Monday, January 23, 2012

Gear Up: Drumsticks

There are roughly a bazillion different models of drumsticks available in 2012. (That's a guess, but I think it's pretty close.) Given the variety of tip, shoulder, shank and shaft lengths, tapers and shapes, just about anything you can imagine is available for you to hit, smack and strike your percussion instruments.

If you use wood sticks (as opposed to aluminum, graphite, plastic or resin) there are basically three choices: hickory, maple or oak. I've used all three, and there are strong arguments for each choice. Luckily, you don't have to choose. I don't know any serious drummers who only have one pair of sticks that they use, me included.

That being said, I have found myself very partial to one particular model: Pro-Mark's Shira Kashi Oak 5A with wood tips have been my implement of choice since Christmas, when I received a pair as a gift (from my wife, who is a die-hard fan of the Vic Firth 5A - hickory, also wood tip).

The oak is more durable and has a nice, weighty-but-not-too-heavy feel. Especially for pop and rock stuff, I feel like I don't have to work very hard to get solid backbeats and nice, thick tone around the kit. They're plenty fast and very consistent.

As with drums, cymbals, heads, pedals and everything else, good equipment makes for better drumming and happier drummers!

And as with music, I recommend that you not limit yourself by only using one kind of anything. Experiment, try new things, and make conscious decisions about what you like, and why you like it.

Happy drumming!

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