Picking the Perfect Pair

Vic Firth sticks at newcastle drum centre

It's no secret that finding the right stick is a long and difficult task. Some believe there is one perfect stick for every player, however I disagree. I believe there is a perfect stick for your current playing state. As things change (such as muscle strength and stylistic interests) your sticks can change too. I'm going to give some advice on how to find the perfect pair for you. 

How the stick should feel

A stick should have no burden on your playing and should be effortless to use. You want the stick to feel like an extension of your arm so the stick does exactly what you want it to, without having to think about controlling the stick. For example- If a stick is too heavy, the stick will bounce off the skin farther than your fingers expect and cause your mind to focus on controlling the stick. 

Picking your Tip

The four most common tips are Oval, Acorn, Round and Nylon.

Oval tips are the stylistically most versatile with a light feel and great bounce back. Oval tips are good for a versatile drummer who plays multiple genres.

Acorn tips are popular for rock drummers. They produce a louder tone and are pretty durable.

Small Round tips are brilliant for light players in genres like Jazz. They produce a bright, crisp sound and produce an amazing sound on a ride cymbal.

Large Round tips are very durable with excellent bounce and response. The extra bounce makes these sticks a good pick if you play big drums.

Nylon tips are popular on electric kit users. They offer great bounce on rubber, mesh and silicone.  The shoulder of the stick doesn't hit any sharp cymbals and the tip is plastic, causing these sticks to last a long time.

Picking your Size

The most popular drumstick sizes are 7A, 5A, 5B and 2B in both Nylon and Wood tip. The letter indicates the recommended application.

"A" stands for Orchestra, however currently more applicable for Rock and Jazz drummers. "A" has a smaller circumference than "B", effectively making them slightly lighter also. 

"B" stands for Band, such as brass bands and symphonic orchestras. Although this size is used by many rock drummers today, they are great for beginners due to there larger circumference, offering more grip. 

The number indicates the overall size. The lower the number, the larger the stick! 

The best way to pick your perfect pair is through trail and error. We have many stick sizes here at NDC, come down and try them till you find the perfect pair for you!


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