There are different types of drum sticks, with a lot of different variations, this article is designed to show you some of the best drum sticks available. It takes a lot of drummers some years of drumming to discover different variations in different sticks.
A lot of drummers don’t know the kind of drum stick used when playing, can improve, or dampen your skills.
Drum sticks are one of the most important tools in the arsenal of a drummer. It’s the one connection between the drummer and its drum kit. One good thing is different variations of sticks are available to help you shape your style to suit the kind of music you want to produce.
Knowing the right kind of drum sticks that suit your style is good knowledge that will help you throughout your drumming career.
There is a lot of sticks drummers use to play the drum kit and other percussion instruments, although the most popular form of drum sticks is the classic drum sticks. There are still others like drum brushes, drum rods, and the mallets and we are going to talk about all of them.
I have taken some time to prepare a review on different drum sticks that would suit your style of play, the kind of genre you are into, and your budget. There are a lot of different amazing drum stick brands like Vic Firth, Zildjian, Vater, Regal tip, and Promack, some of this I have used personally.
Before going into the list, in case you don’t understand the anatomy of drum sticks. I will suggest you check below the article to learn the different things you should understand about drum sticks.
So let’s have a look at 5 best drum sticks in the classic sticks category.
Zildjian Maple Green Dip– Best drum Sticks for Beginners
This drum stick suit all style of playing just like all other sticks on the list, but some might break off easily due to the pressure the genre demands.
The Zildjian maple green is one of the best sticks around. It allows a really good grip with its small and slim feature, and it is a 7A stick. The green dip also helps in allowing a good grip on the drum stick. It is made from maple instead of the usual hickory. We should know that maple is less dense when compared to hickory, so this stick is not as aloud as other regular sticks.
- It has a drum stick size of 7A
- It is made of maple.
- It has a green dip that gives drummers a really good grip on the stick, especially for beginners and young drummers.
- It has a wooden tip which will allow for quick rebounds
- It is quite silent due to its low attack.
- It is used for playing light genres
- It can’t be used to play hard genres, and can’t be used for a long time due to its durability and wood type, maple in this case, which is less dense that the natural wood type for drum sticks.
The Zildjian maple green dip is a good beginner stick. When you are practising, it will help in noise reduction due to its low attack, while not compromising your technique and comfort. It will help improve your drum sticks grip, a lot of drummers suffer from this; that’s one of the reasons why drummers lose hold of their stick during play.
Promack Pw747w Japanese Shira Kasha White Oak Neil Peart- Most Durable Stick
Promack is one of the most trusted brands of drum stick manufacturers, and that is due to its long history of quality products. It was founded in the year 1957 by the percussion instructor Herb Bronstein, and since then has been a preferred choice for beginners and professionals alike.
- Made from Japanese Shira Kashi Oak with lacquered finish
- Oval shape wood tip
- Medium (14mm) diameter, 412mm length
Promack is known for its innovative ways, and they were the first to introduce the Shira kasha white oak to the American market. They have improved their manufacturing process; they left the use of endangered wood species and partnered with a lot of well-known musicians.
The Promack PW747W is made using the oak wood, which is far denser than the hickory. Because the hickory is considered a very dense stick, so you should know this will be quite heavier.
The Promack white oak stick will help in improving your attack, bringing out our tonal characteristics of your drumkit. It is the ideal stick to switch up your volume. It has the classic 5A diameter with thick taper, it as an oval tip for a better rebound, and an increase in flexibility.
- It has the classic drum stick diameter of 5A
- It is extremely durable, manufactured to the highest of quality; this is partly due to the wood used, the oak is one of the densest and durable types of wood available.
- It has a wooden oval tip, which will increase rebounds and flexibility, although you will need more precision to have a consistent tone, it will drastically improve your drum grip and overall drum output and speed.
- It is ideal for heavy music styles because of its dense nature; it has more attack than a normal drum stick and would increase your overall drum sound.
- It might be too heavy for beginners and would take some practice to get used to, especially if you are not used to heavy sticks.
The Promack PW747W Japanese Shira kasha white oak sticks are a bit heavier than your normal drum sticks, but when used in the right way, you will be glad of its qualities. You should try it out.
RegalTip 111NT Regal Hick Sticks – Most Durable Thin Drum Stick
RegalTip is one of the best drum sticks manufacturers in the world, founded in the 1950s by Joe Calato. They have grown to become one of the largest drum sticks producers in the world, and they have an excellent array of amazing drum sticks. They always maintain their high level of quality in their products, the manufacturing process, and customer satisfaction.
