May 18

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The best drumsticks for beginners

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If you just started playing drums, and wonder what the best drumsticks for beginners are, this blog post is exactly what you were looking for.

During the next 5 or 10 minutes I will help you find the ideal beginners drumsticks for your drum lessons, rehearsals with your new band and even for practicing on a practice pad.

Ready?

Let's start!

The best drumsticks for beginners

Before you buy sticks for your drum set, the most important thing to know is, that there are huge differences in quality, weigh, size and thickness. One size fits all simply isn't true (at all), but I am sure that you will get the best pair of drum sticks for yourself after you have read this blog post.

First I will show you my favorite top 10 drumsticks.
After that I will get into more detail and talk about sizes, material and things like that. 

My Favorite Top 10 Beginners Drumsticks

#1

5/5

Vic Firth Kids drumsticks

The Vic Firth Kids drumsticks are made for small children from 3 to maybe 6 or 7 years of age.
These sticks are a lot shorter (13") than "normal" ones and ideal for small hands of little drummer boys- and girls of course. This pair of sticks is also ideal for playing on a toddler drum set with a great grip and a long taper.

Vic Firth Kids drumsticks

#2

5/5

Pro Mark TXPR5AW

The Pro Mark TXPR5AW is my all-time favorite pair of drumsticks.

Unfortunately, this product doesn't seem to be available anymore. If you can, you should get a pair of these. There seem to be a few left on Ebay.

They are ideal for any drummer starting at the age of 6 or 7 until you can't play drums anymore - so nearly for everybody!

They are made from hickory, and therefore it is a heavier stick than similar sized drumsticks made from maple, for example. This allows playing all kinds of music with this "perfect pair".

The best promark drumsticks for beginners

#3

5/5

Pro Mark Simon Phillips 707 Hickory Drumstick

I just emailed with someone from the Pro Mark headquarter about the discontinued drumstick model I just mentioned above. 
They told me that the Simon Phillips 707 drum sticks might be a great alternative. It's just a tiny bit longer than the TXPR5AW and the rest is quite the same.

Well, it just arrived and yes, it's a bit longer, but a few details are different, too. I will let you know later what I think about it.

#4

5/5

Vic Firth American Classic 5A Drumsticks

This is the Coca-Cola between all classic drumsticks available on the market. 

The Vic Firth American Classic 5A is the best-selling pair of sticks worldwide, and I bet that every drummer knows this model!

When considering this pair of hickory drumsticks, you can't be wrong! If you are really new to playing drums, you should get a pair of these in addition to one of the products I mentioned above. Weight and grip are great, and you can't do too much wrong. Just go for it.

#5

5/5

Vic Firth American Classic 5B Drumsticks

In case you like to hit your drums a little harder, and you mainly want to play rock and metal, you should consider the Vic Firth American Classic 5B Drumsticks. These are durable drumsticks for hitting harder.

Besides the 5A stick, the 5B version is another popular hickory drumstick.

#6

4.5/5

Vic Firth Dave Weckl Signature Drumsticks

Dave Weckl is one of the most popular and probably one of the top 5 drummers in the world.
If you are a fan of Dave and enjoy his fusion drumming, these wooden sticks are a great choice.

#7

4.5/5

Vic Firth American Classic 5A Black Finish

If you love the color black, then this pair of Vic Firth 5A is made for you. It's the same Classic 5A as mentioned before, but...well...it's black.

#8

4.5/5

Rohema Pad Sticks

Many years ago I bought Dom Famularo's pad sticks. Unfortunately also this model is discontinued and it's not available anymore.

The good news is that there is a great alternative on the market which comes from the German manufacturer Rohema. It's called "Rohema Pad Sticks". 

You can order it here on Ebay.

best beginners drumsticks

#9

4.5/5

Vic Firth Freestyle 5A Drumstick

The Vic Firth Freestyle 5A is pretty similar to the all-time classic 5A, but with an obvious difference in length. 

The "Freestyle" is 17" long and the 5A classic 16".

#10

5/5

Pro Mark Hot Rods Drumsticks

The Pro Mark Hot Rods are effect drumsticks which allow the player to play softer with a very different and unique sound. These different sticks can be used to play more quietly when needed.

What kind of drumsticks should a beginner use?

A beginner should use an even-balanced drumstick which works for many music styles and which can be used for practicing drum beats, drum-fills and drum rudiments. To get a reliable impression of which sticks fit you the best, it's necessary to try out several models by different manufacturers.

What is the difference between 5A and 7A drumsticks?

The main difference between 5A and 7A drumsticks is the thickness and length of the sticks. If you compare the Vic Firth American Classic 5A and the Classic 7A sticks, you will see that both are nearly the same length (16" vs. 15.5") and thickness / diameter (0.565" vs. 0.540").

Is 5A or 5B drumstick thicker?

The 5B drumstick is thicker than the 5A stick. If you compare the Vic Firth American Classic 5A with the Classic 5B model, you will see that both are the same length, but they differ in thickness / diameter (5A 0.565" vs. 5B 0.595").

How do I choose the right drumstick? 

As a beginner, you should buy several types of drumsticks and play with them every day. After a while you will become more confident to choose and decide which drumsticks fit your playing style and the sound you want to achieve.

Best Drumsticks for electronic drums

The best drumsticks for electronic drums are quite the same as those for acoustic drum sets. The only important thing to consider when playing on mesh heads is the weight of the drumsticks and the drummer's individual style of playing drums. The harder the musician hits his / hers drums (mesh heads) the easier they might get damaged. Therefore, you shouldn't use the thickest and heaviest sticks for playing on electronic drums with equipped with mesh heads.

