Type of wood
Choose the right wood. Drumsticks are usually made of either maple, hickory, or oak. Each has a slightly different feel. The feel has to do with how the stick transmits or absorbs vibration and how much it flexes.
- Hickory is a common, well rounded wood for drumsticks.
- Maple is a lighter, more flexible wood.
- Oak is densest but transmits vibrations more. It tends to be more durable.
Choose the right tips. The tips of drumsticks change the sound.
- Nylon tips make cymbals sound terrific. They give the drums a "Pow!" sound
- Wooden tips (the most common), give drums a deeper, more traditional sound fit for jazz and older rock styles. These don't make the cymbals ring as much, or are considered not as bright.
Part 3 of 6: Thickness
Choose the thickness. The thickness also changes the sound. Higher numbers represent thinner sticks, but thickness is not completely consistent between brands.
- 7As are thinner and lighter. They give more of a marching band sound on trap kit, although they would rarely be used for drum chops, which would favor a much heavier stick. They are often used by beginning jazz students.
- 5As are slightly thicker than the 7A. They're good for Hard Rock & Heavy Metal, but are versatile enough to be used in just about any style of music.
- 5Bs are thicker, more intense drumsticks. Often Used in Rock.
- 2Bs are especially thick. Often used in Heavy Metal.
Part 4 of 6: Finish
- Hold the stick as you would while playing. Let it slide through your fingers.
- Different manufacturers use different coatings that affect grip.
- What kind feels best for you? You may need a stick that will easily slide to alter your grip, without slipping out of your hand. In this case, Pro-mark would be too slippery, while Regal-tip would be perfect. You'll need to check it out for yourself but it's definitely something to bear in mind when choosing drumsticks.
Part 5 of 6: Brands
- Ahead (Lars Ulrich, Rick Allen)
- ProMark (Joey Jordison, Mike Portnoy)
- Vater (Chad Smith, David Silveria)
- Vic Firth (John Dolmayan, Vinnie Paul)
- Zildjian (Dave Grohl, Travis Barker)