Jazz is one of the music genres in the world many people enjoy when it comes to the drumming aspect. However, it’s not a very easy style. And this is why you will not find many beginners starting with the style. Mixing all those technicalities requires a lot of time and experience, which is left to experts.
Even so, you should not stop trying it out, even if you are a beginner. The secret is in choosing the right gear, among them drumsticks.
The stick back of a jazz drummer has several things. But the main one is that it should have several pairs of drumsticks to help them bring out the music in the most expressive manner.
What are the best drumsticks for jazz drummers? This is perhaps one of the most neglected aspects of putting together jazz kit accessories, yet one that can make all the difference.
And this is why I will be reviewing some of the best options in the sticks out there. I hope to answer this question by the end.
Best drumsticks for Jazz reviewed
Every drummer needs to feel in the best control of the music they are playing. It is no surprise that the drummer determines the flow of the music and the success of a performance.
Drumstick choice should, therefore, be taken very seriously. Many people don’t know that a wrong stick choice can be harmful to their health.
Among the main considerations for good selection is the brand. I always tell anyone who asks me about this to consider the most reputable brands when purchasing anything in the drumming world. It is all about investing where you know something good will come to grow.
In this case, the top manufacturers include Vater, Vic Firth, Zildjian, Ahead, and Promark. Buying products from these brands guarantees you the best quality.
Now that we have cleared that, here are 5 of the best drum sticks for a jazz drummer.
Buying good gear in the drumming world can be as easy as following what others are using. Hence, if you have your favorite drum expert, you want to use what they are using.
Peter Erskine is an icon for most in the jazz drumming community. He has been playing for a large number of famous jazz musicians across the globe.
And it is from his experience that he helped design these Vic Firth Ride sticks. They are specifically made for a jazz drummer, which makes them even greater, just like the legendary Vic Firth American Classic series.
The shaft comes beefed up, giving them extra power. As such, you can play dynamics without using too much energy to hit.
They feature a long taper and a back-heavy, which ensures a nice rebound. It is the same articulation that every jazz drummer looks for in their performance.
Wooden tip in a teardrop shape is not a setup you will get in most drum stick options, making this one a unique choice. You can feel their real power on the cymbals, especially the ride, which appears in their title.
Even better, these are sticks; you will only find useful in jazz. They are versatile enough to work with other music styles.
However, you should know that they are not for hitting too hard. Hence, not recommended for heavy hitters.
Jazz drumming is a subtle music style. It is filled with emotions and feelings, and hence, requires a special stick. And Vic Firth understands how to bring it out.
Pros and cons
The biggest plus for this jazz stick choice is the great rebound. They don’t require a lot of energy to bring out the desired sound. They sound great on cymbals, and they are versatile.
For a jazz player, there are no complaints about these sticks. You will find them very convenient with other styles too, but not very recommendable.
Every drum expert knows Vic Firth for their high-quality drum stick lines. The manufacturers work with innovative technologies to create the most convenient solutions for modern drummers.
These 7A sticks are one of the most popular options in the drumming community. You can find them in almost any music store around you.
The America Classic 7A is among the best-sellers from the manufacturer, which makes them even more admirable. More like the American Custom from Promark, they are among the best sticks you can have.
You can find a nylon tip and a wooden tip, depending on your preference. I like the nylon tip more because it makes the cymbals sound brighter. Every jazz player knows that the cymbal setup is the most vital aspect of delivering a perfect performance. It’s, therefore, important to drumsticks that help you accent the cymbals.
7ANs from Vic Firth feature a nimble and thin build, yet they are extremely strong. Durability is a vital consideration in picking the right gear for any drum enthusiast. These drumsticks don’t often splinter like most drumsticks do, which proves a great quality.
Grab them firmly, and they will not slide from your hands. Also, expect to feel a great weight balance from the sticks.
Pros and cons
There are more pros than cons with this jazz stick, and hence, worth your investment. They are very accessible, don’t splinter easily, and have a nylon tip, which amplifies cymbals impressively.
The biggest downside is that the nylon tip sometimes comes off.
Talk of the best makers of drumsticks and Promark will always feature. Their FireGrain series is heat tempered. No wonder it is one of the best options for most drummers across the globe.
Just so you know, heat tampering involved heating wood with a flame slowly to eliminate moisture and increase durability. As such, these are some of the most durable drumsticks on the market.
Well, I am not saying they are unbreakable. But they can handle more punishment than most other sticks made with cheaper processes and other lighter sticks.
It is this durability that makes them great for anyone playing jazz. You will be glad to invest in these products, especially because they come from a reputable brand.
Also, heating tampering does not affect their balance or weight. In other words, they feel just as light as any other 7A drumsticks. Such a weight is handy when it comes to controlling dynamics – they make it very easy.
7A drumsticks are thinner than other sizes. This makes them easy to break. But Promark has made this one incredibly strong.
Besides, they deliver a great tone from the heads and the cymbals. They are easily the best you can ever have for this genre.
