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A selection of Nick Mason's customised drumsticks, from various makers, displayed at the Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains exhibition
A selection of Nick Mason's customised drumsticks, from various makers, displayed at the Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains exhibition

A drumstick is a type of percussion mallet used particularly for playing snare drum, drum kit and some other percussion instruments, and particularly for playing unpitched percussion.

Specialized beaters used on some other percussion instruments, such as the metal beater or wand used with a triangle, and particularly beaters or mallets used with tuned percussion such as xylophone and timpani, are not normally referred to as drumsticks. Drumsticks generally have all of the following characteristics:

  • They are normally supplied and used in pairs.
  • They are held in the hands, most often one in each hand.
  • They may be used to play at least some sort of drum (as well as other instruments).
  • They are normally used only for unpitched percussion.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ How To Choose Drumsticks
  • ✪ How Drumsticks Are Made
  • ✪ Drumstick illusions! Easy Stick Tricks on Drums | Rich Redmond


- Hmmmmmmm What type of stick should I use? How do I choose my drum sticks? (drum sticks clinking together) Hey everyone, it's Jared from Drumeo, and today I'm gonna talk about how to choose drum sticks. Especially as a new drummer, this can be something that's very daunting. You walk into a music store and you see a massive rack of drum sticks, how do you know what to choose? You just started drumming, right? Even myself, who's been drumming for over 20 years now, I still struggle sometimes choosing the right drum stick. Do I use, you know, the Stanley Randolph Signature stick, the Promark FireGrain, the Vater Rock, do I use the Drumeo custom stick, hmm? Do I use the 85A Vic Firth, do I use the Regal Tip 8A, I mean, there's so many different options out there, how do we as drummers choose? Now, the real story is that it's all personal preference. It all comes down to trying different things and figuring out what you like. But in this video, I'm gonna give you some basic principles so you can walk into that music store, actually, having an understanding about how the sizing chart works. So there's numbers with drum sticks, there's twos, fives, sevens, eights, and all these different numbers, there's the 55A. And what those numbers essentially mean is the lower numbers are the heavier and thicker sticks. The higher numbers are the lighter and thinner sticks. So you have an Regal Tip 8A, it's going to be lighter than a Vic Firth 5B. Now what does the A and the B mean? Well the A and the B essentially means within that number, there is a different thickness. So the 5A's are thinner than 5B's, 5A's are thinner and lighter than 5B's. Then you'll have sticks with something like 5A barrel. Now the barrel is referring to the tip of the stick. And when it comes to the tips of the sticks, drummers always are wondering about nylon tip or wood tip, and it really comes down to what sound you prefer. So when you play a nylon tip drum stick on a cymbal, generally, you get a more defined and consistent sound. You'll even notice, I believe, on this barrel tip, there's some inconsistencies even when you feel the top of the barrel, there's some fuzziness and stuff like that, so when you play a cymbal, if you hit it in that one specific spot, it might change the sound of that cymbal. Whereas, if you hit it with a nylon tip, it's gonna give you a really nice consistent sound, but it's gonna be a different feeling. Same with wood tips, when you play the cymbals with wood tips, you're gonna get more inconsistency, but I believe when you play the drums with those wood tips, they're gonna sound really, really great. So if it's between nylon tip and wood tip, that is a very personal preference, but think about the music you're playing, if you're playing something that needs nice, bright cymbal sounds and nice consistent cymbal sounds all the time then you might want to try out some nylon tipped sticks. Personally, I prefer wood tip, and I prefer the acorn tip sticks. See, you see this is an acorn tipped stick. Then you also have the barrel tip, everyone has their own preference. Now once you find your perfect stick, how do you actually know it's a good set? A lot of companies are getting better when it comes to their technology, and they really are pairing up great sticks, nice and straight without any inconsistencies. But once you do find that pair that you like, here's what you can do to, kind of, check to be sure that it's sounding good. So one thing I like to do is I like to take the stick that I find and just roll it on a flat surface. If you see it, kind of, hoppin', then it means the stick could have a little bit of a curve in it and it's not perfectly straight. You can't always see that by looking down the stick because it's too short. Another thing I like to do is I like to get a practice pad and take two sticks that are the same, so here we've got the Drumeo custom sticks. Take two sticks that came in a set, and tap them on a similar surface with the exact same surface, and listen for the resonance that they make. Don't hold the stick to tight, but just tap them on the surface nice and loosely, listen to the vibration and the sound that the stick is making, and then if they're way off pitch, then you know one stick is likely a lot heavier than the other one. And some drummers are more picky than others, but I like to have similar weighted sticks. And like I said, with new technology these days, companies are getting so great at pitch matching their drum sticks and making sure that they're perfectly straight. So that is some information on how to choose drum sticks. So now I want to hear from you, leave a comment below, and tell me what type of sticks that you use. Go ahead, leave that comment below, and I'll see you in the next video. (upbeat music)



The parts of a simple drumstick
The parts of a simple drumstick

The archetypical drumstick is turned from a single piece of wood, most commonly of hickory, less commonly of maple, and least commonly but still in significant numbers, of oak.[1] Drumsticks of the traditional form are also made from metal, carbon fibre and other modern materials.

The tip or bead is the part most often used to strike the instrument. Originally and still commonly of the same piece of wood as the rest of the stick, sticks with nylon tips have also been available since 1958. In the 1970s, an acetal tip was introduced.

Tips of whatever material are of various shapes, including acorn, barrel, oval, teardrop, pointed and round.

The shoulder of the stick is the part that tapers towards the tip, and is normally slightly convex. It is often used for playing the bell of a cymbal. It can also be used to produce a cymbal crash when applied with a glancing motion to the bow or edge of a cymbal, and for playing ride patterns on china, swish and pang cymbals.

The shaft is the body of the stick, and is cylindrical for most applications including drum kit and orchestral work. It is used for playing cross stick and applied in a glancing motion to the rim of a cymbal for the loudest cymbal crashes.

The butt is the opposite end of the stick to the tip. Some rock and metal musicians use it rather than the tip.

Conventional numbering

Plain wooden drumsticks are most commonly described using a number to describe the weight and diameter of the stick followed by one or more letters to describe the tip. For example, a 7A is a common jazz stick with a wooden tip, while a 7AN is the same weight of stick with a nylon tip, and a 7B is a wooden tip but with a different tip profile, shorter and rounder than a 7A. A 5A is a common wood tipped rock stick, heavier than a 7A but with a similar profile. The numbers are most commonly odd but even numbers are used occasionally, in the range 2 (heaviest) to 9 (lightest).

The exact meanings of both numbers and letters differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, and some sticks are not described using this system at all, just being known as jazz (typically a 7A, 8A or 8D) or heavy rock (typically a 5B) for example. The most general purpose stick is a 5A. However, there is no one stick for any particular style of music.


Traditional grip
Traditional grip
"Fire-sticks" used by Top Secret Drum Corps
"Fire-sticks" used by Top Secret Drum Corps


There are two main ways of holding drumsticks:

Traditional grip was developed to conveniently play a snare drum while riding a horse, and was documented and popularised by Sanford A. Moeller in The Art of Snare Drumming (1925). It was the standard grip for kit drummers in the first half of the twentieth century and remains popular, and the standard grip for most snare drummers.

Matched grips are standardized for most other instruments, and became popular for kit drumming towards the middle of the twentieth century, threatening to displace the traditional grip for kit drumming. However the traditional grip has since made a comeback, and both types of grip are still used and promoted by leading kit drummers and teachers.

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This page was last edited on 6 September 2019, at 06:25
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