Playing the drums isn’t as easy as it looks. There is actually more of a skill involved in it than just randomly pounding on the drums. In relation to that, drum sticks aren’t merely disposable pieces of wood, and one set isn’t just as good as another. There are actually different types of sticks that come in a variety of sizes and specifications. Choosing the right type of stick can have a profound effect on one’s drum playing.
The type of wood that a drum stick is made of can also make a difference. Drum sticks can be made out of 3 kinds of wood; maple, hickory and oak. The advantage of using maple sticks is that they are lightweight and very flexible. Hickory is well-rounded, and has adequate flexibility and energy absorption. The densest and strongest sticks are made of oak, but they tend to have weak energy absorption, causing the drummer to feel the vibrations more.
It is also important to consider the tip of the drum stick. The tips come in 2 varieties, wood and nylon. Wooden drum stick tips are the most common type, and are best suited for rock, although it works with any kind of music. However, they do have a tendency to chip in the long run. Nylon tips bring out the sound of the cymbals and are ideal for electric drum sets. On the debit side, they may occasionally fall off the stick.
Number 1 drumsticks typically measure 16.75 to 17.25 inches in length. Number 2 sticks range in size from 16.00 to 16.50 inches. The lengths of Number 3 sticks are 15.50 to 17.00 inches. Number 5 sticks measure 16.00 inches long. Number 7 sticks are 15.00 to 15.75 inches, Number 8 sticks are 16.00 to 16.50 inches, and Number 9 sticks measure 16.00 to 16.50 in length.
Another way of classifying drum sticks uses particular letters to indicate their size and the type of application they are suited for. The letter S is applied to drum sticks which are large in diameter, and thus better used in a marching band. Medium-sized sticks are marked B, and are used in symphonies. The smallest of these sticks is graded A, and is used for soft music.
The sizes of a majority of drum sticks are designated by a number and a letter. The most typical sizes are the 7a, the 5a, and the 2b/5b. 7a drum sticks are thin and are recommended for use in jazz and soft music. These sticks are also suitable for rookie drummers who are not ready to use the bigger drum sticks just yet. The most commonly utilized drum stick is the well-rounded 5a. These solid sticks are ideal for rock, though they can go well with basically any type of music. The larger and heavier 2b/5b sticks are perfect for loud music such as heavy rock.