Listening to good music or playing it is always a pleasant delight, especially with the right instruments. At an orchestra, for instance, these instruments may include a set of drums, a digital keyboard
, a piano, or a saxophone
. One instrument that is also common to most contemporary music settings is a set of drums.
It goes without saying that playing the drums for
an orchestra, a symphony, the band, a concert, or the regular Sunday service requires a pair or more of the perfect drum sticks which are not so easy to find in a market swarming with all sorts.
Beginners and experts have the same desire when they decide to comb the market for the perfect drum sticks – to find the ones that emphasize their style and produce the best music quality. But the truth is, according to those who have a wealth of experience in the industry, it is nearly impossible to find the pair of drum sticks that can play any type of drums or produce any sound one can think of when it comes to drums.
So, musicians are usually advised to go for different types of drum sticks because, depending on what performance they are planning for, they may need heavy or light models to produce the right kind of music.
In fact, having different options takes the restrictions off showing off your talent and makes you a universal player one drum roll or stroke at a time.
If you read patiently until the end of this guide, you will find out what works for you and what you should always have in your bag whenever you are required to play.
Drum sticks aren’t as pricey as one may think and variations depend on a number of factors like the material. Among the wooden species, for instance, sticks made from rosewood are relatively pricier than the others. Generally, the price of drum sticks falls within the range of $6 and $25.
We should also warn you about the pretty-looking and flimsy sticks that produce poor music quality and break easily. You are better off without the aesthetics and poor quality.
We know that finding the perfect drum sticks isn’t as easy as ABC, but it gets easier when you know what to look out for. Here are a few features we think you should keep in mind:
Construction and Design
Once you decide to begin a search for the right drum sticks, you’ll discover that there a number of materials that drum sticks are made from. Basically, a stick is either made from wood or a synthetic material. The challenge, though, is that there are four different species of wood and all four produce different sounds and offer different drummer-stick interactions.
Maple, which is lightest in the squad, will make a good choice where fast and light playing is desired. It has a low density and will be suitable if your goal is to play at low volumes. The popular hickory is a boss when it comes to durability. It is also an easy go-to because of its affordability and its ability to produce tones that have brighter sounds relative to what the Japanese Oak produces. The Japanese Oak is by far the heaviest and strongest wooden drum stick. Drummers depend on sticks made from the Japanese Oak because of its longevity.
If you are a percussionist, then you should look no further than the Rosewood. It has a relatively high density and produces the popular tone that most drummers play. Think this is what you’ve been looking for the whole time? Then you should be ready to spare a few more bucks to have it. *winks*
Synthetics also make a durable choice with popular materials being metal and plastic. They are heavier than the wooden sticks and provide greater sound control.
So much can be inferred from the anatomy of a drum stick. The butt often works as a counterweight to the tip of the stick. Where the tip is the part that taps the instrument often times, the stick can also be used in the reverse direction to take advantage of the extra power and volume that the butt end produces. You should also look out for sticks that feature tacky surfaces for a sure and comfortable grip.
Different tips enhance different music styles. Types of tips include the round tip, barrel tip, triangle tip, oval tip, and the nylon tips. The round tips cover a smaller area, produce light sounds, and sometimes intense sounds that stand out among other instruments. Barrel tips cover a larger area and produce a medium music quality with enhanced tone and less intensity.
Although it produces the same sound as the barrel tip, the triangle tip produces a medium sound with a lot more intensity. You will find that the teardrop tips produce the same sounds as the round and barrel tips. Oval tips cover more surface area, and they produce low to medium tones and less intensity. They are relatively more durable than the other tip types. Another durable tip is the nylon tip which emits light and abrupt sounds. It is effective on cymbals, prevents wear and tear, and is preferred for its consistency.
The shoulder, which is the region at the back of the tip, is used to make cymbal crashes. It can be alternated with the tips for producing different staccato sounds on the hi-hat. The shape of the shoulder also plays a major role on its feel and the sound produced by the stick.
Performance and Ease of Use
If you’ve handled drum sticks before then you should be familiar with the drum stick’s numbering which is comprised of a number and a letter. The number is an indicator of the drum stick’s circumference. The lower the number, the wider the circumference and vice versa. The letters, on the other hand, indicate the purpose for which the drum stick can be used. Of the three letters S, B, A, the letter S represents ‘street’. It has a long diameter and is suitable for settings where volume and projection are big deals. This model is suitable for musicians in drum corps and marching bands.
The B represents ‘band’. Sticks of this lettering are recommended for beginners because they are thinner and are easy to control. When performing live or in a studio, musicians choose these sticks for their drums. Those who play at symphonic concerts and brass bands can also pick this because of the size.
A represents ‘orchestra’ (Yeah! We thought it should be O too, but the drum lords think the last letter in ‘orchestra’ is fine. Or so we think!). The point is when you see the letter ‘A’ on a drum stick, then you can rest assured it is orchestra-worthy. It has the smallest diameter compared to the other models and is equally ideal for soft percussion instruments. Even though this model doesn’t produce the raw volume as seen with the ‘S’ and ‘B’ models, it produces a better dynamic range than either of the two.
