If you are an Painter you have your brushes, if you are a Tennis player you have your Tennis Racket, if you are a Jedi you have your Lightsaber. You are now a Drummer, and your sticks are the tools you will use to express yourself. Because of this it is worth getting a pair that feel right to you, as you will be spending a lot of time with them.
If you are a beginner looking to get some sticks, don’t get too intimidated by the makes and sizes, you generally just need a stick which you can use hit the drums which won’t break for a while. Go for a medium sized stick such as a 5A, or a 5B if you want a slightly thicker stick which will last longer. Go for either a nylon tip (the white, plastic looking ones) which gives your cymbals a brighter sound, or a wood tip which gives your cymbals a warmer sound.
When you are feeling more confident playing the drum kit, you will learn yourself what you like and dislike about your sticks, such as if you hit hard and your sticks keep breaking, thicker sticks may be better, and if you find your hands are sore after playing for a short time, a stick with a smooth coating or with some kind of soft grip tape may be better.
Size of stick
The most common sizes of stick are:
- 7A, a thinner stick for lighter playing situations and for those with smaller hands
- 5A, the most popular size among drummers, great for most playing styles.
- 5B, a heavier and more durable stick, great for louder music and a popular choice for rehearsal rooms due to it being more durable.
- 2B, a much thicker stick, very durable and great for heavier music and for those with bigger hands.
A Warning about Speed
When starting out many drummers want to play as fast as they can, so they go for a lighter stick in the hopes that it will allow them to move faster. Whilst in theory this is true, thinner sticks are also less durable, and due to there being less stick in contact with the hand, you actually have less control of the stick.
Think about it like this, if you were to balance a basketball on the tip of your finger, you would have less control over that ball compared to if you were holding it securely with two hands. This is due to how much contact you have with the ball.
With this in mind, the control you get from a thicker stick is much more beneficial than the very small amount of speed you would gain from a thinner stick, but be careful not to get one too big, I’d recommend trying some out in a music shop and go for what feels good.