According to the music genre, different drum sticks may be required. Thinking in terms of a beginner, probably most of the attention would be attracted to the drum set itself. The drum sticks may appear insignificant for the moment, but they are important too. The different thicknesses, length and tip patterns, varieties of wood as opposed to synthetics? Getting the hang of it may take a while. Besides, best drum sticks are important because they provide the point of contact with the drums and the cymbals and set off the sound quality. It is not so hard to understand that the length and weight, the shape of the tip and the wooden or synthetic material would affect the sound quality.
The scene at the music store
A pile of random drum sticks at the store can be puzzling. Would it be wise to decide by appearances or fancy? A beginner has a few details to learn and long experienced drummers to face a dilemma. Tried and tested companies, thicknesses and materials should do the trick. Settle down eventually with the right drum sticks after the starting hiccups.
Try them out
Like the trial room at the clothing store, put the drum sticks into action after the final choice is made and before buying it. If it feels good and comfy, with the action and the sound works well, why not?
The quality of wood
Regarding the weight and the strength, the wood type certainly matters. In spite of a variety of materials, the common hickory should be good enough. Hickory is dense and strong and not so heavy. Maple is very light while oak is rather heavy. Some may prefer the polyurethane heavy stuff that is very durable too.
The numbers and the letters
Since the beginning, numbers and letters have been used to represent drum sticks. The number depicts the stick circumference with the smaller number indicating a bigger circumference and vice versa. Thus, the 7A has a smaller circumference than the 5A. Further, the letters S, B and A represented the purpose. The S sticks stood for street applications, being large and loud. B was meant for bands. A represented orchestra and indicated large band sizes.
The shape of the drum sticks
The two ends may be called the tipped end and the butt end. Obviously, the butt end provides more power and additional volume in a clash with the drum or cymbal. Behind the tip is the shoulder and it can be used for a variety of staccato sounds while alternating with the tip. The shape of the shoulder is the taper and affects the performance. Drum sticks with short tapers are stronger while the long tapers are delicate.
Know the tips
Choose from the four basic stick tip shapes. Barrel-shaped tips provide a rumbling sound. If the tip is pointed or triangular, it is a medium tone. Tips shaped like a teardrop or olive create a variety of sounds, tight or diffused. Round tips work very well on cymbals. Nylon tips are not only sturdy but create a vibrant sound.