The length of a drum stick can affect its density, as well as your control, stroke, and the ease with which you can reach a percussion instrument. So, you may want to consider purchasing sticks of different lengths. Longer sticks aren’t so easy to manage and are not necessary for all performances. Nonetheless, they will come in handy when you are playing a large percussion instrument that requires long sticks.
The best drum sticks should make you a better drummer. That’s not all; they should be easy to use and make drumming a pleasurable experience. In short, it should help you deliver on your A-game. Experts who coach drummers say picking the best is not an easy task, and it is never one-size-fits-all. It’s about finding the one that fits your style perfectly. We are almost certain you’ll find your ‘best’ in this exhaustive review. Keep reading and you’ll find what suits you.
Promark is a family-owned company founded in 1957 by a drum shop owner, who was also a professional drummer. Herb Broschstein started the company to fill a gap he spotted in the drumstick market. With time, the company grew to become a trendsetter in the industry. Today, the brand’s drumsticks are the sticks of choice for renowned artists like Phil Collins, Ringo, Neil Peart, Blue Devils, Mike Portnoy, and many others. This has been a huge boost to the brand.
Promark 5A Drumsticks are made from Hickory - a popular drumstick material. The drumsticks stand out for their durability and impressive responsiveness. On top of that, they have a classic feel and outstanding resilience. This makes them ideal for different users.
The A rating indicates they are made for orchestra. This can be dance orchestras or big bands. They are great for beginner and intermediate users, as well as pros. The 5 rating represents their diameter, which is on a scale of 1-7, 1 being the fattest and 7 the slimmest.
These sticks can be used by children as well as adults. They are not heavy, which makes them best for electric kits. Since personal preference is a large factor with drummers, some users say they are heavy, while others feel they are light. But all users agree they are good for training as well as well as during performances.
The teardrop-shaped tip gives you the freedom to hold them differently to manipulate the sound produced. The drumsticks are made in the USA and sold in 3-packs.
Founded in 2000, CODA is a reputable designer and manufacturer of drums, percussion instruments, and drum hardware. CODA has everything a drummer needs including drumsets, cymbals, cymbals stands, drum pedals, hi-hat stands, thrones, snare stands, and drums accessories.
CODA Student Drum Sticks are made for any user from beginners to pros. This means they are great when training and during real performances. Despite the drumsticks having a traditional appearance, they are not like any other sticks on the market. They are made of wood, which has double benefits. First, they are durable even if they are for regular use. Secondly, the wood gives them a stable feel and makes them heavy, which is a great feature for trainees practicing for drumming stamina.
The wooden tip is acorn-shaped and doesn’t skid when being used. The tip delivers impressive precision and clear sound, both on acoustic and electric drums. That is also what makes them great for professionals. Users also indicate that they are great for children as young as 4 years. They are 15 inches long, shorter than the normal 16 Inches, but with almost matching performance.
Drumming should never be boring! One way of bringing more life to the experience is lighting your drumset and other drumming gear. This makes your drumming setup look incredibly good. This is where Neptune Lighting Systems comes in, with their drum lighting systems and decorated drumsticks.
RockStix HD Green Drumsticks help you light every beat, adding some flair in the environment. They have a motion-activated technology and have frosted tips delivering some incredible effects. It's not just about the effects; these drumsticks stand out for their quality, which is why renowned bands and drummers use them.
They are made from Polycarbonate, the material used in making riot shields for law enforcers. This makes them great for electronic and acoustic kits, marching bands and professional drummers. They are great for starters and pros too. They run on 3 replaceable batteries, with excellent lifetime, even during regular use. They are available in different colors and are also great for kids. So, if your kid loves to drum, these sticks are a perfect gift.
Age is golden! Zildjian is a 350 year old brand, founded in 1623 by an Amercian alchemist. This is even before the US was declared independent. Three centuries later, the family-owned firm has some of the best cymbals and other drum accessories. Their cymbals and drumsticks are the favorite for popular artists like Dave Grohl, Gene Krupa, Charlie Watts, and Keith Carlock, and many, many more!
Zildjian 5B Black Drumsticks are favored by many drummers for being medium sized. This makes them comfortable to use even for long hours. They have a 16-Inch length and 0.6-inch diameter, making them ideal for a variety of users - from starters to intermediates and pros. They are usable by children and a great gift option.
Zildjian 5B Black Drumsticks are all wood, including the tip. This makes them durable and contributes to their precise sound. The design is also impressive. They are thick without being heavy, so you can play drums without worrying about them breaking.
Vic Firth was started in 1963 by the renowned American musician Vic Firth. The popular percussionist and businessman passed on in 2015. The New York Times described him as “the world’s most prolific drumstick manufacturer." The brand has several product lines, which includes; drumsticks, keyboard mallets, brushes, and timpani mallets. Recently, the company recorded an annual production of 12 million drumsticks and mallets.
Vic Firth 5A Drum Sticks combine Vic Firth and tradition styles. They are made from hickory wood, giving them durability and strength. The bold design enables the sticks to withstand shock when drumming, making them great for both soft and hardcore drummers.
Thank you for reading until the end of this review. We hope you are now well-informed on how to get the perfect drum sticks that will enhance your skills and provide you with a long-lasting experience.