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In this guide we’ll take a look at the best drum sticks for beginners and professionals.
I’ve compared build quality, size, comfort and cost to give you my top recommendations.
What Are The Best Drum Sticks?
The Best Drum Sticks Reviewed
Vic Firth is the world’s leading drumstick manufacturer. In my opinion they produce the best drumsticks with each pair having a perfectly matched weight and pitch. Vic Firth drumsticks feel great to hold and play with, and they also offer the widest range of sizes.
The Vic Firth American Classic 5A Drum Sticks are without a doubt the best drumsticks for beginners. They are the perfect all-round size and weight to use for all styles of music. The 5A drumsticks are made from Hickory wood, and they feature a medium taper plus a teardrop wood tip for rich cymbal sounds.
These are the world’s most popular drumsticks for professionals and beginners alike. They are comfortable and durable which is important because whilst you play the drumsticks are an extension of your body.
Vic Firth produces the best drumsticks in the world, and you can’t go wrong with the 5A size. These drumsticks are strong and reliable, and will last a long time. For consistency and dependability, these Vic Firth 5A’s are the #1 drumstick for beginners and professionals.
- Great choice for all drummers
- Comfortable, classic feel and sound
- Perfectly weighted and balanced pair
In second place we have the Vater Los Angeles 5A Drum Sticks, and these are very well balanced Hickory wood drumsticks. Vater is also one of the world’s top drumstick manufacturers with endorsers including Stewart Copeland of The Police, Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili peppers and Mike Mangini of Dream Theater.
The Vater Los Angeles 5A drumsticks provide an amazing feel that has enough power for heavier rock music, yet also enough lightness for styles such as jazz or folk.
All Vater drumsticks are tone and weight matched by computer analysis to guarantee that you receive a pair of perfectly straight, consistent and high quality drumsticks. Vater are very specific with the choice of Hickory wood to enable them to produce superior drumsticks.
The Los Angeles 5A size drum sticks are a great all round size for almost any style of music. They are comfortable and durable to play with and they have an excellent rebound. These are some of the best drum sticks and they are also really good value for money too. Another great choice!
- Excellent value for money
- High quality Hickory for durability and resilience
- Perfect for all styles of music
Next up we have a pair of Promark Activegrip Forward Drum Sticks – that have quickly become the go-to choice for some of the world’s top drummers including Mike Portnoy, Glenn Kotche and Rich Redmond!
The Promark Activegrip sticks are the world’s very first heat activated drumsticks that feature a heat-activated grip coating solution that gets tackier as your body temperature rises. This cool new innovation provides you with better grip of the drumsticks without sacrificing feel or feeling too sticky or rubbery.
All Promark drumsticks are designed and manufactured in the USA and these are strong, durable and reliable drumsticks. The heat activated Active Grip finish is smooth and offers no additional weight or discomfort.
These are the best drum sticks for drummers who want a good level of comfort and control want to minimize the risk of dropping drumsticks. Not only do they have this awesome feature, but they are really well constructed and durable too
- Innovative Active Grip technology
- Provides greater control and comfort
- Suitable for beginners and professionals
- Not every drummer requires additional grip
- More expensive drumsticks
The Vic Firth American Classic 5B Drum Sticks are the best drumsticks for rock drummers! These drum sticks are slightly longer and thicker than the hugely popular 5A drumsticks, and the 5B size packs a real punch!
As mentioned earlier, Vic Firth sets the gold standard for drum sticks that are perfectly balanced and matched. The 5B size adds additional weight, length and thickness over the 5A’s and these sticks offer an incredibly solid feel and weight. You can really deliver solid backbeats and powerful drum fills with these drumsticks.
I love using the Vic Firth 5B drumsticks for rock music and metal. But of course they are more than capable for any style of music and they will always deliver a consistent and comfortable playing experience.
If you are looking for the best drumsticks on the market for adults then you’ve got to try the classic Vic Firth 5B drumsticks to assist you laying down killer grooves and funky drum beats .
