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I bought a snare (which came with drum sticks) on craigslist. It turns out one of the sticks is fatter than the other one, and heavier.

Is this a "thing" or did they just give me mismatched sticks?

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  • /me waits for the whole slew of 'How to confuse a drummer…' jokes. Go.
    – Tetsujin
    May 31, 2022 at 15:41
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    The seller probably has a pair exactly the same - ask if you can swap one of them - after reading Tetsujin's and other answers. Not met a drummer yet who uses unmatched sticks, but there's still time. It's actually food for thought, as our hands/wrists/arms are different, why shouldn't our sticks be? No jokes - yet...
    – Tim
    May 31, 2022 at 15:53

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I'm sure someone, somewhere, will come up with a valid reason to have different sticks - but general convention is that they should be a matched pair.

See How to Choose the Best Drumsticks for Your Hands and Playing Style

They recommend 5As for beginners, which sounds like a fair compromise. I've always used 7As, even though I play rock. I can get a better wrist-snap with them than I can with anything heavier which, for me, equates to greater volume when needed & greater control when not.

I'd take a trip to a local music shop & try some out for feel.

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  • @pixelearth Also: I'm not a drummer, but I get the impression that people go through sticks fairly regularly (faster of course if you're in certain genres or doing something wrong) and the basic ones don't cost too terrible much. Maybe get a few pairs just to have your next ones ready! May 31, 2022 at 16:00
  • I experimented with different size sticks to try to influence the balance between the hats and snare. It sort of works, but if you do any rolls or work on the same piece with both sticks you can hear it. I concluded it’s better to just learn control. May 31, 2022 at 17:56
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    @ToddWilcox - I actually bought the components of my kit with volume/EQ balance in mind. I guess that's what you get when a grown sound engineer goes back many years later to the drumming he left behind at age 13. ;))
    – Tetsujin
    May 31, 2022 at 17:58
  • Oh yeah totally - I hate seeing high hats marketed as being able to “cut through the mix”. As an engineer, I almost always wish for thinner, smaller hats that don’t cut through anything May 31, 2022 at 20:35
  • As far as weight goes, wood choice matters as much as drumstick size- I'm currently using a pair of "Natural" (?) Hickory 5B's that are much lighter than my usual, smaller Hickory 5A's, which are much lighter than even smaller 5A designs made out of maple.
    – Edward
    Jun 1, 2022 at 2:17

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