- Regal tip jake hanna signature drumsticks
- Legendary jazz drummer jake hanna's drumstick has a nylon tip for increased cymbal definition...
- Features regal tip's lacquer formula finish for non-slip grip
Looking at their history, RegalTip was founded with one purpose in mind to produce the best drum sticks in the world. Drum sticks that can solve all the known problems faced by drum sticks and this company have been delivering in its promise. The RegalTip 111NT Hick NT drum stick is one of the best examples.
The Regal tip 110NT Hick drum stick is a very durable stick made from the popular hickory wood known for its durability and density. It is a very thin stick, the whole model is regarded as one of the thinnest sticks commercially available. It has a diameter of .0475, which is small compared to the normal .050 sets of drum sticks.
It boasts of a unique non- slips finish, which means that it has a slightly sticky coating, which aids in keeping the stick in the hands. Obviously, as a drummer, we all have our experience with sticks flying out of our hands. The sticks are not heavy; unlike the Promack oak sticks, it is light, and it produces clearer sounds and amplifies high-frequency sounds.
- It is a 3A drum stick
- It is made of hickory wood, which is very reliable and durable, it has nylon tips making it more resistant to cracks and chips.
- It is lightweight making it a perfect stick for playing at a very fast rate; however, this will reduce the overall drum volume, i.e., if you are playing in a wide-open venue with nice acoustics this will be a great fit, but in a larger venue it might not be very good.
- The stick has a non-slip surface. It has a non-stick surface, which will help reduce stick slippery while playing.
- The stick has a very slim feature with a very small diameter.
- It is ideal for almost all music styles and also for practice sessions.
- Not ideal for very large venue due to its light nature
The RegalTip sticks have a long reputation for being innovative in most of their products. The regal tip 110NT drumstick set is a good stick for any drummer, both beginners or pro. If you are looking for a stick that would improve your grip and has a durable slim feature, then this is your best bet.
Vater Chad-Smith Funk Blaster Hickory Wood Tip Drum Sticks – Ideal Stick for Heavy-Hitters
Vater has been making drum sticks as long as the other brands on this list, since the year 1956. They have a huge collection of sticks used by some of the popular musicians and drummers alive. Drummers that include Chad Smith, Buddy Rich, and co, although they are not yet a household name like Vic firth, Promack, and the rest, they have their long history of satisfying customers with their amazing array of drum sticks.
- Same grip as a 5B but with a beefier taper for some extra weight up top and acorn tip
- Great for heavy, solid playing
They are the first drum stick brand to start making signature products for a popular musician of the time. The Vater chad smith funk blaster hickory wood tip drum stick is Chad Smith, drummer of the famous Red Hot Chilli Peppers band, favourite stick, which he uses to produce the amazing funky drum sounds he is known for.
- It has a drum type of 5B
- It made from the hickory wood, which is incredibly durable and reliable. It is well suited for heavy-handed drummers.
- The Vater chad smith funk blaster hickory wood tip drum sticks are a little heavier than standard sticks because of it’s higher moisture content, which helps adds more durability to the sticks.
- It is great for heavy music styles and for playing at a fast rate,
- It is designed for heavy hitters, due to his relatively heavy tip, which will complement whatever style you play.
- These sticks produce very nice sounds from your drum kit, and if you want to get a glimpse of what you will get, check out some of Chad Smith’s live performances, although this is not a perfect representation of the sound you will get. It will give a clue of what to expect from using such sticks.
- It has a great value for the price as it is not expensive, well-weighted and balanced
- It is nylon tipped, so it will not break or chip easily.
- If you are looking for drumsticks used by more popular drummers, then this is not the one for you
Vater is known for its high quality and low-priced sticks, and they have been very innovative in this field. The Vater chad smith funk blaster hickory wood tip drum sticks is an ideal choice for any drummer. They worked for Chad Smith; chances are they will work for you too.
Vic Firth American Classic Drum Sticks – Best All-Purpose Drum Sticks
Vic firth is arguably the best drum stick producer in the world, with its headquarters at Boston US. It was founded in the year 1963 by Vic firth, a successful percussionist. They have a large collection of great drum stick products that are preferred by a lot of professional drummers all around the world.
- American Classic Hickory 5A Drumsticks
- Tear drop wood tip for rich cymbal sounds
- Light and fast for jazz orchestral and pit work
Their sticks are a great fit for everyone, from beginners to professionals.
