Just like it’s better to try on a pair of shoes before buying them, it’s better to test out drum sticks first. So how do you make the buying decision and what type should you invest in?
Drum Stick Anatomy
A drum stick has three parts: the tip, the neck and the shaft:
- The tip is the top of the stick you hit drums and cymbals with. It could be round (for a clean sound) or oval (a wide range of sound) or even teardrop (rich and deep sound) or barrel (full sound). The tip is either made of nylon or the same wood as the shaft.
- The neck is the V-shaped part between the tip and shaft. It doesn’t affect the sound but influences weight distribution and balance as well as rebound. Therefore, certain drum sticks have more weight at the top and others at the bottom, which in turn affects how you play.
- The shaft is the long part of the drum stick where you hold it. It may be made of wood, metal or even plastic. It comes in different lengths and diameters.
3 Criteria for Choosing Drum Sticks
Drummers should choose drum sticks based on these three criteria:
- The tip shape in terms of the sound you want
- The neck in relation to balance and rebound
- The length and diameter of the shaft depending on balance and comfort, drumming style, hand size and grip.
Check for Quality
When shopping, carefully inspect the drum sticks by rolling them and check whether:
- They are straight
- They have not been wet
- They do not have any impact damage
- The pair matches (balance and identical weight)
Drum Sticks for Beginners
When starting out, it is recommended you opt for wooden drum sticks with a round or teardrop tip and balance in the middle. This neutral type produces a rich and deep sound with a teardrop tip and a dull and cleaner sound with a round tip. You can try out different drumming styles so you can find your own.
Drum Sticks for Electronic Drums
Although the tip composition has very little effect on the sound, it does, however, affect the drum stick. Wooden tips can fray and damage mesh, so avoid using these. Manufacturers have also launched special series for electronic drums; these drum sticks feature nylon tips that produce a clearer sound (nylon is also ideal for durability and aggressive drummers).
Signature Drum Sticks
Developed especially with a certain drummer in mind, these drum sticks are tailor-made for a specific drumming style. For fans who want to play like a famous drummer, investing in signature drum sticks may be worth it. They also make a good gift.
Drum sticks are certainly a very personal choice for drummers; finding ones that suit you perfectly and feel incredibly good to use may take some time. And as a drummer’s secret is to always use the same drum sticks to play the same songs, you may end up with a wide array of models as the years pass.