It is not only your drum kit and cymbals that should be given a lot of attention when you are putting together your gear. You also need to make sure you have the right drumsticks.
Many drummers, especially beginners, do not take drumsticks very seriously, which becomes very costly for them in the end.
Stick from the most important contact with your gear. You may be producing the best sound, but it is the sticks that make all that happen.
For this reason, you need to choose drumsticks that extend your arms nicely to reach your gear. In other words, the sticks become part of your body. They become extra hands, making you feel good whenever you hit the drums.
However, there are so many drumsticks manufacturers out there that choosing can be a bit overwhelming. If you are in such a dilemma, don’t worry.
In the guide, I will be discussing the best drumstick brands on the market today. You can use this to narrow down your search.
Why does a good drumstick matter?
There are different drumstick options designed for different playing genres. And this is the first consideration to look for when choosing a drumstick.
If, for instance, you are playing rock, the hardness with which you hit your gear should be considered when sourcing for the sticks.
Even though we have durable drumsticks, you will never find one that is unbreakable. Hence, you want to invest your money where it matters the most.
Also, these products come at different prices based on the features. Hence, your budget, combined with your level of expertise, should be another reason to consider what you are buying.
Most top brands Vic Firth, Vater, Zildjian, Regal Tip, and Promark, offer a similar line of models in the mainstream. These can be a great starting point if you feel strongly overwhelmed with choices. All these show that there are a lot of differences in drumsticks, and you need to be careful when choosing.
Consider these reasons why you need to be careful with your choice.
Avoid possible injuries
Drumming is like physical exercise. Observe any rock drummer after a performance and notice how much they will be sweating.
You will be swinging your hands and straining your ligaments. If you don’t get the right drum stick, the chances of hurting yourself are very high.
The most important factor to put in mind here is the weight and length of your drumsticks. After your drumming style, it is advisable that you choose drumsticks that go with your weight.
You find long and short, thin and bigger, and light and heavy drums sticks. Long and thin drumsticks are more portable. They work well with electronic drum pads because of their light-weighted, which means they will destroy the rubber pads.
However, there are very weak and will easily break. You cannot use them for heavy-hitting.
On the other hand, heavy sticks are more durable. But they can easily injure your arm if you are not careful. Also, they can easily tear your drum heads.
Heavier sticks are more recommended for rock drumming. They will take in all forms of punishment without easy breaking.
Match your gear
If you are going to buy an expensive drum kit, it will not make a lot of sense to match them with poor quality drumsticks.
Each of us loves identifying ourselves with big brands. For instance, I love Zildjian cymbals for their quality. I will, therefore, want the same quality as my drum sticks.
A one-time investment
A pair of drumsticks may not be very expensive. But if you start buying them every not and then, it can be really costly. It is better to invest in several pairs of high-quality drumsticks that will keep you going for a long time than buy cheap things that keep breaking.
This mostly important if music is your main source of income. Every cent that comes into or goes out of your pocket should count.
What Is the Best Brand of Drumsticks?
There is an endless option for these products today. The market is full of different manufacturers who all play an important part in growing the market.
When choosing the best drum sticks, it is always advisable that you check out the brand. And I sure this what many of us do when buying any product.
There are slight differences between the brands. For instance, a size 2A drumstick from Zildjian may be slightly heavier than the same from Vater. (Don’t worry, I will explain the different sizes in the next section.
According to many users, Vic Firth and Promark are the biggest players in the industry. And there is a good reason why they feature at the top.
I have been playing drums for a very long time and have a good experience when it comes to component brands. I have several pairs from each of these brands, and they have never disappointed me.
Besides, these are some of the oldest brands on the market. They have been around for several years now, making very good, high-quality products.
They make well balance drumsticks that will also last a long time. You can be sure about these products, never to go wrong with either.
Apart from these two, a few other companies are also making good moves on the market. Consider the following:
When it comes to making high-end drumsticks, Promark has proven time and again to be unbeatable. They use the best materials in the industry, most Hickory wood, to ensure durability and good service from their products.
The best recommendations for full-size rudimental sticks from this manufacturer. I have used the wide, and I love their weight. Some of their product include;
These Scott Johnson Signature drumsticks are top in the list of many entry-level sticks. Johnson has been a popular drummer in the world for a long time.
This version works great on the snare, mostly matching types of the snare. They are a type stick longer and thicker than 5As and 7As.
Jeff Ausdemore endorses these drumsticks. If you are looking to practice a specific skill set, these are drumsticks that will get you there.
One thing you will love about them is their rebound and how comfortable it bounces. For the first time, I used it to practice strokes, and they have never been disappointed ever since.
These drumsticks are often regarded as matching drums, especially the snare. However, they will still serve you well with any other drumming needs.
The drumsticks are quite versatile. They are made from the best material, which keeps them strong for a long time.
Vic Firth takes the first position in terms of technique development, the size of the shaft, and important features. Their sticks are designed to help you in developing your hands, wrists, fingers, and arms properly.
Since these are important factors, you need a stick that feels right in your hands. Vic Firth has the solution for you.
Their most popular products include:
SD2- Bolero is a general stick that features a medium-sized shaft and a smaller bead. It is, therefore, functional on a drum set as well as on a practice pad.
For general technique development, especially in softer types of music like jazz, you can count on these drumsticks. It is among my favorite products from this manufacturer.
Dave Weckl is one of the most popular drummers in the world. And his signature on these drum sticks means there is nothing you won’t do with them.
They are designed for speed drumming and can help you build your speed technique. I like more the wide sound they produce, especially on the cymbals. They have a barrel-tip, which makes them more functional. They are bright sounding too for a wooden tip.
