My dad was shopping at a music store for drumsticks for his drummer friend, when he was told some words of wisdom: Don’t, rather, NEVER buy drumsticks for someone else. Drumsticks to a drummer are as personal as say, a handphone to you; only you know what you want in a handphone. So a drummer needs to pick out his own drumsticks to get the right “feel”, and to create the right sounds for the right type of music.
Balance, response and “feel” shapes the perfect drumstick. The contributing factors are the shape of the tip, the location of the shoulder, the taper, the thickness of the neck, the length, and even the species of the wood! American musician Everett Firth, founder of Vic Firth Company which makes percussion sticks and mallets has laid out these information about choosing the perfect pair:
1) The thickness of the drum stick needs to match the style of music you are going to play, and the volume in which you intend to play
Light jazz music will do well with a thin stick, while the marching band needs a much thicker stick
2) The “feel” of the drum sticks is in the amount of taper and the location of the shoulder
A long taper produces a faster response, while a short taper is stiffer but offers additional strength
3) Tip Shape:
Picture credit: http://www.vicfirth.com/product/how-to-pick-your-sticks.html
4) The length of the drumstick affects its leverage and reach around the drumset
5) The type of wood used in the making of the drumstick affects the stick’s response and durability.
Maple and Hickory are considered the best wood for all-around play. Other non-wood materials (such as composite fibre or metal) may offer more durability, but may also deliver undue shock to a drummer’s wrists and arms, resulting in sore muscles.
6) Brushes, Talawands and Rute
These are a drummer’s extra accessories to create a variety of percussion sounds and effects for any piece of music.
Important for cymbal and tom rolls
Here’s ending this trivia with an awesome performance by one of BLOOM’s students. Click here to watch.