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By Rhys Lett

Buying Drum Sticks

Our drum teacher Luke Shore helps you decide on buying drum sticks that are suited to you. We have drum lessons available Monday to Saturday at the Eastern Suburbs School of Music, call 0421 705 150 today to take up our February promotion of your first 3 lessons for only $50.

Buying Drum Sticks

Buying drum sticks for first timers is daunting proposition. There are so many different models. Also differing models within brands. Here is a guide to help you simplify the hunt for the right drum sticks.

WHAT PRICE?

A good pair of drumsticks will cost between $15 and $20. No need to break your budget on your first purchase.

WHAT BRAND?

Just like cars or mobile phones, there are many different drum stick making brands. One isn’t particularly better than the next. When starting out it’s better to start by looking at the main brands. Vic Firth, Vater and Pro-Mark are three major drum stick companies. Choosing one of these brands with ensure you get a good quality pair of sticks. These brands have an international reputation of making high quality drum sticks. If you were to compare these three brands with a stick of the same width/length, you would find that the Vic Firth stick would be the heaviest and Pro-Mark to be the lightest, with Vater somewhere in the middle. We are talking about the smallest of differences in weight, but it certainly feels different after 45 minutes of hand technique practice. To decide, try out the different brands in the same size sticks to see which you like the feel and look of.

WHAT SIZE?

Here are the four most common sizes of drum stick. For beginners, I highly recommend you start out with one of these sizes before getting adventurous. It gives you a good starting base which you can compare all other sizes to as you progress.

drum sticks, eastern suburbs school of music

Difference in stick size

7A – The 7A is the smallest of the main sizes. If you are 10 years old or younger start here. There are also a lot of adult drummers who like the feel of this stick. I certainly like this stick when I’m playing in room with lots of echo. It is worth noting the Vater model (Manhatten 7A) is a little longer than the 7A in all other brands.

5A – The most common size to start with. A bit longer and thicker than the 7A. If you don’t want to over think the process then just simply start here.

5B – A little bit thicker than the 5A. If you really love rock music and plan on being a heavy hitter consider starting with this stick. This stick will also last longer because it is thicker.

2B – also known as the tree trunks. VERY big sticks. I wouldn’t recommend starting out with these unless you really liked the feel of them. They will wear out drum heads pretty fast, and can break cymbals easily if you don’t play with good technique.

It is also important to remember that a drum sticks are meant to wear down and eventually break. Every time you hit a crash cymbal or a rim shot your chipping away at your stick. So make sure you are using a stick durable enough for your style of drumming.

WHERE TO BUY?

Look local. Building a relationship with your local stores is important for future purchases. They want to make you a customer for life and should go the extra mile to get your business. In most drum shops there is normally a rubber practice pad set up near the drum stick racks for you to demo them.

Don’t be shy. The only way to work out what stick you like is by testing. Spending 30-60 seconds with a pair before moving onto the next shouldn’t annoy anyone (if it does you’re at the wrong drum store). But also be respectful, don’t pummel the sticks to the point where you risk damage, and definitely don’t use the sticks on anything besides the demo practice pad. If you take a pair of sticks that are for sale and start hitting drums and cymbals you will be putting dents into the stick and you will have to buy them.

I hope these tips on buying drum sticks make your purchasing choice easier. Feel free to ask us further questions by contacting me through the website. Happy playing!