Slight Drum Stick Rant; Customer and Quality

repete

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I haven't broken a stick in over 10 years, but after a while they begin to lose their resilience because rimshots break-down the cell walls in the wood. When the sticks' response begins to get 'mushy' I replace them with a new pair.
Assuming you play righty, the rim shots are making the left hand stick ‘mushy’ first. Do you alternate sticks when you play to even out wear?
 

frankmott

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Matched weight and straightness are very important to orchestral players. It makes a difference when playing a pianissimo buzz roll. For rock, and even most jazz players, it really doesn't matter that much, particularly after a few rim-shots.

Years ago, all the manufacturers stampeded away from plastic bags (remember those?) to the current cardboard sleeves because they discovered the bags retained moisture and warped the sticks. When I started in music retail in '86, a LOT of sticks were badly warped. Some say it doesn't make a difference -- now. But it used to.
 

Tigerdrummer

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Sticks don’t matter. A pro could play any set you hand him/her. I could give you two 16-inch sticks off the forest floor, and you’d be comfortable playing them within a couple weeks. I change all the time.
I would agree at face value but a heard a story of the opposite. Leland Sklar and John Entwhistle were together once and traded basses. Both top players with different styles and each had trouble doing much with the others bass because of how it was set up so differently. Granted its not drums and sticks but I thought it was interesting anyway
 

jaymandude

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Have you thought about getting custom made sticks? Probably even cheaper when you buy them in bulk.
I’ve flirted with it. But if I do it myself I know exactly what I’m getting. And it keeps me from getting any sticks that are hollow feel or too heavy. I actually don’t go thru that many. Even playing full time, “maybe “2 pair in a month, at the most.

Endorsers get to specify gram weights, that’s a nice option
 

jansara

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Reminds me of the audiophiles that swear a $1000.00 power cable made their stereo sound better. A friend use to work at a Mark Levinson-Audio Research-Conrad Johnson type store and laught at the gimmicks.
Moral of the story: Your friend was a sleazebag salesman for selling what he thought was worthless. And I'm sure he never refused a sale.
 

Burps

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Years ago, all the manufacturers stampeded away from plastic bags (remember those?) to the current cardboard sleeves because they discovered the bags retained moisture and warped the sticks.
That's a great point. I never considered why there was that change. Thanks for pointing that out. After thinking on your point, I thought maybe they changed because plastic has been falling out of favor due to environmental concerns.
 

ARGuy

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This thread has gone the way most of these personal preference threads go - someone posts that they check the sticks, that they are paying for, for straightness and/or pitch because they notice those things, and someone else posts something negative about guys who say they can't play with mismatched sticks - which, of course, is not what they said, but hey, don't let that get in the way of being a jerk.
 

jaymandude

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This thread has gone the way most of these personal preference threads go - someone posts that they check the sticks, that they are paying for, for straightness and/or pitch because they notice those things, and someone else posts something negative about guys who say they can't play with mismatched sticks - which, of course, is not what they said, but hey, don't let that get in the way of being a jerk.
I left here for 4 months for that very reason. But now I'm using the avoid/hide button a lot more and just seeing the more thoughtful threads and responses..
 

supershifter2

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Moral of the story: Your friend was a sleazebag salesman for selling what he thought was worthless. And I'm sure he never refused a sale.
he is not a sleeze bag. those audiophiles are always demanding stuff like that. If its not expensive they will not buy it. They will buy a crappy pair of expensive speakers before they will buy a great pair of cheap speakers. Its the same with drums and guitars. Tama inperialstars and swingstars are the same shell with different lugs. USA made strats and mexican made strats are the same quality. I have a $200.00 Indonesian made P bass that plays and sounds the same as my $1500.00 USA made P bass. So whos ripping off who ? At least the audiophile admit they are way overpaying for crap. Its a status thing with them.
 

tdcrjeff

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Assuming you play righty, the rim shots are making the left hand stick ‘mushy’ first. Do you alternate sticks when you play to even out wear?
I don't do enough rim shots to have any affect, nor would I probably notice anyway. But I always use my most chewed up stick in my right hand because it gets chewed via hi-hat and crashes. I usually play it until it totally cracks or is chewed enough that I notice it being weak then what was the left stick moves to the right and a new left comes out of the bag. The new left will likely not be a virgin since it has been used occasionally because of a drop.

But then I'm an amateur hack. Or I guess a "semi-pro" hack since I have actually been paid to play the drums (and guitar too). :)
 

Rick

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I use Vic Firth X5A's. I find that they do a good job of QC and matching the pairs. There is a fair amount of variance in weight from one pair to the other. The main reason that matters to me is if I drop a stick in the middle of a song (not all that often but it occasionally happens) and pick up a spare stick... if it doesn't match in weight it really feels strange to me. I can still play fine but it doesn't feel right. So I'm the nerd who takes digital scales with me to my local Guitar Center when I buy sticks! lol
 

hsosdrum

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Assuming you play righty, the rim shots are making the left hand stick ‘mushy’ first. Do you alternate sticks when you play to even out wear?
I play an equal amount of rim shots with both hands (translation: a LOT of rim shots), so alternating sticks wouldn't help. Plus, in an earlier post I mentioned that I prefer my left stick to be slightly heavier than the right one. When they wear out I replace them.
 

EMW

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My stick story: When I was 16 and just starting out, I bought a shiny new pair of Regal Tips, brought them home, played for two minutes, and one of them splintered about two inches below the tip. The tip and some wood flew off. And it's not as though I was a big basher. Quite the opposite.

