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KenSanders
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« on: July 13, 2008, 10:59:02 PM »

Brushes are not “quiet” sticks
I sometimes play small jazz venues where my regular stick (a Vater  model .620” diameter hickory stick with olive nylon tip) of choice is just too much for the room.   Undecided   I’ll use brushes if a tune needs the brush swish sound for filling in the airy spaces, but I really don’t want to use brushes strictly as a volume control measure. I just hate doing that.    Roll Eyes

To me, brushes are NOT meant to be used like soft sounding sticks.  They have an entirely different feel, texture and playing technique.  For those lower volume "stick" tunes, I’ve carried some smaller sized hickory sticks (i.e. 7A) in my bag for years, but I still often experienced that “holding back” feeling when playing quietly with the smaller hickory sticks.  Undecided

Well lately, I have been experimenting with some different kinds of sticks and I have found some that work great for my softer performance situations.  I realize that not everyone has to find sticks that are good for moderate volumes, but if you do play in houses of worship or in some lower volume venues, this might interest you.

When I want very controlled volume I have been using some .545” diameter maple sticks with a very slender tapper at the tip end and very small round tips.  The reduced weight of the maple wood certainly does make a lighter sound on both the cymbals and the drums.  They have really nice bounce and balance and they do allow me to play more relaxed than that aggravating “seriously holding back” feeling I was having with hickory sticks.   Smiley

Woods tips or nylon tips
Now I usually prefer the nylon tipped sticks for a brighter cymbal sound, but sometimes a darker cymbal sound works better for light jazz playing or other situations where you might want more blend and less cut.  If you are trying to play softer anyway, then a wooden tip is a more logical choice.  Wink

I have also found one other special purpose stick that may be of interest to some of you.  It is a Vic Firth maple stick called the “American Custom SD5 Echo” model.  The grip part of the stick is about .630” in diameter, but beyond the grip of the stick, it has a long drastic slender tapper all the way to the little rounded wooden tip.  So, the stick feels larger in your hand, but it is actually very, very light and very lively.  As I said it is a special purpose stick, but I’ve found it to be “just right” for several tunes on our jazz play list.

So now instead of compromising on the low volume tunes where I had been either using brushes (but not liking it) or using sticks (and holding back like crazy), I can use these light weight maple sticks and enjoy playing the tunes much more.

SOME MORE “TIPS”

Now I’m a drummer who does not like the stick lacquer to build up crud on my cymbals so I use fingernail polish remover to take the lacquer off of the wooden tips before I ever play them.   Cool

Realize that maple sticks are not going to stand up to powerful playing like the hickory sticks do.  However, for those softer volume situations where you want to use sticks and not brushes or little dowel rods, the maple sticks are worth checking out.


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Ken Sanders
IBJAMN in Nashvile, TN
PASHA
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2008, 10:03:18 PM »

Great post!! - Thanks a lot Ken!!!

To add to the subject here is an article about drum sticks by Raymond Massey from Pearl...

Enjoy! Wink
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KenSanders
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2008, 01:58:14 PM »

RE:  To add to the subject here is an article about drum sticks by Raymond Massey from Pearl

Thanks PASHA.   The link you have referenced has an illustration of the SD5 Echo model drum sticks, for those who are interested.  Like I said it is a soft volume stick, but the design makes it much easier to play.

It's one of those things that not everyone has need of, but for those that are looking for a way to play softly without giving up "feel", it is worth checking out.
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Ken Sanders
IBJAMN in Nashvile, TN
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2008, 02:03:03 AM »

I use a Regal 8A wood tip for a lot of my playing and I took a pair where the tips were pretty far gone and carved what was left of the tips down to diameter of the neck.  I then sanded the ends so they were smooth and round.  That's all there is to do.  The result was a stick that you could play very softly with and after a tune or two you get used to the slightly different balance.  It should work great on your 7A's and won't cost you anything.  Hope this helps.
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rdrummer322
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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2008, 08:55:44 PM »

 I will definitely check out the vic firth echo sticks..fantastic post!
  I've been known to use thin dowel rods in place of sticks on many occassion and I play about half the time with timp mallets (just Vic Firth G1s, I wear them out every few months but I like the feel).
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KenSanders
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2008, 06:28:31 PM »

Okay, I had some PM from guys wanting to know specifically "which" Joe Porcaro Diamond Tip stick I was citing in my post on 11-1-07. 

To be perfectly honest, I did not realize there were several Joe Porcaro Diamond Tip models.   

But to answer the question.....I like the JPM8A (Joe Porcaro MAPLE Size 8A).  It is 16 1/8" long, .545" in diameter and has a very, very small tip.  The "feel" is super light, but realize this is a stick designed to use in very low volume situations.   

Like, I've said before.....I really hate playing with brushes just to lower the volume.   

If the part dictates the swish sound of wire brushes, then I'll do that.   

I just do not like to utilize brushes as "soft sounding" sticks.  For soft sounding sticks I use the JAM8A's.   
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Ken Sanders
IBJAMN in Nashvile, TN
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