The Vic firth American classic drum stick is one of their most successful best products, and that’s due to its high quality. It helps produces phenomenal tones from tuned drums. It is made from American hickory wood and has a diameter of 0.570. The wood is quite dense and very reliable. It can handle all them manners of the abuses drum sticks get. It is the perfect sticks for all drumming situations.
- It comes in different types in 5A, 5B, 7B, 2B to suit your taste.
- It is made from the American hickory wood, which by now we should the properties it gives to the sticks.
- The sticks are weighted, and well-sized matched, producing a perfectly even stick.
- It has a rounded wooden tip crafted in strong hickory to give a more focused tone with clarity and punch.
- These drum sticks are ideal for all types of music genres due to their different unique properties.
- It has extra durability when compared to other sticks from other brands in its categories. It takes a huge amount of abuse for this stick to let you down, some of the recent ones have nylon on the tip, so it increases the durability.
- It is ideal for drummers from beginners up to professionals, even legends.
- One beautiful thing is I did try so hard to find one disadvantage but couldn’t. So, I can say there is none.
The Vic firth American classic drum stick is truly amazing and is my best bet for classic sticks. Its qualities in the hands of any drummer have the potential to produce something amazing.
Classic sticks are not the only instruments drummers use to play the drums. Sometimes some music styles, and situation calls for the use of other sticks, sticks like brushes, rods, and the mallet.
The brush is a type of drum stick used for slower genres to produce the softer texture of drum sounds. It is commonly used in jazz and blues even in the gospel and other genres, but it’s used when softer tones are needed.
It is made of different wires, which can be made from metals, or nylon, both have their differences, but both of them are good.
Metal is good for producing that typical swishing sound used in jazz music while the nylon produces a duller and warm sound and the brittle strands don’t bend easily, some of the recommended brush drum sticks are:
Vic Firth Jazz Brushes
Even in the world of brushes, we would still find the Vic firths showing off their amazing products. Their brush drum sticks are one of the best in the world, and their best is the Vic firth jazz brushes.
- A retractable, medium gauge wire brush with an infinitely adjustable brush spread
- White plastic handles
- the retracable wires can be set at any position to give you the feel and touch you want
It is an amazing drum brush that creates unique drum sounds with a soft texture.
- It is a retractable metallic wire brush.
- It has a length of 5 inches.
- It has a plastic holder such used for adjusting the size to the level you want.
- It produces soft, rich tones and would help better your inner clock in developing your exquisite sense of timing.
- It is more expensive but with the price comes quality.
Promark B600 Nylon-Brush Nylon-Bristle Retractable
The Promack B600 nylon-brush nylon-bristle retractable is a drum brush made by Promack. It is one of the finest nylon drum brush out there, and just like other brushes, it performs its job well.
- Nylon bristles for softer, more subtle sound
- Sturdy impact-resistant nylon bristles with plastic handle
- Bristles don't bend out of shape
The Promack added more quality to this model, giving this product thicker gauge, and clear nylon brittle made with plastics handles.
- It is made with a retractable plastic handle with white nylon bristles
- It has a thick bristle, which helps in producing better and more pronounced responses.
- Its retractable handles allow it to be stored easily.
- Just like we have said earlier, it has the properties of nylon bristles, which means it won’t bend easily.
- It might not be as responsive as its metal counterpart.
This is a form of drum stick with a thick drum stick top, which is covered in felt and produces muffled sound. It could just be your regular classic drumstick that has a felt-covered butt, which would mean you indirectly have a 2 in 1 stick.
It is normally called a double-stick. It can be used to play most percussion instruments, and its sole aim is to produce more muffled sound.
Promack MT3 Multi-Purpose Felt Mallet
This is a perfect example of a 2 in 1 multi-purpose drum mallet. It doubles as a drum mallet and classic drum stick. The Pro-Mack MT-3 has a felt mallet with a semi-hard felt head and an oak handle.
- Shira kashi oak handle for added weight without increased diameter
- Soft felt head for use on timpani, concert toms and suspended cymbal
- Ideal mallet for cymbal swells
It is suitable for cymbals, suspended cymbals, Timpani, concert toms, and others.
- It has a length of 18-inch.
- It has a Shira Kashi oak handles, which add some weight to the light felt head without increasing the diameter.
- It is a combination of drum sticks and mallet, so you could switch it for any of the situations that require any of both.
- It produces soft and even sounds
- The mallet felt head is not glued to the oak handle, so it might slide down sometimes.
