October 07, 2020

A Quick Lesson In Picking Drum Sticks

 

Picking Drumsticks - To the untrained ear, many people don't think about having a process to select drum sticks. Sometimes people will go to the music store, or online and choose drumsticks purely on their look. For those that care about how you sound, here is a simple lesson in choosing the right stick for you.

Purpose

We use drumsticks primary to create and perform rhythms on various surfaces. To some, only the basics of loud and soft are interpreted by the untrained ear. However, those that care about what they sound like are much pickier. Considerations regarding matching pitch, thickness, and the overall purpose of one's performance comes into question. It is up to you to determine this purpose.

In general, a stick in combination with the percussive surface is what determines the over the sound. For the purpose of this quick lesson, we are going to keep things simple.

Stick Selection

For the sake of this discussion, we have already determined the model we want to be based on the purpose. We are going to focus on a quality concert product. The brand is not important right now.

Firstly, we need to find the model of our selection to purchase. Again, I highly recommend trying out the sticks rather than purchasing online. Just like other instrument issues may arise while the product is in transit.

A Quick Lesson In Picking Drum Sticks

Next, take the pair of sticks that are being evaluated and find a flat surface. You want to roll each one across this surface to make sure neither is warped. If they are warped they will not provide a consistent sound and will typically break much earlier than quality sticks.

Third, sound test the sticks. Do this by finding a dead, flat surface with little to no resonance. Tap each stick and listen to how closely each sounds. Ideally, you want the stick pitches to match. Compare a pair of sticks of the same model. Although, the pitches may not be truly exact, the closer they are, the better.

Final Thoughts

With a pair of closely matching pitched sticks, the more consistent your sound will be when you perform. Sometimes the small and simple things are what matters.



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