Favorite brushes

Patrick

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I use the Vic Firth Heritage (purple) most of all. Then I reach for my Jeff Hamiltons. I love the Regal Tip classics, but the black handles degenerate in my hands. I ruin watches with my sweat, and some nights, my hands will start to really grime up as the Regal Tips age. So I toss the Regal Tips more regularly and only toss the purples when I've bent and twisted too many wires. But that's another story.
 

Deafmoon

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I use Regal Tip's Ed Thigpen Model. It's a hybrid handle of wood and plastic. These retract and the wire is very warm on my flat ride and drums. I played Steve Gadd's bent wire brush and Jeff Hamiltons heavier models and those are okay too. But these Thigpens are very comfortable. I also like the Clayton Cameron's, but I can't find mine and I think they are out of production. They were nice too.
 

Deafmoon

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Regal tip 583r. If you can find them buy them. I scoured the internet a few months and bought as many as i could find/afford. I might have a dozen pairs which should last about a dozen years if/when we get back to it...
Those are sweet. Kinda like an old friend.
 

Deafmoon

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I was reminded while listening to some Pentangle yesterday that I should probably take another stab at really learning to play with brushes.

I was never very happy with my old set — a pair of Vic Firth retractable ones with white knurled plastic handles. They were always getting stuck. Lucky for me, the black rubber inside them literally melted into a sticky viscous goo a few years ago (and ruined my whole stick bag in the process), so I’m in the market for a new pair.

What do you guys recommend?
Yep, that old white handle brush was VF first venture into brushes. I remember mine getting stuck all the time and I would have to whip the whole brush to get them unstuck. One day, BAM! wires all over the drums! I contacted VF and they sent me another pair. But over time, they stuck too. I switched back to Regal Tip. I think VF corrected that problem a few years later and now they make some very fine product.
 

10 Lug

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Regal Tip classic for most everything, Vic Firth Heritage (purple) piano trio.
 

jaymandude

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Regal for me. Someone gave me 2 or 3 pair of the purple firth Heritage but I couldn't get with them. Paid them forward.
 

Elvis

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Yep, that old white handle brush was VF first venture into brushes. I remember mine getting stuck all the time and I would have to whip the whole brush to get them unstuck. One day, BAM! wires all over the drums! I contacted VF and they sent me another pair. But over time, they stuck too. I switched back to Regal Tip. I think VF corrected that problem a few years later and now they make some very fine product.
Those white handled brushes used to known as The Buddy Rich model.
Before I got turned onto the VF LEgacy brush, I was all about Regal 550W's.

 
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LFBarfe

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Yes, Vic Firth sorted out all the problems on the white brushes, and the current version are my favourites. I also like the Ahead Switch brushes with the nylon stick tip at the end of the pull rod.
 

cribbon

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I use Regal Tip Whiskers (nylon and non-retractable). I dislike Regal Tip sticks intensely, but I love these brushes.
 

Core Creek

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In the fall of 2019 I started playing with a singer/songwriter who’s music is influenced by jazz, rock, blues, funk, etc... he really loved the sound of brushes so I pulled out my old school metal retractable Vic Firth brushes. I found they always snagged on my gig bag, and the metal just kept getting bent out of shape.

I replaced them with a pair of Vic Firth Legacy retractable wire brushes that are housed in a wood handle so I could get a side stick sound out of them. I still found them snagging on everything and I just hated the metal tip at one end.

So I bought a pair of Regal Tip Ultraflex non-retractable plastic brushes and love them. If you’re more of a rock guy trying to get a brush sound I think they work perfect. They feel much more like a normal stick, and the plastic brush doesn’t snag or get bent out of shape. I’ve been using them for a year and love them.

Here they are in a very rockish setting.... note, I use a regular stick to still get the hi hat definition:


More brush work on the snare:

 

FlowTom

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I was glad to see this post because I knew there would be a lot of good info and suggestions.

Listening to Pentangle brings on two thoughts:
1) Am I able to play with enough expression at a low enough volume? (A worthy lifelong pursuit).
2) Where am I going to find my Danny Thompson?
 

David M Scott

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I was reminded while listening to some Pentangle yesterday that I should probably take another stab at really learning to play with brushes.

I was never very happy with my old set — a pair of Vic Firth retractable ones with white knurled plastic handles. They were always getting stuck. Lucky for me, the black rubber inside them literally melted into a sticky viscous goo a few years ago (and ruined my whole stick bag in the process), so I’m in the market for a new pair.

What do you guys recommend?
I have both VF which are Livewire model, very stiff have metal beads welded to end of each wire. Actually they are similar to playing 5 A sticks or rods with their bounce. They are almost to loud in some instances so my recommendation is to stay away from them unless you need big time definition. Personally I prefer a “medium wire” and the Promark TB 5 is one of the nicest. The cushioned shaft is thicker than VF and I actually them more controllable. They are still stiff enough to work nicely on cymbals but soft enough in sound. Promark also has a TB6 stiff wire. As I live in Canada i’m going to try Headhunter product which offers two models.. Jazz and Rock. I can phone them directly to get their recommendation and place an order.
 

bpaluzzi

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I've been using the Innovative Percussion WBR-1 since they first came out. I play a LOT of brushes in my David Lynch band. Was previously using the Regal Tip 583R, and the IP feels very similar. IP also makes the WBR-2 (Heavy) model, which feels very similar to the Regal Tip "Jeff Hamilton" model. I like that they're color coded, as well -- the regular have a purple butt end, and the heavy have a red butt end.

 

mtarrani

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Regal Tip Ed Thigpen signature model. I had the foresight to purchase a bunch of spares when they started becoming scarce. I have enough pairs to easily get me to my 80th birthday, which is eight years away. Truth be known, I think I have enough to get me to 84 or 85. They are the perfect brush for me, especially since I play a lot of brush only gigs, and even when I play gigs that also require sticks I am still using brushes 20-30 percent of the time.
 

mtarrani

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I use Regal Tip's Ed Thigpen Model. It's a hybrid handle of wood and plastic. These retract and the wire is very warm on my flat ride and drums. I played Steve Gadd's bent wire brush and Jeff Hamiltons heavier models and those are okay too. But these Thigpens are very comfortable. I also like the Clayton Cameron's, but I can't find mine and I think they are out of production. They were nice too.
Regal Tip is selling direct now, so you can get them off their web site. They also offer free shipping if your purchase exceeds some dollar threshold. I forget the threshold, but it is either $100 or $120 if my memory serves me.
 


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