Hey Paul,

Below is the Q & A piece. I would recommend encouraging drummers writing to you or me with their questions. I can send you their questions, name, and answers back which could go after my piece. What do you think?


Good idea & perfect for the FAQ too - P

How important is the proper selection of drumsticks?

The drumstick is the connecting place between your thoughts and your music people can hear. If you pick sticks too big, you actions might be slower, sluggish, or too loud. A stick too small and your actions could be uncontrollable, with danger of stick breaking much faster.

What are the common woods used to make drumsticks?

The most common woods used for drumstick are Maple, Hickory, and Oak.

Which is the best wood for drumsticks?

Hickory it has the highest shatter point of the other woods, which translates to more durable drumstick, with feel. Hickory more importantly has twice the shock absorbing ability over Oak, and significantly over Maple.

What is the benefit of Oak?

Oak is very heavy for it’s size. Oak sticks have a heavy feel, so feel good in smaller diameters. Oak absorbs much less shock than Hickory, which means it passes the shock on to your hands, therefore Oak should be played on softer surfaces (i.e. snare drums not turned too high, rack and floor toms, and thinner cymbals) and at lower volume levels.

What is the benefit of Maple?

Maple is lighter feel than the other two woods, so you can have a much larger diameter stick in your hand without a heavy or slow and sluggish feel. Maple sticks are great for orchestral or Symphonic playing. Maple, like oak, has a lower shatter point, so when Maple sticks are taken to a drumset, rimshots with lead to quick failure on the sticks, unless playing low volume applications like soft jazz.

What is the benefit of Hickory?

The benefits range from very durable wood with a high shatter point, meaning it can take a get deal of abuse before breaking. Hickory sticks tend to chip away as they are played on cymbals or rimshots, as opposed to Maple and Oak, that can merely snap in half when the much lower shatter point is reached. The most important benefit is how Hickory sticks absorb more than twice the about of shock as the other woods. This means more of the vibration that stick occurs due to contact with a rim as in rimshots, or cymbals, is keep within the stick as opposed to transferred on to your hands, wrists, forearms, and elbows.

What is the difference in design between wood and nylon tip sticks?

Wood tip sticks offers a warmer and quieter sound, thus they tend to have thicker necks. Nylon tip sticks due to the louder projection of the nylon tip tend to have thinner necks, and offer a very consistent sound during the lifetime of the stick.

What are the three basic types of tips for sticks?

Round, acorn, and arrow are the most common shapes for drumsticks. There are probably 20 or more variations on these 3 main shapes due to slight preference drummers will have for their performing situations or styles. Most of these variations can be seen on each drumstick Manufacturers’ Endorser Signature lines of sticks.
The acorn bead offers the great versatility as opposed to the round bead which offers the least versatility. The round bead offers a cleared articulate less warm sound than an acorn bead, and more uniform sound since despite the angle striking a round bead to a surface it will be the same. An acorn bead offers 3 clear positions of shape of the bead for different sounds. The arrow bead offers the warmest sound when properly played on the flat or large surface of the bead, but requires more advanced training to play acorn beads correctly and consistently.

What do the markings ‘A’, ‘B’. or ‘S’ since as 5A, 5B, or 3S mean?

A stands for orchestral, or symphonic style of music, therefore narrower necks and small beads for quieter style of playing. B stands for Band, therefore needing more neck and bead size to perform within a louder and larger performing group. S stand for street, or marching band style of performing, therefore a thick diameter stick for projection and volume needs.

Please send me your questions or concerns about drumsticks.

DrumsticksDan Frank
Artist Relations Co-ordinator
Trueline Drumstick Co
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Dan is one of the founding fathers of Trueline sticks (the ones with the bump). There is not much about sticks that Dan does not know. From my own dealings with Dan, he is a helluva bloke, very easy to deal with and most helpful and accommodating. He will be delighted to answer any questions you may have, Mail Dan or me directly or post to the newsgroup - Paul

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