I like those to work on stick exercises and rudiments.

Also try nylon and wood tip. Try sticks that have coated grips. If you've got a local music store I recommend popping in and just trying a few out and seeing what feels the best to you. There's no right or wrong. It's what you do with the stick that matters.
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Unread 05-07-2012, 06:40 AM   #6
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Here is my all-time favorite. Yeah, I'm an old goat. Pro Mark DC10. I have a pair of those from back in 1982 that I'll be using again this summer teaching a bit of rudimental drumming. I've never played anything I like better for a marching stick. They are extremely fast and well-balanced.

For playing a drum set they may be a wee bit of overkill. I find that most drummers are way too heavy-handed in their attack and I blame the stick for most of it. The 7A is plenty of stick for most uses on a drum set. It never ceases to amaze me the number of kids I see who literally thrash their kits to death playing as hard as they can go with a heavy stick. The poor drum never gets a chance to come up for air. A 5A is probably a good heavier choice and some people benefit from the added weight. Whatever you choose, work on dynamic control and your groove.

Have you spent any time lately with our old friend 2B? Just for kicks.
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Unread 05-08-2012, 03:43 PM   #7
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After reading this, I'm thinking a pair of 7A, 5A, and the Pro Mark marching sticks the guy above me posted. Do you think that would give enough variety for me to figure out what I like? Also, can someone suggest a pair of mallets? I was wanting to experiment with those a bit.
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Unread 05-08-2012, 03:46 PM   #8
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Why marching sticks? They make a set sound pretty lifeless to me, and they are difficult to control.

For mallets, are you talking yarn? Yarn mallets are good for cymbal rolls and the like. Brushes are pretty versatile, too.
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Unread 05-08-2012, 04:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainer.
Why marching sticks? They make a set sound pretty lifeless to me, and they are difficult to control.

For mallets, are you talking yarn? Yarn mallets are good for cymbal rolls and the like. Brushes are pretty versatile, too.
I've heard marching sticks are good for practicing rudiments. Yarn mallets are what I'm looking for. I'm not really looking for brushes right now, but I'd like it if someone could suggest a good pair so I know what to look for when I want to buy some.
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Unread 05-11-2012, 07:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaconRocks View Post
I've heard marching sticks are good for practicing rudiments. Yarn mallets are what I'm looking for. I'm not really looking for brushes right now, but I'd like it if someone could suggest a good pair so I know what to look for when I want to buy some.
Rudimental drumming is still the heart of being a drummer. There's nothing better for that than a pair of marching sticks and a proper drum. Back in the day we used to play on a saw horse in front of a mirror. We'd go for hours on nothing but rudimental drills. After a month or two you can really see and hear the results. I have young guys roll their eyes at me when I insist on them working on them, but I have yet to hear a really good drummer who isn't doing it. Guitar players have to know chords and theory, drummers have to know rudimental drumming. That's where you get your speed and control.

My favorite mallets were Vic Firth, I think the size was T1. They were a timpani mallet and when we were really cooking on tenors they tended to have a short life. The sound was really nice, they took all that edge off for passages where we were needing to slide in under all the other stuff.

Brushes? Play a set and you'll be hooked. Check out any of the Louis Bellson videos of him showing brush technique.
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Unread 06-09-2012, 08:36 AM   #11
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Something that hasn't been mentioned is checking out not just different sizes, but different designs and materials. If you had 4 pairs of 7A's, one hickory with a short taper shaft and a tear drop tip, one maple with a long taper shaft and a small ball tip, one with nylon tips and one with felt tips you would have sticks that all feel familiar, but offer a very wide array of tones and responses

Wood type, taper length, tip shape/size and tip material all make a big difference in sticks
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Unread 06-24-2012, 02:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaconRocks
I'm wanting to try out some different kinds of sticks. So far all I've used is 7A. If I was going to buy 3 or 4 different sizes and a pair of mallets, what should I go for? Preferably not too expensive and not too huge because I have little hands. I'm looking to get a variety so I can figure out what I like.
I use Zildjian 2B dip drumsticks nylon! They work great for me MusiciansFriend.com sells them for $12 I think. They may be cheaper than that.
Hope I helped!
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