Vic Firth American Custom Timpani
The Vic firth American custom Timpani is a 14.5-inch drum mallet that produces great muffled sounds on your cymbals or toms. It’s one of the best mallets you can found on the internet today.
- The Vic Firth General T1 Timpani mallet is suitable for all applications on a wide variety of...
- Produces rich sound yet is capable of rhythmic clarity
- Deigned with hickory stick with a hand felted head
- It has a length of 14.5 X 1.5 x 1.5 inches with a length of 14.5 inches and a diameter of 1.5 inches
- It weighs 1.34 ounce.
- It is a general-purpose drum mallet for all parts of the drum kit, and it is ideal for your percussions, and it comes in pairs.
- It is a well-balanced, highly durable drum mallet.
- It creates rich sounds form your drum kit with balanced weight for rhythmic clarity
Vic Firth American Custom SD12 Swizzle G – A Double Stick
This is a very good example of a double-stick, which has the normal classic drum tip, with a felt-covered butt. The Vic firth American custom SD12 swizzle G- is a double-stick with the SD1 general tip on one end, and a spun felt ball attached at the bottom end. It is ideal for fast changes on the drum cymbals.
- Based on the legendary SD1 practice sticks designed by Vic Firth himself made from high quality...
- Vic Firth designed the SD1 drumstick with a small round tip and short taper, making it an ideal...
- The spun felt ball attached to the butt end makes quick switching to cymbals easy
The Vic firth American custom SD12 swizzle G is made from maple wood for lightweight, fast-playing, and great rebound. It is ideal for drummers playing a lighter type of music or prefers a bigger stick without much addition to the weight.
- It has a dimension of 17 x 1.4 x 1.3 inches with a weight of 4 ounces.
- It is made from maple, which is a very durable stick and very reliable for fast playing with a good rebound.
- It is a multi-purpose double-stick that would save you some cash instead of getting one classic stick and one mallet
- It has great balance and great feels.
- Great value for money spent.
- It might leave some dust smuggles after use, which is easy to wipe off.
Drum rods drumsticks is a type of drum stick that comprises of tiny wooden sticks wrapped or wounded together to form one big bunch. It is the perfect middle ground between the very low and soft volume drum brush and the high volume regular classic drum sticks.
Drum rods could be a bundle of wooden or plastics sticks tied together to produce drum sounds that have a lot of impacts but with a low volume.
Pro-Mack H-Rods Drum Sticks
Some years back, Promack started the rod drum sticks trend when they introduced the original hot rods and has made it one of the choices of drummers for producing drum sound that suits their music styles.
Some music styles might need sounds not as loud as regular classic sticks and not as quiet and soft as the drum brushes.
- MADE FROM BIRCH DOWELS – A Promark original, Hot Rods drumsticks are constructed with 19...
- UNIQUE AND FUNCTIONAL WRAP – Wood dowels are held together by a unique red plastic wrap near...
- FOR SMALL VENUES – Promark Hot Rods are perfect for small venue and acoustic performances
The Promack hot rods drumsticks are constructed with 19 premium birch dowels that create a light sound. The wood dowels are held together by a unique red plastic wrap near the neck of the drum sticks. The wrap keeps the sticks together tight and helps add more durability of the sticks. It is perfect for small venue performances like acoustic performance.
- The sticks are made from birch dowels constructed with 19 medium, premium select birch dowels stick. They give a smooth grip for flexibility, and also comfortability.
- It has a very unique and highly functional durable drum wrap, which is made of plastics thick enough to keep the sticks together.
- It produces unique nice sounds, ideal for soft kinds of music playing.
- It has a 0.0550-inch diameter and its 16 inches long
- Very ideal for quiet settings.
- There is a variety of models like lightning rods, cool rods, and hot rods, which is dependent on their size.
Meinl Percussion Solid Bamboo Dowels
Meinl has a long history of producing a high-quality product and has been producing high-quality multi drum rod for percussionists. There is a lot of different models and sizes which can be used on different percussion instruments from the Cajon to the drum kit.
- Select Bamboo
- Adjustable Flex
- Alternative Sounds
The Meinl percussion solid bamboo dowels are made from bamboo, which is more flexible than the standard maple or other wood types used by other drum brands. It has adjustable rings, which helps in increasing or reducing the amount of dowel spread. It is perfect for drummers trying to get the most pristine sound from their percussion instrument
- It has a dimension of 20 x 1 x 1 inches
- It boasts of bamboo flex. Bamboo made multi rod flexible dowels are more flexible than the standard models and have a unique feel a produces a soft sound.
