Drums Sticks

Vic Firth American Hickory X5A

Are you looking for drumsticks?

Drumsticks are a fundamental element for anyone who decides to dive into the world of drums. Once you master the technique, they become an extension of your hands, allowing you to achieve different tones and sonic colors that our hands alone cannot produce naturally.

Whether you’re a professional or a non-professional drummer, choosing the right drumsticks can make a big difference in your drumming experience. By selecting the appropriate drumsticks, you’ll find the balance and versatility necessary to adapt to different styles and tonal contexts.

There are several factors to consider when selecting drumsticks. The primary factor is the intended use, meaning for what type of drum and/or music you’ll be using them. Depending on this, you should think about factors such as material, length, thickness, and weight.

To give you a better understanding: drumsticks used for playing drums in a jazz trio would not be suitable for playing in a heavy metal band. In jazz, lighter and softer wooden drumsticks are used due to the smooth sound they produce. On the other hand, heavy metal requires strong strikes, so heavier and harder wooden drumsticks are essential.

You also couldn’t use jazz drumsticks or heavy metal drumsticks to play the Cuban Timbales. This is because the Timbales have a metal body, which is used to play specific rhythmic patterns. Additionally, they incorporate cowbells and jam blocks, which don’t sound as intended if you use different drumsticks not specifically designed for this instrument. Hence, Timbales have their own unique and simple yet practical design. This applies not only to Cuban Timbales but also to many drums around the world that require specific drumsticks designed exclusively for each of them.

As you can see, drumsticks are not just a pair of sticks for hitting the drums. They are the result of evolution and adaptation to each instrument, style, and sound.

Now, let’s outline a few aspects to help you understand certain characteristics of Drumsticks and how they can affect your playing style.

Material: Drumsticks can be made of different materials, such as wood or nylon. Wooden drumsticks, like walnut, oak, or maple, offer a warm and natural sound, making them ideal for genres like jazz or classic rock. On the other hand, nylon drumsticks provide a brighter and crisper sound, suitable for genres like pop, funk, or metal.

Material: Drumsticks can be made of various materials, including wood, nylon, graphite, plastic, or combinations like aluminum, polyurethane, and nylon in Ahead drumsticks.

Hickory is widely recognized as the preferred wood for most drummers due to its exceptional durability and sound quality. This wood has the notable advantage of resisting chipping and effectively absorbing impacts. Furthermore, its density plays a crucial role, allowing for greater impact and outstanding sound even with smaller-sized drumsticks. Hickory drumsticks are versatile and adapt to virtually all musical styles, ensuring considerable sound volume in all situations.

The most commonly used woods, in order of preference by the majority of drummers, are hickory, maple, and oak. Other woods like beech or acacia are also used, but to a lesser extent. Wooden drumsticks, such as walnut, oak, or maple, offer a warm and natural sound, ideal for genres like jazz or classic rock. On the other hand, nylon drumsticks provide a brighter and crisper sound, suitable for genres like pop, funk, or metal.

  1. Length: Drumstick length can vary from short to long. Shorter drumsticks are ideal for people with smaller hands or those who prefer a lighter and quicker grip. Longer drumsticks, on the other hand, offer greater reach and allow for more sound projection. In general, I would recommend choosing a length that comfortably suits your hand size and playing style.
  2. Thickness: Drumstick thickness is measured in numbers, with the most common ones being 5A, 5B, and 7A. Thinner drumsticks, like 7A, are ideal for playing softer and lighter styles such as jazz or acoustic pop. Medium-sized drumsticks, like 5A, are the most versatile and adapt well to a wide range of genres. On the other hand, thicker drumsticks, like 5B, are ideal for more powerful styles like rock or metal.
  3. Weight: The weight of drumsticks is also an important factor to consider. Lighter drumsticks offer an agile feel and are ideal for fast and technical styles. On the other hand, heavier drumsticks provide a solid feel and can help achieve more projection and power. I would recommend experimenting with different weights to find the right balance between comfort and sound for your playing style and musical genre.

Now, in terms of specific recommendations based on age and musical genre, here are some general tips. Let’s start with younger drummers:

For young drummers between 3 and 5 or 6 years old, I suggest purchasing lighter and thinner drumsticks than standard ones, such as 7A wooden drumsticks. These lighter drumsticks will reduce fatigue in the hands and arms of the child as they become familiar with the drums.

From this age onwards, depending on the size and thickness of the child’s hand and arm, you can consider the possibility of transitioning to size 5A drumsticks, which are slightly longer and heavier. However, I repeat, this depends on the size and strength of the hand and arm. The transition should never be forced. This way, we can avoid the young drummer developing bad gripping habits due to the fatigue caused by using drumsticks that are too heavy for their hand and age. We might even prevent tendonitis.

Remember, choosing the right drumsticks is a personal preference and depends on factors such as your playing style, musical genre, hand size, and strength. Experimenting with different drumsticks will help you find the ones that feel comfortable and enhance your playing experience.