Pros and cons
They are the most durable jazz stick options because of the heat tampering. They sound amazing on drums and cymbals and allow for dynamic drumming.
However, some variations of the jazz stick last longer than others. This may be the only limitation that presents.
Zildjian has been the biggest cymbal manufacturer in the world of drums and cymbals for more than 200 years. They are known for offering only the best quality.
As such, you can expect nothing less from their drumsticks. Their maple Jazz drum stick series is made specifically for the modern jazz player.
One that makes me love the stick is its feel and sound. They bounce really well while remaining cool and soft. They come with a nice and light appearance, which is perfect for jazz drumming.
Generally, they have all the characteristics you can expect in a jazz drum stick option.
You can find other versions in this line made with different woods like hickory and birch. But they may not be as functional as these.
The cymbals are 7As, measuring 16-inches in length, with a width of 0.54 inches. The ones in this review feature a teardrop wooden tip. But you can also find nylon tips and thinner sticks if you wish, which is also highly recommended for jazz.
Pros and cons
Zildjian is a big company with a big reputation. And this is the main pro. They are light, long-lasting, and highly responsive.
The only downside is perhaps that wooden tip. Some may not find this such an issue since it depends on personal preferences.
Vater is another giant in the world of drumstick companies. They are known for making high-end products, with great quality. If you are looking for high-quality professional drumsticks, this is one of the companies you can rely on.
I have been trying to avoid wood tips on this list, but there is a reason why you should consider them. Most importantly, it is because of the unique sounds they offer on cymbals.
Also, these sticks are a bit longer than normal 7As. Hence, you have a great reach while playing your drums. This feature comes in handy, especially for those with shorter arms. Besides, it’s this extra length that makes them wonderful for reaching the bells of cymbals. Jazz experts apply this part a lot in their drumming.
The wood is a bit lighter than the other 7As, and hence, delivering less volume. They are also great for playing dynamics in jazz. Rounded tips promise a well-defined edge, which ensures you get articulate strokes.
Vater is a reputable brand. Its sound quality could be compared to Vic Firth American Jazz sticks above.
Even though wooden tips are often less durable than nylon tips, it is still a good idea to reach dynamic jazz moves. Besides, it does not make such a big difference.
Pros and cons
Longer in length means you can reach any part of your cymbal setup with ease. They come with rounded nylon tips, and hence, are good for articulate strokes. Light wood works well for dynamics.
One questionable quality here is the flat butt ends. They may not feel comfortable with those who play sticks from near the bottom.
Frequently asked questions
What drumsticks do professionals use?
It is no secret that there are many different types of jazz sticks and manufacturers in the world today. For this reason, it becomes a bit of a bargain to choose the right one. Therefore, many buyers want to know what their favorite drummers are using.
However, there are not special drumsticks designed for professionals. This is because every drum user has their preferences, and it helps to know what makes you feel more comfortable.
Everyone has different tastes and preferences. The only thing you should try is to avoid poor quality sticks, which break too easily. Hickory and birch make excellent drumsticks.
What’s the difference between 5A and 7A drumsticks?
Jazz sticks, or any other, come in different sizes. When you look at any of them, you will notice they come with different numbers written on them. You may be wondering what they all mean.
It is simply a description of the sizes. The letter “A” stands for “orchestra.” It means the sticks are mostly designed for playing in large bands.
Their size differentiates 5A and 7A drum sticks. In comparison, 5As are thicker and heavier, 7As and longer and thinner. This means 7A sticks are much lighter, a reason they are mostly used in jazz and other music styles that require a low volume.
Another difference is versatility. 5A drumsticks are the most versatile, and hence, popular drumsticks out there. Almost every drum player out there has them or has used them before. They are slightly heavier.
Are heavier drumsticks better?
Choosing the right size and weight for drumsticks is key to great performance. It is hard to say whether heavy sticks are better or not. This is because the choice depends on the music style and personal preference.
A heavy hitter requires heavier sticks, and a lighter hitter is the opposite. Just choose something the makes you most comfortable.
How do you pick the right size drumsticks?
The first consideration is your playing style. If you are a jazz player, you should consider 7A drumsticks, which are lighter. They let you play more dynamically without producing too much volume. Heavier sticks work well for more aggressive players.
Secondly, consider your size. If you haven’t developed muscles yet, heavy drumsticks will be hard to play with. This is why kids find 7A s more convenient than any other size.
Last but not least, pick a size that makes you comfortable when used. Take your time to try out various options. Brands like Zildjian are a great place to start.
Best drumsticks number for jazz
Well, you can have any number of sticks for jazz drumming. However, the most convenient size is 7A. They are thinner, and hence, more responsive, and not too loud.
Find the right drum stick can save you a lot of trouble, especially if you play for long. You won’t get into unnecessary injuries, either. For jazz drumming, a 7A drumstick from a reputable brand is all you need. And I hope the products reviewed above helped you.