Stick Wear and it’s effect on sound

organworthyplayer337

Well-known member
I know that most people play their sticks until they break or are completely worn out and that’s probably best $$$ wise and waste wise

however

I’ve been playing a pair for the past month or so and they’re still in pretty decent shape, no extensive wear, chipping or breaks.

I pulled out a fresh pair and I was immediately
shocked at all the high end I was missing from my kit from the worn out pair.

Not just on the cymbals, but the snare had more “crack” and I noticed more high end definition from the toms. Cross-sticks and rim clicks were cleaner and more prominent. The whole kit sounded better

ultimately this anecdote is inconsequential/obvious but I’m just sharing to share I guess lol

if you’re noticing a dullness in your sound, might be the sticks!

edit: grammar
 
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Mr Farkle

Well-known member
I realized this recently too. I almost changed sticks because a different brand sounded better than the ones I was using normally. That was odd because I went through a long search to find the ones I use. Then almost accidentally I picked up a new pair of the ones I had been using and they had a completely different sound. I realized then that I need to change them more often. I don’t break sticks so I was keeping them too long.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
As I wear my sticks down, the most wear is at the shoulder of my right hand stick. Probably from the angle at which I play my hi hat. And because of that wear, it definitely tones down the sound I get from both cymbals and drums. If I'm just practicing, I'll use the sticks until they break. But if I'm playing a gig I'll break out a new pair of sticks.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
This is precisely why I use nylon tipped sticks. Once I’ve found a model that sounds and feels right, I can use the same pair for 50+ gigs and still get the same sound I started out with.
Generally I find the Vater and Regal Tip nylon tips are less brittle than the others, so they rebound better and don’t sound too ‘plasticy’ on the ride cymbal.
 

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
usually i break the stick before noticing any difference but ever since i started using those promark firegrains i have started to notice this too. these stick NEVER break and for me that’s a problem because the ride definition is quite horrible from the tip wear and it’s got a lot of splinters just above the grip. when i changed back to VF 5ANs for a session it was a night and day difference, the ride sounded amazing and even the drums sounded a bit clearer. i might just throw the firegrains out and get a less durable pair
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
This is precisely why I use nylon tipped sticks. Once I’ve found a model that sounds and feels right, I can use the same pair for 50+ gigs and still get the same sound I started out with.
Generally I find the Vater and Regal Tip nylon tips are less brittle than the others, so they rebound better and don’t sound too ‘plasticy’ on the ride cymbal.

If a nylon tipped stick wears down at the shoulder between the tip and the shaft, the thinner the wood gets, it will have an impact on the sound you achieve because there will be more flex as the wood is chipped away. That will most definitely impact sound, no matter what kind of tips you have.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
If a nylon tipped stick wears down at the shoulder between the tip and the shaft, the thinner the wood gets, it will have an impact on the sound you achieve because there will be more flex as the wood is chipped away. That will most definitely impact sound, no matter what kind of tips you have.
This is true of all sticks, but this thread is about wooden tips getting softer and changing the tone before there is any noticeable wear anywhere.
 

organworthyplayer337

Well-known member
This is true of all sticks, but this thread is about wooden tips getting softer and changing the tone before there is any noticeable wear anywhere.
I never specified tips, because the tips of the sticks that my OP was about were actually in good shape. The difference, I feel, was in the body of the stick.
 

Justinhub2003

Well-known member
My old favorite stick used to be the Benny Greb Sig from Vic Firth. And one of the reasons why I switched was because the weight and feel of 2 brand pair from that line would feel and sound wildly different from one another. So it was even more exaggerated after I I used them for a while then used a new pair.

I’ve since switched over to pro mark and specifically Carter McLean’s signature stick. It’s a very specific shape but I’m surprised about how consistently weighted they feel. And sound wise they are consistent (at least to my ears ) sound wise.


All that said…. I also think there is a bit of a placebo effect too. Nothing feels as great as a new set of sticks in hand. It’s just the little things that make you play more inspired that day. Sometimes it can be that fresh set of sticks
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
As I wear my sticks down, the most wear is at the shoulder of my right hand stick. Probably from the angle at which I play my hi hat. And because of that wear, it definitely tones down the sound I get from both cymbals and drums. If I'm just practicing, I'll use the sticks until they break. But if I'm playing a gig I'll break out a new pair of sticks.
This is what I do. After a few gigs those sticks stay at home where I use them until they are worth less. If the tips start chipping very much I'll toss them so they don't damage my heads. Other than that I'll use them at home till they break.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
This is true of all sticks, but this thread is about wooden tips getting softer and changing the tone before there is any noticeable wear anywhere.

If this thread is about wooden tips then why are you talking about nylon tips?
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
Fair point.
However, I was suggesting a solution or at least a workaround to the problem of worn wooden tips.

When I first started playing drums back in 1975 I remember buying Regal Tips with the nylon tip. It didn't take me long to dump them for wood tip sticks. I have found over these past 45 years that the shoulder or shaft will break long before the wood tip begins to wear away. Different strokes for different folks.
 

Fred D

Pioneer Member
Rim shots take their toll. LOL These are about done,
 

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