I was furious. I took them back to the store and said they sold me a bad stick. They tried not to laugh, and said, essentially, these things happen. Sticks are unpredictable and we can't guarantee them. I said okay and left. And that never happened to me again.
 

JDA

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If it was told .. how many people it took..to get those two sticks...into that bag and onto the shelf... I'd say 10$ is a bargain
 

pgm554

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After reading the Regal Tip thread, and especially post #58, I knew I had to start a new topic.

I run the drum department at Starving Musician-Santa Cruz. We carry Vic Firth, Regal Tip, Pro Mark, Vater, AMR, Zildjian, Firewood and Los Cabos drum sticks. Not a lot of different models, but a decent variety. (Hell, we could probably do just fine selling Vic Firth 5A Wood tip, and Los Cabos Seconds ONLY!)

So my pet peeve is this: I understand checking sticks out carefully, rolling them on glass, sometimes tapping them by your ear to hear the pitch, visual inspection for grain differences, etc... Ok, I understand WHY you do this. But I came up with one question that I sometimes ask a drummer, and that is... Are your ARMS identical? Same size? Same weight? Equal in every way? Because if they aren't, the stick wouldn't matter so much would it??? And the truth is, very few humans have equal arms. Right-handed people usually have a larger right arm [because we use it more often].

Just my two cents.

Stretch

P.S. If you need Regal Tips, check our website for what is remaining in stock. We ship free on orders over $40.
Glad to see you're back at the store.
Micah said you guys were short staffed at one point and the reason you guys were closed the last time I was down there.
See you soon.

PS back in high school ,Colaiuta had a pair drum sticks that were specifically made of unequal weights to balance the differences between your dominant hands.
I guess they never caught on.
 

CherryClassic

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As a shop owner myself, I do respect people's ways when going about buying products but I would like to add something to what Stretch said that kind of ties to it. I have a customer who always comes and buys a pair of VF5As and a pair of VF5Bs. He uses the 5B on his left hand, the 5A on his right hand. We talked about this with him as I was puzzled at first. He said his weak hand (left) could use all the help it could get from the heft of the 5Bs and he said he was more comfortable doing ghost notes with the heavier stick. He also said his fills sounded more even as the weight of the 5B compensated for his lack of power on his left hand.
So, different strokes...
Laughing to myself. You know, (same size sticks) I've caught myself changing sticks while playing, mostly between songs, putting the heavier stick in my left weaker hand. Plus the heavier stick has a better sound playing cross stick.

I realize manufactures use expensive tech machines to match pairs but they go through the system so fast I don't see how it's possible to get an exact match on every stick. And I've seen how some drummers show up with a bag full of sticks. Do you try to find an exact match prior to the gig?

Just a thought,
sherm
 

Ajbambino

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After reading the Regal Tip thread, and especially post #58, I knew I had to start a new topic.

I run the drum department at Starving Musician-Santa Cruz. We carry Vic Firth, Regal Tip, Pro Mark, Vater, AMR, Zildjian, Firewood and Los Cabos drum sticks. Not a lot of different models, but a decent variety. (Hell, we could probably do just fine selling Vic Firth 5A Wood tip, and Los Cabos Seconds ONLY!)

So my pet peeve is this: I understand checking sticks out carefully, rolling them on glass, sometimes tapping them by your ear to hear the pitch, visual inspection for grain differences, etc... Ok, I understand WHY you do this. But I came up with one question that I sometimes ask a drummer, and that is... Are your ARMS identical? Same size? Same weight? Equal in every way? Because if they aren't, the stick wouldn't matter so much would it??? And the truth is, very few humans have equal arms. Right-handed people usually have a larger right arm [because we use it more often].

Just my two cents.

Stretch

P.S. If you need Regal Tips, check our website for what is remaining in stock. We ship free on orders over $40.
Dude, I've been trying to reach regal for the Alex can halen sticks and their handbourine for over 2 years with no luck. Do you have them by any chance???
 

Ajbambino

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I agree all that sillyness is laughable. I order sticks by the gross. Vater 3A hickory wood tip. Not all are the same identical weight. BUT every stick I ever used made the drums and cymbals sound the same. That goes for the drum head tap test. More stupid nonsense. I heard about the tap test some years ago and did it quite a few times on heads that I order. The local music and drum store doesnt stock the heads I use. The tight heads and loose heads all sounded the same once they were on the drums and seated in. Imagine that , the timbre of a drum stick ! lol ! reminds me of the guy I have seen at putting a cymbal up to their ear to see how long it sustains. lol ! Anyone can hear things if they try. Reminds me of the audiophiles that swear a $1000.00 power cable made their stereo sound better. A friend use to work at a Mark Levinson-Audio Research-Conrad Johnson type store and laught at the gimmicks. I wonder if Buddy Rich ever ear tested his sticks and heads. Wax ! lol

Btw if you cant play with mismatched sticks then you are way too dependent. Several times over the years I have had a stick break during a song and I kept using it and made it work because I didnt want to miss a note. I have also played with warped sticks without a problem. If i can do it with deformed wrist and parts of my forearm bones missing then you can with your normal arms. Maybe I should change my name to Mongo Bones ! lol ! Oh throw me some bones will ya ! lol
Yeeeeeeeeeees! These and the nightsticks have been my go to sticks! I found them to be the easiest to hold, balance, and play compared to the 3 dozen sticks i have in my stick collection (when I first started playing - now it's only vater's).
 

Ajbambino

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Have you thought about getting custom made sticks? Probably even cheaper when you buy them in bulk.
I've reached out to a lot of people on this and never had any luck. The closest I got was with Jeff Rich, but I haven't heard back from him since April.

Do you know anyone/company that does it?
 


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