Drum Sticks 101 – The Size for You

Drum Sticks are an often overlooked part of the picture for beginner drummers, but the reality is that choosing the right stick is one of the most important decisions a drummer has to make. They are your physical connection to the drum kit.

The size and weight of your drum sticks can have a big impact on the way you play, and the way you progress as a beginner.

We’re going to take a look at some of the most common drum stick sizes, decode some of the language used, and help you find the stick that’s right for you.

The Fundamentals

The first step is to understand the parts of a drumstick and how they can vary.

There are four elements, the Tip, the Taper, the Shaft, and the Butt.

  • The Tip can vary in shape
  • The Taper can vary in length
  • The Shaft can vary in length and width
  • The Butt is usually uniform across sizes 

Understanding the Sizes

Drum stick sizes are classified by a letter and a number (5A, 7A, 2B, etc.). At first, this can seem a complicated system to understand, but it is, in fact, quite simple.

The number is the first classification, which refers to the weight of the stick, with the lowest number referring to the heaviest stick. ie: A 7A would be far lighter than a 2B.

The letter refers to the width of the stick. The higher the letter, the thicker the stick. ie: A 5B is a lot thicker than a 5A.

Wood vs Nylon Tips

Drum stick tips are generally made out of either wood or nylon. Each have their own unique characteristics, and the choice between them is personal to each player.

Wood Tips: Wood is the most common Tip material. It has a versatile sound which is not too bright.

Nylon Tips: Nylon tips are known and loved for their durability and bright high-end attack.

The Stick for You

The most important thing to remember is that everyone’s stick choice is personal.

 The first consideration is what music you will be playing as this is the easiest way to narrow down what stick is for you.  A lighter stick can be great for styles like Jazz, or easier to learn with as a beginner, while a heavier stick can provide better attack for louder styles of music.

The best way to find the right stick for you is to simply try them out.  Bothners stores nationwide stock a full compliment of drum sticks, and one of our friendly sales consultants would be happy to allow you to experiment with different sizes until you find the one for you. 

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