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Squirrel Man

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So I play 2B, Promark. At this point in my development I really don't think higher end sticks make any kind of a difference and I'm happy with these so far but they're bigger end.

I have big hands, I hit harder because it's my style but I'm weening away from a lot of old habits, trying to play softer and looser and I'm wondering if sizing down sticks might make a difference. And yeah, I know - go buy a pair of 5A's and shut up but I'd like to hear the opinions here.

Bigger sticks always felt comfortable for me and a large part of my workout routine is conditioning among other thing. Thinking a sizing down might make an impact in a way.

Thoughts?
 

Elvis

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So I play 2B, Promark. At this point in my development I really don't think higher end sticks make any kind of a difference and I'm happy with these so far but they're bigger end.

I have big hands, I hit harder because it's my style but I'm weening away from a lot of old habits, trying to play softer and looser and I'm wondering if sizing down sticks might make a difference. And yeah, I know - go buy a pair of 5A's and shut up but I'd like to hear the opinions here.

Bigger sticks always felt comfortable for me and a large part of my workout routine is conditioning among other thing. Thinking a sizing down might make an impact in a way.

Thoughts?
5B's are usually a little thicker than 5A's but significantly thinner than 2B's.
Shorter shoulder taper too, compared to the 5A.
Might be an easier transition from 2B.

Elvis
 

Stickclick

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My current favorite are 5A's. And don't forget brushes, they are quieter, different and a lot of fun to work with sometimes.
 

nolibos

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i like the way my cymbals sound with the vic firth SD2 bolero. I try to branch out to other models, but the cymbals just don't sound right.
 

Elvis

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If you want something to make cymbals sound better, try a set of Pro Mark Select Hickory Rebound Balance sticks.
I use the 565's and they make just about all but the lightest of my cymbals sound better.
 

cplueard

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If you find the weight lacking you can always go something a bit thinner but longer as well. I enjoy using a vater power 3a because the extra throw feels good in my hands.
The zildjian Dave Grohl series are another good choice for their 5B-ish grip, long reach, and a long taper that allows you to really make them bounce and feel at the tip.
I tried a pair of these as well and it was good, you can do these in a 2B to move the weight back a bit but still have the same grip. Ultimately not what I needed but I wasn't trying to achieve the same goal as you:
 

paul

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I have rather large hands too, and agree with Varatrodder. I switchedd to Vic Firth maple sticks more than 10 years ago, starting with SD9's and settling on SD10's. I want two things from my sticks: comfort and sound. I can get used to just about any weight, but if they're too heavy or too light that changes the sound on snare and cymbals. Maple sticks are less dense than hickory, so a 5A maple stick will be lighter than a 5A hickory. What sold me on the SD10's was the sound I heard from cymbals with a borrowed pair, and I never looked back.

One more thing. Vic Firth has always done a good job of matching sticks by weight, but in the past had a pretty large variation in weight between pairs. Lone Star Percussion, the only store in my area that keeps my sticks in stock, has always let me bring a small digital kitchen scale and compare weights of the pairs in a brick. Over time the variation has consistently shrunk, and my last purchase was six pair that were within 0.1 oz. of each other. I like that when a pair wears out the next pair feels just like the old ones. And I've never gotten a pair of VF's of any size that weren't dead straight.

Experiment until you find the most comfortable sticks with the best sound. Good luck.
 

Matched Gripper

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So I play 2B, Promark. At this point in my development I really don't think higher end sticks make any kind of a difference and I'm happy with these so far but they're bigger end.

I have big hands, I hit harder because it's my style but I'm weening away from a lot of old habits, trying to play softer and looser and I'm wondering if sizing down sticks might make a difference. And yeah, I know - go buy a pair of 5A's and shut up but I'd like to hear the opinions here.

Bigger sticks always felt comfortable for me and a large part of my workout routine is conditioning among other thing. Thinking a sizing down might make an impact in a way.

