Those long, (usually) wooden sticks that drummers use to hit their drums?
Yea, they are drumsticks.
And don’t be fooled into thinking you can just walk into a music store and grab the cheapest pair.
Don’t make a scene at the music store.
Read this guide first.
Comparison of Drumsticks for Beginners
There are many choices out there, I just picked the range that I think you should zoom into for a quick and accurate decision. To prevent over-analysis, I’ve cut down the number to sticks to just 7:
|Drumstick||Brand||Length (Inches)||Diameter (Inches)||Body Material||Tip Material||Surface Coating||Price||Check Today's Price|
|Vic Firth 5A American Classic *||Vic Firth||16||0.565||Hickory||Wood||Lacquer||$$|
|Vic Firth American Classic 7A||Vic Firth||15.5||0.540||Hickory||Wood||Lacquer||$$|
|Promark R5AAG Rebound 5A Active Grip Acorn||Promark||16||1.565||Hickory||Acorn||Promark's Active Grip (TM)||$$$|
|Promark TXPG747W American Hickory Pro-Grip||Promark||16.25||0.551||Hickory||Wood||Promark's Pro-Grip||$$$$|
|Vater VXD5AW Xtreme Design 5A Hickory Drum Sticks||Vater||16.5||0.580||Hickory||Wood||NIL||$$|
|SODIAL 5A Maple Wood Drumsticks||SODIAL||16||0.551||Maple||Wood||NIL||$|
|Cheeta Drumsticks 5A Maple Wood||Cheetah||16||0.551||Maple||Wood||NIL||$|
Best Beginner Drum Sticks
Vic Firth 5A – Hickory Drumsticks (Check latest price on Amazon here)
831++ drummers use the Vic Firth 5A, click here to read what they think about it
If you are an adult learning to drum, the Vic Firth 5A is what I’d recommend you to start with.
In the universe of drumsticks, there are 3 common weights; 2 , 5, and 7. (if you are thinking of purchasing the drumsticks for a kid, read the next section)
On top of the numbers, there are A, B and S drumsticks – the alphabets co-relate to the diameter of the drumsticks. If you are purchasing your first drumsticks at a music store, test out the different sizes and weights. But, if you are in a hurry and busy, and want the drumsticks delivered to you, go for the mid-range drumsticks.
Start with the mid-range if you are beginner, hence, I’d recommend Hickory 5A drumsticks.
And oh, hickory wood is known to absorb shock.
How the Vic Firth 5a feels
The Vic Firth 5A are sticks are lacquered and tend to be less slippery compared to the raw wood finish.
Many drummers agree that they are a pair of balanced sticks that are easy on the wrists, and are friendly to beginners.
Something to note, wooden tips are known to be less durable, especially if you are a heavy cymbal rim thrasher. If you want them to last longer, you might want to consider the Vic Firth 5A sticks that come with a Nylon tip.
Best beginner drumsticks for kids
Vic Firth 7A – Hickory Drumsticks (Check latest price on Amazon here)
Read what 112+ other Vic Firth 7A users think about these sticks here
Now…if you are purchasing the drumsticks for your kid, you might want to go for the 7A drumsticks instead.
These are lighter compared to the 5A sticks, and hence may be more comfortable for younger kids who are learning to play the drums for the first time.
There have been mixed reviews about the durability of these sticks.
If you notice that your kid is blazing through his sticks very quickly, you might want to get the 5A sticks for him to try instead.
I’ve also explored other drumstick options for beginners below. If you are still window-shopping for drumsticks, the next few sections might offer something interesting >D
List of Contents in this article (click to skip to section):
- Comparison of Best Drumsticks for Beginners
- Best Beginner Drum Sticks
- Best Beginner Drum Sticks for kids
- Best Beginner Drumsticks for those with sweaty palms
- Best Beginner Drumsticks at below US$5
- How to choose your first drumsticks?
- Drumstick accessories to cure the slippery drumstick syndrome
Best Beginner Drumsticks for those with sweaty palms
To prevent the drumsticks slipping away from your hands, and causing potential harm to your instructor, band mates or audience, you might want to consider this:
Promark R5AAG Rebound 5A Active Grip Acorn (Check latest price on Amazon here)
Promark seems to have captured the hearts of drummers with sweaty palms with their range of Pro-grip drumsticks and stick wraps.
Now, they have outdone themselves with the Active Grip series which features drumsticks with thin heat activated coating that becomes ‘stickier’ as your palm temperature increases.
And it seems drummers are raving over it.
The Promark Rebound 5A sticks are well-balanced and do not feel sticky until you start sweating during your drumming session.
Plus, the coating doesn’t transfer onto your hands, so there’s no need to worry about making a mess.
This set of sticks also feature Acorn tips, which are said to be more responsive. I could not tell the difference with these tips. And I doubt most beginners would either.
160+ Promark Active Grip 5A users share their experience here.
Best Beginner Drumsticks at below US$5
Say what? You spend all your moolah on those drumming lessons and have only 5 bucks in your wallet?
This will allow you to get started with your drumming regardless:
SODIAL 5A Maple Wood Drumsticks (Check latest price on Amazon here)
At just $2.85, you can probably get several pairs…if you can find spare change at the back of your couch.
Compared to hickory, maple wood is less dense. Expect these sticks to be light, and maybe even less durable if you are a heavy hitter.
If you are not brand sensitive, this is a great pair of sticks for you. Especially if you are a beginner who is looking to explore drumming, or don’t want to spend too much on this new hobby just yet.
The Sodial 5A sticks do not come with a finish and may slip while you play. You might want to consider getting the Stick Grip Spray if you face any issues with slippery drumsticks.
*p.s. beggers can’t be choosers. this stick may not be as comfortable or long-lasting, but hey, you’ll need it to start drumming.
How to choose your first drumsticks?
Drumsticks are not created equally.
You should choose a pair based on your playing style and your comfort level.
I’ve shared some of my thoughts on what you should look out for when choosing your first drumsticks previously:
Drumstick accessories to cure the slippery drumstick syndrome
One of the most common issues with drumsticks is grip.
No drummer would want a stick to fly through the stage during a performance.
If you have sweaty palms, you probably have it worse.
Here are 3 accessories you might want to consider:
There are various reasons drummers tape their sticks.
The main reason is for added grip.
The Promark Black Stick Rapp is a drumstick wrap that has been commonly recommended in forums.
You do have to note that you’ll need to paste the stick wraps onto your drumsticks manually.
A secondary function of such tapes is for decorative purposes. Drummers in Bucket brigade or marching bands tend to decorate their drumsticks for visual reasons. If you are looking to decorate your stick, you can consider electric tapes as a cheaper alternative.
The stick grip by Groove Juice is a product that has been highly recommended in various forums.
This is a transparent rubber based spray-on adhesive that improves the grip on your drumsticks.
The best part is that it does not transfer onto your hands once it’s dried. (Sweaty palms, rejoice!)
Plus, the stick grip adhesive does not (significantly) affect the weight or dimension of your sticks so you won’t have to readjust to your sticks after applying the grip spray.
There are long standing debates on whether you should use drummer gloves, but gloves are worn mainly for 2 purposes.
- To improve grip or to,
- To reduce the occurrence of callus on your fingers
I think its all down to personal preference.
There are famous drummers who wear gloves. Phil Rudd (AC/DC), Johanne James (Threshold) and Carter Beauford (Dave Matthews Band) are just some of them.
I hope this article has helped you with choosing your first drumstick.
You should consider the weight, feel and durability of the drumsticks when picking your first pair.
Let me know which sticks you went with in the comments below!