Having recently recorded more drum covers, it occurred to me that I should make a note of the current equipment which I use as a drummer. As a non-professional drummer, I’m not endorsing any particular brand, so I tend to end up with a varied selection ><
At present (after replacing two pairs of sticks which broke), I have a decent selection of sticks as shown below:
From top to bottom, the 7 pairs of sticks are
- Vic Firth Hickory, 5AN
- Vic Firth Hickory, 5B
- Carlos Acoustick (Multi-rod)
- Carlos Oak, 5A
- Lazer Hickory, 5A
- Lazer Hickory (Jazz sticks)
- Vater Maple, 7A
The bolded sticks are those which are used more frequently in general playing. Although my first pair of sticks was the 5AN Vic Firth Hickory, it’s a tad too heavy for playing faster songs like Foreground Eclipse covers. For that reason, the 5B Hickory sticks, which feel slightly lighter to me, work well for songs that require a heavy sound. And they’re black too!
After I’ve been playing for an extended period of time and fatigue starts to set in, I switch to the ‘lighter’ pair, the Lazer Hickory 5A set. It’s definitely lighter than the Vic Firth’s 5B pair (although both are made of the same wood, strangely enough), and is preferred when I need to go fast but my wrists are worn out.
When drumming outside though (usually in church for lives), I pack along four pairs to ensure that I’m covered for just about any situation: The multi-rods (red ones) are an option if I need to play quieter or need a more muffled sound on the snare or cymbals, while the Vater Maple 7A sticks are if I need to go really, really fast. Faster than Lazer’s sticks allow me to. Or if I’m tired but I still need to keep up a high tempo, I’ll grab them as they’re one step lower in weight than the Lazer Hickory sticks. Playing with them does take a bit more energy if I need to make a louder sound (because they’re so light, there’s not much momentum unless their velocity is increased). At the same time, they’re so light that it feels like I’m playing with air sticks compared to the heavier Hickory sticks.
The stick bag itself was purchased from Singapore Drum Shop at S$20, which I found to be quite affordable. It definitely doesn’t come with the metal chain shown in the picture above (that’s something I got from Harajuku), but it can take 4 pairs of sticks quite comfortably and includes little pockets that are extremely useful for storing headphone jacks/converters, pens and audio splitting cables. Drum keys too, it also has two hooks on each side that can be used to hook the stick bag between a kit’s toms or snare so that the bag can be used as a temporary stick holder.
They do sell a bag that’s larger at S$28 and can hold many more sticks, but I really prefer the slim profile which the above bag has. Attractive when you just want to sling it over your back or slip it into a bag, feels a lot less like you’re carrying a small inventory of sticks.
The Jazz sticks (above, #6) are really short, coming in at about 31cm (12.2 inches). For their length though, I thought they’d be much lighter but apparently not. Nevertheless, playing with them is quite different as they reduce the possibility of drummers getting their sticks tangled together when doing fast rolls. I would heartily recommend them if that also didn’t mean that one has to stretch further to crash or ride a cymbal when on a kit than they would have to if they were using a normal pair of sticks. Some experimentation has been done between using a normal “long” stick and one short Jazz stick in a couple of covers, but I’ve still not played enough to see whether it’s a good idea. Rolling with sticks of unequal lengths is rather unusual, but so is the benefit when switching between the hi-hat and the snare.
Finally, the kit that I’m using is the Yahama DTXplorer (ancient stuff). It’s also fitted with some double bass pedals which I believe to be from Gibraltar but I can’t seem to find the model I have there. A Gilbraltar pedal bag used for carrying the double bass pedals was purchased for S$55 at Ranking Sports & Music in Singapore. Possibly not the cheapest, but it certainly cheaper than some other prices I’ve been quoted for the same product and serves its function well.