Choosing the Right Sticks
Your choice of sticks make work for you or against you. Most drummers have a general purpose stick that they like to use. Many also have different sticks for different types of music. Orchestral percussions often times have a variety of sticks for different situations. My general purpose stick is a 5B. I prefer a longer 5B but sometimes use just the regular model. If I'm playing jazz or in a quieter venue, I'll use a lighter stick. When I'm playing in a concert or marching band, I use a heavier stick, except for quieter compositions. If you are playing in a quiet setting, like a church or school, and your are using large, heavy marching band sticks, you are making your job much harder than it needs to be. As you aquire more playing experience, you may be able to "get by" using only a general purpose stick, but you will make playing music much easier by using the "correct" sticks.
So, first, find a general purpose stick that is good for you. As you progress and find yourself in different musical situations, ask yourself, "is there a better stick I can use?". If the answer is "yes", then find a stick that is suited to your need. Find a music store with a large variety of sticks that will let you try them out. Test out different types of beads, different thicknesses and different proportions to see which you like. Without damaging the stick, see how it feels on a high hat or ride cymbal. Test in on a snare drum or tom. If you know other drummers, check out their sticks and ask them why they like the ones they use. Remember, your needs may change or your thinking about how you play may change and your choice of sticks may change, too. There's a large selection of sticks from different companies, so go see which are best for you!
Brad Hill is a drum/percussion instructor in Berks County, PA ( Shillington, PA ). Go to Drums1On1.com (Drums 1 on 1) and submit the Contact form for your free consultation to determine the best lesson plan for you. I offer drum lessons and percussion lessons. In person and online lessons available.