Learn to Play Drums Online: Choosing Your Drumsticks

Your sticks are an extension of your body, so take care when settling on a pair. They certainly won’t make or break you (unless they’re poorly made and quickly broken), but you’d better be comfortable with them. A pair should match in weight and in sound when similarly used. Part of your practice involves listening to your strokes and evening out inconsistencies in their sound, and mismatched sticks make this impossible. You can also modify your sticks with tape on the ends to give extra weight and durability or grips on the butts to reduce slipping. I don’t like modifications like these, but many drummers do. Below are some short reviews of several popular stick sizes and brands.

imageimageMy favorite drumstick manufacturer. Their sticks are balanced, light, smooth, and feel the best in my hand. I’m able to exercise maximum control over how they move and sound. 5As are a good choice for rock drummer, while the thinner 7As are good for jazz drummers or if you want a lighter sound. I like to use Ralph Hardimans for warming up, as their thickness and weight (they’re intended for marching snares) work like a batting donut. Once I move to the 5As, I’m flying! Also the SD1 General is a great go-to stick for first-timers learning the basics of concert snare.


imageimageAnother popular rock brand. The fulcrum is farther forward than Vic Firths, adding more weight up front and resulting in a louder sound. You have to work harder on the upstrokes, though, making fast rudiments take more effort and control. If you just want to rock out with your woodblock out, these might be a good fit.


imageimageCymbal maker Zildjian also has a line of sticks, but I find them to be too flimsy and awkward, despite their lighter weight. They make top-tier cymbals, though; and they give away shirts like crazy. Maybe skip the sticks.

These are only one man’s opinions; you should go with a stick that feels and sounds good to you.

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