Drumsticks 101 - Main differences between Drum stick models

Choosing drumsticks can be challenging and for a beginner it's nearly impossible to find the perfect sticks right from the start. To help you sort the different types and musical applications, you should understand the main terms:

  • Thickness / Diameter
  • Length & Taper
  • Tip of the Drumsticks
  • Material
  • Finishes

Thickness or Diameter of a drumstick

There are thin and thick drumsticks and a lot of products in between. Thinner sticks are usually lighter than thicker ones and therefore most drummers will use them for softer music styles like jazz for example.

Still there's no right and wrong and no absolute truth whether you should use a thicker drumstick model like the 5B for loud music or a thinner model like the 7A for jazz and other softer music styles.

If you are looking for a great drumstick which works for nearly every music style, you should consider the Vic Firth Classic 5A.

Length & Taper

Length & taper of a drumstick can are also crucial when playing to backing drum tracks. If you like to have a longer reach and a stronger leverage while playing, you should consider longer drumsticks and vice versa. 

The taper is the distance between the tip of a drumstick and the shoulder. The longer the taper is, the lighter the tip becomes. Only reading about this fact, isn't enough to get the feel of which taper you might prefer. So I would recommend buying drumsticks with different tapers like this Keith Carlock model with a longer taper and this Terry Bozzio drumstick with a short taper.

Drumstick Taper

Taper of a drumstick

There are even drumsticks without any taper at all which you can see here.

The tip of the drumsticks

Most drumsticks come with wood tips.
The shapes of the tips can be quite different as you can see here:

  • Acorn
  • Arrow
  • Barrel
  • Blended
  • Diamond
  • Disc
  • Oval
  • Tear Drop
  • Taj Mahal
  • Piccolo
  • etc.

Most common shapes are Acorn, Barrel, Oval and Taj Mahal.

Nylon Tip vs. Wood tip

Question:
What's the difference between a nylon tip drumstick and a wooden tip drumstick?

Answer: 
The sound. Especially ride cymbals and your hi-hat cymbals sound quite different when you compare these kinds of drumsticks.

A nylon tip stick creates a brighter sound on your ride cymbal and on your hi-hat.

Drumstick material

The most common drumstick material is wood. As mentioned a few times above, hickory is ideal, because it's a dense wood which lasts longer than many other types of wood.

The most common materials which are used to produce sticks are: 

  • Maple
  • Hickory
  • Oak
  • Birch
  • Polyurethane

Maple drumsticks

If you prefer lighter sticks, you should consider buying maple drumsticks. It's a good choice to speed up your hands and fingers and to train your endurance. 

Hickory drumsticks

Hickory is a pretty dense wood, weighs more compared to maple and lasts pretty long.

Oak drumsticks

Oak is even denser than hickory and therefore even a bit heavier. Since there aren't any absolute numbers, you should play the same sized models made from hickory and oak to get a better feeling for the weight.

Birch drumsticks

I have never played with birch drumsticks. Ever!
Maybe because they are pretty rare - I don't know. Anyways - this type of wood is the heaviest ever used to build drumsticks from. If you love to play heavy drumsticks, look out for birch and you will love them.

Polyurethane drumsticks

Yes, there also stuff mother nature did not invent to create drumsticks from. Polyurethane is made for drummers who shred a lot of theire sticks in short time. I have never been such a drummer, but I think this kind of "artificial" sticks are worth trying.

Most common drumstick sizes & popular models

In the following table you'll find sizes between 7A sticks and 2B and popular models from different manufacturers for any playing style. If you are looking for heavier sticks, you should check out the 5B and 2B column.
Under "more" you will find quality drumsticks which don't fit into the other columns.

Choosing drumsticks - What do numbers and letters on a drumstick really mean?

When you look at your drumsticks, you will find different numbers and letters which point to a specific size and type of stick.

Letters

  • A stands for orchestra and these sticks were meant to be used in big bands and orchestra-sized music groups. If anybody knows, why they didn't choose "O" for orchestra - please let me know!
  • B stands for the word "band" and was meant to be used playing in bands.
  • List Element

Numbers

  • A stands for orchestra and these sticks were meant to be used in big bands and orchestra-sized music groups. If anybody knows, why they didn't choose "O" for orchestra - please let me know!

Best drumsticks for Rock

Which are the best drumsticks for rock? 
Have you ever asked yourself this question? Is there THE ABSOLUTE BEST drumstick for only one particular music style like rock? 

best drumsticks for rock

Which are the best drumsticks for rock?

I'd say no, but there are a lot of (rock-) drummers who prefer the following sticks for rock music:

As you can see, I added a few signature drumstick models. Most of them are based on a 2B drumstick, which is a little thicker than a typical 5A. So, if you are into rock music, you should at least try a few 2B models and see where you will get. 

Best drumsticks for practice pad

As mentioned above, there are indeed drumsticks for playing on a practice pad (only). I would recommend the following:

Buy 2 or 3 pairs of stick in different sizes, length and weight and use them for your daily workouts on a practice pad. This will help improve your technique, endurance and strength. Lighter sticks will allow playing faster, whereas thicker and heavier sticks will make your hands (fingers & wrists) stronger.

Best drumsticks for bucket drumming

Best drumsticks for Jazz

Best drumsticks for Metal

Best drumsticks for drum set


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