Thoughts?
You can learn to play softer with any stick size by practicing and playing with lower stick heights. Try playing from 2-3 inches off of the drumhead or pad and see how that works. Even 5-6 inches is probably a lot lower than you are currently playing. FYI, it’s not that easy at first. Like everything else in drumming, it takes some time and practice to do well.
 

jaymandude

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So I play 2B, Promark. At this point in my development I really don't think higher end sticks make any kind of a difference and I'm happy with these so far but they're bigger end.

I have big hands, I hit harder because it's my style but I'm weening away from a lot of old habits, trying to play softer and looser and I'm wondering if sizing down sticks might make a difference. And yeah, I know - go buy a pair of 5A's and shut up but I'd like to hear the opinions here.

Bigger sticks always felt comfortable for me and a large part of my workout routine is conditioning among other thing. Thinking a sizing down might make an impact in a way.

Thoughts?
my worthless internet opinion ? If you're used to 2B's, you will likely grip the stick too tightly if you go to a thinner stick. But go ahead and try it, let me know if that happens. I try and go to a 7A or Dennis Chambers stick from a DeJohnette Signature and notice tighter hands at the end of the night, but that's me...

I'm in the maple recommendation camp. for starters at least. I don't like the sound of them but I'd go that route before smaller.
 

AgentGreen

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Just recently switched from 5a to 7a, I'm a pretty lightweight guy so the difference has made it easier to play. The thinner stick was tricky to get used to but after a couple of hours and some adjustments to my grip it feels just right now.
 

Elvis

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When going from thicker to thinner, I did find, like Jayman mentioned, I gripped the stick tighter, but moving down in size in small increments seemed to make the transition easier, WHEN PLAYING MATCHED GRIP.
When playing Traditional grip, the size difference didn't seem to make that much difference. The stick lays in the hand, so only gripping change was with a couple of fingers and the thumb.
It just doesn't seem like as drastic a change when played like that....however...a difference in size is noticed.
Going through that now with my new sticks.

Elvis
 

Squirrel Man

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Alright, thanks for the replies. Going to try two thing, one size down and maple.
 

Elvis

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Maple sticks will shred faster, so keep that in mind as you use them.
Good luck.

Elvis
 

underratedcowbell

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Wowwww 2b is like playing with broomsticks I have butcher-sized hands but I’m only confortable playing light and skinny drumsticks like 7a! Yeah maple will shred really really fast altough they make cymbals sound and feel so smoother!
 

mebeatee

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Am I correct in thinking most folks are talking more about stick diameter(s)?
If so cool, however stick length is fun to explore. Aside from different "sizes" of sticks I also use some sticks that are longer and shorter in length than the standard 16".
The old Phil Collins stick, Regal 7A's, Vater 3A's, Questlove, Alex Van Halen sticks for example.
bt
 
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DamnSingerAlsoDrums

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I don't have very big hands but I went from VF 5b to VF AJ2 wich is like a 5a with a longer taper and smaller tip. Way easier on the ears for long practice sessions. Also it enabled me to develop a broader dynamic range by lowering the volume of ghost notes and sweetening the cymbals a lot.

If you record yourself, being able to play softer will tremendously help by allowing you to let your equipement to work at optimum levels, your mics, preamps, DAW etc. We all love a bit of saturation, but if everything in your chain is clipping, the overall sound quality will suffer greatly. But also your kit, there's a certain point beyond wich snare, toms and cymbals just sound choked or unnecessarily harsh.

Even his bombastic highness John Henry Bonham the first, who has NEVER been accused of being a wimpy drummer by any non-psychotic person, didn't hit extremely hard. He hit with authority, yes, but within the limits of reason. And he was generally lighter than we'd think on the cymbals so that they wouldn't always "duck" the compressors. That way the rest of the kit wouldn't be squashed and kept on sounding big and full. A lot of drummers who are very heavy hitters counter-intuitively end up sounding thin on recordings or they necessitate a lot of processing. You'd be surprised to know how many of them nowadays end up with samples replacing their choked up sounds.

Anyway I'm ranting, but all this to say I'm pretty sure your move towards lighter sticks and better dynamics will improve your tone without losing much rockin' mojo. Let us know how it goes. :thumbleft:
 


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