The average person will think that any long sticks you find is considered a drum stick as long as it doesn’t tear the surface of the drums. However, when you decide to play drums, you will learn that there are actually different drum stick sizes and that you only settle with a pair that feels most comfortable to you. Others, however, may feel comfortable to one or more size, depending on their mood.
Choosing the perfect wood
And perfect here means that it should be perfect on your hands as well. Drumsticks are generally made from either Japanese white oak, hickory or maple. A recent make is of laminated birch. Each of these material has a different feel to it. This ‘feel’ has something to do with how the stick absorbs or transmits the vibration. It should also has something to do with how it reflexes.
Picking on the tip
The tip, which is obviously the tip part of the stick, comes in different materials such as delrin, nylon or wood. Tips made from nylon have brighter sounds when hit on cymbals. It also holds up longer without getting soft spots or getting that chipping. They do not change the drums’ sounds, though lighter weight of the tip can product a very fast rebound. This allow the drum to ‘talk’ easier. Other companies make use of delrin because of its durability.
Tips are also available in different shapes and produces its own unique sound. The common shapes are oval, ball, acorn and barrel. Each of these shapes has different sizes available, too. The smaller size produces a more eloquent sound while the larger ones create deeper and bigger sounds. Some manufacturers shape the nylon tips like how wood tips are done.
Thickness of the drumstick will also affect the sound as well. There are 2 ways to determine the thickness of the stick. One is by its model number. The A’s are made thinner compared to B’s, and the latter is thinner compared to the S’s. The higher the number, the thinner the sticks get. So a 7A number is thinner compared to 5A, and is smaller compared to 5B.
Another way to find its thickness, since the former has turned useless recently with manufacturers creating their own catalog for drumsticks, is by finding its diameter. They are usually measured according to inches and are shown in 3 digital decimal.