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    The way drum stick sizes are determined varies per manufacturer. Many drum sticks sold though, have numbers that indicate their length. The following is an example. 

    Drum Stick Dimensions 

    The number 1 sticks are usually 16.75" to 17.25" long while the 2 is 16.00" to 16.50". Number 3 drum sticks are 15.50" to 17.00" long and number 5 are 16.00". Number 7 is 15.00" to 15.75" long and number 8 is 16.00" to 16.50". Number 9 is 16.00" to 16.50" long. 

    How to Choose Drum Sticks 

    Many people make the mistake of buying drum sticks based on their looks and how light they are. The fact is that some types of music require particular sticks. Aside from the drum stick size, the material used is important too. 

    How to Choose Drum Stick Wood

    Three major types are available: hickory, maple and oak. Hickory is the most common wood used and is quite strong. Maple sticks are not as heavy and more flexible. Oak is the strongest, and ideal for intense drumming. 

    Drum Stick Tip

    There are two major drum stick tips used: nylon and wood. The nylon tips are suitable for electronic drums. They can also be used to shield your V-drum kits from scratches and splinters. The wood tips are best for rock music. The wood tips can also be used for other types of music. These tips come in different shapes, so you need to experiment to see which is best for you. 

    Conventions Used in Drum Stick Sizes 

    Most drum sticks have a number and letter. Three of the most widely used are 7a, 5a and 2b/5b. 7a is a thin stick. It is recommended for soft quiet music and jazz. It is also ideal for new drummers who aren’t yet used to handling large sticks. 

    The most widely used though, is the 5a drum stick. It is solid and well rounded. These 5a sticks are used mostly for rock music, but they can be utilized in practically all music genres. The 2b/5b drum sticks are big and heavy. They are stronger and much louder. 

    Traditional and Contemporary Model Numbers 

    Two systems are used to designate drum stick models. The traditional models consist of the numbers and letters (5A, 2b etc). The contemporary models are based on the manufacturer’s standards. For this reason they vary widely. 

    Drum Stick Circumference 

    Numbers are used to denote the drum stick’s circumference. The lower the number is, the thicker the stick will be. 


    Three letters are used to determine the drum stick’s application: S, B and A. S is for drum sticks with a large diameter. They are for marching bands. B is for medium sized sticks used for symphonic concert bands. The A is for softer music and bands. Of the three types, its diameter is the smallest. 

    This guide for choosing drum stick sizes should help you make better decisions when deciding what to buy. But if the manufacturer has its own sizing conventions, you should study it so you can get the right size. 

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