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What drumsticks/drumstick qualities:

  • suit rock music better?
  • suit teens (specifically 13 year olds)?
  • are better for beginner and intermediate drummers?
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  • 1
    For a 13-year-old beginner practicing rock drumming in my house (or neighborhood for that matter), I would recommend chopsticks.
    – Theodore
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 16:05

3 Answers 3

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People generally use heavier-than-average drumsticks for rock music. No lighter than 5A, often 5B or 2B drumsticks are used. This covers quite a range, and which particular stick you use is largely down to personal preference. So much so, that your question might be closed as opinion-based. Some people will even use lightweight 7A sticks for rock, although that is not typical.

Selecting drumsticks for age is still a matter of preference. It seems sensible to me to use a lighter drumstick for a smaller person, as long as the weight of the drumstick is still in the normal range. However, my experience in high school band is that everyone just used regular (big, heavy) marching drumsticks by the time they turned 13 and it wasn't an issue. The sticks used on a drumset are much lighter and smaller than marching sticks, and thus should be even less of an issue. (Also, I think that if a young person just picked the stick that felt the best, they'd probably end up with a lighter stick anyway. No need to consider age specifically.)

I see no reason for a beginner drummer to use a different drumstick than a professional drummer.

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  • I think it's worth mentioning that most drummers/percussionists like to own a large variety of drumsticks and use them for different effects. They will often change sticks for different pieces (sometimes even in the middle of a piece). Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 3:01
  • 1
    @ElementsinSpace - I see them change standard for tymp sticks, or brushes, but not usually 2s for 7s.
    – Tim
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 10:38
  • One thing that can influence the thickness is also cost: my former band's drummer was a hard hitter and used thicker sticks because he broke the regular ones too often..
    – Kaddath
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 14:20
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Whilst sticks come in, generally, 3 numbers, 2,5 and 7, they are available in other number codes, too. But because those three suit most drummers and their styles overall, they have become the mainstay.

Those numbers refer to the heaviness, and to a great extent, then, the thickness (diameter). 2 being the heaviest, down to 7 being the lightest (thus thinnest).That said, B sticks are slightly bigger diameter than their A counterpart.

So, it goes without saying that loud, hard hitting players, usually of rock ilk, will prefer the heavier 2 sticks, while the jazzers are happier using 5s and occasionally 7s.

There's a small difference in drumstick lengths from different manufacturers, generally from 15" to around 17.5", but that will have only a small influence on things - it will depend where one holds the stick - and from experience, rock drummers may well use them the 'wrong' way round anyway!

Small hands/wrists/arms, then as in young beginners, would find 7A less tiring to use, and that may well continue into mature playing, as they must be more manoeuvrable, but of course, it will depend what sort of drumming that person develops in to, and indeed, what kit they may be using.

I think the genre doesn't come into it as much as the individual preference - the kit itself may have more influence, but at its peak, putting the three factors together is more important.

Incidentally, apart from the most common wooden sticks (often hickory), there's aluminium ones available, which I guess will last a lot longer (the nylon tips are interchangeable), and I can't find much, if any, difference between them and the traditionals.

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One thing no-one has mentioned yet is grip & agility.

I use 7As no matter what style I'm playing. I do this because I can whip a 7 much faster and with less effort than a 2 or even a 5, meaning I can actually play louder with 7s than I can with larger sticks. There's also less inertia if you're working around the kit, so you can be in the next position with less effort.

The downside of this is that they're harder to keep a tight hold of; you have to grip harder to prevent them slipping. Depending on how energetic your performance, sweat can make then tough to hang onto at times.
I combat this with either sports resin [rosin] which comes in a bag you can pat between your hands, or 'bowling wax', designed to rub onto lawn bowls [not ten-pin bowls], to prevent slipping.

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  • Have you tried emery paper to rub off the varnish where you hold them, or a bit of tape at the same point?
    – Tim
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 17:59
  • I don't use varnished sticks, they're not inherently slippy. Tape comes off unpredictably, making nasty blistery lumps mid-performance. It's just a choice I made 20-odd years ago that works well for me. I don't break or wear out sticks either, I have my hats set so they don't cut in, so it's been the same pair for those 20 years. ikr , but I can be a bit OCD about things ;))
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 18:04

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