- It has two adjustable rings which allow the drummer to adjust the amount of dowel spread to produce different sounds and feels
- The dowels have skewed tips that have was shaved down to reduce scratching the surface of the instrument and improve the overall sound of the drums when using the rods.
- It is perfect for low volume set-up.
- It has great value for the prize.
- It is ideal for all types of drummers but not for all music styles.
Understanding Drumsticks – What do you Need to Know?
The drum sticks are made of the different part which can be categorised into four parts:
- The Drum Stick Tip/Head: This is the upper tip of the drum stick, and it varies in shape and can be made from different materials. It comes in the shape of oval, barrel, acorn, teardrop, arrow, ball and is made with light wood or nylon. All this influence the sound the drum stick produce and the kind of rebound you get when you use the drum sticks. For example, a round bead will produce a much more defined sound than the arrow bead because more surface of the tip is applied on the drums, the less the defined sound it produces.
The Drum Stick Taper: The drum stick taper is the part of the drum stick between the tip and the shaft. It is the inclined length of the sticks before the smooth part (the shaft). The size of the taper influences the amount of rebound you will get from the drums snd cymbals; it comes in three forms
- Short taper: This offers less rebound but increases the durability and the power of the drum stick.
- Medium taper: This offers a lot of balance, moderate rebounds with power and durability
- The long taper: This offers a lot more rebounds with a faster response.
- The Drum Stick Shaft: The shaft is the part of the drum stick the drummer grips to play, and it aids the drummer’s flexibility. It comes in different shapes and thickness varying on the type of stick.
- The Drums Stick Butt: This is the end of the drum stick, which offers a lot of versatility to the drum stick. For some drum stick, this the playable part. An example is the double sticks that feature a felt drum stick butt.
Another part to consider is the material used and the size of the sticks:
Drum sticks are produced from different kinds of materials which can be classified into:
Wood: Most drum sticks are made from different kinds of woods, and the common ones are hickory, maple, and oak wood. The hickory is more used because of its balanced mixture of strength, weight, and durability, maple is the lightest, and it’s used for lighter sticks for fast playing.
The oak wood is the densest wood of the three and is used for producing more durable heavy sticks for heavy hitters
Carbon Fibre: This is another material used for drum sticks; it is well known for its durability, although it is not so commonly used.
Aluminium and Plastics: The plastics sticks are more popular than the aluminium ones, they both boosts of more durability than the wooden sticks, there are claims the sticks are 6-10 times stronger than wooden sticks, although it is not as common as the wooden ones and it’s much more expensive.
Size Of Drum Stick
Drum sticks are recognised by their numbers and letters. The code is the lower the number, the thicker the stick while the letter shows the mode the sticks can be used for, except for 2B, which is the thickest stick of the all.
The A sticks used for orchestra, the B sticks are used for bands while the D sticks are used for dance bands.
Although there is the fact that drum sticks vary with different drum brands, but this size is standards varying from 7A which is the thinnest drum sticks to 5A which is most popular down to 2B which is the thickest drum stick
Here is a list of some of the special ones:
- 7A is the thinnest stick, and it’s well suited for jazz drummers.
- 8D is also the thinnest, but it’s longer than the 7D.
- 5A, this is the most common drum stick, and it is considered the standard drum stick size.
- 3A, this is slightly longer and thicker than the 5A.
- 1A is the longest drum stick available.
- 5B is a thicker version of the 5A, but it is shorter in length.
- 2B, this is the thickest of all sticks, and it is ideal for heavy music styles like the rock/ metal and also good for practising your power grip.
It is ideal for playing with the 5A if you have not found the drum stick size you love, because of its balanced feel, while it is better to practice with a 2B to get more grip power so when you play with lighter sticks like the 5A and others you would more control of your sticks.
Other Drum Stick Recommendation with The Drum Size
For some more Carbon fibre and aluminium sticks, you can check out: Vic firth Titan, Millennium and Ahead 7A,5B, and 2B sticks.
Some other drummers buy their drum sticks in bulk from top brands. But if you are getting it from an unknown brand, it will be cheaper compared to when buying from top brands like Vic firth, Promack, and co.
This is because those sticks are mostly of very low quality, there is a lot of refining processes that go into making your sticks, so when buying from an unknown brand be sure they didn’t go through a lot of this refining process and can’t be trusted for live performances but it is still good for the practice session.
Hopefully, this article has answered all your question about drumsticks and helped you pick the right drum stick model for your music style(1), stay tuned for more updates and reviews.
Last update on 2021-04-11 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API