The Vic Firth SSG- Steve Gadd drumsticks could be the best drum sticks for drum sets. This is mainly because they are endorsed by Steve Gadd, one of the greatest life session drummers known. I like them because of this.
Gadd played for some of the biggest brands ever, so his signature on these sticks is very important. His signature is used to cover different types of drumming styles and genres.
They feature a barrel tip and come in either black or natural finish.
The signature of Ralph Hardiman on these drumsticks tells of how useful they are for learning rudiments. If you want to learn rudiments and become a great player, these are drumsticks to go for.
Pick a full-size 3-S matching snare stick, and you will never regret it. For those who may be preparing for auditions in the high school or college band, or any other dream band, these sticks will help you get there.
Products made by Vic Firth always impress everyone who uses them. They have designed various models in the “Corpsmaster Series,” which can be your best ally in learning different techniques. The Ralph Hardiman model comes as one of my favorite products in this series. It is a 17-inch drumstick that delivers a great feel.
Vater is another too manufacturer, whose drumsticks are popular with top drummers. They offer different sizes according to the needs of the users. Some of their products include:
These is the best drum sticks for adult beginners. Size 7A does not feel too big in the hands, and it light enough to help you master important techniques.
The Vater Manhattan 7A is a good example of drumsticks that can give you this. It’s a premium quality drumstick with a comfortable feel and a small round tip with neat and defined cymbal moves.
Regal Tip was founded by Joe Calato, who first came up with the original nylon tip back in 1958. They have different drumsticks for a wide range of applications.
If you need is a distinctive, defined sound from the drums and cymbals, nylon-tipped drumsticks can be good for you. They are also last longer, which makes them even more popular with many drummers.
Regal’s Nylon Series has multiple stick models made for different genres. They all come with the famous tip, which can handle a lot of pressure.
For heavy metal drummers, who may have been breaking sticks way too often, Ahead as has got you covered. It would be best if you had a drumstick with better material to help you ensure you don’t lose a lot of money. Ahead is reputable for making extremely durable drumsticks.
Their products are built around the anodized aerospace-grade aluminum core and finished with durable polyurethane covers. They have an ‘unbreakable nylon tip that will handle and type of heavy-hitting. Each is made on the inside with a vibration reduction system that absorbs the shock of heavier players.
One of their best products is the Ahead 2A model, which feels substantial in the hands, and has a perfect balance between encouraging powerful playing. Above all, they are light enough to bounce off on faster beats with ease.
Ahead says these sticks can last up to 10 times the normal wooden drumsticks. But they are really expensive.
Talk of some of the best modern drum brands, and Meinl will feature at the top. We know that modern drummers don’t just subscribe to one particular playing style, combining everything from rock to dance music.
For this reason, they need drumsticks that will handle diversity. Meinl has given the answer in their line of Stick and Brush. The company is known for percussion products, which means you can trust their drumsticks.
One of the best sticks is the new Hybrid model sticks. The Meinl Stick and Brush Hybrid 5A stick with a hybrid stuck comes from this line. The line also includes 5A, 5B, and 7A models. Their tip is the biggest feature that sets them apart.
Zildjian is one of the biggest cymbal makers in the world. It is the oldest and ranks at number one, making it very trustworthy. The company also makes high-quality drumsticks for all genres. One of their products is the Zildjian Artist Series sticks.
This line of sticks bears multiple gauges, tip-types, and colors that make users feel at ease. You can pick what you like from this collection since the company has made sure you are well covered.
These sticks are endorsed by some of the biggest drummers like Ringo Starr and Dennis chambers, who are known for using Zildjianproducts.
What’s the Difference in Drumsticks?
There are very many things that bring up the difference in drum sticks. Here are some of the main features you should always consider.
Most drumsticks are made from wood, particularly hickory. This is a medium-weight, durable hardwood that is common with many drum stick manufacturers.
There are other words like Maple and Birch, but they are too expensive, and not many manufacturers use them. They also offer different weights and densities.
The biggest issue with drumsticks has always been durability. Wood is can never be too strong and durable. This is why some manufacturers have been using tougher materials like graphite or aluminum. The added strength reduces the need to replace your drumsticks all the time.
They are also different quality in hickory. Budget drumsticks are made from B-grade hickory, and they come at a fraction of the premium sticks. They may not be the go-to products, but it may be worth stocking aside a few of them just in case your betters one break in the middle of the performance.
It is not only the material that makes the difference in drumsticks. You also need to understand the features that define specific sticks, setting them apart from other products. These features include thickness, length, taper, and tip.
Thickness in drumsticks has a great overall impact on their weight and how they feel in your hands. For playing comfort, you need drumsticks that are comfortable enough for you. Thick sticks are also more durable.
The taper is the part that gets thinner towards the tip of the stick. This part is also important as it shows how useful the stick can be. Length affects how the stick feels as you play. Thinner tapers are good for faster playing, but they break much faster,
Tips can be wooden or nylon. Each style produced different sound and durability. There are also flat and oval tips. Each tip is made for specific sound needs.
What Drumsticks Do Professionals Use?
Professional drummers work with high-end drum kits and accessories. This is why the use of top-notch hickory drumsticks, mostly with oval tips. Graphite sticks are more durable and offer a wider range of sounds, which is why they are used a lot as well. But it all comes down to the playing style and brand.
What Are the Most Durable Drumsticks?
Drumstick durability depends on the material they are made from. High-end hickory wood is the most popular type of hardwood for drumsticks. However, the sticks are not as durable as those made from graphite or aluminum.
Drumsticks seem like the simplest components of your drums set. But don’t let that fool you. They play a crucial role in your career. Among the brands mentioned above, Vic Firth is the overall best drumstick brand.