You walk into a music store and pick out the cheapest drumsticks. That’s all there is to it, right?
No, not exactly.
Determining which pair of drumsticks is right for you takes a bit of research, which is why we’re here to help make your search easier. Yes, you can thank us later.
Below, we compare and contrast some of the best drum sticks and give you the basic info you’ll need in order to choose the right ones.
If you thought your drum set and cymbal configuration were the main things to focus on, think again. Drumsticks are equally as important!
Few Things to Consider
Before you select a pair of drumsticks, here are a few things to consider:
- Type of Music You Play. Your rock band drum sticks won’t be the same as those used in an orchestra, so remember that you’ll need to choose based on the type of music you’ll be playing and the other instruments that you’ll be playing with.
- Material. While many drummers use wooden drumsticks, you’ll also find a lot of great synthetic options.
We will discuss this more in detail below.
Top 6 Pairs of Drum Sticks Comparison Chart
Measurements and Models
You’ll notice that drumsticks are classified by both numbers and letters.
- The Numbers. This is referring to the circumference of the stick. Low numbers for larger circumferences and high numbers for small circumference.
- S. “Street.” Used in marching bands or drum corps.
- A. “Orchestra.” For big band and dance orchestras.
- B. “Band.” Used in brass bands or symphonic orchestras.
Wood or Synthetic
Drumsticks are either made from solid wood or synthetic materials.
- Wood. The wood used makes a difference in your playing speed.
- Maple. Light and low in density, this wood is great for low-volume, fast playing.
- Oak. This is a dense hardwood that is very durable, but it’s also a bit heavy.
- Hickory. This is somewhere between maple and oak in weight. This is the most popular options since it offers excellent shock absorption.
Wood offers a warmer, fuller sound, but if you travel often then they may not hold up as well. Just bring along some extra pairs on the road if you prefer the feel and sound of wooden drumsticks.
- Synthetic. Typically aluminum and polyurethane are used, both of which are very durable. These offer a crisp sound and won’t be affected by humidity or temperatures like wood sticks will.
Drumstick tips come in four shapes:
- Round. Offers focused sound. Best for cymbals
- Barrel. These have more diffused tones since the contact area is larger.
- Teardrop. These offer a wide range of sound. All-purpose tip shape for most drummers.
- Pointed. Ranges between a focused to medium tone
Tips can either be made of wood or in nylon.
Top 3 Best Drum Sticks Reviews
This medium-weight 5A hickory wood drumstick by Vic Firth is the best of both worlds. It’s durable and perfectly balanced, yet allows you to play pretty much any style of music. It offers little flex to give you a more pronounced sound and, being made of hickory, can tolerate the hard hits and with its excellent shock absorbing capabilitiesIt has a teardrop shaped tip, which sounds great on the cymbals, and is one of the most popular drumstick models among drummers.
Definitely some of the best drum sticks for the price! Get yourself a few pairs in case those jam sessions get a little exciting and you break one!
For all of your marching band drum needs, Vic Firth tops the list again in the number two spot.These sticks have a barrel-shaped tip, which comes in both wood and nylon versions, with a hickory body.
The barrel tip and long taper offer you a quicker rebound and added control, perfect as you march and drum.
These hickory drumsticks come with a nylon tip, great all-purpose rock jam sticks with a teardrop shape.
They feel great in your hands; nice grip and they slide well.
Remember that the body of these drumsticks are wood, not nylon. Only the tip is nylon.
For something synthetic, check out number five on our list above. If you only want nylon tips, then give these a try!