- Best drum sticks for rock music
- Perfectly weighted and balanced pair
- Slightly larger sticks for solid backbeats
- Not ideal for jazz or lighter music
The Vic Firth Kids Drum Sticks are the best drumsticks for kids beginning to find their feet behind the drum set! These smaller sized drumsticks are designed for kids aged 3-8 years old.
These quality Hickory drumsticks are super comfortable and lightweight. They’re designed to make drumming easier for really young players. They’re the smallest drum stick size available – perfect for kids.
Constructed from high quality Hickory wood, they are durable and produce a great sound. These beginner drumsticks also come in vibrant blue and pink colours that’s guaranteed to be a hit!
- Best drum sticks for kids
- Available in blue and pink
- Comfortable and durable to play with
- Too small for adults
The Best Drumsticks Buyer’s Guide
Lots of beginner drummers underestimate how important it is to play drums with the right pair of drumsticks. Don’t be tempted by the cheap unknown branded drum sticks out there. These are poorly made and they will break easily, costing you much more in the long run.
Creating a quality pair of drumsticks is no simple process. It requires select dowels of Hickory wood and intensive testing. Wood is naturally an uneven material, and the density, grain, moisture content all have to meet specific requirements.
Once the wood meets the necessary requirements, a thorough testing process will make the drumsticks perfectly weighted and pitched with one another. The drumsticks will also lacquer finished to make them comfortable to hold and durable for long life.
At the end of the day, much like how a good bass drum pedal will help your performance, a good pair of drumsticks will help you to play better also. The act as an extension of your body and a direct link between you and your drums!
The Best Drumstick Sizes
There are hundreds of different drumstick sizes out there. So how do you know which is best for you? There is no real right answer for this, but the best thing to do is to experiment and try them out for yourself!
Looking at lots of different models of drumsticks can be confusing and intimidating to say the least. Even for experienced drummers! To help simplify the drumstick sizes, there are 5 common sizes to learn.
- 7A – thin drumsticks perfect for jazz
- 5A – The classic, versatile drumstick
- 3A – Slightly longer and thicker than 5A
- 5B – Thicker than 3A, ideal for solid backbeats
- 2B – The thickest drumsticks, suitable for rock and metal
Once you are familiar with these different sizes, you can then try to explore the many other drumstick sizes and signature models that exist. Artist signature models come in a huge array of different sizes that fall in between and around all of these base drumstick sizes.
For example I like to play the Vic Firth Jojo Mayer signature sticks, and these are slightly shorter and thicker than a classic 5A. It’s all down to personal preference when it comes to the best drumstick size. But I would suggest starting off with a 5A or 5B and then seeing how you find it!
Anatomy of a Drumstick
There are 4 aspects of a drumstick that all together contribute to the balance, feel and sound of a drumstick. These 4 parts are as follows:
Length – The length of the drumstick influences the balance and the fulcrum point. A longer drumstick has greater range and leverage meaning it can achieve more power.
Thickness – The thickness of a drumstick determines its weight and durability. Thickness is the largest contributing factor to the overall feel of the drumstick and will determine which styles of music it’s most suitable for.
Taper – The taper is the profile of the shoulder of the drumstick that influences the balance (weight distribution) and rebound. Tapers can be gradual or short, and this changes how a drumstick responds with regards to rebound once it strikes a drumhead.
Tip – The tip of a drumstick is also known as the bead, and drumstick tips vary greatly in size and shape. The drumstick tip can be either wood or nylon too. A smaller tip produces a defined and delicate sound, whilst larger tips produce a louder and less defined sound.
Choosing The Best Drumsticks
There is a vast array of drumsticks on the market to choose from, and as mentioned prior there is no real correct answer for what are the best drumstick sizes. But what you will definitely want to do is opt for a quality pair made from either Vic Firth, Promark, Vater, Zildjian or Regal Tip. Professional drummers around the world use all of these drumsticks.
When it comes to drumstick sizes, the best drumsticks for beginners are 5A’s. But I’d also recommend you experiment with some other sizes once you have understood the drumming basics. Try out new sizes, and the chances are you’ll find something that feels perfect to you. There is a big difference in playing feel when it comes to drumstick sizes, and finding the best drumsticks will definitely improve the way you play.