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Buyers' guide: budget drumsticks

How to buy cheap with confidence

The huge number of high-end models available is all well and good if you only get through a couple of pairs every six months or so. However, it's a fact of life that if you're going to be playing heavier styles of music and you don't opt for one of the fine synthetic models out there, you will be shelling out quite a lot of money on a fairly regular basis.

Of course, this is fine if a) you can afford to do so and b) there are enough trees left to support your stick smashing habit.

"The balance and grip of a stick can be just as good in the budget models so if you don't mind the odd blemish or slight sniff of a second then buy 'em up and save yourself some dosh!"

There are many lower-priced models on the market that exhibit some high-end characteristics for a fraction of the price. You do get what you pay for these days, but it's safe to say that most mid-priced sticks are a big improvement on previous models.

Balance and grip

When selecting a good budget drum stick you must (above all cosmetic issues) see how good they feel in your hands. The balance and grip of a stick can be just as good in the budget models so if you don't mind the odd blemish or slight sniff of a second then buy 'em up and save yourself some dosh!

It would also be advisable if you tend to shred your sticks rather too easily to consider stocking up with a few budget sets and see if anyone notices any differences at all. It'll be kind on your pocket and, you never know, you might even find your perfect stick! Here's our top five picks to get you started…

5 drum sticks from £4.49

5. Pro Orca
£9.30 (standard) - £11 (extra grip)

Pro orcaStars

Pro Orca produces nine ranges of sticks and offers the Pro-Orca personalised label stick of your choice as well its answer to Pro-Mark's Hotrods. Visit Music Shipping for more information on all the Pro Orca products.

4. Pro-Mark LA Special
£5.99

StarsPro-Mark la special

These surprisingly durable and highly affordable sticks are Pro-Mark's 'second quality' range. As such they sometimes have slight inconsistencies in finish when compared to the company's high-end models. They are still exceptional value, though.

3. DW3 Drumsticks
£9.95

StarsDW3 sticks

They say 'three is the new pair', and this brand new DW product - manufactured in Mexico with three sticks in every pack - means you always have a spare. It's been done before, but it's still a great idea and is good value considering that you get a pair and a half in every pack!

Next page: Shaw Supremo sticks and our top pick

2. Shaw Supremo Sticks
£4.49

StarsShaw supremo sticks

A British family-run company, William Shaw and Co has been in existence since 1866 and was recently bought by the Music Shipping Company. The company produces wood and nylon-tipped models and claims the 'largest selection of drum sticks in the world'.

1. Vic Firth Nova
£5

StarsVic firth nova

This budget range from stick giants Vic Firth includes not only regular finish but also exotic black and red sets for half the price of the popular Vic Firth sticks. They might have minor cosmetic blemishes but, as cut-price versions of their big brother, they are made in the US and will serve you well.

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