Rhythm Top Ten Tips: Getting the most from your sticks

Aside form your kit and cymbals, your sticks are an essential component to your playing. Here are a few pointers about getting the most from your sticks.

1. Although white wood sticks are popular, brown timber is usually just as good. It just comes from a different part of the tree trunk.

2. Look for cut-price ‘seconds´ by the major manufacturers. These are often good sticks, which don´t quite make the highest criteria.

3. Also check out British-made sticks by Shaw and other companies, which are sometimes unbranded.

4. If you break a lot of sticks try a heavier model or a type with a thicker neck and shoulder.

5. You might want to alter the angle of your crash cymbals as well so they don´t continually cut into your sticks.

6. Designations like 2B are not standardised. Manufacturers use the same designations but make different lengths, shapes and weights.

7. Even worse, you will sometimes find the same size stick by different manufacturers bearing different designations, like 6A and 7A.

8. Synthetic sticks generally last three to eight times longer than wood. But they´re usually three times as expensive.

9. To combat sweaty hands you can but tubs of antiperspirant lotion, wrap your sticks with stick wrap or buy special light, thin gloves.

10. Some drummers sand their sticks in the grip area for greater friction. Or look our for sticks which have no shiny lacquer.

Chris Barnes

I'm MusicRadar's eCommerce Editor. It's my job to manage the buyer's guides on MusicRadar and help musicians find the right gear and the best prices. I'm a guitarist and a drummer and I've worked in the music gear industry for 18 years, including 7 years as Editor of the UK's best-selling drum magazine Rhythm, and 5 years as a freelance writer working with many of the world's biggest musical instrument brands including the likes of Roland, Boss, MusicRadar and Natal.