Today's drumstick options are endless and ever growing. Fortunately, as a Sweetwater customer, you have access to the keen minds of our world-class Sales Engineers and the expert direction of our buying guides. Feel free to give us a call or shoot us an email - we'll help you find the right tools for your drumming needs.
Drumsticks are identified by their length and diameter or, more commonly, by an alphanumeric code (5A). The lower the number, the larger the diameter. The higher the letter, the heavier the weight. 5As (0.550"-0.585" diameter) are the drum set standard. For lighter, more intimate gatherings, try something in the 7A (0.510"-0.540" diameter) range. For heavy rock and metal, you'll want something heavier, preferably 5B (0.590") and up.
Tough, durable hickory is the benchmark for wood drumsticks. Its weight and density lend hickory a level of balance and durability that most drummers will find quite comfortable. If you drum in a jazz or worship ensemble and need a stick that's lighter in the hand and softer on the skins, maple may be the way to go. If you're a heavy hitter, you may want the superior durability and projection of an oak stick. Sweetwater also carries Ahead drumsticks for the heaviest hitters on the planet, made with light, durable aerospace aluminum cores for up to 10x the life of traditional wood sticks.
Wood drumsticks are available with either wood or nylon tips. Wood tips, known for their organic attack and rich harmonics on cymbals, are by far the standard. If you're new to the drums, Sweetwater drummers highly recommend wood tips for their high level of dynamic control. But if you don't mind sacrificing control for greater volume, glued nylon tips have cleaner cymbal definition for better stage projection, which is why they're often the choice of stadium rockers.
Rod (rute) dowel bundles sound and react similar to wood sticks but have a more polite cymbal response and a warm, slappy tone that drummers love. Promark Hot Rods are our best seller in this category. You may recognize these from Nirvana's iconic MTV Unplugged in New York sessions. Dave Grohl's performances here helped pave the way for rod-style sticks in modern drumming. Choose rods if you want the sound and control of a stick, just "turned down."
Mallets' soft yarn and felt heads produce a round, pure tone on drums and orchestral swells on cymbals. Try these for ambient music, indie rock, and live worship settings when you want the presence of drums without a defined attack.
Brushes are the softest stick alternatives. These jazz, ballad, and folk-music staples are responsible for the swirl sounds and train beats you hear on snare drums and cajons. Metal brushes have a more defined attack (better for cymbal work), while nylon brushes are more delicate to sit beneath a mix.
Do you play for an orchestra or marching band? Sweetwater's drumsticks aren't limited to drum kits. See our Vic Firth Corpsmaster line for marching sticks and mallets, and our Vic Firth Virtuoso series for keyboard and timpani mallets.
Sweetwater's Sales Engineers are regarded as the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the music industry, with extensive music backgrounds and intense training on the latest products and technologies. They are available to offer you personalized product advice any time you need it.