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Difference in stick tips


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The difference I hear in drum stick tips has to do with the amount of surface area being struck.


If you use a stick with a small round tip, the sound will be thin and light. If you use a stick with a large oval tip, the sound will thick and heavy. These are general descriptions that are only relative to the sticks you use in your comparison.


When a hand drummer uses his/her fingers to strike a drum versus using their entire hand ... the sound is very different. The more surface area that is struck ... the bigger the sound will be.


To get a visual picture of this you could dip the tip of a drum stick in ink ... then strike the drum. The stick which has the most ink on the drum will produce the biggest/fullest sound. The shape of the ink dot also helps to determine the timbre of the drum (along with where it is struck, the type of drumhead, etc.). It's going to be different with different players, different drumheads, different drums, etc.


The wood type, stick length, weight, diameter & cut, as well as the tip shape all play into the overall sound you will get when striking a drum or cymbal. The best thing to do is to just try out several drum stick models until you find one that meets your liking and needs.





Bart Elliott


Drummer Cafe - community drum & percussion forum
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Welcome to DrumTalk!


Bart is right on with his explanation. Especially the ink test example.


I find that the tip style can be affected based on the type of music you play. This is precisely why stick manufacturers name their sticks for specific styles ... i.e. Rock, Jazz, Combo, etc.


Tips can also be different in exact models depending on whether they have wood tips or nylon.


In a similar thread, we discuss the difference between wood tips and nylon.


I also think it is important to also account for stick size, length and diameter. All of these factors combined determine issues of sound, control, etc.


Sticks are a matter of personal feel and taste. Most folks get there start with a 5A, 5B or 2B model. From there it becomes a matter of taste. I have personally changed my stick taste a half dozen times in my playing career. I do have a stick that I favor, but also change sticks based on the gig.


Being flexible with your stick and matching the stick (the tool of your trade) with the job. You would not particularly use a 10 pound sledge hammer to hang a picture on a sheet-rock wall! Choose wisely!



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